Folks, I’m committing a travel foodie faux pas… I’m going on a diet, entering a fitness camp and stopping travelling around for a month, dun dun dun!
People have asked me why I would go to a ‘weight loss camp’? But I thought you loved food?! Aren’t you happy with yourself? Won’t you get bored in one place? What will you post?!
I will ALWAYS love food, yes I am happy with myself but I also love being healthy and I recognise when it’s good to check in with myself and my weight. I’m not trying to be a skinny bitch I just want to make sure I reach 100 and get my royal telegram. Sure in theory we all know how to lose weight but it’s a struggle, especially when you love food as much as someone like me!
I’m going for the discipline, the routine and the support so I can’t ruin my progress through my own lack of will power when left to my own devices. I’m going for the positive environment to work out and eat well in and the community vibe because fitness doesn’t have to be a miserable solo expedition. And actually I’m looking forward to staying in one place for a month. I can unpack and stay unpacked woo! Don’t worry, I’ll still have plenty to post about. Map of Flavours followers…get ready for health pics and protein shakes! (Don’t worry it won’t really be that bad)
This is an opportunity to get fitter, detox and cleanse my body and yes, lose a few pounds but overall just be a trimmer, fresher but still curvy and happy version of me.
I’ve been travelling for almost 11 months now and not being able to cook my own food and control what’s going into my dishes has been a bit more trying than I expected. I generally eat a sensible, balanced diet but in South East Asia they love to pump food full of salt, sugar and oil! You can ask them not to but usually it’ll still find a way into your meal and into your body. I’ve eaten plenty of organic, healthy meals on my travels so I’m not suggesting EVERYTHING cooked here is like that. But when you’re on the road a lot and passing through remote as well as developed areas, you don’t always get too much of a say in what you have.
Anyone that says to you “oh travelling will be great you’ll be eating fresher food and on so many adventures and moving all the time the weight will just fall off you” IS LYING. I call bullshit folks.
1) There are lots of fruit and vegetables everywhere but they only work as a snack on the go, I can’t often cook something up in a hostel. Too much fruit is too much fructose (sugar) so not fantastic for you in big quantities and as is the case with a lot of market offerings, the fresh produce is not far off turning bad so you better be quick in your consumption! Or it’s the other end of the scale and the produce is not ripe enough yet; I don’t exactly have space in my backpack for a bunch of bananas.
2) The spread of Western influence has reached very far and wide. A lot of fast food chains and food brands we recognise are all over the world and in supermarkets all across South East Asia. Western style restaurants are often just as frequent on each street as local ones and as travelling becomes more popular, so does ‘catering for westerners’. It’s hard to get away from sometimes and as much as I love Asian food, when you fancy something more familiar and it’s on offer, it’s hard to say no. If it wasn’t there I’d happily not have it! But it is there and as I’ve already told you guys, my will power isn’t the best. So I end up succumbing more often than I mean to.
3) I’ve always enjoyed hiking and I’m doing it now more than ever. With so many trails, jungles, mountains and volcanoes to climb I love it! My legs are more muscular and I walk EVERYWHERE. I have never rented a motorbike (yes I know shocking all bloody travellers do it here why aren’t you part of the cliche Kaska?) and yet despite all this walking, I’m not shedding many pounds. Why? Because I’m not using my other muscles in any other kind of intense exercise. I swim when I can and a day of snorkelling will burn a few calories but I’m never in the gym or anything like that. I haven’t done a sit up since I left home because I’m either in a dorm stuffed with beds or oh yeah, it’s too bloody hot! Which leads me nicely onto my next point….
4) It’s too bloody hot outside! Even when it’s raining, the humidity is stifling and ‘cold’ in many parts of Asia is nothing like ‘British cold’. So no, I’m not going to do loads of intense work outs all the time because I’ll pass out. I will laze in a hammock, chill on the beach, sit in a cafe or walk in the shade with some friends because it’s much more comfortable.
5) A large part of travelling is sitting on your arse. Whether you’re doing any of the above, reading a book, chatting to new friends or most commonly sitting on a bus, a train, a plane or in a taxi getting from A to B, you will be cushioned on your behind not moving a great deal.
None of these are a recipe for life-changing weight loss. And I’m fine with that. I love my shape and luckily I’ve got a pretty face and dazzling personality to see me through (ish). But if you go travelling and don’t return home a svelte goddess, DON’T FEEL BAD. Eat the food, embrace the beach bum life and just have a good time. As long as you’re healthy that’s all that matters. And I am very healthy, I’m actually substantially fitter than a lot of skinny ladies I know. I have great stamina and can trek for miles before I start complaining. I might sweat like mad but I feel great in myself and many petite gals I’ve trekked with are gasping for breath and requesting a ton of breaks along the way whilst I’m still going! So size really isn’t everything.
But as I said, health is. And that’s why I’m doing this camp for 28 days. I feel bloated, like I need a good cleanse and in need of burning some more energy off. I’m going for this long because fortunately I have the time to and it gives me the opportunity to see and feel a real difference and help reset my attitude towards unhealthy temptations. I want to get ready and feel fresh for the next part of my travelling adventure in 2018 and learn how to get around the problems I’m currently facing on my travels so they don’t continue into the next phase.
Besides, the camp I’ve chosen is more than just keeping fit. They include nature walks, meditating with monks, yoga classes, massages and Muay Thai classes. So I’ll still be exploring nature which I love, getting my culture fix, becoming more bendy and learning new skills as well as getting a massage a couple of times a week, heaven!
The 28 Days Detox for Weight Loss, Meditation, and Fitness Retreat with Muay Thai Battle Conquer Gym in Phetchabun, Thailand seems like a good fit. I’m flying there tomorrow to begin this next adventure and I’ll let you know how it goes and what kind of healthy regime they have me on. Watch this space and watch this waistline!
Tips for choosing an Asian fitness retreat:
Thinking of heading to a camp yourself? Here are some of my pointers on how to choose between all the options online…
- Check the legitimacy of the camp. Do they feature on any other websites recommending them? I found mine through http://www.bookmartialarts.com and this gave me another layer of security if anything were to go wrong.
- Are there any reviews out there? Previous users’ experiences can reveal a lot about how good your camp actually is. Their website will always only advertise themselves in the best light and not necessarily truthfully.
- How much bang for your buck do you get? I would compare the inclusions different camps offer and see who is providing the most services for the most reasonable price. The country you go to can make a big difference too. Thailand had more options for a lesser overall price than other SE Asia countries did.
- What outside costs would you have? Often a camp will include your food and training for 6 days a week so what will you do on the 7th day? Research the area the camp is based. Do you need to pay for a visa for your chosen country? Thailand is free for 30 days for UK citizens but some surrounding countries do not offer the same. Factor in the cost of your flights as well. London – Bangkok can be very reasonable when booked far enough in advance. Other destinations may be more expensive.
- What time of year are you going? SE Asia is always warm, even in the rainy season. For this reason I would NOT recommend going to a camp in the peak season when it’s blistering hot. Go at a cooler time of year when the weather won’t be working so hard against you and you may even get out-of-season rates which is a bonus!
- Are there English speaking staff? You want to get the most out of your training and you need to know your needs are understood and met. Most camps cater for international guests so this won’t be hard to find but best to double check.
Thanks for reading 🙂