Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been doing Pilates twice a week and I.Could.Not.Be.Happier. We all know that exercise is an important ingredient in the weight loss soufflé but until this January, it was a missing staple in my pantry.
Exercise…patooey. The word has always left a bad taste in my mouth, made me tired and hopeless before I started. So I rarely started. But my goal is not to be skinny. My goal is to be healthy. And healthy means dense bones, flexibility, good lung capacity, strength. Losing weight is a great appetizer, but it's not the full meal.
Why Pilates? I’d never tried it before, but I’d heard such great things about it and, c’mon, those funky machines…so intriguing. The Reformer. The Cadillac. The Chair. The Barrel. I mean, where did they come up with those names? So curiosity brought me to the gym. And exhilaration keeps me there.
Pilates works for me on a number of levels.
First, I’m a beginner, but I never feel like I’m behind. The workout is tailored to my abilities.
Second, the emphasis is on quality, not quantity, so we don’t do endless reps. Each class has plenty of different moves, working all the muscles of the body and then from class to class, the routine changes up. No chance for boredom. Yay!
Third, I can see the results. Oh yes. Toned muscles are awesome! And just like stepping on the scale to see I’ve lost another pound, flexing my arm brings me the joy of progress. With joy comes renewed commitment.
Very satisfying! And encouraging. And exciting. And neat. And heartening. And, as I stated at the top, oh, it makes me happy. It does. So, add level four, after each workout, I get an endorphin rush that lasts for a couple of days. Better than drugs, baby! (Well, I imagine so anyway…)
As spring ramps up, I’ve added walking and in a few weeks my friend and I will start swimming. A coworker and I are knocking around the idea of doing a sprint-triathlon (a shorter race than regular triathlons) sometime later in the year. If I weren’t so stoked, I’d be worried I’m creating an exercise monster out of myself.
I think finding the right kind of exercise is at the heart of my happiness. Yoga never did it for me. Aerobics became tedious. Tennis is fun, but not something I’d turn to for getting into shape.
What about you? What activities do you turn to for fun and fitness? Kick-boxing? Zumba? Belly-dancing? Ye olde treadmill?
P.S. Many of you have been kind in cheering on my weight loss pilgrimage. Thank you. This morning I step on the scale and am delighted to report that since I started this diet in September of last year, I’ve shed 76 pounds (which brings my total loss since January 2011 to 81lbs.). Groovy, baby!