‘Being a full-time mum of four is hard work. Mu husband runs a financial advice practice, working long hours, so running our home has always been my responsibility. The youngest ones wake up at 7am and from then on I don’t get a minute to myself. They all have different demands – my size year old might want to do potato prints, while my eldest needs help with his car insurance!
Even when they’re at school, I have meals to plan and shopping to do. I must remember who needs what kit for which lessons, and get them where they’re supposed to me. My reward for looking after everyone is my annual, week long, boot camp break.
My first one in 2010 was a real turning point. I was overweight and unhappy and knew I needed to make a change. Looking online, I found an exercise boot camp in Somerset and signed up.
It was tough – you’re put through your paces by army fitness trainers and do everything from circuits to weights and cycling. But they were so encouraging and I knew the harder I worked, the more I’d get out of it. I came home 10lbs lighter, with twice as much energy and looked and felt five years younger. My husband Tony could see how happy it made me and has been supportive ever since.
Last January, I went to one in Portugal. It cost £2,000, which sounds a lot, but I don’t pamper myself day to day – I’ve never had a facial and don’t shop at designer boutiques – but I save up for this because I know how much I get from it.
What I love about boot camp is that, for seven whole days, I don’t have to think – everything is done for me. As soon as I get up, I’m told what to do, what to eat and when to go to bed. You just have to turn up! It’s so freeing. I come back feeling re-energised and enthusiastic about life. It’s fabulously selfish, restorative and so worthwile.’*