Pure Results Fitness Camp – Pure & Simple
She’s a 44-year-old avid walker who had always dreamt about mixing up her fitness regime and doing a bootcamp to shed the pounds, but MANDY KILLORAN, from Enniscrone, Sligo, never had the confidence or the courage to take that first step… until now. In July, she was named the winner of RSVP’s amazing reader competition – an exclusive week at Pure Results Fitness camp – and she packed her bags to join RTÉ presenter Kathryn Thomas and her expert team at the stunning Temple Lodge and Spa in Moate, Co. Westmeath for seven days.
RSVP met with Mandy, Kathryn and the bootcamp crew half way through the week to see if the experience was everything she hoped it would be. Between life coaching, nutrition talks and exercise plans, each day is action-packed and intense, but Mandy describes it as a “life changer” and after only a few days she is ready to embrace a new mind and body. Also, Kathryn introduces her fitness fanatic sister and co-worker Linda, who talks sibling rivalry, knocking door-to-door to drum up new business and why the goal is to make Pure Results Ireland’s best premier retreat.
Kathryn, your bootcamps are soaring, congrats! Were you always into fitness?
Not really, when I was a kid I was always a tomboy, running around, climbing trees rather than being sporty. I did play a bit of football in my teens but then I went to college and drank beer for a year. When I was 21 I started running and loved it. These days I work out with Siobhán from BodyByrne and recently I started Pilates which I love.
Why do you train so much, is it to stay in shape and be slim?
I love how it makes me feel. I am not the same person when I don’t get out and train. I also have to do it because I love my food. Operation Transformation has been in my life for six years and I see the difference it makes in people; it is not about the number on the scales, it’s about what is happening in the mind – and it is the same for me. If I don’t get out running, I get agitated and I need to burn it off. Also, I love the endorphins that come with it.
Do you watch what you eat? If you are out for dinner with your partner, Padráig, would you eat pizza and have a glass of wine?
Oh my God, I would have the starter, main course, dessert, cheese, wine… the whole works. Our date night is generally Tuesday or Wednesday night when he is off and I love to try new restaurants and food. We could have the pizza or the Chinese on the Sunday also but you know you have to work the rest of the week.
I take it Padráig is also into fitness, is that important to you?
It just makes life easier, I think. But Pádraig went through his own issues – he was playing rugby for Clontarf when he started doing shift work and gained four-and-a-half stone. He woke up one day and said, “That is it”, and lost it. He has run 14 marathons at this stage.
You started your own business when you already had a successful career, why? Were you thinking about the future, was it a big plan you had thought about?
No, I didn’t think enough about it! I thought I would trial it for six weeks and see how it went, that I would get everyone together and make them feel wonderful, give them back a little bit of confidence, exercise, etc. I had six weeks off from TV land and I thought I would give it a go.
So you have faced challenges along the way?
You are constantly trying to sell and keep on top of that. I have 12 full-time staff, an office in town, rent to pay but this is how fast it has grown which is incredible.
Are you a worrier?
No, I am super confident and always believe there is a solution to everything. If something is not working you just have to find a new way to make it work. That is my mindset.
How do you fit it all in with your television career?
It is chaotic, it is mental, it is busy – but I love it.
Do you love it more than presenting?
Presenting will always be my career but this makes me so proud. I am so proud of my team and I get to meet incredible people; we give them back something they thought they lost and to me that is priceless, cliché and all as it sounds.
Your sister, Linda, has now joined the Pure Results team? How did you entice her?
I had a conversation with her at Christmas time. Linda’s whole area is brand development and I told her that I thought the camps could sky rocket and become a huge business. My focus is making this Ireland’s best premier retreat, that is the goal and where we are all going.
What is it like having your sister involved, do you guys fight?
No, I love it and we get on so well. I was worried when she was coming from Google and we were working at my kitchen table until 2am. I said to her, “There will be no free food and manicures here!” We were knocking door-to-door, handing out flyers.
So you really knocked on doors and went and found your clients.
Yes, 100%. We found out where our demographic was coming from so we hit South County Dublin to Cork. Then, when the word of mouth started to spread, we got more and more clients, and Linda has done a huge amount with the website and social media.
Is Pádraig involved in the business as he features in a lot of the promo shots?
No, he is not. He is just the model we roped in! When we were starting out we had to build a website which I had no idea about, so we went to a designer who asked me for imagery and I had none. We got all my friends, including Pádraig, down for two days to do shots and they worked out great.
Do you particapte in all the camps?
We have two locations, Parknasilla Resort and Spa, Co. Kerry and then here in Temple Lodge and Spa in Co. Westmeath which is very close to Dublin so I can get in the car at 6am and arrive for the first class at 7am. The course is seven days and I’m here for about four of the seven because it is such a new business and I’m a perfectionist when it comes to the team. I also need to know that people are getting value for their money and they have the experience that they want.
There is a lovely atmosphere here for a bootcamp, a great bunch of trainers and participants – who are your clients?
They are 85/90% women who have one thing in common: they don’t give themselves enough time. Yes, bootcamp may seem like an intimidating word and when people look at the timetable they may panic, but you must remember this is balanced with recovery class, body balance and meditation. We have Gerry Hussy involved, a sports physiologist, so it is about reminding women that they are amazing, they are incredible and they are strong. Clients are here for the week, away from their families and some may feel vulnerable, may have low days, be going through the emotions of a detox or they may be going through something in their lives so we don’t want any sergeant majors. I wanted a supportive, inclusive team. We are all in it together, whether we are serving dinners or cleaning the dishes, including me.
So it’s about the mind as much as the body then?
It is all about the mind; it’s about changing your mentality. Of course, people come wanting to lose 5lbs or 10lbs, but as the week goes on it is not really about the weight. It is about building bonds, finding the strengths within yourself and doing stuff you never thought you would be able to do. It is about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
And you mix all standards and levels of fitness?
You don’t want to segregate people, or put them in a box and make them feel they are with a certain group. There are people here who are super fit and others who have weight to lose – it’s about personal achievement. You could be working out with people who are at totally different levels but everyone is giving 100%.
Linda Thomas – Director of New Business Development
Linda, welcome home, are you back in Ireland for good now to work with Pure Results?
Pure Results is seasonal so the dream is to live in both places. I moved back home from LA to be involved but I plan to go back there in September. I have a green card so I will do some consulting work on the side, along with working on Pure Results which is flying along.
Could you see this becoming more than just a seasonal gig?
Yes, we are going to move into the corporate business now. We have some great partnerships with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland helping us. There are also some exciting ideas in the pipeline. Pure Fitness is not just about fitness, it is about wellness too and we are putting Ireland on the map for that.
You were working with Google in LA so was it a big decision to leave?
I worked in Google in Ireland for three years and then got a gig doing business development with a new start-up Google acquired in LA. Kathryn and I always wanted to work together and I thought this idea was amazing. We both share a love for fitness and business so it wasn’t scary for me at all. Google really encourage the start-up area and I have no regrets leaving at all.
And Kathryn says you guys get on?
We get on great, honestly, we do! She is three years older so it is a small difference.
Is she bossier than you?
She would be a little bossier. I may be the softer of the two but she is a real motivator and driver, whereas I’m the organised, productive one. We have fun together; we are similar in lots of ways but different in others.
So there is no competition between you guys then?
No, we are competitive people but we have been very clear about what my role is and what her role is, and what we do together. When we were kids, we were competitive in sports as we were achievers but we have both done very well in our own ways.
Are you in a relationship?
Let’s just say not right now, but I’m dating.
Are the dates into fitness and health?
Yes keeping fit and being outdoorsey is a big factor for me – they’d have to share those interests!
Have you always been into wellness and fitness?
Kathryn and I have changed so much over the last few years. We were the party girls having fun for a while – and we still enjoy going out – but as you get older you want to look after yourself more. I saw a lot of that in LA but the wave has certainly hit Ireland now.
Have you other siblings?
Yes, two brothers, one little brother who is ten years younger and an older brother. We all get on great, we are a tight bunch.
Mandy Killoran – Competition winner
Mandy, congratulations on winning the competition. Is this bootcamp everything you expected?
Yes, it is. I suppose there is more of a team bonding feel to it that I didn’t expect. I came here on my own and I was very nervous, but everyone is fantastic, we are one big team and the support of the leaders has been amazing.
Why did you enter this competition with RSVP to win a week at Pure Results?
I have dreamt about something like this for years but, to be honest, I wouldn’t have had the courage to do it. I walk a lot, sometimes up to ten miles a day, but my fitness levels had slipped and I didn’t have the confidence to mix it up. I felt I wouldn’t be able to do a bootcamp. But it is amazing what you can do, when you are in a team and have support. Anyone can do this! I am here to lose weight; I’m 44 and would love to lose a stone. It is the motivation I needed to get back into training. There are loads of bootcamps where I live but I was afraid to join them because I thought I wouldn’t be good enough for them but now I know I am.
So have you gained confidence in yourself from being here?
Yes, I feel I can do anything now. It wasn’t just diet and exercise, it was the positive feeling you get in your mind and body. It is a life changer and, hopefully, I will never go back to where I was at previously.
A life changer is a powerful way to describe it!
It really has changed my life already. I am going away a different person.
Will you keep it up?
Yes, my Saturday mornings will be spent at bootcamp on the beach at home – I can do it now.
Interview by Jane Lundon