Garry Noakes – Body Attack’s THE FITTEST 2018





Last April, shortly after the release of the new Body Attack 100, Les Mills announced their competition to celebrate the 100th release of Body Attack. They had three major categories to win – The Original, The Fittest, The Best Team. Hundreds of instructors around the world submitted their entries to Les Mills. One morning, Garry got an email from Les Mills saying that he’s one of the 10 finalists in the THE FITTEST category. He already felt like a winner just to be shortlisted. He didn’t really expect anything after that.

On 17th May, Les Mills released the video of the amazing Lisa Osborne, announcing all the winners of the Body Attack 100 competition. Garry was absolutely gobsmacked the moment he heard his name being mentioned by Lisa Osborne. He couldn’t believe that he won THE FITTEST category.  The other winners were from Australia – The Original, and The Best TEam from USA, and him from the UK. Garry is turning 61 years old this 14th June, and he is still loving his Body Attack journey. For someone his age to be so strong and still doing Body Attack, that is amazing. I don’t know anyone else his age teaching Body Attack. It only proves that age is just a number. Age doesn’t stop us from doing what we love to do. He’s such an inspiration to all. An inspiration to me and to his daughter.

What an amazing news and recognition indeed! Thank you Les Mills! Thank you Lisa Osborne! Thank you universe for all the positive energy coming our way!

Well done Garry!  Alyanna and I are so proud of you! We love you! xxx

For Personal Training at DW Fitness First Bedford, email Garry –

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18 years


My husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary yesterday, 22nd July. Our first wedding was in Uxbridge, London, in 1999. The simplest wedding you can ever imagine. We did not really spend anything on that day. We did our small reception at my in-laws’ house and had very few guests. Nothing fancy.  We did our big wedding in Manila, where my over 200 relatives live. Haha Yes, we saved our money for our big church wedding in Manila in 2000.

It’s been 18 years, and when you have a partner who loves you dearly with all his heart, accepting just the way you are, life is beautiful. I feel that every single day since we got married. Of course, you can’t avoid the ups and downs in every relationship but what makes ours different is we are together in every way. We have the same interest, same passion, same craziness. We only have cultural differences but we have the same passion. Our daughter knows exactly what I’m talking about. She grew up with a very loving atmosphere.

Recently, a mother and daughter, supposedly old friends whom I considered family since I lived in Germany, accused me and my family of faking our happy posts on Facebook. That I try to portray a happy life but in reality, I’m a vile person. Only people who feel jealous of your happy life say this. They must be that miserable. Well, it’s my turn to hit back darlings and I am not sorry for what I’m about to say.

All my family and friends know, those who are close to me know that I speak my mind in social media. I don’t hide my feelings. If I am angry, I express it. If I’m happy, it is infectious that everyone could feel that happiness. I am probably one of the most honest person you’ll ever encounter. But to accuse me of FAKING happiness, that is them, and it’s something they obviously do and in fact, going through. They obviously feel so jealous of a great relationship that we have as a family. I was obviously being watched closely by these people all these years without knowing that this is how they have always seen me – VILE.  Well, what can I do with that?

This person you’re calling horrible is the person who cancelled all her schedule every time you were around London, just to meet up with you and your family. This person is the person who saved her hard earned money for her trainfare, so when you’re finally over, she has money to pay for her expenses. This vile person never forgot to greet your birthdays on Facebook and kept in touch wholeheartedly. This person ignored your provoking comments on Facebook just because you hate her President. This person gave up her performing career to focus on family, and be there for her child, and always been happily married. This person is so loved by her husband that he pampers her everyday in simple ways. This person would rather have an enemy than be FAKE to anyone. So to accuse me of faking happiness that I share on Facebook, I am indeed laughing as it is a sign of jealousy.

I just wish that they would look at themselves in the mirror first because once they see their real reflection, it won’t be as pleasant either.

And eversince they found out that I am a Duterte supporter, they have attacked me on Facebook because of our political differences. Isn’t that pathetic? Politics, Religion, and friendships. Not a good mix really. They ruin all relationships. I don’t react on what they post on Facebook, but they always had something to say about mine.

Lastly, I am confident that all my posts on Facebook are genuine, honest, real and ME. What you see is what you get. That’s me. It’s a pity that some people are too jealous of people like me who can freely speak their minds. I really don’t care about who likes me or not. I have one amazing man who truly loves the real me and who sees me beautifully. All my posts about how caring my husband is, they are all true. For 18 years of our happy marriage, he made me feel so special. Made me breakfast in bed when he’s around and not busy. He didn’t make me feel like a slave unlike other husbands who are so bossy, and just expected their wives to cook for them all the time. For one thing, I am not that kind of wife who gets fatter and fatter every year. I looked after myself all these years to look good for my husband. My husband and I have a healthy relationship, not perfect, but we are happy.  At least my husband is not a boring man.

Never insult my family. You know nothing about our journey and the trials we’ve survived. Our daughter is so proud of her parents, who are not couch potatoes at our age – just sitting down, pigging out, getting fatter and fatter, doing nothing. I am 46 years old, and my husband turned 60 last month. This photo was taken yesterday. Our daughter has the most hardworking parents inspiring people to take care of themselves, get fit, achieve their goals and be happy.

These people always talked about people’s lives. All I can say now is SAD. It is very sad that your true colours were just revealed now, when you have been feeling this against me for so long. I wasted my time and money travelling to London just to see you. Goodbye,  B family.  We will not miss you at all.  Call me stupid, idiot, but I’d rather be one than to pretend upper class with a pretentious accent, that is obviously Visayan no matter how hard you try to be Bri-ish. LOL You have no British accent at all darling, neither your kids. I will never forget that scene when you slapped your daughter in the face for no reason. Nope, not for being naughty. She was just excited to say something and you wer impatient. Garry and I were witnesses of that. Since that moment, we thought you’re a horrible mother!  How you behaved in public made me ashamed of knowing you.

My advice:  Remove people in your life who are not happy with your success, and simply not happy for you. Never be afraid to be YOU.



Remembering our Wedding day…

9th March, 2000 – our church wedding day in Manila, Philippines. It was our second wedding actually as we got married in civil ceremony in London in July 1999. We really planned our wedding in Manila as my family and relatives were mostly there. My relatives and friends came all the way from USA, Germany, Canada, UK, Cebu, Pangasinan. It was indeed a grand reunion of people closest to our hearts. Garry’s brother, Bob, came from London. That’s his first time in Asia and he had a blast.

I remember flying to Philippines twice in three months whilst planning our church wedding. I even spent Christmas with my family there and had a brilliant time. I don’t know how I managed to put an international entourage. All my best friends from childhood who are now in America, to High School, to College, were there. Out priest was the brother of my High School bestfriend. It was so special. But I guess when you know you have found the right person you want to be with for the rest of your life, suddenly everything seems to be easy.


I was a beautiful bride, if I may say so. Ehem! Haha  My good friends made me look so beautiful in that beaded Indian silk gown, designed by my lovely friend. My make-up was just perfect as it wasn’t too dark, and it was very appropriate for a blooming bride.


My parents were still around during our wedding day. My dad passed away in 2003, three years after my wedding. My Mommy passed away in 2012. Mommy was able to visit us in the UK, when I was due to give birth. She was able to enjoy her granddaughter, who was born in 2002.


To my super loving husband who made me feel special all these years, I love you. I have no regrets after 16 years of being married to you. No one can ever replace you in my heart. Most of all, we were blessed with a beautiful daughter.

Happy 16th Wedding Anniversary, Garry!  ❤



FitSteps fun…

I’m very proud of my FitSteppers. I have the best ones in class and they are all really lovely. Thank you so much everyone. I’m loving every moment teaching you FitSteps. Some routines can be challenging but they are all good. So keeeeeeep dancing! 😀

My classes are every Wednesday at 7:15pm, and every Friday at 11am, Brickhill Community Centre, Avon Crive, Bedford. See you there! 😀



My first time to join RACE FOR LIFE this year and it was amazing! I ran 5K and I had the most wonderful time. Meeting people fighting cancer, people who lost their loved ones with cancer, and people simply supporting Cancer Research UK. Thank you to all my amazing friends who sponsored me. I raised £115 in total. I exceeded my target which was £100. Great day indeed! xx

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That’s what friends are for?

I have questioned the definition of ‘FRIENDSHIP’ since I have been treated unfairly, used for their own convenience, been talked about unjustly, and been bossed around constantly.

I am not perfect myself. I made a lot of mistakes in my life. Pleasing wrong people was one of my mistakes. I used to tolerate how they made me feel but then I’ve learned to fight. I’ve learned how to defend myself. I remember posting this Four Phantoms with Nicole Scherzinger on Facebook singing at the Royal Variety Show here in the UK, the next thing I knew, I was being belittled by an old colleague for appreciating it. That these celebrities are taking away theatre jobs from trained musical people. Yep, and I’m the one with a ‘small mind’?

I made myself proud the moment I stood up for myself after being trapped in a ‘one way friendship’ for years and from being looked down on by someone who always thought of herself ‘superior’. All these years I never felt inspired by her. Every time I called her, there were no praises or sympathy for me whether good or bad news. My husband always warned me about her, but I never listened and kept pleasing her instead.

True FRIENDS support each other, happy for each other. You don’t stab them in the back.

I knew I was not really being considered their friends when my daughter was not asked by her godmothers to be a flower girl. I was hurt by that snobbish gesture. Yes, I felt that we’re not friends at all because friends don’t do that. I felt that my daughter was not good enough for them. But we still went to that wedding even if it was kinda expensive for us. We paid for the present we were asked to sponsor. We were there to wish the couple. I still kept good friendship with them after that. Forgiveness is always practiced in my heart. Whenever they needed shelter in the UK whilst doing a show, they were welcome in my house. I still treated them nice.

I worked so hard to be good in what I do now. People trust and respect me in Bedford. I’m so proud of what I have achieved outside the performing world. I’m proud of doing fitness too, exercising to look after my health, not for vanity. I have a beautiful man who looks at me everyday like I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, who compliments me a lot, who shows his love unconditionally, and interesting to talk to. I have an intelligent and talented daughter. I love being in England. What more can I ask for?

I am not blaming social networks for falling out with a friend. Reconnecting with people you haven’t seen for many years is the hardest thing to do, but in this day and age we have the social networks that make it so easy to send messages to anyone. Scary to be honest. Everything in writing, less talking. And it allowed everybody to cross the line and DISRESPECT others. No matter how good your intention is, it will always be misinterpreted in writing. Sending a prayer is not considered a ‘chain letter’. A chain letter is something with a threat in the end if you don’t forward it to someone, but a prayer is a prayer. And even if you’re not religious to appreciate it, someone remembered you and prayed for you, and it doesn’t require a RUDE reply! If you treat your friend a friend, respect them, be kind with your words, inspire and support them.

The worst for me was finding out that my FULL name, Viven Mercado Noakes, was mentioned on her status, without me knowing it. Thanks to a few concerned friends who told me about it. You guys are my real friends. If she can do it to me, even as godmother of her daughter, then she can do it to anyone, remember that. She knew I have already removed her, so why do such thing to hurt me? Of course, to let the public know that I am the bad person and for her to get sympathy from people who dislike me. Their comments were viewed by thousands of people. You call them friends?

In this case, I’m not proud to have worked with such people.

I rest my case.

Goodbye Mum Jean…


Exactly one month after Grandad Ray left us, our beloved Mum/Nanny Jean joined him in heaven.

It was a lovely send off for Mum Jean last 4th December 2014 at the Breakspear Crematorium in Ruislip. Very simple but meaningful.
Thank you to all the relatives of Mum, who flew all the way from Ireland, travelled from Linconshire, and friends from London. So lovely to see you all.

Once again, we would like to thank all our friends who sent their condolences (for the second time), through my facebook posts, emails, text messages and cards. Reading your kind and inspiring words in times like this surely gave us more strength, love and light, knowing that we have such good friends around us. May you all continue to be a blessing to others and receive more blessings that you deserve. THANK YOU!

Mum, thank you for being such a loving mother-in-law. You have been my second mother for the last 16 years and I truly felt your care. Alyanna will miss her sweet and always fun to be with Nanny. She didn’t expect you to join Grandad so soon as she’s so looking forward to spending time with you this Christmas. Thank you for loving your only ‘apo’ so much.
Bob and Garry are very lucky to have you as their mother. You raised them both with so much love, care, and respect for you, and I have seen that. Your boys love you very much. Thank you Mum for everything. Rest in Peace.

Eternal rest grant unto Jean Banes’ soul O Lord,
And let your perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul rest in peace.

We lift up to you O Lord our grief and sorrow, confident that you will change our mourning to rejoicing that our beloved Jean now rests in your peace. Amen




Goodbye Chief!


It was an emotional day for the family and special friends of Grandad Ray from Cottesmore House, who all came to honour his send off. Grandad’s wishes were respected – no religious service, no flowers, no singing. Only the American flag was there to symbolize his life in the U.S. Navy. It was simple, intimate, quiet, and actually very meaningful. Michael Gordon, who officiated the small ceremony, was very good as he read a brief life story of Ray and finished it with a beautiful poem by Henry Scott Holland. Robert Noakes (Bob), Garry’s older brother, spoke for the family and thanked everyone who came. Bob and Garry are just amazing esp in visiting their parents in two different nursing homes every week. After the short ceremony, the boys organised food and drinks at the pub across the crematorium. Unfortunately others had to go back to the Cottesmore House, whilst the family and a few friends stayed at the pub ’til evening. To all our family and friends who extended their condolences via cards, emails, text, and on Facebook, again, our heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you! Salamat po. xxx

Silence is the best response…

It is very hard to reconnect with people you haven’t been in contact with for decades. You actually don’t have any idea how to say ‘hello’ to break the ice.

High School friends, as they say, are the best friends you’ll ever have. There’s nothing like High School life, my Mom used to say. All the fun things happen when you’re in High School. I had a great time when I was in HS, friends were nice to me, bonded with me, and supported me.

When Facebook opened, I started reconnecting with my High School mates. It was great seeing them married, with children, being professionals, living in different countries, happy and successful. I love Facebook for that. It makes me smile whenever I see success stories of my friends. After over 20 years, to see them once again is such a blessing.

Unfortunately, there will always be the ones who are not happy for you and are not quite pleased with your success. The mean girls in High School are still mean after all these years. Disappointing behaviour since most of us are in our 40s now.

I have worked so hard all my life to make my dreams come true. Since I was in High School, all my friends knew how much I loved performing. I was not the most intelligent student but I was always dancing on stage, entertaining people. They didn’t know though that I could also sing as I kept that to myself. I was more active in dancing. That’s what I wanted to do in life, and I am so proud to say that I became my biggest dream.

In College, I started dancing on tv to earn extra cash, joined theatre companies to polish my acting skills, until one day I just found myself doing my dream musical outside Philippines. What I did in my performing career made me the person I am now as a Musical Theatre teacher and Vocal Coach. Now that I am in my 40s, giving back is my goal. I have made so many parents happy seeing their kids grow in confidence, passing their auditions, learning singing techniques, improving their vocal range and performance. It’s such a fulfilling job.

I have learned over the years how to react and behave on social networks. A simple ‘hello’ can lead to an angry post about you, with your name being mentioned. Or one of your 800 friends had been holding grudges against you, taking your posts personal even if it’s not about them, being envious about what you do or have achieved. Or one got angry because of not hearing a swift reply from you and decided to badmouth you. Loads of Chinese whispers, leading to paranoia, resulting to anger, ending in fights.

And to find myself being judged and humiliated by people who have no personal contact with me all these years is simply appalling and disrespectful.

I have learned to NOT reply, and keep my silence. I don’t pay attention to angry people. Others love to jump on the bandwagon even if they don’t know the real story, provoke a fight, stir up stories, ask for attention. I have learned that SILENCE is the best response because once you reply, it will never stop. All I feel about these type of people is PITY. They didn’t grow as a person. They will always find a way to destroy you, even in silence.

Sometimes giving people a second chance by being reconnected with them is not good. Better enjoy your present friends, who know you now. The ones from High School will always remember you the way you were in High School. 🙂

Beyond Beauty or Beyond Ugly?

Yesterday, 25th March 2014, 10.30am, I encountered a very disrespectful woman in a salon in Bedford. I have never been to this salon as this was one of my birthday treats from my husband.

At 10.30 am yesterday, I arrived on time, happy and very enthusiastic. 🙂 I went to this salon called ‘Beyond Beauty’ to have my nails done and I gave this woman a happy ‘Good Morning’ and was excited about the experience. I have never been into a nail salon in the UK. Never. I find it too expensive to have your nails done in a salon in the UK. I have a friend who does my nails for nothing, but since this was a present, I was really looking forward to it.

So this woman at the salon asked me,”Did you find the salon alright?” I replied with politeness, ”My appointment was supposed to be last Friday and I re-scheduled it today as I got lost and couldn’t find your salon. Unfortunately, it took me half an hour to find it last Friday that’s why it’s re-scheduled for today. It is not easy to find it I’m afraid”. The woman suddenly became defensive and said “We’ve been here three years and all our customers are ok with the location.”, looking at me from head to foot.  I was wearing my gym outfit as I was going to my Body Attack class after the pampering. I didn’t look glamorous for a salon. Haha I’m sure all your regular customers are alright with your location since they are familiar with it, but I am a first time customer here. Her reply didn’t make sense to what I told her. I had a hard time, and I got lost for half an hour. Full stop. You can’t change my experience. The other employee of Beyond Beauty was very apologetic last Friday when I said ‘I got lost, sorry.’ And she even agreed with me that the salon is in an odd location. ODD because no one would know that it is on top of the dry cleaners unless you call or check the website. There was no sign outside the dry cleaners shop if you are coming from St. Loydes St. No signs on the front door, on the windows, nothing. I called the salon of course to ask where they are but there was no answer last Friday, until I asked a man at the dry cleaners pointing me to go upstairs. So I went out of the dry cleaners to look up and there was the salon. I passed this corner so many times but I didn’t notice upstairs as it was a covered walk way. You won’t see anything even if you look up unless you are about five metres away from the dry cleaners.

Location is not the issue here, it was the attitude of that woman to a first time customer. It was a very poor customer service.

Women go to salons to treat themselves, to feel good about themselves before and after the pampering. Salons make you feel like a different person because of being dolled up and looked after. People pay a fortune to feel good and look good, and not to be judged nor lectured by a stranger.

Now this woman’s job was to make my nails look pretty and clean. But all I got was her big mouth and attitude as she was obviously having a bad day. She was accusing me of being aggressive eventhough I wasn’t. How can I? I had a great morning as hubby and I had a morning copulation before going to my appointment. 🙂 I was expressing my disappointment but I didn’t deserve such treatment.  I left the salon with disgust but I kept my patience and composure.

I just hope that my husband gets his refund from Groupon where he purchased this treat for me.

Thanks for reading. Just sharing my experience with ‘Beyond Beauty’ salon in Bedford. I don’t recommend this place at all. My (almost) first and last definitely.  I will never waste my time to a bad service.  🙂

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