My first class this week was tough. In fact, it was my toughest yet. I felt stodgy as Carlota urged me to suck in my stomach; my legs shook as I tried to hold them at ninety degrees, the straighter I pushed them, the further my stomach escaped my control. Needless to say, with all this sucking in I kept forgetting to breath, and so my face resembled a shiny tomato.


Carlota was trying to make me work my upper thighs and stomach, and wow how it ached. I felt like I needed to be generally much healthier to perfect these moves, as though being good at Pilates required shedding any lurking extras around the waist.

Suddenly I wanted to be healthier, I felt like eating fruit for breakfast and salad for lunch and crushing my 4 o'clock chocolate compulsion. After all, we all know you can't just do a couple of hours exercise a week and expect everything to sort itself out as you grab another slice of cake. Maybe a nutritionist is the next logical step for this bride-to-be…


Anyway, thankfully my condition and morale improved as the week continued and in my last class Keka introduced the "guillotine". Doesn't sound like a sign of things improving, I know, but this sinister sounding Pilates contraption actually helps you do sit-ups (and don't worry, I'm assured no-one's ever left The Place headless).

Jokes aside, the change in just three weeks is noticeable and as I lifted myself up and down the thought of my upcoming dress fitting didn't seem so bad after all. At the very worst I now have the power to suck in my stomach and ribs as I have never before sucked!

Of course, the wedding dress fitting came around all too soon, and as the zip struggled its way up my back I put Keka and Carlota's teachings into practice: sucking in those ribs, lowering my shoulders and holding myself as straight - yet as naturally - as possible.

And the zip went up. Thank heavens. Granted, it was all a little tighter than before, but I do still have six weeks to beg at the knees of a nutritionist, keep up my visits to the wonderful Keka and Carlota at The Place and hope the nerves kick in and temper my robust appetite.