WEIGHT: 61 kg
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T he first relief: Some of the decor is a bit worse for wear, and the fuses keep blowing. Can a few days of a Mediterranean version of the paleo diet — in which carbs are reduced, proteins and healthy fats increased, processed food eschewed and fruit and vegetables abound — set me on the road to wellness?
Hotel Ola is a short distance away, through the tiny settlement of Seget Donji, and each of its 50 rooms has a balcony with a direct sea view. Only open a few months, the hotel is quiet, spacious, immaculately clean and deeply soothing: Though this retreat is not one without its challenges …. Perhaps the greatest of these is the most innocuous sounding: I particularly admired his tactful habit of pointing towards objects on the horizon to facilitate frequent rests.
Of course, I felt marvellous once it was over, and it had the additional advantage of making my other exercise sessions — early-morning yoga and gym-based training — look like a flat, leisurely walk in the park. Once again, the instructors could not have looked more kindly on me — one even encouraging my clearly fantastical dreams of completing a 10k run before I hit Puddings, Dalmatian wine and a large terrace on which to eat and watch the boats go by sweep away any longing for chips.
Indeed, those in pursuit of a hair shirt would probably find Hotel Ola a little too easygoing, although there are more rigorous weight loss and detox programmes on offer. However, Hotel Ola presented a rather lovely reset, and I felt significantly better, more rested and even a little slimmer at the end of my five-day stint.
Admittedly, I went from Split directly to Italy, where I attended a wedding of such epic largesse — and such monstrously delicious plates of carb-heavy pasta — that I returned to London too fat to do up my seat-belt on the plane.