Finding Balance in Winter – Shannon of Pilates et Moi

November 2, 2017

Well friends, it’s November. And we think it’s finally time to accept that the cold weather is officially here to stay.

Instead of giving into our hibernation instincts (wrap ourselves in blankets + eat cheese + sleep early – and repeat), we reached out to our friend and Lausanne Guide sponsor Shannon Flynn, owner of the Pilates et Moi Reformer training studio, for her thoughts on how to stay motivated, fit, and healthy when all we want to do is bunker down and calorie binge.

As an Aussie and daughter of healthy-living enthusiasts, Shannon has fitness and wellness in her DNA. In the years that we’ve known her, we’ve often bemoaned the fact that you can’t bottle and buy her perfect posture and boundless energy. At very least, we figured, she would be the perfect person to consult on making a healthy transition into winter.

When the three of us sat down last Saturday morning, we were fully expecting a strict list of do’s and an even stricter list of don’ts. Her approach, however, surprised us.

It’s not about braving the winter for a 5k run every morning (phew!) or counting our calories (thank goodness – because #welovecheese). Instead, she promotes a pragmatic and sensible approach to fitness and healthy eating. For those of us that are working full time or chasing after kids, a two-hour workout each day and perfectly homemade, vegan, gluten-free dieting is neither feasible nor desirable. For Shannon, the key is balance, moderation, and when possible, consistency.

She even confessed that she hates to cook, which we thought was fabulously refreshing in this era where everyone is instagramming their domestic prowess. When you’re a business owner and teach classes late into the evening, who has time to mess with it? Instead, she turns to several local businesses that prepare fresh and healthy meals to-go. Her favorite is Ernest with Takinoa getting honorable mention. When she wants to sit down and enjoy, you can find her at Blackbird or Antica Trattoria.

Here are her tips for a healthy transition into winter:

  1. Remember that physical health is largely dependent on mental health. Food is as much about pleasure as it is about nourishment, so don’t deprive yourself. As the temperatures drop, we crave comfort foods and a few extra calories – it’s natural and healthy. Moderation is always key, but as a rule, ENJOY.
  2. Drink water. And when you’re done, drink some more. In summer the heat serves as a trigger to remind us to hydrate, but in winter, we need to be more intentional. Hot lemon water in the morning, herbal tea, or just keeping a trusty water bottle nearby, build habits that help you drink fluids throughout the day. Your skin will thank you.
  3. Her hands get especially dry each winter, and as a pilates teacher, she can be quite self-conscious if they look too chapped. She suggests lathering on a thick lotion (Neutrogena is her brand of choice) and wearing cotton gloves to bed. When you wake up, the results are seriously impressive. We already tried it, and it makes such a difference!
  4. Stay active! It can be hard to find the motivation to get out when it’s cold, but keeping up your positive habits will pay off in spades. Continue going to your pilates class, get out each day for a 15-minute walk, or do that thing that gets your heart rate up, whatever it may be.
  5. And “when all else fails,” she says, “spend January and February in Australia.” Um, thanks for that practical and cost-effective tip, Shannon ;).

The long days and warm weather are waiting for us in just six months time, but until then, we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for feeling good all winter long!


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