More Things I've Learned I've never been skinny. I did manage to balloon up to a size 14 a few years ago, but lost that weight and have managed to stay fit fo the past four years or so. Apart from just being generally active (walking, hiking, biking, shopping, etc.), I've found that the Pilates workouts that I've been doing for the past year have made a huge difference in my strength and general body silouhette. I can lift practically anything, bounce a dime off my abs, and my butt, which has always been a flabby rubenesque, is now a lovely round, flat, firmer rubenesque. I prefer working out on my own, at home, in the morning. There are a ton of DVDs out there. I've tried quite a few, and here are the ones that I like and are extremely effective. - If you want to get into the true Joseph Pilates Method, then check out Classical Pilates Technique - The Complete Mat Workout Series. Incredibly fit and quirky Pilates masters ground you in the core Pilates mat workout. I found this DVD indispensible in understanding the moves that form the basis for the other Pilates-based offshoot DVDs. I've worked through to the Intermediate workout, and use Pilates Body Kit, by Brooke Siler, to run through the "classic" workout at least twice a week. Note that the latter is an audio CD, which may not be very useful for beginners. - I've grown to love Ellen, the perky hostess of Crunch: Fat Burning Pilates and Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates. The latter provides Pilates-based lower body routines that I find incredibly effective. There's also a 10-minte routine, that I do when I just don't have time to do anything else. The former is the newest title and is currently my favourite. Ellen leads you through a standing Pilates workout that is semi-cardio and all toning. It's followed by a more traditional mat-based Pilates workout. I've been doing this workout for about two weeks, and my rubenesque butt may just look a bit cuter in a bathing suit this summer. Regardless, I'll have the arms and the stamina to swim accross the lake of my choosing.

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