Michelle Westgarth believes that “true health is a mindset.” She works with people in London to help them see their own strength and make a real difference in their lives. Coaching fitness and wellness from her home studio, wellness centre’s and even a beautiful garden centre, she provides yoga and meditation, strength and conditioning classes, bootcamp courses, weight lifting and personal training.
Working out became my therapy
Michelle has always been athletic but had never taught fitness. Following a very painful personal time leading to a breakdown and “awful depression” she found herself with no stable footing and in a situation where she simply didn’t care about her life.
She was forced to reassess and over time and with the support of friends she healed herself. After three months on her sofa, one day she got up and went to the gym. “Working out and running became my therapy“ she explains.
Showing up authentically
Michelle worked in corporate healthcare in retirement homes for many years but following her breakdown couldn’t imagine going back to it. She knew that it wouldn’t make her happy and wanted to move away from the politics, unions and bureaucracy.
Candid about life prior to her breakdown, Michelle admits that she was tired of her own materialism and worrying about other people’s perceptions of her. She decided to stop faking it. “It was such a relief!”
“I also recognised that I had to face the truth of who I really was and how I’d got to a breakdown. It wasn’t easy. Over time I realised I needed to show up more authentically.”
So with a clean slate she decided to get certified as a personal trainer and started working a Goodlife Fitness providing PT and small group bootcamps. Even though she was earning a lot less money she loved the work and felt empowered and so much happier and fulfilled.
In May 2017, Michelle left GoodLife to go it alone. “My main challenge was self confidence and believing in myself enough to do it on my own” she explains. “It was intimidating to enter such a competitive market – London is so saturated and I found it very challenging to establish my pricing strategy, not wanting to undercharge or overcharge.”
However, Michelle was known in the community and had an established Facebook network from many years living in London, Ontario. She posted about her new fitness business and it took off immediately with 100 people sign up for her bootcamp from the outset. Today she has a core group of loyal annual members.
Michelle loves the freedom of running her own business and working from home. With her basement studio a safe haven for herself and her clients, it is a place with “good vibes”.
She also loves the opportunity to be creative and the daily constant challenge of being an entrepreneur asking herself continuously “what can I do better, what can I improve and how can I be a better coach, marketer or mentor.”
Michelle defines strict boundaries with clients and friends. Clients know when she is available and when she’s not. Allotting time for her own workouts, whether it’s yoga, gym or going for a run, she understands that it is essential she builds her own mental health and wellbeing into her business model. “Self care is at the heart of my business.”
Planning for success in 2018!
Michelle plans to launch an online program which will focus on helping people develop the skills and building blocks they need to be successful in life. Soft launch is planned for late Spring 2018 so watch her social media for updates (Instagram @michellewestgarth).
“Key aspects will include nutrition advice to feed your body and regulate mood, daily challenges, meditation, hormone balancing meal plans, grocery shopping lists and of course videos for yoga and workouts for the home or gym.”
Inspiration in London Ontario
“I’m inspired by Purdy Natural and Illbury and Goose and the way they have built such successful brands and businesses in London and beyond.”
“Also, Kelly Rogers at Happy Rock Holistics has done amazing things. She has a unique approach to building relationships and comes from such a holistic place that is caring and authentic.”
Michelle Westgarth current offers and promotions:
- 2 for 1 Yoga – 2 people, 6 sessions each for only $60!
- Learn to Meditate – 8 week learn to meditate course starting tuesday 6th February, 2018, $199.
- Bootcamp – 5 week bootcamp (2 classes per week) for $150, starts Monday 5th February, 2018
Visit Michelle Westgarth’s website here for more info or to book your place! Or follow here on social media @michellewestgarth for regular updates.
Special thanks to Julie Whelan Photography for the photos!