Fitness Retreat Debrief




What the fuck. All that time, effort, money, sacrifice, willpower, for 2.2kg.

I still can’t get over that!




Fitness Retreat Day 7

It’s the big day! I’m anxious because I haven’t weighed myself during this process & have no vague gauge on my progress. I can never tell from my face or how my clothes fit unless I’ve lost over 7kg. During the morning run my mind is bombarded with hope, fear, and a lightness that what’s done is done & I can’t change anything at this late stage. I have done all the stipulated exercises and more. I have also stuck strictly to the fasting plan.

After my shower & before breakfast I get called to do photographs, get measured & weighed. After 6 days of fasting, colonics & exercise I lost a grand total of……. 2.2kg.

Wait. What???? Surely this can’t be correct! I have spent ALL WEEK fasting & done colonics everyday as well as a liver flush. There has to be some sort of a mistake!

I could lose 2.2kg in 1 week on weight watchers while maintaining my normal lifestyle. Think about it – there should have been a notable weight loss if I ate sensibly & exercised more. The colonics & fasting had no effect on me whatsoever. I didn’t have to come to Thailand & waste all this TIME, MONEY & EFFORT. I am so disappointed. Justly so I feel. My friends try to cheer me on & tell me it’s not all to do with the numbers – surely I feel better & I look better. They say because I’m considerably smaller than some others my weight loss has been less in comparison. I can tell they also expected more from me but they are busy being supportive to commiserate with me. So unjust. A guy stayed for half the time as me, only joined in 3 exercise sessions & slept most of the day & he lost TWICE as much as me. Twice. Half the time! I know men lose weight faster than women, but he was here for half the time & did fuck all. Gaaaaaahhhhhhhh, why do I bother? Seriously???

I continue through the motions of the day partaking in the yoga class with a deflated expression & an amazing massage. I am allowed to eat again today & my lunch is 4 papaya slices. It was nice to be chewing again but my disappointment clouds the joy of being able to eat solids.

When it’s time for my colonic I request a new nib because I threw my last one out. I am asked to pay 250THB (which isn’t much). I have already invested too much in this 2.2kg so I swiftly decline therefore opting out of my last colonic. I’m a miserable bitch.

I get my photographs before I leave & I am so relieved & surprised to notice a difference in my physique. I can tell that I have lost weight from my stomach & thighs. I feel a certain redemption that all was not wasted & my effort, time & money did generate a positive difference.

I’m really sad to leave my fellow inmates. They are a great group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds & some have a wonderful sense of humour. Meeting this group & the whole experience has also contributed to this challenge not being a total write off.

I leave on the ferry for my journey to Krabi wondering where my week in Koh Samui disappeared to & totally baffled that everything I put into it was just for 2.2kg……

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.

3 weeks of clean living

As part of my ever present, although sometimes flagging, objective to be fit & healthy I am making my last 3 weeks in Switzerland count. Today I have went for a 5K run, followed by yoga with Adriene then I had avocado for breakfast.


Avocado is my happy place & when I have avocado on toasted crusty bread for breakfast I feel like I’m winning at life. Today I opted for the slightly less bad, however possibly the same molecular structure as cardboard, Ryvita.

Since I fully & wholeheartedly embraced cutting sugar from my life I have fell rather spectacularly off the wagon. I have still kept away from the white granular stuff, but that isn’t commendable when I recall:

  • the tubs of Ben & Jerry’s I’ve consumed in the past month…..
  • my nod at dark chocolate as being ok followed by many several bars of dark chocolate.
  • 2 bars of chocolate sent over from home – devoured without a pause for thought.
  • Ice lollies to fight heat stroke.
  • 2 bottles of fizzy drink – the cravings got me.


I’ve been feeling particularly rubbish with a permanent headache for almost 2 weeks. I’m not sure if it’s related to cutting out sugar and coffee or its to do with a job offer that has thrown me into a world of despair at what to do. I think that’s why I’ve been particularly weak at resisting sugar & reaching for anything that will make me feel better.


I am optimistic that this time I go off sugar I will maintain it. I have done cutting all sugar out of my diet, rebounding to bingeing on sugar & now I’m going to balance it & have a little bit of sugar in my diet. Maybe a cheat day – Diet sorted!


Running can be an effort for me. Sometimes I really enjoy it & other times I hate the thought of it, frown putting my kit on, sigh when I break into a jog at the start of my run, count down the time/km until I’ve finished. You get the idea. I get bored looking at the same scenery on my run. If it’s too sunny & humid I struggle. Really struggle.


I think how it isn’t making much of an impact on my body, it is a waste of time & I think of the other productive things I could be doing instead. In hindsight, it could be having a negative impact on my mental happiness!


I not completely terrible, I am ok at running. I played wing for my university rugby team. I am even better at running when I’m being chased! I’m not about to pay someone to chase me every day – although that is not a bad business venture for the future. Despite my shitty attitude I want to make the commitment to at least 5K 5 days a week. If I do better, GREAT, if not I hope to improve my time & mood & maybe even build a bit of positive association!


I am currently doing 30 days of yoga with Adriene. I am really enjoying it. She is a delight to watch & calming, fun & lighthearted.


I’m not very strict. Sometimes I miss a day due to work & I have been known to stop early & corpse out (the corpse is my all time favourite pose).  This is the link to her youtube channel:


If you have any tips for me on diet or fitness please comment below & let me know what has worked for you. Please help me embrace running! Or introduce my to your favourite fitness channels on youtube. Thank you!