Body Essentials Personal Training & Wellness

One year later...reflections on business, life, fitness & wellbeing

Posted on: March 19, 2021
By: Christie Garofano

This week last year at Body Essentials (BE), we wondered what would become of working out in person! We spaced people out on bikes in Spinning class, altered our training sessions and other classes for more space and less equipment and fully disinfected each piece of equipment before putting away after every single workout each day. We even prepared for possible zoom or face-time workouts. Who knew we would be HERE now 1 year later!

The studio was ordered to close down on Saturday March 20, 2020 within an hour of having closed for the weekend after the morning classes! I was on my way to the studio to workout and clean when I heard the news from Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, while listening to public radio I quickly alerted all of our members and invited them to come and borrow equipment so we could workout together online while we waited out the pandemic. Little did any of us know at that time, we would never move that equipment back in because the pandemic kept dragging on but also because we enjoyed the convenience and ease of working out online! Less than 24 hours after closing our doors we all gathered for our first online workout, Mindful Movement. We needed that  quiet stretch that day and to figure out the Zoom setup. NONE OF US knew what we were doing, we just gave it our best shot and have never looked back.

On Business.......

Over the last year we have mirrored what we did in person online thru zoom, maintaining the same group fitness schedule and training schedule, we simply increased the size of our semi-private groups from 2-3 to now 4-5. Jumping so quickly into Zoom was not only a matter of survival but a means of community and service and connection during a period of time that was 100% uncharted territory for all of us. It would have been easy to be all doom and gloom about how bad virtual training was and that is what the outcome would have been but my mindset is that anything is possible and awesome if you engineer it that way and that was what we did. 5:30am online workouts all of sudden offered us more sleep because we did not have to commute. All that equipment we bought in years past, thinking we could workout at home on our own, all of a sudden came in handy and driving to the gym after work and not getting home until 7pm to still have to make dinner no longer happened. We engineered a schedule and system that increased the wellbeing for all of our clients.

By June when there was still a lot of unknown about COVID, but the slow down of life felt good as a human being I took another leap of faith and decided our studio would go permanently online maintaining our zoom virtual space indefinitely. Turns out it has been a great decision. Although I was still paying expenses on a physical location and then started remodeling an in home studio, I was by no means saving money but was very fortunate for the space at home to create a professional appearance. Our members did the same thing, leaning in to creating a permanent studio space or nook in their home and it has been so much fun to see how at home workout spaces have evolved!

There are so many highlights of creating a virtual studio from a business owner perspective. Being my own landlord is probably my favorite. It has allowed less headaches and 110% more creativity in programming and enhancing our mission beyond simply fitness. This time has allowed for reaching our greatest potential in nutrition and lifestyle programming especially as we have started 2021!

On Life.........

As March of 2020 turned to April and it became clear I needed to get comfortable at home finding a balance of running a business in the space that was also my place of respite. What I knew for sure and said out loud to my beloved husband, Tom was that this pandemic was (thankfully and optimistically) going to be a once in a lifetime OPPORTUNITY to shed what was not working in any aspect of life and make time for the things that I was seeking in all aspects of life. For me this meant slowing the hell down and figuring out how to create a healthier flow to work and life including getting more sleep, adding in more leisure time activities, working less on the weekends to just scratch the surface. Whether it is noticeable to any one else I have been able to accomplish more than I thought possible. I will not bore you with the details. What I know for sure is that we become conditioned to working far too much, sleeping far too little and letting trivial details clutter our head space when in reality and when willing we can cut all of it back to a healthier (literally healthier, like prevent risk factors for disease level) levels and accomplish more, doing less. Life is short, we must play hard and not wait until retirement to do all the things "we don't have time for" while we are working professionals.

On Fitness & WellBeing......

I consider myself a warrior of health because I wholeheartedly believe that only I am in responsible for my level of fitness and wellbeing, physically and mentally. In 2019 I made the switch to a Naturopathic Dr as opposed to a general physician. What a difference a Dr makes, focusing on health and not working from a place of illness. It even inspires me to want to do better. As such, this year I have increased my meditation time to 30 minutes per day because it truly helps me slow down my pace physically and mentally and be more fully present in everything I do in a given day. I have also spent the first part of the year cleaning up my nutrition which I can guarantee was not that "filthy" to begin with but was not as great in 2020. So that means now I practice 95% of my weekly nutrition being gluten, dairy, alcohol and added sugar free. The 5% means that I may have a beer per week or a toasted english muffin, or something else that would seem healthy to the average person.

Nutrition & exercise will always be the greatest form of medicine to me. I have never had so much clarity and energy and so little inflammation in my body as I have in the last month especially since upping my nutrition game and walking away from work when feeling frenetic, getting out in nature when feeling suffocated by working and living under one roof, and getting 8+ hours of sound sleep. There is no prescription medication that can make you feel as good as getting your lifestyle in order.

Perhaps some of this sounds preachy but I take the work that we do at BE very seriously and practice what I preach 100% but am on the journey just as much as our members are. Doom and gloom gets me no where and it is astounding to me that it took a global pandemic to create enough space to fully embrace the business and life of my dreams.

If you are skeptical about virtual fitness, I invite you to schedule a time to meet with me to find out how we are breaking all the rules about what it means to workout virtually. I say with confidence that we provide more extensive support, accountability, structure, programming and inspiration virtually than any in person gym in our local area does and beyond our local area. This post only scratches the story of the progress we as a collective community have made! Schedule a consultation on our website at https://bodyessentialspt.com/

Cheers to a brilliant 2021 & surviving OR thriving thru a global pandemic!

xoxo

Christie

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…..the anticipation of an upcoming event or travels is said to do wonders for the everyday routine that we otherwise follow! 

What has been on my mind this week is my love for simplicity. 

🏋️‍♀️ Exercise: We just do not have to be excessive about how much we workout, the amount of weight we lift, and especially on how forcefully we move. Benefits come from just enough of each ………

🧘‍♀️ Personal: Going thru not around, living in a state of wonder and gratitude, and minimizing the trivial when it comes to things & others….

📆 Professional:  Take a pause, slow the pace and let the simplicity in other areas of life flow into your daily work ………

Abundance can flow …… less can become more…. If we just let it and stop forcing …… stop trying to please everyone…

…..because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind ……

#wellnesswednesday #simplicity #attitudeofgrattitude #abundance #livethelifeyoulove #lovethelifeyoulive #wellnessjourney #fitnessjourney #bodyessentialspt
Right⁉️ Enjoy every moment! 

We start with a Spin at 7am 🔥 

& 

a Total Body Blast at 8am 💣 

The rest is up to you‼️

#tgif #weekendvibes #summer2022 #summerinvermont #fitness #workout #behealthy #exercise
Here we are…..just into the 2nd half of the week….how is it going? 

We mark mid-week with a yoga practice. And at the end of the month we do a restorative Yin practice. Slowing down, holding, breathing, releasing.

It is just good self-care to fit yourself in and find whatever balance it takes to do you when there is time but starting with you in the midst of all the other obligations. And perhaps there are things you allow to be obligations but are not. 

Do you feed yourself with any of these proven (over & over & over) health giving practices…..it need not be elaborate but make it personal and beneficial for you. 

🌻  A mindful morning routine ….
🌻 Movement like walking outside, yoga, strength training ….
🌻 Feeding yourself life giving food
🌻 Feeding your mind with positive thoughts, actions, people
🌻 Resting……days off, vacation time, peace & quiet

If you do not or have not done any of that recently, I invite you to pick one thing for 20 minutes and feel the difference it makes….. ❤️

#wellnesswednesday  #restup #energize #health #healthimprovement #wellnessjourney #restore #rejuvenate #womenshealth #exercise #nutrition #mindfulmovement #energyiseverything
As We wind down our programming for a long weekend and a week of workouts balanced woth recovery ❤️‍🩹 & intensity 🏋️‍♀️ It makes my heart happy to see how passionately everyone shows up, tries new things, expands beyond their comfort zone & gives 100%+

Working our core is not just strengthening our body but about feeling all the feels…..showing up  when we may not feel like it, trying a workout that may not be our favorite but knowing it will be good for us, and working thru all the hard stuff as it arises.  Listening to our heart and not that pesky judgmental voice in our head! 💜 

We walked a lot of miles in June, logged dozens of Zoom workouts, intentionally picked up and set down thousands of  pounds. And now we rest, reset, restore and return on Tuesday for a mew adventure! July is for mobility & flexibility on top of our usual work. 

My heart is full & grateful as I rest, celebrate, & prepare………….

#fitnessfeels #workitout #strength #resilience #flexibility #selfmastery #wellness #weightloss
#independence #summer2022 #bodyessentialspt #longweekendvibes
Whether health, career, state of mind or anything else, changing  our habits take time, engagement and understanding of ourselves. 

21 days is what you will see as a supposed sweet spot for creating a new habit but that is simply the beginning that can be created with sheer will power and perhaps that will power will turn into sustained long term change. 

But for anyone who has tried and then returned to old behaviors, there is more to it on that journey because stressors will take us off course, events, and that dirty, no good voice in our head will play games. 

Making the decision to change and the. Starting to design our human, built and  behavioral environment around what we are seeking and continuing to reinforce and create helps knock out those things that take us off track . 

Knowing why we want to change has to be strong to surpass the other options and continue to build the new. 

We are talking months here………

Do mot throw in the towel. Remember what made you decide to make the journey. The journey os worth  it and once you get there, every decision to change and the journey will be easier.

On Friday a client was stressed feeling as if the week got off track and things were not going well with nutrition and exercise. We worked out, talked, got back on track and on Monday determined that pesky voice was the culprit not her action. 

Just stay the course………

#transformationtuesday #behaviorchange #wellnessjourney #weightlossjourney #lifebydesign #bodyessentialspt
I think it is normal to feel a blend of emotions as we pass thru years of our lives. I believe in sitting with that and making some meaning and then moving on instead of just being our age or condition as if it is the only choice. 

🖤 Age is a number. We do not have to let the number identify when we stop trying at life.

🖤 Menopause is not a disease or a sign of end of life for women. Sure several things happen but like in other seasons of life we just have to adjust

🖤 We have a choice how to think & act in the aging process and that can make all the difference

🖤 With age comes wisdom, let’s use it to our advantage and never stop learning & improving. 

In my latest blog post (link in bio) I talk a little bit more about all of this written off the belief that I have 100% control of how well I will age and who I will partner with as needed & when needed. 

#wellnesswednesday #wisdom #activeaging #mindset #bodyessentialspt
This #wellnesswednesday let’s marinate in kindness to and about ourselves & towards others. We can never give or receive too much…..

🏋️‍♀️In fitness I always say there are certain exercises that never go out of style so you just need to learn to love them as resistance just make them harder! Any guesses to any of the exercises I am referring to? 

💃Self-loathing & body shaming ourselves or others is simply disempowering. Thinking, acting, and speaking kindly engineers our brain to a positive state of mind and working from a positive place allows us to work with the tide instead of against it. 

Todays yoga 🧘‍♀️ practice is all about loving 🥰 kindness & opening the heart sending goodness to ourselves, those we love, those that challenge us and to the world 🌎 as a whole. 

Make it a great day for yourself & those around you. 🙏 

#selflove #lovingkindness #health #wellness #fitness #innerstrength #loveyourbody #mindfulness #yoga
ahhhhhhh the weekend! ☀️ 

we always start with the workout! 

7am - Spinning 🚴 ….. A scenic guided ride around some favorite Vermont spots! 

8am - Total Body Blast 💥……. A mix of the best moves from workouts all week ….some may say the worst moves 😂

every weekend someone different for fresh energy & inspiration leaving us ready for the best weekend AND the week ahead and the next layer of programming in our 4, 8, or 12 week plan…..

#fitness #exercise #saturyay #weekendvibes #workitout #shakeitoff #butfirstweworkout #healthyliving #spinning #strengthtraining #beenergized #beinspired #bodyessentialspt
This is 47. 

My #feelgoodfriday is a whole lot of gratitude 🙏 for…….

💃 taking the path less traveled, listening to myself, not the crowd, not the expected, and simply stating what others think but do nothing about, taking action and changing what does not work. 

💃 being a warrior for my own health & wellbeing, physical & emotional. This means not just accepting Dr’s words as gospel. It means realizing how valuable all the journaling of nutrition, exercise, sleep is and knowing that “it is just aging and getting older” is just a reason not to take action. 

💃 never settling for good enough or beating myself up for mistakes and imperfection. Always improving and learning and soaking up as much of this life as possible. 

Why am I saying all this? Because women experiencing menopause or peri-menopause can have every aspect of their life turned upside down and not even realize why because it is talked about so little because lets be real when is it natural to bring it up in conversation?! 

All of the things that I celebrate today allow me to weather the change with confidence, energy, appreciation, stability, balance, wonder, and possibility. 

To anyone who needs to hear it, you are not crazy. Lean in and know there are countless ways to become or remain the best version of yourself during the change as long as you do not say, oh it is menopause, that is just part of the deal. 

Not feeling your best is a choice. Life is too short to make that choice. 

Get in touch if you want help! 

#gratitude #menopause #perimenopause #womenshealth #wellnessjourney #lifebydesign #mybestself #healthyliving #celebrateyourself
As great as exercise is for us, so is rest and active rest or recovery. In our mission to serve all parts of healthy living whether fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle, our studio closes for major holidays for a long weekend encouraging our clients to take an exercise break and be active in other ways outside in life.

This weekend that may include……
🪴 gardening
🏔 hiking 
🏊 water based activities
🧘‍♀️ unplugged weekend
🚙 roadtrip 
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦💃🕺social events
🏕 camping or other time in nature
🎾 other sports like tennis, golf, or biking 🚴‍♀️ 

We reopen on Tuesday kicking off the 2nd half of 2022 programming reenergized, repaired and rested…..

Enjoy your weekend 🇺🇸 

#rest #relax #restore #recreate
#health #wellness 
#fun #nature #socializing
#memorialdayweekend
#summer2022
Life can feel like a real grind a good deal of the time if we let it. Work, home, kids, family, business, education rinse and repeat whatever the cycle is for you. No one will ever tell us to slow down or if we don't listen to those we do or tune into our body telling us to pull back and slow down life will just pass us by.This weekend, I invite you to take some time to step back, slow down, enjoy the sights and sounds of summer AND do less to accomplish more!

Feeling grateful for the extra time, space with no specific to do list for the next four days. Simultaneously, looking forward to see and feel the outcomes ………

Happy Weekend Friends! 🇺🇸 

#nuture #mayshowers #mayflowers #nature #justbe #listen #hear #mindfullness #nonjudgement #meditation #summer #evolve #wellnessjourney #memorialdayweekend
Sometimes, having no words is way better than thinking the answers and the commentary is simple. 

Hold the space, send the love. Some day we will know better and do better. For now take the time, be grateful, find your own way to do better, be better for yourself, your family, community etc. 

❤️‍🩹 🙏 

#wellnesswednesday #silenceisgolden #holdingspace #peace #bodyessentialspt
Happy Monday ❤️ 🌺 

As long as we consistently act and put ourselves in the presence of work and individuals, habits and attitudes that promote outcomes we are seeking, failure and lack of time is not possible. 

Of course we must know precisely what we are seeking …….

#mindfulmonday #springflowers #gardening #lifebydesign
What does that mean for you? It is 100% worth figuring it out and navigating your way there. Now go, live well in body & mind! #lifebydesign #healthyliving #wellnessjourney #bodyessentialspt
another from the collection of lets  not take ourselves too seriously…..a legitimate form of being well in mind, body & energy. 

make it a fantastic Friday‼️ ☀️

#fridayfunnies #fitnessfriday #rule6 #artofpossibility #wellnessjourney #bodyessentialspt
This is the best way to flow into the 2nd half of an absolutely gorgeous week……

#wellnesswednesday #yogaflow #onewithnature #secondhomegym #yogawiththebirds #workitoutoutside #lifebydesign #wellnessjourney
Energy is everything! 

Psychologically we can condition ourselves to 
to work hard and be energetic in theory. Here are a few other repeatedly well-documented ways to thrive energetically. 

☀️Vitamin D - Supplementation is critical for New Englanders. Do you know your number? Good for bones & your emotional spirit. 

🛌 Sleep - Quality & quantity. We may think we can be optimal on 5-6 hours but really….can we? Making sure your environment is set for sleep not work is critical. Lighting, temperature, peace, screen free. Power down 1-2 hours before sleep time. 

🥗 Food - That fuels not just fills. Nutrient dense in just the right amount and frequency that does not leave you stuffed and tired. 

👥 Relationships - Surround yourself with those who bring about the best in you. Laugh plenty. Hug & kiss your loved ones. 

✨Clarity & Purpose - Know yourself & your wants/needs, work purposefully & positively. Intention without action is just spinning your wheels will be exhausting over time. 

This just scratches the surface of energy drivers that crossover to our health improvement as a whole. 

Catching up on low energy is nearly impossible so stop borrowing from your future to serve your present…… 

#restup #energize #health #healthimprovement #wellnessjourney #restore #rejuvenate #womenshealth #energyiseverything
….work life balance is in the eye of the beholder…..

How do you “be~friend” yourself daily, weekly, monthly, annually? 

Do you like being in your own company? 

Are you ok being in silence with your own thoughts? 

Do you have hobbies that you engage in outside of life responsibilities? 

This is simply something to consider especially if you constantly feel like you have no time or space for just you. 

Remember that “you time” is not selfish. It makes us better spouses, parents, colleagues. 

I know that sometimes I can be doing around home like cleaning and it will feel like it is my time and quite fulfilling as it just me in silence but other times the last thing I want to do is anything that has to do with care of the home. And sometimes I like to exercise on my own in my own way with no one else and other times I want nothing to do with exercise. 

#wellnesswednesday can be a great day to take a break for you to do something or nothing at all but what you choose. 

#humanbeing #humandoing #wellnessjourney 
#bodyessentialspt
This is my goal each & every day……..

Not putting off life until “retirement” …… for so 

many reasons ……

On the other hand I will never create a life that I 

will not want a vacation from ……

If it is too easy, I am not working hard enough. If 

it is draining my well-being I am not working 

smart enough. 

We all deserve physical and mental well-being. It is within us but something that also has to be worked out by us and not delayed until the kids are grown or until we retire……..

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. How do you tend your health as a whole on a daily basis? 

#healthiswealth #lifebydesign #healthyliving #wellnessjourney #mentalhealthawareness #personaltrainer #nutritioncoach #healthcoach #lifestylecoach
In an effort to not take oneself too seriously lets finish the month laughing and owning that sometimes a fake it till you make it mindset is a’ok. Adulting can be hard….

Have an amazing weekend 🥳🤣☀️

#weekendvibes #fridayfeels #laughterismedicine #rulesix #artofpossibility
what do you do each day to create the best version of yourself? 

do you even feel like know what the best version of you is? 

Our daily responsibilities blur our belief of being able to create our best self. 

Doing work I love 💕 is a part of my best self. 

Creating time & space for leisure pursuits and learning is another part ✨

Being a loving & supportive spouse is a priority 🥰

Maintaining physical & emotional health allows the other three to flow 🧘‍♀️ 🏃‍♀️ 🏋️

Adventure & fresh landscapes breathe fresh energy 🏔 

Everything else is noise and distraction ….

If you are not sure for yourself, take some quiet time to identify 1-2 things & work from there ….

#transformationtuesday #vision #lifebydesign #health #love #adventure #peaceofmind #lifeonpurpose
My belief is that the more positive I think, even in moments of adversity or days that just don’t feel great, the better the outcome I will have compared to if I had a bad attitude about anything in my day or life not working out as planned. 

This is a script that can be flipped at any moment but has to be continuously cultivated and practiced in order to create a more automatic response, in difficult times. If not practiced, it is easy to say that a positive outlook does not work. When practiced as a way of life, bad days are few and far between and there are always solutions to challenges of any kind. They may just take a while to get to but it is sure better than seeing the negative in every person or situation. 

Happiness & Resilience are as good for our health as exercise and nutrition. 

What is your day to day outlook? 
🤗? 

😒? 

😐? 

#motivationmonday #earlybirdgetstheworm #selfcoached #fitness #mindset #resilience #practicewhatipreach
the prettiest view for today………

Have a great day! 

☀️ 💐 

#aprilshowers #springinvermont #tulips #chooseyourview #enoughisenough
How do you Monday? 

I am 110%. They are always packed full.

It takes some self-coaching to get pepped up but after that first hour of being up, I am all in! 

We can let others impact our Monday mindset but the bottom line is that it is only us that makes the choice of how we respond to what comes our way at any given point of any day‼️

Not perfect, no filters, but 100% me………

#motivationmonday #earlybirdgetstheworm #selfcoached #fitness #mindset #practicewhatipreach
Happy Friday. That is all. 🌺 #weekendvibes #easterweekend #tulips #restandrestore #fitnessfriday

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