As I write this, gyms across the country are beset with wave after wave of resolutioners. The same principal applies to the diet companies: Weight Watchers, SlimFast and every new cookbook peddling the latest diet fad is positively prolific in the month of January.
The gyms themselves capitalise on this time of the year by holding promotions and special offers to get people excited about their fitness. The setting of goals for the new calendar year is a diehard practice. The ‘big’ gyms know that many of the participants will have fallen by the wayside come late February. But it’s money in the bank today and to many it’s all that matters.
Here in the studio my philosophy is very different. From the day I opened the studio I wanted to foster a caring environment. A place where people felt safe and valued. I wanted clients to become excited about their bodies and what they could achieve, regardless of their shape, age or condition. I sincerely hope that you all feel valued.
It’s very reassuring for me that my very first class participants from 2001 are studio clients today and I am indebted to each of them. Over the years I have taught thousands of clients and everyone of them was different. Many suffered from chronic pain and each story behind that pain was unique. Individuals with the same condition often present with similar but different symptoms both physical and psychological. For these clients I devise individual treatment plans. It’s the same scenario with the person who wants to tone up, lose weight and become fitter or more flexible. Maybe a special birthday is coming up or a wedding or a school reunion. Motivation is really high if you want to ‘shoe horn’ yourself into a wedding dress or meet up with your contemporaries from 15 years ago. But motivation only takes you so far.
In my experience, lasting change has to come from within. Reaching that point is different for everyone, but typically there is a moment when something happens that pushes you back into the ‘driving seat’. It involves a complete change of mind set. Once the individual decides to take back control of their life, change occurs. The person with chronic pain decides to no longer be defined by it, and finds ways to manage, alleviate and even eliminate the pain.
It’s the same for the person who has spent a large part of their life on various diets only to find that 10 or 20 years down the road they are heavier now than when they first started dieting. We all know diets only work in the short term, don’t we? If organisations such as Weight Watchers worked, you would only need to attend once in your life. However, we all know of people who have been going on and off for years. No: real change involves a total shift in your thinking and then it becomes a whole lifestyle change.
I like to think that here in the studio, each client and I are a team working together for the same desired outcome. Teachers/coaches can support and inspire you, but lasting change real change comes from within the individual themselves. In a supportive non judgemental environment change can happen – I’ve seen it many times.
So my question to you all this new year is this:
What changes do you want to make in your life?
If you were to take a blank page and write down exactly how you want your life to unfold, what would you say? What circumstances do you need to create to make that happen?
It could be the beginning of the next chapter of your life. It’s a book that needs to be written NOW.