Archive | January, 2012

The Herald, The Edge: Clontarf, and I – Week 2

27 Jan

The Herald, The Edge: Clontarf and I

Week Two:

This week I have begun a food diary. This is a great tool in keeping control of my eating and also helps my trainer to see if there are certain foods that may be affecting me in a positive/negative way.


Friday 20th Jan – 10 stone 5lbs or 66 kilos

Friday 27th Jan = 10 stone 1lb or 64kilos

Body fat from 20% to 19.5%

Training Day five:

Friday 20th Jan. David. Body-fat.This is the dreaded weekly weigh-in and body fat measurement that tracks my progress. Once my shoes, all jewelry and anything on the body that may possibly register as a 1/100 of a pound are removed, I hold my breath and step on the scales. Next, a small velvet lined wooden box is opened and out comes the loathsome caliper with a sort of barometer attached. This will pinch all the areas we suck in, cover up and squeeze tight. There are measurements of the front armpit fat, the belly button and the under-the-boob extra roll etc, etc, embarrassing, embarrassing.

Once prodded like a basting turkey, the upshot of this humiliating ordeal is that each week, the results are positive. By pinching and prodding all the lumpy bits, he can tell me whether I need to increase or decrease my sugar, carbs, greens, proteins, whining and whimpering. I had lost 1% body fat and 1 kilo.

Then we train! The crotch-bashing machine was back in play, as were the gruesome lunges. The mere mention of ‘Military Burpee’s’ makes my spine turn to jelly. They are utter horror! And so another near death experience in The Edge!

 Training Day six:

Sunday 22nd Jan. Alex. Again we boxed. Already I am stronger and am beginning to develop some stamina. I didn’t need to put my head between my legs in order to stay conscious, but it was by no means any easier. The trainers have an uncanny skill in assessing your utter limit and pushing you right to the brink. I have a decent punch in my right arm but my left is as useful as a swinging length of string. Boxing challenges the whole body trying to hit hard while bouncing around, concentrating on combinations and cardio. It is a high intensity session where boxing, burpees, crunches and push-ups are drilled at high speed. I am a pacifist and would never join an army, but boxing feels very much like military initiation!

Training Day seven:

Monday 23rd Jan. David. Walking in to The Edge always involves a level of giddy trepidation. I know I will suffer but I also know it will end with a certain elation. On this sunny winter morning David suggests we do Body Fat again, now I feel nothing but anxiety. As it turns out, this particular pinch made me very happy indeed.

David has trained me in the past and can read my body like a copy of “Training for Dummies”. He knew I should have lost more and lo and behold, since Friday, another 2 kilos! I was feeling very smug indeed.

David is like a one-man pit stop; he knows exactly where and when I need a tune up. Yes, I realize I am comparing myself to a Formula 1 racecar, a Ferrari may be a stretch but I don’t see why I can’t be a well-maintained vintage Ford Mustang.

The training session was hard, as always, but a little less crucifying than previous days. All in all, my favorite day so far!

Weight on Monday 23rd Jan = 10 stone 1lb or 64kilos

Body fat 19.5%

Training Day eight:

Wednesday 25th Jan. Brendan. Although Bren is a lovely guy, he decided to punish me for referring to him as a very polite trainer. This he is, but little did I know that in this testosterone factory, to be deemed polite is a slight on their machismo?

I really should know by now that the occasional ‘please’ and ‘well done’ is somewhat hollow when you are punished for failing to lift those weights in those crippling final reps.

Punishment in the form of more reps is quite simply torture, BUT there is method in this cruelty. The mere threat somehow finds that extra push and that primal urge based purely on will and those weights somehow make it one more time. It is a psychological and physical battle but strangely enough, it feels a lot like meditation. When your mind spends an hour solely focused on the body, it’s amazing how refreshed your brain feels after.

It is impossible to train to any degree of success when you’re mentally preoccupied, but the challenges faced in The Edge will very quickly introduce that focus.


The Herald, The Edge: Clontarf and I

20 Jan

The Herald, The Edge: Clontarf, and I

Where I’m coming from:

Two years ago I was introduced to a man that I would grow to both love and despise, for the same reasons and in equal measures. He would eventually transform me into the woman I always wanted to be, all the while ordering me to get on my knees, lie down, jump up, push harder and generally, be different.

He is my Personal Trainer.

This time last year I was knee deep in table plans, RSVP’s and ribbon. It was the build up to my wedding in May and the best gift I could possibly receive (apart from my husband’s hand, of course!) was from the superstar Personal Trainers at The Edge Clontarf who awarded me an incredible prize of 12 weeks personal training.

I literally worked my ass off weight training 3 days a week with Matt, my trainer, plus a couple of extra days in the gym, coupled with a healthy and very balanced eating plan the weight fell off and the muscle built up. I lost 21lbs/9.5kilos and felt 18 again. It was extremely hard work but it was also the single most rewarding challenge I have ever taken on.

Alas, my honeymoon in Sicily included lots of pizza and pasta and the following months passed with a guilty conscience and an expanding waistline. I didn’t let myself go completely, but there was a marked difference between the Fiona Bride and the Christmas Fiona.

Now I am back, and through my collaboration with the Herald and The Edge Clontarf, I plan to show people the incredible results that can be achieved in only 6 weeks. It’s hard work, it includes sacrifice and dedication but I have learned my lesson this year. I will never feel bad about my body again!

The Herald is following 3 victims/volunteers over a 6 week period and will publish our results at the end. Watch this space!


Friday 13th Jan – 10 stone 7lbs or 67 kilos

Friday 20th Jan – 10 stone 5lbs or 66 kilos

Body fat from 21% to 20%

Week One

Training Day one:

Friday the 13th Jan. What a great day to start. What else happened on Friday the 13th? All I can think about is those poor souls who’s plane crashed in the Andes and they were forced to feed on their dead friends to stay alive, they flew on Friday 13th. And then there’s Jason, he butchered lots of buxom blonde’s and beefy jocks, albeit fictional, but there’s a reason the film uses that date.

My first training session in The Edge: Clontarf felt like Jason had drained all the blood from my body while beating me with an iron bar and chasing me at high speed in an oxygen deprived chamber. I was pathetic! David, my personal trainer, was impatient and pushed me to my limit but his expertise recognized when I was on the brink and allowed me to breathe. These little triumphs, i.e. permission to breathe, become as significant as curing cancer when in training in The Edge.

I did my best, which was weak and feeble, but began eating well immediately. I wasn’t going to feel nauseous, light headed, muscle cramp and sheer exhaustion just to negate the benefits with a mere baguette.

Training Day two:

Saturday 14th Jan. Alex, the baby faced assassin of The Edge! He is young, cute, fit and a genuine, lovely guy, but he will annihilate you. Boxing was the punishment of the hour and I was actually looking forward to it.

Be careful what you wish for.

Punching the pads, while bouncing around the gym trying to hit hard and focus on the combinations is great method in keeping your mind off the jelly forming in the legs, the vacuum being created within the lungs and the sudden inability to move your arms faster than the speed of Nana, at least for about 30 seconds.

Boxing is about strength and cardio, which, for an ex long term smoker, is the stuff of torture. We used the bag; we squatted, lunged, crunched and rowed. All agonising but the time flies by and after one hour, it’s done! It took my face around an hour to return to its former pale complexion and dinner would most definitely be fish and greens. I worked too bloody hard to ruin it in the seconds it takes to munch some fatty rubbish.

Training Day three:

Monday 16th Jan. Ciaran, The Edge trainer of the year 2011. They are pimping me about The Edge but it is all the same program that David has set. It gives me an opportunity to report on all their skills and to give a broad overview of the facility. Oh and to prove my theory that personal trainers are obviously of a certain sadistic, evil ilk!

Already I feel a little stronger, we did some more dreaded squats and lunges and I was very ungracefully arched over a monstrosity of a machine that works (and punishes) the “love handle” area while pounding the pelvic bone, and not in a good way. Ouch!

The laughs were loud as it always is in The Edge, they really are good guys, but nothing can drown out the shrieks of frustration when the two 6 kilo weights refuse to go higher than the top of my head. It’s not even just pain, it’s utter resistance and muscles just shut down refusing point blank to answer. This is the beginning of the inner challenge to get stronger and nail those presses.

Training Day four:

Wednesday 18th Jan. James, co-director of The Edge (with David) and a very buff and very bendy champion kick-boxer. He murdered me. I actually think a part of me died in the gym that day. I have decided it was a fat part of me that died.

The previous day I had a leisurely swim and sauna to sweat out any toxins I may be holding on to and felt refreshed and ready to tackle the weights, little did I know what awaited me in Clontarf that day. Not only was I subjected to squats and lunges with weights, but James thought it beneficial to give my abs several open handed slaps while I held my knees up and hung from bars. With a brain void of oxygen and focused only on staying alive, the only retaliation I was capable of in my exhausted state was name calling. They are tough guys though and don’t seem to take any offence.

Eating MUST remain uber healthy. I am not suffering this for nothing!


The Herald

20 Jan

The Herald


The Edge

20 Jan

The Edge