We’re Toasting: 4 Months in Hawaii

hay & G at Ulu

In the later part of last year when we first decided to come over to Hawaii for four months, most people we talked to thought we were crazy. “How can you put your life on hold for 4 months?” everyone asked…sometimes in not the nicest way.
Our response before the fact was always, “well it is easy, you make the choice and do it.”

Now, after doing it we realize that in taking this time, we have been able to find more clarity, happiness and joy than could possibly be imagined. Thankfully, D had been great to me and I was able to continue contributing from here, and my writing is better for it. Additionally, both of us picked up a few consulting jobs with the full launch of our Cogill Consulting business we had started before we left. We were able to launch new opportunities to work on while here, and are set in place for when we return home. So, professionally, this has been a blessing.

Hay and Yoda 2Physically, it has been transformational. If you want to know what 4 months in Hawaii means, well, it means almost 55 pounds! By taking on the task of getting our mind, body and spirits into better health, we dedicated this time to retraining our minds and bodies. We get a minimum of 20,000 – 25,000 steps in a day, or 10K-15K if a kick boxing session was included. Some days we hit 30,000 steps, one day we achieved 42,000. Thankfully, the invention of the Fit Bit kept us on track.

With that, I have lost 15 pounds, Gary has lost 35 and my Yoda has lost 3….impressive for our little athlete pup. (You can’t call my Yoda boy a chunk anymore, Mom.)


What is even better, we did it the right way. We have altered our diets, (well, Gary altered his to be more in line with mine) eating big, very fresh, farmer’s market salads filled with the colors of the rainbow…purple radishes, candy cane beets, golden peppers, baby green fennel, sweet avocado, amazing Kawamata tomatoes, heads of lettuce bigger than Yoda. Each was perfectly paired every night with a bottle (or two) of wine, bread, cheese, sometimes some pasta, sometimes Ahi poke or jumbo Kona shrimp.

4 months in hawaii

We didn’t deprive ourselves, or attempt a diet of no carbs or no alcohol or no cheese, as realistically, that isn’t something we would be able to maintain in the real world. Instead, we savored the beauty of the island, the joy of the aina and the love of this ohana, and are better for it.

The hope is this can be maintained when we get home. I know my Gary will as he has signed up to run in the Dallas Half Marathon in December. A half this year, perhaps the whole thing next, but the main thing is the happiness and healthy lifestyle we have found in a place our hearts are deeply attached to. Mahalo to Hawaii, we will see you again soon.
And, Dallas, we’re coming home!

sunset, no filter



10 Comments on “We’re Toasting: 4 Months in Hawaii

  1. What a beautiful experience in every sense!! So happy for you both!!


  2. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. Ain’t nuttin’ crazy about living and loving in Paradise.


  3. Pure envy of what you have experienced, pure joy to have you have in D.


  4. You did it, angel. You listened to your own thoughts, needs and desires and made it happen. So proud of you and Gary and what you have found and accomplished. Now, come home so we can talk on the phone. Bon Voyage and Aloha


  5. Thanks for all the nice notes and comments we have received. Sad to be home but Gary and I are having fun shopping in out closets. Aloha.


  6. Congrats! Happy to hear that you are enjoying yourselves. You deserve it!


  7. This is what life is all about. Slowing down to reconnect to what is important – our bodies, each other and the beauty of the land God has provided for us. It sounds like amazing things are coming your way with your newfound energy and focus. Mahalo!


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Sommelier, Personal Chef & Concierge Creating Elegant Dinner Parties and Unique Wine Tasting Events to the Big Island of Hawaii

Cogill Wine & Film

Cogill WIne & Film and Cogill Consulting brings together the talents of Producer Gary Cogill and his wife, Sommelier Hayley Hamilton Cogill, working together, yet thriving individually, for a perfect pairing of wine and film.

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