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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Princess Does Pilates


I did it.

I finally decided that, unless I wanted to risk actually sprouting roots into my sofa, it was time to move.

I signed up for personal training in Pilates.

Yesterday was my first session.

It was hard.

Real hard.

I worked out on a classic Cadillac:

And I stretched on the Barrel:

The exercises were not painful in and of themselves. At one point, I was feeling some pain and stiffness in my lower back in a position, and Liza immediately got a pad and adjusted it and I was good to go. So, no agony.

Just hard.

As you gals with huge bellies know, doing some moves are amazingly tough, because the belly is an obstacle. So, bending legs up toward chest is, well, not possible. Bending over is impeded. Any good trainer, though, knows how to adjust, modify, and work around limitations.

And, upbeat as she is, Liza just kept saying about the big belly o' mine: It can be eliminated. It will be gone.

I need to hear optimism, since by nature, I tend to be broodily cynical about such things.

My instructor (Liza) is fabulous (and thin, and lithe, like all the instructors. What physiques!) and patient and encouraging and positive and really nice. (That's "Liza" like lee-za, not like Ms. Minelli.) She's co-owner of The Pilates Room in North Miami Beach, FL. She is certified in and teaches Stott Pilates (one of several modifications of the original technique created by Joseph Pilates.)

I had called ahead to ask if they had experience with the morbidly obese and could accomodate such a body type. And, Liza did. You can see her here.

I'm mildly sore EVERYWHERE, mostly in the sides, inner thighs, upper abdominals, back, upper arms, and butt. That's good, no?

This is not cheap, private training. I consider it an investment. I figure I'll try to go 3 times a week until I learn enough about the technique to cut back to 2x a week private and one class a week. Then once a week private and 2 classes a week. We'll see.

It's a nice workout space. Small, mind you (yes, one room), but clean and--very importantly in our subtropical summer--cool. See pics at their site.

Hubby and I discussed the investment aspect (moolah for health), and decided it was worth straining the budget.

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm working to keep a positive attitude, though it's hard to be in a room where you're twice the size of everyone else, sometimes nearly THREE times the size!

Wearing tight, movement-allowing clothing in public (my upper arms bare, egads!) while everyone else looks like a dancer takes a certain sort of courage. I almost chickened out. But I didn't. And that's my victory for the week!

If you are quite heavy, consider Pilates--also called Contrology--as it's low-impact and the focus is on strength, control, and flexibility, integrating mind and body for health. I'm interested in health--not looking like some fashion plate. I just want to move fluidly and tone and feel more in control of my body. This seems to be one of the best ways to get there.

And don't be afraid of the weird equipment. It's there to help you get well.

As I said, I'll let ya know. :)

To learn more about Pilates:

Pilates at Wikipedia (including a pronunciation guide)
Stott Pilates
Positives and Negatives
Types of Pilates
Overview of The Cadillac
Youtube.com Video of Leg Spring on The Cadillac
Demonstration of The Barrel
Joseph Pilates himself


The Better Idiot said...

Nice going! I tried pilates before and found it really tough going, but it was at home with a DVD so that's hardly surprising. People do say that you get some amazing results with it though, I'm looking forward to your updates!

Shanna said...

Wow..very impressive. You are braver then me! That equipment looks like midieval torture devices!! I am sure it was a great workout though! Good Luck!

Lady T said...

gurrrrl...if you stick to this, you will be major sexiness up and down. seriously.....that Pilates stuff does wonders.

i agree, its incredibly hard....its not breast friendly either (what excercise is??? except maybe the bike) but if you stick to it, you will no doubt have incredible results....

awww......its been a while since i've been on a weight loss blog. brings back all kinds of memories.....hope you guys are ready for some company come November.....i'll be rejoining after all the hoopla is over and i FINALLY have a schedule.

thanx 4 checking on me....missed ya!

Heather said...

good for you! I was nervous to try pilates myself but love it, so Im glad you went for it!

Lynda Lippin said...

I'm so glad you tried Pilates! The equipment can accommodate all sizes and fitness levels and it works. Weight Watchers Magazine actually did a story on Pilates many years ago and it was very inspiring. Keep going!

Pilates & Reiki In Paradise Blog

spunkysuzi said...

Wow you are brave! Looking at that equipment ;) Something i may have to try one day.