My dear boy, you have changed my life beyond all recognition.
I have always been very good at putting on an act and for most of my life, have fooled my family and friends for the most part into believing I was happy and confident.
Since working with you, this is becoming a real and solid reality. I’m still neurotic, still fearful at times but guess what? With your help, I actually don’t mind those things and accept and laugh at the silliness of them. All part of me and all owned happily!
Alex, I can’t thank you enough for coming on this journey with me, making me laugh, helping me see the balance of it all and just being you. I hope you know how much you are loved and appreciated. I’m incredibly fortunate to know you and even more fortunate to have your support. XJan W.
I’ve always been active and, fortunately, healthy. I became all the more grateful for the latter after leaving my old job, which was very stressful and both physically and emotionally challenging. My health began to suffer as I lost weight rapidly, and my mental health began to suffer too.
I was so unhappy; I didn’t know where I wanted to be, or what I wanted to do, apart from “somewhere else” and “something else”. I became fixated on thinking about how many other people felt this way, and maybe felt like they were running out of time.
I thought about all the people who had lost their chance to be whatever it was they wanted to be. Their uniqueness – the thing that only they could bring to other people’s lives – lost to the world, forever, because maybe they felt that they had reached a point where nobody could help them.
People whose lives had been made harder, sadder and shorter because of illnesses and poor quality of life, when perhaps they could have been helped if they knew there was somewhere to go.
The thing with feelings like that is that once they’ve popped up, you never forget them. Those feelings haunted me long after my placement ended and I came home. Finally I gave in to them and accepted that I needed to change direction in my life. I needed to help these people, somehow.
Why the Studio exists goes back a couple of years to a time when I was getting really worried about what was happening to people.
Cumbria had recently been named “Fattest County in the UK”, and every time I went to the gym, the more I thought there really wasn’t anything to help people who were really, truly struggling.
I saw the way morbidly obese people were treated, and I felt angry that the fitness industry was failing the people who needed it the most. People suffering with morbid obesity and related problems such as diabetes, heart disease, joint and mobility problems and so on, were either being left by the wayside as being too “risky” to train or being fobbed off with rubbish diet plans based on zero evidence or scientific merit.
These were people who deserved better, and I really wanted to help.
Which brings us back to me, in a gym, realising that the fitness industry was failing those people most in need of it. I saw obese people, and people with ongoing health conditions, being told they couldn’t be helped because, basically, they weren’t fit enough to get fit.
I couldn’t help but feel that if I carried on down this road I would just become another part of the problem, instead of part of the solution.
So I decided to set up on my own.
I spent what felt like forever searching for a space to call my own. One morning, having been let down by an agent, I took a punt on viewing a premises just so I didn’t waste my morning – and happened to find the Studio.
At the time it was nothing more than an old hairdressers in the back of a Victorian townhouse, but underneath the peeling paint and knackered plaster I saw the potential for it to be transformed into something really special.
A few months of hard graft and TLC and that big empty room with airy French windows had become what it is today – a designed-for-purpose fitness studio where people can work out in total privacy with professional help at every step.
Finally, a safe space for those people I wanted so desperately to help.
I wanted to feel the confidence that comes with being stronger and physically fitter. I hated the idea of becoming frail and vulnerable with increasing age. Most people see ageing as an irreversible process, but I’ve never believed that.Steve P.
The majority of my life I’ve had an unhealthy BMI, being medically just underweight. So my goals are to get stronger and heavier, and I don’t think I could improve on either of these without Alex to guide me through. Doing it on my own so far has proved to be useless.Inigo B.
Now, several years later, I have the privilege of being part of a small but wonderful community of people whose lives have been changed forever by their experience at the Studio.
The people who thought they were beyond help now have somewhere to go and somebody to talk to.
Somewhere to be without being judged or feeling like they don’t fit in.
Somewhere they can work towards their goals in total one-to-one privacy.
A place where not a single word of advice is given without solid scientific evidence to back it up.
A place where they won’t be turned away because they don’t tick all the boxes.
If this is you – and you feel like you have nowhere to go – you just found your safe place.