🎧 In this episode(LISTEN TO THE EPISODE), Sherrie talks a lot about benefits of the Pilates method and how she helps people of all ages with different physical conditions to feel good physically and about themselves.
Being 63 years old, and having an amazing body shaped by years of practicing and teaching Pilates, Sherrie is passionate about the Pilates industry and the method itself.
Sherrie says that after 45, women have all that wonderful perimenopause and menopause period, and not only coping with weight fluctuation, but also having issues around osteopenia and osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones. They might find that their joints aren't coping as well with certain types of strength training like heavy lifting and squatting, etc. But Pilates and particularly the equipment that was invented for Pilates helps them to work their body through, and their joints are protected. They go out feeling great instead of feeling smashed.
You can contact Sherrie here
Watch Sherrie's VIDEO interview HERE
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE :
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (auto-generated) :
Hi, you are listening to My Body My Story podcast,
To say things like, don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff, is really not very helpful. There are going to be times when you are going to sweat the small stuff. But acknowledge that, you know, don't dwell on it, acknowledge it, let it go, let it go, let it go.
This is the 45 or 45 chapter where we celebrate rule breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show that sensuality, beauty, soul and true essence. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and will listen to the stories of our participants. If you have an interesting story to share, we would love you to participate, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com
Hi, Sherri, welcome to our studio, and welcome to our project. And while you are sitting in the makeup chair, and Chitra is doing makeup for you, I'll be asking you a few questions.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Okay. I'm 63 years old. I've been married twice. I have three sons age 41, 33 and 31. At the moment, I'm a Pilates teacher. I came in to Pilates through the fitness industry, gosh, about 20 something years ago, and just fell in love with the concept and philosophy of Pilates, and have been practicing in that for the last 20 odd years. I owned my own studio for about 16 years and sold it earlier this year. And so now I just freelance and teach other people studios to a very diverse range of clients from the very young, the very fit very active to the ageing and the infirm, and people with other musculoskeletal problems and autoimmune issues.
Oh, wow. That's interesting. It's really interesting, very interesting. Where we can find you?
I work in the southwest and the Illawarra. So in Wollongong and in Picton.
So I will place the link to your profile
To my profile would be great.
Okay, and what are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about my industry, the Pilates industry and the method itself. It not only helped me because I was a bit of a tomboy. And I didn't do things like ballet or physio or anything. I was a runner and a football player. And I garnered a lot of injuries through that. And being an instructor back in like the 80s and 90s, where everything was high impact and very sort of go go go. I picked up a lot of injuries and I found my body wasn't coping with that very well. When I come across Pilates, the Pilates method, it like it changed my body and it changed how I felt in my body. And then I started to use that practice on people with similar injuries to mine in similar age groups to mine and just found that it made a world of difference to how they functioned in their everyday life. You know, they were eventually getting their pain free. living their lives and being able to keep up with the activities that they loved like walking, running, cycling and playing golf or playing tennis, swimming, surfing, you name it. They love it.
So you mentioned that there is a difference between routine for younger age and women after 45.
Yeah, women after 45. So you have all that wonderful menopause, perimenopause and menopause. Yeah, they have to cope with fluctuating weight. There's issues around osteopenia and osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones. They might find that their joints aren't coping as well with certain types of strength training like heavy lifting and squatting, etc. But Pilates the Pilates method and particularly the equipment that was invented for Pilates just suits them down to the ground because they can work their body through a form range of motion, and their joints are protected. They go out feeling great instead of feeling smashed, and then a couple of hours or a couple of days later, wishing they hadn't done it.
yeah, I think it's one of the types of sports or if you can call it sport, which is created for people with some health issues.
Yeah, exactly. Helping them to stay fit. And doing sports. Yeah. And what I found too, is that the concept and the philosophy of the mind and body coordination, you really have to think about what your body is doing and how you are moving and what muscles you are integrating. And the clients that I work with, they find that very relaxing, challenging, but relaxing, they walk out, they might have come in with a headache, or they're feeling a bit down or whatever, but they walk out feeling so much better.
Yeah, I can imagine I want to try. I've been always wanted to try that. And I'm really now want to do it.
Yeah, I mean, people often say, Oh, God, I wish I'd known about this when I was in my 30s. Or I wish I'd known about this when I was in my 40s. Yeah, things like that.
Great. So everyone knows that… we touched a bit on that subject already. But just let's go a bit deeper in that, that everybody knows that with age we change. But what positive changes have you experienced?
Positive changes that I've experienced is that I no longer have to worry about my menstrual period. That was a big thing for me. Because I went through menopause quite early. And my mother had a hysterectomy when she was in her 30s. So I didn't have anyone to compare my symptoms or anything to. And my menstrual periods are quite heavy and quite painful. And the premenstrual stress before that was unbearable. You know, I found it very difficult to cope with. So the best thing that happened to me as far as these changes go is that I no longer have that stress. I love it. I absolutely love it. You don't have to carry women's feminine hygiene products with you all the time. It took a little while took several years. But it opened up, reopened up my sexuality, I felt, I guess more attractive and more sexual after all that. I want to say, but I do.
Maybe it's to do with your Pilates.
Yes. Yeah, definitely. I think so too. Yeah.
Because I think it's the opposite way. Generally because of hormones. Yeah, exactly. For desire, they bring down and they do. And the Pilates probably helped you to keep it.
Yeah, well, I mean, I did go through that period of time when I thought I wasn't sexually active. And I just thought, you know what, I really don't care if I'm never sexually active again. But that period changed. And I think it was because this year, I sold my business, less stress there during this lockdown. Because I had a lot of free time I became more I get, I studied the method that little bit more. I took time to work with other trainers, not just myself. So I had other trainers teach me. And I discovered a whole lot about my body and the strength in my body that I didn't know was there, you know, I thought I've got a dodgy elbow, I've got a dodgy knee, I can't do this. I can't do that. It was really surprising to set those. I can't believe the side and just try and do what I wanted to do. And I did it and it was it felt good. It felt great. It made me feel strong.
So it just shows that our body we don't know our body completely and it gives us surprises all the time At any age.
Exactly. Just yesterday I was working with a client of mine who is going through that period menopausal stage and she has issues around knees and hips and things like that. And we had a one on one session yesterday and I introduced her to a whole lot of new stuff. quite challenging and strong stuff. And at the end of the session, she said oh would never have believed I could do this a few months ago. And I like hearing that I like you know that people find strength within themselves. It's not just physical strength. It's an emotional and spiritual strength.
I believe that it's also important to have knowledgeable and experienced trainer.
So someone who knows what she's doing, and guiding the client in the right way without damage with what I noticed when I moved to Australia and I went to a gym, and because I don't look my age, and we didn't discuss it. And immediately I was loaded with this heavy routine. And I was like, Ooh, just wait a second. Like, and they were very surprised that the trainer was very surprised. And I said, Look, I'm 40 Plus, and I cannot do this and this. Yeah, exactly. And I ended up just quitting this gym because I didn't feel like they're considering this age. Yeah, age appropriate. Yeah, exercise. So I think it's very important and of the person knows and with all age categories that to be effective.
So talking about challenges, so what is the biggest challenge with age you met.
For me, it was accepting that certain things in my body are changing, like my eyesight. I have to wear glasses all the time now and it frustrates me really does, I need them for driving. Now I need them to watch television, I need them to read. Sleep has been a big one for me too. I find that my sleep patterns are very, very different to what they were when I was younger, I could have a very full long day, a good workout, hit the sheets around 9:30 or so and have a really pretty solid eight hours sleep. I can't do that anymore. It's really difficult, really difficult. I think that's the biggest challenge as far as getting older as well. If you look at it from I guess sociological terms, it's that perception of body image that when you reach a certain age and you look a certain type you fit into a specific category, which just isn't the case it frustrates me to see particularly fashion for older women or cosmetics, beauty routine skincare products that advertise for ageing and mature skin but have 25 year old models. Marketing the products,
..and now it's changing a bit those agencies for mature models and everything but if we touch the subject already, so I will ask you - Where do you think this idea of perfect body image comes from?
I guess lately, it will come from social media and marketing media. We have so many tools, technical tools these days to airbrush Photoshop. And make or I guess, change images that give an idea of perfection that's unattainable. Like seeing a woman without pausing her skin, everyone has paused in their skin. Yeah. Or seeing an image of a woman with no hair on her arms or anything that everyone has hair on the body in some way. The little roles that nearly everyone has, particularly women around that the body or the middle of just airbrushed out completely. So you have this image that your waist must be teeny tiny. And your skin must have this perfect glow to it all the time. Yeah, all of which was unattainable. It's yeah, it's quite ridiculous. And I can understand. I watched a documentary on plastic surgery a while ago, and the lengths some people go to attain an image is remarkable and it made me feel very sad actually and emotional to think that those people will put their bodies through so much hardship and pain and agony. None of the procedures were necessary, and some of them were quite horrific to watch. It speaks volumes to people's mental health and peace perceptions about why they why would they do that to their bodies and put themselves through so much pain and torment.
I think it's to do with insecurity. Yeah, very insecure, starting with the loose body image on media, and sometimes from coming from partners or family.
To that end, last year, I did training in neuro linguistic programming, and timeline therapy, to help those clients who were struggling with body image issues or had lack of confidence, or had living limiting beliefs about themselves, to start to speak to them in a language that was encouraging and empowering. And give them resources and tools that they could use themselves, to improve the quality of their, you know, physical, emotional, and spiritual state, you know, to go on and live a better life, be happy. So many people are unhappy these days,
Describe your greatest accomplishment so far.
My greatest accomplishment so far, I think was starting my Pilates business, starting my Pilates studio from scratch with just me and doing about six years teaching a week. And then building on that to the point where I was able to employ more people, and train other instructors, who then went on to open their own sort of businesses in the area, and inspire other students to take on the Pilates method and do that it's sort of created a ripple effect, which is a double edged sword. I was very proud of the fact that our studio and the way we taught the Pilates method inspired students to go and learn for themselves become experienced, become qualified and educated themselves. But it did create more competition for me, hence, I sold the business
You did it in the right time
I did it the right time. And yet, absolutely.
I think that's this idea of professionals who create their successful businesses is at some point they, they have to share their knowledge knowing that it creates a competition.
Yeah, it does.
Yeah, but they just doing it.
Sharing your passion. Yeah. And then you know, that's very, it's flattering, and it's empowering. And it's, it sends a nice feeling.
It's like, you know, for me, there is this comparison, the business is like a baby, we make sure that it grows up. Good and well, but then you have to let it go.
You have to let it go. Exactly.
So if you could go back in time and meet your 30 year old self? What advice would you give her?
I give her device to be less judgmental, not only of other people, but of yourself. Say things like don't sweat, the small stuff, and it's all small stuff is really not very helpful. There are going to be times when you are going to sweat, the small stuff. But acknowledge that, you know, don't dwell on it, acknowledge it, let it go. Let it go. Let it go. And don't spend too much time in the sun.
This is a good one. So and what advice would you give younger women who will eventually undergo this age changes?
Embrace it, don't fight it. There are so many positives coming out of getting older. Especially if you have a family because then your children grow up and leave. So you've got more time if you're in a good relationship to spend time with someone you love. Don't be so caught up in what you're doing. As a mother or a wife or a partner. Do go out and do your own thing. Follow your own passions, follow your own hobbies. Don't rely on someone else to always be by your side to be your constant companion become your own companion. Love yourself and enjoy your own company.
Yeah, that's very good advice. And what does it mean to you feeling good and looking good? What comes first?
Absolutely feeling good.
Was it always like that?
Yes. I was a mad fitness freak always have been and the feature I felt the stronger, when you do feel good in yourself, you can see it in the clients that I work with when they first come in, particularly people that have back problems and hip problems and a little bit overweight, is seeing their posture that they look defeated. You know, they've got the round shoulder posture, and they've always focused on the aches and pains on not on the bigger picture. When you work with them for several weeks, you start to see that change, their posture changes. Everything about them changes, they start walking taller, they start feeling better. And even without losing weight, they look female because they're holding themselves in a different way. So feeling good definitely changes your appearance.
And what makes you feel the most beautiful?
When someone says they love me, oh I am. I've struggled with body image, my whole life. You know, the fitness freak. Always wanting to look and feel a certain way. But then you have people a partner or someone who loves you who looks at you through different sort of eyes. You can look at your own reflection and go oh, god, look at that wrinkle. Oh God, my skin is saggy. Oh, look, my arms are getting floppy. And other person can look at you and go You are so beautiful. You're so petite. You know, I love your boobs. Like these saggy things? Yeah, I guess except the compliments you get from other people. Avoid saying, avoid putting yourself down, accept the compliments and start to see yourself through their eyes and not only your own.
Stop criticizing yourself. So do you have any favourite quotes about being a woman or saying or thought?
I don't have any favorite quotes. But what I do like to say is that the being a woman gives you a lot of power that you don't know you had you're the mother earth you're, you know, the goddess of the earth, you nurture you give birth you create and you create a different life. You create life. So no matter what your situation, whether you do have children or you don't have children, whether you have a high paying job, whether you have a low paying job, whatever it is you're doing in life, do it with your head held high in a sense of pride and joy and self-love. You know, can you know less than anyone else walking the planet? In a lot of ways you're a lot better.
Well, I love the conversation. Thank you Sherrie for such an inspiring and motivational session and I really enjoy that and I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day and the photoshoots
I'm looking forward to it. I really am. Lovely. Thank you so much.
If you have an interesting story to share would love for you to participate. You can email us on email@example.com or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com
This is the 45 over 45 chapter of MY BODY MY STORY podcast, where we celebrate rule breakers and role models - the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show their SENSUALITY, BEAUTY, SOUL, and TRUE ESSENCE.
For more information about the project visit:
NEW Episode Every Monday