There is this Joseph Pilates quote: “In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you'll have a whole new body.”
Now, from my experience, this is very unlikely to be true if you attend a Pilates class once a week and then forget about it the other 167 hours. I’m not saying do an hour Pilates every day to get results, I’m saying do a little bit every day, make it part of your commute, your lunch break, your morning ritual or evening routine. THAT will get you results because you’ll gradually change your movement patterns and your relationship with movement.
I see it time and again, those of my students who embrace this see and feel the benefits of it. Apart from progressing in their weekly Pilates practice in the studio so much faster, they tell me about their experience of how their aches and pains are more manageable or have disappeared completely. Some feel inspired to change their eating habits which is beautiful to witness. Whilst Pilates can help with strength, tone, mobility, flexibility, balance, body awareness, awareness of breath, and relaxation, it is not going to give you a different body.
Eating well, moving every day, having a positive mindset when it comes to health and body image, having realistic expectations, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and making those small every day choices that serve you in the long run instead of going for that instant gratification are playing a part in how you feel about your body. Unfortunately, so often the focus is on that one detail we want to magically change instead of having a good look at the overall picture.
Combine your Pilates practice with some cardio, healthy eating and some quality time with good friends, that is what I would recommend if you want to change the way you feel within your body.
Exercise not to be a different shape but to be stronger, more mobile and more at ease within your body to lead a long and healthy life. Aim for being able to run for the bus with ease, aim for having the strength to carry the shopping home or store the suitcase in the overhead locker with ease, aim for being able to scratch your back and tie your shoelaces yourself to the last beautiful day, aim for being able to balance on your own two feet when you don’t get a seat on the train, aim for waking up free of back pain, aim for going to sleep free of shoulder tension. That will serve you so much more and make you so much more happy in your own skin than aiming to look like that airbrushed person on the magazine cover that doesn’t even exist in real life.