reFORM Studios

Last week we shared a little bit about the Grassroots origins of Reform Studios. (If you haven't read that blog post click here à ) But we thought it only fitting to tell you a little bit more about founder Katrina's story because that's a bigger piece of the puzzle. Here it is in her own words.

"The truth is, I am every single one of our clients. What I mean by that is I went through a long period where I was overweight, I was not eating healthy and I was living out of a suitcase on the road working too many hours. I developed a really negative body image because of how I used to live. I always compared myself to my former athletic teenage years where I used to be able to do things like run, jump, squat, wear single-digit clothing, play soccer without getting winded and even get dressed up without feeling self-conscious. All of that changed and I thought my athletic days were over.

What many people don't know is that I quickly gained a solid 30 pounds after I stopped competing as an athlete after college. It wasn't pretty and I wasn't happy about it but I felt powerless to stop it at the time. Even though I was still young, that phase of being overweight, not taking action to correct it and feeling unhappy about my body went on for about a decade. So when I say I am every single one of my clients, what I mean is I had the same struggles.

I remember having goals and fitness aspirations and struggling to meet them within my manic work schedule.

I also know what it's like to look in the mirror and have your mind instantly filled with negative thoughts.

I know what it's like to look in the closet and dread having to put something on.

I know what it's like to avoid going to social situations because I'm just not comfortable in my own skin.

I know what it's like to avoid relationships because I was afraid others would view me as negatively as I viewed myself.

I know what it's like to turn down opportunities because I was afraid of being judged.

I felt all these things and sometimes I still do. What that means for me is that I truly understand the obstacles all of our clients go through. I walked in their shoes and believe me, I get it.

 The beautiful thing about reFORM Studios is our coaches understand as well, because so many of them have the same personal struggles. My desire to create a comfortable place for women to come and not be judged, while working on improving their health and fitness, stems from my own personal pain and conflicts. I had to go to a big gym and hired a young male trainer to get myself moving, and though I was not comfortable, I pushed myself on.

My biggest regret is that I went 10 years hiding myself from opportunities where my picture could be taken. I think now on all those memories lost because I was too self-conscious about my health and fitness and it makes me sad. My true goal in forming reFORM Studios was to create a comfortable, inviting and supportive environment so women don't have to feel those fears that I felt. I want to help people get over their negativity and self-loathing. It's not constructive; it's detrimental and it has a huge impact on those around you. It impacts your career, your family, your friends and your relationships but mostly it impacts you. It hinders you from living your life. That's the real tragedy I want to help women avoid.

Life is short but it can be really sweet and we can learn to treat ourselves better and learn to appreciate the amazing bodies that we have. That's really the emotional driver behind the formation of the studio. That's what kept me going when I was stuck outside training in a park dodging thunderstorms for 5 months while we tried to figure out how to set up this quirky studio. That's what keeps me going every time I hit a snag in the road. It's seeing all the faces of the women we’re helping. It's seeing all the success stories and seeing their successes as my own. Community support is a powerful thing. Empathy is a powerful thing. And the more women we can empower by empathizing and being supportive, the better off our community will be. By making women stronger, we’re making our communities stronger too. Someone recently asked me wouldn't I have liked to have found a place like reFORM Studios when I was struggling. The answer is “Absolutely!” Perhaps then it wouldn’t have taken me quite so long to get back to a better place. My hope is that I can encourage women to understand it's ok to struggle but there are people and places where you can go for help and you don't have to wait. You don't have to wait for the perfect time and miss out on more opportunities. Don't wait until it's gone so far that you just don't have a choice but to change. Start now because life is too short and you don't want to miss out on it."

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