The holidays are just around the corner. As much fun and gratitude that they bring along with them, they also tend to bring stress and a hectic schedule. It can be easy to let both the good and bad parts of this season get in the way of your own Pilates transformation.
To help battle all the lavish foods you might enjoy and the stresses of the season we hope you take some inspiration from this month’s happy transformation of one of your teammates, Angelica Illueca.
When did you decide to try Pilates?
After doing a very long daily commute to work (Sacramento to Bay Area) for two years and gaining nearly 40 pounds, my doctor instructed me to lose weight. I was no longer doing the commute but I had been living a very sedentary life and now needed to focus on my health. I had prior knee and back injuries which often interfered with cardio exercises so I joined Pilates with the hope of strengthening my muscles.
What was life like before Pilates, what is life like now?
Prior to Pilates, I was experiencing several health issues primarily associated with sleep deprivation, weight gain, and heart disease. I was very nervous about joining Pilates and it took me a few months to build up the courage to attend the introduction class. Luckily, I met Maria the day of my first class and was able to share some of my health issues and fears with her. She encouraged me, gave me a hug, and I left Humani feeling like I could do this. My health issues had left me feeling rather helpless and it was so nice to start making a change in my life.
Since joining Humani, I have lost 26 pounds and my health issues have greatly improved and stabilized. In addition to Maria, I also connected with Greta. Both instructors helped guide me through gaining confidence with Pilates and advancing to the next level of classes. The small class size enables students to connect with instructors on more of a personal level. I now feel more in control of my life and my health. Although I’m continuing to lose weight and to strengthen my body, I’m still working to reach my goal.
What advice would you give someone thinking of trying Pilates for the first time?
What I hear most from people who doubt the benefits of Pilates is that it’s not a cardio exercise and won’t help you lose weight. But thanks to strengthening my muscles in Pilates class, I’m now able to do cardio exercises that I just wasn’t able to do before because my knee and back were in too much pain after just a few minutes of cardio exercise. Thanks to Pilates, I no longer need to wear a knee brace when doing cardio exercises. I have been able to improve my strength and flexibility with Pilates, which in return has allowed me to do cardio exercises that I wasn’t able to do before.
What is one thing your classmates should know about you?
Seeing my classmates each week helps to motivate me. We often encourage each other and I appreciate attending classes where we all make mistakes, no one is perfect, but we continue trying to improve in an environment that is both encouraging and positive.
When not at Humani, where are we most likely to find you?
I would really love to answer with something exciting here but chances are that if I’m not at Humani, and I’m not at work, then I’m probably sitting on the couch watching TV. I’m working on changing that by trying to visit somewhere new every other weekend. But unfortunately, the couch remains my favorite place to be.
What class at the studio is your favorite? Why? (Joy, Balance, Reboot, Energy, Bliss)
I actually enjoy all of the classes. My focus in class has been on technique and improving at my exercises. I’ve primarily worked with Maria, Greta, and previous instructor Alex, who have all worked with me from the time of my intro class, to gaining confidence in Pilates 1 classes, to helping me advance to Pilates 2 classes.
What is your favorite piece of equipment? Why? (Mat, Reformer, or Chair)
The reformer is my favorite and that’s because it seems to have a lower impact on my joints and muscles than mat workouts do. I feel that I achieve the same results on the reformer without experiencing the added strain that I tend to feel on the mat. As for the chair, I’m currently in a love/hate relationship with that thing.
Stay tuned, we’ll be sharing more happy Pilates transformations with you each month. Check out our recent Pilates transformation here.