Since the stay-at-home order began, I have seen a boom in online course offerings. It makes total sense: not only do those folks have more time to create, so do people have time to take those courses. I know I have taken FULL advantage of the smorgasbord of offerings, personally, and only wish I had more time to do MORE coursework!
And now, here I am, peddling my own 12 week course as if the world needed another one.
To be fair, though, our first iteration of Comfy LIfestyle ran in 2018, and the program has grown and matured since then. It’s had various teachers who have forever left their impressions on the coursework, and now I, the creator of the course, will be the leader for our Fall 2021 run.
I discovered personal growth and transformation in 2014. Since then I’ve been on a rampage for self discovery, honest and loving relationships, and creating a world that works for everybody. It was out of that that Comfy Lifestyle was born.
Why Comfy Lifestyle?
Early in my career as a personal trainer, I saw a trend among the masses with whom I interfaced: the belief that being a truly healthy person required strict food parameters, a stringent workout regimen, and handstands on the beach. Ok, that last one I threw in there due to my own annoyance with health and fitness people in the wellness industry, but I know you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I even remember sitting on the toilet in my mid twenties reading Women’s Health Magazine and becoming enraged at its images. It prompted me to write one of my first blogs ever regarding the image the health industry was putting out: tall, thin, gazelle-like women who have perfect workout makeup and expensive fitness clothing.
I became aware that creating a belief that wellness is available to anyone who wants it was going to be an uphill battle.
When we see people that look like us in certain roles and spaces, they serve as avatars, making us believe that getting to that same place is a possibility for us. Without representation, getting to a certain place can seem unavailable or unattainable. And, sad to say, it can cause others not to see that as a possibility also.
So why doesn’t health media use a variety of bodies and looks?
Unfortunately the goal of many health and wellness companies is not to attract as many people as possible to actual health. The ultimate goal is to make money and sell shit. And while representation might inspire some to take action, it’s this picture of perfection that has people buying more products, signing up for fancy gym memberships, and joining fads.
And when people can’t reach that picture of perfection, they feel forced to take even more dire action, spend more money, or simply give up, thinking that health and wellness is not for them. If everywhere I look, healthy looks like ‘X’ and I can’t get there, obviously I don’t belong there.
One of the first things we do in the Comfy Lifestyle course is create what health and fitness means to each individual. If a participant doesn’t have an idea outside of the dominant paradigm, we invent one that they can see themselves in.
3 Key Elements of Education
In order to empower an individual's version of healthy living, we use three different types of education: Transformational, Anatomical and Statistical.
Transformational learning is when a person discovers something about themselves that they hadn’t seen before. Once certain traits become uncovered, they cannot be unseen, and with a little practice (and usually accountability), behaviors can be rematrixed to align with a person’s goals or intended outcomes.
In this type of education, we go to work on preconceived notions, or stories, about whatever topic we’re looking to transform. In Comfy Lifestyle, mainly, that’s the topic of healthy living. Then we look at how those stories are impacting the way we show up in relation to living a healthy lifestyle.
The discoveries are incredible. The results can be mind-blowing!
Like a computer, car, television, toilet and any other modern piece of technology, we have a body, but we have no idea how it actually works. Personally, if my computer was not working the way I thought it should, I would certainly not start guessing why and trying a slew of remedies I know nothing about.
But that’s exactly how we treat our body.
During our weekly conversation, we will have a portion dedicated to learning about how the body works and the many factors that impact its performance including energy intake, macronutrients, exercise type, stress influence, sleep, water, genetics and so much more. This dispels myths that may be holding participants back in their goals and can create new openings for action.
Have you ever tried to get anywhere using your GPS device without using your current location? If you have, and even if you haven’t, you know that the software is unlikely to be able to give you clear directions to where you’re going without it. So why do we create goals in regards to our behavior without being grounded in what we are doing NOW?
What does this mean? It means tracking.
No, no, no! Don’t go anywhere! I don’t mean tracking as a forever way of doing things. I mean tracking to collect data. Tracking to understand and see what’s actually happening, instead of assuming or guessing. We track during the course without the pressure of changing anything. Without this vital data, we don’t actually know what we could and should change.
Awareness is the first step in transforming anything. Data will also help in making decisions based on facts instead of emotion.
So...Why Comfy Lifestyle?
Comfy Lifestyle gives participants an opportunity to examine the Health and Fitness industry and who they are in relation to it. It allows space for participants to shape what living healthily looks like in their lives and with their circumstances. It empowers them to take intentional and informed action. And it creates community and accountability around all of it.
I limit participation to 8 people because I want to make sure everyone gets a very personal experience. I am clear that all human beings are all incredibly different, and their lives all have special circumstances. It takes digging and strategizing to solidify flow that works for each person, their lives and their relationships.
Are you ready to live the Comfy Lifestyle?
*Pro-tip: If when reading this, you started feeling like this course is very un-sexy, (statistical and anatomical education blahblah…) consider the marketing you are used to consuming. Most of it is based on finding a consumer’s “pain points” (i.e. fear) and using language that amplifies one’s feelings of inadequacy to sell you the “solution”. Because we are committed to health and wellness, we are more interested in telling you what the course entails rather than all the reasons you aren’t good enough and how we can "fix" everything for you. Begin to notice the way marketing influences you and if you are driven towards living in better relationship with your body from a place of fear or inspiration.