Penny G

In by Mikki Reilly


My mother was a wonderful “old fashioned” cook who used plenty of delicious bacon fat in her cooking, always serving scrumptious well balanced meals for us and who got onto the early health food wagon – religiously subscribing to Prevention Magazine and following many of the suggested regimens for good health. So eating good homemade food was a way of life for our family.

Always active and pretty much thin my whole life, I never worried about my weight. I studied, performed and taught dance for almost 35 years. In college I earned a degree in psychology and practiced movement therapy – still very active in my life style.

Marrying young and then having three rollicking boys helped me maintain that busy life style for many more years; but after a series of untimely family tragedies, I stopped almost all my healthy activities and took a job that required me to sit before a computer for eight hours a day – insidiously sinking into depression and packing on unwanted pounds.

I found yoga then and began a climb back into a world of physical expression in my yoga practice. This lasted for a few years and it was great. Then my husband took a new position that necessitated us moving to a different city where I fell into the habit of sitting, reading, knitting and pretty much secluding myself in a new town with few social contacts. At the age of 68 this was a sorry invitation for physical deterioration.

After three years of this sedentary life style I began searching on line for information on the Paleo life style and diet. I stumbled upon Mikki Reilly’s book, Your Primal Body, which I read and was immediately impressed by it. I really wished that I could find someone in our new town that I could contact for training. To my surprise her studio gym was located just a short distance away from our neighborhood. I was soon on the phone arranging a time to meet her and learn if this could be the direction I needed.

Since that discovery I have been working with Mikki twice a week and practicing the Paleo way of eating. The results are amazing: at the three month mark I had lost eight lbs., regained a stronger sense of balance, increased my core strength and I’m well on the way to tightening the flabby condition of my muscles and flattening my poochy tummy! Another wonderful result is that I stand and sit up straighter because my back is stronger. Those kettle bells Mikki works with have me singing their praise. It is hardwork but actually fun to move in rhythm through the different routines with them. Renewed energy and positive results encourage me to keep up the strength training.

One of the areas of concern for me when I first came to Mikki was the pain and weakness I experienced in my right hip. In trying to find the cause my doctor had ordered an x-ray to see if anything showed up there. The results came back clear and negative so I was relying on over-the-counter pain managers until Mikki introduced me to self-myofascial release. Working with a foam roller she taught me how to find that painful spot and with patient pressure I actually released the tightness in my I-T band totally diminishing the pain. Incredible!

Using gentle but firm encouragement Mikki has shown me the way to greater health and strength. She seems to intuit just when to have me push a little harder or when my muscles have reached a limit and I need to rest. The best part of this training is feeling so good, getting so much stronger and losing the unwanted pounds. And I have to add that the worst thing about my work-outs is when I perspire so much that my mascara runs down my cheeks. I think I can handle that just fine!