Why FitNut Loft Exists

Why FitNut Loft Exists

5 years ago, I had just recovered from my final bout of chemo, when I chanced upon a tiny space that was being vacated. I thought - is this my calling? Should I open my own studio? 

Prior to getting breast cancer in 2015, I was working as a part time pilates instructor for another studio in Singapore. I was a busy mum and wife, always on the go juggling the demands of this life I created. 

 

But in September, just a month before my cancer diagnosis, I was already entertaining ideas of having my own space. I was feeling antsy, and thought there was so much more I could do to help others without having to answer to a Boss. And it went far beyond just doing pilates. 

 

But when the diagnosis was delivered to me in October 2015, that all came to an end of course. 


Cancer crushed my confidence 

My treatment spanned about 13 months. I had 9 surgeries, a bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy. 

 

During this time, I was still an employee of the pilates studio but I wasn’t actively teaching. As part of my recovery, I wanted to keep moving and exercising. I wanted to use their equipment to exercise because “cancer wasn’t going to stop me!”.

 

But I was just too embarrassed to go there. 

 

I had put on 16 kg from the cancer treatment. And, I was embarrassed. 

 

Because, how could I, a fitness professional, get cancer??

 

Well - I’m not about to open that can of worms. But, my mother died from breast cancer when she was only 38 and her sister had breast cancer twice. Even though I tested ‘unknown’ for the BRCA gene, perhaps I was carrying that gene after all. 

 

Or, it could have been a combination of all sorts of other factors. I’ll never know. 

 

In my mind I also felt that everyone was judging me when I went to workout in the pilates studio. I’m sure that they weren’t really judging me, but I “Felt” like they were. I didn’t feel safe there.  

 

Stepping into my regular gym was also a no-go. This is because when I was there one day working out, a Personal Trainer (who knew about my breast cancer journey) remarked unkindly “You’ve put on weight, eh”? 

 

I was devastated. I ran out of that gym and I didn’t step back in again for a year at least. Those words hurt me to the core. 

 

I felt judged. 

 

I felt unsafe.

 

I felt no one understood me. 

 

Then that one day in December 2016, serendipity stepped in. I was driving home after my final round of chemo when I happened to see a tiny unit in my neighbourhood being vacated by the tenant. 

 

I got so excited, and thought, was this a message? Should I open my own studio - finally? While on the one hand I was so unsure and terrified at this thought. But on the other hand, cancer had also taught me to live and to try. 


The Evolution 

So with a Pilates reformer and chair, I opened up FitNut Loft. 

 

I didn’t want to pigeonhole what I did to work with people. I knew that I wanted to incorporate Fitness and Nutrition. Hence, FitNut. Adding “Loft” was due to the fact that we had a spiral staircase leading upstairs to the Loft, where the classes were held. 

 

Having my own space to workout meant that I quickly rehabilitated my frozen shoulder and lost the weight I had gained. I was thrilled with my achievements. 

 

I slowly gained clients, but I was still unfocused. I wasn’t sure what type of classes to have. 

 

Then I had an epiphany. 

 

I had felt unsure, judged and unsafe when I needed a place to workout to get better. So, surely, there were other women out there who felt exactly the same? And, they weren’t even fitness professionals like I was!

 

Right there and then, I decided that I would help women who were in their 40s and beyond. So that they could workout in a place that made them feel better, safe. And with someone who had “been there”, who would not judge them. 

 

But, how would I conduct a small group class with only 1 reformer, 1 tower and 1 chair? I didn’t want to do just a basic mat pilates class you see. As I didn’t think it was very interesting, nor did I think it would get the results that women in their 40s needed. 

 

So, I experimented. 

 

I put the word out on Facebook that I was looking for women to help me over 8 weeks to try a new type of class. The spaces filled immediately, partly I’m sure because I charged barely anything to be part of this experiment! But it wasn’t about money - I needed to experiment, test and get their feedback so that I could create an amazing new type of group class. 

 

Initially, the format was that it would be a circuit of rotating between the reformer, chair, tower and mat. 

 

But this ended up being a disaster! Because with pilates, you have to be able to cue every single movement and the set up. Nobody had a clue what they were supposed to be doing. It was pure chaos!

 

So, I tried a different tactic. 

 

They would all do the same exercise. But, I would combine weights and pilates. This turned out to the the magic combination. 

 

Because it gave the participants exactly what they needed at this stage in their lives :

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Mobility
  • Cardiovascular
  • And core strength. 

The Strong & Lean Programme was born

Over the years we have been through 3 iterations of what we now call the “Strong & Lean” programme. 

 

And the results have been beyond my expectations. 

 

Over just the initial 4 weeks, women were losing body fat, kg’s and centimetres around their body. 

 

This is what some of them had to say : 

 

“I can now run 5 km without stopping!”

 

“I have less brain fog”

 

“My running style has improved!”

 

“I’ve lost weight around my waist”. 

 

“I can wear clothes I haven't worn in 3 years!”

 

“I have more energy and stamina”

 

Clients found that they were able to do things they hadn’t been able to do for a while, and that our support and coaching was paramount to them achieving this. We have since added a variety of other classes, to cater for different goals and different starting points. 


Exercise for life

But, I don’t just want women to train for 12 weeks. 

 

I wanted to change their attitude towards exercising.I wanted to change their mindset and make them see and agree that exercising is not a short term activity. 

 

I want women to embrace the fact that they should be exercising with regularity, for the rest of their lives.  And that the type of workout they do matters. The women I meet for consultations all say they want to get stronger. But none of them had adopted a strength training routine. 

 

They were intimidated by the gym as it seemed everyone there knew what they were doing. They felt insecure, unsure, and hesitant. 

 

But in our studio - we make sure that they :

  • Feel Secure
  • Are Confident in their abilities
  • Embrace challenges. 

 

I semi joke that in 30 years, I’d like to have a reunion of all of my ex clients. Obviously on hologram! And I’d love for each and every one of them to tell me that they are living happily, independently, and they have the energy to do what they want at that stage in their lives. All because they workout 3-4 times a week. So that it has become a part of their lives. A thing that they don’t skimp on - just like brushing their teeth. 

 

This is why FitNut Lof exists. 

 

FitNut Loft delivers the best pilates and strength training workouts for women in their 40s and 50s to be stronger, have more energy, lose weight and eliminate body pain as they age, in a safe non judgemental space. 

 

And we can’t wait to help thousands more women over the years.

 

What you can do

We can help women just like you with our in-studio or online programmes. Just get in touch with us or email hello@fitnutloft.com We can't wait to hear from you




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