Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Whose Body Is Better?" Results

It is time to reveal the results of  "Whose Body Is Better" experiment my weather guy and I began in January.

If you missed it, CBS11's Jeff Jamison started the Insanity workout, while I embarked on a Pilates journey at S2S Functional Performance, a small rehab and exercise studio near my home in Argyle, Texas.

I was not going for weight loss or inches. I was simply hoping to FEEL GOOD again. My whole life I've exercised regularly, even more so these last 3 years. But last fall I fell off my wedge shoes and broke my foot, which caused me to change my gait, which led to shooting pain in my legs and the pads of my feet.

Every exercise I tried hurt. Which made me cut way back. And when I don't exercise, I don't feel good, my hormones go awry, and my confidence is shot. Not a good combination for a wife and mother of three who makes her living doing live television!

So I reached out to S2S owner Meredith Tittle, a physical therapist and orthopedic specialist who built her unique business from scratch. She assured me the controlled, mindful movements of Pilates would change everything for me.

I committed to a 3-month membership.

I'm telling you, the positive changes I've experienced in these last 12 weeks have transformed my approach to and beliefs about exercise. (They also prompted this story on CBS11 if you'd like to check it out.)
I did need to make a few adjustments along the way--i.e., stop attending so many 6am classes and add a few days of high-intensity cardio on a treadmill--but I could not believe how my foot and leg pain disappeared.

A few other Pilates life-changers:

1.  I can see now why celebs like Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, and Sarah Jessica Parker have such lean, strong bodies--and can endure 2 hour workouts every day in order to maintain them. They all do Pilates on a reformer machine. It does not involve crazy cardio routines or weights. It actually FEELS GOOD. And while it can be exhausting, it does not make you feel famished for the rest of the day!

2. Pilates really does build muscle and definition, but it doesn't bulk you up. As a result, you look slim yet strong, and your clothes just fit better.

3. Reformer Pilates, led by a well-trained instructor (major shout out to Lauren Monroe!), will change the way you do any kind of exercise, ever, for the rest of your life. The awareness I now have of my supporting muscles? The proper way to work my abs? Both will make future workouts safer and much more efficient. And I truly feel I have a better sense of balance and coordination than I've ever had in my life.

4. My pelvic floor is back, baby! What a bonus of the deep lower abs work Pilates encourages! What the heck is a pelvic floor, you ask? Well, you know those Kegal exercise doctors prescribe after childbirth? Try doing them in a classroom setting for a set amount of minutes with an instructor. Your insides will feel 20 again. Who knew?

5. Finally, I believe we totally under-estimate our joints until something serious blows up. As a physical therapist of 11 years, Meredith believes there is nothing better than Pilates for maintaining joint strength.
Imagine never having to deal with injury to your shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, or ankles?! You'll feel young forever. And you'll never, ever have to stop moving. I don't know about you, but that's how I want to live. I want to travel and work and have a blast with my kids and future grandkids.

I will say there is one challenge to this fitness routine: it's expensive. The financial commitment is extremely difficult in my family budget, as classes can range from $20-$50 per hour. Tough to justify, especially when you can get an ordinary gym membership for $30/month....or run outside for free. 

So, is it worth sacrificing a few dinners out or a few cute dresses every month to feel youthful for the rest of my life, remaining active and pain-free? That's for you to decide. We all find a way to do what's truly important to us.

And as for who won the "Whose Body is Better" challenge, I say Jeff Jamison and I both did. He reports going down a couple of pants sizes and having more energy. I definitely came out a winner too, learning first hand that the core strength, flexibility, and feel-good results of reformer Pilates are second-to-none.

For more information on S2S Functional Performance,  call (940) 241-1215 or email Info@s2sperform.com. Address: 2652 FM 407, Ste 115, Bartonville, TX 76226.

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