My Weekend at GI Jane Bootcamp

Have you ever spent the weekend at a bootcamp or wondered what one would be like?


A few years ago now I was lucky enough to spend a weekend at GI Jane Bootcamp in Sittingbourne, Kent, even though I was very nervous about my first residential bootcamp, I had a fabulous time & would love to go again.

While I was there I kept a journal & I posted this on a blog I was keeping on the Weight Watchers website, as I still have very fond memories of my weekend at GI Jane & am hoping to visit again soon I thought I would share my experience with you here as well

My GI Jane Bootcamp Diary 


I got up in the morning and made myself an omelette with bacon medallions mushrooms, 10gs of LF cheese and onions and 100gs of baked beans  then headed into London to meet my friends for the train to bootcamp, I bought a M&S Count on Us Tuna Sandwich  to eat on the train which I shared with my friend, I think the realisation was starting to set in that we may not get fed very much this weekend

When we arrived we were shown to our rooms then asked to return to our rooms in our gym kits while we waited for the other attendees to arrive.

There were 10 of us there that weekend, ages ranging from early 20s to late 50s, some had been before, others were Bootcamp virgins like us, some had several stone & wanted this experience to kick start their journey, others looked very fit and athletic already and saw the experience as a challenge as to how far could they push themselves, some like us where there for the weekend others were there for a week, the girls that had been before took pleasure in telling us how tough things would be & how hungry we would be, I have kept a food journal below and while the portions weren’t large I can honestly say I wasn’t hungry once.

After a quick chat with the PTs asking about any injuries etc & our expectations for the weekend they threw us straight into our fitness test a 1.3mile run, followed by 60 seconds of sit ups, press ups and squats

For dinner we had a small Jacket Potato with homemade quorn chilli and a side salad which I have guesstimated to be 10pp, but my WW friends I went with think that’s probably to many PP

I finished Friday on 21/26pp & my Pedometer said 10,437 steps so only 2APs today, bit disappointed we didn’t do more activities


We had to be up and on parade for 6.30am for another 1.3 mile lap of the triangle, after some stretches we went back to the house for breakfast.

After breakfast we were back for another run, 3 miles followed by circuits, crunches, squats, press ups, wide arm press ups, squat thrusts, leg kicks, star jumps, tricep dips between each set, doing rounds starting at 10reps per round then 8, 6, 4, 2

Then we had snack time, followed by more circuits, this time we had one person running a lap pulling a set of tires while the rest of us were doing different exercises with weights bars, kettle bells, dumb bells, and medicine balls, I was really impressed with the PTs for this activity, there were a few exercises that they thought I would struggle with due to a rotator cuff injury so they showed me alternative exercises for the same muscle groups

After lunch we went out for a 4 mile walk carrying a stretcher which was laden with guns (wooden imitation not the real thing) & water bottles, the day finished with a Pilates class to stretch those tired muscles & boy was it needed

Saturday we ate

B Porridge made with water, raspberries and blueberries and a 1/2 teaspoon of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon – 4pp

S – Crisp Bread topped with Houmous – 2pp

L – homemade lentil soup with 2 oat biscuits & a tangerine – 4pp

S – Activia Fat Free Yogurt with a teaspoon of Pumkin Seeds and 2 Brazil Nuts – 5pp

D – Salmon with Green Beans and Carrots, with a drizzle of fat free mint sauce and yogurt dressing – 6pp (my first time trying salmon)

I finished Saturday on 21/26pp & I clocked up 27,288 steps on my pedometer so 11APSs not including all the weights work we did


We had another early start and again done 1.3 mile triangle run again (I was starting to hate that triangle, especially as I remember a little incline at the start), then we headed for breakfast, followed by boxercise, a snack break then another 1.3mile run this time in reverse, followed by a 7mile walk/run carrying a 5kg weights bar.

After lunch we done something called  Iron Soldier which involved running up a hill, picking up various army equipment, first supply boxes, then 2 supply boxes filled with sand, next a Jerrycan filled with water, and finally a large munitions box, all weekend we had heard horror stories about the Irom Soldier from some of the other girls who had attended before & it was tough but in a short and sweet kind of way, if you have coped with everything else the guys had thrown at you you have nothing to worry about with Iron Soldier.

After Iron Soldier we had another snack, Netball and then more circuits, this time a combinations of sit ups, press ups, squats, get ups, half crunches, plank, kettlebells, arm curls and shoulder presses with the weights bars etc, doing these while our partner ran laps around the house and you couldn’t finish each set until they returned

We finished Sunday with a nutrition class with the camp nutritionist, we had been asked to take a food diary from the week prior to our visit so they could give us pointers so we could make better choices once we left

Sunday we ate

B – Same as Saturday – 4pp (we had a choice of Museli which unfortunately I don’t like)

S – 1 Ryvita topped with a thin spread of philly extra light – 1pp

L – Mixed leaf & Beetroot salad topped with tuna and sweetcorn mixed with some fat free mayo – 3pp

S – Pumkin Seeds, Brazil Nuts & a 1/4 of an Orange – 2pp

D – Chicken Casserole, one whole chicken breast cooked in stock with veggies – 5pp

I finished on 15/26pp & clocked up 33,502 steps on my pedometer so 15aps again not including the weights work we did


We had our final early start for our fitness test to be redone, we were slightly slower but that was to be expected apparently with our sore legs, then we jumped in a bucket of ice cold water to help our achy muscles.. Ouch but sooo good!


& the result, I lost 3lbs & 4.5inches since Friday 

The trainers advised we could lose another couple of lbs this week due to our bodies still being in the fat burning zone so I have my fingers crossed for 1.75lbs to get me into the 9s and my Weight Watchers GOAL!!


I can not recommend the GI Jane boot camp enough, its amazing what our bodies can achieve when we break the physical and mental barriers

I attended the bootcamp with a couple of girls I met via the Weight Watchers website, between us we lost 11.5lbs and 18.5 inches & I’m so proud of each and every one of us


I am very pleased to advise that when I weighed in the Friday after my visit to GI Jane Bootcamp so a week after I had arrived, I lost another 3lbs taking my weight loss to 6lbs over the week, I continued to eat well snacking on nuts and seeds, I bought houmous for the first time ever & I continued with my 1.3 mile daily run and ensured I also walked 3 miles each day

As you can see, I loved my time at GI Jane and would go back in a heartbeat, unfortunately finances will not permit it at the moment, but if you would like to find out more about their week, midweek, weekend, one day or even their new Thailand bootcamps please click the link here

Adidas Boost Bootcamp

Race No 25 – Adidas Boost Bootcamp – London Marathon Training Day

Ok so I am getting a bit desperate so I am claiming this as a race, this chest infection has floored me and ruled out my final 2 runs (Regents Park 10k & a Christmas Day Parkrun) but when you are told by an Olympic Marathon runner that you shouldn’t be running you listen right!


I was lucky enough to win one of 100 places at an Adidas Bootcamp held at the London Marathon store in London, I had been looking forward to this for weeks and as my cough was only in its early stages I was determined to attend, after all with Olympic Athletes Liz Yelling, Scott Overall and Ultra Distance Runner and Super Slimmer Steve Way all their to offer advice and support who wouldn’t want to be there

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The day started with with a 5k run & we were given a shiny new pair of Adidas Boosts to try out (sadly these had to be given back after our run), the run was mile out and back to a local park and a miles worth of tempo running led by Liz, unfortunately due to my chest infection I really struggled with the tempo running as at the best of times I only have one pace (slow) and today I even that was a struggle, when we got back to the store Liz, Scott and Steve all done a short talk about their own marathon experiences and shared their top pieces of advice, their were also brief talks from representatives from Adidas and Lucozade, as well as a physio and a sports nutritionist

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The 3 biggest piece of advice I took from the day were

1) Listen to your body, someone asked with cold & flu season approaching when should you run, both Steve and Liz answered this by saying if it is a head cold you should be ok for sort slow runs but if its in your chest its a no, apparently Steve had recently gotten over a chest infection so had been out of running for 2 weeks, as they knew I had struggled during the tempo run, I was used as an example of when you shouldn’t have run :o(

2) The most important run is your long run, not that anyone would recommend only running once a week we were told that if that’s all we could squeeze in then make it a long run, and to increase distance gently 

3) I am not sure this is a great piece of advice but its something thats certainly stuck with me the 7p’s ‘Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance’

At the end we were also given the opportunity for one of one chats with any of the experts and were invited up for photos, I couldn’t resist a quick pic with Steve Way, as someone wanting to lose some weigh myself and interested in everyone’s weight loss journeys plus attempting to run myself Steve is one of my biggest Runspirations

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Finally we were all given the opportunity to have a free gait analysis and offered a 20% discount on any purchases we chose to make & finally if we did make a purchase we were very kindly all given an Adidas Goody Bag worth £130, well it would be rude not to make a purchase wouldn’t it

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In the Goody Bags there was a foam roller and physio ball, an adidas phone holder, running cap & gloves, a bag for life and a gym bag, a sports towel, energy gels, lucozades, deoderant, shower gel, aftershave and a few other bits, unfortunately I didn’t buy my boosts, these Mizuno Wave Inspire 10’s fitted me like a glove and while I usually go for something brighter I decided to be sensible as I was now training for a marathon and listen to the experts and make my purchase based on fit and comfort rather than colour and style.

While the day was hosted by Adidas we did have some contact with the staff from the London Marathon Store and if you ever find yourself in London I would definitely recommend paying them a visit (I am taking my husband there next week for a gait analysis and to get him some new shoes for the marathon) I had my gait analysis done by Jason the store manager who couldn’t have been more helpful especially when he tried to accommodate my need for pretty coloured shoes rather than boring blue & even if you don’t have a need for shoes or new kit the store is still worth a visit just to check out the London Marathon memorabilia, I loved the route map & the wall of medals and my friend and I took cheeky photos, her pointing at the medal she received for completing the 2014 Virgin London Marathon & me pointing at the gap for the 2015 medal


The London Marathon Store also host their own running club the 26rs that meet several times a week, more details of the 26rs and when they run can be found here

My Lightbulb Moment

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They say that everyone has a lightbulb moment when they embark on a weight loss or fitness journey, for some its not fitting into their favourite pair of jeans, for others its a holiday photo, maybe not being able to do the belt up on flight or on a theme park ride, mine happened back in December 2011, when I was diagnosed with chronic depression, my life seemed to be crumbling around me, problems everywhere, none that were actually mine but all of which that I was being left to sort out

A few days before Christmas my Doctor gave me an ultimatum, either be signed off from work sick for 6 weeks to give me time to rest & recouparate or be hospitalized with the depression

I begged that neither be forced upon me, I had the days between Christmas and New Year booked off from work already and had a few days away with my husband planned, I promised my Doctor that I would do my best to implement some changes and he gave e a reprieve until 2nd January 2012

Well the 19th December 2011, will be a day that will be engraved in my memory forever, its the day I decided to change my life, like I said none of the problems that were causing me stress were actually mine, but each other people were depending on me to resolve, well now I was planning to take a step back, stop putting others first, make some time for me and be a bit selfish

I sat my husband down for a long chat, there were tears, he was one of the people who had inadvertently landed me with stress, he promised that 2012 would all be about me and he would support me in whatever i needed to do to get better


Although my weight wasn’t really an issue i weighed 148lb it was approx 10lbs away from where i am more comfortable, it was the one thing I could 100% control so it was the problem I decided to tackle first, so I rejoined Weight Watchers (crazy right? who joins Weight Watchers 6 days before Christmas) I didn’t expect to lose loads but I hoped to limit what I would usually gain to around 2lbs, & part of me controlling my weight was to start doing some activity, I made a pact with myself to restart the Couch to 5k program and walk or run every day and it worked when I went back to Weight Watchers on the 2nd January I had lost .5lb

The Doctor also noticed some changes, he said although, he thought I was far from cured he could see a sparkle in my eye he hadn’t seen for a year so he booked me in for weekly appointments for 6 weeks so he could monitor my progress

I made myself a challenge that every month in 2012 I had to do a different physical challenge, that ranged from swimming lessons, to running my first 5k, 10k & walking a half marathon, I went on fitness weekends and attended a residential bootcamp and in September 2012 I was finally allowed to come off my medication


This also coincided nicely with me taking a huge leap of faith, after working full time for over 23yrs and having a very successful career, I decided to take a few months off for me, I completed a Nutrition course and qualified as a Level 2 Fitness Instructor, not to shabby for the girl who used to fake notes to skip gym class at school.

At first having a few months off seemed like a good idea but I easily got bored and needed a reason to get up in the morning, it was at that time I was approached by Weight Watchers to become a Leader & I can honestly say its a job I love, but at the moment I feel like a fraud, even though my members are aware of what has happened this year and they think it makes me human, I feel it makes me a fraud

2013 almost passed drama free , but in early December I found a lump in my left breast, at first my Doctor told me not to worry, it could be hormonal, I was told to wait 2 weeks, and then come back, it was still there, I was told I would be seen within 2 weeks under the fast track referral scheme, but with Christmas that 2 weeks became 4, to be honest I never really thought I had cancer but I hated that 10% of doubt that clouded me every day

& I know this is the most stupid thing ever but my main concern/upset was that my dream to run the 2014 London Marathon was slipping away from me, even if the lump was nothing, it may still have to be removed and with hospital waiting lists & recovery time it ruled me out, I think it was my way of coping and dealing with the delay in waiting for the tests, I became fixated in whether or not I could run the marathon

Eventually I had the tests and fortunately the lump was benign, it would need removing but not for several months but it was recommended I deferred my marathon place for a year

To be honest I am not really sure what happened next, work got crazy, I started working a 100hr weeks in what was meant to be a part time job, I wasn’t planning my meals, there was no time for running, but hey i’d deferred my place so there was no reason to run & I think for the first time since Christmas 2011 I had lost my drive & focus & here I am September 2014, 28lbs heavier than I was 12 months ago when I ran my first Half Marathon

& so here I am starting my journey again and asking you to support and maybe join me as I believe whatever goals we set ourselves we can achieve if we work hard enough

What was your lightbulb moment?

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