Well, I did it: thirty days of Pilates and almost a month free of smoking. I hate to sound like my old cynical self, but as with most things in life, the completion of my challenge was quite anti-climactic.
I had visions of coming down the stairs after my last class and walking into the entrance area at CORE, a roomful of tight bodied, yoga panted people clapping, whooping and cheering. They would all pat me on the back and tell me how amazing I am and then bottles of champagne would be popped and I would take a bow and make a speech. Instead, on the last day of my challenge, I was grumpy as all get out (gosh, I am sensing a theme here). So I slunk out of the studio without saying bye to, let alone thanking, any of the lovely and supportive instructors who have encouraged me through this challenge. I did manage a quick high five with Janet who had just completed her thirtieth class as well. Yeeee—aaaah Janet! Come to think of it, she is tight bodied and she was wearing Yoga pants, so I guess my fantasy came partly true.
I don’t feel this huge sense of renewal or that I had some sort of cathartic experience, but I am sleeping better, partying less, eating well and my skin is glowing (quitting smoking saves you a ton of money on skin care products). While I did not get a reception, the instructors at CORE have told me what an accomplishment they think I have achieved and made comments about how great I look. And you know what: I do. But most importantly I feel strong and capable. In the end the most rewarding part of this challenge is that I have completed it, not that I look hot.
Yeah, I know, I probably wouldn’t believe me either. So here it is: I may not be brick hard but it’s safe to say I am toned. I am going to change my physique description on Plenty of Fish (yes I just admitted to that) to athletic. I lost a quarter inch in my thighs, half inch in my waist, an inch in a half in my hips and an inch in my back- that or my boobs shrunk. I am going with a. In my first entry I promised before and after shots but I have decided against that (and you cannot tell me I don’t keep my promises cause I just quit smoking and did thirty days of Pilates like I said I would). Sure I would love to show off the new curves of my deltoids, or the flatness and definition of my belly, the round firmness of my behind, my improved posture, the bulge of my biceps, my slimmer hips or my defined calves or….okay, okay, I’m stopping. Somehow the photographic evidence doesn’t seem that relevant anymore because, I’ll say it again: the ultimate benefit of this whole challenge was setting a goal and sticking to it. I am about to commit the biggest faux pas of writing and utter the most schmaltzy cliché but “it’s what’s inside that counts.” And inside me is a tough lady who sticks to her guns. Watch out world.