Sara Hartness’ Success Story
Sara Hartness’ Success Story
I found Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts via web search in the summer of 2012. For years I had mentioned wanting to go to a “fat farm”, but never seriously thought I would “waste” that kind of money. So, when the opportunity arose, I was a little surprised that I was actually doing it. I am so glad I did.
To make a long story short, that summer I realized that while I had always struggled with weight, once I quit smoking I had completely lost the battle. The weight was spiraling and I was sinking. When it finally dawned on me that my eating habits were mimicking my nicotineaddiction, I knew I had a real problem. Of course, by this time I had allowed myself to become more than 50 pounds overweight. I am still amazed that despite being a smart, independent, strong willed, pig headed, control freak, I had allowed myself to become obese. Yuck!
Once I got a handle on the problem, I felt it best to remove myself from the environment for a while in order to reboot, as it were, my programming. It made sense to me that in order to detox from my food addiction, I needed a three full weeks. I considered going to a “fat farm” comparable to pushing the reset button on a piece of equipment. When I mentioned my plans to my family, I was surprised at the support I received.
I am still not sure how I found Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, but I did. A web search had turned up a couple of the more expensive resorts in Florida and California, but they all touted gourmet food and expensive daily messages. Shane seemed to offer a more basic, down to earth approach
to the problem. When I spoke with Ziporah, one of the owners, she simply said, “come to us, we can help you.” While the SDR program sounded right for me, there were other considerations, pushing me towards them too.
First, they were in New York. My son was stationed in New York with the military; maybe I would get a chance to see him.
Second, the temperatures should be in the 80’s. It made sense to travel north for three weeks of working out in the summer rather than south to a scorching beach.
Third, they just sounded like they wanted to help, not simply wanted my money. Their pricing was reasonable. I saved about a thousand dollars per week by skipping the “gourmet” food and the massages.
My intent was to work and learn, not to be pampered and waited on. While it seemed to be a good fit for me, but rather than commit to the full three weeks, I registered for two weeks and was assured that I could extend if I wanted to.
I was not disappointed. The rooms and the facilities were lovely, but not over the top. The setting in New York was absolutely beautiful, the gardens, the mountains, the waterfalls. The food was simple, nutritious, delicious, but most importantly easy to recreate once you got home. The program was set up to give each of us options to choose that would meet our needs. As a woman in her 50’s I went for a lot of the water aerobics, spin classes, anything I could do to
strengthen my muscles so that I could get active without tearing up my knees. The staff was great, they were supportive, but you were always reminded that everything was your personal choices and it was stressed that you only do as much as you personally could. They provided the tools; it was up to you to use them. They all genuinely seemed to want to help. Many had been where we were and could understand some of the things we were going through.
Most importantly, the other guests at the resort really helped. We were all in it together, all pulling in one direction with a common goal. Everyone had a bad day or two thrown in there, but for the most part, everyone supported everyone else’s efforts with laughter, jokes and smiles. I still maintain contact with many of my fellow SDR guests, and we still support each other’s progress.
Regrettably, my New York stay was cut short. I stayed 16 days instead of 21. However, since I had started to train for my stay before going, I had already lost about 10 pounds before getting there. While at SDR in New York I lost another 10. More importantly, I made huge strides in changing my behavior and the way I thought about myself and food. For the first time in 20 years the scale was going down, not up. I was getting stronger, not weaker. I have a much better
understanding of what my body needs in order to function, feeling good feels better than eating junk.
Hearing all the compliments about how good I looked when I got home was great, but coming home came with challenges. I did not want to fail this time, shoot, I had spent too much money to back slide. I joined a gym and continued to work out, spinning three days a week and I hired a weight trainer. However, I was just barely holding my own nutritionally. I realized that I had focused so much on the exercise and strengthening aspects of the program that the nutritional aspects were giving me trouble. For awhile I made a deal with myself that as long as I didn’t gain weight and kept working out, I was okay. It just didn’t feel right. While I had all sorts of clothing that was fitting again, I just wasn’t making the progress I wanted and I was obsessing with the scales to make sure I wasn’t back sliding.
I don’t know how they knew just when I needed them, but the people at Shane contacted me about one month after I got home, to offer follow up after care with phone calls from my behavioral coach. When I learned they were opening a new branch in Texas, I decided to just come back for one week of touch up. This time I focused more on nutrition. So I have had the benefit of attending both venues. Both are staffed with wonderful people who really do want to improve people’s lives. Both are great.
Through this process I realized that it took decades to develop my less than stellar lifestyle. By addressing the problems in a rational, realistic fashion, I believe that I am on the road to fixing the causes rather than the symptoms. For the first time in decades I feel positive about myself and my future. I know it sounds sappy, but I now look forward to what the world has to offer rather than thinking my time here is done.
When I think back on it, the money I spent equals the money I saved by quitting smoking. I don’t have to spend money on larger clothes, the ones I love fit again. I would recommend this program to anyone fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend.