1. What was your starting point?  

On my last birthday, I realized that another year had quickly whisked on by! Even though I was happy with my career, family, and friends, my health and eating habits weren't where I wanted it to be. I was still eating like a college freshman and never made responsible choices in my diet. I'm a junk food addict, and I knew that if I wanted to grow up and live a long and happy life, I'd have to say goodbye to that. I started with making radical changes to my diet: shopping mostly in the produce aisle at the grocery store, giving up fast food, and watching my portions. After losing my first 15 pounds on diet alone, I learned that if I wanted to transform my body, I had to be smart about integrating cardio and strength training. I started coming to (MDR) for the strength training portion of my grand plan, and haven't looked back since. While I'm now very focused on what I eat, and I do spend a lot of time doing cardio and circuit training, pilates on the Megaformer has been an instrumental part of my 100 lb. weight loss journey.

2. Do you remember a specific moment that nudged you to go to class, or decide that it was finally time to make a change? 

I started off with really small, achievable goals. In my first month at (MDR), my goal was just to make it to class! That sounds simple, but it actually can be hard after a long day of work! Once I was in class, the next goal was just to finish! If that meant modifying every move but making it through class, I was happy with that.  

There was never a specific moment for me that nudged me to class. Once I had gathered momentum, it was more about keeping consistent and sticking to it. Eventually, the goal changed from simply attending class to modifying 50% of my moves. The more classes I attended, the less I had to modify! I still have goals now (and I still modify my moves)! Now I'm focused on getting my form right on all the moves. 

3. What were the first changes you noticed after the first few weeks of taking classes at The Studio (MDR)? 

One of the biggest victories I had was not feeling SO sore after class! But of course, now I hope to find new places in my body that I can challenge, and the soreness is welcome because it means I'm trying something new and strengthening the muscles in new places. From a social perspective, after coming consistently, I've met some really great people who are part of the (MDR) community. It's really nice to see friendly faces and check-in with them. The instructors also take classes alongside me, so it's inspiring to see them challenge themselves.

4. Have you cleaned up your diet and if so, how has it changed?

My diet has done a complete 180. Pizza, burritos, and burgers will always be my first love (believe me, I miss them every day), but now I see it more like a very rare treat, rather than a daily habit. Instead, my daily habits now consist of vegetables, lean protein, and fruit. I've also stopped drinking alcohol... but only because I'd rather indulge in a piece of cake or some fries if I'm going to add more calories in my day. I'm learning new things about nutrition and my body every day, so I think my diet will continue to change alongside that.

5. What’s one pose that you used to hate but love now? 

THEY'RE ALL SO CHALLENGING! It probably took me the longest to figure out how to do chaturanga because it didn't feel natural to my arms.  Also, in my experience, that move tends to come towards the end of class when I'm feeling spent and my body is ready to call it a day. But because that move comes at the end of class, that means it's almost time to go home, so, that makes me love it :)

6. How far have you come from your starting point in both physical and mental ways? And what are some of your new goals when you look ahead?

I've discovered a lot about myself from the starting point! I'm generally not a very spiritual or mindful person, but it's hard to avoid thinking about your body when you're doing repeated bungee cord leg lifts and wondering if your glutes can survive 30 more seconds. As a result, I think I'm much more aware of how amazing and resilient our bodies are! I've made vast changes in my life, but they all started with very small decisions. My body has responded greatly to these small little mental tweaks and I am grateful for that. Not to sound cheesy, but I've learned that if you're willing to bet on yourself and go all in, there's no way you can't win.