My pilates body does not look like a “typical” pilates body. It’s not long and lean like a dancer’s body, it’s short and curvy. I have lots of strength in my core and my legs (thanks to my Dad and his Nordic Viking roots). In alot of ways, I’m built like my dad and his Grandpa C.J., short, stocky, and overwhelmingly strong. I’m not always the most graceful body, but my body is strong and reliable. I never used to trust my body. Growing up my body was riddled with illness, disease, surgery, medications, and poking and prodding at doctor visits. It wasn’t until I took my first pilates session at 24 years of age that I realized my body could move and exercise without hurting myself. I found out I could be strong and accomplished in the physical world. I found my body through pilates. I began to value my body through pilates. At 37 years of age, I’m learning to value my body as it is, in the moment, weight gain and all. I may not be 90 lbs. lighter and super strong like I was at 30, but I’m still Pilates strong. Even when my body is imperfect, it can still move, I can still rely on it and strengthen and stretch it. What I can’t do is ignore it or be ashamed of it. When I ignore my body or shame myself for the shape it’s in, I deny the way God Created me. I deny the handy work of God that created this vessel. If I say that I believe in God and that his words in the Bible are true, then I need to believe that He did not make a mistake in creating me. God does not create mistakes. I have forever believed my body was a mistake. But my body is not flawed. IT is strong and beautiful and reliable. Just as it is. It is strong enough to do Pilates. It is strong enough to walk my dog, play with nieces and nephews, and carry me throughout my daily life. My body is still #pilatesstrong.