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How Pilates Changed My Life

Like many college students, I have to be very conscious of money and how I spend it.  So, when I got home this summer and found that I wouldn’t be working as many hours as I would have liked at my job, I had to decide whether or not to renew my gym membership.  Even with the student discount, it would still be $160 for less than three months.  I also had to consider driving there and what time of day I would want to go to avoid crowds.  Eventually, I decided it wasn’t worth the money.

However, this did not mean that I wouldn’t be exercising over the summer; after all, my physical health is very important to me. I wanted to continue to stay active.  But how would I do that without gym equipment?

YouTube.

I had never done Pilates before and I wasn’t even sure what they were, but when my mom told me that my aunt had lost about 40 lbs doing Pilates, that was enough for me.  I made an account on Blogilates and began following the monthly calendar.

The first week was BRUTAL.  I ached in places that had never ached and did moves that I had never done before.  The workouts could last between 45 and 65 minutes and it was a sweat-fest every time, no matter which body part was being worked.

But I loved every minute of it.

Okay, I didn’t love it at first- it was a lot of work and I was exhausted.  What I fell in love with was the progress; three weeks in and I was already noticing muscle definition in my arms and legs.  Six weeks and I had more endurance and took shorter breaks between videos.  The diet followed; I ate better of my own accord and kept portions and nutrition in mind without counting calories or feeling like I ate better because I had to.  I no longer craved junk food nearly as much, surprising even myself when I went for an apple or banana instead of chips.

The biggest effect was the one it had on my mind.  Instead of collapsing if a move was too taxing, I would tell myself “just three more” even if my body said, “no more.”  In all the years I spent at the gym, I had never put mind over matter; I ended my workouts when I felt done, not when they were done.  Doing Pilates by video instead of working out on my own accord was a big factor as well; the fact that I did not control what moves I did and for how long was beneficial, ensuring that I did not skip anything because it was too hard or end the move early because I believed it was too hard.  Giving up that control was crucial to improving myself.

The best part is that I have done it every day since, and it’s not about the change in physique; it’s about seeing progress in both mind and body. Seeing how I improve every day is so addictive that it makes exhausting workouts almost impossible to resist. 

But I guess I could be addicted to worse things!

Hi! My name is Laura, and I am a junior at the U of Scranton. I am a broadcasting major with a philosophy and criminal justice minor, and I enjoy knitting, archery and exercising for some reason.
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