From a lifetime of serious weight issues (around 20 stone and a size 24), I left my 30’s with increasing pain and mobility issues through an old lumbar disc problem and a moody SI joint. Someone gave me a way out that worked for me and over the next 10 months lost 100% of my excess body weight. All of it.
The ‘new me’ found I had the energy to do all the things I had always wanted to do, so I ran. I powered through hating every minute until I genuinely fell in love with it through a Couch-to-5k programme and set my sights on a 10k run.
I also found a love of yoga; I desperately wanted to be one of those insta-bendy angels who look so damn zen! BUT...my body was protesting. Argh!!! I was spasming into an S-bend, spending a fortune on osteo appointments and walking with a stick more often than I cared to. After years of carrying so much weight the ligaments around my hips and lower back were permanently overstretched and now flopping around without much to do, meaning my un-trained core muscles were trying to work solo to support my already dodgy lower spine while I pounded the treadmill. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to immediately hang up my running shoes and give up any hopes of anything with any impact.
I tried to rebel, kicking and screaming against giving up my running, thinking that I knew best, but I didn't. They did.
Even more devastating was the prospect of not developing my now beloved yoga practice. Moving through asanas I was going backwards, not forwards, as my ego told me to ignore the pain and push myself to bend like the 'proper' yogis in my class, believing that if I couldn't touch my knee with my nose then I wasn't good enough. (Anyone who practices yoga will know what an absolute crock that is, but also probably recognise it a little too from their early days!)
And still my wizard of an Osteo/Chiro Dr-man kept banging on and on at every bloody appointment to do Pilates. PILATES?! Ugh. BORING! Pffft..... that slow thing that ladies-who-lunch do? Do I HAVE to???
Then he said the magic words: "If you don't do Pilates, you won't be able to do Yoga". That was it. Sold.
And I knew deep down he was right. So, I tried a class. I found an amazing teacher - Lisa Campbell - who completely understood my anatomy (better than I did!) and who carefully guided me through those first weeks where I cried in frustration from not being able to do what everyone else could do, or what I thought I should be able to do.
And then something incredible happened.... true to the words of Joseph Pilates himself; after 10 classes (less really - probably 5 or 6!) I could feel a difference - a big one. I was upright, straight, and even able to start Yoga again - all with a new understanding of how my body needed me to hold it. I was blown away and what started out as the 'medicine' that I had to take in order to be able to practice yoga, became something that absolutely saved me, and something I loved.
I got better and stronger and more flexible, and after just a few months was unrecognisable!
Not too much later, I was diagnosed with MS. I'm very lucky in that I'm in full remission it's firmly in the back seat, but this new element in my life led me to look into neurological conditions and I found that Pilates can not only help to significantly improve a variety of symptoms, but can also help in actually repairing some of the 'irreparable' nerve damage done - how amazing is that?!
My back and hips will always be grumpy, but the vast majority of days are good now and instead of getting annoyed with my body when it complains I can now offer it the care and help it needs to be happier. What I saw as a frustrating petulant teenager of a psoas muscle I now understand is a wounded puppy in need of some love - and the result is that it rarely has a tantrum now and I can recognise the warning signs when it and even prevent it getting too angry!
This amazing practice transformed my body from a burnt out broken old banger to a strong, reliable family saloon and has taught my to accept my body and appreciate it's strengths while taking care of the bits that need some extra love. I'm still on the journey and I'll never be an insta-worthy Ferrarri, but I can aim to be a Land Rover and I'm good with that!
Pilates not only repaired my S-shaped, pain-ridden crumbling body, it has given me the opportunity to live my best life, to develop my dream; I am so profoundly astonished by the change Pilates has made to me that I decided to teach so I could share this amazing practice which it wouldn't be over-dramatic to say changed my life.
Are you ready to find out what it can do for you? Contact me to find out more..... xxx