by Nicki Bannerman
It is hard to imagine that our ‘Body actually means Business’ but it starts to make perfect sense by knowing and understanding that without getting the right nutrients and energy our body and brain really needs then our career and lifestyle may not be able to function as efficiently. (Imagine a car or a plane running without the right fuel then the journey may not be quite as effective or even get to the eventual destination).
My own personal journey began when several years ago I met up with the dynamic Angela Middleton (of Middleton Murray) who has already got an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II for services to help youths with their careers, and her business acumen has included working with high-flying inspiring visionary leaders such as Richard Branson and Tony Robbins . Angela has put together her own strict and disciplined YBMB fitness and coaching programme which is a very clever concept indeed that I was thrilled to sign up for post surgery as my rehabilitation. Imagine having your own personal trainer to train your body to perfect condition, a dietician to offer you nutritional support, a business consultant to coach and mentor your career and a life coach to offer you goal setting support and consistency. This programme is not even for athletes or celebrities (although I am sure they would be welcome and encouraged) but this is for everybody as we all need to spend the time on our self-care as an investment in our own future health and wellbeing for longevity and energy in our lives. And following my own major surgery what better a journey for me than to see the transformation of my own body, mind and lifestyle transformed before my own eyes.
The 13 week programmes are predominantly for women, although men are also included, to help train their body, their mindset, their careers and their lifestyles to gain strength, confidence, and a toned sculpted body – what is not to like? Angela has even encouraged her daughter and her son to join her businesses so it is really appealing and inclusive to all ages. We can all be helped to smash those limiting beliefs and avoid those safe spaces we hide in and just get out of our comfort zones and become the very best version of ourselves.
If you look at Angela’s ‘before and after’ photos from when she began her mission at 55 (to how she now looks at 58) the results are astonishing. She is a hard task-master but puts herself to the tough test too but she is fair (and wouldn’t have got where she is today without the right attitude and boundaries). She is herself an early riser at 5am to set herself up for the day – but just look at the results of her own award-winning career and personal accomplishments in her life as a CEO and with her toned physique and army of dedicated followers – the results actually speak for themselves. But to join her YBMB rolling programme and get results anywhere near similar you have to be really committed, dedicated, accountable and responsible as this is self-care and time exclusively for you. Although it is a financial commitment and an investment in you and may initially seem expensive it combines 4 elements of your life in one with Body, Mindset, Career and Lifestyle so it is potentially even a good return on investment and amazing tools to set you up for life.
So having interviewed each other for our respective podcasts – I appeared on her IWant2BeA podcast several years ago and Angela also appeared on my The Influential Women podcast overcoming adversity with thrivers and survivors and life hacks for coping with life challenges – we had a similar passion for health and wellbeing. Mine was largely as a broadcast journalist on radio and on podcasts and chatting to inspirational guests about their wellbeing, hers was as an example to others on what can be achieved physically and mentally.
Angela is a mentor and role model example of how adopting a ‘no excuses’ strategy and committing to a high level of routine, discipline, determination, support and tough love as a teacher and coach can actually make a real difference in a short space of time. She can demonstrate that you can change your whole life from mindset to body and lifestyle in literally only 13 weeks. With the right tools and knowledge she has gleaned throughout her career – her team of trained expert coaches can guide you through a programme that actually makes sense. You may already know some of the advice on diet or lifestyle but the eureka moments and combination of the mindset and other tips and support really inspire you to get motivated and involved.
My YBMB journey with Angela began after a major hip replacement operation in November that meant my rehabilitation and journey back to fitness was going to be a long slow frustrating (and painful recovery with muscles and bones repairing). However I was enthused, albeit prematurely early to the programme only one week after my post op rehab and recovery but their support was available and my long term goals and vision are to eventually achieve 10,000 steps which I have not done for years and to even get rid of those bingo wings once my physiotherapists and consultant has signed me off.
So here we are (as a group and already one third of the session in) and I have already observed dedicated regular training sessions (that I cannot yet do most of quite yet), WhatsApp weekly catch-up training sessions, facebook reports, schedules, tracking, monitoring and ‘tough love’ coaching but when you follow the programme then results happen fast. With a combination of a lot of water, good sleep and great mind, body and career coaches to explain each step of the journey you can change your life. Her programme which I bravely volunteered for (even though it was only a week after major surgery) meant my mind was willing but my body slightly unable and progress would be slower for me. It is not for the faint-hearted though as you really are held accountable and expected to hold your side of the bargain to get the results they want to help you with. I can see the shifts on the rest of the group already though just one month in.
Whilst my initial progress was limited I have started watching my nutrition more closely, upped my water consumption, improved my sleep, monitoring my steps and am modifying my mindset. Although behind the class of fitness gurus I am told this is not important as everyone has their own goals and is focussed on those.
I am still on crutches but broke through a huge milestone yesterday in the park and achieved a master goal set of 1000 steps (largely on one crutch) and I have discovered that extra protein in our diets really can help all of us with our healing and simply knowing the vision and direction that you are going in for your personal health and fitness is a real bonus and so is having someone like Angela who really has your back.
When you realise you are not alone with the self-sabotage, the guilt trips and snacking and the good and bad days you realise that not beating yourself up with wanting to be perfect is possibly the answer and that change is always possible. We can all become a better version of ourselves but comparison to others is possibly the road to unhappiness. It is only by changing and improving ourselves that it actually makes us feel better about ourselves whether we feel stronger, fitter, leaner, healthier, more energised or have met those small goals – that is what it is really all about.
I now see that even within a group (where you possibly feel humiliated without the right fitness gear or the high number of steps achieved or are not as strict with yourself with your workout class or protein/carb ratio even on zoom) that it is only down to you and you only have yourself to inspire or impress. It is when you finally recognise that maybe there really is no judgement from the others but really just support and encouragement and that everyone is actually in it for themselves to see their own shifts and improvements. We are all trying to help ourselves be a happier and better version of ourselves to then help our own life whether it is a more toned body, a better more successful career, a stronger fitter body or even longevity in our lives then when we focus on ourselves and what matters to us and where we want to be then we actually can believe this really can work. Our positive self-talk can actually make a massive difference.
I am actually looking forward to the New Year now and to walking again without crutches or pain, to getting fitter and embracing the next Mind, Business and Lifestyle sections that follow the Body initiation session. I know I need to ‘up my game’ to keep up with the modules and prove the commitment and interaction and do regular reporting to get those results for myself a bit faster but once I can walk effectively again there will truly be no stopping me!
Angela has a qualified team of fitness trainers and expert guests and coaches who have the knowledge to help and guide you. There is also a very dedicated daily opt in choice of multi workout regimes from dawn til dusk (which I am sadly currently not involved with) but will join once I am signed off by my consultant with attempts for the first time in my life with body building, and weight training and weekly meditation and listening to expert coaches and specialist guests.
The excitement over the last few days is that I started lifting some food cans on zoom with my 1:1 coach (armed embarrassingly with tomato soup and custard) but I will actually be building up to weight lifting and toned guns by March I am optimistically anticipating. Evidently it is a myth that women can’t put on too much muscle it takes years to do that!
If you saw the before and after pics of Angela from a normal body shape of a regular mum at 55 to a toned, sculpted bronzen goddess at 58 – you would be in awe and immediately want to sign up. The commitment physically and with the right mindset and obviously financially are a challenge but you are really only investing in yourself. She really has reversed her own ageing and improved her energy levels and the results are mind-blowing!
And if Angela’s mother in her 70s has actually been trained in the gym to lift weights and she has personally coached people of all ages and stages including others in rehab and recovery from surgery and other debilitating illness then I have no further excuses to not get well and truly dedicated and motivated in the New Year!
Watch this space when my leg hopefully heals and my steps improve then maybe in 2021 the only way is up and for my body to also mean business!
Nicki Bannerman is a broadcast journalist, podcast producer/presenter and health and wellbeing radio presenter. @NickiHBC and @InfluentialPod and www.nickibannermanradio.co.uk
The Influential Women Podcast is available for download on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple podcasts and Alexa. Fem Foundry App women’s networking space podcasts coming soon.