Episode 6: Doing what you were always meant to do: from television production to Pilates studio owner – with Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith explains how she went from working in television production to train as a Pilates teacher before opening the Pilates Pod, her own Pilates studio.

Today’s guest

Michelle Smith of The Pilates Pod 

Website: The Pilates Pod

Facebook: The Pilates Pod and Your Body Rocks

Twitter: @The PilatesPod

Instagram: The Pilates Pod

Michelle had intended to go to university to study physical education but was put off (for reasons you’ll hear in the interview) and went instead to work for the BBC and from there into TV production.

However, Michelle’s love of Pilates started after discovering the exercise following a car accident and using the method to recover from a back injury.  She made the decision to study as a teacher after returning from a year in Australia and became certified in both contemporary (Stott Pilates) and classical Pilates.  Having trained professional sports players, stars of stage, screen and music, and broadcasters, Michelle opened the Pilates Pod in 2011 and, in 2017, qualified as a fully-comprehensive classical Pilates teacher.

Michelle is also the founder of Your Body Rocks [link], a campaign to stand up to body shaming and encourage body confidence and body positivity for all.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  • The value of taking the initiative and where it can lead.
  • How a network built up in a previous role was used to generate clients for the new business.
  • How writing an article led to working with an international footballer.
  • How Michelle decided to learn to become a Pilates teacher for herself and how that plugged a gap in the market.
  • The growing pains of a solo-preneur.
  • How the quest for work-life balance resulted in the complete opposite.
  • Combating imposter syndrome.
  • The influence of family and its effect on business.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase.  This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.

To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.

Episode 6: Doing what you were always meant to do: from television production to Pilates studio owner - with Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith
I took the plunge with three hours a week. That was all I had - three hours a week of work. A class in Harpenden, a class in London and a one to one class and that was it - three hours. And initially I thought, gulp - swallow. But I dunno I just thought I'm going to do this. I mean, I have to do it, right? You know, I had to pay the bills and didn't have a family or anything like that. I had a boyfriend and we had a house but...

Jeremy Cline
This is Michelle Smith, who's a pilates teacher and founder of the Pilates Pod, which is a classical pilates studio. In this interview, we hear how health issues actually led Michelle away from her career in TV production and into pilates but how it was actually family that provided the impetus and the inspiration that she needed to build the business that she has today. I'm Jeremy Cline and this is Change Work Life.

Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the Change Work Life podcast - the show that's here to help you beat those Sunday evening blues. My guest this week is Michelle Smith, who has actually helped me experience first hand just the benefits you can have of practising pilates. I do a regular office job and found that I was just starting to get back ache just as a result of sitting in the same place for hour after hour. And pilates and through Michelle's help has really made such a difference, so I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a really interesting story this one. Michelle originally planned to go into physical education, but you'll hear how she ended up being put off that, for really not very good reasons at all. But now she's effectively gone full circle and runs a very successful pilates studio. So let's just get straight into the interview. Hi, Michelle, welcome to the podcast.

Michelle Smith
Hi, Jeremy. Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Cline
So for those that don't know you, and I'm sure they're probably are a few, can you explain a bit about what you do and what you're about?

Michelle Smith
So I'm Michelle, I own a studio, a pilates studio in Hitchin Hertfordshire called the Pilates Pod. We're a classical pilates studio, and I'm also a mentor for the classical teachers on the training programme with Pi Studios in London.

Jeremy Cline
Cool. So I'd certainly like to talk a bit more about that, the whole pilates thing, the business thing in particular. But can we take a trip back through memory lane and talk about how you actually got here? Because you you started out in TV production, is that right?

Michelle Smith
I did. So I always wanted to be in fitness. So at college, at school, I was always very sporty and healthy-minded, and, you know, went into netball, and badminton, as my sort of two main sports and entered those at county level, went to college become a PE teacher, but had some difficulties at college with other people being not very nice to me. I had bullying at school, it continued into college, and I had some horribleness with some blokes. And that put me right off education, to be honest. And so I decided I didn't want to continue education, even though I would like to have still been a PE teacher and I completely changed course, and went to work for Whitbread, where my uncle worked, and had my first taste of money. And for the season of summer holidays, I thought, this is good, I can earn money. So I quickly decided, you know what, I'm going to get a job. And I think when I told my parents I wasn't going to university and there wasn't a huge amount of debt, they actually sighed relief! But I thought what do I actually want to do? What am I interested in? And I just started flicking through adverts and papers, and nothing looked very exciting. To be honest there was nothing really caught my attention until I saw an advert for the BBC. And as it turned out, it wasn't an advert for BBC it was an advert for Office Angels. And they were recruiting for a number of different companies of which BBC were one of their clients. I went along to what I thought was an interview for the BBC, but it was a typing test. And I pretty much blagged my typing test because my typing was that kind of one finger quick little type and I kind of blagged my typing test having had quite a bad sort of allergy attack that morning of hay fever, couldn't really see the screen and the lady felt sorry for me and bumped my scores up a bit. And I became I became a PA for the BBC and quite quickly thought, oh dear, I'm way above myself here. What am I going to do? And so my first entry into work life working for BBC was quickly make friends and fake it till you make it. And yeah, I became a PA to the BBC. I learned how to touch type quickly. I learned how to send my first email - I hadn't even done that when I got there - and I became good friends with other PAs over a drink at the BBC bar, and any creative work I did it for them, any sort of quick fast typing stuff I needed churning out quickly they did it for me, until they caught their talents up and I caught my talents up and I stayed there for a number of years. So yeah, I was quite a high flying PA for very high senior management team in the BBC and then I moved into internal web design and became an internet designer. And then I left to start sort of parading around London and moved out to Australia and did some backpacking. And then when I came back, I thought I'd better get a real job - and decided I'd sort of go back towards the BBC and ended up working in production companies and doing TV world for Ralph Little's production company, which was called White Legs and Sniffer and worked as their production assistant. And really, whilst they were in Africa doing a show I was holding the fort for a few weeks. And that's all my job was - a couple weeks of just holding the fort, but whilst they were away and me sort of twiddling my thumbs and being a sort of person I am, I thought I'm a bit bored so I'll clean the place up and reorganise things. And then I thought I must have some ideas. And I came up with some show ideas for TV and radio. When they came back they were quite pleased with the show ideas. And we pitched them together to celebrities and to other TV companies and radio companies. And some of them took off and so I got a job and I stayed there as their sort of coordinator, researcher - anything you can turn your hand to job - and that was my sort of next entry into production.

Jeremy Cline
That's quite a story in itself!

Michelle Smith
It's quite a story, yeah.

Jeremy Cline
Can I just ask you just going back on the the backpacking round Australia, what was the motivation for sort of...

Michelle Smith
Heartbreak Jeremy, it was heartbreak. My motivation was heartbreak, I broke up with my boyfriend. And I couldn't bear to be in the same country as him. And so a friend broke up with her boyfriend and we decided, let's do this while we're still young. And although I think I was very aware that my job already at the BBC was a great job, and it could have been greater, I already had done some work with CBBC, I'd done some presenting stuff, and I kind of got a taste of I could do a lot more of this. I'd done quite a lot of voluntary stuff myself and production companies and stuff for the BBC as well. And I probably could have carried on that line. I was just very young. And I was still only 20, 21 when I was at the BBC. And I thought, yeah, I've got to go and have a bit more exploring and spread my wings before I come back to the seriousness of jobs and things. So yeah, heartbreak led me to Australia. And it kind of led towards my turn around for pilates.

Jeremy Cline
Well that's a great link in. So you're, you're this - so you go to Australia, you come back, you move into TV production coming up with all these ideas. Sounds like things are going pretty well, in the whole TV production space. So talk us through the change into pilates.

Michelle Smith
Yeah, so I'd had a car accident when I was at college. And the car accident left me with quite a bad back, and neck. And so I was really suffering with that for quite a long time. And I was relying on the NHS physio, relying on the standard care, the TENS machine and the painkillers to fix me. And I will say, you know, that was with, you know, speech mark inverted commas because it didn't fix me and I just relied on them to fix me. And when I moved to Australia, I didn't really think about it too much. It was just the way I was living with this pain. Luckily for me, my gym had a pilates studio inside it. So I started doing mat work pilates there - didn't like it, didn't get it. And then I moved on to apparatus. And when I brought in the apparatus and worked with the springs and worked on the reformers, it changed how I felt about pilates, I understood it a lot more and I got a lot more benefit from it. And that's how my love fell about into pilates. So I decided whilst I was in Australia that when I came back, I was either going to set up a production company and go back into doing media, or have a pilates business and I was going to call it Karma Junkies because that was that was a section on a radio station that I liked in Australia called Nova 969. And they had karma junkies and it was all about these two guys who go around spreading good karma to people, and I thought it was a nice ethos. And I liked that ethos, and I liked the name and I thought - addicted to spreading karma - I'm going to spread the karma for how I've become healed and fixed through pilates, and I'm going to continue to spread that love and pass on that heritage and work that he created - Joe Pilates - and pass myself through karma junkies. But I came home and I decided hmm, I don't think I am going to go back into TV production. It was quite an unstable job when I was working in freelance world, it was very week by week and you would come to the end of Friday and they'd say okay you can have another week, you can have another week - and it was a bit scary. And I thought I would probably need to pay off some money that I've accrued debts of, living the high life in Australia, and I better start to get a bit more sensible. So I decided to go with a more of a longer term career plan and went into pilates and decided yeah, I am going to do karma junkies and I switched like that. So the instability went for a lot more instability, no job.

Jeremy Cline
I was going to say, you went from the instability of freelancing to the instability of starting your own business, the genesis of your own business?

Michelle Smith
Yeah, I mean, I had good contacts already in the BBC - obviously I was already very much established with people there. So initially, I set up classes in amongst all of the different BBC sites in their gyms. And so I would advertise pilates classes, and I would work out of the gym to do one to ones or I would hire the meeting rooms and do classes. So it gave me quite good bread and butter money to do that, and, you know, people knew me and you know they go by good recommendations, so people recommended me and there was a cluster of BBC sites, I'd just travel around between them. And so that's really how it started. And I was still doing some of the production work just here and there for a bit of extra money. And then one day, they just said we're really struggling with with money at the minute and I don't know if we can keep people on and I said, you know what, I think I want to take the plunge and go for this with my company. So you know, we've had a great time thanks very much, let's leave it there. And so I did, I took the plunge with three hours a week. That's all I had - three hours a week of work. A class in Harpenden, a class in London and a one to one class. And that was it - three hours. And initially, I thought, swallow! But I just thought I'm going to do this. I mean, I have to do it, right? You know, I had to pay the bills and didn't have a family or anything like that - I had a boyfriend and we had a house, but I just thought well, I will make it I will make the work and reputation just went off. And I did, I made the work. So it kind of just took off from there. And then it was really, I think, a turning point - I'd been working for, you know the gyms and stuff doing classes there - and I got called one day by Watford football club and asked if I would come and chat to their head physio. And I did and told them all about pilates and how it could work for footballers. And they gave me a bit of a trial. And they loved it. The sessions, they loved it. And I stayed being the resident teacher for pilates for Watford football club, all the way through for several seasons, they got promoted, and it was great. And Hertfordshire Life magazine got in touch with me, and wanted to do a feature - I had a double page spread about my work with the football club. And then I got a call from who I thought was Paul Robinson from Neighbours - that's who I thought the phone call was! - it was his wife, and she said my husband is Paul Robinson, the England goalkeeper, and he and I have seen your article, would like to do pilates with you. We want to do it privately together in our house several times a week. And I thought, no you don't! Who makes those phone calls, who gives you a phone call to say, 'We want you to come to our house and several times a week do one to ones'? And I thought it was a joke. And so to be completely honest, I thought somebody was having me on - I thought my brother was having me on - he's a bit of a football fan. And so I kind of kept my cards quite close to my chest and said 'oh well I'll check my diary, I'll see if I can fit you in, and I'll come back to you,' took the details and put the phone down, and quickly phoned my brother said, 'Yeah, yeah, very funny!' Told him who it was. And he said, 'No, no, seriously, that's the England goalkeeper'. And I said, 'Oh', so I quickly phoned them back and said 'Yeah, I just happen to be available. No worries, I can do that.' And I think that's when really things you know, took a little bit of a turn and my sort of profile in pilates sort of raised the game a little bit. And obviously working for them. So that was a fantastic period of my life, and my interest of working with footballers has continued, and I still work with footballers to this day.

Jeremy Cline
Okay, so what I would actually like to do is just take a bit of step back to when you made the decision to actually start teaching pilates, you said that you'd started with the mat work and it hadn't worked out very well. But then you'd started with the equipment. And you'd really seen that make changes. Now you know, I I think pilates is brilliant - I've been practising it for 15 years - but I can't see myself ever becoming a pilates teacher, I just don't think it's for me. So I'm curious as to what took you from discovering this thing that was great for you to actually wanting to teach it to other people?

Michelle Smith
Purely... Well, a couple of things really. I don't mind standing up and talking in front of people. Obviously, I sort of was going to become a PE teacher, then I had worked in media - I had done TV and radio presenting. So the idea of standing up in front of people and talking didn't fill me with great horror. And I know that is is the case for a lot of people - they love pilates, but they couldn't see themselves doing that. So that didn't fill me wth horror, so that seemed fine. And I genuinely had been bowled over by the the benefits it'd given me. And I was so passionate about it very early on that I just thought other people must love this and hear about this and experience what I've felt, so I wanted to pass on that joy. And the other thing was that I came back and started working as a pilates teacher really because there wasn't many places that you could do pilates sort of 20 years ago. And so when I came back and said I do want to become a pilates teacher, I first of all thought, 'I'll go back and to do some classes for myself' - and living outside of London, there really wasn't much opportunity for you to do it. I'd been in Australia, hadn't really realised that it was quite far ahead, as they are in America, of where we were in the UK. And without me wanting to do a class back and forward to London, there wasn't much opportunity for me to be able to do one. So kind of a bit naively to begin with, I thought I'll just become a teacher so that I can learn how to do it for myself. And if I pass that benefit on to a few people, that's great. But I've got the skills to do my classes for my body, because there's no way I was going to let my body go back downhill again. And so I actually thought I'll try to become a teacher so that I can just keep it up myself.

Jeremy Cline
That's really interesting. So you you kind of got into it because it was your own pain point, it was you wanting to do pilates, not having the opportunity to do it local to where you wanted to. So you effectively filled that gap.

Michelle Smith
Yeah, for myself - I just yeah, turned myself into the person that I wanted to be taught by. And, yeah, you know, other people started to come along, and it just sort of filled in from there. But originally, I just kind of didn't even think necessarily I would go and teach it - just that I would learn the skills from learning how to become a teacher to teach myself so that I could maintain what I'd been doing and keep that benefit up, otherwise I knew I'd be back to the physios to rely on them again.

Jeremy Cline
Okay, so you've built up this reputation acting for working with England footballers and that sort of thing. How does this transition into actually creating your own base, so rather than, you know, going around to other people, or I don't know whether you're hiring halls or that thing. What then makes you decide that actually, you're going to make the investment and I'm sure it must have been a substantial investment actually to have your own premises and start your own thing, your own Pod?

Michelle Smith
Yeah. There was a midway point. So you're right, I was very much on the road. So I'd have quite a large client base eventually and I was very much - I had my diary - and I'd be rushing here, see that client, rushing back. And I spent a lot of time on the road in between. And you know, it's not very obviously organised for you. Clients don't just want all the sessions around Bedfordshire then move towards Hertfordshire and teach there, move to London teach there, you know - you were back and forward, you'd have a client in London, go off to Hertfordshire, come back. Your day was all over the place, and a lot of your time was spent rushing. And I thought it was a bit ironic that I would be arriving to somebody's house or venue where I was supposed to be teaching this wellbeing technique and I felt exhausted and panicked and anxious because I might be late and did I forget something. And it also reached a bit of a point from a business sense that I could only be myself, there was only one of me. And even though I had more and more interest, I couldn't duplicate myself and I couldn't satisfy the demand. And I was only going to be able to reach a ceiling level of income because I could only teach as many people as I had hours for the day and I didn't want to completely break my neck and work 24 hours a day. And so I had a halfway point where I took a job as a studio coordinator and then became their studio manager for another studio and just happened to be in Harpenden asking around. I was asking about apparatus and someone said, Oh, I think there's a new spa studio that's opened. And they have a reformer, one reformer, and the rest is yoga classes, dance classes and pilates classes. So I went there saying 'I can do this, I do reform, I do the apparatus'. And they were like, fantastic, great because nobody was and they didn't know. And so I became a teacher for them and quickly had a number of hours. And I became the studio coordinator and then with my natural kind of business kind of acumen and organisational skills I sort of very much had a 25 hours bread and butter sort of job. Whilst I could continue my karma junkies building profile up in one sense and be this little stable sense for them. And that was my halfway point. And I stayed doing that for eight years. And I loved working for them. And we had great success. And then we brought in lots more apparatus and I helped develop their studio for them - ran the studio as the studio manager and had a number of instructors working with us. So it gave me good training ground for what it's like to run your studio without having the financial worry of running the studio. And I could see very much what it was like - the stresses and strains behind the business. I worked very much with the directors and I could see they were a family business. And I could see what it was like to you know, to have 85% of your income go on wages, for example, and I could see all those things that you don't necessarily know that happens. And it was just the birth of my first child, Dylan is now eight that I thought, hmm - re-evaluate. I went back part time. And it wasn't as flexible in the work-life balance as I kind of hoped it was going to be by being part time. And as somebody who was a studio manager, I still was expected to do a number of things, to be on call when I wasn't working. And I would often have to come home with my child, and then I would get a phone call from a teacher, it would be my day off, but I'd have to go into work - and I couldn't really manage that with a small child. And it wasn't really working for us as a family. And I wanted to spread my wings a bit more. And I thought yeah, this is the time so over a bottle of wine in the garden, my husband and I decided, Okay, let's do some sums. And we just did very basic sums on you're earning this much, if you did it for yourself and you did x amount of one to ones, you could earn the same amount of money and you'd have a lot more work life balance. And that was the Pilates Pod born. And then work-life balance went a little bit out of the window to be honest Jeremy, because of the success of Pilates Pod. So yeah, that was the original idea - we would have a studio. We started small, very sensibly - we worked outside of an osteopath clinic and when they weren't using one of their rooms, we used it for a day a week whilst I was also running the other studio still, and looking after my son. So it became crazy life. But demand was huge. I took another instructor, demand was still huge, and after three months, I had to make the decision. Where was I going to go? Do I want to, you know, turn away the demand and keep it small scale? Or am I going to go through this and we thought 'go big or go home'. And so we arrived to where we are now at Bancroft and found the premises, took out a loan, went for it. And that was yeah eight years ago. We're here still, through recession! Woohoo.

Jeremy Cline
Fantastic that's an amazing story. It's really interesting - at the start of this interview, you talked about what I would describe as imposter syndrome. When you started at the BBC. Have you felt any of that as you've gone through sort of the the teaching the studio managing, the starting your own thing? And if so, how have you dealt with it?

Michelle Smith
I mean, I think running your own business, there is a huge amount of imposter syndrome because you don't know what you don't know. And unless you've got a lot of money to be able to put a whole management structure in place and hire the people who know what they're doing - let's face it, most people don't when they start out - you have to learn quickly on the job. So I very much became an imposter because I would be the teacher, and then I would have a different telephone voice to be my receptionist when the phone rang - which was just a separate mobile we took out - and then I would talk in the third person. My husband was our branding person so we always had the Pilates Pod as a brand that people expected to see as a big sort of premises. And I think they were a little disappointed when they arrived to an osteopaths that had, you know their bits and pieces and reformer in the corner, and me! And it wasn't quite the marketing branding that we portrayed. And so I did juggle many hats - I would have a baby in one arm pretending to be the receptionist for something else and pretending that the computer had gone down, because I couldn't quickly do the work that I needed to do whilst attending my baby at the same time. So I pretended to be lots of people to appear perhaps bigger than we were to start with. And I supposed to lie to myself that I've got this together, I could do this. And I'm a big believer in sort of 'fake it till you make it' - not in any kind of serious way. You know, if you're a surgeon, you obviously to have skills, but you know, I've got my skills, I knew what I was talking about. I just needed to convince the rest of the world really. And so I, you know, pretended that I was all these people until I could hire some more help and had some money to have more help. And then I would sort of spread out a bit. So yeah, very much so - just do that. I mean, in pilates skills wise, never, never do I ever think 'fake it till you make it' in that. I'm a huge, huge believer on authenticity. And you know, the training, there are no shortcuts - well, that's life there are plenty of shortcuts - but I think you will be found out if you are taking the shortcuts. So from my sense, in the pilates teaching, it was always about getting closer and closer and closer to the source, getting truer and truer, deeper and deeper and never being satisfied with the course - having done the course, it's a constant - I'm still training now, decades later. But the knowledge of running your business can be very much imposter syndrome and just keep learning it. Learn by your mistakes. Don't do that again. That didn't work, change that. You know, try it - just keep trying, make mistakes, fail. Learn from those and then pick it up again. And now we've got a team of people, but we're still learning on the job. That's what you do.

Jeremy Cline
You've mentioned your family a couple of times, and I know that they're clearly very, very dear to you, I mean, you feature them on your website and you've got cute little cartoons of your kids. So could we talk a bit about how - not how you you sort of juggle parenthood with the business - but how your family have influenced you and what effect its had on how your business and how you approach things has developed?

Michelle Smith
Yeah, you're absolutely right. They are a huge power source to me, and they are a huge influence to me. Obviously, the reason we started the Pilates Pod was because the birth of my child. So if we didn't have Dylan, we wouldn't have the necessity or want or desire to have something that will provide flexibility or work-life balance. And it was something very early on, we thought this is something perhaps we can leave our children, this is something that I wanted as a legacy. So Dylan very much was the driving force for me starting it. And I've always from a very young age called Dylan, my barometer. And he is very good at measuring the pressure in the air. And that pressure is me. And I can sense he still does it now I can sense through his behaviour when he was a small child, if he was being good or bad, it was my, my atmosphere that I was creating and that was driven by, you know, being overloaded and being overwhelmed with multiple things that were going on. So looking at my own children has actually helped me to think, you know - the balance of the scales is a bit skewed here. And I'll need to address that. So they've always been my constant and my constant influence. We expanded the business when we had Ruby, and she's coming up to three. So I don't know, there must be something in that psychologically that I expand waistline and expand business at the same time, there's got to be some link in there! I think there is something about pregnant women have these creative impulses that happen when they're pregnant. So there must be something to do with that. But I think that's beautiful. I think it's lovely that I can blend them in. And they are very much part of what we do. We are very much - it's not Michelle's pilates - it is the Pilates Pod, it is about the whole team. But the team, for me are my husband, the driving force behind the branding, and my children behind the whole influence of everything we do. So they are, they're featured proudly on our website.

Jeremy Cline
Fantastic. Michelle, I could literally talk to you all day, but I'm conscious that we are coming up to time. I'd love it if you've got any, through this journey, any particular resource which just has really helped you out just - you know, whether it's a book or a course, or just a quote - just something which you've looked at, and just has really helped you with what you've done?

Michelle Smith
I think there's a few things. I think, if we're thinking about organisation and business and that kind of side of things, honestly, moving to Android, and having Google Drive, for me has been the complete life changer for me. I feel completely organised with Google Drive. Thank you, Google. And, yeah, I just love it we all use it as a team together, we all have sharing facilities on stuff together, and it works very well communicating across the team and sharing things. So that's from an organisational point of view. For my own balance of mindset point of view, I have to balance my mind because I'm very driven, and I can very easy burn out, I quite enjoy the business side of things and I can quite easily go down that road. So for me working and understanding more about Ayurveda, and I've been seeing an Ayurvedua practitioner for a while now. And part of that has been meditation. So I very much enjoy doing Deepak Chopra, and Oprah Winfrey's 21 Day Meditation Challenges that you can find on YouTube. And also, you know, just buying programmes from them. And the Ayurvedia books that I love. I buy one of the leading specialists called Dr. Vasant Lad, he's a specialist in Ayurveda. So I've kind of learned how to manage stress mindset through using those. And I suppose really, for my own self, the sort of quote that I use, and it's my own quote, is 'invest in you'. And that means, for me for training and education, I never trained to be a teacher because I thought it would make me money, or I thought that I should do it because it's the new fitness or fad thing. But it was something that I believed in. I think if you invest in yourself like that, you will always do well. But also you have to invest in your self-care alongside. So invest in yourself, and you'll always be true to what you're doing.

Jeremy Cline
Fantastic. And Michelle, where can people go to find out a bit more about you and the Pod and everything that you do?

Michelle Smith
So the website is the pilatespod.co.uk. We're also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all at the same name. And also check out Your Body Rocks, we have a Facebook page called Your Body Rocks, which is our body positive celebration. And standing up to body shaming is something that I have discovered has been a horrible journey for me and personally been attacked by it. We are asking people to celebrate body positivity in all shapes and sizes as we do in a Pod and as we should do in life. So check out Your Body Rocks and get involved and painting some rocks.

Jeremy Cline
Fantastic. I will put the links to all of those in the show notes. Michelle, thank you so much. This has been absolutely amazing.

Michelle Smith
Thank you Jeremy.

Jeremy Cline
I felt like there was almost a redemptive quality to Michelle's story. And here she was planning to do physical education at university but then got put off by insults of others so really not a good reason for stopping the pursuit of what presumably at the time were her dreams. And yet look at her now - she's running her own extremely successful physical education business. Unfortunately scheduling meant that we didn't have time to discuss her Your Body Rocks campaign. I actually listened to another interview with Michelle on a different podcast, where she explained how this campaign arose from people making some pretty outrageous comments to Michelle and about Michelle and about what she was doing and about her body and all that sort of thing. Really, really nasty stuff. But rather than shy away what she's done is come out fighting and used the experience to start this campaign which is intended to fight body shaming and celebrate the fact that quite simply, everyone's body is different. So it's a fantastic campaign. I will link to the Facebook page for the campaign in the show notes as well as to all the other links and resources that Michelle mentioned in the interview. And you'll find these at changeworklife.com/6, that's number six. If you haven't yet subscribed, please do so. And I'll be back next week for another great interview on the Change Work Life podcast. You don't want to miss it and I look forward to seeing you then. Cheers. Bye

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