Review of Pilates HQ – – Bridget March’s bikini body confidence challenge – June 2011 – Weeks 3-6


Bridget March,’s Assistant Editor, has completed a 6 week programme at Pilates HQ to get beach ready. Read about her bikini body confidence challenge below and at


Bridget March’s bikini body confidence challenge

July 2011

In pursuit of a perky derrière Cosmo’s Assistant Web Editor is trialling Pilates classes and a cellulite-busting sugar-free diet


Week three

I started off well this week but a traumatising incident threw me off track on Wednesday night. A whole plate of food, complete with mustard and tomato sauce (which clearly knew I shouldn’t be eating it) was catapulted from a table at a BBQ face down onto my prized Mulberry handbag.  

The sparkle tweed leather drank it up and no amount of attempted recovery kept it alive. Ruined. Anyway the point is I went home and scoffed handfuls of jellybeans which were the nearest treats to hand. And they tasted a-may-zing.

I’d like to say it made me work even harder for the rest of the week, scrutinising every salad dressing and vitamin coating for sugar but no, I’ve kind of lost momentum and am crazing sweets.

I’m still focused on the fitness though and loving the Pilates. It’s incredible for relieving stress.

Toosh-wise I’m feeling slightly perkier. I’m no P-Middy yet but I feel like the shape of my bottom is rounder and looking lifted. Hopefully I’m not imaging it!

I definitely think I’m building muscle generally. I feel stronger all over and am ten times more aware of my posture – which has an instant slimming effect in itself. 


Week four

I knew this week would be a struggle as I had a four-day hen do from Thursday – Sunday and the bride-to-be is not the detox, health spa kinda gal.

Anyway, I packed in my three Pilates classes at the start of the week; Monday and Wednesday evening and Thursday morning before going away.

I actually did a beginners class to fit in with my schedule and instead of being limiting as I was worried it might be, it was really useful for reminding myself of best practice and it still pushed me as hard, just with more detailed direction.

I also had another new trainer this week which was great for getting another perspective on Pilates practice and mixing up routines.

But the best bit was what I noticed when getting changed after my third session this week; the formation of a six pack! (Or possibly a four pack, either way – woo hoo!) It’s proof that the sculpting effect is really taking place and it’s totally boosted my confidence.

On the diet side I was super-strict up until the weekend, even going to Pizza Express with friends to watch them eat dough balls, pizza, ice cream sundae and drink wine whilst I munched on a dressing-free salad, but then I know the weekend would be a challenge – and it was. I didn’t totally binge but I did forgo the sugar ban on the drinks. It felt too antisocial not to go in on the rounds of wine and there might have been a bit of tipsy sweet-scoffing too. But I refused all chocolate (and there were bags of it) even with a hangover, which was disciplined of me.

Surprisingly the scales say I haven’t put on any weight from the weekend, but I do feel bloated and depleted of energy. I can’t wait to get back to Pilates now.


Week five

Wow, post the hen weekend Monday and Tuesday were a struggle this week. The tiredness made me hungrier as my body was craving energy and all I wanted was sugar but I recognised that’s the worst move.

My first Pilates HQ class of the week was after work on Tuesday and I really pushed myself, determined to feel virtuous again! Whilst I thought I wasn’t on top form, the trainer commented afterwards that I have a ‘really strong core’. Amazing! This has boosted my confidence and must prove that my body is really changing. I love the new awareness I have of my posture and core and it’s making me a lot more conscious of what I’m putting into my body too.

I went to my second class on Wednesday and was perhaps a little overzealous following my confidence boost from the trainer, as afterwards my stomach felt sore. I think I may have pulled/strained an oblique muscle. That’ll teach me! On Thursday I trialled a beauty treatment, the Decleor Slim Effect, which involved a stimulating scrub and vigorous massage targeting those wobbly areas housing stubborn fat cells. The massage definitely corrected my muscle ache and left my bum and thighs feeling much tighter and my entire body baby-soft.

My 8am Friday class was intense but rewarding – I’m loving finishing the week feeling in top form, although I fear I’m getting into a pattern of slightly undoing my hard work at the weekends. It goes to show that maintaining your optimum body state is just as hard as finding it in the first place.


Week six

I can’t believe I have reached my sixth week of the diet, but I’d better – I’m off on holiday on Monday and will be revealing my bod on the beach. Eek!

So, I did two intermediate classes this week at Pilates HQ and one cardio class which was hardcore! An instructor named Sharon took the Thursday evening class (although I don’t think she does every week) and she really puts you through your paces.

Amazingly she mentioned that in a cardio class you can burn approximately 600 calories and around 400 in a regular class. I had no idea it was such an effective fat-burner alongside the other benefits it boasts.

Whether it is this, or the lack of chocolate, cake and cocktails for the last six weeks I’m not sure – but I’ve now shifted 3lbs. Hurrah!

My main aim was not to lose weight and I stick to that but I feel great for it and there’s no denying I’m completely different in other ways too. Even my boyfriend has noted I’m more confident, firmer, and flexible – and that’s enough evidence for me.

The sugar denial has been the hardest part but it’s totally worth it to be happily baring all on the beach. So long sarong!


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