I never cease to be surprised and delighted by the dynamic of the groups of women who join us at The Body Retreat. Of course we work hard to create an environment that is both nurturing and supportive while at the same time challenging. But the glue that holds it all together is something the women bring themselves. Despite the fact that the women who join us come from different backgrounds, are of different ages and even sometimes from different countries, support is offered, encouragement is given and friendships are formed.
This weekend I had the opportunity to experience this for myself as I attended one of our Bootcamp Days in Berkshire. This group was all return clients but only two of the ladies knew each other having been on retreat together earlier this year. I did wonder if my joining the group as a member of staff might change the dynamic of the group, but I need not have worried.
From the start the group were warm and welcoming and I soon found myself laughing along as stories of past retreats were shared. Stories about challenges faced, barriers overcome and concerns about set backs were all discussed over kettlebell swings, tricep dips and russian twists. It was during the abs class, 3 hours into the day that it struck me, I hadn’t laughed this much for ages. So much so in fact that I dropped a kettle bell!!!! The hours flew by and because I was having fun I gave 100% in every class. The last class of the day was boxing, suitably we lined up in our pairs to the Rocky theme tune, everyone felt tired by this point even the regulars, but soon there were burst of encouragement “keep going” “you can do it” “only a minute left” …not from the instructor but the women spurring their partners on for a strong finish.
We finished the day over herbal tea and home made banana and walnut loaf and discussed how good we felt. I felt great.
I do regularly work out at home but it can be lonely training on your own, and if I’m honest I perhaps don’t always push myself. There are days when im in the gym and I think “im not really into this” or “id rather be on the sofa watching TV” and guess what… I don’t last much longer. But being part of the group was different, yes there were times when I thought “this is tough” or “how much longer” but I kept going and I felt better for it.
Its perhaps not surprising that research suggests that social support from groups helps you to achieve your goals and that you are two thirds more likely to not only lose weight but to keep it off if you have this support. I certainly found that my motivation and commitment was improved by the support of the ladies on Sunday and I’m looking forward to joining them on another day soon.