Nonya - dunno about that medal love! I have plenty of 'off days' and I'm well aware I could be doing better than I am if I were more persistent with daily exercises, rather than most days (sometimes I can be a right moody moo about it all!), but I seem to be doing my exercises often enough to make a difference, so I'll just keep chugging along and hoping for the best.
Oh - I was thinking - I made it sound like you have to make a lot of progress with core stability before results can be seen. Nope. Just doing pilates breathing can help loads, especially with the lower ribs. You breathe down out out into the lower ribs so they expand out to the sides, and when you breathe out you pull up your pelvic floor, and pull in your belly and waist gently, so long as you start gently and force yourself to take it slow and steady, you can really ease up those lower ribs and start building up the muscles that stabilise them, just by lying on your back and breathing. Ace. Tis definitely worth getting a decent pilates book I reckon, so you're working the right muscles, as using the wrong muscles really defeats the point! From the experiences I've had, I should think a fair few folks will need to see a professional, either a physio, or a pilates tutor to begin with, and maybe every once in a while, to make sure you're getting it right. Can't tell you how long it took me to train my 'six pack muscles' to relax and quit joining in when I exercised, they were all 'overactive' and spoiling the effect of the exercises, not to mention the time it took to get my pelvic floor fully activated and strong
. Just takes time to get over these things though, then it's onwards and upwards!
Take it easy,