Tracie Bates, 46, shares her boot camp experience- and reveals if she’s stuck to her new healthy habits a year on..
SETTING THE SCENE
It wasn’t until I was looking at some pictures of myself on holiday in India that I realised just how big I’d got. I weighed 15st 7lbs and was wearing a size 16/20. I was horrified by the phortos and knew I had to do something fast. I wanted a tough regime and fast results and I’d read about New You Boot Camp, so I booked myself in for its seven-day Coastal Boot Camp in Cornwall.
SCARED BUT EXCITED
I was excited but also really nervous- even though I had read about boot camps I wasn’t sure what to expect. When we got to our boot camp location, I was suprised about how beautiful the accomodation was; there was even an indoor swimming pool. I found that my fellow Boot Campers were women in their twenties to late fifties and their support really kept me going. We were introduced to the New You Boot Camp team and issued with our rules for the week, and then we headed for the dreaded fitness test. I always exercised when I was youngerbut I had a shoch in store- I had no idea how unfit I had become and struggled to run more than a couple of hundred yards as I started to wonder if I had made the right choice and really worried if I could make it through the week.
After a chat with Mary-Lou, our life coach, my fears were put to rest. She told me to focus on completing just one hour at a time and instilled some confidence in me! We finished the day with a coastal hike and then fell into bed. It was day one and I was already exhausted!
DAY BY DAY
I am not going to lie to you: the first two days were particularly tough and, as a complete novice when it came to exercise. I tried to hide at the back of the group. The trainers always gently corrected my posture without making me feel or look stupid, thought, looking back I still don’t know how I did it. Imagine doing an hour at the gym- then times that by 8 hours a day of different activities! Plus, instead of a cold glass of wine at the end, you get a cold bath to ease muscle aches, apparently.)
After a while, though, the endorphines kicked in and I was flying! TThe variety of exercise made time whizz by and the adventure activitites were really exciting, pushing me mentally and physically- this gave me a great sense of achievement.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I expected that we would get meagre portions and be up of salads and seeds… but my experiences couldn’t have been further from the truth. The portions were not exactly what I would serve at home, but the quality served up by our fabulous chef was just as good as some expensive restaurants I have been to. On the final night we were even surprised with raspberry and pistachio fool.. I wasn’t expecting that from a boot camp! I discivered that fresh herbs and marinades compensated for lack of salt and suprisingly I didn’t find myself hungry during my stay at all! A one-on-one with a nutritionust also helped me discover wher eI was going wrong with my own diet and plan what I would eat after boot camp.
LIFE AFTER BOOT CAMP
After dropping 13lbs in one week I felt euphoric, but I wanted to wait a bit before really evaluating the effect it had on me. So 12 months on, I got on the scales to find I now weigh exactly 6 st less than I did when I first arrived at New You Boot Camp. Now I am in the best shapoe and frame of mind of my life at the ripe old age of 46. I even ran a half marathon last year in two hours! But what I love the most about the new me is being able to shop fo rnormal clothes again knowing I look and feel great, all thanks to Boot Camp!*