We have been really busy over the last several months (the last year, really) planning for the next phase of Lean Body Lifestyles’ life as a business. It’s been really difficult to keep some of this stuff under wraps!

So, I am thrilled to be able roll out the first of several of those new projects on the blog today.

Drum-roll please……..

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We are launching our Love Your Body course at the studio this spring! This is a class Nikki has wanted to offer for a long, long time. Those of you who know her, know that body image is an issue she is passionate about. I sat down with her a couple of weeks ago to learn more about what inspired her to create this class and her vision for how it will work.

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Say a virtual “hello” to Nikki everyone!

Erin (EP): Why did you decide we needed to offer a class about body image?

Nikki (NS): The short answer is because everyone has body image issues. The statistics on the percentage of people, women in particular, who hate their bodies are frightening. I’ve worked with clients who weigh under 100 pounds and I’ve worked with clients who weigh 400 pounds. They all have had body image issues, which tells me that the issue isn’t really about the number on the scale; it’s psychological and emotional. So the bad news is that if you hate your body, you’re doing that to yourself. And that’s sad. But the good news is that you have the power to change it. And you can.

EP: A myth about personal trainers is that, it’s because we’ve always had positive body image and always been physically fit that we got into training in the first place. That’s not true for me and I know it wasn’t for you, right?

NS: Absolutely. I spent part of my adult life doing all kinds of physically unhealthy and damaging things to my body. I was diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and Food Addiction at one point, so when clients come to me struggling with those things or with weight or whatever, I totally get it. I am at a place now where I am completely confident in my body. I love my body. But it took work. I tell clients, and I’ll tell you: I weigh 50 pounds more now than I did at my lightest, but I feel better than I ever did then. I’m happier. I’m stronger. It’s important to me to get the message out that you can be 100% comfortable in your own skin, even if your weight never changes.

EP: So, how would you describe a healthy body image?

NS: Okay, one litmus test for a healthy body image is being comfortable looking at your body in a full-length mirror. When I look at myself, I notice the parts that are larger or rounder. But there’s no judgement behind it. I don’t think it’s bad or wrong. It’s just information. I’m just seeing me–not cataloging things I need to change. That’s what I want every woman to experience. So one of the things we’ll be doing in class is following a proven method for getting comfortable in front of the mirror. The class is going to be full of tangible, practical steps people can take to address the emotional reaction they have to their bodies. There are truly things we can do to get happy in our own skin.

EP: Talk to me about the class a little bit. What are some of the big themes or topics you’re going to hit?

NS: I’m really packing a lot of content into the class. We’ll be spending a big chunk of time in the beginning working on connecting to our bodies. I think many of us separate our “selves” from our physical bodies, to the degree that we aren’t noticing the things it’s trying to tell us. That disconnection manifests itself oftentimes in a discomfort with normal physical contact. So we’ll be working on ways to build those connections between our “selves” and our bodies. We’ll be working on defining happiness, increasing confidence and looking at behaviors around food and exercise.

EP: How are you structuring the class–is it a lecture format?

NS: I will definitely be doing a lot of talking, but we’ll also have some group activities and, I hope, some amazing conversations. I have a curriculum planned, but am open to the reality that the content and format will be driven by the students and their interests or areas of focus.

EP: Let’s talk details. What’s the 4-1-1 on the class?

NS: I’m still working out some of the details, but I can tell you that it will be a 6-week long course, held in the evenings at the studio. I’m going to cap enrollment at ten women, just because I think that’s the maximum number I can have and still give the kind of individual attention to everyone that I want to.

EP: So, what next? Where should people go if they are interested in more information? 

NS: Anyone who thinks they’re interested in attending should contact me by email or phone and let me know. (Visit our website here to find our phone number and email address.) I’ll be starting a list of potential students and they will be the first to know when the class dates, times and price are set. They’ll get priority registration before we open the class up to the general public.

EP: Any other classes or events on the horizon?

NS: I have always wanted to teach a relaxation or stretching class at the studio and there has been a lot of interest in that recently from clients. So, that will probably be next. The other thing I’ve been thinking about is having an event series, where we would do group hikes or a bunch of us would take a dance class or something. Things that people might be intimidated to do on their own, but would love to do if they had a fun group of women to go with them.

I would honestly love to hear what kinds of classes would be most valuable to the women in our community. So, maybe if our local readers have class ideas they could leave their ideas in the Comments section of the blog or shoot us an email.

If you are interested in the body image class or in providing feedback on other classes you’d like to see at the studio, please contact us by phone or email, or you can submit your comments by filling out the form below.