When we were in high school we were swimmers. Like the 5-6 sessions a week, 1 1/2 hour each session, 3km-5km each session swimmers.
Pretty sure we were half mermaid (or just reeked of chlorine, yuck!).
We were definitely super fit and loved our exercise!
Emma quit first (I was 16, hello social life) and Carla quit about a year later.
It was like ohhhh we need to find something else to do for exercise! So we got massively obsessed with Les Mills everything. We could not get enough!
It seems that exercise and obsession usually go together with the both of us. It’s something we’re super aware of as we know it can be really unhealthy.
We hear ya… there are worse addictions to have.
But as many of you know our obsessions with exercise, dieting, disorderly eating, looking a certain way both led us to dark places. Negative impacts to our mental health and our physical health.
It was all thanks to a 12 week transformation diet borrowed from a friend who was a competitive fitness model. The whole chicken and broccoli diet, artificial protein shakes, 1200 calories, cardio every morning, heavy weights every afternoon kinda thing.
Yes, we both got mega skinny in 12 weeks. We looked great, pity we had zero energy to make the most of it. We were moody, kinda depressed, our periods disappeared. We go into more detail about this here.
We discovered paleo which led us to CrossFit style workouts. Guess what. Got obsessed with that too. Over did it, got super strong and fit. And we know there’s nothing wrong with extra muscle but we didn’t like it on our own bodies.
Our little dresses stopped looking good (boohoo) and we both just felt bulky. Again, reminding you this is a personal choice.
After CrossFit came our 12 month break up with exercise. Who knows why, but we pretty much stopped exercising, except for a few walks and yoga sessions each week. We both put on weight.
It was a good thing because this was when both of our periods got back to their normal regular thing.
The putting on weight thing, not so good. So NOW… we welcome you to what this post is actually about!
The exercise we LOVE… Pilates!
Finally, we’ve found a way to exercise that is fun, feels amazing, gives epic results and it’s an exercise you know is a forever thing.
We want to give a huge shout out to the lovely Natalie Dickson from Organic Pilates. Our first Pilates class was with Nat and it was ah-freaking-mazing. It was a reformer pilates class and we seriously felt 2 inches taller after that first class.
Since then we’ve also gotten into floor and barre style pilates. We love each and every type for different reasons.
Instead of us just banging on about pilates (let’s be honest, we could), we asked Nat a few questions. Yay Nat, we love you!
Why is Pilates good for us?
Pilates is a complete body conditioning workout. It works you from the inside out!
When completed regularly, Reformer Pilates workouts, tone and lengthen your muscles, improve circulation, increase energy levels and overall body strength. Pilates also creates awareness within your body, allowing you to move more freely, assisting in eliminating common aches and pains, while improving your posture and alignment. Reformer Pilates sessions provide a full body workout to build strength, increase flexibility, stability, balance, endurance, coordination, mobility and range of motion.
What changes can we expect to see in our bodies from doing Pilates?
Pilates is THE body shape changer! It lengthens your body as your strengthening and toning it. Physically you will feel stronger and firmer, you will look leaner and longer and your posture will improve. You can also expect to feel mentally calmer and more connected to your body. Pilates is all about awareness… my ultimate goal at Organic Pilates is that you take what you learn from your time in the studio into your everyday life, so that change becomes more permanent.
Why did you start Pilates, what changes did you experience?
I have done Pilates in different forms (mat, barre, apparatus) since my early 20s, mainly for fitness and to help with the common back and neck aches I experienced as a university student and waitress. But it wasn’t until I met my instructor, while I was pregnant with my first daughter, that I discovered the real art of the Pilates method and connected to the principles.
I was experiencing sciatica as my pregnant belly started to grow and wanted to do something about it. Within a session, I had started to feel relief and the regular practice I did throughout my entire pregnancy (right up til 4 days before birth) meant I had alleviated the problem before there was a chance for it to get worse. I was able to enjoy a healthy and active pregnancy. I credit my Pilates practice to assisting in healthy pregnancies, labour and post birth recovery.
It was my instructor’s passion and knowledge that ignited this passion in me! And once you have the awareness you simply can’t move how you did before, you know better. Although Pilates offers wonderful physical benefits it also gives you a better understanding of your body, its capabilities and small changes in your daily habits start to become big changes in your body over time.
Is Pilates for everyone?
It sure is! The best thing about it is that each exercise has variations that make it achievable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Group classes aren’t always the most appropriate platform for people to start with, often we need to do work on specific areas before clients can progress to group classes, but certainly Pilates can be done by everyone. A common comment we get from clients is that their Pilates practice helps them to switch off from their daily grind and onto their bodies, sometimes they are surprised by how the smallest movements can create the biggest challenges.
Ahhh we love you Nat! Seriously we agree with all that (well not the pregnant stuff yet!). But we truly believe we’ve found something great in Pilates. We’ve never felt more positive about an exercise and the changes we’re seeing.
These changes include (we’re sure we’ll welcome more!): better posture, leaner, longer, more toned, weight loss, stronger but not bulky… ahhh so many!
If you’ve been thinking about trying a class or if you’ve been trying to find an exercise style you like TRY PILATES! And let us know if you do! Ok… off to Pilates we go! 😀
Emma + Carla