Many of my members will know me as their Pilates Instructor. The quirky lady that likes to poke and prod, count extremely slowly backwards from 10 (all the bloody time), get my dance on behind you when you are feeling the burrnn and I am feeling the music.
It is important for my members to get to know me on a personal level and know my philosophy with health and the journey I have taken to get to where I am today. I didn't always know my purpose, I did not always want to help people become BETTER VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES, I was not always well educated on health or would even have considered myself remotely healthy.
At the age of 22 I was pretty stoked with life. I was working in Marketing, I had a boyfriend that loved me, lived with him in Spring Hill in an apartment and had lots of friends that appreciated me for me. At the age of 22 I weighed 116kg but would still rock mini skirts and doc martins (deary me). I never really saw my weight as an issue. I still managed to do the things that I loved, I didn't quite see how my obesity was holding me back. One day my father (scary South African man with a moustache) came into the city where I worked and spoke to me heart on heart about my weight. He laid it out to me straight, Elle you are overweight and one day when you want to have babies your health will be at risk. That weekend, I attended my girlfriends engagement party and saw a picture of myself and for the first time realized how out of control my weight was. From that night I am not sure what changed but for the first time in my life I wanted to be smaller. I accepted that the chubby girl in the mirror was not me and it was FINE TO WANT TO IMPROVE myself. Yes it scared me to think that I might fail, but without even knowing it I put things in place that would make it hard to fail. It was not soon after that I sold my car and started walking to work. I started inquiring about what it is to eat healthy. I am lucky to have amazing parents that backed me all the way. An enlightened mother that would send me amazing recipes and teach me simple ways of choosing the right food options. I have lost over 50kg since then. I have kept the weight off now for nearly 8 years but I can guarantee you this, it is NOT EASY.
I was 24 when i decided that I wanted to have a career in health. I was petrified of getting overweight again and thought, if I made health my life then surely that would help me create a life that made me put health 1st. This was not always the case, throughout my 5 years of study there were times I was extremely unhealthy and unaware.
Health is a roller coaster and we have to learn to ride it. Over the years I have learnt to not be too hard on myself. There have been times when I would be off track for months, eating unhealthy foods, not doing anything proactive to manage my stress, not moving and I would not only see my weight increase (within weeks) but also see my mood decrease. Over the years I have learnt to ride the ups and downs, and try and decrease the amount of time I spend in the downs. The downs suck, but they are part of life. It is during the downs that we might find the motivation to seek the highs again. I have really tuned in to how healthy food and exercise makes me feel, rather than how it makes me look. I am finding that if we care more about our mood and our feelings, rather than what the scale says or whether we look good in a pair of white jeans then we will be more motivated to continue making healthy choices.
I do a Reformer Pilates workout everyday. I do it because it warms my muscles, it improves my flexibility, it helps me manage an ongoing hamstring issue and it makes me feel strong. I ride my bike most days and I do it because it helps me manage my stress and it challenges me - which in turns makes me feel good about myself.
My biggest advice to anyone is to ask themselves if they want to live a long and happy life. If you want to live a long and happy life then you naturally will be inclined to want to be healthy. I know the want does not always mean there is action, and this does not mean that you will always make the right choices and be on track, but it means that you will ride the ups and downs and hopefully find tools to put in your tool box to ensure that your downs become shorter and shorter and your highs last longer and longer.
If you have read this far then thank you <3. Thanks for letting me share a bit more about me, this is in the hope that next time you are in the studio you will share a little bit more about you.
See you in the studio xx