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Utilizing Pilates to help with her anxiety and depression - Beth's Story

I am a 42-year-old mom to 2 children, one of whom has Down syndrome and I homeschool both. I have been overweight my whole life, but having after my daughter’s Down syndrome diagnosis in 2011 and her open heart surgery 3 months later, my weight really started to increase and I didn’t have time to take care of myself and lost myself along the way. Physically I was feeling awful.

I was suffering for many years with anxiety and depression and finally decided to get help.  As I started to feel better, I decided that I would like to start something and that I was worth it, possibly work with a trainer, I just wasn’t sure. I am a fitness tester shall we say; I can test fitness plans like nobody’s business.  The problem is I “test” them and that lasts maybe a week and I quit.  I never feel like I belong in gyms, it is extremely intimidating and overwhelming. I feel as though I lack coordination as well, so classes like Zumba were a big fail. I knew I needed to do something that was low impact, so I decided to research low impact workouts online and Club Pilates popped up.

After finding Club Pilates online, I made a ton of excuses for why I shouldn’t bother going.

It was going to be too time-consuming, it would cost too much, I would never be able to do it, I would be the biggest one there.  Finally, one day I realized there was an intro class in an hour, so I signed up and went.  Upon entering the studio, I was super nervous, but everyone was kind and reassuring. I took my first 1.0 class and it was really difficult for me; I could barely get through it. The instructor made me feel like I could do it and I would improve if I stuck to it.

Pilates has become addicting; it has helped me so much with my anxiety and depression.  It is my time, my happy hour, where I can focus on myself.  I can clear my mind and focus on my movements and breathing.  I find on the days that I don’t get to go that my anxiety and depression tend to creep back, and my body and mind start to crave Pilates.

I look forward to attending class and I try to get there 3-4 times a week.  I never cancel, it’s like I am making an appointment with myself.  When I leave, I have such a sense of accomplishment and I feeling of pride that I did something for myself today and it was fun.

I think the fun part of the classes is the people, women, and men of all different ages, ethnicities, shapes, and sizes who all have the same goals in mind, to better themselves.

Since starting I am down 40 lbs and 4 pants sizes and feel like I am getting so much stronger.

I have a long way to go, I have another 70 lbs to lose. It is also helping me with my depression and anxiety so much. It feels amazing to have lost weight. I have many health and fitness goals. I would like to lose a total of 110 lbs and I want to be able to progress in Pilates and take higher-level classes.  I can’t wait to see where I am a year from now.

Pilates has done so much for my body besides weight loss. It has made me more flexible. It has improved my posture.  I have increased my energy levels.  My concentration is so much better, and I am able to manage my stress so much better. I have stuck with it because I have finally found something that is just for me and something that I love. My instructor is wonderful and so helpful, everyone there is so encouraging and kind.

Club Pilates has saved my life physically and mentally.

As an ex-public school teacher who is now homeschooling my 14-year-old son and my 8-year-old daughter, Pilates helps me have the energy to get through the day. I am more fun and more engaged with my kids throughout the day.

For so long I was longing to find something I could do for me, to help me find myself again. I needed to be good at something again, to find success at something that was just for me.  Pilates has done that in so many ways. The pain I felt physically because of my weight is gone and I am just getting stronger and stronger every day.


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