The Belle Philosophy

A Fitness Philosophy for Women: THE BELLE METHOD

After over a decade in the fitness industry, experience with countless female clients has led me to believe in a philosophy that’s proven effective time and again.  Despite all of our unique differences, this method holds true across the board.  Years of experience have demonstrated that fitness success (and life success for that matter!) depends greatly on the following points. These points are an acronym that makes up The Belle Method, a Fitness Philosophy for Women.

B– Be True to Yourself – Make time for yourself.  Take care of yourself. We all have the same 24 hours each day.  Only you can carve out the time you deserve.  Practice saying ‘no’ when it doesn’t serve you and schedule workout time in your calendar.  Ask for help when you need it and remember every positive change happens with self-love!  You deserve health, happiness and a body you love. Go get it girl!

E – Elevate your Awareness – Mediate on what you really really want. Is there room in your life to welcome all the amazing gifts waiting for you, just around the corner? What is going well in your life? What would you like to change? Self-reflect on goals and write them down. Put that piece of paper in a place you will see everyday.

L– Learn to get Results – Recruit the help of experts who will tailor a workout and nutrition program to your goals and lifestyle. Learn how to eat healthy on the run. Learn to improve your technique to accelerate progress.  A good instructor corrects form, adjusts posture and offers modifications so you can workout hard, but safely.

L – Live the Challenge – Get a coach you respect and trust. Make a commitment to taking daily action steps to your goal. Look at your goals everyday.  Designate a “go-to” person to call who will act as your personal cheerleader when you’re feeling off.  Give yourself benchmarks (like those jeans from college) to measure success and progress; this will keep you motivated and inspired!

E – Evolve your Life – Health, happiness and confidence are all within your reach. If you follow these steps you will feel a difference in your mind and body. Everything starts with loving yourself enough to make a change, then setting your goals, committing to daily action, surrounding yourself with positive people and asking for support.  Here’s to your evolution. Here’s to your success!

The Belle Method is all about women helping other women feel strong and beautiful inside and out. You can do it. See you in class!

Pilates for Breast Cancer Recovery

Exercising after breast cancer surgery is often the last thing you may feel like doing. Cancer wreaks havoc on the body and between weight gain, muscle atrophy, fatigue and premature bone loss women are left feeling physically challenged by even normal daily activities. Nonetheless, recent studies prove that moderate physical exercise can be incredibly beneficial for breast cancer survivors.

When it comes to choosing a safe and effective exercise program for survivors, Pilates covers all the bases. The exercise method has its roots in physical therapy and was created by Joseph Pilates during the 1920s to rehabilitate bedridden soldiers from WW1. The principles of Pilates were, and still remain, focused on breathing, core strength, shoulder and pelvic stability.


Pilates both during and after treatment can help to alleviate pain and restore energy, joint mobility, tissue integrity and overall strength. In particular for breast cancer survivors, Pilates breath-work can encourage proper lymphatic drainage.

The benefits of Pilates go beyond the physical – many women report feeling emotionally recharged after class.  Movement after invasive surgery is empowering and can help alleviate feelings of depression, getting you back to a feeling of normalcy. It is well documented that exercise releases endorphins or “happy hormones,” which elevate mood.

In sum, here is a list of benefits from participating in a Pilates program during and after breast cancer surgery.



  • Improved lymphatic drainage with proper breathing techniques
  • restored postural alignment and balance
  • improved shoulder girdle mechanics to help breakdown scar tissue and frozen shoulder
  • restored overall range of motion, flexibility, strength and endurance
  • enhanced core strength and endurance
  • improved overall body awareness
  • re-established muscular firing patterns
  • reduced both physiological and emotional stress
  • increased self-confidence and overall well-being

Pilates for Prostate Health

We know studies show exercise helps cancer recovery and prevention by improving insulin resistance, reducing inflammation, boosting immune system function, and lowering hormones.

Exercise is good! But how do you decide which type is best for you? Those concerned with prostrate health may want to consider adding Pilates into their daily physical activity.

Pilates is an exercise method with its roots in physical therapy. Practiced for decades by professional athletes, gymnasts and dancers, Pilates develops strength, balance and coordination, while the use of breath allows for better oxygen flow, releasing tension and promoting relaxation. It emphasizes balanced development of the body, targeting the deep muscles of the abdomen and pelvic floor (aka ‘the core’). The pelvic floor muscles are the foundation for the core of the body. They stabilize the pelvis and support the organs of the lower abdominal cavity, like the bladder, prostrate and uterus. The pelvic floor muscles, along with the deep muscles of the back and abdomen, form the group of muscles we work when developing core strength in Pilates.

Prostate cancer is one of the problems many men face as they get older. It is believed that the deterioration of the pelvic floor muscles is the major factor contributing to prostate cancer. Furthermore, prostrate surgery has common side-effects of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Pelvic floor exercises are strongly recommended for men both before and following a prostatectomy, a recommendation confirmed by worldwide experts at the International Consultation on Incontinence in July 2008.

Pilates teaches you how to engage those deep pelvic floor muscles that are so important for prostrate health. By practicing Pilates, the risk of prostate cancer may be reduced, and the chances for a full post surgery recovery can be greatly improved.

Here is a photo of Joseph Pilates himself, the creator of it all!

The Benefits of Coaching

Lately I have been hearing some pretty inspirational women ( read: Oprah) taut the benefits of hiring a coach for their business and personal life. I decided to dig deeper and find out exactly why a person should pay to have someone give them regular pep talks (hey, that’s what gf’s are for right?)

Here’s what I came back with; the 5 most common answers to why you should consider investing in a coach.

  1. Seeing your Blind Spots

    We often don’t see ourselves the way other’s do. We can have blind spots about the way we come across socially, the limiting beliefs we operate on, the real consequences of certain behaviors, etc.

    Since you can’t change or take into consideration what you don’t see, blind spots typically keep you stuck and thwart your progress. The best way to see your blind spots is none other than customized, individual coaching.

  2. Taking Massive Action

    Fundamentally, changing any area of your life is at most 10% theory and at least 90% practice. You won’t see real results unless you commit to taking the insights you get and the ideas you discover and acting on them

    A good coach will help you get motivated, trust your power to change, get you out of your comfort zone and get you to do considerably more than you would on your own.

  3. Keeping you on Track

    A coach works with you to set specific and attainable goals within a particular time frame. They will keep you “on track” by taking encouraging daily action and remaining focused and committed. Even the most successful and strong-minded people can easily get distracted and they frequently procrastinate if they just rely on willpower. The good news is that you don’t need to rely on willpower alone. You have a coach to help!

In sum, here’s the 411 on coaching benefits!

  • Gain clarity about your goals
  • Improve decision making ability
  • Grow at warp speed
  • Improve time-management skills
  • Sustain focus on your top priorities