I felt in need of a little tender loving care and wanted to lose weight and feel on top form, so I booked into the FX Mayr Health Center which sits on the shores of Lake Worthersee in Carinthia, Austria. The building, decorated in a contemporary Austrian style, is situated with the oldest golf course in Austria on one side and the lake on the other – so you have pretty spectacular views.
I am welcomed by a charming man on reception, and he does everything to make me comfortable. My deluxe bedroom has solid wood floorboards and wonderful views of the lake and terrace. The headboard is a bit quirky – burgundy silk taffeta in an interesting shape, but it does the job of propping my head – and the mattress on the bed is extremely comfortable with great pillows. The rooms are furnished with charming, contemporary, wood furniture. There is masses of storage and the shower room rock and rolls with stylish marble. I even have two TVs!
Every morning begins with Epsom salts and alkaline powder – definitely not a nice taste but I am on a journey and no pain, no gain as they say! On my first morning, I visit Dr. Domenig – he is very thorough with his examination and organises my diet, blood tests, infusions for immunity and stress, and suggests what exercise and other treatments I should do. He finishes with an abdominal measurement and massage. I am on tea and water and bullion. I drink the tea in silence, watching everyone else having soup and bread, and the lucky ones on food combining who are eating the most delicious-looking food.
Thank goodness I have a really comfortable private domain to cocoon myself when I am “detoxing” and gaining oh so much sleep. My hay pack for my liver detoxing is delivered to my room, and it is a blissful time. All the staff are brilliant; they have smiles, charm and humour, and are totally knowledgeable about the Mayr cure. The full course lasts twenty-one days, but since I am only here for a week, I have decided to continue the alkaline food combing diet for two more weeks. Oh, how I want to lose that weight and feel on top form for Christmas!
I do morning exercise, have my tea and then I go kneipping – dipping my feet in hot and cold water to get my circulation going. After that, I have a full body or lymphatic body massage, blood tests, a mud wrap suspended on a water bed, infusions through a drip, yoga, water cycling, water aerobics – all really fun and gosh, how you work! There are also walks organised around the beautiful countryside and the lake.
The only downside to all this? The detox withdrawals are for me the worst side effect. I completed four days of tea, and on the fourth day I was given a teaspoon of honey. I ate the honey very slowly with my tea – my taste buds were in heaven! I truly felt nourished. I have to say, not once did I feel hungry in those four days and I did not cheat. On day five, I have natural sheep’s yoghurt with hard flat bread, using a tiny spoon to eat. Breakfast and lunch is in silence. We are encouraged to meditate, and there is a kind of spirituality. Lunch is a yummy soup – celeriac with truffle oil and bread. Later on, you get sheep’s chard with various different things – horseradish or herbs for example. Then each afternoon, you do have time to yourself to go for a walk or some kind of exercise – swimming in the indoor pool or one of the saunas or steam rooms. This area is peaceful and refreshing with the cold showers and outside space where you can sit and contemplate. On some days, tea is laid out on the terrace with pit fires and sheep skins and blankets on the chairs. I felt this was rather romantic and I really enjoyed the hibiscus and vanilla infusion.
Dinner each night is a vegetable bullion with bread but on day six and seven, I do a food combining menu where I sample Michelin standard cuisine. Small portions but totally filling. Duck, local fish and all the vegetables are grown locally – even the cheeses and yoghurts are from local farmers.
One of the extra treatments I did was figure styling body cavitation, which is fat freezing done on my stomach and waist and up to the arm area. It involves a cold stimulus which has the effect of drying up fat cells, and at the same time greatly enhancing the blood circulation. You then have ultrasound to tighten and speed up the process. The session lasts forty minutes and really does work, but takes eight to twelve weeks to show full results.
At the end of my stay, I go back to see Dr. Domenig. I have lost two and half kilos, I look bright-eyed, and I have bags of energy and a feeling of total well-being. I have a thyroid problem so to lose any weight is very difficult but to date I have lost four kilos – in ten days. Continuing with the food combining, I am hoping to lose 6-8 kilos in total.
The FX Mayr Health Center is rather like a home – you feel nurtured and everyone wants you to succeed. I left with my next meal prepared (sheep horseradish spread, rice cakes and flat bread plus sheep’s yoghurt) so I would not be tempted by Vienna schnitzel on my overnight in the Austrian capital!
Cost of seven nights at the Center for the Original FX Mayr Winter Vitality Cure is 1100 Euros. The deluxe bedroom is 1876 Euros for double occupancy per person, or 2816 Euros for single occupancy.