Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why I Barre

I started my Pure Barre adventure last October and very much on a whim. I had planned to walk with a friend but she wasn't able to, so I decided to sign up for that afternoon's class as a spur-of-the-moment thing. I had taken several varieties of Pure Barre in the past -- FlyBarre, Carolina Barre, etc. -- but it had just been a class here and there and never something I committed to. As soon as I finished my first class at Pure Barre Wilmington, I knew I needed to sign up for at least a month of unlimited classes. My instructor had been so welcoming, the class was full of highly motivated gals, and I loved the atmosphere. After that first month -- and experiencing a variety of instructors, all whom are dedicated to the PB lifestyle -- I fell in love even more. 

Pure Barre is the first workout that I have been able to answer a 5am wake-up call for, as I've have recently found the joys of taking a 6am class. I'm sure part of if is that you have to sign up in advance, but I genuinely leave feeling refreshed and ready to start my day, and my evenings are free after work to do other things. I grab a cup of coffee, make the quick drive to the studio, and before I know it, my 55 minutes is over. 

I still haven't reached my 100 class goal yet, but I'm slowly making my way, I honestly thought that by this point, I'd be almost there, but it's easy to let life get in the way of working out, even when you're signed up for unlimited classes (this is me owning the fact that I've only been to 6 classes all month long #fail). So my goal moving forward is to get in at least 4 classes a week (I procrastinated in scheduling classes and the new year has the studio packed! So I'm now scheduling way in advanced). If I can reach my goal of 4 classes a week, I'm hoping to hit 250 classes by the end of this year!

What I've Learned So Far:

1. You Can Push Yourself. I can hold the 90-second plank, even when I really don't want to. 

2. My shopping habit has intensified. I always want to buy something when I'm in the studio.

3. On time is actually late. I don't ever want to be fashionably late to Pure Barre -- don't want to miss out on my coveted spot, you know -- so 5 minutes early is actually sorta kinda late.

4. Learn the form. I'm not as coordinated as I thought I was. Dancing for 15 years certainly helped, but it never fails that I find myself in a weird stance and know that I'm not doing it correctly. Lucky for me, an instructor is always nearby to offer advice and change my position so I get the intended results. 

5. Shaking = changing. Embrace the shake. That is all.

6. Pure Barre is a community. I love going to class and seeing familiar faces, and I love posting an instagram photo and seeing bloggers or other PB-goers that I've never met comment with how much they love Pure Barre.

7. The smaller the movement, the better. Part of why Pure Barre offers such amazing results is because of the amount of control that is required to do the movements. Don't use your momentum; instead, use small, controlled movements. 

8. Cute clothes make it fun. No, I'm not talking about lululemon everything, but picking up a new tank from Target, a new sports bra from F21, or even splurging on a pair of Beyond Yoga leggings make concentrating in the mirror that much more fun.

9. The results take time. If you're like me, you want to see immediate results, but it does take time. Applaud yourself with the milestones. After two weeks, I felt myself getting stronger, and after three, my dad commented that he could tell a difference in my arms. 

So why do I barre? There are so many reasons, but the number one comes down to one simple thing: me. Before Pure Barre, I hit a rut where I was eating what I wanted but arguing that I "ate healthy," was burnt out of my regular workout routine, and was definitely noticing weight gain. When I first started working after college, I actually lost weight due to stress and a new environment, so the physique I gained from competing at Miss North Carolina was not too hard to maintain. But then, I grew accustomed to the working world, embraced the bagels and doughnuts that were always at the office, ate lunch out most days, and before I knew it, I was adding back on the pounds that I had lost + a few more.

I let my priority to maintain that once-healthy lifestyle get pushed to the wayside because of life's "happenings." To put it bluntly, I reached a point in the fall where I looked in the mirror and was very unhappy with what I saw, and it made me an unhappy person. Since starting Pure Barre, I look forward to my workouts and I'm only that much more motivated to return to the healthy lifestyle that I once followed. And with a combination of a healthier and "cleaner" diet this month and these classes, the weight is now starting to fall off. When it comes to your health, it's okay to be selfish, so I barre because it's something that is just for me. My challenge to you? Find what makes you happy; whether it's Pure Barre, running, cycling, a walk on the beach, find that something that makes you feel like a new person each time. 

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