A frank look at how to find your strength in 2022
With a new year comes the familiar catch cries: “A New You”, “Diet wonder”, “Miracle weight loss break through”, “Patented new technique!”. It’s hard to hear them all over the loud crunch of potato chips as I lie here akimbo on the couch, but I get the gist. I’ve the great fortune of being pregnant this post-Christmas indulgence season. And even though the baby accounts for about 10 grams of my newly accumulated 5000 grams, you best believe I’ll milk that excuse through to 2023.
While it’s fun to look good, what I notice slipping away from me is that incredible feeling of strength and even calm that comes with having a fit(ish) body; a frequently exercised body; a body that trusts you to take it for a walk every day and test it with resistance training. That’s why I will be making a gentle return to training in 2022. I see women like Fairlight local (and manager to some of our Aussie music favourites and celebrities) Jen Fontaine and think, “yeah, she can handle what 2022 has in store for her”, and that’s an enviable trait.
Jen is a more extreme form of fit than anything I personally aspire to, but that’s also the level of fit she needs to meet her equally extreme life. A single mum who runs her own management agency Private Idaho, Jen is constantly on the move with a “gap-free” schedule and a constant yo-yo between The Beaches and Los Angeles. Yep, even in the year of COVID, Jen (where legally able) was on the move. Four quarantines meant eight weeks of confinement, all necessary evils to do her bit in an industry hit hard by pandemic. She is also a mentor to women and men focusing on the power of supporting each other with balancing work and life due to the impact of the pressures surrounding them in the entertainment and lifestyle industries.
Her secret weapon – the reason I am writing this today – is newly minted Northern Beaches resident and World Gym personal trainer Jiani Mazza. Jiani has been training Jen for three years, and even entered a bubble with her, alongside his partner, during lockdown to keep her trained and resilient.
When Jiani first met Jen, she was in the midst of a divorce and working herself to the bone.
“My business was really working successfully and, on the exterior so was I, but I knew deep down everything was falling apart. I found myself emotionally and physically drained and I needed to pull myself out of a personal funk and raise the bar in my health.”
Jiani is a transformation coach, but, despite the buzzy title, what he offers is worth its weight in gold: simplicity.
“I just stay in my lane and do the principles well,” he explains.
“I don’t think there is much that sets me apart from other trainers, in fact the principles of improving body composition are simple, so I try to keep it simple.
“My focus is to help solve my clients’ problems with their lack of progress. It can come in many different ways and usually its very common and simple mistakes that just need to be addressed and fixed with consistent accountability.
There are enough fitness industry so called “experts and specialists” that do everything but don’t do the basics well over and over.”
“With Jiani, what you see is what you get,” adds Jen. “He has a very straight up no nonsense approach to his training. He’s quick to tell you if you’re cheating yourself away from moving forward and he will definitely tell you if you are skipping any steps. Jiani asks for you to be as consistent as possible and I love that he preaches that ‘skinny doesn’t cut it anymore’!
“As a teenager and then in my mid–20s I did fall foul to an eating disorder but my key issue around that was around elements in my life I couldn’t control. I have learned to listen to my body and realized that over-training can also be an issue and something Jiani keeps a very close eye on.
“My family, friends and clients can see how happy I am and am incredibly present. My body is my body and I am proud of it but you can’t see the real benefits – my mindset and inner resolve and voice is so much stronger.”
Jiani explains that Jen is goal orientated and willing to learn. You don’t need to be razor focused or fit to begin with, but you do need to be coachable. Willing to listen.
“With Jen the main things I could see when we started was just getting her outlook away from the whole eat to lose weight to a more sustainable approach, looking at food to build a stronger and healthier body. Restricting food will only get you so far for so long.”
“Over the last three years we have gone through many different training phases together, from building a foundation of trust between client and coach to each new program developing skills and new ways of challenging her. Being a part of her journey and transformation has been more than just the physical and we have created a life long friendship.”
So Jiani, what’s your advice for those wanting to make some positive changes in 2022 but feel they don’t have the time, energy or confidence to get moving?
“The first step to change is you must start doing what you are not doing.”
And your advice, Jen?
“Stop giving your best to other people and carve out time each day for your health. If you have to wake up 1-2 hours earlier, do it. If you can find time at lunch time or evening … do it. Invest in yourself. Life is short.
“There is no magic quick fix. Jiani and I do the same things over and over again. I thought this would be different but it’s not. This is key. Plus understanding there is some pain but it’s only temporary to break through some barriers and bring true inner strength. Regular training will give you the best results. Match it with good nutrition. Balance is key. Sleep is key. Trust is key. Showing up is key. Keeping things simple is key. Real results take time. There is no finish line just amazing benefits at any stage.”
“The combo of a down to earth talented trainer in Jiani and an amazing gym at World Gym on the Northern Beaches makes it worth connecting with Jiani. It’s scary walking into a new place and meeting a new trainer but don’t fear any of that. Everyone is working on something and in their own lane of fitness and health.”
“The skills I have learned when training with Jiani have transitioned into helping me in all parts of my life. My clients know that if Jen’s in the gym there is mental work being done that will benefit them. I found myself again during this experience. I am a better person, better in business, a better mum and friend. Just do something for you.”
“It’s about action. Move for you. It’s been a game changer teaming up with Jiani. He has a variety of levels in his client base and adjusts training goals specific to that person. We’re all a community #teamjiani and I have gotten to know lots of his clients of all ages and levels.”
Thank you to Jiani Mazza at World Gym Northern Beaches for sponsoring this article. This supports Manly Observer as we continue to grow our own strength in 2022.