Fitness Retreat Day 6

Poor guy. I hate animal cruelty & exploitation, ever present in Thailand.

Today is Sunday & our day off, but our determined little dream team are throwing the rule book out the window & going for out usual morning walk. I am keen to make the most of my opportunity so I run most of the route in good time. I retire to my room to wash my laundry & start packing & I have a late breakfast. I am getting really hungry now & I’m undecided whether it is because the end of fasting is near or because I’m cutting out some of my charcoal drinks because they are becoming increasingly intolerable to take.

On Sundays the centre provide a taxi for 4 hours so the inmates can go sightseeing. We went to see a waterfall, a mummified monk & a very suggestive rock. I am a terrible tourist & detest the incessant production line of tourists doing the same thing & taking very little from the whole experience.

The street food looked amazing today but I was not tempted one iota to break my fast. I have to commend myself. This is my 6th day surviving on liquids alone & I’m not faring too badly. I hope I can take this as evidence that I have the ability to cope with no food.

Cock rock

The inmates are wonderful! They are funny & kind & very determined, admirable humans. We have some new people in the group including couples which I think is bizarre. I would not want to take my other half somewhere to see me do a daily colonic. I dread to think how they manage when they do their liver cleanse in sync & demand for the toilet exceeds the supply….

Look how much this Asian guy is sweating. You can guess how bad this pasty Irish was coping in the heatwave!

After our tour I was exhausted & went straight to bed with my book only getting up to for soup because I am starving! I wolfed 2 bowls of soup & a ginger tea before retiring back to my room for F1 – what a treat! I am lethargic, hungry & feeling not quite myself. Tomorrow is my last day & I am getting weighed & measured. I am feeling very anxious about this. I have followed the diet to a tee & even undertook extra activities & avoided the teas to ensure I didn’t consume caffeine. I will be really upset & disappointed if I don’t get the results I want & so clearly have earned.

I have witnessed other people busting their chops & being disappointed with their results & someone else slept through most of the set exercise sessions & lost quite a bit. It seems so unfair. I wouldn’t be surprised if I lose 2kg or less tomorrow. I would be very happy with 4kg.

Now to sleep through this hanger & rest well for my final day tomorrow.


Fitness Retreat Day 5: Post liver cleanse

Warning: Please don’t read at breakfast, if you are queasy or aren’t into disgusting details about my bum or poo! I completely understand! Apologies in advance!

My alarm is set for 6am for my third epsom salt mixture which goes down with difficulty. A fellow inmate has come to check on me & he seems surprised I am doing so well. I have a dooming feeling that my strife is still ahead of me. Before 8am one of the staff members come to check on me & they are also surprised I am quite perky & haven’t been on the toilet all night. I take my forth & final epsom salt mixture, go to the bathroom, wait an hour or more then I go to the main area for a coconut water & my morning carrot juice. By this stage I’m feeling so bloated & uncomfortable. Everyone thinks I got off easy with my liver cleanse but I know it isn’t over.

The juices seem to do the trick & soon enough I am back on the toilet with a bowl of yellow bile. Please tell me this detox is good for me & I’m punishing my body for a faddy quick health fix! I feel really terrible so I lay in bed, miss my juices & manage to peel myself up 2 hours later for my massage. A massage is probably not a good idea, or a safe one in my delicate condition but I love massages so I can’t resist. I make it through the massage without any leakage issues & have to go & take my nutrients & another juice after. I’m feeling great at this point & having a laugh with me fellow inmates.

Next up is my colonic. This was hell. My poor bum was already sore from all the acid I’d been expelling & the colonic cramped up my stomach the whole time. I was getting hot sweats & a lot of discomfort. By this stage there was nothing solid left in me. Fasting, the charcoal husks & colonics for the last 4 days have completely emptied me of any waste I was storing up. After an hour & a half of discomfort I think I’m done. I climb into bed & try to nap it off.

I got up in time for soup at 5pm & only managed 1 bowl instead of my usual 2. I was feeling a bit lethargic & sorry for myself but, despite my unsteady legs, when someone mentioned a swim I quickly joined them. It’s so peaceful relaxing in the warm water in the last hues of sunset. We chatted for 2 hours watching the world go by before making our way out of the dark sea. I’m meeting some really interesting lovely people at this retreat. I’m so glad day 5 is over & I hope to be back to my normal self by the morning.

Fitness Retreat Day 4: Koh Samui, Thailand

Today I am doing a liver cleanse! I have been slightly concerned about this as I have put my liver through hell with all the booze I’ve drank from my mid teens to about a month ago. I seemed to have ceased drinking alcohol & have not even had 1 drop for over 5 weeks now. My friends are asking where nuala is & what have I done with her. In reality it is very expensive to continue my border alcoholic behaviour on my shoestring budget. A beer has been roughly equivalent to 1 nights accommodation & by forgoing the beer I see I can afford many more nights accommodation & enjoy a longer trip. It’s basic math.

When I’m travelling solo I’m not a big drinker because I have to have my wits about me & be capable & in control. I know I can easily slip through my tolerance point & I’m not going to take this risk. I have also been associating alcohol consumption with gluttony recently. What’s the difference between me sitting down to 3 beers than sitting down to 3 tubs of Ben & Jerry’s? My body does not need it, it has zero nutritional value & only keeps me away from being a more comfortable size.

The liver cleanse day is a normal day until 1pm when I take my soup & as much water as I can chug until 2pm. Then I fast without my usual liquids. Instead I am given a mixture of epsom salts & water at intervals of 6pm, 8pm, 6am & 8am. I also get a salad dressing type concoction to take at 10pm. It contains orange juice, oil & . At this stage any liquid will be welcome to me as I am used to drinking so much water now.

I feel physically great with no complaints & my 6pm first epsom salt solution goes down without a fuss. I go to the bathroom once before my 2nd epsom salt solution at 8pm. I go to the bathroom once after this & I’m patiently waiting for the grand expulsion other people spoke off. I feel grand & the lack of water hasn’t even bothered me. At 10pm I take the orange oil mixture which is similar to a salad dressing. It didn’t taste too bad but there was just sos much it was making me feel nauseous. I wait, & wait & wait & nothing.

Fitness Retreat Day 3: Koh Samui, Thailand

Sunrise run views

This morning I felt dreadful. My run was much tougher than the day before I felt so hot & lethargic the whole time. My favourite songs couldn’t even motivate me to run faster or for longer. Music is my hypothetical whip which motivates me to push myself. My whip was broken today. I lay on my bed as soon as I got back & it took all my energy to get up for a shower & go for my breakfast juice. I don’t have the energy to smile & chat to people. I’m not my normal self. I’m not starving or pining for food – don’t get me wrong, if I was allowed food I would take it without hesitation. I want to hide in my room & sleep but I go through the motions of yoga, meditation, sauna, talking to people (one of my favourite hobbies!). Even my massage didn’t pick me up. Then I had another colonic to face. I was completely uninspired.

At 3pm our group exercise was weights & I felt I was coming back to myself as the 3 fabulous female participants danced & grinded our way through the weights with cheesy 80s throwback songs. The Thai kitchen staff even came out & joined us to throw some moves! Music & good company is a recipe for a good time, even when you’re working out during a Thai heatwave!

I went for a lovely cycle after the workout & promised myself a new bike when I stand still again. When I got back I downed my 2 bowls of soup then jumped into the beautiful sea. I’m so relieved my mood has lifted & I feel myself again. Hopefully it is my body adjusting to these changes in a positive way. People say it’s toxins leaving the body but I’m not convinced… I hope that will be my lowest point of the program. I say this highly optimistically as I have a liver cleanse tomorrow which is supposed to be really tough.

Fitness Retreat Day 2: Koh Samui, Thailand

It’s Day 2 & I feel surprisingly good for someone who hasn’t ate in 34 hours & had a self not-for-pleasure anal probing experience the day before. I decide that the morning walk isn’t challenging enough for me so I put the tunes on & run & sweat my way around the route. When I return to my room my face is a bright hot red with beads of sweat racing down from my hairline. I’m a firm believer that you get out of things what you put into them so I am going to give this my all to achieve maximum results.

It takes over an hour for my face to return to a normal pinky hue. My cold shower is so refreshing & I can’t wait for my meditation nap!

The day went well with another sauna, massage & colonic. I feel the need to congratulate myself when my colonic is executed without problems. Is this something I can validly be proud of myself for? I never ever predicted I would be applauding myself on a good colonic.

I took all my allocated drinks & soup & I’m baffled as to how I’m not absolutely starving. It just goes to show me I really don’t need to eat the quantity of foods I do daily & I can easily skip meals with no consequences. I think the new environment & people are a big factor in distracting me from food & thinking about how hungry I am.

Today our exercise class is beach volleyball. It was so much fun! We were 5 on 5 & there was a great team attitude & competitiveness between us. I just love how easy it is to meet a stranger & love them as a person. I also love how everyone is completely different, from different countries, backgrounds, experiences & we can all come together & have great craic. I really love humanity sometimes.

Fitness Retreat Day 1, Koh Samui, Thailand

Here goes! A hell of a lot of money, a fuck load of determination & a smidgen of humility & I’m ready! My alarm goes off at 5.30am & I jump out of bed keen to get this show on the road. New me is raring to go!

At 6am I was in the main area downing my 6am mix of charcoal etc then off for a 5Km walk. It wasn’t a highly taxing walk with the 7 of us walking at various paces & plenty of chit chat. ‘Breakfast’ is at 8am & is a blend of carrots, beetroot, garlic & ginger. It’s not bad – not amazing either.

At 8.30am we have an hour of yoga followed by 30 minutes of meditation. I fell asleep straight away during meditation & woke to everyone waiting for me to arise… The people have a great sense of humour so it’s easy to fit in & have a laugh – albeit at my expense this instance!

After yoga & meditation we have another charcoal drink. This drink is full of husks which make you feel full & help to cleanse any random bits of debris which has stuck along my intestines in the many years. It looks like black husks & is mixed with water. If you don’t drink it quickly it coagulates to a jelly consistency & not a favourable one. I try to down it as quickly as possible. I know I’ll struggle with this one in the coming days.

At 10am we had a talk with a Dr for an hour (although he’s not an actual doctor). Within the first 10 minutes he offended me & was really aggressive & hostile. Why be here giving talks if you are so negative & unhelpful??? As someone with a background in health sciences & an interest in health issues I found most of what he said to be bullshit. If he comes back I won’t be in attendance.

At 11am we get a green powder mixture which is full of amazing vitamins & minerals. It is vile. I also had a massage booked for 11am which greatly took the edge off the bad taste in my mouth. Every day we get a one hour thai or oil massage from the on site therapists. I love a massage so I was really looking forward to mine & it didn’t disappoint! The resort is right but the sea & the massage area is facing it so you get to see & listen to the waves crashing gently on the sandy beach – all while being stretched & pummelled. Bliss!

At 12pm we get another juice which contains pineapple, apple & ginger. I love this drink! I also had a 30 minute sauna session at 12pm. I loved it after my massage & took my book in to pass the time. It was so chilled & I sweated so much. Too much information? My bad!

At 1pm I have to take another charcoal drink. I take 5 a day to help with my colonics & keep me feeling full. Speaking of colonics, I had mine straight after this drink. I’ve only ever had one before back in Ireland: It was uncomfortable & afterwards I didn’t reap many benefits. Colonics are a massive part of this cleanse. I have to self administer one every day. Charming. I was optimistic that self administering will be better because I will have control & be able to go at my own pace. Plus everybody else is managing so I should suck it up & get on with it, right? Right.

After my drink I came back to my room to find my bathroom set up as below. I’m not sure how much detail I should go into with you guys…. I’ll go with a degree of vagueness. So I popped myself on the board, popped the nib to the water flow on & inserted it then I controlled the water & massaged my belly until I felt the need to expel. Then I would continue the water flow until the urge to expel again – until I had gone through 5 litres of water. I didn’t feel especially great or terrible afterwards. I was just happy to go through it without any embarrassing mishaps – I’ve heard some special stories from my fellow inmates which are hilarious & horrendous at the same time!

At 3pm we get a tamarind drink. This is a bit sour but I find it to be cool & refreshing. Then we have an exercise class. Today we had an hour of step aerobics which I found to be dated & not optimal calorie burning or functional exercise.

At 4pm I take yet another charcoal drink which I am getting tired off already. I was honestly a bit dismayed that my day of activity was over knowing that I had more energy & could do more to increase my weight loss. There were bicycles available so I went for a cycle with another inmate for an hour then played table tennis. I am a sweaty sweatbag. Did I mention there is a heatwave in Thailand right now!??

At 6pm we returned & were allowed 2 bowls of a vegetable broth. It was delicious & comforting to feel something warm in my empty tummy.

After soup I went for a swim in the beautiful warm sea as the remnants of the sunset still painted the sea orange & pink. Sunsets take my breath away & I feel so grateful for this moment & my wonderful life.

At 7pm I had my last charcoal drink of the day. I’m so over these.

Day 1 was a roaring success! The schedule is very clear – which I adore. I hope the rest of the week goes as well!

Fitness Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand

After a 6 hour bus journey & 1 hour boat trip I arrived to Koh Samui. I befriend a young Canadian girl who is on a gap year & trip of a lifetime. She wrestles with the disappointment of returning home & feeling that her travels haven’t changed her or made any lasting impact on her. It’s not an idea I ever concerned myself about. I thought it quite a peculiar anxiety to have, to be worried you won’t return a better person from your travels. Do people travel to explore or to feel change in themselves??

A wonderful Thai lady collected me from the ferry port & my name was actually spelled correctly on her sign! This is an absolute first so I am interpreting it as a good sign! (Pun intended). It really is the small things that ignite my excitement. It was blistering hot as Thailand is currently experiencing a roasting heatwave, the hottest in 65 years. My Irish skin weeps tears of sweat…..

I arrived at the resort after 5pm & met all the other residents, some were eating & some having broth. They all seemed nice & friendly & I was keen to get to know them rather than do the boring forms. I did get a beautiful tuna salad & I savoured every moment!

My room is a basic 1 bedroom beach hut with ensuite. Other people have been complaining about how basic & shabby they are but I have been sleeping in some highly populated grubby dorms so I am basking in this pure luxury. I can be naked again!!!

I really liked the other ‘inmates’ who are all completely normal, of course. I’m delighted that they are a friendly, open & encouraging bunch! This strengthens my theory that joining a group or class is an excellent experience & should be highly anticipated as opposed to anxiously awaiting. I curl up in bed excited for what the next day might bring, exhilarated at the prospect of changing my mindset, physique & lifestyle.

My New Body & Mind


Two years ago a work colleague recommended a detox/weightloss retreat to me. Her results were amazing & she was really happy about her experience & spoke so enthusiastically about it. This weighed (pun intended) on my mind for two years. I would email them to enquire about it when I was feeling unhappy about my body & always deem it too expensive. A few weeks ago it popped into my mind again for some reason. I enquired, again. It was still very expensive for me, again. But something had changed this time. There has been a shift in my mindset.

I have slogged my arse off saving money & now I am having an experiential journey of exploration with my savings. I am living on a budget – which makes travelling less guilt inducing for me (damn you catholic guilt forever haunting me!). A splurge would surely make me feel anxious. Surely there are better causes & more sensible investments to make??

Then I considered my health & my happiness. It is a lot of money but I feel like it’s time to take the step & make a commitment & invest time & money into my wellbeing.

I’m not morbidly obese but I can feel down about myself when I’m surrounded by beautiful people with banging bodys. I know most people feel some degree of insecurity & self consciousness. I’m not sure whether mine was exacerbated by my bullying big brother or psycho ex boyfriend who would both run me down using any ammo available to them. Or maybe I’m just a normal level of self depreciating? Who knows? Answers on a postcard folks!

Either way, I feel like this will be a positive step to reclaiming my self esteem & body. I took the step. I made the 50% deposit. I booked flights to Thailand. I’m in!!!!

Night Market, Phuket, Thailand

I absolutely adore Thai street food! The smells, the flavours, it’s quick, is it healthy?, filling & cheap! What more do you want!!?

The night market in Phuket does not disappoint! It has every sort of food & drink you could ask for. I start with a coconut, then a cold lemon & honey drink & I finish with a thai iced coffee – I have been dreaming of this since I last left Bangkok.

Even walking around the night market is a delight for your senses, there’s music, souvenirs for sale & you can even get your hair cut if you fancy.


The Western guy getting his hair cut draws a crowd of onlookers

The food was incredible. I didn’t know where to start. My two friends were happy to share so we winded our way down the stalls stopping to sample along the way. In the end I got the Kanom Krok (coconut pancakes I LOVE). I got so many I had to give a dozen away in the end. I have been dreaming about these little guys since my last trip to Thailand 2 years before. I also got a thai salad which was so spicy I gave it to a thai family sitting nearby. I got delicious pad thai as well. My god it was all worth the wait!



Honey lemon on tap – Bliss!





I was quick to get a sweet Thai iced coffee


Condensed milk, the cornerstone of any good Thai iced coffee


They make the salad on the spot using these delicious fresh ingredients


This salad was far too spicy for me!



You HAVE to try!



Little pockets of deliciousness


Making the magic happen ❤

Tomorrow I travel to the fitness retreat so I shouldn’t really be indulging – but I love Thai food so much I can’t resist!

Kathmandu —> Kuala Lumpur —> Phuket

I am so happy to arrive in Thailand! The flights were a pain in the arse as usual but generally grand. I can’t conceal my pure joy at going to Thailand again. It really is one of my happy places. I land in Phuket with a content familiarity at being here before. I can’t take the smile off my face. I know my way around, I know where to take the local bus & I have a handwritten map with nice hostels marked out. This is quite organised for me & I’m very pleased with myself!

I sit on the bus & take my book out. It’s mainly a prop as I spend the majority of my time taking in the views, talking to people & thinking how lucky I am. By the time I reach Phuket town I have 2 other people in my entourage also looking for somewhere to stay. We call into a hostel & think it’s a bit expensive for what it’s offering. The next place is much nicer & cheaper so we quickly agree to stay. It feels so nice to set my backpack down & have a big spacious area in a room. Even having a non bunk bed feels like a luxury! These beds have their own shelf, light, power socket & a segregating wall around the top part of your bed. They almost feel private!

I am so hot & sweaty after the day of travel & wandering around Phuket so I immediately shower, then get changed, leave a pile of washing at reception & go out for a wander. I’m not hungry yet, my body is confused with crossing timezones & travelling for so long.

I’m going to a fitness retreat here in Thailand, although I don’t have any clothes & my trainers disintegrated a country ago. After months of neglect it’s now necessary to go shopping so I go to take the bus to the shopping centre. A tuk tuk driver calls me over offering me an extortionate rate. I politely decline telling him I’m taking the local bus then he negotiates to take me for the same price as the bus but we’ll stop at a shop for me to have a look in & I don’t have to buy anything (as he gets commission for footfall through the store). This feels like a reasonable deal & the guy seems sound so I happily pop into the tuk tuk. The shop he takes me to is an overpriced western style shop aimed at rich tourists. I do my bit pretending to browse then I actually see a piece of jewellery I like. FML. It costs £7. This is a lot of money to me in Thailand. I think of the cost of jewellery I buy at home & £7 seems like a very good deal. Either way I’m torn. I buy it. I laugh at how I was totally willingly duped – but I love my new necklace so I don’t care! The tuk tuk driver is delighted & has even agreed to collect me from the shopping centre & bring me home in a couple of hours!

The shopping centre is full of western shops & it is exactly what I’m after – h&m to get some basics,  boots for the amazing Urban Happiness aromatherapy products stocked in their Thai branches (you have to try these, they are incredible & I can’t find them anywhere else!), & a sports shop to buy trainers. I spend way too much money on my much needed 2 bags of shopping & go to take my free tuk tuk back. At the hostel my washing is ready & waiting for me at the front desk. It smells heavenly & this makes me a bit emotional after months of damp smelling, washed in dirty water, clothes. I throw out my holey, worn out, clothes & lie down for a couple of hours excited at my evening plans to visit the night market with my new french friends. I reflect again how lucky I am before the hot humid air leads me to sleep.