Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Three Years Ago Today...

Today is the third official anniversary of Bella Fitness. I went out on my own a couple of months before then, and began training clients, but my LLC became official on that day.

When Bella Fitness began, I had just finished months of pre- and post-natal continuing education, so my focus fell heavily on working with pregnant women and new moms. We worked on maintaining and gaining muscle, while being careful not to overstretch the body (as flexibility is greater during pregnancy). We also worked on strengthening the Kegel muscles, and supporting the abdominals, so that diastasis recti could be avoided or, at least, repaired with ease.

At that time, I did have the opportunity to work with a couple of high risk clients, women entering menopause, and two women with eating disorders. It was a great time, and the experiences I had with these women were priceless.

Last summer, however, I took a sabbatical, and did so for a couple of reasons. Mostly, I had a health matter to deal with that, while it turned out to be nothing notable, made training clients difficult. There were some other things, too, but basically that time away was important for me. It gave me the chance to re-evaluate what I was doing, who I was helping, and how. I realized that, for me, expanding my practice to include holistic aspects of fitness was important. I knew all that I needed to know about body sculpting, burning calories, and cardio, but all of that, without flexibility and a mind-body connection, felt incomplete. I studied and practiced, working to receive my certification in Holistic Fitness through the Academy of Holistic Fitness.

I also did continuing education in Lifestyle Fitness coaching, which provided me with the tools to help clients work through challenges and resistance that they might face. I learned about the importance of mindful eating and self-love, and how dieting (and labeling foods "good" and "bad") won't help a client reach their goal weight or body shape. Empowering each client to trust their bodies is the first step toward positive change.

I was raised with a strong background in meditation, and every aspect of what I do is based in that. I use my breath when lifting weights, allowing a deep exhale with every tough lift. I focus on the muscle contracting and find a gaze point to help me get through the burn. It made sense for me to educate myself more in the practice of holistic fitness, learning what asanas created what sorts of feelings; poses for depression, poses to energize. I learned different breathing techniques, and the uses for them.

The difference in my training between now and then is obvious. Though I still practice similar methods for body sculpting, I incorporate body awareness more that I did, and I also work with my clients in a more personally focused way. I always created programs exactly to suit my clients needs, and while I still do so, I am now more trained to help them navigate the hurdles that may have held them back.

I want to thank you all so much for being supportive friends, committed clients, and readers of this blog. It's been three great years, and I look forward to many, many more.

Yours, in good health,

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