Client Spotlight – Lili Shim

This Client Spotlight features Lili Shim.  She is a regular in my Saturday class and I love working with her.  She’s always willing to try something new!

Q. How long have you been practicing Pilates?

A. I have been practicing Pilates for 3 years.

Q. What is your favorite exercise?

A. My favorite exercise is anything that works the glutes or hips.

Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

A. As for equipment, I like the jumpboard the best.

Q.What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?

A. Other forms of exercise I do on a regular basis include: treadmill, rowing machine, stationary weight machines, yoga.

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. I have 2 sons: one graduated from college last year and the other is about to start college this fall. My husband works in higher education and I work in the healthcare industry. We enjoy playing golf during the summer, although it gets harder to do as the boys get older and busier!

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. My favorite food is Asian noodle soups. From Korean to Chinese to Japanese, I can always find one I like!

Q. How do you find time for Pilates?

A. Right now I only have time for Pilates on the weekends. Some day I would like to be able to do Pilates 2-3 days a week because I really enjoy it.

Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?

A. I think the biggest benefit of Pilates is building strength without gaining bulk. And core strength most notably. My family was involved in a car accident a few years ago. While the impact was very painful, I firmly believe that my core strength was a huge factor in my not sustaining more serious injuries.

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Client Spotlight

IMG_7951This Client Spotlight features Jessica. She is new to Pilates but has jumped in with both feet!  She comes to class a couple times a week and has seen some dramatic results.

Q. How long have you been practicing Pilates?

A. I started doing Pilates about 5 months ago.

Q. What is your favorite exercise?

A. One of my favorites is the hips rolls with the press outs.

Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

A. The reformer for sure, but I love when we incorporate smaller pieces like the ring to make our workouts more challenging. I’m also a huge fan the Cardio Blast class where we utilize the trampoline or jump board.

Q. What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?

A. I like to run or walk and in the summer I play sand volleyball.

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. I have been married to my husband, Colby, for 5 years. We have a 3 year old daughter, Ruby and two Labrador retrievers, Chuck and Murphy. We love to spend time outdoors whether it be doing yard work, playing with the dogs, going to the lake, or playing sand volleyball with friends.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. I love pasta, but I eat anything my husband makes.  He’s a great cook!

Q. How do you find time for Pilates?

A. I find time because I truly have made it a priority. I typically work over my lunch hour so that gives me the flexibility to find a class time to attend.

Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?

A. I have experienced so may benefits that it’s hard to name just one. When I started Pilates, I was both physically and mentally unhealthy. I was really looking for a way to strengthen my core and just focus on me. In the last 5 months I have reduced my stress and anxiety levels, I have toned my body from head to toe, and an added bonus is I have lost weight! It is the best mind-body workout I’ve ever done.

Michelle’s Whole30 Success Story

img_0461I want to share with you Michelle’s success with Whole30.  She completed her first Whole30 and had amazing results.  Here’s her story:

“I started the whole 30 after talking to Christina who had been on the program for about a week. I had heard about the Whole30 in February 2017 from my massage physiologist in Scottsdale . He had suggested it because he noticed I had so much body inflammation. It was particularly bad in my neck and really throughout my body. When he explained it to me, I replied that it was way way too drastic for me! There would be no way then I could stick to anything that strict.
Christina presented it just offhandedly that she was doing the Whole30.  I didn’t remember that David had suggested this many months prior. My body had been getting so stiff and sore even with physical therapy that I was ready to try anything.
I went into the program whole heartedly and convinced that possibly this could help me. I had to stay focused and I had to stay committed. I did a lot of praying during that time to keep me compliant to the program. Some days are better than others, but I never cheated and I followed the program to a T. I also relied on Christina and some of the recipe she shared with me.

I noticed the first positive effects about day seven. I noticed that my joints in my knees and my hips were pain-free that in itself was a little bonus. When my arthritic neck pain improved, I was ALL IN !!! I began to believe that I truly am what I eat. I didn’t experience a lot of cravings. I was craving meat and that was on the program. I left each meal being satisfied and therefore not snacking like I had before. I just began to have a sense of well-being. As the 30 days were coming to a close, I decided to go to my internist and have a lipid panel and blood panels done. I had just had these exact panels run a few months earlier in May and was just excited to see what a difference the Whole30 made.
My body inflammation had been extremely high… It was 11.3 and normal is less than 3. It was a wonder I could move. The blood panel showed my body inflammation was down to 3.9. My glucose was excellent, my triglycerides were cut in half and my cholesterol was cut in half. My doctor took me off of two medications. I have been on cholesterol medication since I was 33 so I’ve been on cholesterol medication for mote than 33 years. I will be retested in three months.
I was really excited about the results after having completed my first Whole30.  I will be starting another Whole30 with Christina on October 1. The only reason I ever even entertain the fact of trying something that I thought was so outrageously difficult was that I had nothing to lose but my joint inflammation pain and if it didn’t happen – hey, I only lost a month. My numbers improved. My body feels better and I lost 8 pounds! That’s a big win in my book. Hope some of you gals try it… What do you have to lose?”

This goes to show you it can be done and you can have amazing results, too!  For more information, google Whole30.

August Client Spotlight

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Meg Schwartz

Q. How long have you been practicing Pilates?

A.  I have been practicing Pilates since October 2015. I started with Christina in her new studio and never looked back. It is one of my favorite things to do and I have loved trying new things.  She keeps me challenged!
Q. What is your favorite exercise?
A.  My favorite exercises are the short spine and anything that incorporates a pike position. 
Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?
A. My favorite piece of equipment is the reformer. I don’t even mind the “circle of fire”. 
Q. What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?
A. I’m still working on coming up with a cardio routine. It’s a goal of mine this fall to start something more regular. I enjoy walking when I can but need motivation to make it consistent. 
Q.Tell us about your family.
A. My husband Travis and I have 3 boys. Sam is 12, Charlie is 8 and Henry is 5. We enjoy doing things outdoors and traveling together. We also love sporting events. 
Q. What is your favorite food?
A. My favorite food is anything chocolate. 
Q. How do you find time for Pilates?
A. It’s not always easy but I make sure to schedule Pilates well in advance so I can go regularly and not make any plans during those times. I go twice a week and it seems like a good balance with part time work and being with my family. 
Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?
A. It’s hard to pick one benefit of Pilates. I have seen so many changes. My flexibility, balance, and coordination have all improved. The biggest change is my overall strength and muscle tone. 

July Client Spotlight

 

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Sue Baber & Deb Nowka

Q. How long have you been practicing Pilates? 

Sue: Deb and I have been doing Pilates for 5 1/2 years.

Q. What is your favorite exercise?

Sue: We don’t have a favorite exercise.  We enjoy all of them.

Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

Sue: We both like the Stability Chair.

Q. What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?

Sue: I walk & take a water aerobics class.

Deb: I like to garden.

Q. Tell us about your family.

Sue: I have been married to my husband, Larry, for 33 years. I have a son, Bill, and a granddaughter, Lily.

Deb: I have been married to my husband, Mark, for 43 years. I have 3 sons – Adam, Andy, and Anson. I have 7 grandchildren – Adam, Cody, Lilli, Derrick, Ryan, Carter, and Liam, and 2 great-grandchildren – Ethan and Liam.

Q. What is your favorite food?

Sue: I like pizza.

Deb: I like chocolate.

Q. How do you find time for Pilates?

Sue: My sister, Deb, and I have just made it our routine.  We go to Pilates twice a week and go to lunch afterwards.

Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?

Sue: My biggest benefit is how I feel after the exercises and especially the stretching.  I feel it really improves my balance.  My only regret is that I didn’t start earlier.

Deb: I have Huntington’s Disease, and it really helps my balance.  My doctor is amazed at how strong my core is from Pilates. 

June Client Spotlight

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Kim Mandolfo

Q. How long have you been doing Pilates?

A. Since 2012

Q. What is your favorite exercise?

A. It’s very hard to pick one, but I would say using the circle with legs on the reformer is my favorite.

Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

A. The reformer using straps.

Q. What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?

A. I run.

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. I am divorced with three children. My oldest are twin boys, Mason and Matthew (age 15) and my youngest is my daughter Ella (age 12).

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. I love pasta.

Q. How do you find time for Pilates?

A. I rearrange my work schedule, as much as I can, to find time for Pilates. It’s a priority for me for sure.

Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?

A. My biggest benefit from Pilates has been a retreat from stress and finding balance in my hectic life. It is the only form of exercise that I would never miss. I might skip a run or not go to the gym, but going to Christina’s is an essential part of my routine. It is challenging, a great compliment to running, and I feel rejuvenated every time I leave a work out. 

March Client Spotlight

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Lisa Kemp

Q. How long have you been practicing Pilates?

A. Mind-Body exercise has always been my favorite type of exercise and I’d been practicing yoga for a few years prior to Pilates.  Once I realized that Pilates was a Mind-Body exercise too, I decided to give it a try and became HOOKED.  I’ve been practicing Pilates off and on for nine years.  I started with mat Pilates and moved to the reformer once I discovered I could comfortably lay down and exercise!  I took time off because I thought it was an expense I didn’t need and, thought I’d just walk more and do other calisthenics.   During this time in my 40’s, I found my balance to be changing and after a fall and wrist fracture while ice skating , decided that I needed to get back to an exercise which would strengthen my core.  I’ve been doing Pilates ever since.

Q. What is your favorite exercise?

A.  My favorite exercises are short spine and the standing splits when we zip up our abs.  I love the stretch that short spine gives my whole back and legs.  I love the pulled up and tucked feeling I get when zipping up.

Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

A. My favorite piece of equipment is the reformer because who doesn’t want to lay down while they exercise, right?  Seriously though, I feel that the ability to stabilize is easier on the reformer than on the mat.  I also feel the use of the pulleys, the springs, box and platform provides such diversity in exercise that I never become bored.
Q. What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?
A. I regularly walk.  I also like to hike, golf, ski and bike ride when weather and time permits.  I’ve found Pilates to help with my strength, stamina and balance when doing these activities.
Q. Tell us about your family.
A. We are a family of four.  We have two daughters ages 14 and 12 in whom we’d like to instill a positive body image and, the love of exercise to stay healthy and have fun throughout life.
Q. What is your favorite food?
A. My favorite food is tortilla chips and salsa preferably with a lime-based drink.

Q. How do you find time for Pilates?
A. I find time for Pilates by regularly scheduling it into my day so that I travel right from work, to the studio, then home.  If I got home at the end of the day and had to go back out, I probably wouldn’t be as much of a regular especially in winter.
Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?
A. The biggest benefit of doing Pilates is the total body workout I get and “me time” I create by doing it regularly.

February Client Spotlight

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Sherrill Murphy

Q. How long have you been practicing Pilates?

A. I started with Christina in May 2014.  Prior to that I had done a few mat classes (incorrectly) at the yoga studio.

Q. What is your favorite exercise?

A. Short Spine

Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

A. The Reformer because there are so many exercises you can do.

Q. What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?

A. I am a fair weather walker, I do yoga 1-2x per week, and I paddle board occasionally in the summer.

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. I have been married to my best friend, Tim, for almost 45 years!!  I have a daughter, Lindsay, who lives, works, and goes to school in Omaha. My son, Josh, and his fiancee, Liyen, live & work in Omaha.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. Fruit of almost any kind.

Q. How do you find time for Pilates?

A. It’s a priority.  When I retired in January of 2014, one of my goals was to resume a regular exercise program.

Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?

A. Because of mild neuropathy (I’ve had diabetes for 50 years) and tunnel vision, balance is a huge problem for me.  Pilates is helping that.  My core strength has improved and overall I am stronger.  Now when I travel, it is easier getting my luggage above my seat.

Read Phyllis & Frank’s story

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Frank & Phyllis

Q. How long have you been practicing Pilates?

A. I was introduced to Reformer Pilates by my doctor at Mayo Clinic.  He has found relief from a painful back when taking instruction in Rochester, MN and suggested that I try it.  I started training at Lakeside Wellness Center on June 26, 2015 (we are members there).  Because I was only able to be scheduled for one session a week, my instructor took me to meet Christina, who had just opened her new studio, and I began taking instruction with Christina.  Frank had read several books on Pilates and when he saw the benefits I was receiving, he joined me in January of this year.  We are both enjoying it very much.

Q. What is your favorite exercise?

A. I like the many exercises that the Reformer offers.  Christina does a great job of switching these around so it is never boring plus it provides cross training of all the muscle groups.

Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

A. The Reformer.

Q. What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?

A. I use weights and elastic bands at home.  Frank uses weights and rides bicycle at Lakeside Wellness Center.

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. We are both 83 years old and have been married 61 years.  Frank retired from the Telephone Company, and I am a retired RN.  Our family consists of a son who lives in Cedar Falls, IA, a daughter, son-in-law, and two of their three children live in Eagan, MN.  The third member of their family is here in Omaha attending Creighton so we enjoy seeing him more often.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. We can’t say there is any favorite food we like.  We just like to eat – but we aren’t fussy eaters.  We do try to eat healthy foods:  a lot of fruit, vegetables, chicken (& a bit of chocolate).

Q. How do you find time for Pilates?

A. We schedule in Pilates for every Friday at the same time.  We try to put it first.

Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?

A. I have had two back surgeries as well as Rotator Cuff repairs on both shoulders.  The stretching and strengthening of the core along with the support that Pilates is giving me is helping to reduce pain and add flexibility for my whole body.  I have Sciatica that the back surgery did not relieve but stretching helps more than any physical therapy I had.  We are both working on our balance issues, and we are making progress there, too.  Frank is a cancer survivor of 12 plus years.  The strong chemo that he had for Lymphoma left him with some numbness in his feet which isn’t likely to go away.  Pilates is helping him stay fit.

Client Spotlight – Anne

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Anne Kelley

Q. How long have you been practicing Pilates?

A.”I took Mat Pilates at Happy Hollow for about 6 months and also from another instructor for another 6 months.  I started taking Pilates from Christina when she was teaching in her home about 3 years ago.”

Q. What is your favorite exercise?

A. “I like a variety of exercises on the Reformer.  Jumping on the Cardio Tramp is fun and a great aerobic exercise.”

Q. What is your favorite piece of equipment?

A. “I like the Reformer, but I would love to try the Cadillac!”

Q. What other forms of exercise do you regularly participate in?

A. “During the school months, I play tennis 2-3 times a week which I love.  We also enjoy snow skiing in Colorado with our girls.  In the summer, I play tennis 3 times a week, bike with a bunch of gals one day a week, and kayak on another day with the same bunch of girls in Okoboji.  I love summer and living on the lake.”

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. “I have been married for 43 years to my husband, Jerry, who I met at the University of Nebraska.  We have two wonderful daughters who live in Denver.”

Q. What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing Pilates?

A. “I do Pilates to strengthen my core.  It has really helped with the arthritis in my lower back.”

Q. How has Pilates made an impact on your life?

A. This past April, Christina pointed out to me when I was doing leg circles on the Reformer that my left leg was, “doing its own thing.”  I didn’t realize it until she pointed it out, and when I tried to correct it, I couldn’t.  I might not have thought too much about it except that I had noticed I also was lagging behind when walking for exercise with my girlfriends, and I wasn’t moving as quickly on the tennis court.  I just seemed to be lacking my usual energy.

To make a long story short . . . after seeing my internist and having an MRI, I was diagnosed with a meningioma which is a tumor in the lining of the brain.  The neurologists told me it had probably been growing slowly for 25-30 years and had finally gotten large enough to start pressing on the motor area of my brain and causing symptoms.  The doctors were all very impressed that my Pilates teacher (Christina) was the first one to notice the weakness in my left side.  On May 6th, I had a benign, racquet ball sized tumor removed during a 7 hour surgery.  I totally recovered and was back to all my physical activities in 8 weeks!

I feel very fortunate that Christina was so aware and perceptive of how my body normally performed that when she noticed I had a weakness on my left side, she pointed out to me.  Thank you, Christina.  I am forever grateful!