In 2015 (WOW! Where did the time go??) I met Catherine Roscoe Barr at a dinner. We had a lovely conversation, but it wasn’t until the following year that we reunited at a book club. To be totally transparent, I didn’t finish the book that we were supposed to read (OOPS!!!) and felt a little bit out of my element… but lucky for me, Catherine was there for another wonderful conversation! Catherine is a speaker, writer, neuroscience-based wellness coach, and overall AMAZING human. She is ALSO the Founder and Owner of the neuroscience-based wellness company The Life Delicious. Seriously, talking with Catherine is like experiencing the most cleansing counselling session/chat with a friend. There is a reason why she has so many fans, MYSELF INCLUDED!!!
A quick tip: be sure to read to the end of today’s blog for a special gift from the Oak Bay Beach Hotel!
When I heard that Catherine would be hosting The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Wellness Weekend at the luxurious Oak Bay Beach Hotel in January, I KNEW Team Jilly and I had to attend. I really wanted to do something to support my team’s well-being and also foster connection. January seemed like the perfect time to wave goodbye to the cold Kelowna weather and do some introspective work in beautiful Victoria, BC. When Catherine, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Pacific Coastal Airlines AND LA Limousines heard that we had planned our trip to this retreat, they generously offered to cover our trip accommodations, meals and flights. We are SO beyond grateful for their generosity. It was SO special for all 14 of our team members to attend and experience this retreat together. So, away we went for an extended weekend of learning and growth…
Before I dive into our experience at The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Wellness Weekend with The Life Delicious, let me tell you a little bit about where my mind was at going into it:
For a long time, I was in this mindset of, “I can eat as much pasta as I want!” and “I don’t need exercise! I’m comfortable in my body!” And for a long time that felt good… but after a couple of years of going about my days this way, it wasn’t feeling good anymore. I feel like I’m entering a transitional phase where I’m realizing that I want to move more, fuel my body with more nutritious food and also work on our family’s sleep schedule to ensure everyone gets enough rest. (Shout out to other parents getting woken up by their kiddos in the middle of the night!! Sleep training is not an easy journey, but if this retreat with tons of other Mamas taught me anything, it’s that we’re not alone!) So for me, I was really looking for some guidance on how to get back to my old self again, create better habits and get our family into a good sleep routine. Here’s how The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Wellness Weekend went:
On Friday, the team and I took off from Kelowna YLW Airport en route to Victoria with Pacific Coastal Airlines (and one of our team members took Helijet!). There were lots of excited squeals on the flight (can you blame us, we were going to PARADISE?!!), and soon enough, we were catching our ride to the hotel with LA Limousines, who didn’t judge us for our very large suitcases. (We have a few over-packers on the team, LOL!). Just like the website showed, the hotel was jaw-droppingly beautiful: with exposed beams, dark-stained wood and a stunning ocean view… It was the DEFINITION of regal.
Once we checked in and dropped our things off at our rooms, we had a team lunch at The Snug Pub restaurant—located in the hotel! I had the most delicious Ahi Poke and a salad to go with it. (If you’re in Victoria, I highly recommend trying out this dish!)
Then, it was time for the retreat itself to kick off! Catherine welcomed us in the David Foster Foundation Theatre, which would serve as the perfect space for us to learn, discuss and partake in movement sessions. Everyone introduced themselves, and we quickly jumped into a wonderful lecture from Catherine about the relationship between what we know is good for us and what we actually do. Anyone else suffering from that gap?? If you are, let me just say that there is nothing more validating than opening up that conversation in a room full of supportive people.
After some really profound conversation, it was time for our first movement session of the retreat. Now, I was VERY nervous about this part, let me just say. For the last couple of years, I’ve been neglecting my regular hot yoga sessions, something I used to LOVE doing before I had kids. So, it was really special to do a yoga session again with my team around me. Sure, I wasn’t as low in my Warrior 1 lunge as I used to be, but it felt SO GOOD to move my body again like that, and I feel so motivated now to start incorporating more yoga practices into my weekly routine.
Finally, it was time for dinner! (My favourite, LOL.) I was so worried that I was going to feel deprived of food, but the meals were EXCEPTIONAL and totally filled me up! I have to give a huge congratulations to the kitchen staff at the Oak Beach Bay Hotel for curating such an outstanding weekend of meals for all of us for The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Wellness Weekend. Every single meal blew me away!!!
Of course, the night didn’t end there… time off from the retreat meant it was time for us to hit the mineral pools and sauna!! Talk about a dream…The cliff-edge view from the pool and hot tub was mesmerizing. We had so much fun chit-chatting and unwinding together as a team (and, with our new friends from the retreat, of course!!). If you’re ever in Victoria, even just for a day, you HAVE to visit Oak Bay Beach Hotel to experience their facilities. The best!!!
Day two started off strong… literally!! We kicked things off with a movement session… and classic me, I was nervous! Luckily, Catherine was super motivating, and I had my girls around me to keep me smiling throughout the workout. And guess what?? My body felt AMAZING after. It was totally attainable and a workout that was customizable to each person’s abilities (thank you, Catherine!!). The big takeaway from this session was that it doesn’t have to be a super long, rigorous workout. All you can do is 10 minutes? AMAZING!!! Only five minutes? STILL AWESOME!!! This message really made me feel capable of getting back into fitness because sometimes, as an entrepreneur and mom, all I have is 5-10 minutes of alone time.
The day continued on with some amazing meals, conversation, learning and laughter. We even fit in another movement session (this time, a walk to Willow’s Beach!) and some downtime scheduled in the afternoon, which the team and I used for hot tubbing, of course!!
It was so lovely to have downtime scheduled into the retreat to experience the full extent of the incredible Oak Bay Beach Hotel facilities! They have a luxurious spa, The Boathouse Spa, that some members of Team Jilly visited during our stay!! Our Project Manager, Clea, got “the best massage of her life” with the RMT, Ellen, who was OUTSTANDING! Thank you to their wonderful staff for making our team feel so rejuvenated and refreshed!!
After dinner, Team Jilly and I got into our Dream On Rompers and met up in my room for a slumber party!! WAHOO!! It was the perfect way to end the night. Be sure to check out our dance moves from the slumber party on @Jillian.Harris on Instagram. And, to purchase your own Romper, head to smashtess.ca!
Day three started off with an optional walk/run movement session. It was such a special way to start off the day by watching the sun rise over the golf course… so I heard… I slept through this session—oops!! But a few of my team members attended and said it was very special.
The day followed with more lectures, another movement session, discussions and yummy meals. My personal favourite part of day three of The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Wellness Weekend was the closing ceremonies sharing circle, where everyone had the opportunity to share their action plan. After getting to know everyone on such a personal level over the course of three days, we were all really vulnerable about what brought us to this retreat and how we are feeling at the end. A few tears were even shed! (Yes, even from yours truly!) We cried, we laughed… and overall, it was SUCH a powerful moment.
A goal in my action plan is to set up a better sleep schedule for my family and me. And to do so, we have to start with the kids and hone in on what actions throughout the day are going to set them up for a restful night’s sleep. Have the kids had enough to eat for dinner, or are they going to be hungry later and need a snack? What routine can we set up for them before bed to help them unwind and feel calm? To help with my own sleep, I also want to get moving more throughout the day. I felt SO energized after those movement sessions that I want to prioritize me time in the morning before the kids wake up for a little yoga or spin on my Peloton.
Lots to think about with my action plan… I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes on my Instagram stories! And I want to check in soon on the blog about how things have progressed through the implementation of my action plan… stay tuned!!
This blog post simply would not be complete without mentioning the cold plunge!! I seriously was not sure if I was going to be able to do it. I mean, a cold plunge in JANUARY?!! Not to mention, the fountain at the front of the hotel LITERALLY froze over that very morning. Yikes!!
But I put on my swimsuit, walked down the path to the ocean with my team, and, step by step, inched my way into the ocean. Yes, I DID IT!!! And, while I was in, I decided I had to even do a few summersaults for good measure! Leo and Annie would’ve been proud! After the initial dip, a few of us went back in for a second cold plunge… and this time, it was even easier!!
Finally, we wrapped up our last day with a final team lunch—this time, at Faro Restaurant for some delicious pizzas to share!
A Final Reflection
When someone asked me how I was feeling after the plunge, my honest answer was INCREDIBLE. I felt so refreshed and in my body. And, honestly, that wasn’t just from the cold plunge… the ENTIRE weekend at The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Wellness Weekend, from Catherine’s amazing lessons that she shared with us to the wonderful accommodations at Oak Bay Beach Hotel, all contributed to this wonderful feeling.
So, a HUGE thank you to Catherine and the entire team at Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Team Jilly and I are SO grateful!!
If you are looking for some guidance on your wellness journey, Catherine has some amazing offerings coming up! Join her online Women’s Coaching Circle from March 30-June 15. And you can register NOW for next year’s Oak Bay Beach Hotel Wellness Weekend, led by Catherine, on her website at thelifedelicious.ca.
Also, if you can’t wait until 2024 to visit Victoria, The Oak Bay Beach Hotel has generously provided a special discount code for stays between January 27-May 31, 2023!! Book here using code JILLY before February 28, 2023. Standard booking restrictions apply.