Why I went to No1 Bootcamp in Ibiza – and why I'd never go back...


This time last month, I was in Ibiza with No1 Bootcamp, running up and down dusty hills like a rabid dog and surviving on 1,200 calories per day. It was a week of extreme exercise and even more extreme dieting, all in the name of... what, exactly? I documented my time in camp on Snapchat (@rosemarymaccabe) and Instagram, and the #1 question people asked was: why? After all, I'd been working out and eating clean at Lift Training Studios since September, and seeing great results so, why bother?

no1 bootcamp Ibiza

It was for an Irish Country Magazine feature

The #1 reason I was in Ibiza, being tortured by a former army soldier, was because I'd agreed to do a feature on it for Irish Country Magazine's June issue, on shelves today. And, honestly? I think that made it harder. Every time Wez, our trainer, would shout, "what're you here for? You're here to burn fat" (at least three times a day), I'd feel like responding with, "no, Wez, I'm here for a feature – so I'll just be sitting down on this wall for five minutes." I never did respond with that, because I felt like Wez would most definitely have punished me with extra running. He was sound like that.

I only paid for my flights

Honesty, right? I'm all about it. So I don't mind telling you: the PR company for No1 Bootcamp reached out to me and asked if I'd like to come on one of the camps and write a feature about it. And, y'know, I never look a gift horse in the mouth. (Well, that's not true; I've probably been offered several free trips, by people hoping for coverage, and said no – because it didn't suit what I was working on, or I couldn't get it placed. But in this case, I could – see above.) Flights set me back about €150, so the only financial justification I had to make to myself was the fact that I wouldn't be able to do any other work for the week. And, as a self-employed person, that's a pretty big deal – did I want to take a whole week off, to do one feature? In the end, I decided that it would be an interesting challenge, not to mention the fact that: Ibiza? Fun.

no1 bootcamp Ibiza

I felt like I'd be well able for it

For the first time in my life, I would consider myself to be fairly fit. In fact, I'd go further than that: I am a fit person. I have a good level of fitness. Honestly, I have never been able to say that before. So, if I'd been asked to go to No1 Bootcamp a year ago, I would've said a big, huge, resounding NO. I would've been too terrified – of failure and of humiliation – to risk it. So when it came around this year, and me at my fittest ever... It seemed like perfect timing.

I'd heard good things about No1 Bootcamp

It's in the news a good bit – Made in Chelsea's Spencer Matthews, Towie's Arg and, er, Stevi Ritchie have all gone to No1 Bootcamp and reported huge losses (and a lorra, lorra laughs), but it wasn't just the Daily Mail headlines that had me sold. My friend Elaine (Crowley, of Midday fame) went to the Norfolk camp last year, and lost loads of weight – plus, she loved it. So, going in, I felt fairly comfortable about the week ahead.

no1 bootcamp Ibiza

I wasn't going it alone

This was probably one of the top considerations – I seem very confident (I think!) and self-assured, but really I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to certain things, and going away to Ibiza to take part in a fitness bootcamp would have been way up there on the scary scale! So it definitely helped that my friend Aoibhinn Mc Bride, style and beauty editor at Evoke, was coming along too, to cover it for the site and for the Irish Daily Mail. We got to share a room, and watch chick flicks together at night, and give out about the insane things we'd been made do and our tiny portions (to be fair, Aoibhinn didn't mind them – her issue was the workout, while mine was the grub).

no1 bootcamp Ibiza

It was a holiday... (Or so I thought)

C'mon: who's going to turn down the opportunity to spend a week in Ibiza?

And as for why I'd never go back... 

You'll have to grab your issue of Irish Country Magazine to read the full story, but believe me when I tell you that my week at No1 Bootcamp was incredibly difficult. It was a full-on, high-intensity weightloss bootcamp, with five hours' exercise every day, and very little food. And those of you who follow me on Snapchat will know that I've found the rehabilitation into normal life incredibly difficult!

I came back feeling as if I'd been starved for weeks, and I ate everything around me, despite telling myself, over and over, not to ruin all of the hard work I'd put in. Four weeks later, I'm still overeating – I think I'd managed to get myself out of a really bad cycle of bingeing and emotional eating, and having a week where I felt so hungry, so deprived, and with such a focus on the scales was not good for my psyche.

So no, I wouldn't go back – but that's a very personal thing, and it's tied up with years of emotional eating and problems with food, weight and those dreaded scales. It's not a place I want to get back to, and I'm really struggling with shaking off the after-effects of a week spent starving in the sun! (#FirstWorldProblems, anyone?)