Rachel C.

I want to say thank you more than anything, but here’s my story to explain why. I’m hoping to make it to the inspirational stories page, but in all honesty it would mean the world to me if all you do is read it :)

I’m Rachel, 20 and a sociology major. I’d say my story starts around the age of 8 when I began voicing some dissatisfaction with my body. I was an active kid, in gymnastics and the local soccer league, but always chubbier than most girls, which gave me a lot of anxiety. It was around that time that I started snacking too much, but my mom made a few negative comments, so I stopped for a while. When I hit puberty, however, things really took a turn for the worse. Bipolar II disorder and OCD run in my family, and by 13 I was starting to restrict my calories. When mood swings hit, I would panic and grasp for something I could make my own, make orderly and safe. It’s cliche of course, but not eating gave me that control, or what I know now to be a false sense of it. Then when I was 14 I purged for the first time. From that day on it was a downward spiral. There were happy times, sure, but it was overall the most painful time of my life. I was so withdrawn from my family, my field hockey team and other friends, so underweight and even after a couple hospitalizations, I purged for 2 more years. To this day I’m not sure what made me stop, but I switched from one unhealthy lifestyle to another, and went from 95 lbs to a 185 in 3 years. I just didn’t want to try anymore. This past January, at 19, I relapsed with bulimia. And…then came March. I started researching types of exercises I hadn’t given a shot yet, and when I found some POP Pilates videos, I don’t know, something about Cassey’s positive attitude, smile and determination was contagious. I felt this need to start immediately, and I did! After two weeks, I was working out for 40 minutes per day, doing a couple videos and running on the treadmill. From March to now in October, I’ve gone from 185 lbs to 140. The best, most life changing part though was my improved mood and energy. I had the natural endorphin boost as well as a lasting sense of accomplishment… I cannot even convey to anyone how much that has done for me, because without it I know I would have kept purging. I came clean to my therapist in April, who has been astonished at my progress. I eat so much healthier now and between 1200 and 1600 calories a day. Sometimes things still get very difficult. I have intense mood swings from time to time, and thoughts about purging, but I am now confident enough in my strength to keep going. I’m learning to take good care of my body and one day I know I will love it. Thank you Cassey for showing me how to believe in myself.

Vanessa H.

Im 19 years old from san jose,california I am 5’3″ and have always been an active person, played soccer when i was younger (wish i did dance instead). I currently weigh 115 but two years ago i weighed 125 i honestly thought i was in good shape, boy i was wrong. Once i graduated high school i became more health cautious, blogilates has helped with that…all those yummy recipes.  Because of cassey i am more determined then ever to help spread the word about being a healthy person overall. For example my parents (love them) but honestly ate like sh*t, finally im able to get them to eat healthier, by more fruits and veggies and wheat pastas/bread. its crazy but cassey has helped me this journey of becoming healthy. I cant thank her enough.

Anyways I have always hated my body and tried to find workout videos i could do on a daily basis and not get tired of. Thank god I found her on youtube, without her I would be lost in useless workout videos. Ive worked out to the videos so much i know what she is going to say and each workout that is coming up. Ive been with blogilates since 1,000 fans, man it has grown so fast. Cassey is a wonderful person. With the help of her and insanity i’m finally starting to be happy with myself. Ive never felt that way before. Cassey you are an inspiration and this is my thank you to you

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Joan V.

I’ve always been slim without really trying to. My house is the one where the skinny ones are the center of the “good hearted” jokes. See, my family has never been fitness conscious at all, and I’ve seen first-hand how their weight has skyrocketed through the years.

After some complications with my digestive system, I decided to make small changes in my diet and to start being active. I have exercised before, but never to the point where I made a habit or a priority out of it. I didn’t think this time was going to be any different. I found Pop Pilates and saw it as a stroke of luck. “Hey, free workouts that I can do at home!”

I guess it was weird for all of us to see me working out. At least, that’s how I felt. I was very shy about it. It was in the back of my mind that I was probably the one that didn’t actually need it, yet I was the one doing it. I went to my room, closed the door (a must then) and it was just Cassey and me, screaming at the monitor (haha!). This was the thing: I didn’t want to be the skinny one anymore; I wanted to be FIT one.

Is there such thing as having “skinny guilt”? ‘Cause I think I had a bit of that. Sometimes it’s hard when people fail to understand the concept of body types, and that slim people also have to deal with the comments of people telling to eat something (which I do, thank you) or what not. Some others fail to understand that skinny and fit are two different concepts.

I can say Pop Pilates has helped me embrace my body. Cassey was my way of getting the reinforcement I needed to take me to the next level. I’m proud of the decisions I’ve make to ensure I’m have a healthier lifestyle. I’ve never felt stronger! My family is supportive of it, and now I’m able to give them more guidance. I try to sneak my diet into theirs. Some listen to me, some don’t (of course), but I don’t feel I’ve to be coy about my own fitness journey. And even they can see my little muscles! *holds front, double biceps pose*. So I’m thankful for Cassey and all that she does. I’ll never have the curves, but now I can kick butt regardless!

Becky H.

So my story is less a “weight loss journey” and more of a “health journey”. I was a very active (and a little chubby) child. Being outside and running around with friends, riding my bike, spending the entire day at the community pool, those things were normal for me. I got my scuba license at 12 years old and was dragging the instructor all over the reef. But that same year I developed Crohn’s Disease, and long story short, over the next 10 years had lots of flares and was allergic to all the of the medications used to control them. My life changed dramatically. I no longer had the energy to clean my room, let alone to head out on my bike. Things got better after I got married. I had insurance, and new medications had been developed. It took a couple years, some trial and error, but I was finally stable again. Cassey posted recently about healthiness leading to happiness, and that’s absolutely right. So my health was finally stable, I was able to hold down a part time job. That just left my pathetic muscles to be reckoned with. My husband and I joke that I’m “strong like kitten”, but that needed to change. Even though I wasn’t overweight, I was really flabby, jiggly. The day I found Cassey on youtube changed all that. It was a very uphill battle, but slow and steady wins the race, right? I’m still working on my body, but I no longer have to stretch my t-shirts before I put them on, my chicken wings are disappearing, and I’m more confident/less self-conscious than I was a year ago (or ever in my life, when it comes down to it). I know I have a long way to go to get anywhere near Cassey’s level, but I’m so excited to be on that path. Thank you Cassey, for making working out fun, interesting, and downright addicting! And (as funny as it sounds) for your facebook page. I’ve met some funny, beautiful, supportive, amazing women, and none of us would know the others even exist without your help  :-)  Keep up the great work, I can’t wait to meet you someday!

Love, Becky

Sara S.

I have always been chubby. I was a chubby baby, a chubby little girl. Then when I was 10, I got Mono and was home sick for weeks. I slept all the time, didn’t eat a lot and lost weight. A couple years later, when puberty kicked in, everything began to grow and I began gaining weight. I’m from Miami where everyone looks like a model. I felt like I didn’t fit in, I wasn’t ever going to look like those women on South Beach. I began to panic (yes at 13 years old, I was already weight conscious). There was a dark period where I did a lot of stupid things to try and lose weight, the worst being a flirtation with throwing up after meals. Yeah, not only is it a horrible feeling but you don’t feel any better. You feel even worse. So I gave up and gave in.

I decided I would just have to accept the body I was in. I was never going to be a size 2, I would never be 120 lbs. This attitude worked until I moved to Germany.You don’t see a lot of big women here. They tend to all be very slim, very health conscious. Here I was, the jolly, big American. And for a while, I did my best to accept that. My boyfriend loved me, my friends here loved me, size doesn’t matter, right?

Until one day in January of this year I was late for work. I saw my bus arriving at the bus stop and I thought, ok I’ll run for it. I ran as fast as I could and made it…and got into the bus a panting, wheezing, hot mess. I had barely run for more than 10 seconds. It was my lightbulb moment. I knew I had to do something. I may have been able to accept being bigger, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was unhealthy and weak.

We converted a room in our apartment into a work out room (the whole floor is covered in mats) and bought an elliptical machine. I didn’t want to spend a lot money on a gym membership and my fiancé, who did ju jitsu for a long time, was always talking about how you can use your own body to work out, no machines or weights necessary. So I did research, decided I wanted to try Pilates since I didn’t need anything but a mat and determination. And then I stumbled across Cassey on Youtube….

I’ve been doing POP Pilates regularly since April 15 (surgery made me miss Feb and March). I’ve lost 10 kilos (circa 20 lbs!), built stomach/back muscles that I’ve never had. Cassey makes me feel that even though I’m still new to excercising, even though there are still bad days where I get down on myself, I know it’s temporary and I CAN do this.

As most of you know, I’m getting married this September. When I tried my dress on for the first time, I almost cried. Not just because of the changes in my figure, but because I actually felt beautiful and confident, for the first time in a long, long time.

Thank you Cassey. You’ve changed my life, are still helping me continue to grow on my fitness journey and I am so thankful I found you!

Olivia D.

With 3 brothers who are all like string beans I always felt that I was bigger than everybody but instead of helping my body I gradually gained weight, turning to food (and it was greasy spoon food) as my comfort. However, I soon had to pay the price for the ridiculously unhealthy lifestyle I was leading.

I was overweight, unhealthy and had breathing difficulties as well as being warned that if I continued this way of life I would end up a chronic diabetic. I could hardly walk on the treadmill in the health centre and I felt that the whole world was looking at me because I felth that I was so fat and ugly. I realised that only one person could change this- myself. It was a journey I felt that I had to take alone…

I was completely wrong! Browsing youtube looking for some health and fitness videos I stumbled upon POP Pilates Crazy Core Workout and I knew that I had found someone to help and inspire my fitness journey. I became addicted and along with reading up on proper nutrition, losing refined sugar from my diet and eating three well balanced square meals a day I gradually became the fit and happy person that I am today! I workout every day now, jogging when I get up, going to the gym for 40 minutes after work or college and even helping out in the yoga and pilates classes held every Thursday. If you had told me that in two years time I would be doing this back in the dark days I would have found it difficult to believe! I feel now that I am living proof that anyone can change their lives for the better. I am not the same person I was 3 years ago.I would just like to thank Cassey for being such an inspiration. Without her and the Blogilates community I would have felt completely alone but she has helped me to step out of the darkness and accompanied me onto the path of health and wellness, so Thank you so much. oxoxox

Kajsa Ö.

I live in Sweden, in Härnösand. I’m 15 years old, I’m 5,4 and well, my weight.. Let’s just say it’s been a struggle.

All my life, I’ve been “chubby”, and I hated it! It was soo iritating when people said I was chubby. I’ve always been aware of my weight, but haven’t really done anything about it.

As I said in my video to you, I started a cheerleadingteam when I had just turned 13. It was soooo much fun, lifting people, doing stunts and gymnastics. I LOVED IT!So I started to slim down, and quite much actually. I loved being active, and started to realize that I loved to move around and being active.So, after like 2 years, we were about to enter our FIRST competition as a team. This was this year. March 6:th it was time! We WON!! Omg, we were sooo happy and thrilled. Yeah.

Then we competed again in June 6:th. It went ok, but we were so proud of our self. I loved the feeling of a team.At the same time as this was going on, my mother had gotten a job in an other city. I was excited, but so sad and defeeted (? spelling? ) and my team was my “base”! ;) Then, before we moved, I found you on youtube, it was totally random. I was watching a ton of fitnessvideos, and then I saw u in a diet.com-video. You were so amazing, fun, inspiring and motivational, I culdn’t belive it!! I told ALL of my friend about this new fenomenon, haha, they were almost tired of hearing me speak about it :)And then, when we had to leave, and I had to leave my team (not forever), I had a new “base”. And that was you and POP Pilates. I found a new spark in my life, and totally went nuts :)My mother was worried because I worked out so much, and because I didn’t eat so much pasta and stuff anymore.

To make a long story a LITTLE bit shorter. I love what you are doing! We all love YOU! You can NEVER EVER stop making these videos. I sooo want to meet you some day, and get tips. Beacouse I want to have a job like yours, in the health departement.  ;) I love being healthy, and I think it’s the best choice I’ve ever made!

So THANK YOU Cassey, for reals. I love you so much. THANK YOU! <3 <3 <3 <3I’ve found a new base, and I love it.XOXO/Kajsa <3

Renate H.M.

I just have to start with commenting on you Kajsa.. I am so proud of you! You have no idea. To be 15 years old and taken charge of your life, your body and your health at such a young age. That is truly an inspiration. I wish I had the same courage and the same attitude when i was at your age to do the same. But instead I did the complete oposite-

I am a whopping 150 cm, that is barely 5 feet tall and 3 years ago I was 80 kg.. about 176.3 lbs. So to say the least I was way way way over weighed. I was miserable and clueless on how to get a better lifestyle. But my parents helped me financial and I joined ahealthcare centre and managed to lose 30 kg. I started a new trend and a new lifestyle and was active. I got a tummy tuck after a year as a “reward” for my new me and had some excessive skin removed (4lbs).

But after the surgery I was still in my same old job, with my same boyfriend who was still eating like I used to and refused to take any advice from me or even try. And I slowly got bored of the different activities I was using cause it just became the same old boring routine. So I slowly started to gain weigh again. Not alot, I gained 6 kg or aroud 12 lbs before I decided I had to take some action and I refused to go down that road again.

So I looked on youtube after Winsor Pilates after seeing an add on the TV Shop channel ( yeah I know.. :P ) and there she was, riding on a white horse with angel wings pilatesing in her appartment. Her first video and only video at the time and I was immediately hooked. And she released a few more videos, and I wrote her a message on Youtube thanking her for her videos and she responded instantly. And she was so grateful for the message and because of her down to earth and humble being, I just fell in love instantly. And I have kept following her on youtube and on her blog ever since and now on Facebook. And I am so inspired and motivated by not just her, but everyone on the Blogilates community. And Being healthy and fit and active is no longer a chore. It has become a true passion, and having a rolemodel like Cassey just helps so much. I am addicted to Pilates and working out. I have never been more fit, or proud of myself or looked better.

I used to be the ugly duckling in my pack of friends, but now I feel like I am the prettiest one and they all keep commenting on my new look and ask me for advide for food and workouts and they envy my body <3 How awesome is that?

I also dumped my man who I had been with for 7 years and I have never had more fun being single with all the attention I am getting and life is friggin amazing now!

Thanks Cassey for all your hard work and the encouragement! I am in debt to you always <3

Teodora A.

My story is.. I was born and raised in Sweden, I was ultra skinny growing up, they used to call me a twig. I struggled with some food problems in my very early teens, refused to eat somedays which made me stop growing (5’1 the doctor said I was supposed to be a few inches taller.) Then weirdly I started gaining weight very fast even tho I hadn’t changed the way I ate.. I grew up eaten mediterian food, seafood, salad was a huge part of my diet but then I found out I had rheumatoid arthritis and PCOS (makes you gain weight) I got super sick and was in bed for weeks and ever since then my weight went from 99 lbs in high school to 170 lbs I am now. It didn’t make it better that I recently moved to USA and I live in an area I can’t walk anywhere surrounded by freeways, I don’t even have a drivers license, I was stuck at home, unemployed but one day I typed in pilates on YouTube and there she was… Our savior haha, Cassey. I found her style fun and it felt like I was working out with a friend who gave me the extra push I needed. Some things I can’t do in the workouts when you lean on your arms I just do sit ups instead but I also like that even tho Cassey is very skinny co pared to me I don’t feel ashamed of my body she kinda makes me like it more. :) And sometimes when I wanna eat junk I think “What would Cassey do.” that needs to be put on a thank top by the way. Much love to my inspiration all of you here and Cassey!

Katelyn M.

Hi! I am a 19 year old college sophomore from Philadelphia. I have always been the tall girl with the strawberry blonde hair. I was picked on a lot growing up for always being taller than every one else in my class. I learned to love my height when it helped me become an awesome back spot in cheerleading. With my height, came my bone straight body. I never had any curves at all!! I have been working out consistently (it is important to weight train and do cardio in cheerleading) since I was about 9. Before I was a cheerleader, I was a ballerina. So working out was pretty much second nature to me. As I hit high school and there were more demands in my daily schedules, I relied on cheerleading only to get me by at times. Everything was great, until I tore my bicep and strained my tricep. I was always weaker on top than bottom, so the physical therapy was GRUELING.

Anyway, I found pop pilates on you tube and began working out consistently with Cassey. It was an awesome and easy way to squeeze in a workout in my dorm room last fall. Although I now commute to college, I always have time for a quick video in my room, which enables me to workout more often! I cancelled my gym membership this past February and rely on walking my dogs, swimming, cleaning!, and doing pop pilates videos to stay in shape. Did I mention my dogs love to RUN uphill!?

As for my diet, I never make rules for myself! I read up on nutrition sometimes and keep up with what is healthy. I eat what I like, multiple times a day and if I want a cupcake or a cookie, I have ONE. I eat it as slowly as I can and enjoy all the flavors. My favorite things to eat are greek yogurt with granola, eggs, peanut butter sandwiches, salmon, grilled chicken, black olives, broccoli, and icecream! I only eat fruit in a smoothie. And I always drink water.

College can be so very stressful, but I maintain peace by eating often, sleeping a lot!, exercising and stretching.

My parents and brother are always health food junkies and love to exercise.. Guess I can blame good genes!

Amber W.

I have always been relatively fit my whole life. Through high school, I relied on dance team and tennis while being just plain busy with theatre and school work. In college I had theatre classes, and always busy working on this or that. Never anytime to work out. I had my dance classes, and movement classes, and that’s what I relied on for activity. And it was fine; thank you high metabolism.

But after graduation, I didn’t have those classes to rely on, and I could feel myself losing muscle, definition, stamina (after only a few months). Around February of this year, I watched the documentary “Circus”, and became re-interested and motivated to get into physical theatre, clowning, acrobatics. I wanted to start taking classes, but first wanted to gain some muscle strength before doing so. And that’s when I came across pop pilates. I knew pilates works well with dance and pilates came up in my search for acrobatic work outs. Type in pilates, you get: POPPilates

At first I hardly did them, maybe once a week, trying to fit it in my schedule and be motivated enough. It wasn’t until the last couple of months (when I started working at a renaissance faire in a role that’s very physical theatre) that I made goals for myself over the summer. I got more serious. The videos and blog became catered more to recipe and cardio ideas – which got me thinking more about what I’m eating and focusing on cardio. Even though I’m still fit, Cassey’s videos have pointed out the places I need to focus on within my body (lower belly and thigh definition) and daily habits (eating right, drinking more water) – as well as working toward my goals. I’m loving the revealing of my arm muscles, abs are beginning to show (and not just the first two!), and strength becoming more apparent. Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to feel strong enough I can go take an acrobatics class. Being able to do all this from home is great, and I’m so grateful for the amount of work Cassey does with her videos and this community.

Go US!!

Heleen E.

I’m from Belgium (Flanders), and grew up as an only child in a food loving but food concious family. Lots of good old fashioned meals: meat/fish – potatoes – veg, soup every day about half an hour before a meal, sometimes a small desert in front of the TV (all other eating was done at the table). I inherited some curves here and there, but all in all I developed into a fairly slim pearshaped girl. I did ballet (still do!) from the age of 6 and in summer I went to sports camps.

Then came university, a boyfriend with very unhealthy eating habits (at least 1 x fries a week, what??) – oh, and sorry if you’re reading this darling), and lots and lots of going to the movies at eleven at night. Discovered nachos ‘n cheese, potato chips (okay I knew those existed but mum never had them in the house) and soft drinks, daily. And then, donuts and muffins from a bakery on the way to morning classes, and a fuck-it’s-late-but-I’m-so-hungry hamburger after theatre classes in the middle of the night. And beer (hey, come one, it’s Belgium college live I’m talking about here), sangria parties at my best friend’s dorm, … you get the point.

So, in about 5 or 6 years I gained about 15 kilos (30 pounds). Only just within the “normal” BMI range, as it turned out. All because of bad eating habits – I know for some women a BMI of around 25 is perfectly healthy. Eating fast food at least two times a week and very late at night, just out of boredom, is definitely not. So last year I started watching my food, cooking with loads of fresh ingredients, banishing all microwave-ready dishes that come in plastic boxes. Eating a healthy breakfast! And, on top of the ballet and some extra dancing classes, I took up pilates. First through a very experienced tutor at a dance festival in Antwerp, then in classes by my ballet classmate and now professional dance instructor, and additionally through POPPilates!

After losing a good 5 kilos after watching my food and working out 2 to 3 times a week, I took it up a notch to get ready for summer, workout out every day, started counting calories every now and then to check up on myself, and lost an additional 5. Now, with a BMI (I know it’s not THE ultimate truth but it’s something everyone knows about) of 20 I’m a slim AND fit young woman ready to hit her thirties … in fewer years than I’d like to imagine, exactly the way she’s living and eating now. Hope I can keep it up!!

Thanks Cas!

Jenn D.K.

I was that lucky girl in high school who could eat whatever and never gain a pound. Then my 20s hit and suddenly so did my curves. While I liked not being rail thin anymore I wasn’t totally sure what to do with them. Around the same time I was diagnosed with severe depression and was put on medication that made me want to eat and eat and eat. I gained over 30 lbs and was really unhappy with the way I looked. I started doing yoga which I loved and joined one of those fitness in 30 minutes places which helped a lot. I dropped 20 of the 30 and then just sort of resigned myself to the way my body was going to look going forward. I went back and forth gaining weight and loosing weight for the next 10 years. It sort of went like this, “Oh I’m getting married, I should try and get in shape. OK that’s done, no need to keep this up.” My husband, who is an athlete, always encouraged me to exercise but was never pushy about it so like I said, never lost all the weight but never put it all back on. I would get into a routine of exercising then just get bored and stop. Then I got pregnant. Of course you’re supposed to gain weight when you’re pregnant but I gained A LOT, over 60lbs. It didn’t help that halfway through my pregnancy I was put on “restricted movement.” aka I could walk but no other forms of exercise. Once my son was born I dropped most of the baby weight quickly thanks to a Mommy and Me pilates class. It was my first introduction to pilates and I really enjoyed it. But, I still had that extra 20 lbs hanging on. I made new excuses like I didn’t have time because of the baby. Then this January I decided to claim nap time for me and I started exercising again. I set up my bike inside and would ride for 30 minutes then do some yoga or the pilates I remembered.

So where does Cassey figure in to all this? Well this June when I was on vacation I was looking around YouTube for a pilates video and there she was! Someone new and different with a great attitude to help me stay focused on my body shaping journey. Since June the inches have melted off my body. I can’t remember the last time I felt so confident at the beach! Most importantly I always feel like I have time to do a video. Even if I just get one in it is something. My son loves them too, the other day he grabbed my mat, unrolled it and laid down with his legs in the air saying, “I’m doing pilates!” It is great to be teaching him that being healthy is fun and doesn’t have to be a chore.
Thanks Cassey for making fitness fun again!

Sarah S.B.

Here’s my story, I was always thin from childhood on, never had to work at it my body always just stayed in shape and I always was able to eat anything I wanted to and not have to worry what so ever! Well at the age of 25 I became pregnant with my first girl I weighed 110 oh and I am short like 5’2. At the end of my pregnancy I was 150 well the weight pretty much came off without trying, I again didn’t really do much of anything to get my weight off. I was 28 when my second girl came along and at the start of her pregnancy I weighed about 117, well with her I gained soooo much weight I wound up being 170 I think so I was real scared about wether or not my weight would just come off or what? Well I noticed it wasn’t so easy this time around to get the weight off so I would try to workout when I had the time for it, I dabbled in hip hop abs for a little bit it took some weight off brought me down to like 140 maybe. Well I stopped doing that and would just get so upset and depressed that my weight wasn’t just coming off and started thinking I would have to become comfortable some how in this new body. Well months went by and I couldn’t get comfortable or feel good at all about seeing myself in the mirror so I typed in ab workouts in the youtube search and found Cassey’s 10 min intense ab workout and loved that it made me sore and was really hard. So I started doing that once in awhile not all the time and at this point was not really watching what I ate either. Well it was probably like a month ago when I started getting really upset and sad to even look at myself and thought a lot about the health issues the woman on my mothers side of the family had and realized I want to be around to watch my kids grow and I want to be a good example for them as well. So I started doing pop pilates all the time and found Cassey’s website and decided to take the extra step and eat better as well, well I gotta tell you for the first time since my 2nd daughter was born ( she will be 2 in Feb. and my other one will be 5 in march) I am so thrilled to see results and that is what keeps me going is seeing the results I get. I am now 120 and will continue to work real hard for what I want and also continue to eat right and pass it along to my kids as well! Thank you so much Cassey for helping me feel beautiful again! I cant tell you how that makes me feel! Lots of love to you girl! xoxoxo

Jenny S.

Another girl who was a skinny teen here :)

I never really liked sport as a kid and I get too anxious and nervous to exercise in public or play team sports because I’m so unfit (its a vicious cycle!). However, I was/am slim and could eat whatever I liked without putting on weight so it didn’t really bother me. When I got married at 18 I found it annoying that UK size 6 (US zero) wedding dress had to be taken in by 1 cm (I’m 5’4 and at the time weighed 105lb now 132lbs so Cassey’s comment about overeating by 100cal a day is about right!!!). It might sound crazy but I wanted to be a bit bigger to be able to have some curves be able to wear, not be so weak and to hide/blend into the background. So for a long time over ate a little and baked too many cakes and just felt very relaxed and good to be getting a bit bigger. I’m now 28 and in the last 12 months have been under a lot of stress studying for a PhD and have gained an extra 10cm of belly pooch from comfort eating. My jeans don’t fit :'(

About 4 weeks ago I decided to clean up my diet for the last few months of my studies and was looking online for some good videos to help me exercise at home and stumbled across POPilates on youtube. For the first time ever didn’t feel depressed or anxious about exercising! At first I couldn’t do any of the moves put just fell about sweating, laughing and cursing how many reps there are. Cassey is just so amazingly encouraging I thought “hell it doesn’t matter I’ll try as long as it takes!”. So far I feel a lot stronger, even if I still can’t make it all the way through all the reps. Its great to take pilates breaks from working instead of biscuit breaks :) and being more active seems to have an incredibly effect on the negative mood that can build up when research isn’t going well. After just three weeks I can see a difference in the way the extra weight hangs – there IS a tiny bit of muscle under there :) My goal is to be stronger and to turn a few lbs of the fat I’ve put on into muscle. Unfortunately it will take a while as I can’t jog/do cardio at the moment for more than about 15 minutes (abnormally fast heart rate) but with Cassey’s encouragement who knows… :) Certainly if it wasn’t for Cassey might never have started to exercise at all.

THANK YOU!! ♥ from the UK ♥

PS: Not going to re-try the jeans for another 4 weeks but will let you know ;P

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