A Spa Day

I am going to the doctor on Monday.

I have not been to the doctor in quite a while, and I am feeling very anxious. My fear of doctors started a few years ago after a terrible experience with a mean gynecologists, and has gotten progressively worse. However, I am trying really hard to be a grown up and do the right thing to “heal” and have control over my anxiety so I made the doctor appointment.

I have considered making an appointment all year, but always put it off because I am either sick, tired, pms-ing, on my period, anxious, or busy. I want to be perfectly healthy when I go to the doctor… I realize this is opposite of when most people visit the doctor, but I am trying to make sure I only get good news.

I have a problem…this I know.

To further ensure that I have a good appointment I am doing everything I can to be as healthy and relaxed as possible this week. This is never easy with work and life in general, but I have a plan.

My plan is to get 7 hours of sleep every night, spend some quality time with friends, work out everyday  more often, drinking lots of water, and cut out junk food. ALSO, I am spoiling myself a bit. For example, I went to a spa on Monday.

The Setai Club and Spa Wall Street (that’s a very long name) offered me a day pass to their facilities this week, and I just have to say OMG THAANNNKKKK YOOOUUUU!!!!!!

I did not even realize how much I needed an evening of total relaxation. The Setai Club is this very fancy spa on Wall Street for wealthy fancy people. It is peaceful, dark, luxurious, super clean, and very relaxing.

I arrived a little frazzled from a hectic day with my gym bag full of everything but workout clothes. The friendly guy at the front desk gave me a tour and informed me that they offer free workout shorts, shirts, and socks to their clients. Score! I still didn’t have shoes, but they were understanding enough to allow me in the gym anyways. I just made sure to stay off the treadmills.

My gym bag, FULL of everything but gym clothes.
My gym bag, FULL of everything but gym clothes.

After my workout in a quiet and basically empty gym (thank God no one was around to see me exercise in a borrowed pair of extra large cotton shorts), I decided to relax in the ladies private aqua grotto. This “aqua grotto” consists of a mineral pool Jacuzzi, an aromatherapy steam room and a Finish sauna. I slipped off my clothes and slipped on the complimentary large comfy robe. Then, I had a terrible thought…

What if this isn’t a “naked spa”? What if I walk in and everyone else has on swimsuits??? My only real spa experiences were in Europe…maybe it’s different here!?

I hate asking questions basically anywhere, and I was feeling very vulnerable while naked in my robe, so I decided to check out the grotto, robe on, and look for signs of naked people…

The grotto was empty. Just as I was slipping out of my robe, I began to worry that a fully clothed person would walk in, take one look at me and say, “What the hell are you doing? We wear clothes here!”  So, I sat for a few minutes and built up enough courage to ask the nice ladies’ room attendant for the proper spa etiquette. She, of course, was nowhere to be found. I swear she was standing, waiting to help, until the exact moment I needed her.

Eventually, I went for the towel-wrap option. That way no one really knows if you’re naked. I spent a lot of time in every section of the aqua grotto, and it was amazing. The Setai Club provides free cucumber and lemon water at every corner so I never felt dehydrated or overheated.

I brought my "clean bottle", but I didn't need it much thanks to the free cucumber water.
I brought my “clean bottle”, but I didn’t need it much thanks to the free cucumber water.

Once I finished the grotto I hit the showers. Their showers are phenomenal. They aren’t your average gym showers. They are enormous, very clean, full of all the supplies you will need and complete with an enormous rainfall showerhead. The shower was just as relaxing as the Jacuzzi.

After the shower I sat in the lounge chairs, drank a free glass of wine and read Harry Potter until I started getting sleepy. Upon arrival I was told I can have free wine or champagne, but no one actually offered me any. Again, I had to build up enough courage to walk out (in my robe) and ask for a drink. Everyone was super friendly, but I still hated to ask for anything. Why is that so hard?

Then, I was actually able to blow dry and style my hair in the ladies changing room with their blow dryers and hair products. Amazing! Plus, their shampoo and conditioner made my hair smell like citrusy goodness for two days!

I went home feeling like a million bucks. I was so relaxed that I ignored my to-do list and went straight to bed.

If you live in the area (and make a decent living) this place should be your haven. If you want to treat yourself every once in a while to a facial, massage or something else in that category then I suggest checking out the Setai Spa. It’s worth the splurge every so often (you know you deserve it).

Time for bed!

Cheers!

P.S. I just got home from a little girls night out and I may have been slightly tipsy while writing this so please ignore the many typos and sentences that make little sense. Thanks.

First Facial. Fail.

The old me… before the spa took me down a hundred notches.

I had my first facial today. I booked the facial at a super fancy Upper East Side spa, Aqua Vitae, (through Groupon, of course), and was pretty stoked about getting a relaxing facial. After a full day of 87 phone calls, 504 emails, and 6,755 text messages (all wedding related), 2 meetings at work, a performance for the preschool parents, and saying farewell to fiancé who is headed to LA. I was wiped out.

I’ve never had a facial before, so I did not really know what to expect. I’ve always wanted a facial, but anytime I thought about it, I decided that a new outfit at H&M was a wiser way to spend my cash. Also, I am REALLY uncomfortable laying still in a quiet place with my own thoughts, AND having strangers touch me. My first massage was only a year ago. 

Considering how obsessed I am with my skin, it’s surprising I’ve never forked over the money for a facial. I mean I’ve spent money on every prescription available (acutane, differin, brevoxl, ortho-tri-cyclen, yaz, tazorac, retina-a, a myriad of anitbiotis…seriously. I’ve done them all!). I’ve used proactive (and every similar product), I’ve done light therapy, cortisone shots, EVERYTHING Sephora has to offer, I’ve changed my diet, made every homemade concoction in existence, changed my pillow case every night, drank 10 bottles of water a day, I used only Bare Minerals, and I even gave up wearing makeup for 10 months straight!

Nothing. A few of these remedies helped (acutane helped for a year), but the acne has always returned).

My complexion is definitely the thing I am most insecure about. But, I’ve come to terms with it, and I now understand that my proneness to zits is heredity, and heavily effected by my hormones and stress.

Anyways, so this facial started off pretty much how I expected…lots of oils, creams, exfoliants, and face massaging. The giant steamer in my face was a little uncomfortable, but I survived.

About 30 minutes in, the facial lady starting peeling back layers of some sort of thick papery stuff, and squeezing my nose.

Me: What are you doing?

Her: Squeezing.

K. Miss Smarty Pants.

Me:  Squeezing my nose? (I was starting to have trouble breathing.)

Her: Squeezing out ALL of your blackheads.

Didn’t know this was part of a facial. This woman actually spent over half an hour squeezing out literally EVERY blackhead or zit on my entire face and neck. She used little metal tools, her hands, and needles! It was not exactly relaxing.

At the end of the all the “squeezing”, the owner came in for a consultation. (I still had my eyes covered and goo on my face.)

What followed was so hard for me to swallow. I almost lost my shit. I’ll just share her words, and you can imagine my responses….

“You have very bad skin. You have lots of acne. Your skin is so bad that I suggest you get a laser-light therapy treatment. You really need this treatment. This special facial will cure your really bad acne and skin problems. It costs $250, but I’ll give it to you for $100. You seriously need this. I suggest you come see me very often to take care of your skin, it looks really bad. Why don’t you take care of your skin? You obviously do not take care of your skin or it wouldn’t look this unhealthy. I have many suggestions for you on how to help you acne. We sell lots of products that I’d be happy to show you to help your bad skin…”

I GET IT LADY! MY SKIN SUCKS!!!

I cannot put into words how humiliated and infuriated I felt. This would be the equivalent of a really overweight person getting up the nerve to hire a professional trainer and getting berated over being “fat”. I cannot believe I managed to make it home before I started crying.

I KNOW I do not have a good complexion, but seriously, it’s not THAT bad. I cannot imagine what this lady says to people with actual serious problems. She must just put a bag over their heads and tell them it’s for the best.

I am willing to bet that this was just a bad spa with a mean owner, but I still think I’ll have to build up some self-esteem again before trying another facial. Until then, I’ll stick to the Sephora Staff. They always tell me how pretty I am. THAT’S the way to sell products!

Cheers!