Mirror Mirror on the Wall- Archna Mohan's Story
Archna Mohan, Holistic Lifestyle Coach (based in UK) shares her story of how she changed her own life first and how she is helping her clients change their lives now.
The other day I was writing my personal statement and I looked back at my journey in the fitness world. It has given me so much but at the same time taught me lot of priceless life lessons too. I do not know how my blog will progress but my gut feeling says that this blog will be one of my best blogs for sure at least in my own eyes.
My daughter is 16 now. I decided to work on my beautiful body when she was 2 years old. We all need something much bigger than us to move and bring change. I was accustomed to hearing lot of abusive, self- hatred words, degrading my whole existence just because of one reason only that I was not seen as a good match for my handsome husband. I was big but trust me I was the same woman from inside as I am now, it is just that I have become wiser, and actually kinder too with time.
So yes my turning point in life was when I felt really humiliated and worthless during an incident. Yet something inside me stood strongly and I realised I had relied on others to make me happy and healthy for too long. So I decided to take charge of my own health and life.
I started walking and eventually running. I joined a gym and soon I figured it out that my body is made for lunges and squats. I started training people without any qualification in fitness initially and later qualified myself as a group instructor. Soon with my hard work, dedication and passion I became a personal trainer, Kettle bell instructor, TRX trainer, Circuit trainer and did few nutritional courses too.
I was fit, smart, intelligent but somehow I was not enough in my own eyes still. In every course or seminar that I attended, I found someone who was fitter and better than me. The quest to become perfect did not stop at any point in my life. I signed up for a yearlong nutrition and weight management competition where I had to submit a picture in bikini. I got a lot of ‘wows' for my picture, but when I looked at it, for the first time I thought it’s not the old Archna I knew. It also made me wonder what dream was I chasing and who was I trying to prove that I am beautiful.
Believe me, I had a very good shape and perfect health, but there was something still missing! I realised, I was still chasing those wounds, hurts from childhood and I was still listening to the words which in the first place had made me move. I was very confused but at the same time I knew that I will find a way. As I had found my way to fitness and a satisfactory career.
In the second phase I started learning more about the body and how the muscles get cramp, pain, shorten, lengthen, stressed and issues related to posture. I was ready to take a deeper dive now to find my answers. I did bio-mechanics course from UK. I found Paul Chek through internet and then I started learning more about him and his work. The more I read, the more I was convinced that this will take me closer to where i want to go. One strong aspect of his training is relating to movement, corrective exercises, posture in a very scientific way. I qualified myself as the first level practitioner under the guidance of Mathew Wallden whose knowledge of human body is absolutely amazing. In addition to the human body, I also learnt to focus on mental, emotional and spiritual side of well-being.
Suddenly, I could see how this learning was complementing my work as a practitioner and a holistic coach. I continued pursuit of advanced qualifications and completed the highest level in the field. During the course, I also got an opportunity to work with Emma Lane who is one of the finest practitioners I have known. I am grateful to her for all that I have learnt from her. Very soon, my work and my whole life started transforming in a significant way, and there was a noticeable twist in my story. I could see deeper in my client’s psyche and the reasons for their deeper issues and the results were amazing.
One of my early clients, during this phase was a young girl who came to me for weight loss. While coaching her, I also realised that she’s dealing with addiction and self sabotage issues. Armed with this knowledge, I started working with her on both the issues and I can proudly say she not only got out of her mess but passed out from one of the best universities too. Now this was certainly a very different result than what I was used to getting from my clients. I just did not change the body shape and size, but helped her get away from the causing agents permanently. It was not just the body that changed, but her life as well, by helping her identify the purpose of her life. This was a fascinating twist in my journey to deeper knowledge.
The more I learnt, the more my hunger grew to understand human emotions and their impact on our body and life. I worked with Anodea Judith on Chakra system, with Debra Goldstone on crystal therapy and with J P Spears on self sabotage. During this period, I continued to gain insights on my own on healing and inner child issues.
They say, human body is the most complex machine. And I totally agree with this. The more I learn, the more I realise how less we know about the impact of our thoughts, actions, food and behaviour on our body. How we treat our body is primarily due to what kind of life we had led when we were kids, the family where we grew, the neighbourhood and the environment in the school. I have learnt that your work place, your colleagues and your friends, all have a powerful impact on how you treat your body.
My training in fitness, complemented by Holistic Life coaching skills, training in precision nutrition and knowledge of Chakra System takes me closer to understanding the reasons behind the manifestations that show on your body – it may be your weight, your complexion, your reaction to food or exercise.
Our body gets fuel through eating. Look around and you find that there are people who eat like crazy, there are people who are very careful about what they eat; and there are people who simply don’t care. There are so many myths about food, about diet and nutrition. Why are some people who eat like crazy can still maintain their weight? Why do some, who despite being very careful about their diet, end up suffering from a lot of food related diseases? I myself have experimented with a lot of food types and have seen varying results on my as well as my clients’ bodies. I was always intrigued by the effect of food on our body.
You know, learning never stops and my questions on food and eating habits, then led me to a new learning journey on the Psychology of Eating with Marc David. The past almost eight months has been a series of revelations – with loads of research work, books to read and his amazing course. In 2 months time I will qualify as a Coach in Psychology of Eating. And I have already started wondering what next, after this.
Starting as a fitness trainer in a gym, I continued my quest for knowledge. The knowledge that would help me win the trust of my clients; will help me put conviction in my prescriptions to my client and the courage to challenge the ‘marketing gimmicks’ of boot camps, revolutionary diets and all those ‘drop a kg in a day’ workouts and diets.
I don’t claim to possess the holy grail of knowledge –but my prescriptions are based on knowledge and proven experimentation over a number of years. I have a good figure and I’m proud of it. I don’t look my age; and I’m proud of it yet to me my most important achievement is my health, and my tuning with my body. Whatever be the shape or size of my body, I stand for a purpose and a dream which is much bigger than that.
I have lot of friends/colleagues who know me since long, and they tell me that I have achieved all this as I had a lot of family support. True, I have two wonderful grown up kids – one in the University and the other about to go to a college, a wonderful husband who supports me and an adoring dog. And my parents who brought me up with unconditional love. But most of you have the same. I graduated in humanities and was a software engineer. Changing your career in your mid life while balancing your family life, is not easy for sure.
There have been occasions in the past when I questioned my ability; when others questioned my abilities, when I was struggling to be a good mother and a wife while completing the assignments for a course. What saw me through was my firm determination. And if you’re determined, you’ll see through the worst onslaughts that life can throw on you.
I get a number of inquiries from potential clients who want to work with me. The key thing that I look for in them is how determined they are to resolve their challenges. If I see the spark of determination, I am very happy to work with them. I can convert the spark into a fire and I keep on fueling that determination. Changing a life-long habit or belief is not easy. It can cause you immense stress and to those around you also. But if you’re determined, one day everything starts falling in place. And when you look at yourself in the mirror, you wonder if the person in the mirror is the same.
When I look in the mirror I feel very proud of the image. I feel proud of the person I have become. And I want to spread around me, the joy that I have found and the wisdom I have gained. When it comes to clients, I want to keep breathing, keep moving, keep loving.
Archna Mohan is a Registered Personal Trainer with deep experience of working with clients of all abilities to help them achieve their goals. She is based in UK and combines the knowledge of fitness, wellness, lifestyle and bio mechanics to deliver a tailor-made programme for her clients. She loves challenges and helping her clients to achieve maximum improvements in their fitness, nutrition and Wellness.
She also coaches female clients globally via Internet and helps them walk the tight rope of a balanced lifestyle. To know more about her visit her website