I thought that Throwback Thursday was a perfect day to post about the time I went to fat camp. If you follow my Instagram @thatgypsymum you would have seen this photo I posted:
That was 4 years ago now and the result of months of hard work. The funny thing is I didn’t go to fat camp to lose weight, it wasn’t even called a fat camp, it was called a Thai fitness bootcamp. I went to support my brother who wanted to go to improve his fitness. He had a bad car accident years earlier and wanted to get fit after a long recovery. He organised the whole thing and somehow I thought that I was going to a lovely retreat in the mountains. I imagined spending my days getting massages, doing yoga, lying by the pool and occasionally attending training sessions that I would ace because everyone else in the group would be unhealthy compared to my fit self. I couldn’t of been more wrong.
We arrived, checked in and attended the group meeting where we received our program. I quickly realised this was no holiday camp. Our program consisted of nine hours of exercise a day! Yes that’s right – NINE HOURS A DAY not including lettuce breaks. There was only eight of us in the group so clearly they would notice if I disappeared to lay by the pool. Being the competitive person I am, I sized up the others in the group and put myself roughly at the top in terms of health and fitness. There was a Nike marketing representative who ran every morning so she was probably fitter than me. There was an ex army guy but he was way older and at the end of a lengthy honeymoon with his wife so I ranked myself in with them. There were two really attractive girls that said they were training for a marathon but they seemed more leisure than lifting weights. Their mother was no match and then there was my brother who was bigger than me and recovering from an accident so obvs he was no competition. We had our weigh in and I was surprised at my measurements, maybe I was more out of shape than I had realised. After our weigh in we had ‘before’ photos taken then went straight to our first training session. It was horrendous. It was circuit training and I actually thought I was going to die. I looked over at my brother who was coping fine, there was no way I could be doing worse than him. I think I actually went into shock, my dream of 10 relaxing days in Thailand was shattered.
The next day I woke up so sore I had to lean on the bathroom vanity to get up off the toilet. Even the one step down out of the villa was too much to bear. We went for a long hike through the jungle up a huge hill which was so beautiful I could almost distract myself from the pain. I was starving after my raw food breakfast of some kind of seeds in almond milk but it was off to a fitness centre miles away (walking of course) to complete a fitness test so we could track our results. The sun was beating down on us and I was just lucky it wasn’t humid. I had blisters on my feet already but I was optimistic as I walked near the front of the pack. We arrived to complete our beep test which I was still confident about because I used to be a long distance runner so knew it was all a mental game. I was going to kill it, pain is weakness leaving the body and all that shit. Well I was terrible. I got a 4 which is laughable and considered very poor. I was so fucking bad that even my brother kicked my ass. Immediately afterwards I text my dad to let him know that my brother had beaten me and my dad said it was the funniest thing he had heard in his life. I was meant to be there to support him!
The week of fun continued. One day we cycled up a mountain for four hours avoiding huge lorry trucks with the reward being a horrible elephant retreat where men were poking them with sticks so they would do tricks. Another day we walked so far I asked the Nike representative to check if my Nike jogging shoes had worn down too far to be safe for exercise. My muscles were so sore that the massages we received nightly were torture. The sauna sessions were so dehydrating I drank too much water and needed to pee all night. One morning I thought I could not keep going. I did not sign up for the biggest loser and I would just not show up but I felt guilty and the pressure of a small group made me go. Day by day the pain went away and by day 5 the sessions weren’t easy but definitely not hard anymore. I felt like I had lost heaps of weight from how my clothes were fitting and I could tell I was less bloated from the
hell diet raw food diet we were on.
On day 6 tragedy struck. My knee gave away. I had previously undergone two ACL reconstructions on my left knee. The first time from netball, the second time I say it was from jumping a puddle but might have been from stepping off a dancing podium onto a stray bottle at Club Bayview. So here I was with a swollen knee on ice unable to participate much. It would have been welcomed on Day 1 but I only had one day to go and I wanted to beat my brother so bad on the beep test. The last day came and my knee was so bad I couldn’t even do the beep test! I turned up expecting a relaxing holiday, realised I was in biggest loser territory, still thought I could kick ass but then couldn’t even finish the week! Here is the before and after photos and results from one week of bootcamp:
Even though I didn’t pass and my brother won in the fitness department. I felt abso-bloody-lutely AMAZING. I thought I was Cindy-Crawford-American-flag-bikini-cut-off-denims HOT. Clearly I wasn’t anything like that but who cares I felt wonderful. I couldn’t wait to see my boyfriend at Bangkok airport, he had been away with a mate in Phuket for a week of partying and he was going to die when he saw the new me. When I saw him I thought he was literally going to die but not because of the way I looked but because he had partied too hard and ended up with both flu and gastro. He was so skinny it was like he’d been at a boot camp for months. I felt so ripped off, I had worked my ass off while he partied and he was slimmer than me.
I didn’t see the before and after photos until they were emailed to me at home. I was horrified both at the way I looked before and the way I looked after. Not because I thought I was so overweight but because I was clearly so puffy and unhealthy. Years of junk food and alcohol abuse had taken their toll. It was time for a change.
My boyfriend and I had already quit our jobs before the trip and had planned a 3 month holiday camping along the Western Australian coast so we took the opportunity to eat meat and salads for every meal, we trained for 30 – 60 minutes every day which wasn’t hard after participating in the biggest loser. We swam in the ocean, took long walks along the soft sand and the result was:
I obviously don’t look like that now 4 months after having a baby but my brother is currently in Thailand on another fitness camp so today had me reminiscing about how wonderful I felt. My husband and I are planning another long 3 month camping trip at the end of this year so while he takes care of the baby I will be getting my fitness back on track. Watch out Kayla Itsines I’m coming for ya.