Spa Junkie at… Bodyism’s new London flagship: Part Four

Spa Junkie is almost a week into her 10-day exercise and weight-loss regime. Just one last push – or rather punch, and some disco lunges – before the results are in…

Saturday 10.30am

My arms and thighs already feel leaner and more toned.

I’m feeling guilty though, as I did have a slight lapse with a glass of wine (or two…), but congratulate myself on avoiding the champers. Duigan’s words ring in my ears: “Avoid alcohol like the plague. It will make you feel sluggish and bloated and reduce your body’s ability to burn fat.”

Cue the guilt to fuel my boxing class this morning.

I’m relived to discover a group of women around my age and size, as opposed to willowy model-esque types you’re too frightened to hit for fear of them falling over…

The class is a real cardio-burner, with relentless shadow boxing and circuits that leave me sweating out my sins. I spar with my partner – thrusting jabs, hooks and uppercuts as she dodges and blocks with the pads; it’s a real test of co-ordination and agility. I’m dreading the part when we have to swap gloves – there’s nothing worse than sharing mits with a sweaty stranger – but thankfully we get to keep our own.

After a Protein Excellence shake of banana, vanilla, organic pea protein and almond butter, I’m ready for the weekend to really begin – I’ve got Sunday off training.

Week 2

Monday

A week in and the caffeine headaches are gone, sugar cravings non-existent, and portion control successfully reinstated.

I nibble on a breakfast of soft-boiled eggs and asparagus, convincing myself that the green sticks taste just as good as soldiers.

Today’s headlines are dominated by a report from the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration demanding a major overhaul of official dietary guidelines.

“Promoting low-fat foods is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history. Eat fat to get slim. Don’t fear fat; fat is your friend,” says Dr Aseem Malhotra, the consultant cardiologist cited in the article – and Duigan is in fierce agreement at today’s session.

“People used to be fat-phobic, and this meant natural foods like butter, red meat and even eggs were out and low-fat processed foods full of sugar were in. What a disaster that proved to be…”

I’m back at the studio and am working on a set of “disco lunges” – the supermodel weapon of choice for an all-over workout. I stand tall and lunge forward, throwing my arms back into a Y shape – my heart seems to work faster than during a standard lunge, getting the blood flowing up to my hands and down to my legs. I do 15 reps on each leg.

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“We need to embrace clean fat because it keeps us full, makes our hair shine, gives us energy, boosts concentration and makes our food taste so great that we don’t need to overeat or look for sugar after a meal,” says Duigan.

“Now, lift one leg off the floor and squat down – try not to fall forwards when you squat. Don’t let the leg that is working buckle inwards.” It’s a pistol squat that works the quads, hamstrings, glutes and core. Through unilateral loading, it’s possible to diagnose any imbalances in strength and flexibility between right and left leg, says Duigan.

I’m rewarded with an Ultimate Clean shake – cinnamon, chia seeds and coconut water.

Tuesday

Today’s B-Calm Yoga aims to slow the nervous system down from “fight or flight” mode to a centred, more mindful way of being. Our instructor Mark is a smooth talking American who warms us up to a playlist straight out of a 1970s porn video. “Find that sweet spot,” he says over a funk-guitar track.

“Boom, you’ve got it,” he says, as we rock back and forth, gaining momentum as we manoeuvre into a crow – a balancing posture where we curl ourselves into a ball and push up on our arms. “Restore the natural rhythm of your body and mind as you balance,” he says. The slow, centring posture makes me focus on deep breathing and leaves me feeling balanced and calm.

Wednesday

I squeeze in a final Clean and Lean class – Bodyism’s blueprint for a long, lean body. It starts with a shot of Berry Burn to rev up the metabolism.

Jamie Yike – a spunky Texas-born Pilates specialist – greets our class of three and warms us up before leading us through a high-intensity combination of yoga, functional movement (multijoint movements that engage the core) and classical ballet moves. It’s fierce, but fun.

We finish with a punishing set of pikes and mountain climbers on the sliders (gliding discs designed for the floor to mimic movement on a reformer), before I’m called away by Tanner for the final reckoning…

The Bottom Line

Ten days: 4kg, 3cm and 2 per cent. That’s how much I’ve lost in body weight, from my waistline and in body fat, but the elation of the physical results is on a par with how good I feel mentally.

My sugar cravings are minimal, my senses heightened, my energy levels soaring and my skin glowing.

The team worked hard at each session to help me understand more about my body and how my diet impacts it – and my life – so I can make small changes that effect a big transformation.

Spa Junkie, aka Inge Theron, is the founder of FaceGym. She pays for all her own travel and accommodation. Follow her on Instagram: @spajunkiechronicles.

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