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Have you Ever Done Pilates? It's a strange discipline.

Have you ever taken Pilates? It's quite possibly one of the strangest types of exercise I've ever done, but for some reason it works for my body. It always has. I did Pilates when I was preparing for my wedding day. I bought a size 8 wedding dress and it was tight when I bought it. I was determined to get down to 125 pounds on that day so I could wear it, and I achieved my goal by doing Pilates at home.


This is my favorite picture from our wedding day. We were just 24 years old. I did get into that dress too thanks to Windsor Pilates.


Like most women, after your wedding day, you start to gain some weight due to happiness and cooking for a husband. I certainly put on at least ten pounds quickly after we were married. Weight and women go hand in hand. It is a subject I talk about regularly with my friends. Hormones and having babies are never on our side and staying at a healthy weight is just plain difficult after you've reached a certain age.


I also have a "bad" back. The doctors have told me that my back issues are genetic and that my discs are degenerating at a rate of a 70-year-old, not the age I am today. I am 40 years old and I have had two surgeries to fix disc herniations and I still have two minor herniations in my spine. It is what it is.


My battle scars. The scar that is more centered in my back is the recent surgery in 2019, the scar to the right of it was from 2008. Both areas, the incisions were so tiny it fascinates me.


I'm not convinced my back issues are genetic though. I don't know of anyone else in my family who had back issues at a young age, so it's always puzzled me. I really think my back issues come from years of cheerleading as a teenager. I was a base when we did pyramids, so that meant I held a lot of weight on my body. I also was a jumper, which cannot be good for a spine. Twenty toe touches, in a row, regularly, cannot be good for someone as a teenager when they literally have no idea how to properly land. I'm convinced all the years of cheerleading is really what contributes to my frequent disc herniations and severe disc degenerative disease.


Homecoming 1997 in Katy, Texas. I'm the one at the beginning of the line. Our socks had to look like that, for the record (HA!).


However, I have learned that if I stretch daily, I can have success managing my back pain. Lose weight and be healthier in general...and I get gold stars all over my charts at the doctor's office!

Lately, my new thing is a Pilates class in Georgetown. This style of Pilates uses a machine called a Reformer and you do exercises lying down, so you don't have added pressure on your lower back. It is fantastic and extremely difficult.

Yes, I said most of the exercises are done on my back....so you're thinking...how is that difficult? Well, I don't know why but it is. Using your core muscles in your stomach and isolating them is so hard it makes me sweat like a cheating man in church. It's the strangest thing. I am not running, and I am not standing upside down. I am lifting weights, but it's not even against gravity, but yet I am stretching and getting a workout. I LOVE it.

There are a few different types of instructors at the place where I go. One in particular is the nicest person you'll ever met. She has a soft voice and gives instructions with multiple ways to make things more difficult, but it is never done with any sort of force. She's like an angel that floats around the room and makes sure you're okay.

Then there's another instructor who is so fit you just stare at her figure and wish you had enough discipline to be that toned. She teaches a class called Suspend and you do all these crazy exercises on this thing called a TRX. Sometimes when I'm in that class, I feel like I'm part of Cirque de Soliel. I keep going though because maybe after 2 years or so, my body will be toned like the instructor’s....maybe. (HA!).

My favorite instructor is like a drill sergeant. She calls me out if I am not working hard enough. She tells me to pick up my shoulders when we're doing sit ups "one extra inch, you can do it!". This instructor has no patience for not giving anything but 100%. Her body is incredible and is just not obtainable for someone like me. She obviously was born with muscle and has worked her entire life to keep it up. Her drive and willpower to be strong amaze me. When she fusses at me in class, I secretly like it though. She pushes me and I will be thankful for the strength I gain in a year or so.

The last instructor that comes to mind is kinda more like a yoga instructor. She's dresses crazy, nothing ever matches. She's a free spirit and talks in a way that just cracks you up. You can tell she also has some ballet training because she uses dance terminology. In her class, you do a lot of stretching, which is something my body needs, so I continue to take it. She is very entertaining, too, and the things she says during class make me laugh so hard sometimes I don't need to do the sit-up section of the workout.

I’m looking forward to this time next year when I am stronger and my back doctor says, “Wow! You’re doing great! Good for you!”


This is the reformer we use to workout. In this case, I am sitting on it to aid with stretching. Who knew something so simple could make me work so hard?


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