Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie at… Bodyism

This place is not so much a gym – it’s more a way of life

Spa Junkie at… Bodyism

Image: Jay Yeo

November 12 2011
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Spa Junkie has embarked on a two-week programme in pursuit of weight loss and a flat tummy at Bodyism in west London.


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.