The gorgeous bikini boot camp girls & I covered in Mayan Clay & honey

I promised I’d tell you about how I left my ex-husband in that beautiful sea in Tulum, so here goes . . . .

On Valentine’s day at Amansala, we woke up and on the calendar for the day read “Mayan Clay Treatment”. And I knew from past photos, that we were going to be slathering some substance all over our skin and then washing it off in the sea. I had no idea that this was going to be one of the most memorable parts of my trip.I have to admit, I was worried about my bikini. I bought it in Coral Gables and spent way too much. And now, it’s going to be covered in mayan clay and honey — It is ancient mud after all — not sure shout has a formula for that.

We dug our hands into the clay (which felt a little like poop) and began putting it all over our bodies, face and hair. We giggled as the cold clay lay on our skin — the breeze made me chilly even in the hot sun. Bikini tops began flying off as everyone’s inhibitions lowered and took mine off too. It felt way more tribal that way for sure.

Then we walked to the water’s edge and listened to Melissa (the owner, creator of Amansala) guide us through a meditation — the mud would be drawing impurities out of our body — Toxins. And that we should see the things in our life that we want to let go of as these toxins. So, anything that we were hanging onto: hurt feelings, grudges, past relationships, etc. We should see those as toxins leaving our body. She suggested we use this process as a way to forgive, a way to let things go. At this point, I am in tears. After 7 years of being divorced, I don’t think I’ve ever truly forgiven my ex-husband.

It felt so good to step into the water. The clay had dried and was now very hard on my skin. My face was frozen. And scrubbing that clay had now turned into a ceremony for me — scrubbing away my pain, and my loss was such a release. I pictured him floating away — and although a little sad, I was suddenly so energized and happy — it felt so good to let go. As the clay left my skin, I pictured new and positive things that I could now be open to because I had room for them.

I don’t think you need a vacation and a clay treatment to forgive and let go, but it sure doesn’t hurt. I will never forget that day, or the women I stood by who were all going through their own catharsis. It goes down as one of those experiences that helped create who I am today. And, if I never go back to Amansala, it will always be special to me because it gave me much more space in my heart.


A Typical Day in Paradise . . .

The sun has barely peeked above the horizon and you can hear the gentle gong outside the hut. It’s time to hit the beach for our morning walk/run. Everyone downs a cup of jo before heading out. On my first day I definitely felt a little anxious because more than half the group has no idea who I am. We go through a brief series of stretches and then make our way. Everyone is walking at a different pace. My Type A clients are in the lead. As a matter of fact one of my most Type-A personalities has already taken off for an hour-long run. Our first 15 minutes are supposed to be in silence, but some of the girls can’t resist. This was a really special time of day for me. First of all, I’ve never walked on the beach in silence like that and not for 5 miles. This was a great time for me to meditate about the day and really take in the beauty that was surrounding me.

I knew even though most of us were walking, we were burning some serious calories. I even dropped some lbs. and I did a quarter of what everyone else did. This solidified the fact, that walking can be very good and that running isn’t the only answer to staying lean. Although, you do have to set aside more time . . .

We arrived back at Amansala and now it was go time . . . time for me to kick some butt and to show these people what a beach bootcamp is (at least in my mind). I definitely got some groans and dirty looks — but, for the most part, everyone seemed to enjoy the butt-kicking. I know I always do. After sprinting, and jumping, doing drop-downs, and more, we were ready to devour our breakfast. Breakfast was always fresh fruit, yogurt, this amazing granola (I’m eating it right now) and eggs if you had enough room. No bread.

After breakfast, everyone went their separate ways. I loved that we could choose what we want to do. It might seem obvious, but I loved being treated like a grown up. Some went directly to a beach chair or another class while others rode bicycles to town, or had a massage. I was in a bikini and on a beach chair as soon as possible.

The days seemed to fly by. And did I mention, the weather was beautiful? Each day better than the last — the sky was a beautiful blue and the ocean matched. I did venture out on a kayak one day — it was definitely a challenge getting out beyond the surf. I was acting brave, but inside I was afraid of getting tumbled out onto the coral below. We did get turned over at one point, and it was pretty funny trying to get back into that thing. We did manage to pull it together and ride back in like we were pros 🙂 I was ready for a beach chair and a margarita. Yes, there are cocktails . . . but it’s not like what you typically see at a resort. First of all, no one really wanted to drink. That wasn’t the point of this trip. But, when we did drink, it was tequila and fresh lime juice — that’s it. It was fantastic!

Around 4:30, the gong sounded again and it was time for round 2 — another workout. This is my kind of place. In the evenings I usually taught something a little more mild. Although I’m sure people would argue that anything I do would never be described as mild. It was so fun teaching a new group and exposing them to my style of exercise and my playlists (which I obsessed about for days). After class was African dance — so much fun! I loved moving my body in a different way than I was accustomed. The teacher was amazing — I have to say, Amansala really did have great trainers/teachers. Melissa (the owner) really attracts some great people — not too bad on the eyes either!

After the evening classes, everyone retired to their huts and showered. I loved that I could just wash up and throw on some jeans & a shirt and walk out the door barefoot. No fuss. I loved feeling striped down to just me and not worrying about how I looked. And being with a group of people who felt the same way. As a matter of fact, there were a few girls on the trip that I really saw grow. Maybe their expectations weren’t initially met, but I feel that they may have learned something new about themselves. I know I did.

Dinner was always a yummy soup, fresh fish, salad or vegetables. Fruit for dessert and we usually had a fresh juice, like hibiscus, or some other green business that I can’t remember the name. All delicious. No bread. I always felt satisfied and not too full — and ready for bed! Most nights we were in bed by 10 — and listening to the waves was pure heaven. I was out almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Another beautiful sunrise, another day of activities with a group of great peeps, another day in paradise . . . .

I still haven’t forgotten to tell you about the man I left in the sea . . . more manana.