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URBANDALE, Iowa  —  We all tend to look in the mirror and criticize what we see, but the thought of putting on a bathing suit can mean those negative feelings skyrocket.

“We’re all put together differently,” says Beth Cobble of Liftetime Athletic. “Some people want to look like this person, and genetically we might not be able to. And that’s okay!”

Comparison is the thief of joy, so the best thing you can do is stop worrying about how you might look in a bikini compared to your friends, co-workers, or Beth. Instead, start doing things that make you feel strong.

“Work the core, or powerhouse, as we address it in Pilates,” says Beth. “It’s the shoulder girdle to pelvic girdle–front to back, top to bottom–the whole trunk is engaged.”

Pilates is a great way to find and engage muscles you don’t know you have. This sort of exercise feels very different from full out cardio or strength training. The weights are small and most of the movements are slow and controlled.

“With Pilates we work the smaller, stabilizing muscles,” Beth explains, “and the breath it a huge part of it, you want to knit the ribs together and get at those smaller muscles that give definition.”

The payoff is huge. Not only does Pilates build strength, this type of exercise is proven to relieve pain and boost your brain power. Any time you do something good for yourself, you’re on the road to loving yourself.

“The goal should be just being healthy and okay in our own skin. When we feel good on the inside, it really resonates on the outside.”

We hope you can join us for a “feel good in your own skin” kind of day on May 20th. You can find details at!