My 21 day Transformation (including before and after pics!)

I have 4 countries left on my journey to every country in the world. Oman, Yemen, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Yemen (EDIT: I hitched hiked 4 days in a cargo ship to get to Socotra, Yemen!) and Saudi are causing me a lot of visa problems (EDIT: Here’s how I got my Saudi Visa!), so I’ve been back in my condo in Bangkok trying to work out how to get into those countries. That gave me one solid month to get my head down, catch up on some work, make some money and get back in shape with a 21 day challenge (aka 21 day transformation). How did I get on?

21 Day Challenge before and after pics

21 day challenge
Before I came back to Thailand, and after my 21 day challenge! Been working on my tan at the pool every day!
21 day challenge
21 day challenge

Why I needed the 21 day transformation

In my ‘normal life’, I love going to the gym. I love meeting new people, feeling healthy and strong but when you spend 10 out of every 12 months on the road, it’s hard to maintain. Last year in West in and Central Africa I was so stressed. It’s the hardest place in the world to travel. Corruption, danger, infrastructure, warzones, trying to stay alive, visas etc; all that combined with trying to buy an investment property in London whilst travelling. Trying launching a new business in Hong Kong (EDIT 2020 – It failed), relationship issues and maintaining my blog and my digital marketing business, it was a tough, but rewarding year.

Anyway, enough excuses, I got fat. The worst shape of my life kinda fat. Feeling lethargic, finding myself drinking beers in hotel bars on my own, too much sugar, awful sleeping patterns. And it was affecting my mental health. So I was back ‘home’ in Thailand. Time to fix it, but I only had a month. What to do? 21 day challenge.

How I got involved in the 21 day challenge bootcamp

I’m a member of an AWESOME Bangkok expat facebook group (40k+ people, amazing). I saw someone chatting about a 21 day challenge at one of Bangkok’s best gym, Aspire Club beside Asoke BTS (now in Phrom Pong). This could be perfect! So I signed up and went for a consultation where I met Dan, the owner. He explained all about the 21 day transformation bootcamp.

5.30am wake ups, mornings in the park, controlled diet, group classes. It won’t be easy he said, but Aspire guarantees results. Guarantees eh? Wow, I’ll put it to the test. For the bootcamp it was 5000THB ($140) if you sign up solo, 2999 ($84) if you’re referred by a friend. Not cheap by Thai standards, but if they guarantee results, then it’s worth every Thai Baht. Or you can sign up for the whole package so you can attend all the classes (TRX, Crossfit, Bootcamp, gym sessions etc), I did the latter option because I knew I’d be hitting it hard.

crossfit in bangkok
Rooftop Crossfit in downtown Bangkok!

I discovered that most of the trainers are foreigners here (Swiss, Australian, American etc), which is great for me as speaking in Thai is all well and good, but try being fluent in another language when you’ve just been deadlifting and squatting for an hour! Also, I had heard the community spirit and atmosphere at Aspire was brilliant, and I was looking forward to meeting new people. So I was good to go, starting with a 7am start in Benjakirri Park on the first Monday morning. Thrown in at the deep-end.

21 day bootcamp aspire
At the park at 7am for Bootcamp. A gorgeous way to start the day


21 days. Pretty manageable in your head, so my schedule was like this. During the whole challenge only took 2 rest days in my 21 days, I know people will complain about overtraining, but I wanted to hit it hard. My diet was good, I was eating and sleeping well, and although my body was hurting a little. So just I wanted to give it everything I had.

I worked out twice a day on most days. So in the 21 days, I think I did about 35 sessions. Ouch.

21 day challenge
Monster hiit class on my 21 day challenge


  1. 5.30am wake up for the 7-8am bootcamp in the park
  2. 6.30pm Metcon (30 mins) followed by 7pm Tabata (30 mins) OR crossfit 6.30-7.30


  1. 7.30am wake up for HIIT class in Aspire 9-10am
  2. 5.30pm or 7.30pm for 1 hour crossfit (all levels or foundation)


  1. 5.30am wake up for the 7-8am bootcamp in the park
  2. 6.30pm Crossfit for 1 hour


  1. 7.30am wake up for HIIT class in Aspire 9-10am
  2. 5.30pm Crossfit (1 hour) or Urban Warrior (flipping big tyres etc) at 6.30pm (1 hour)


  1. 5.30am wake up for the 7-8am bootcamp in the park
  2. 5.30pm or 6.30pm for 1 hour crossfit (all levels or foundation)


  1. 5.30am wake up for the 7-8am bootcamp in the park
  2. 4pm MONSTER HIIT (1 hour)


  1. 7.30am wake up for 9-10am crossfit on the rooftop
  2. 4pm Urban Warrior


The trainers at Aspire were brilliant, especially Jeff, the American coach. He kind of took ownership over the bootcamp challenge. He’s not just an expert with fitness stuff but also nutrition. We had a ‘diet’ workshop early on in the challenge, and whilst Jeff didn’t promote 21 days of abstinence, and then back to the real world. He did make sure we tightened up on our vices for 3 weeks. The general gist was this:

  1. No alcohol
  2. No sugar
  3. Finally, hardest, no carbs!

There are a million variations of these 3 things but this basically it. With the carbs, it was ‘allowed’ to have a tiny bit per day. But ideally within 3 hours of working out. The other 2 meals, steer clear. Booze was pretty simple, lay off it. If you can’t go for 3 weeks without alcohol, it’s a different kind of group class you should be attending, not a gym class!

The sugar meant that you shouldn’t be munching down on any smoothies, soft drinks, desserts etc, and also to lay off the heavy fruit too. Vegetables are the way forward.

I got around this with a tiny tweak and my general diet was this:


Oats/Muesli with fruit, skimmed milk, banana on top.

1 glass of home-made Vegetable/Fruit smoothie: Kale, Broccoli, watermelon, pineapple, apple. Nothing added other than a cup of water.


Salmon steak with vegetables OR lean meat and chilli (no carbs)


Thai curry (no rice) OR grilled chicken and Papaya Salad OR grilled fish


Protein Shakes twice a day (not mass gainer, 0 carbs)

Multivitamin tablet X 1

Cod Liver Oil Tablet X 1

Amino Acid tablet X 1


Only water. 3/4 liters per day

If I was meeting clients or blog readers, I’d have an iced green tea or iced americano (no sugar)

nutrition class bangkok

My thoughts on joining a 21 day transformation

I have never done group classes before, so this was new for me and you know what? I loved it! It’s completely changed my opinion of gyms, I really enjoyed working out with other people, and all the banter with people suffering alongside you! It’s also a great way to meet new people as an expat, so from now on, I’m going be in classes for sure.

21 day body challenge
Urban Warrior Class on my 21 day body challenge

Secondly, when I heard about Aspire, I knew it had a brilliant reputation but the price was a little scary, it’s certainly one of the more expensive options in Bangkok. But now having been there for a month I see why. Results is the name of the game, and they really do know their stuff. Not only that, the people and trainers are all great fun, so it’s kinda like being back at university where you look forward to going there each day. Also, if you work online, it’s brilliant to get you out of your apartment.

Crossfit Bangkok! Right, so it’s a bit of a cult. I have seen it online for years and people going crazy about it, so finally I gave it a shot. Wow, first of all, it’s much tougher than I thought. Secondly, the community. I kinda see why people go crazy for it. It’s competitive, but in a way that others push you, wanting you to be better. I loved it, and will definitely continue.


What can I say. Working online, you can wake up whenever you want, which often becomes 10am, so your first meal is lunch. Not a good way to live your life. Bootcamp got me up early. It extended my day. It cleared my thoughts. I lost my biggest client this month and still had my best month for over half a year, when I had expected it to be the worst. Certainly no coincidence. My mind is clear, I’m feeling optimistic and motivated. I’m off to Oman next week, and I’m already thinking about doing another 21 day bootcamp as soon as I return.


For a start, if you’re lucky enough to be in Bangkok, do this! i’ll be back in July so I’ll see you there!

If you’re not in Thailand, set yourself your own challenge. 21 days is so achievable, it’s not too scary, and the results (if you’re strict) are amazing! Anyway, I’m off to bed, is my final assessment for bootcamp tomorrow, which means another 5.30am start, NetFlix beckons!

PS: Don’t go to a gym in a foreign country without travel insurance. $10 a week should do it

New gym buddies!
New gym buddies!

Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!

I use HeyMondo. You get INSTANT quotes. Super cheap, they actually pay out, AND they cover almost everywhere, where most insurance companies don't (even places like Central African Republic etc!). You can sign-up here. PS You even get 5% off if you use MY LINK! You can even sign up if you're already overseas and traveling, pretty cool.

Also, if you want to start a blog...I CAN HELP YOU!

Also, if you want to start a blog, and start to change your life, I'd love to help you! Email me on In the meantime, check out my super easy blog post on how to start a travel blog in under 30 minutes, here! And if you just want to get cracking, use BlueHost at a discount, through me.

Also, (if you're like me, and awful with tech-stuff) email me and my team can get a blog up and running for you, designed and everything, for $699 - email to get started.

Do you work remotely? Are you a digital nomad/blogger etc? You need to be insured too.

I use SafetyWing for my digital nomad insurance. It covers me while I live overseas. It's just $10 a week, and it's amazing! No upfront fees, you just pay week by week, and you can sign up just for a week if you want, then switch it off and on whenever. You can read my review here, and you can sign-up here!


So if you’re ready to…..

1) Change your life
2) Travel the world
3) Get paid to travel
4) Create a positive influence on others
5) Be free of offices and ‘real world’ rubbish

Then Sign Up Below and Let’s Get Started!

Follow me on Instagram @onestep4ward