I love being a Pilates Teacher because of its discipline, philosophy and rich history. My desire is to share my love, passion and obsession for Pilates. I am a proud Pilates Nerd if truth be told.
When I first began teaching I never knew how much of an impact I would have on someone’s life. But when the other side of the coin is revealed and a student becomes a driving force and inspiration to you, it is amazing and fulfilling in one fell swoop.
On June 16, 2016, Nathan and Bobby had their first duet at Pilates in the Grove. Bobby had brought his friend Nathan to me because he was concerned about his health. Nathan did not exercise, had bad eating habits and he weighed over 400 pounds. It was a despairing condition.
Nathan was going to be a challenge. He and Bobby continued to work with me throughout the summer, averaging about two to three duets a week, doing a complete turnaround. It was not long before he fell in love with Pilates and Fitness all together. He had changed his eating habits and the way he thought about food. As September approached, the 12th of 2016, to be exact, Nathan had lost over fifty pounds. Bobby and Nathan would soon start taking my class on a continuous basis. That is where his real journey began.
The support that he got from the class was refreshing and priceless. They took him under their wing, showing him kindness and support. Incidentally, this class has been together for a year and four months now. As well as being inspired himself, he has also reciprocated back, inspiring the class and myself.
I sat down with Nathan for a little Q and A.
Me: How was your journey with fitness in the past year and four months?
Nathan: My exercise habits were very simple because I had none. My journey with Fitness and Pilates has been so transforming and life changing.
Me: Why choose Pilates?
Nathan: I chose Pilates because it is a really comprehensive way to get in shape and become really strong.
Me: How has getting fit changed your life?
Nathan: It has changed my body and life in the most dramatic ways. I now move around in my life and surroundings with ease and grace. I have a tremendous amount of energy, am stronger than ever I remember being, can physically outwork most people (young and old). I sleep a lot better. What is especially gratifying is that I can play with my Godchildren, who are six and eight, without tiring.
Before I found Pilates and a new lifestyle, swimming was the only exercise I could do without hurting myself because of my weight and damage it could cause my joints.
When I started Pilates, I vigorously added swimming to my fitness and workout routine. At first I could swim freestyle for fifteen minutes at best, and not very well. Now one and a half years later, thanks to Pilates, my core has strengthened in such a dramatic way. I swim an average of forty-five minutes a day four times a week. I can literally swim the 100 yd. butterfly stroke with relative ease.
Me: How often do you practice Pilates?
Nathan: I practice Pilates three days a week, sometimes four. I take the Barre Set Go Monday evenings. I also practice the Hundreds every day and the Series of Five (stomach series). Sometimes I add a few other exercises, depending on how I feel.
Me: What were your eating habits before Pilates?
Nathan: My diet before was pretty simple. If I saw it I ate it, and all of yours too! I ate way too much and all at the wrong times. It’s particularly bad in the evening hours. My diet now is still very simple. Now I eat whole foods and make sure I eat highly nutritious meals every day. I’ve eliminated all processed food which I call dead food. Now I eat reasonable portions and get the same, or even more satisfaction by eating sensibly. Before I was killing myself with my food and now I am healing myself.
Me: Did you have a support system through this journey?
Nathan: There are a number of people who have supported me through this journey. I will start with my friend Bobby. He and other friends of mine were really on me about losing weight. So I told him I really needed his support, someone to be accountable for and would attend some private classes with me. So with some reservation he joined me. We were a sight to be seen when we first walked into Pilates in the Grove, a giant four hundred pound guy and a smaller framed, thin, one hundred and forty pound guy. I also have made some lovely friends in class. Carolyn, Nancy, Betty, Kiki and Lauraine, in particular, have been very supportive and encouraging through this process. We have all been working out together almost a year now. We have a lot of fun, lots of laughs and we are all growing strong together. They really have made this experience all the more worthwhile for me.
And last but not least, the support and guidance I have received from my friend and instructor, Teri and all the staff at Pilates in the Grove.
Like the core is to the body, so is ambition to health. It is the lesson of living well that will stay with you, whether it is health of body or health of mind. Pilates includes these two disciplines and will guide you to prosperous health and longevity.
Below are two pictures, one before and one after. I might have been a part of changing Nathan’s life but the truth is he’s changed mine.