Weight is something I’ve always struggled with. I’m kind of cyclical. I go through phases of thinking I can eat whatever I want (obviously not true) which leads to weight gain. And then I’ll go for months at a time being strict with my diet and shedding pounds. I’m basically a bit of a yo-yo dieter. So how does travel affect my weight and what have I been doing to fix it?

Travelling, Weight and Fitness

C9 diet travel and fitness where is tara povey top irish travel blogger

Me on my first day kick starting my weight loss journey with D12 Performance Gym.

I find travelling definitely does NOT help my weight situation. I meet these guys on press trips who say things like “Man, I lose so much weight on these trips”, and I want to gouge their eyes out with my bread stick. Like, HOW?! How could anyone LOSE weight when you’re being fed incredible food pretty much all day. Having no set routine and hopping between time-zones makes it hard to focus on my well-being and exercise. And in some places I just do not have access to the kind of healthy food I need. Sitting around in airports, spending hours on trains, it all pushes me in the direction of convenience food, which rarely does my waistline any favours. It’s not so much about the exercise, because I love exercise. I would be the happiest person in the world if I could live beside a gym! I spent all of November and some of December doing HIIT training at D12 Performance and now I have a gym membership and go every other day when I am home in Dublin. But you cannot out exercise a bad diet. I’ve learned from experience that diet is the most effective way of shedding lbs.

I think I gain weight when I’m travelling because you grow up with this idea of “holiday mode” where it’s OK to over indulge on holiday because it’s only for a week. Plus when I’m travelling I want to try all the new and unusual foods that I can’t get at home. But my whole life is basically a “holiday” at this stage and that rule really doesn’t apply anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at ALL about what I do. But I’m just letting you know why I struggle with my weight when travelling.

It’s not that I think I look bad. I don’t. If anything I think I have body dysmorphia in the opposite way to most. I think I look pretty damn good! But then I might see a picture from an unflattering angle and I want to curl up in a ball and die. Or someone might say something to me like “You’ve got such a pretty face!”, or a brand will say, “You don’t need to do any bikini photos, don’t worry”. Like, excuse me? What are you trying to say?! If I’m being honest with myself I could feel it in my clothes recently. Things didn’t fit like they used to. The sizes I always bought weren’t fitting anymore. Things I’d worn the year before were too tight now. But looking in the mirror I really didn’t see it.

The one thing I do know about myself is that once I start a diet my body responds REALLY well. I’ve tried all the big hitters in the diet world, all with degrees of success because I’m REALLY good at following rules. I like math. I like numbers. I like formulas. So following instructions and counting calories can work well for me. It means I don’t have to think too much. That’s important for me, because if a diet is hassle, faff or too time consuming with food prep then I just won’t do it.

My Results

So, when I was at the Holiday World Show in January and heard about the C9 & F15 diets for the first time I thought, yeah, sure, I’ll give that a try.  What piqued my interest about the diet was the use of Aloe Vera as I had heard A LOT about its uses on my trip to Aruba. I thought the C9 diet would kickstart me into being serious about my weight-loss. And, well, it worked. I lost 7lb in the first week thanks to the C9 program. That was it, I was addicted to seeing the number on the scales go down. Then I started the F15 diet and I lost 3lb the second week, and 2lb the week after that. And on the third week I wasn’t even trying very hard because I had a friend’s birthday (read, I ate cupcakes) and my boyfriend was over from Rwanda so we went out for lunch a lot. But that still led to me being 12lbs down in three weeks. People kept commenting on how much weight I’d lost. I noticed that things were fitting me better. I noticed when I lay on my side in bed my stomach didn’t feel as bloated or rolled anymore (yeah, sexy). That feeling is addictive and incredibly motivating. So now I could not be more determined to continue eating well and shed more pounds. And it’s not just lbs I lost, I also lost inches from my chest, waist, hips, arms and thighs. Jackets I’d bought last year that wouldn’t fit my arms I could now wear and I was absolutely delighted.

How I Did it
The C9 & F15 Diets

C9 diet travel and fitness where is tara povey top irish travel blogger

The C9 Pack

So, how does the C9 program work? Well, each C9 pack contains the following;
2 x 1 litre bottle Forever Aloe Vera Gel
1 x Vanilla Flavoured Forever Lite Ultra Powder with Aminotein (15 servings)
1 x Forever Therm (18 tablets)
1 x Forever Garcinia Plus (54 softgels)
1 x Forever Fibre (9 packets)
1 x Shaker
1 x Tape Measure
1 x Information booklet

The information booklet contains all the info on how to do the diet, how it works, healthy recipes, exercise suggestions and a page for your measurements/weight. SO, you have to weigh and measure yourself before you start.

I weighed myself and I nearly DIED. I’m not telling you how heavy I was, but rest assured it was the heaviest I have ever been in my life. It actually scared me. I genuinely thought the scales had to be broken. I remember being nearly 20Kg (the scales I was using was in Kg for some reason) lighter like 5 years ago. 20KG!!! That’s 44lbs!! I mean I’m not saying I want to lose 20kg because that was 5 years ago and I was doing a lot of judo, but Jesus, I needed to drop at least 15kg/33lb (so now I have 9.5kg/21lbs left to lose). So, I think that was a really great motivational thing to do on the first day.

Everytime I wanted to deviate from the diet I thought about that number on the scales and worked through the craving or hunger. A lot of people say that the first two days are really hard because you mainly just have Aloe Vera and one shake, but I think I was so motivated and determined from the weigh in that I didn’t really find them that bad. I didn’t get a single headache. And I’m a migraine sufferer so I thought if anyone was going to get them it was going to be me. In fact, I only started to get headaches when I started incorporating sugar back into my diet (the cupcakes) in the third week. BUT, a word of warning, I do drink an awful lot of water. Apparently that is key for avoiding the headaches. So makes sure you’re getting at least 2.5litres into you a day if you decide to try the C9 yourself.

C9 diet travel and fitness where is tara povey top irish travel blogger

How could I NOT indulge when this birthday cake was around?! A girl has to make exceptions sometimes.

The first day all you do is drink Aloe Vera gel (the flavoured ones taste nicer) and have one shake at lunch time. You also take the supplements and some fibre to help prevent constipation. This is all provided in the C9 kit as mentioned above. You’re supposed to cut out all caffeine and fizzy drinks etc too. For the first two days I did this. But days 3-9 I mixed cold coffee with my shake because I’m obsessed with cold coffee. I figured it’s what I’ll be doing in real life anyway, so it can’t do much harm. Plus I removed half the milk portion of the shake and just used coffee instead. Which I figured has less calories anyway. You’re also supposed to do around 20 minutes of gentle exercise per day.

Days 3-9 is less aloe vera gel and an additional shake at breakfast. PLUS you can have a 600 calorie meal for dinner. For me this was usually an omelette and salad, baked potato and salad, rice cakes with cheese and salad, vegetarian chilli or something along those lines. I’m vegetarian so I’m slightly more limited. For you meat eaters you have plenty of options. There are suggested recipes in the booklet you receive in the C9 kit. I never counted the calories too much because, again, that would be too much effort for me. I “guesstimated” most of the time. Anyway, some days I had cravings for something sweet. Particularly on day 6. So, on those days I would have a spoonful, or two, of Proteinella (protein version of Nutella that I got from Lidl).

Weeks two and three I was a bit more lax. After the C9 was finished I started on the F15 which is similar to the C9 but you can intake more calories and you have to do more exercise. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t stick to it as strictly as I did with the C9. I had trips to the cinema where I ate a tonne of popcorn, a couple of dinners in Asian restaurants (I had vegetarian Nasi Goreng if you’re interested), a couple of cupcakes and a handful of jellies nearly every day. So yeah, I wasn’t exactly killing myself. But I wasn’t having big meals in the evening. If I was indulging it was normally at lunch so I was hungry going to bed. I made sure I asked for my coffee with skimmed or soy milk and other little things like that. I definitely wasn’t doing as much exercise as specified in the program because the weather was crap. I did a few squats and lunges and took a couple of short walks but that’s about it. You could definitely get better results if you were a bit more dedicated than me when doing the F15.

I would say it’s not the kind of diet you could do unless you’ll be in one place for the 9 days or 15 days. C9 and F15 can be purchased/delivered to nearly any country. But you wouldn’t want to be on the move because the pack is heavy and the Aloe Vera gel bottles are bulky. I did it while I was down in Wexford for a few weeks, so it worked perfectly for me.

Any Side Effects?

C9 diet travel and fitness where is tara povey top irish travel blogger

The Aloe Vera gel really helped my skin.

Luckily, I didn’t notice any negative side effects from this diet. I didn’t get any headaches apart from the sugar-induced migraine I previously mentioned which I managed to fight off with trusty old Alka-Seltzer. Honestly, I didn’t even have any mood-swings, which I am prone to when I’m hungry. I felt pretty good most of the time. I did notice that I didn’t have as much energy for exercise as I might normally have, but I suppose that makes sense considering I wasn’t consuming anywhere near as many calories. In fact, my skin and nails really benefited from taking the Aloe Vera gel daily. My skin is incredibly clear and my nails are stronger than ever.  So that’s a happy side effect of the diet! I’m not promising you won’t get “hangry” if you try it, but I found the hunger manageable. 

What Next?

Recent bad weather has put me off my game completely due to pretty much being housebound. I’ve probably gained a few lbs back at this stage. But I’m going to be back on the wagon from now and hopefully I can get that number on the scales down even further. Honestly I could do with losing another 30lbs, let alone 21lbs. Maybe that seems like a lot?  But I lost 12lbs in 3 weeks. So maybe I can lose 30lb in 3 months? That would be 10lb a month, which is about 2lb a week, which is pretty sustainable. That would be just in time for Summer! Fingers crossed. Otherwise I think I’ll see if I can do the whole curvy modelling thing since I apparently have “such a pretty face”, hah.


I was gifted the C9 and F15 kit. Ordinarily they cost €128.42 & €140.60 respectively. But if you’re not satisfied with the results they operate 60 day return policy. You can order the packs online here or contact your local Forever Living rep (mine was the lovely Marion). All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own. My mam actually went and bought a pack herself after seeing how well I got on with it. 

For a discount on your C9/F15 pack contact Marion – here or pop her an email at [email protected]

What are your top tips for losing weight while travelling?

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3 Responses

  1. Matt

    Great article.
    I just started out on my lose weight campaign.
    I’m hoping to lose about 10 kg so loving your website!

  2. john ray

    Great article. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I love how real you are. I think you look great no matter what!

  3. David Richards

    Great Stuff. I really enjoyed reading the valuable info that you always post! Congrats on your fitness/weight loss success!


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