On to today’s post…
I’m SUPER excited to share Mary Alice’s story + Pilates before and after photos with you today. She is a true inspiration.
She completed The Pilates Body Program this past Fall and has truly changed her body and her life. I LOVE her story and love her pictures because you can sense the new confidence she has gained through taking care of her health.
She has gone on to lose 5 more lbs and is loving life post-PBP. After reading Mary Alice’s story please take a moment to congratulate her by leaving a comment. It takes courage to share your story online and I’m grateful that you all make this such a supportive, encouraging space to share.
Mary Alice: Pilates Before and After…
I have always lived a very active life; dancing all through college with my university’s dance company, teaching dance, hiking in the red river gorge, and enjoying the outdoors. I stayed thin without trying, without paying attention to what I ate and without much intentional “exercise”.
Then came graduate school and my activity level dropped drastically. In addition to that, I found out the reason I only menstruated 2-3 times a year was because I had PCOS and a hyperactive thyroid (the hyperactive thyroid made me stay thin despite PCOS). My doctor put me on birth control and hormones to regulate my system and decrease the frequency of painful cysts. This caused me to gain weight – a total of close to 20 pounds!
I tried to work out at the gym.
I tried spin classes, lifting, exhausting myself on the elliptical or stair master.
I tried drinking protein shakes twice a day,
I tried eating low-carb and low-fat.
All with no real results.
I’d have a bad day at work and order a pizza, then end up hating myself for eating it.
I think the WORST part was that I bought into a lie several of my friends and I all told to make ourselves feel better:
“This is a WOMAN’s body. This is what 25 looks like. I have to get used to this and accept that 20 pounds heavier is just what I will always look like. I can never have that body back because that was a 21-year-old “girls” body, not a real “woman’s” body”.
I think my breaking point was the first week of August before the program started.
Some friends went to stay in a cabin in the Smokey Mountains and while on a hike, I was dragging so far behind that my boyfriend gave me a piggy back ride up the mountain! Sounds super sweet and cute (trust me I was thankful for it!) but I left so embarrassed and ashamed of myself that I could no longer enjoy or even participate in something I’ve always loved.
Then I found Robin’s blog though a dear friend who completed the summer PBP. Through reading Robin’s blog and seeing how incredible she looks and feels after having a baby, I realized that 25 didn’t have to look “chunky”.
I realized I didn’t have to feel weak.
Robin’s blog and my friend’s success made me realize a “woman’s” body can be thin, fit and healthy, while still being real. (Reminds me of a blog I just read…)
Since Starting the PBP, I have regained an amazing sense of control over my life. I no longer feel helpless like I would after leaving two hours at the gym. I learned how easy and convenient it can be to meal prep and eat healthy.
I was blown away by how quickly my body changed with such simple principles. I saw differences the first week! Better than that, I felt differences.
I am not exaggerating, working with Robin has changed my life.
I have learned by making better choices each day, choosing grace over guilt and loving my body. I have started treating my body like something I love – taking care of it, nourishing it, and keeping it strong.
Robin was so encouraging and motivating. I loved that I could go to her with any questions and struggles and not be scared of judgement. When my scale and tape measure didn’t move for almost two weeks, Robin encouraged me to examine what I was doing and guided me into making changes to continue seeing results. I love that Robin was so personal. She knew my goals and frequently checked in with my specific goals to encourage me and cheer me on.
One of the best things about the PBP is the community. I have met some amazing women through the facebook group. Now, even a few weeks after the program we worked together to come up with plans for Halloween, encourage each other in workouts and celebrate the continued success the group is having.
The accountability and encouragement of Robin and the PBP group set this program apart for me. The realistic workout expectations and practical meal plans made it attainable. The success I’ve seen in less than two months has motivated me to make sustainable lifestyle changes.
During the program I lost 8 pounds, 3.5 inches off my waist, 3 inches off my “love handles/muffin top”, 3 inches off my hips, an inch off each thigh (in just 6 weeks!). I also now fit comfortably back in a C cup and my chest looks perky again thanks to my posture being so improved.
Since the program ended a couple of weeks ago, I have not only maintained, but have lost another 2 pounds by following my new healthy lifestyle! Since starting the program, I have started teaching at a dance studio again, I have signed up for figure skating lessons (it’s never too late!) and love embracing a lifestyle of balance and harmony.
Thank you SO much for sharing your story Mary Alice!
I am sure that many women can relate to your experience and are encouraged and inspired by you. Keep up the great work. Thank you for showing us that finding balance, making changes and loving our bodies IS possible!
If you’d like to start sooner than that join me for Pilates 4×4 that kicks off on Monday!
PS– please keep in mind that this is Mary Alice’s REAL story and these are her real, un-edited photos. Be kind, be encouraging and remember that many websites you see use Photoshop and editing to make images appear insanely drastic. I would never do that here on TBL (and for the record, I don’t even know how). Mary Alice was beautiful before and she is beautiful, strong and healthy now. 🙂