Our Beginnings in Burnaby – Weight Loss Clinic Opens
In 2011 we opened a little weight loss clinic at the local family chiropractic clinic on Hastings St in Burnaby, BC. We were open 2 hours a week on Tuesdays evenings. Louise Francis was our first client who started March 11 2011. She had seen Zan’s amazing results and knew Zan had struggled a long time to lose weight. She was inspired to try the same program. Look at her smile! Louise totally transformed her body in so many ways. Her doctor was extremely happy too!
Within a few months we were seeing over 20 clients per week and 3 months later we were in our very own location at 3724 Hastings St. It was an Italian family who owned the building and they became a part of our Vital Body history. Mike would keep telling us to stop putting money into the building. But we had a vision that our clinic would be a place for clients to feel well, nourished and looked after.
We did minor renovations year one and then as we saw clients kept coming from word of mouth we decided to add two extra coaching rooms and started hiring and training coaches to join our team. Our renovation was a beautiful creation. It became a home away from home for the staff and a gathering place for people looking for a healthy way to lose weight and make lifestyle changes.
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Growing and Learning as a Weight Loss Coach
In 2011 we had a cutting edge program that showed people how they could lose weight without starving themselves or doing extreme workouts. People were successful left right and centre. It was always surprising to learn from clients how many ways they had already tried to lose weight with no success.
That being said, learning how to maintain weight loss was still not fully understood. There were some solid concepts on food combining, reintroducing carbs slowly and managing insulin and glucagon. I must admit we were still relying on clients having some willpower and we were not focusing enough on developing the habits needed for long term success.
As weight loss coaches we are always engaged in learning, deepening our understanding and expanding the tools and resources we have for our clients. Being a certified Ideal Protein Clinic means that we are supported by a full medical advisory board and team from Ideal Protein. Ideal Protein has been engaged in medical studies in hospitals, pilot projects, working closely with obesity specialists and cardiologists and pharmacists. The learnings have been extraordinary.
We have always known that weight loss is more than just what to eat. But our three phase program now includes and addresses habits, behaviours, hormone imbalances, and the understanding of why people regain and how to counter that.
It took a while but eventually we had 100% confidence to tell clients you can reset your metabolism and your mind on our protocol. Is it always easy? Definitely not! But the mystery of why we regain and how to ensure the weight stays off is no longer a matter of hope and prayers. I admit, again, there were some years at the beginning where I just prayed the client would be successful. I did not have foolproof tools or knowledge to ensure the client could be successful. We do now.
Opening New Clinics in Squamish and Downtown Vancouver
Eventually we opened a weight loss clinic in Squamish and one in downtown Vancouver. We were blessed to attract clients looking for healthy weight loss. I sometimes worried about encouraging negative body image with a focus on dieting. I did not want to be part of the industry that promises you will be happier if you lose weight. Happiness must come from within has always been a way of life for me. Relying on external circumstances to be happy never made sense to me.
Yet losing weight, feeling more energetic, feeling in control around food and feeling at ease in my body were awesome results. Seeing clients fit into their jeans and delighted with their results and having more energy to live their life fully had us keep going. Keep going with our messaging that weight loss is a journey and it includes self-care and a resetting of the body and mind.
Weight Loss and Wellness Focus
We have kept things very simple at Vital Body. We don’t do promotions. We encourage clients to start when truly ready. We are transparent, honest and realistic. We aim for a balance of inspiration, education, guidance and support. When a client says you have to “kick my ass” our response is we will show you how to become consistent and reliable at taking care of you!
We look for how we can help clients find their own solutions and insights. We want intrinsic change. Motivation is great but it only lasts a short time. For long term success you need more than motivation, you need to build new habits. Motivation gets you started but discipline and learning new skills is what keeps you going.
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Healthy Weight Loss leads to a Surprise Pregnancy
In 2013 I was healthy, radiant and loving my 40s. I had spent my 30s feeling fat, bloated and trying one thing after another to get fit and lose weight. And then boom I was pregnant. My husband and I had a 15 year old and were very surprised (to say the least) and had to change our plans for how we saw our future.
I had a very challenging birth experience with our first. This time around, I was confident in my body. I knew it was healthy and strong. I chose to have a home birth and it was brilliant. More on that in another blog post!
All that to say, getting fit, losing body fat, and eating whole foods were all part of having an amazing pregnancy and birth experience.
We know many people come to us because they are looking for ways to have a healthy pregnancy. There is no guarantee of course but either way it can’t hurt to get healthy, reduce your body fat and feel stronger and more vital before getting pregnant. There are many Ideal Protein babies out there, they say.
Moving Online – Real Humans and a touch of technology – Weight Loss Clinic
March 19, 2020 was our big MOVING day. I had been closely following the updates since January and I’m not one to panic or react so I was kind of chill assuming we could keep going business as usual. I thought it was a lot of hype about nothing.
Then March 17th I thought hmmm this seems to be getting more serious. Then March 18th I called the staff and said starting tomorrow we will close and move all our operations online. Let’s keep us and our clients safe.
Em took on the curbside pick up scene and ensured we could keep everyone safe and on program. Clients loved that they could have their check in on zoom and not drive an hour to the clinic.
We had many clients lose weight during Covid. And we helped many clients stay on track with their response to big stress and find ways to cope without turning to food.
Technology and expanding our reach Canada Wide Weight Loss Coaching
We took on becoming masters of balancing technology and the human touch. Our weight loss program is successful because we are much more than a program in a book or an app. We are professional coaches that understand weight loss, that build a relationship with each client and offer coaching that is very specific to each client.
We learned how to celebrate milestones on zoom, how to know if we were having eye contact and how to bring warmth and rigour to the online platform.
We learned how to strike a balance between being understanding and not letting the check in become casual just because it’s on zoom. This check in is for you, it’s important, and no you can’t do it while grocery shopping!
Long story short we realized that we could take care of our clients over zoom and that our business could thrive with an online model. We know this was not the case for many businesses and we are deeply aware of how blessed we were and are.
Fast forward to 2022, and we continue to offer virtual coaching for Canadian clients – coast to coast. Our roots will always be in Burnaby, Vancouver and Squamish and we now love that we can serve clients in remote areas and all over the country.
The clinic from 2020 to 2022 became a fancy shipping station. You could find Em listening to music and packing orders, becoming great friends with the Canada Post fellow and greeting the curbside crew every week. She always had a smile, tips and recipes for those that wanted to chat.
A new future – Canada Wide Weight Loss and Wellness Coaching
In September 2022 our charming 100 year old building was sold. Our Italian landlord is in his 90s and it was time for him to let the building go. We looked for another location but then realized the covid term – PIVOT – applied to us. We had to rethink and not just keep doing things like we always had.
The clinic was 12 years old, it had so much life in it, a gorgeous view of the city and yet after many sleepless nights it became clear it was time to let it go.
It was time to rethink our business model. Bring fresh eyes and energy to the business. We have such a reliable weight loss protocol that in some ways we’ve not had to create new programs or offerings.
So here we are a clinic with no physical clinic. And at the same time, we are a clinic with a huge heart, integrity and a passion for taking a deep dive into the real issues that surround weight loss.
We are creating new programs and offerings to help our clients get the best results possible. Stay tuned for workshops on eating plant based, our mindfulness course in partnership with Gina Miller from hereforthis.com, workshops on why we sabotage ourselves and much more.
If you want to know about our main offering, our 3 phase protocol that ensures you lose weight quickly and safely and that you learn how to keep the weight off then book a free consultation or join one of our free info sessions.
Book a Free Consultation – click here.