It’s 8 days until moving day at our house. We are slowly filling plastic bins full of our belongings and selling things on Craigslist that have sat in storage since we moved here almost 3 years ago. I love the feeling of ridding my family of unneeded items. I really want to be a minimalist, although I’m not there yet.

In the process I’ve been working on ridding myself of some other things. One thing in particular that I like to call my “sack lunch stomach”. That is where you have a slightly wrinkled little pouch of who knows what right under your navel that looks like someone rolled up their sack lunch with the leftover apple core still inside and attached it to you. Now, being a fitness professional does not mean that I have a perfect body (far from it) or that I can magically have two children and pop back; looking like I did at age 19…..

That’s me on the right at age 19 with Jurgen Zack in the middle. He’s a now retired Ironman triathlete. The girl on the left and I were at Wildflower Triathlon in California competing in the collegiate triathlon championships.

Honestly, I really don’t desire to look like I did at 19. I want to look like a 33 year old mother of two, but a healthy and active 33 year old mother of two. I try to eat right (as I sit here drinking a nice glass of “warm chocolate”) most of the time and do my best to stay active. I exercise regularly, but I always know I could be doing more.

Two weeks ago I taught a Pilates workshop. It was the first one I’d done since September 2012 and I was pretty impressed with how well I performed considering I’d split my abs wide open during my second pregnancy. It also encouraged me to work with what I know to get myself ready for the rest of my life and not just bathing suit season. So, I’m taking the Pilates approach and attempting to master each exercise before I move on to the previous. This makes sense to me for a number of reasons both silly and serious:

1. Pilates believed that the Grecian male physique was preferable to all others as it showed balance within the body. I’m part Greek, so why not want the body of Greek goddess?

2. As a fitness professional I tell people all of the time that you don’t need a gym to get fit and there’s not one at my ready access at the moment, so Pilates works for me. No excuses that it’s raining outside or I can’t afford fancy equipment to get the job done.

3. Pilates works the entire body and doesn’t just focus on the abs. While I may dislike my sack lunch stomach, I would prefer to be fit all over. See what comes later in Pilates.

4. Finally, after my last pregnancy my midwife gave me a simple exercise to work on to strengthen the fascia and other tissues of my rectus abdominus and simple starts worked.

The first exercise in Pilates is the Ab Prep. (Here is a link to a picture of the exercise, but if you attempt it, DO NOT tuck your chin to your chest! Remember that new exercises are always better learned with the help of a trained, certified, and well educated/degreed fitness professional.)

It’s simple like a crunch. It works my pelvic floor as well as my abs. It makes me focus on my breath and keeps me in tune with where my body is. So here I start…Inhale…Prepare…Exhale…AB PREP!