I first decided to try Pilates after purchasing a reformer from an infomercial…CRAZY yes but I was looking for something that would help get me back the body I remembered before having my three beautiful children.

Through my 20s and 30s I had been a netballer, gym junkie and bootcamp devotee however I could no longer sustain this type of high impact exercise as I would continually injure myself…it had taken its toll on my body. So, when I saw a Living Social deal to try KX Pilates I convinced a reluctant husband to try it with me. He sceptically attended our first class at the Richmond studio telling me in the car on our way to our first class that this was just going to be another of my exercise fads. He walked out pleasantly surprised by the intense workout Eli (KX Richmond) put us through. He is now as hooked by Pilates as I am.

The 12 week challenge presented itself as an opportunity for me to explore why I just couldn’t achieve my goals. I have struggled with maintaining my weight since having my kids and while I have always exercised there has always been something that would set me back. I could never quite pinpoint what that something was until I started doing pilates. Pilates has allowed me the time to block out the distractions and focus on what I need to achieve.

I consider it time to connect with my body and my mind. The strength I have gained through my pilates training has translated into making my body stronger so that my cardio sessions have become easier and pain free. No more injuries! I was able to climb the 1000 steps with my fellow KX Glen Waverley challengers with the support and encouragement of Allie and Ange for the first time in 15 years. I walked away feeling like I had done my workout to the best of my abilities…a huge accomplishment for me!

I’ve always been a meticulous planner and very structured in how I do things.  I consider myself to be someone who is always very much in control of what is going on in their life. The exception being FOOD! I would micromanage everything else in my life but I had wrested control of my food to other people.

See, I don’t cook or that’s the excuse I have hidden behind for many years. My husband Grant (a fantastic cook) would feed the family and when he was unable to feed us I would resort to takeout and fast food…justifying it in my head with the ‘I don’t cook so what am supposed to do’ mantra!

The challenge came at a time when I was going to have to be accountable for my food as my husband was going to be working away for long periods.

I would not only have to feed myself but the kids as well. Takeout night after night was not going to be an option. I was completely daunted by the prospect and it definitely showed in my first meeting with dietician Andrew from Eating Fit. He asked me basic questions about what I ate and what I fed the kids and although I had mindlessly written down a 7 day food diary I couldn’t actually verbalise what I ate…I had no answers. What sort of mum doesn’t know what her kids are eating let alone herself…the answers should have rolled off my tongue but I had to think long and hard about it…not a good feeling! Fortunately, my children are very healthy but no thanks to me.

However, after chatting with Andrew about what I was capable of doing I soon realised that I didn’t have to be a gourmet chef to make a healthy meal for myself and my family. After that meeting I left with a plan and a resolve that I could actually do this.

It was going to take a bit of organisation and planning. Planning I could do…I just don’t know why something so simple had escaped me for so long. Now, I plan for every meal including my snacks and I have control over what used to control me. Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments where I make bad choices but it is much easier to correct it without losing complete control like I used to.

The other revelation I made over a candid chat with Ange during one of our weekly catch ups was that since having the kids I had been using my body as their garbage bin. Rather than waste food I would consume their left overs and in turn increase my waistline. This is still a challenge for me but I now have the tools to avoid falling into the same food traps.

With the correct mindset and by respecting my body I am slowly changing a habit that has taken a decade to form.

I remember telling Ange that I couldn’t believe the 12 weeks had passed so quickly, only to have her reply “This is just the beginning for you”. More profound words could not have been spoken by this amazing woman for whom I am so grateful to have had along for the journey.

Although the weight loss has not been immense in numbers on the scale, I can honestly say that KX Pilates has truly helped me define myself not only physically but mentally as well. I am stronger, fitter and more toned and I feel as though I have a new start…one where I have found an inner strength and resolve that I never knew I had. I am a better mother, wife and person for having done this challenge. Finally my kids can see a glimpse of the mum I have always hoped I could be…confident and comfortable in my own skin.

To the team at KX Pilates Glen Waverley, particularly Allie’s infectious enthusiasm, optimism and faith in me and Ange for inspiring me to keep trying despite the challenges and curve balls along the way…a huge THANKYOU!