As I sit down to write this post, my abs are on fire. Not literally, of course, but they are burning with exertion. It’s that good kind of pain…just don’t make me laugh tomorrow.
Ready to know why? (I know one of you wise guys is out there saying, “nope, not really!”)
I just finished an itty-bitty, 6-minute Pilates video on YouTube. Six. Minutes. That’s all it took. You’d think it was my first time working out, but no.
Now, generally speaking, I’m in pretty decent shape. I run 3 days a week and ride the bike 2 days a week. That’s not bragging, it’s just that exercise is pretty much part of my lifestyle now. It wasn’t that way in my 20s, but I wised up! This does not mean that I have a model’s body. Not even close. I have areas I’d definitely like to improve on. That cellulite on my saddlebags? Yeah. That’s been mocking me for years. I think I was born with it, that’s how long I’ve had it. My parents didn’t call me “Thunder Thighs” as a baby for nothing, folks!
Late last year I decided I was in an exercise rut and needed to do something extra to work on my strength. So I jumped on YouTube and looked for some exercise videos. Remembering a friend who is a Pilates Instructor and her annoying lack of cellulite, I decided to see if any of those videos were available. That’s when I stumbled on Blogilates.
The instructor’s name is Cassey Ho and she’s built a little exercise empire for herself at the wee age of 28. What I like about her is that she’s super positive and upbeat, but pushes you to the max. She is talking through all of these exercises that I can’t even do with perfect form yet! This chick is STRONG! It’s pretty impressive.
Cassey places a lot of emphasis in her videos on being strong of not just body, but mind and spirit too. It’s a super positive message – especially for teens and young adults. There are times that she chats about things like nail polish, but considering that I’m probably not her primary target market, that’s okay. She’s really just trying to keep your mind off the fact that she’s asking you to do one million reps of a certain move and that your muscles are quivering and about ready to collapse. 🙂
I think all of us ladies, whether we are 16 or 76, need to be reminded that we are “enough” just as we are, that we should love our bodies and that we can do anything we set our minds out to do. From what I can tell, Cassey is a good role model in that area.
In my limited experience, pilates seems to be a way of doing exercises using your own body as resistance. In its simplest form, think creative variations on sit-ups and push-ups. No equipment is needed. I don’t even wear shoes!
With a few vacation exceptions, I’ve been picking a different video to do 5 days a week. Most of them are super short – between 6 and 15 minutes. There are some 20 – 25 minutes videos though if you want a longer workout. I don’t know that I’ve lost any cellulite, but I’m definitely feeling and using my muscles in a way that running and biking don’t address.
My husband even did one of the arm workouts with me and I cringed when she was doing a push-up and asked what color of nail polish everyone was wearing. I thought my husband might quit then! However, he didn’t and when we were done he said nonchalantly, “that was pretty good.” He was totally sweating, folks. That video kicked his behind too! (This “Sleek Tank Top Arms” video below is the one the hubby did with me.)
It make me pretty happy to feel my muscles getting stronger and to just challenge my body in different ways. While it is easier said than done, I think a mama taking time to focus on her health is an important component for a happy home. Plus, it is a great example for your kids. This is one time that the saying “monkey see, monkey do” actually works in your favor!