Kelly the Culinarian: Want a self-esteem boost?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Want a self-esteem boost?

Try visiting a spa in South Korea. After my adventures in China, I traveled to South Korea for work, where I remain for now. I knew there was a sauna and gym in the basement of our hotel, and one of my coworkers was so kind as to give me a pass he received to go check it out. After my seven-mile pace run today, I stopped at the sauna.

It was a fantastic spa featuring several pools of different temperatures, a sauna and a steam room. All of which required you to be nude. All the time. Every where.

After my initial glance over the place, I decided "When in Rome (or Korea) ..." and disrobed.

Thankfully, none of my coworkers have discovered this gem of a spa and if other people were staring at me, I couldn't see them without my glasses or understand them speaking Korean, so it was all good.

Once I got used to being naked, it was a great afternoon at the spa. The coldest therapy pool was like taking an ice bath for my whole body, which was soothing for my post-run aches and pains. I really think I need a steam room and lavender-scented pool at home now, too.

It got me thinking about our cultural constructs concerning nudity. We come into this world naked and spend the remainder of our lives picking out expensive clothes and accessories to cover it with. It's an interesting dichotomy since we also spend a considerable amount of time, energy and money on our bodies, worrying about the food we eat and the workouts we miss, but are apprehensive to show off our hard work (hence the Sports Bra Challenge).

It made me think about how I view myself. I've skipped out on invitations to pools and beaches because I'm not 100 percent OK with how I look. That's pathetic. I work out, I eat OK and this is how I look. We are who we are, naked, clothed, young and old.


Kim said...

Good for you for doing this! I hope it does encourage you to not skip out on those things you mentioned when you go home. I have a few family members/friends who will not swim with me because of they way they perceive their bodies and it makes me crazy! And, well, lonely... since I am in the water all by myself.

I would totally be up for a nude spa.

Maggie W said...

I used to feel all self-conscious at the beach/pool until I realized most of my guy friends (and some of my gal friends) are sporting some pretty sexy beer guts. (And by sexy ... I mean ... not so sexy.) So I got over myself pretty quickly. And then I lost 30 pounds. I cannot WAIT to wear a bikini in front of my friends this summer. I know that sounds bad. But. It's true. Keep chugging your beers, guys, and making fun of my running ...

Also there is a spa up in Niles that I've heard is nice. That's a pretty long trek for me so I probably wouldn't make a trip there just for the spa but ... maybe if if I'm in the area ... or if there is one more centrally located.

Unknown said...

I totally understand what you felt at the spa! As Maggie mentioned, there is a spa in Niles (near me) that also requires nudity (only in the women-only and men-only areas) and it took me a few weeks to get the courage to go there. Now, my friends and I go there all the time and I have no fear! I quickly realized that all bodies are different and no one is judging you.