Over the last three years I’ve invested an almost obsessive amount into my wellbeing. I’ve discovered all sorts of helpful alternative therapies for minor illnesses, allergies, insomnia and low mood. Things like homeopathy, shiatsu, acupuncture, writing therapy and reflexology. They’ve all played their part. It all started during PREGNANCY, which was when I did every thing under the sun to manage the stresses that go with growing another human. I even took my REIKI 1 and 2 Degree so that I could practice reiki on myself at home. Fast forward two point five years and last summer I took part in a SUGAR DETOX, which gave my diet, in places, an overhaul. (Though it’s still far from perfect!) Most recently I’ve completed an 8-week mindfulness course and I’m (just about) managing to keep up a daily practise.
Yet apart from the odd yoga class (or retreat) wherever possible, I haven’t actually done ANY proper exercise since having my little girl in 2015. I’ve never really needed motivation to exercise before, but since my 9-10 hour deep-sleeps have turned into (on average) 6-hours of broken sleep, it’s been HARD. You know the drill. All you want to do is curl up in a NetFlix coma for half an hour before bed and do nothing. In my defense, I did attempt exercise last summer but I only used my four month gym membership, five times.
One of the reasons I didn’t use the membership was due to a painful shoulder injury, which happened after attempting to keep up with the insanely fit retired ladies at one of the gym’s pilates class. As a result, I also ended up in A&E at 4am in the morning, after repeatedly fainting from the pain. (Yep, this actually happened. New Mums, word to the wise, never compete with the 75+ Pilaties Crew. They will beat you to a pulp.) Yet my main issue with the gym was that I just didn’t like the vibe and environment. It was soulless and crowded and there weren’t any personal touches. It just didn’t feel like a nice place to be.
Then, luckily, my lovely pal Emma (Founder of We’ve Got This Sometimes), recommended Paradox Living. She’s always had the best ideas, including that time she introduced me to HYPNOBIRTHING. If you haven’t heard of her brilliant events for parents yet, head on over to her Instagram feed @wegotthissometimes.
I digress. As one does when they’re talking about or attempting exercise.
So, today marked the beginning of a 12-week 1:1 fitness programme I’m doing with Paradox Living.
Paradox Living’s Approach
I really like Paradox Living’s approach. My first-ever visit was actually to partake in one of their delightful beauty treatments. For Christmas I received the 49th Day – an out-of-this-world facial, where I died and went to heaven for one and a half hours. While there, I met with one of the joint owners, the lovely Wallis, and it’s her partner-in-crime and life, Evan, who heads up the personal training side of the business.
This is what really appealed to me about Paradox Living’s 12-week personal training programme. Well, actually several things stood out:
• A tailored approach: The one-hour free-of-charge assessment to review your vital statistics, goals, strengths, weaknesses, lifestyle, sleep, nutrition. And then the recommendations you receive a week later and over the course of the 12-weeks – these are all personal to you and your journey.
• 1:1 support: The guidance you receive from a personal trainer that’s tailored to your body and needs specifically. I’ve never worked with a personal trainer before (apart from that one free session you receive when joining a gym) but I have heard lots of positive things about this level of support.
• Virtual support: The 24/7 diet and fitness support you receive via their fitness App.
• Structure: The structure of meeting for an hourly session once a week for 12 weeks. (We all appreciate the power of peer support! No-one wants to turn up to class not having done their homework!)
• Stunning setting: Paradox Living is located in a converted barn in the picturesque village of Framingham Pigot and within the same grounds as nearby Brasteds. The interior is just beautiful, it’s so gorgeous I could eat it.
MY GOALS: Let’s keep it simple. I have three…
1. Make friends with my clothes: And speaking of eating. I’ve been eating my emotions the last couple of years and so my main goal is to reassess my diet and do more exercise in hope of being a healthier person, but also, it would just be nice to wear things from my 1960s closet again. I’m not desperate to loose loads of weight, just keen to fit into my favourite pieces and to feel happy with my shape.
2. Overall sense of wellbeing: While I had postnatal depression people kept encouraging me to ‘get outside, do some exercise’ but there was no way I could then but I feel ready now. Since the PND, I still suffer from low mood and anxiety so I’m hoping more exercise give me a general wellbeing boost too.
3. Win an arm wrestling match: Lastly, I’ve never owned a set of weights before, I’ve never really owned a muscle, but I’m keen to focus some subtle toning to my abdomen and arms before I turn 40 in a couple of years.
These are probably quite ambitious targets for a 12-week programme but I’m hoping it’s going to get me back into my groove. Here’s to hoping.
Paradox Living 1:1 Programme: How it works
12 weeks cost £756 and every four weeks you make one of your three payments: which is paid by subscription on day 1, day 29 and day 56. Allowing you to pay in three manageable stages, rather than one upfront payment.
This includes; assessment, exercise plan, nutritional support/guidance/tweaks (if necessary), use of their app where you can access your exercise plan, constant updates to plan(s), ongoing support and 12 weekly workouts.
You receive more than just your personal training sessions:
• REVIEW NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE QUESTIONNAIRES
• EXERCISE PLAN
• DIET PLAN
• CONSTANT CHANGES TO EXERCISE AND DIET PLAN
• ONGOING SUPPORT
• 24/7 COMMUNICATION
I had my assessment last week (this first session is free) and it was really interesting! It took 1.5 hrs in total and I was asked to do a number of stretches, measurements and exercises to determine where there I had key strengths and weaknesses, and flexibility. I also had to complete a few online questionnaires including ones about lifestyle, diet and sleep diary.
I think the yoga I’ve maintained over the years has helped with flexibility but it was clear that my body needs a lot of strengthening, especially along the back of my legs, thighs, lower back and shoulders.
I’m going to blog again in 12 weeks time to let you know how I get on and if you’re interested, I will also be posting on Instagram and Twitter in between so you can see how I’m progressing.
NB: This is a collaborative post. Roots and Toots was offered a discounted rate in return for coverage of my fitness journey.