Bride-to-Bootcamp: If you’re looking to get fit quick, shed a few pounds fast or simply set yourself a challenge, then the GI Jane Bootcamp could be exactly what you’re looking for. Kerry Katona, Michelle Keegan and Abi Titmuss have all been ‘GI Janed’ with outstanding results. 5 Star Weddings decided to see if the camp was really all it promised.
We opted for a mid-week course of 5 days and four nights, a slightly shorter option than the 7 night course and a good place to start for those wanting to ease themselves in but get results. Situated in the beautiful Kent countryside (venues vary but are never more than an hour’s train ride away from London), our bootcamp base was at the homely country house of Sittingbourne Manor. We arrived with trepidation but the warm welcome from the GI Jane team soon settled our nerves. We joined another team of bootcampers who had already been there for three days and so were able to give us the low-down on what to expect. Early starts(5.30am!), low calorie meals and LOTS of exercise was what we signed up for and sure enough, GI Jane delivered.
This was the part I think I feared the most, ‘What if I get hungry?’ especially with all that exercise! My normal diet has never been massively unhealthy but I do tend to eat when I feel like it, whether it’s a Pret a Manger sandwich with vegetable crisps (hhmm my favourite!) or a bowl of pasta and maybe even the odd chocolate bar thrown in as a ‘pick me up’ snack when I’m wilting in the afternoons. So the idea of being on strict rations was daunting. The daily menu consisted of three main meals and two snacks plus all the herbal/decaf drinks we wanted. Thankfully, the food at GI Jane turned out to be delicious. A hearty breakfast of porridge and fresh fruits, lunchtime salads and evening stuffed peppers or jacket potatoes were served up as main meals while tangerines and mixed nut snacks kept us going in between. It is amazing how you realise it’s not so much the food you’re eating but the action of putting something in your mouth that you crave – this was definitely something I wanted to continue in my everyday life; not only was I feeling less of a lump but these foods were giving me way more energy.
Another hurdle I was dreading. Headed up by still-serving army trainers, the website gives pre-boot campers an idea of a typical day. Up at 5.30 to do an hour of exercise before breakfast (I kid you not). The day follows with a variety of activities from circuit training to timed runs, boxing and assault courses. Bearing in mind I had never done any of these activities, bar the running, in my life, I had no idea what to expect or how I was going to do. The good thing about this was that neither did anyone else. GI Jane is not only about getting fit and losing weight but also ensures that team support and camararderie are there to keep you going regardless of your ability or how embarrassed you might feel. Whether you’re the first or the last, at least you gave it a go and personally challenged yourself. Our army trainers were exceptional and mindful of the different levels of fitness in the group. At times we would split in order to ensure everyone was catered for. Furthermore, they kept our 8 hour workouts interesting with seaside locations, country lane runs and an optional visit to Go Ape (a tree-top adventure park) for those who were game. Did I feel tired at the end of each day? Yes but I also felt invigorated, super healthy and proud at my personal achievements.
So are there any good bits I hear you ask or is it all just blood, sweat and tears? Yes there are! Our hard work was rewarded with a lovely massage one evening in the comfort of one of Sittingborne Manor’s cosy rooms. What’s more, bootcampers who appreciate views of rolling hills and rambling countryside will love the accommodation that they wake up to every morning during their stay – by day 5 the early starts were a joy, just to experience the peaceful, fresh air countryside as it awakes to dawn. Home cooked dishes, ready and waiting on the table for you – this is bliss if you normally work all hours and have to come home and cook – by the end of my stay I really wouldn’t have minded what I was eating for the fact that it had all been prepared for me. Champagne and strawberries on the final day! What more can I say except ‘You’re forgiven GI Jane!’
The End Result
As we all lined up to be measured and weighed for the second time (the first being when we arrived) it becomes clear how much your hard work means to you and how you desperately want to see the results –for most this was through dropping the pounds. All in all, weight loss was varied amongst boot campers with some losing over half a stone while others lost a few inches. I personally didn’t lose a great deal (1 pound to be exact) but then I am not a large person either. However, what I did get out of the camp was a revived me. My skin was glowing like I hadn’t seen in a long time and I felt energised and wanting to continue this new healthy lifestyle. Not only had GI Jane given me more physical strength but also mentally I felt positive and ready to take on the world! With this in mind, my advise to weary brides –to-be is…go to GI Jane! You may not need to lose weight but 5 days of exercise and healthy eating will guarantee a glow inside and out and undoubtedly this is the ultimate look for the big day.
For packages and more information visit gijanebootcamp.co.uk