Is Striving to Be Perfect Your Normal Mode of Operation?
(and anything less seems like failure)
“The moments when you attain a goal and realize true perfection probably account for less than 2 percent of your lifetime, while the process of living and working toward your goals occupies the rest. If you look to perfection to supply your sense of success, you are discounting the other 98 percent of your life.”
A Message from Aliesa
Recently, I sat down and had a little chat with myself, and said, “self….why are you so critical of your accomplishments, how you look, and how you feel about yourself?” And then I had to start searching the deepest parts of my soul for the answers. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there who is a bit challenged with self-image, productivity, and the celebration of self! I’ve spent my life time so far, undoing the damage from bad programming when I was younger, as well as chronic self-programming that hasn’t always been in my best interest. Health and fitness professionals are human too!
I don’t think it matters when,or how old you are that negative images and thoughts get embedded in our brains- It might have only happened to you yesterday. But do you choose to focus on the negative (which can send you into a spiral of doom and despair?” Or Celebrate the positive – Lifting your spirits up and creating forward momentum for success!
We are in an age of point, click, and get! Instant gratification is expected most of the time. In fact we want everything to happen in the blink of an eyelid, and when it doesn’t we’re upset, frustrated,and instantly put into a foul mood.
So how can we turn foul into fabulous and get the results we want — (in a timely manner…or ASAP!) After all good health and happiness should be our number one priority!
I recently caught an episode of the TV show “The Biggest Loser.” One contestant had actually been kicked off the show – went home and in 12 weeks lost 95 pounds! Only to be brought back and given another chance. Talk about a success story! I find it difficult to comprehend actually losing 95 pounds in 12 weeks! Can you say – FOCUS, DRIVE, DETERMINATION, CONSISTENCY, and DISCIPLINE! She utilized these key tools, and kept her long-term goal in sight – to work through the process of getting healthier and losing weight.
Each of us has the capacity and capability to set a goal and reach it, if we choose to follow the steps necessary to work through the process, and keep in mind that we didn’t get to where we are now overnight…..change and positive improvements will not be instant either! We have to celebrate the process!!!
But the first thing that has to change is your belief in YOU and your COMMITMENT to do whatever is required to achieve your goals! Don’t let the negative emotional triggers that blocked your success in the past – affect your current performance and drive forward. Recognize that these negative thoughts used to get in your way, thank them for their concern, and let them know that today… these defeating thoughts and actions no longer serve you and you choose to stomp, bury, flush, or otherwise dispose of them – so that you can move forward in a new direction.
Use the tips below to help you accomplish this task, and if you’re like me (who occasionally discounts the 98% of the time I’m doing good things with my life…) Let’s learn to keep our perspective and celebrate the strides we are taking to move forward towards our goals!
Mind: When I realize that I am impatient, or letting negative emotions and thoughts block my progress, I am going to stop, refocus on the positive and celebrate my new patterns for success.
Tip: Create your own personal ritual for releasing negative thoughts and emotions. Right them down on a piece of paper when they creep up – then stomp, bury, flush, or throw away the paper -to release and dispose of what is emotionally blocking your path to success and you realize is not serving your positive improvement efforts.
Body: You will make better food choices, sleep better, and feel better the more active you are. Exercise helps to balance your energy and emotions. Celebrate your health by being as active as possible. Find things you enjoy doing and get out and move! Do a little bit more this week, than you did last to keep your momentum moving forward. Don’t lay your head on your pillow unless you’ve done something for daily exercise.
Tip: Make a list of 5-10 different physical activities you enjoy (or think you might enjoy!) Do at least 4 of them this week. You can do the same one 4 times, or pick four and do each of them once. Pay attention to your current fitness level – you might only start with 15-20 minutes….or perhaps an hour or longer. If you’re feeling great,having fun, and get carried away with doing something 6 or 7 times –Congratulations!!!
Spirit: Ask your Higher Power for the strength,support, patience, and persistence you need to achieve success.
Tip: Do this as many times a day as it’s relevant for you to gain confidence and momentum to achieve your wellness goals. (Before you get out of bed in the morning, before each meal, before your workouts, if you have a moment where you’re starting to lose your focus…. And before you go to bed, express your gratitude by thanking your Higher Power for helping you successfully make it through the day!)
Finding balance and a sense of accomplishment in work, life, and wellness is a process. Remember to enjoy the journey, and celebrate each small success along the way!
Have a Fit & Fabulous Day!
Aliesa George, Centerworks
A Pilates Exercise Moment…
Core Strengthening with The KG Curl
This is a fantastic little exercise to help you get the articulation you need through your upper spine to get into the best position possible for your Pilates Matwork exercises like the 100, Series of 5, and to complete a successful Neck Pull and Teaser. Plus–done correctly, you will get the tension and stress out of your neck and into your abdominal muscles where the work really belongs!
Nicknamed the “KG” Curl in honor of Kathy Grant, one of the Pilates Elders, who studied directly with Joseph and Clara Pilates. Kathy grasped the understanding that the bottom of the breastbone was a teeter-totter spot for the leverage that’s needed to safely and easily hoist the head and shoulders off the ground to curl up.
This is a great warm-up exercise before your Matwork, or any other abdominal work to help you get the most from your workouts.
How to do a great KG Curl:
- Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet hip width apart.
- Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing towards the ceiling. (This helps create space between the shoulder blades and will make it easier for you to bend your spine.)
- Inhale to lengthen your body, and exhale to begin curling the head and shoulders off the floor bending over the bottom of the breastbone.
- The goal is to roll up just to the bottom tips of the shoulder blades touching the mat.
- The eyes should be looking towards the belly button and lower abdominals to be sure you can visually see these muscles pulling towards the mat, to help support the lower back.
Hold this position and breathe. Inhale to lengthen the spine, exhale to deepen the curl, bend over the bottom of the breast bone more with each exhale, and be sure to keep the bottom tips of the shoulder blades on the mat.
- Take 3-5 long, full breaths in the KG Curl, then lay back to the floor and relax.
This is 1 repetition. Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.
What to Watch For:
- The hands and arms only help to support the weight of the head, do not use the arms to pull on the head and curl up farther.
- As you deepen the KG curl on the top. Strive to keep a lengthened waist and pelvis. (don’t curl the pelvis towards the head….instead work to leave the pelvis still and supported on the mat,and curl the upper body only towards the hips.)
- The chest muscles should be somewhat soft and pliable so that the breastbone can easily “slide down the front of the shirt” and get out of the way so each segment of the back can articulate into a deeper, flexed KG Curl position.
- An Extra Note: If you’re challenged to keep the tension out of your neck and shoulders,and reminding you to relax these muscles when you’re curled up isn’t enough… Use a hand towel to create a sling for your head and do the exercise. This might solve the problem, and over time you can wean yourself away from the towel.
Pilates Workshops across the USA and all the way to Italy!
Look where has Aliesa been traveling & teaching Workshops?
June 4th Aliesa taught a sold-out Arc Barrel Workshop at the Pilates Studio of Little Rock. Great group, everybody worked hard, and we had a “Barrel of Fun!” Look for Aliesa’s next Arc Barrel workshop in Andover, KS on September 12th!
June 5-7th Pilates Teacher-Training Workshop. Congratulations, Kristi A., Susan H., and Nikki W. for completing their final weekend workshops for the Centerworks Teacher-Training Program in Little Rock, AR.
June 12th Two workshops were offered at the Hot Springs Health and Fitness club, sponsored by Susan Heath of Hot Springs Pilates Studio. Participants enjoyed tweaking their Matwork and fine-tuning their technique, and there were some great ah-ha moments for participants in the Fantastic Feet! workshop.
Thanks to everybody who participated in these Awesome Workshops!
June 25-28th Pilates Marathon Event at Sportlandia, Castellammare di Stabia, Italy. What a fantastic event! Aliesa along with Pilates teachers from Italy, USA, Canada, and Argentina were invited to share and teach. We enjoyed Pilates, fantastic Italian food,and the celebration of health and fitness with a global Pilates community! And the best part is…it’s going to happen again next year! Anybody interested in a trip to Italy to see the sights and do Pilates? Let me know!
Are You Interested in Bringing a Workshop to Your Corner of the World? I’ve got tons of great info and LOVE to Share! Contact me for details. Please put “Host an Awesome Workshop!” in the subject line.
with Aliesa George
Enjoy a fun and fabulous Pilates Mat class with Aliesa to tweak your technique and fine-tune your flow to maximize whole-body health benefits from your Pilates workouts. Please bring your own mat, or plan on purchasing one when you get to class.
Basic Pilates Mat, Friday, August 21, 6:30- 8pm $35
Intermediate Mat, Sat., August 22, 6:30 – 8pm $35
Basic-Int. Mat, Sat. August 29, 10:30am- Noon $35
All Pilates Master Classes will be held at: Terradyne Country Club, Andover KS.
Get Details, Download the Flyer, and Register Online TODAY at: http://www.centerworks.com/pilates-matwork-master-classes/
Upcoming Awesome Workshops!
with Aliesa George & Centerworks
August 2009 Workshops
Pre-registration required – Hurry before space is gone!
Each of these fun,exercise and information-packed workshops will inspire and energize you to find new ways to improve your health and fitness. NO PILATES EXPERIENCE is required for these three August workshops! Grab a friend and get registered to gain valuable tips and techniques you can use for improved overall fitness, sports performance, and daily life!
Fantastic Feet! Sunday,August 23, 2:30 – 5:30pm $150
Breathing Basics Saturday,August 29, 12:30 – 2:30pm $47
Healthy Back – Active Life! Saturday, August 29, 3:00 – 5pm $47
All Awesome Workshops will be held at: Terradyne Country Club, Andover KS.
Get Details, PDF Flyer, and Register NOW at:
Centerworks: Pilates Teacher-Training
If you are interested in teaching Pilates and have experience with the Matwork exercises, these workshops are your next step to a fun part-time or full-time career teaching Pilates. During this series of 3 workshops you’ll learn everything you need to know to become a great Pilates Matwork teacher!
Terradyne Country Club
Basic Pilates Mat August 21-23, 2009
Intermediate Mat Sept. 18-20, 2009
Advanced Mat October 16-18, 2009
Little Rock, Arkansas
The Pilates Studio of Little Rock
Basic Pilates Mat September 25-27, 2009
Intermediate Mat October 23-25, 2009
Advanced Mat November 13-15, 2009
System & Equipment Series begins Jan. 2010
Pre-Registration Required. For details and registration visit:
Enter to Win!!!
Got a Question? Enter to Win!
I’ve been getting some great questions from some of you on my contact form that have been making their way into blog posts – So keep ’em coming! Thanks to everyone who’s been willing to share. I always love to hear from you and chat about Pilates, Feet, and Mind-Body Health!
So… to have a little fun, and encourage you to come out and play… How about a contest! Please put “Pilates Audio Entry” in the subject line of your email, and start sending me your questions today! Multiple entries accepted, but each entry must include a new and different Mind-Body Health, Pilates, or Wellness question you’d like to learn more about. Let the FUN begin!! Click here to drop me a question and you’ll be entered to win a free Centerworks Pilates Matwork Audio CD All questions received by 8/15/09 will be eligible to win – I’ll draw 5 winners and announce them in the next newsletter.