Picture this, it’s been a stressful year. You’re over worked, you are trying to buy a property somewhere in London (which is not going to plan, but then does it ever?) and to top it all off you’ve been put at risk of redundancy . Understandably, taking care of yourself has been replaced with heading for a dirty burger and pretending none of it is happening. You’ve not exactly stuck to the healthiest of diets…
What should you do?
Head for another dirty burger and pretend none of it is happening? Or take a positive step and try to rebalance, refocus on you and at the same time have some fun?
The question was how? What can you do that didn’t involve boot camps where you are shouted at, eating nothing but grass or juices or yoga retreats that just work on your zen? I wanted a kick start, some guidance, help and advice from grown-ups that have been in my shoes and know what it’s like.
So after much research I stumbled across the Body, Mind and Reboot team. They offered a taster, 3, 5 or 7 day options where all my meals would be prepared for me, a series of workshops on things like nutrition, well-being, mindfulness, goal setting and of course the dreaded exercise. I’ve had personal trainers in the past and I knew this would work for me. Let’s face it; gym memberships don’t really work do they? Unless of course, you are super competitive and motivated, but with everything going on in my life I just needed to pause, focus on me and just reboot.
I reached out to them after seeing an advert on Facebook, and booked up for the 7 day retreat. Why not, in for a penny in for a pound! A week at a retreat in beautiful Bedfordshire countryside - just what I needed.
One week before I was due to set off, my nerves kicked in… what have I done, what will they be like, what will I be doing? I started panic buying more sports bras, leggings, trainers and socks! The team sent through a kit list and I am not going to lie – I bought everything listed. The weather was due to be 28 degrees and I still bought a light rain jacket and winter bobble hat (just in case) – after all we are in England.
On the journey there, I stopped at Kings Cross, for my last lunch and seeing all the options available which to choose? Burger King, Starbucks? Of course I went healthy (which I later regretted) falafel salad and a water, no booze this time.
We were told to arrive in our gym gear, so at the station the other end I expected to see others dressed and ready for whatever was about to happen - but no. Just me. The only sad figure in their active-wear.
When I landed at the retreat, Sheila and Ann couldn’t have been more welcoming. I was shown around, got to meet some of the other guests and was weighed and measured by Jake our PT. Wow… how wrong my measurements at home were, that was embarrassing (or so I thought).
Our first session consisted of circuits to assess how fit we were. I hadn’t exercised for a year and was very honest with the team about that. What was great was that no-one judged or laughed at me, even when I went a lovely beetroot colour whilst exercising (other shades are available, but it seems to be a standard colour for me). Ann and Sheila even joined in which was encouraging to see.
The food was not at all what I was expecting. We never starved and had 3 square meals a day with snacks and they were all delicious. Lovingly prepared by Ale from The Game Changer Kitchen, they were healthy, tasty and very filling – not at all like diet food. If only I lived closer, I could take advantage of their meal prep service!
The accommodation was great too; clean, quiet and very chilled just what I needed. I had a wonderful roommate (Andrea) and made some lifelong friends within the rest of the group.
We were all there for the same reason, to get fit and healthy and it was lovely to meet people as they came for the taster days or 3 days etc. We all encouraged and supported each other, when things got tough we helped each other and offered a helping hand.
A typical day consisted of around 6 exercise classes, 2 healthy workshops, finished off with yoga and dinner. The evenings were for you to do what you wanted (drinking alcohol and takeaways were out …obviously).
Sheila and Ann had everything covered from the great weather, to the mixture of activities – we even had the chance of wall climbing! No two days were the same, and the week just flew by. We even had a hot tub to soothe our aching limbs which was fantastic. I struggled to sit down for the first few days after all the squats and lunges but my legs were getting stronger by the day. Jake was fantastic making all the exercises challenging but fun too. I’ve worked with many PTs in the past but he is definitely one of the best I have come across. Probably explains why he is in such high demand.
At the end of the 7 days it was time for the final weigh in. I did feel healthier but the question remained – had I actually lost anything. Well I had only gone and lost half a stone and 9” across my body in total. A fantastic achievement for just 7 days of intense exercise and healthy eating. Just the reboot I needed.
I made a pledge the day I left to join the gym, and I am keeping the good work up. My food portion sizes are better, my exercise regime is back and I am still feeling great. We have a whatsapp group set up for us all to keep in touch and we are still there virtually to help and support each other. We swap recipes, share funny stories and just have fun.
Would I do it again? You bet, although with my current work schedule it won’t be this year.
Would I recommend it? For sure – I have 3 friends already signed up for coming next year with me.
So, the question is do you need a reboot?