bite-sized challenge: get naked

July 22, 2010

I’ve let an extra week go to give VK time to settle into her new running routine, and I’m going to skip ahead two of her successful outcomes to present the next bite-sized challenge.  But don’t worry, we’ll cover them all.

Here’s the one I want to target next:

My body is almost always in great shape.

Why this now?  Because while I was relaxing at a Turkish bath (Hamam) this morning, it occurred to me that this was a perfect challenge for VK.  My first brush with one of these was in Paris in 2004, and quite a brush it was – beginning with the tub of gomage (body scrub) they planted in my hand as I walked in, completely befuddled.  Not only was I a Hamam virgin, but the little French I spoke completely eluded me as I tried to come to grips with stripping down in front of everyone and finding my way through the labyrinthine layout of the place.  I couldn’t believe all the women were going about completely nude without a care in the world, and my newness was evident by the towel I kept wrapped around my waist.

Fast forward to this morning at Porchester Spa, the oldest Victorian Turkish baths in London where being stark naked has become routine for me.  Spending a couple of hours at one of these places is enough to develop a newfound love of your body – not just because you’re indulging in nothing but cleansing and relaxation, but because every body in there is different, and none of them is perfect.  And because of that, they are.

This being London, it was particularly interesting to see a pair of women completely comfortable in their full, naked bodies before covering themselves head-to-toe in burkas and heading outside.

So VK’s challenge – and yours, if you choose to accept it – is to get completely naked at one of these places.  If you don’t have access to Turkish baths, then spend some time in the steam room and sauna at your gym, or look around for a nearby day spa.

And here’s the drill: the normal procedure is to spend about 15 minutes in the steam room or as long as comfort allows, then take a quick cold shower or dip in the “plunge pool”, then return to the steam room for another 5-10 minutes.  Finally, bring the body temperature back to normal by relaxing on one of the long beach-type reclining chairs.  Aside from the ahhh factor, the real reason I’ve made this VK’s next challenge is that the Hamam experience will almost instantly make you see that your body is almost always in great shape.

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  1. Jess August 2, 2010 at 15:09

    Great, VK! I look forward to hearing about it!

  2. VK August 2, 2010 at 11:58

    Hey there! Love this one Jess! Like I’ve mentioned to you, since I’m trying to watch my spending, I’m going to do some research on this before I take the plunge – see where I can get the best deal! I used to go to a hammam when I lived in France, but have never been in London, so this will hopefully get me up and running again! xx

  3. Jess July 27, 2010 at 23:32

    Hello, friend! Thanks, and there have been many such mornings. :) Hope you’re well and happy. We miss you. xoxo

  4. Caroline C July 27, 2010 at 23:20

    Hi there –
    Am catching up with your blog and read your account of your morning at the Porchester spa with envy! I agree that places like that help towards building a healthy body image and comfort level. ;) CC

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