I’m not sure about you, but until recently I’d never heard of a fitness retreat. I only knew of fat camp from American movies and reality TV shows.
So the idea of a fitness and health retreat was foreign to me. I saw it as an exclusive luxury, for celebs and super models.
The thing is, no one really tells you what happens on a health and fitness retreat. And because we’re all a little afraid of the unknown, we might feel like it isn’t for us. A couple of months ago I won a competition and was given an incredible once in a life time opportunity to go and find out what happens on one of these magical retreats.
I’m a pretty confident person but I was in unknown territory and a bit fearful about how I would manage to cope with the challenge of 5 days away from my very different lifestyle in London.
I thought I wouldn’t be fit enough, sporty enough, healthy enough, generally … good enough to go on a health retreat.
Even though I had met Matt before and he had trained me in the past, helping me achieve my goal to be the happiest and healthiest I had ever been, I had not maintained this lifestyle AT ALL since moving to London. I had felt incredibly alone when it came to training and nutrition so consequently I had lost my fitness and hunger for health, along with my body confidence, For me this trip meant a lot more than a holiday break to Ibiza. I saw it as a chance, a chance to right the wrongs I had inflicted on my body over the past three years.
From The Minute I got on the plane everything started to go right for me, window seat – score! It was an early morning flight so the beautiful reds and oranges of the sunrise flooded the plane. A whole row to myself? double score!
A little anxious but in a good way as before the trip Matt had sent regular updates on what to expect – so I was feeling surprisingly prepared and open to the week ahead.
Greeted by the perfect temperature weather and a quick and easy transfer we arrived in paradise : A stunning House with a beautiful view, pool, gorgeous bedrooms so much space to be free and relax ..the works.
Now, Food is really important to me and the thought of being forced to eat rabbit food to lose weight was a worry that went away the moment we met our full time chef (also called Matt) who had our first delicious smoothie waiting for us on arrival. followed in no time at all with the most flavoursome of lunches.
Throughout the week all the talks and shared experiences helped me to have a much more positive relationship with food. We all looked forward to the snacks and meal times of course! But our mindset was for the flavours and experience, as opposed to the ‘fill up’ or ‘grab something quick’ way of thinking that most of us have towards food.
This approach to food preparation and cooking, fuelled the energy we were using every day in our exercise and within a few days we could see the difference it made. It focused on the pleasure of shared mealtimes. They say you eat first with your eyes and I was full before I tasted a thing!
Needless to say I was never hungry and now I am back home I am trying to practise hard what I have learnt to truly nourish my body. The recipes were twists on what I would normally go for in day-to-day life but with half the calories and double the nutrients. So easy to prepare that some of those meals are now standard in my daily diet and I can’t stop talking about them to my family and friends.
Is it hard to maintain this life style? Would you like me to lie?
Well, I’m not gonna, YES, like everything worth having it is hard… Do I stick to it? Not always!
But there are ways of having both, I learnt so much about the benefits of juicing and eating organic. We did a juice fast whilst out there and it’s something I’ve loved introducing into my lifestyle for my body but also my mind.
I’ve always been a big fan of greens ever since trying mattsupps (a green super human drink you need in your life!!) anyone who knows me will often see me slurping one of these! But I’ve upped my green intake even more! Mainly because I’M LAZY! I sometimes massively CBA (cant be arsed) eating all those greens. Bleugh! BUT I CAN drink them and get the energy I need.
Look, what Ibiza really taught me was that if I stay committed and set goals it really is just a matter of time before getting the body and health that I have always desired. The difference this retreat week made to my life was phenomenal. I feel like I was given the chance to hit the reboot switch.
Matt however was clear that the process was just that! It doesn’t happen over night, and you must work on the little things which eventually catalyse into massive actions. This cleanse and detox week was the perfect head start!
The fitness side of the retreat was the most feared by everyone, but as always with a workout .. as soon as its over it became the most rewarding part of the day!
There were people on the retreat from their 20’s to their their 50’s and nobody felt left out because our activities were personalised so our private and shared goals were discussed and respected. We all became much fitter and closer to achieving them with the bar set even higher by the end of our stay.
We were pushed but we also pushed ourselves and my mindset did change. Going to the gym or going for a run is different for me now because I can see exercise as part of my life rather than an add-on activity.
Through the education and goal setting workshops we did I am now confidently applying the changes in outlook and I am seeing it happen!
Honestly, your dreams become your goals and your goals become your plans and your plans well .. happen.
Just being together on an amazing Retreat and sharing honestly our goals while actively trying hard to achieve them forged strong bonds. The PHITT group training method is something that Matt has used to change many peoples views on fitness and many peoples lives including mine.
I wore a my zone belt for all my training to help monitor my progress, I cannot express just how much motivation this gave me to keep going.
Now that i’m back however, I do not have my team of like minded people, nor the safe to chill work free zone, nutrition focus, fully equipped gym, oh did I mention on a bloody rooftop looking over the mountains type lifestyle that Ibiza was? No, Now I have Peckham in the big old smoke, grey, concrete London, busy and dirty and stressful and lonely. Where a homeless man greets me by whizzing on my building instead of offering me a delectable green juice in the sunshine.
But, I do have a choice. And because this week was just the beginning of getting back on the right path there was support and my community was there when I came back to make sure I stay on it.
Online – On demand – there he is, everyday with me on my phone, tv, wherever. I travel a lot being an actress and make up artist going where the work takes me. This was one of the reasons I couldn’t commit to the gym anymore! But with this on demand programme I have no excuses and it feels almost like a fitness safety blanket so when i’m not sure how to exercise I have a PHITT workout with matt clicks away and with my my zone app .. he can see! I also get quite stressed in London with food, but with this programme there is a recipe to suit any mood or time of day (or occasionally night)
SO, I have a choice to go back or push forward and treasure every second of every moment I had in beautiful Ibiza, with a personal specialist who put every inch of every effort possible into showing me, just how wonderful my life could be.
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have had this chance to open a door again. Its going to be tough, but I choose to work like I’ve never worked before, live like I’ve always dreamt of living and to be superhuman.
If you’re like most people, you look forward to that week off in the summer, where you lay on the beach drink a little too much, eat a little too much, and return feeling like you need a holiday from your holiday… Maybe its time for a change? instead of letting your hair down in the party side of Ibiza, maybe its time to lose the make up, swap the heels for trainers, the partying until 6am to get up for yoga at 6am? It might finally be time you listened to your body, swap your cocktail for a juice, put your hair in a top knot, take a powerful breath in and… retreat?