Return To Life Challenge… Week 1 (Reality Bites)

(Me on the mat, just about to put my phone down and do the damn thing…)

Getting the Book
   When I saw the staggering wall of boxes in my parents garage marked “Farida” I knew I would never find one of my old copies of Return To Life. So I gave up and tracked a copy down at the Bethesda Barnes and Nobles. I called to make sure they had it before I dragged my ass down 495. The first girl I spoke to had never heard of Joseph Pilates…her manager informed me that they had sent it back to the publisher. The irony of this is actually a great metaphor for the Pilates world today. A huge shelf full of Pilates books and no one is interested in the one the man himself wrote….

The Plan…

   After locating the book in the iTunes Store and buying it on my iPhone, I made a list of the exercises I could still do. Out of the 34 exercises included in his book I could competently do about 21. There were about 8 I could do a modified simpler version of. Three of the exercises, “Scissors”, “Bicycle”, and “Control Balance” were unicorn exercises. Even at my strongest I was unable to do them. But hopefully that will finally change this year!

(The “Control Balance” from Return To Life…Hahahaha no freakin way…)

Reality Bites…

   I quickly discovered a few things about my body, a right hip that clicked, a searing pain in the side of my abs when I attempted some of the overhead exercises in a sloppy, half hearted manner. Worst of all I had to scale a few of the exercises I thought I could do and turn to modified versions. Blah…I literally want to go back in time and punch my 28 year old self for letting everything go so wrong.

  I faithfully did the routine every damn day until….the weekend. Crap. I didn’t do it Saturday or Sunday….I did have a few drinks Friday night with my Toro, sister,  and friends…stay up almost all night…make my Dad a pot of his favorite soup to take to his Saturday standing brunch…doll my 4 hour of sleep zombie ass up for George Michael/Prince/Bowie karaoke with my Bestie and sis…then up bright and early for brunch with Toro and my sister…Soooo by Sunday night I needed sleep and nothing else…

   I learned from this wild first weekend that maybe one or two days off a week was not such a bad idea, as long as I promptly “Return to Life” on Monday…which I did!

The Results…

   Although Joe Pilates famously said “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”. I did not expect super spectacular  results right away. Oh me of little faith. 

   From Wednesday to Wednesday I had done the workout 6 times. I was already eating less, and craving healthier food. I noticed my workout was harder after a sugar or burger binge.

   I figured out how to stop the clicking hip by concentrating and connecting even more as I performed hip clickable exercises.

   I found even though I had a crazy busy work week, I still found the energy to not only do the workout, but to also do some extra work on the apparatus (Pilates equipment) in the studio. My energy levels were climbing even on days where I didn’t get enough sleep. Even after a week of way too much driving, which would normally create all sorts of back aches and misery, I felt pretty damn good. By the end of week one I had no aches or pains anymore. I could sleep all night in whatever stupid position I wanted and wake up limber and feeling good…I shit you not!

The Pictures…oh hell what am I doing?!

    A lot of people don’t know this about Joe Pilates, but he was one of the first…if not the first, to do before and after shots. He amassed an archive of before/after photos of clients. He also loved to use himself to document his method. So…deeeep breath…I will be using myself too…cellulite, bumps, lumps, and all. 

Here are the week one photos:

(Yes, I did buy those horrifically unflattering bikini bottoms just for you dear reader. I can’t believe I’m doing this.)




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