Winning Fitness Formula
Picture this; a beautiful, open, spacious, airy Ibizan villa — made cosy with lovely blankets, throws and colourful cushions; an outside eating area, a turquoise pool, and a wooden decking for yoga, discussions and hanging out overlooking an exotic garden with plants and flowers and a sea view way in the distance. Dotted around the grounds are rope ladders, TRX areas, dumbbell stations, slam balls, kettlebells, and exercise mats. So here you have it, a small part of what makes The Body Camp experience a winning formula.
So much more than fitness
Off I went at the end of a busy winter ski season to Ibiza to kick start my fitness, re-find my muscles that were hiding away, re-set my goals and intentions for the summer, get back into my groove of healthy eating, and maybe even lose a few pounds. However, I gained so much more than what I set out for (and not in weight!) I did lose a few inches — but that really became irrelevant — I came away feeling my muscles (in a good way once the DOMS had calmed!), my core felt stronger, my mind was clear and as a result I stood taller and felt utterly rejuvenated. I can hand on heart say it was one of the most transformative and restorative weeks of my life. A combination of fitness, fresh air, and wellbeing, new friendships and a lot of laughter is a recipe for success, a whole lot of self-love and general awesomeness.
Room sharing isn’t so bad!
I was sharing a room with four girls; by coincidence, we were all roughly the same age. It was like having an extended sleepover, and after just seven nights we had formed a bond that could have potentially taken years in normal circumstances. The first day we were all fairly polite to one another and respectful of each other’s space and privacy – but by the last day, we couldn’t really see the floor, were walking around in our underwear and treating each other like we had known each other since being teenagers! I know I could ring any of the girls up a year from now with a problem or not even, just to have a chat and arrange a visit, which is pretty awesome! NB. You do not have to share rooms; but I was on a budget and I believe it enhanced my experience, as did going alone. Maybe I got lucky with my girls, but it would have been an honour to share with anyone . Which is why going solo is, in fact, beneficial and not scary at all. You are welcomed with open arms and I would say 60% of the girls there had come solo like myself. (NB. It was a complete coincidence that we had an all-female group, seven men were on the week before).
An example day at the Body Camp:
6am - wake up
The four of us had agreed that we would set our alarms for 6am even though the first activity wasn’t until 7. But this gave us ample time to sip on a cups of Pukka tea (of which there is an endless supply) whilst cracking on with our 360s. The 360 is a daily in-camp circuit challenge which you must complete 6 times a day and mark upon completion on a whiteboard, this was one of my favourite things to do (surprise surprise), and since being home I try to do in my own garden! Although setting our alarms for 6am did in fact mean that we started our fitness in the dark which we weren’t actually anticipating – all in the pursuit to complete the daily 6 before breakfast, and maybe squeeze a few extras in too, Rick would be so proud!
7am -group walk or fitness session
Qualified PT Paul or Rick (and the smallest in house dog I have ever seen) putting us through our paces.
8am – breakfast
o my god the food…all plant based deliciousness, my idea of absolute heaven – bloating, IBS, sugar highs and lows GONE. There is the option between two portion sizes for those wanting to lose weight and those wanting to maintain. The first three days I was blumin starving – especially after certain activities such as the Breathe Work Workshop (more on that later) – but weirdly I then started to lose my appetite, which is unheard of for me; the art of conversation and sitting down to eat with friends and have banter about the day became the focus; the food was just a lovely bi product, and also a stimulus for more conversation and me asking the chef a million questions. O, please note, you ARE allowed coffee at breakfast! As much as you want even, but no sugar or cows milk; just oat or soy. A couple of examples of breakfast that spring to mind are the tofu scramble with grilled tomatoes, kale and mushrooms and the raw cacao and coconut chia seed pudding, topped with raspberries, guji berries, desiccated coconut and edible flowers. We would always be given a shot of smoothie or juice as well – i.e. a ginger mango juice. A little shot is just perfect, not too many calories or sugars; but enough to satisfy the sweet tooth. I have always been a foodie and really appreciate the love and presentation that goes in so the food was utter perfection to me; we weren’t allowed phones at the table but I managed to sneak in a few photos!
9:30/10 – Baywatch fitness
sounds slightly naff but so much fun! Anyone who knows me knows I hate organised fun, but this was great! Do not be alarmed you do not have to wear red swimsuits for this! This is just one big hour of getting mega sweaty down at the beach. Tunes pumping, flat calm sea view, no one else around, ideal for a work out. All the workouts are very inclusive – it really doesn’t matter if you are an Olympic athlete or have never done a sit up in your life – you push as hard as you can whoever you are! Like with every element on the camp – you get out what you put in.
11:15 SNACK TIME! WHOOP!
Every day you have two snacks; one mid morning and one mid afternoon – of course these are optional; but they are never big so its good to keep blood sugar and energy levels steady, and hunger at bay; and also good to re educate yourself on normal snack size. For example – some sort of energy ball (ie date nut cacao) was usually on the cards in the morning, then a savory piece of sushi dipped in wasabi and soy, or a home made cracker with cashew cream cheese in the afternoon. I feel like the snacks were carefully picked depending on the activity. And yes I purchased the recipe book, surprise surprise!
11:30 – chill time at the beach
Obviously I donned my swim goggles and went for a swim, which despite the sea looking extremely inviting was baltic! Worth it after having my feet in ski boots all season – it was amazing to see little fishies beneath me, and feel the sand and sea between my toes.
12:30 – lunch
usually a quinoa based salad, and served in an eco friendly box with wooden cutlery – the wannabe eco warriors amongst us approve
Back to the villa; time to squeeze in a couple of 360s before an hour of mindfulness with the lovely Lisa and then a stretching session with the legendary Osteopath and master of Reiki, Ranjith (a fellow skier and athlete so naturally I hung on his every word).
The day would normally finish around 5:30 / 6 in time for a shower before a 7pm dinner.
Dinner would normally last an hour- consisting of a small bowl of soup to start; anyone else love eating out of miniature colourful Oliver Bonus style crockery?! Followed by some sort of goodness for main – for example a plant based/vegan burrito bowl – a blend of chickpeas, tomatoes, raw cacao with brown rice, guacamole and cashew cream.
Lights and music would be subtly softened and most people would scurry off to bed at 9ish. It was lovely having my roomies to debrief and chat to; or just uncontrollably laugh with before nodding off.
Other activities which were highlights were hiking to Ez Vedra – it is a beautiful hike with wonderful scenery over the ocean; I never in a million years thought I would say this but the best bit was walking with 22 women, all so unique, strong, and simply amazing in their own right. It was quite powerful.
Saphire led the hike and for most part we had to remain in silence. She would then pick subject matters to talk about, again embrace it and it becomes easier. Saphire also ran the breath workshop I mentioned earlier. Holy Moly that was mental! I want to write a longer blog about my experience because one sentence does not do it justice; but in short, breathing to music has never been more intense or exhausting!
In contrast we were all given a relaxing complimentary massage and manicure/pedicure which was a lovely touch. There was also the option to book an additional massage, nutrition session, reiki, or tarot session; although they do come at a price so I declined, only to be so inspired by Ranjith that I went to see him in London anyway!
Sarmado the chef is a fountain of knowledge and extremely patient with all my questions. Michelin trained he has worked in high end fast paced restaurants all over the world; and because of this found himself going down the vegan route as a life style choice. Plant based food is becoming more popular due to concerns over lifestyle as well as climate change, but it is important to know the facts which is why the nutritional workshops broaden knowledge. Just like anything, you take from it what you want, but I for one have embraced more of a plant based diet and feel better for it.
Time for good byes – but not forever
One week later and Saturday arrived far too quickly. The week started off very intense but petered out towards the end with a trip to Ibizia old town for some shopping which was lovely. Then a celebration dinner to finish the week – we even had fizz – of the Kombucha kind!
The whole week was first class. The hosts Hayley and Liv, Sarmado, Paul and Ric the PTs, the animal workshop, Saphire, the yoga sessions, Lisa and her sparkling eyes, empathy and passion, the setting, the schedule… Coming from a background teaching skiing, it is clear how much thought and planning has gone into the week so as not to utterly exhaust us mentally or physically, but keep us upbeat, energized and moving forwards.
The compassion I have for the ladies I got to share the experience with is hard to describe. As is putting into words what a week can give you; 7 days is such a short space of time; but it reminds you just how much can be gained.
Body Camp, and all my “booty bitches” from the bottom of my heart I thank you, and in the words of Arnie, I will be back, xx