Image: Jay Yeo
November 12 2011
Spa Junkie has embarked on a two-week programme in pursuit of weight loss and a flat tummy at Bodyism in west London.
DAY 5: FRIDAY
After Natalie gives me the good news about my big drop in body fat, James has me on the floor doing pelvic crunches, long-resistance squats and one-legged planks to a stopwatch, as we have the acidic-versus-alkaline talk.
“We promote a protein-rich diet, but eating the correct proteins, such as lean meats and nuts, is key. Not all proteins are the same; you should avoid red meat and anything non-organic as they’re filled with nasties.
“The alkaline system is key to good health; anyone who cares about theirs should be trying to reduce acid-forming foods. I can tell without any machines that you are too acidic, because your stomach bulges out.”
I’m clearly visibly upset. “Don’t worry; even skinny girls can have protruding stomachs if they are eating badly. You need to avoid pesticides, eat only organic fruit and veg, avoid refined sugar, and take a high dose of good-quality probiotics daily. Eat more blueberries. Greens, red, yellow and orange vegetables, oily fish and avocados are all good.”
As it happens, I have already changed my diet significantly since writing this column. I now eat mountain-loads of green veg, quinoa and lean protein, and have increased my whole-grain intake before noon, which has done wonders for regulating my system. Sadly, the discipline required to confront a pudding menu is still a daily struggle, but the visualisation techniques James has provided are helping me to say no more than yes. My tummy is still a little wine-waist-y and squidgy, but definitely flatter.
As I end the first week, sipping on a cinnamon and vanilla shake to go, I decide to join Bodyism. Each workout has been meaningful, and I feel confident knowing that my posture and alignment were correct. And having a trainer there makes you work that much harder. It’s definitely a big investment of time and money, but then you have a host of very smart people on standby to support you, through both big and small issues. Whether you are very overweight or just need a little fine-tuning, everyone is treated with kindness. It is definitely not for anyone who wants a corporate-style big machine – a rows-of-runners-and-treadmills-with-landscape-views type of gym – and that’s the point; this is not a gym. It’s a home away from home where you come each day to be encouraged and restored. There is a bit of therapy and a lot of love in the building; until, of course, James gets out the stopwatch.
Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.