Harsh, intensive weight loss programs are not right for me. They have messed up my body and made my weight yo-yo. Slim and lean by nature, I am now a gorgeously soft dumpling. But I want my strength back. And I think I may have found someone to guide me gently and patiently through finding my body’s balance again.
The surprise is that my Obi Wan is a cheerful, screaming killer fighter.
She happens to be obsessed with the best performance a body can give – which takes much more gentle growth and patience than we tend to think of when we’re thrashing our bodies just to ‘lose that last ten pounds of fat’.
However, it makes perfect sense to focus on a practical strength goal; to carry our growing children, compete in MMA or wakeboard all summer is a much more positively focused motivator than simply wanting to get rid of fat for vanity.
The mind’s attention is more on fun, recovery, going further and faster and avoiding injury by doing things the right way, not just the fast way.
So on Friday I meet with one of the owners and ‘body transformation’ experts of Warrior Academy, Tricia Yap, to check out the fairly new venue and hear about the Warrior Academy ethos. With muay thai, olympic lifting and gymnastic movements on the schedule, I’m definitely intrigued.
I tell her I would very much like to break out of sea cow dumpling life and into active cat life.
(Right now I’m balancing sleepy cat life and hungry cat life, so I figure a little more agile cat life may be in order… and lets be honest… see below gif…)
I like the website concept of ‘bridging martial arts, strength & conditioning, wellness and nutrition to provide a complete holistic health and fitness experience regardless of your age, gender, ability or experience‘ but have no idea what that rather ambitious statement might look like? Tricia welcomes me to come visit and my lazy cat life acquiesces (because, you know… curiosity killed the dumpling?)
Walking into the gym is a novel experience, like walking through a organic hallway cafe into a gym. It’s homely and confusing at the same time. Why is it so chill?
Big comfy chairs have workout wearing coffee drinkers happily chatting, a wide bar of fresh sushi and banana bread smiling across at the neat railings of electrifyingly coloured fitness fashion on the opposite wall. Mens and womens changing rooms merge seamlessly into the wall and there a reception desk and neon WARRIOR ACADEMY sign before the room blossoms outwards into a wide clean and bright workout area with first floor windows along the length of the wall.
Tricia spends a generous amount of time answering my questions as I slurp on a blueberry power smoothie and I walk out having jumped on board their upcoming 12 week program, which as most of you know is shockingly proactive for my epic cat life nature- all the more so for the fact that my lungs were devolving into some type of mushy lerg at the time.
Last year I’d tried another fab gym, adored CrossFit, explored fun martial arts and had a personal trainer chase to body sculpt me as an example… but nothing seemed to fit exactly what I was looking for, even though I really had no idea what was missing.
I hadn’t found anyone to guide me into good habits at my bodys own pace.
Here though I seemed to be given that answer in a completely non-sales way. Between chatting about edgy fashion (obviously) and scoping out what the location looked like – complete with entryway cafe, full little kitchen, boxing ring, wrestling mats and chillout tables to enjoy healthy post workout yums, I asked Tricia why she co-founded this place.
The answer was frank, direct and completely heartfelt, with my favourite points being that she wants people, especially women, to be able to build and develop their dynamic strength and physical balance in a holistic and sustainable way.
Not just for superficial looks and not from a quick fix intention, but for agility and ability to have a strong active and able life with practical power – with toning, weight loss and superficial things coming as a side effect of the body’s health boosting and growing.
She wants us to feel good, not just look it.
Plus she wants to focus on form first and then build up from there, always staying attuned to the body’s wants, needs and natural progress as well as educating along the way – which is why there’s the ‘Academy’ part of the name.
Tricia genuinely seems to want to empower her tribe, and that’s exactly why I signed up.
Monday morning my belly is churning with nerves at the thought that I’ll be put through some gruelling overly intense workout, but we do warm ups and intro to proper form and then work through that with only a light sweat building up. Tuesday is a reasonably horrifying but necessary testing day with burpees, pushing weights on a sled called a prowler and general time testing of ability and fitness. (Apparently my cat life has resulted in rather strong hamstrings… probably from diving into bed…)
Thankfully Wednesday we rest and are encouraged to attend the two extra classes that comes with the program fee but my lung lerg is battling it out and makes Thursday arms day a little tough. I sadly have to miss Friday’s leg day because of lerg invasion but am pretty impressed that I experienced none of the painful muscle fatigue that I’ve had in the past (from overexercise – going to quickly into strength training or intense cardio without much foundation.) I know I have twelve weeks to get through and it’s going to fly by, but I really appreciate the gradual guided progress that I can see in each session – subtle increases in additional reps or heavier weights proportional to ability whilst maintaining good form.
I’m thankful to have met Tricia and to have discovered Warrior Academy and I’m honestly pretty excited to see how the next eleven weeks play out and the results they yield… at the end of this journey I’ll post photos of my 12 week body journey, the dietary progress of which will of course be supplemented by my return to corseting with 12 weeks of waist training (which mainly just reduces my portion overeating).
Stay tuned for WEEK 2 of the DUMPLING DIARIES….
More info on Warrior Academy is HERE at their website.
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