UL Transforms: Mamie Hayes - MY FINAL WEEK

Friday, 16th March 2018

UL Transforms week 7 (9th – 15th March)


Friday                                   10,408 steps.  Slightly down from what I’d normally do on a Friday as I drove to work and there was no gym, I had other commitments.  No time to cook either so I treated myself to a Lana, delicious!!!


Saturday                              9,876 steps.  Disappointed, I just missed the threshold by a few steps, I fell asleep L  Today I cooked something different, Spaghetti Bolognese with gluten free pasta.  I don’t know why I decided to cook that as every time I do it tastes so bland even though I added plenty of honey, basil and garlic.  As for the pasta, never again it stuck together despite pulling it apart strand by strand and that was just as bland.  Though it looked nice on the plate, I won’t be cooking it again.


Sunday                                 10,203 steps.  Walked to The Castletroy Park and back, it’s a nice walk 40 minutes each way. 


Monday                               13,140 steps.  This evening there was no gym, though I had packed the gear bag this morning, I was just too tired from all the walking yesterday and today.  I remember saying “oh, I can’t wait to go to bed” and my leg wasn’t even out of it yet.


Tuesday                               13,213 steps.  Feel fine, had a lunchtime walk and off to the gym later.  Twenty minutes on the treadmill and tonight something different, the Vertical Chest Bench for your triceps and chest.

Wednesday                       11,777 steps.  Gym again this evening.  If you’ve never tried this before, try the Glutes & Hamstring Extension for your glutes (buttocks), lower back and hamstrings.  Not for the faint hearted this machine is an animal and you feel every inch of muscle burn.  Though in saying that they’re all animals if you can push that little bit further.


Thursday                             So far over 7,000 steps, it’s after 8:30pm and I’m still at work wrapping it up for the last time, it’s all over and it’s hard to imagine the 7 weeks are up but I’m not finished I will continue to hop on and off those machines!  I hope you have got some enjoyment from the dramas, the highs and lows of all my blogs and maybe you will follow suit.  For a lowdown on my experience throughout the whole process you can read my final synopsis of the UL Transforms below.


What have I enjoyed most?

Surprisingly, the most enjoyable aspect of the challenge was the physical activity, walks to work, lunchtime walks and the gym which I now attend regularly.  This is a big deal for me given my past non-existent exercises.  As long as my Mp3 doesn’t die during workouts I won’t get bored and despite getting in late from the gym I don’t mind, I’m amazed at my steely determination and resistance to give up.  Actually the Fitbit is another incentive to keep it up though it has gone a bit bonkers lately, probably can’t keep up with the steps!


What I found most challenging. 

The hardest part of the challenge was the nutritional aspect.   For a start, I don’t have a great appetite and when my calorie intake was bunked up to 1,500/day I nearly fainted.  How could I possibly consume that much?  Well I didn’t and for that reason I was not a great nutritional ambassador for the campus.  Though I have now started cooking more with healthier options.

Also, when I was chosen as one of the leaders I was quite apprehensive as I was happy enough to be a follower because as you all know from my introductory blog I have a sedentary job, wasn’t very active, didn’t like exercise and my eating habits were chronic.

I also thought it was very invasive in the sense that I like to keep myself to myself but it involved social media, blogs, video diaries (which I hated) etc and that to me was a big obstacle.  It was like every layer of my individualism was going to be peeled back and I was exposed to everyone.  I doubted my ability and could I sustain it?


The benefits I am feeling from it.

Nutrition - I don’t indulge in junk food anymore and I have stuck with it but if I do get the urge it’s very rare.  I have also extended the microwave’s life by staying well away from ready meals, cooking more often and experimenting with smoothies.

Fitness - I feel fitter and stronger, the kg’s are getting heavier at the gym and I am extending the sets.

Mental well-being – Knowing that I consumed no junk, been for regular walks and have weekly gym workouts is well-being enough for me.


My plans going forward, my lifestyle, aims, plans for the future etc.

Well that’s easy, I’m going to sustain it by eating healthily and exercising more by making the time!


Why the initiative should continue into the future.

Being the first of its kind on campus, the initiative should definitely continue.  It showed remarkable strength and determination between us as leaders and qualities we didn’t know we had.  Personally, I didn’t think I’d be worthy as a leader but the organisers did so I couldn’t say no.  It got me off the couch and it will get you off too. 

It broadened my knowledge of macro/micronutrients, something I didn’t care much for but am now very much aware of how important they are in our daily diets and on our bodies.

Most of all, think of the feel good factor, the endorphins released through your body without the need for medical intervention through a balanced diet and regular exercise.


What I will miss most now that it is finished.

Well, I’m not going to miss anything because I’m going to sustain it by exercising regularly, cooking more often and staying healthy.


I would like to thank the organisers for introducing this very worthy and memorable challenge to the University of Limerick.  May it develop further and make an impression on all of our lives here on campus and to the mentors who helped and encouraged us along the way.

Roberta Harrington – Deputy President Welfare Officer, ULSU

Neasa O’Donnell – Senior Executive Sports Administrator, UL Arena

John O’ Rourke – Deputy Chief Operations Officer, PCC

Ellen Fitzmaurice – General Manager Student Residences, PCC

Dr. Catherine Norton – Performance nutritionist and dietitian, PESS

Dr. Lucy Smith – Deputy Head of Counselling, Éist


Best of luck future transformers,