I knew very little about Hilton Head Health (H3) before signing up for a three week stay early in 2012—only that a friend had been there some ten years earlier and that she did pretty well. So I didn’t expect much beyond a horrible time. Wrong. Very wrong. It turned out that I had a fine time, met a bunch of nice people and lost 12 pounds.

The campus is very attractive. It’s composed of one central low rise college campus-like building in a residential setting surrounded by golf courses and lagoons. Not a hospital! I was assigned to a two bedroom attached condo about a quarter of a mile away from the main building that I found charming and comfortable.

I had no immediate medical issues. I just wanted to focus on losing weight and the core of the weight loss program is simple and turned out to be just right for me.

First, the food is very good. H3 goes to a lot of trouble to provide very nice meals, nicely served and amply sized. You are served enough not to be hungry yet nice enough not to be resentful. I was not tempted to go “off the reservation” out of a sense of deprivation.

Second, there is no compulsion. This is not boot camp but a paradise for people who like exercise. There are scores of classes; however, I didn’t do any of them. I hate exercise. Instead, I walked along the beach and shaded golf courses some five miles each day with no pressure from H3 to do anything else.

What did I learn? I’ve lost 18 pounds since my stay at H3. So I must have taken something away. I learned that you should prepare or order food the way you want to eat it—just eat less of it. Doing so will allow you to enjoy all your favorites without falling in the resentment trap. Also, find some daily activity you can do, not something the other guy likes to do. H3 helped me figure out what worked best for me so I encourage you to do what works best for you too.