The Belles are very excited to have had the opportunity to interview Laura Tarbell of Tarbell Pilates! Laura Tarbell is an internationally known Pilates Instructor, trained and certified by STOTT PILATES, and she is a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant certified through the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA). She is a wife and a mother of two year old twin boys. She is a fitness model, most recently seen in Oxygen Magazine’s 2012 Fat Loss Special.
Belles: Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in the fitness industry?Laura: I’ve been an athlete all my life. However, I suffered from chronic back pain after jamming two lumbar vertebra when I during high school. When I graduated from college, I wanted to stay active so I took up running and weight lifting. However, my back was still an issue. Shooting pain from my lower back down my right leg kept me from reaching my goals. When I discovered the power of Pilates, I wanted to know everything about it. I became a certified instructor so I could share it with my family and community. It started out small, but in a few months my classes were packed. After I had my first set of twins! I decided I didn’t want to work full time. I opened my Pilates studio and have been in love with my new career ever since. It doesn’t feel like work because Ive truly found my passion in helping people reach their fitness goals.
Belles: There is quite a bit of emphasis these days on the importance of strengthening the core – or powerhouse. Would you like to add your thoughts? Laura: I believe Jospeh Pilates put it best when he said, “You are only as young as your spine.” The core is the support that gives the spine strength and mobility. Strengthening the core is not only essential to athletic health, and a great six-pack!, but essential to movement in our everyday lives. From lifting grocery bags to sitting at a desk at work, the core is involved in everything you do. If it weak, the rest of the body will be effected.
Belles: Your core is rock solid! While core specific training is partly responsible, we all know that a proper nutrition plan is 80% of weight loss success and maintenance. Do you have a healthy eating plan or strategy Laura: I do watch my nutrition carefully. I eat clean 90% of the day and leave a little room for error. Its the only way to stay sane! I choose whole, natural foods as much as possible, including fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low fat dairy, and whole grains. There are so many great recipes out there to keep you satisfied. I dont really have the desire to eat things like french fries or bacon. I also eat to feel happy and energized. Do I love a big hamburger with sweet potato fries – yes! But it doesn’t leave me energized. So I don’t indulge very often. And if i do, its only a small, portion-controlled amount.
Everything can be eaten in moderation, or you can find a healthy version to satisfy your taste. I have a really great chocolate chip protein cookie recipe that is totally guilt free! I love it! And I feel good about letting my kids eat them too. (i’ll be posting it on my blog this week!)
Belles: You have created some awesome at home pilates fitness dvds, is pilates your go-to workout or do you mix it up with other genres? Laura: Pilates and running are definitely my go-to workouts. I love the way Pilates makes me feel- toned, lean, taller, and energized. It has a relaxing effect on the mind as well. I mix in a bit of weights, including pull ups, incline press, bicep curls, to name a few. Basically, all the exercises that I don’t do on the reformer (which isn’t many!)
Belles: Can we expect any future workout dvds from you? If so, what can you share about them. Laura: I sure hope so! I’m not sure where this adventure will take me, but I’m excited about the journey. My dreams is to build a following like Mari Windsor. But really I just hope to share the greatness of Pilates. It has helped my life in so many way – from keeping me fit both physically and mentally to getting me in back shape after the birth of my twins. Even if you aren’t doing my Pilates, I hope everyone will do some version of Pilates. It is a fantastic way to keep the body active as it matures.