Fitness classes LondonMelissa Powex –

Hi, I’m Melissa, Founder of Powex Health and Fitness.  I came into this world ‘later’ in life, so I’m not 20 with a ‘banging body’ and ‘ripped’, however when I was younger, I was an active sports enthusiast in school – Netball, Hockey, Rounders, Swimming, Athletics (shot put, hurdles and 100m). I was never that great at hand eye coordination sports (tennis and squash – but I’m getting better!)

I was one of those annoying ‘all rounders’, which in some ways was great, but I never knew how to use a gym, weights or really understood exercise in a gym environment until training as a PT.

I’m 30 plus with a child now.  I try and manage life the best I can with a balanced lifestyle with healthy and not so healthy.  Fitness and exercise has always supported my physical and mental wellness.  I want it to be the same for you.

What I’ve done –

I’ve always been interested in how people work and this has led to my studying Psychology, Psychodynamic Observation and mental health Nursing.  I have worked in mental health for around 15 years now, predominantly with young people and mostly working with incredibly vulnerable and risky Inner City London teens.  I have learned a lot about emotions, development of personality and how to manage really difficult situations.

The next part of my story involved working towards a Doctorate in child and adolescent Psychotherapy, which I still feel very strongly about, however life events that really affected me led to a side step and training as a mental health nurse.

Being a mental health nurse is something I’m incredibly proud of, however unfortunately, working in the ‘current climate’ is really hard work. I’ve worked really hard and studied for a long time and sometimes I do not see any rewards.  Fitness and wellness has a very different frame to working with mentally unwell patients. People in wellness want your help! The patients I see often don’t want help because things are just too hard.

How I’ve found myself here –

I ended up becoming really quite unwell physically, while working in my first mental health nurse jobs.   I was experiencing extremely stressful environments, demands and expectations.  I took time off sick for the first time in my life.  Signed off by Doctors for a month.  Some days I could barely walk down the street for how weak I physically and mentally felt.  I thought about what I feel really passionately about… fitness and healthy lifestyle.

During this difficult time, I couldn’t exercise much and I had to change my diet to address some of my physical health challenges.  The Doctor prescribed me various meds but I didn’t want to take them.  My stomach in a mess, my body had given up.  However, the main component that focussed me and got me back to feeling normal was exercise.

My joy in exercise –

My other half has taken a double take at me when I’ve put my running shoes in the bag to go on holiday….even in Copenhagen where it was FREEZING! But, I love running around new cities. The discovery on holiday in running shoes is incredible!  The reward for me after that, is knowing that I can enjoy whatever I feel my body wants or needs.

I decided to start my personal training qualification as I really wanted to offer my laid back approach to fitness and help others incorporate fitness into normal life.  A qualified REPS Level 2 in Fitness Programming and Level 3 in Personal Training, I am fully trained to write you a programme and walk you through it. I want you to actually want to progress this and try and access exercise without me too! You won’t need me forever. I would just love it if you made fitness a priority three times a week! (Only 13% of people in the UK do this!)

I qualified also in Kettlebells, Circuit Training, Group Classes as a PT and have a specific interest in helping you challenge your barriers to exercise. (I’m also First Aid qualified and insured).  Most recently in 2020 I qualified as a Pilates teacher for all levels, orthopaedics and  am waiting on my pre and postnatal qualification.

Fitness blogs/instagram/social media, for me is inspirational. I don’t expect this to be the case for you. However, I would like to help you make a start to a healthier life.

My ‘lifestyle changing’ moment?

My own personal moment of needing to make a change with exercise and lifestyle has always stuck with me.

Working with young people with behavioural problems and in Psychiatric schools and hospitals with predominantly young people had been physically and mentally demanding.  There were no wellness experts back when I’m talking about.  Even then, I knew that exercise gave me some kind of release from stress and low energy at times.

In my current work as a mental health nurse, I have found that physical exercise helps my zen a HUGE amount!  I work around very unwell people and the staff around me unfortunately are not that healthy either.  If anyone didn’t get the MEMO, the NHS is struggling!  Staff are overworked, underpaid and healthy living habits go out of the window with this!

Why train with me?

I want to try and encourage ‘mindful’ exercise. You should enjoy the exercise programmes that I can create for you.  Doing more and improving should be how you feel, not wanting to stop.  My years of working in mental health helps me to understand your needs because I work with all sorts of challenges and difficulties that you might face.  I can train you how you want to be trained, not how I think everyone should train.

My nursing title is ‘clinical nurse specialist’. Does that mean I’m a ‘mental wellness specialist’?!

A trained DBT therapist means that I am qualified in understanding how to help people change behaviour.

I’ve been pregnant, postnatal and I understand what it can feel like not knowing what you are doing. Learning is a passion of mine and I often like to try and make sure my knowledge is based on scientific fact.  Getting to know you is part of that science, I want to work with you.

It would be great if you would allow me to help with your physical exercise goals, but also achieve a healthy balance of life.