POP Pilates, the anti-bikini body, and a challenge…

Oh, Autumn/Winter. A good season for so many reasons, not least of all fantastic parties, open log fires, steaming cups of Earl Grey on drizzly days, tramping through woods, rubbish but totally brilliant black and white films in the afternoon, mulled wine…..

Weirdly, I seem to always get into some sort of heavy duty exercise/eating routine around this time of year. I naturally like salads and lighter food, so I get to a point in Winter where I don’t want to see a potato, or a hearty stew, or something with mushrooms in. I also feel like I’m getting one up on my New Year’s resolutions. Because, after all, who feels like changing anything on January 1st? I’m usually nursing a hangover and feeling violent unease at the prospect of the new year.

I’ve been trying to eat fairly healthily at the moment, but had a bit of a lapse this weekend, and I can already feel the results. I feel sluggish (the worst word known to man), unmotivated, and generally not a very happy bunny. I’ve been doing some Pilates videos I found on YouTube, hosted by a very smiley and cheerful girl called Cassey Ho. I used to think Pilates was pretty much like yoga – ok for flexibility, but generally still the home of mung bean eating, New Age music-listening, crystal waving types. Then along came Cassey, with her glam gym gear, her huge smile, her insanely tough workouts, and a soundtrack including Shakira, Gaga and Rihanna.

I barely managed 2 minutes of one workout, and I realised that this was something I really wanted to do, and get good at. I went and checked out Cassey’s site: http://www.blogilates.com. It’s amazing – bright colours, inspirational stories, motivational slogans all over the place. It’s very, very American, and I loved it. I spotted Cassey was running a 90 day challenge (sadly with only 60 days to go) comprising of 5 days of pilates/cardio workouts a week, combined with a good healthy diet. It seemed destined to be. So much of being able to motivate yourself and keep pushing through when you’re flagging is having someone energetic, encouraging and aspirational, and I think Cassey manages to achieve all of those things.

Right, waffle over. Go and check her out. Don’t blame me if you get sore thighs (ah…how many times have I said that in my life?!) Basically, I’m going to attempt to follow her challenge – not quite to the letter, because I’m not exactly going to be eating a stir fry for Christmas lunch, am I? But I’m going to try. Out go the cakes again, refined sugars and bad carbs, in come the fruit and veg and porridge. I’ll be attempting to track in on this blog – only every week though. Nobody needs to know what I’m eating every single day, for Chrissakes. Have a look yourself – maybe you’ll be joining me?!


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