10
Feb
By: Matt Hagler, CEO – The Biggest Loser Resort

After last week’s stroll down memory lane to illustrate how everyone has adversity and challenge in their own journey, I thought I would shift back to more recent events and pay homage to my wife. Natalie was born to be a teacher. As with most things in life, although natural gifts are given to us all, diamonds are made by adding work ethic and focus to hone these gifts. While watching her with her students at school has always been a treat, several years ago she decided to supplement her teaching with a personal training practice run out of our home and occasionally aided by two of our daughters.

I’ve been fortunate to have a wonderful career – first operating and then developing posh resort environments. By sheer luck my first boss out of college was the brilliant German hotelier that created the modern-day version of the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. As much fun as being part of launching and developing that brand was, my true passion evolved from running and later designing/developing large master-planned resort communities such as Amelia Island Plantation, Kiawah, Hammock Beach, Reunion, etc. These resorts attracted multi-generational families and allowed me to understand my customers not as resort guests but as families who gave life to the club structure integrated into the resort. This background was instrumental in influencing my thinking about design to support healthy life choices and balance in all aspects of a property from the spa, gym, and outdoor space to food and beverage operations. I was incredibly proud not only the spaces we created, but of developing innovative teams and programming at each location.

What I learned from marriage
It wasn’t until I watched Natalie running the program out of a small space in our home and later from a locally rented studio space that I realized I was “getting schooled” in several aspects I hadn’t deeply understood. First is the concept of “pedagogy” defined in Webster’s as “…the art, science, or profession of teaching”. Between conflicting information on the internet, differing and evolving schools of thought on physical exercise, diet and nutrition it’s no wonder people are confused and long term engagement and adoption numbers around healthy behaviors are not good. I have been so deeply moved by observing and understanding the concept/effectiveness of pedagogy that as we build the company there will be a VP of Curriculum and Pedagogy on the Executive team. The second profound lesson was in her unyielding social interaction with her clients in person, on Facebook and fostered between clients in her classes. Our daughters’ interaction only deepened the connection.

What I learned from marriage

The combination of these life experiences enhanced by the life experiences of our associates is what creates differentiation in our approach versus anything in the market today. Concepts of pedagogy, curriculum development, deep understanding and social constructs that reinforce new habits are at the core of our DNA as we bring this to life. This is not momentary diet or a revolutionary fitness regime that will recapture your youth. This is a deeply immersive educational curriculum with trained professionals and social constructs to put you in the driver’s seat and support you throughout your journey.
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