Fiona Duff: I really do have fab abs, thanks to Pilates classes

Fiona is a pilates convert

Fiona is a pilates convert

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I have always slightly scoffed at the idea of Pilates. It just seemed like forking out money to someone who tells you to lie on the floor and pull in your tummy.

Then again I hadn’t ever tried it and had no right to dismiss it out of hand.

Before Christmas I popped into my local therapy centre, OMH on Randolph Place in case you are interested, to buy a voucher in lieu of having any idea of what else to purchase for the person for whom it was destined.

While I was there a leaflet was thrust into my hand offering a deal on four Pilates classes for beginners.

To be honest, what swung it for me was the time – 5.45pm on a Wednesday seemed an ideal time for a class. If I happened to be going out there would be time to nip home and change before hitting the town. Leggings and a baggy T-shirt aren’t really what one wants to be seen in by the general populace.

At the end of the first class the teacher, Samantha Valance, asked how we felt. “That was nice and gentle” I replied, and she did look a bit askance at this response. But it was Samantha who had the last laugh when I woke up the following morning to realise that I actually did have stomach muscles. And boy did they ache.

So three weeks in and I definitely can see a bit of a difference. It’s not what you’d call a six pack, but slightly better than the over stuffed carrier bags that my midriff used to resemble.

I am also much more aware of my posture – I sit with a straight back while tapping away at the computer and walk with my head held high as I saunter down the street.

Yes, I am a convert. When it comes to scoffing I shall now try to limit that to something healthy.