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My Pilates Fitness Formula

Ok this pic was taken about a month ago with my daughter on the beach – my body is toned all over, my normal pale seems a little more ivory-ish. I am not a tanning type girl (maybe someday), but I think you can see I’m out of the bathrobe and out in public again.  It was a beautiful day and I love looking at this picture to remember that feeling!

Pilates Fitness Formula

Pilates Fitness Formula

As I mentioned, I started doing Valerie Waters’ Red Carpet Ready program, joined her RCR club, and did mat pilates exercises — I do teach pilates, so this was a must for me!

My first 6 weeks on the RCR / Pilates  program, my workouts looked like this:
3 Days of Strength Training Circuits – Full Body Circuits on Alternating days.
2 Days of High Intensity Interval Training Cardio – on treadmill mostly
2 Days of Full Mat Pilates Routine

Now, my workouts look more like this – but it’s mostly because I’m very busy teaching pilates.

2 days of Strength Training Circuits – These are full body circuits I do at home.  They require stability ball, stretchy bands, and dumbbells, and my trusty Valslides.
2 days of High Intensity Interval Training Cardio – I have a few different treadmill workouts I do as well as plyometric training I just starting doing at home.  I also walk with my daughter a few times during the week.

I try to do pilates 3x a week – on the mat and the reformer.  Some weeks I only do mat pilates if I can’t make it to the studio! I often do the pilates mat exercises and valslide moves with my clients to get in a little extra if I know I can’t do stuff during the week.

If you want to know the specific pilates exercises I do and more information on Valerie Waters’ Training Systems, please feel free to email me.  I can give you information on both.  Also, I’ve finally been able to integrate this same type of combo training with my pilates classes.  I use the same techniques I used to get back into shape with my clients.

….this is a process…so for now this is what I do and I’m really happy with the results.  Stay tuned for updates to my progress.  I like to add new things to my home workout program to shake things up and keep me motivated.  One huge piece of the puzzle for me is sharing my results and process with others.  I’d love to know what you are doing to stay in shape and live a healthy life.

See you tomorrow to share the exact workout I did and how I combined 2 really effective programs to finally look/feel healthy again!

Clean Eating and Pilates

Pilates and Clean Eating

Pilates and Clean Eating

Hi again! I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s article on the steps I took to get myself healthy after a year of poor eating and stress from having a new baby.  Today, I’m going to continue telling you about the steps I took to get healthy.  I used a combination of a strength training, cardio, pilates reformer exercise and healthy eating.

While the exercise regimen I followed was quite challenging, especially when I look at it now, the eating was much more difficult for me.

The hardest part was and is (still) changing the way I eat…on a permanent level.  Here are some of the things I do specifically with my eating…

1. I eat almonds when I get a craving.
2. I have almond butter on hand all the time, to melt in the microwave and eat with banana or apple or shredded unsweetened coconut.
3. I eat protein at every meal and snack
4. I don’t eat white sugar – for the most part.
5. I still have the bad creamer in my coffee in the morning – ok fine, that’s the bad sugar.
6. I don’t eat white flour pasta…if I have pasta, I do whole wheat or buckwheat or quinoa. I tend to have quinoa or buckwheat the most.
7.  I am eating a lot of veggies and fruit…not so much fruit later in the day.
8. I am drinking 80-100 oz of water per day
9. I don’t drink soda or any other random liquids…It’s pretty much water or tea.
10. I’m only now coming out of the boring same thing every single day eating routine, but keeping it boring for the first 6 weeks helped me get to my first milestone!
11. I have protein powder/water drinks a few times per week – sometimes every day if I am not getting enough for some reason.  I use Designer Whey Protein and E3 Live Hemp Protein Powder.  The hemp protein powders tend to be a bit grainy and the one I use requires a bit of doctoring for me to get it down, but it gives me a ton of energy!

Out of all of the above, the 3 things that helped me get results fast were pretty simple–simple as in not complex steps to take, but it wasn’t easy to cut them out:

1. No more fast food – at all. I haven’t been through drive through for many (more than 6) months now.  Previously, I was going several times a week…
2. No more white flour – no pasta unless it’s whole wheat or quinoa or gluten free. I stopped eating breakfast cereal cold turkey.
3. No more excessive white sugar – meaning, no cake, no candy, nada.  I stopped buying single cake slices at Ralphs….cold turkey. This was hard!

Ok – so now you know…my eating habits changed drastically and really set me up for visible success, but I also added the workouts to this…  I have to stress the fact that until my diet changed — really changed — my pilates work didn’t even show!  So, this is a must to get this part of the formula right.

Here are some resources to check out which really helped me understand food a bit better and find ways of making yummy food:

Eat Clean Diet
Live Well 360 : {update: also now creators of the amazing “Core” fitness bag.}
The Healthy Irishman
The Abs Diet
The Eat Clean Blog

Pilates for Weight Loss ?

Here’s a picture of me 1 year after having my  daughter Mila.  A year. Yes.  While I don’t look super overweight…can you see the expression on my face, the excess weight around my face, my complexion?  I was not a happy camper.  And Mila doesn’t look happy either — although I will admit it was almost nap time when this picture was taken.

Pilates Weight Loss Before

The year after I had my first baby…and losing most of my baby weight, I was a Pilates Instructor with a Muffin Top.  People ask me if I did pilates to lose weight and regain my health.  My answer always surprises them because it’s not a simple yes.

Here are the exact steps I took to finally get myself back in shape and a lot healthier!

I’m not holding anything back…This is the exact process I used and still use to stay in shape and help my pilates classes do the same.

Total Weight Loss is now 10 lbs.
2 inches lost off Chest – ok I was breastfeeding before, but still this is crazy, right?
4 inches off my Waist
2.5 inches off my Hips

Now, I was never overweight, so if that’s you now, then you might actually get better results because it’s often hardest to lose the last 10 pounds or the last 5 pounds.

I’ll also say that everyone’s body works a bit differently in reaction to food, exercise, and stress…in addition some people do have difficulty losing weight due to hormonal fluctuations and abnormalities in their body.

People have asked exactly what I did…so that’s what I’m going to tell you about…my results.

Step 1: Made a Decision & Acted Immediately
Step 2: Wrote down what I wanted to achieve with my body – specifically
Step 3: Got in my Bikini and had my husband take pictures of me…
Step 4: Took My Measurements
Step 5:  Did a Complete Kitchen Purge – only keeping the good food.  If you don’t know what good food is…read Clean Eating for one viewpoint on this.  This book’s philosophy is a HUGE part of my success. After I talk about the exercise, I’ll tell you more about how I eat specifically.
Step 6:  Bought Valerie Water’s Red Carpet Ready program.  I am just about to start her current program Action Hero Babe.  If you are a beginner, start with the RCR program.  Now – I have never purchased an online program before, but something about Valerie’s approach appealed to me.  Now, I go to the RCR club forum on a daily basis for inspiration, support and to stay committed to my own workouts.  I’m not trying to sell RCR, you need to find a program or trainer who offers something that fits with your lifestyle.  This will help you stay committed.
Step 7:  Integrated the RCR Program with Pilates and Cardio – I worked out 6 days per week for about 30-40 minutes each time.  I often did pilates mat exercises in front of my television on my rest day and my cardio days.

At the end of 6 weeks had lost the first 2 inches off my chest, 2 inches off my waist, and was down 6 pounds.  I had more energy, my jeans were falling off me, and my bras no longer fit.  People were asking what I was doing.  So, it didn’t take long to get visible results.
Now, I do 2 RCR workouts per week, try to do 2 cardio interval training sessions, and do pilates exercises throughout the week…several times.

I have seen the results and that’s what keeps me moving in the right direction.  I’m not perfect and I do have breakdowns and fall off track, but I have the tools now to go back in the right direction.

So, you can see that a combination of pilates with clean eating and a strength training regimen brought me some really great results.  I’ll admit that the first few weeks were tough, but the toughest was and still is reminding myself how to eat, making the right choices and deciding to eat well day after day.

Tomorrow I’ll share my eating rules…

Ready for A Change?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about ways people can change their health.  I am always looking for interesting baby steps that people took to where they are now.

There are many simple things we can all do that make huge differences in the way we feel, the amount of energy we have, and the clarity of our thoughts.

I know people get sick of hearing the whole “eat less, move more” thing–and they should be sick of that.  It’s never as simple as just reducing what you eat.  If you still go to McDonald’s 3x a day, but decide you’ll have a soda instead of a shake, you are still going to McDonald’s everyday.  Also, while moving more does help your body not stiffen up before it’s time and keep your energy up a little,  it’s going to take your decision to move a specific amount per day to have an impact on your overall health.

Now, I’m not saying don’t move unless you’re doing an exercise program or dvd every day, maybe your body isn’t ready for that.  What I am saying is that it takes a specific decision to move a specific amount to really have a specific impact.  You need to be saying to yourself, I will workout 3x a week for 30 minutes.  I will walk to work every day. I will walk during lunch for 30 minutes every day.  The same thing goes with food.  If you are specific about eating better – I will eat lean protein at every meal. I will stop going to fast food restaurants. I will not have dessert after a dinner out.  I will take vitamins every morning. Those decisions will add up.

One great way to reach goals is to set yourself on a Thirty Day Challenge.  You can do this for any area of your life — and you’ll see what I mean.

  1. You decide to take on a list of “tasks” for 30 days.  Write a list of diet/exercise goals – be specific, people. Each Day is an Item on Your List.  Your goal is about building habits so you leave nothing to chance or willpower.  If you don’t know where to start, check out a fun, free 30 day challenge by the gals at and Gabrielle Reece’s site The Honeyline.
  2. Keep a journal – food, activity, etc.  Review the Journal on Sundays to reset your intentions.
  3. Share with A Trusted Friend – I’m saying this because sometimes your husband is not the person to “chat” about your weight loss goals.  Talk to a mom, your sister, a friend you trust.
  4. Plan for your Success – Plan some sort of event, shopping spree, whatever you can keep in the back of your head as what you get as a reward for your newly formed healthy habits.
  5. Try Something New – In addition to the goals you have set, think of some new activities that might shake things up and prevent you from hitting a plateau.  Yoga, pilates, kickboxing, karate, krav maga. These are all very different activities with benefits to doing all of them.

If you still don’t know which way to turn or where to start, email me.  I have done my own 30 Day Pilates Challenge and show my clients how to do them too!  Also, if you live in Marina Del Rey, Culver City, Santa Monica, or Venice, CA…then you are close enough to attend one of my Group Reformer Pilates Classes.

I encourage to start your own thirty day challenge.  You will not be sorry you did – you can form it anyway you want it and at the end of the month, you will have learned a lot about yourself…In addition to kick starting your new healthier lifestyle.

After you do one challenge, you will definitely be tempted and hooked to start another one.  Next time, maybe focus on another area of your life that needs improvement.  If you have recently started your own business or looking to do so, check out:  Thirty Day Challenge, which is a free training program that helps you get your business online…and so much more.