Jumpstart 2018

Avoid New Year’s Remorse by Starting Wellness Habits Now.

January 2nd is 
almost its own holiday, when those who over-indulged with holiday eating, drinking and spending vow to make big changes. But it’s often short lived. According to U.S. News, only 20 percent of those resolutions will be kept past mid-February. For those wishing to beat the odds, we asked two of Decatur’s long-time fitness and wellness resources for tips.

Start Now

Taking action before the new year can be the difference between discipline and disappointment. Debra Kelley, founder and director of Decatur Yoga, uses the word “maneuver” to describe approaching the holidays.

“Routine and discipline help us hold on to good energy and best intentions throughout the season and tune in to how we get off track. Inspirational injections into the psyche, such as a regular yoga practice, help us stay on track and avoid the drama of holiday spending, eating and drinking.”

In addition to yoga, Kelley’s studio offers some holiday-inspired workshops in December including creating a vision board, sonic solstice and restorative resolution.

Kelley began her own yoga practice as she recovered from foot surgery in 1996. The benefits inspired her to get certified and

eventually open her own studio in downtown Decatur in 2003. She’s a pioneer in the yoga world, being one of the first studios to offer numerous styles of yoga under one roof. There is a full schedule of hot and non-hot yoga classes with different methodologies and varying temperatures. Pilates classes are also offered along with supplemental wellness workshops and trainings.

Small Changes Make 
a Big Difference

People making changes post-holiday often give it up because they try to take on too much with a complete overhaul, according to Total Fitness Control’s co-founder Gartrell White.

White encourages those looking to make diet changes to start with something less drastic. He takes on the first and last meals of the day in his approach with clients. “I begin with bookending my clients with a good breakfast and the right dinner. We don’t worry about what comes in between until we get those right. That way, it becomes a way of life.”

White is a former college athlete who suffered an injury his senior year that changed his career path from professional baseball to accounting. He began dabbling in bodybuilding and worked his way into professional competition.

While Gartrell no longer competes in professional bodybuilding, his wife and business partner Tamekia does. The Whites opened Total Fitness Control in 2004 and moved to their downtown Decatur location in 2008. They offer fitness options for experience levels ranging from newbie beginners to get-back-in-shape “soccer moms” (and dads) to serious high school and college athletes. TFC has an indoor boot camp as well as options for one-on-one training and nutritional coaching.

It’s Always the Right Time

Many people wait for the right time to start, but there are options to suit all ages and varying levels of injury and body abilities. Decatur Yoga serves clients from cradle to cane according to Kelley. Their classes begin with prenatal and postnatal, as well as kid, teen and family yoga. They also include therapeutic yoga and even a chair yoga series. It’s important to her to provide a supportive bridge “to get you from where you find yourself to where you want to be.”

Plan for the Party, Avoid the Guilt

White suggests a planned approach. “If it’s not part of your plan, don’t partake,” he says. “If you’re going to a party and that’s part of your plan, enjoy. If someone brings in donuts to the office and it’s not part of your plan, don’t.”

He says the most important thing is continue, even if you go off plan. “Most people feel guilt and turn one misstep into two because they give up. We can fix anything, don’t let the guilt win.”

It’s a Practice

Both professionals agree that meaningful change will be a practice and not perfection.

Kelley uses meditation as an example. “You can’t just say you ‘want’ to meditate,” she says. “It’s difficult, no one has a meditation gene. You have to take small, consistent steps and create routine and discipline in your life to receive the benefits.”

And she’s not shy about the benefits that come from building a yoga practice, saying it stimulates awareness which leads to mindfulness. “You then take these important qualities off the mat and into the world to make it a better place,” she says.

Gartrell and Tamekia White specialize in customization for every client because every body adapts differently to different foods and exercises. Gartrell credits taking an approach to fitness and weight management as a practice with being able to distinguish between science-based trends he incorporates and gimmicks he doesn’t. “Even driving a car straight requires little bits of adjustment,” he says. So does hitting and beating a goal.

The highly tailored approach means each client is held accountable to their very specific goals, according to Tamekia. “Most clients who aspire to lose weight, lose a measurable 10 or more inches after the first 6 to 8 weeks and can see significant tone. We greet our clients with compassion, love and empathy and deliver nothing short of the results they signed up for.”


Find more information about personal training and bootcamp schedules at TotalFitnessControl.com or call 404-941-7144.

Find more information about upcoming workshops, yoga classes and the new location at DecaturHotYoga.com or 404-377-4899.


by Mel Selcho