Name: Susan Swan
Occupation: full-time registered nurse
Height: 5 feet, 9 inches
Weight now: 140 pounds
Weight when started: 170 pounds
Health/Fitness accomplishment: Lost 30 pounds since April, when she began taking Pilates classes at Body Works Studio Inc.
Background: Swan, a registered nurse for 32 years, was discouraged and unhappy with her body when she enrolled in Pilates classes at Body Works Studio, 1980 E. River Road. The classes were a birthday present, and she says they completely changed her life. She has lost 30 pounds through exercise and good eating habits. She attends 10 to 16 Pilates classes a week.
Question: What finally led you to make a change?
Answer: I really was way off from the things I really valued. My job did not allow much time for physical activity due to the fact that I was on call 24/7. Pilates helped me realize how far away I had gotten from the things I loved. It is a perfect fit. I attained goals that I didn’t even set out to attain. I have finally come home in my body.
How did you do it?
The very first step I took was to tell myself that I didn’t care how I looked in class, and to be self-compassionate. I like that Pilates does not have the same competitive aspect as working out at a gym. I never once felt that anybody was judging me against the mark. Getting involved with Pilates has been a very positive experience, and every day I come home feeling as if have learned something new.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in reaching your goal?
Nothing has been hard. It has been an answer to my prayers to do Pilates. I was immediately successful and everyday is a total joy. I went into it with a beginner’s mind and allowed myself to be taught.
What lessons did you learn in reaching this goal?
I have learned the exquisiteness of how the body is made, how it works and how it was made to work. I have also learned to be true to the things I value and admit to myself what I value. I have always loved movement. Pilates is like a lesson in life for me. It has helped me find compassion.
How would you encourage someone else to get started?
I think the first thing they need to do is figure out what they value and find the thing that resonates most with their core values. They will know they have found the right thing when the process is the reward. The fact that I have melted is lovely, but when I started I didn’t care.
What habits did you have to change and how did you do it?
The first habit I changed was drinking coffee. My mindset used to be, “Why drink water when you have coffee?” but I gave it up for a bodily cleanse. I went from nothing but coffee to no coffee. I started becoming very aware of other habits as well. I began asking myself, “Am I really starving or thirsty?” whenever I was hungry. I discovered that more often than not my body was just craving water.
What is your new goal?
My new goal is just to continue what I have been doing with Pilates and to never settle for short-changing myself. I already do things I never thought I would be able to do.
Any food weaknesses?
Usually if I see something I want to eat I just do it. I love to bake, and I will allow myself to eat some of whatever I make. If I put strict restrictions on myself, that is how I will get in trouble.
How does it feel?
I feel healthy and grateful. I do believe I look better than I have ever looked. I feel at home in my body.