A Bridal-Ready Journey with Christie Wang, PMA-CPT/ Part II: Maintaining a Balanced Pre-Wedding Diet

Hello everyone!

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I’m Christie Wang, Principal Pilates instructor (PMA-CPT) at Endurance Pilates and Yoga. I teach classical NY style Pilates at Endurance Pilates and Yoga. My wedding is less than 8 weeks away. For the next two months, I’ll be sharing my journey to feeling and looking my best; including healthy wedding prep nutrition, exercise and self-care routines. I had my very first wedding dress fitting two weeks ago, and it got me thinking more and more about maintaining a balanced pre-wedding diet!

Many brides spend the months before their wedding crash dieting, avoiding carbs and focusing in on their diets to get in their best shape. If you google “wedding diet,” dozens of articles like “21 Day Pre-Wedding Diet Plan” and “The Ugly Truth About Wedding Diets” come up. There’s clearly pressure for brides to go to some pretty extreme measures to “shed for the wedding.”

Knowing that maintaining a healthy “clean” diet is the biggest factor in losing weight, or maintaining my current weight, I’ve taken a few small measures to clean up my diet. As I’m staying super active and running a marathon the week after my wedding, there will be no crash dieting or extreme measures here. And yes, I am keeping around my carbs.

  1. Drinking more H2O and less caffeineAs a Pilates instructor who has to wake up at 5 AM to get to her first class, I run on coffee. But, in an effort to improve my skin, I’ve cut coffee to just one cup a day and increased the amount of water I am drinking (~5-6L a day).
  2. Reducing refined sugars/desserts: Let me say that pastries, cookies, scones and croissants (oh croissants!) are my biggest vice. Knowing that eating a croissant a day is not necessarily the greatest for me, I’ve decided to cut out, to the best of my ability, anything with refined sugars (most desserts). Instead of cutting this out completely, I’m replacing it with healthy alternatives (fruit, dried fruit with no added sugars, nuts and seeds and yogurt).
  3. Green smoothies to start the day: Instead of eating a traditional large breakfast, I’ve opted for a “two part” breakfast. Again, as I wake up so early, I usually whip up a cup of coffee and a green smoothie right when I first wake up. My green smoothies have spirulina powder, hemp seeds, cucumber, kale, pineapple and bananas. A few hours later (usually around 9:30 AM or 10 AM), I’ll grab a piece of toast with almond/cashew butter or a small cup of oatmeal with nuts and fruit.
  4. Avoiding preservatives/processed foods and sticking to whole foods: To the best of my ability, I’ve been avoiding processed “snacking” foods. Of course, in a pinch, or when I’m starving, I’ll have a few pretzels or some dried fruit but, I’ve been trying to stick to homemade and whole foods. For example, I’ve been making my own picco de gallo (just fresh tomatoes, onions, lime juice and jalapeno!) instead of eating salsa from a jar.

As always, I am continuing to run and do Pilates on a regular basis. Stay tuned for Part III: At Home Pilates Exercises to Sculpt your Upper Back, Butt, and Abs.

Want more information about Endurance’s Bridal Package? They combine Mat classes & Reformer training on the highest quality Gratz equipment. Sign up today to begin your wedding prep!

This post is written by Christie Wang, an instructor at Endurance Pilates and Yoga. It does not represent the beliefs, opinions or advice of Endurance Pilates and Yoga.

Five Reasons Why Pilates is the Best Age Defying Workout

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As a workout, Pilates has a multitude of benefits but, have you ever thought about how Pilates may have age-defying benefits too? Master Pilates Instructor Julie Erickson gives us her top five reasons why Pilates is the best age defying workout on the market. With our 20 different fitness certifications (ranging from run coaching to personal training to Pilates), expert Julie Erickson believes that Pilates is the most effective age defying workout.

  1. We teach people how to move properly and efficiently- there is no extra energy expended by the body during the workout because it is so precise and controlled.  Students will take these lessons with them outside of the studio into their daily living, so they are showering with good form, driving with good form, walking with good form. Folks have less aches and pains, thus will move more often!
  2. A regular Pilates practice will teach a student to move in a very controlled, perfected manner without the student constantly having to think about it- we teach people to move well with unconscious competence. This is extremely important for folks who use their bodies to make a living- models, athletes, professional actors and dancers all use Pilates in their regimens. Pilates helps to prevent injuries and keeps all level of movers moving better and without constantly having to think about it!
  3. Pilates teaches students where to feel particular movements- where to lengthen, where to control.  Pilates builds a suit of armor from within to protect the skeletal system and internal organs. Students will experience less falls, clumsiness, and uncontrolled movements of the body in all aspects of their life. They will become adept at engaging a particular group of muscles- the lats are a good example, to ensure the shoulder stays safe when a person is reaching high up on a shelf to grab a can or during a game of tennis!  The body will stay more upright, in proper alignment and a student will avoid overusing back muscles that should not be part of a shoulder reaching pattern!
  4. At the cellular level, a person who is moving in a way that respects the body, will develop healthier cells throughout the entire system, thus creating an exterior and interior that is flexible and strong,
  5. Pilates puts strength and structure behind the increases in flexibility it provides.  This makes the movements in Pilates look very similar to yoga poses, however, a well-trained Pilates instructor will be able to poke and prod a student into ensuring that there is adequate strength to hold a stretch and a student leaves the studio able to maintain the changes we have made because of the education that we are providing for their body and mind.

How is Endurance Pilates different?

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We often get the question, “How is Endurance Pilates different from all other workouts and even different styles of Pilates?” For many years, Pilates has been known as a favorite workout for models, actresses and athletes. With our recent expansion to New York through Endurance Pilates NY, we’ve seen an increase in studnets who are professional models and actresses. We’re here to explain why they, among many others, choose this workout.
In an Endurance Pilates mat session, every single muscle in the body and all of the connective tissues (fascia, ligaments, tendons) are used throughout every exercise in the workout! A good Pilates mat session is full-body strengthening and stretching- creating those long, lean Pilates bodies (#PilatesBody anyone?). Because all of the muscles and connective tissues are constantly working with just the right amount of support and force required, there isn’t any down-time! One of the newer concepts being studied in exercise science is training of the “Neuromyofascial Web”- going beyond the muscle and bone isolated movements and adding the connective tissue, fascia, and mind-body connections into our understanding of proper and ideal movement.
The best news out of this research- this is where real changes in the shapes of our bodies occur- adipose tissue (fat) is a type of irregular fascia, regular fascia is the tissue that covers the organs and muscles. All fascial properties change with the right type of movement. This is exactly the type of movement that a well-trained Pilates instructor can provide.
By teaching the concepts of opposition via different muscles pulling and pushing at particular times in the workout, the body constantly prepares itself to move more efficiently in the opposite direction, training the fascia to become smoother- more like a silk suit than a knotted ball of wool. By focusing on this corrective and oppositional movement patterning within their sessions, students can expect to see significant changes in the shape and makeup of their bodies within a few months.  Your students could go from having a lumpy spare tire or muffin top to sporting oblique dents and a defined waist via a proper Pilates mat workout 3X a week and balanced nutrition in six months– a whole new body!  
So unlike some other workouts, Pilates can literally changes the shape of your body- lengthening, toning and firming.