January 2016 archive

Pure Barre Update: Earning My Stripes

Hey, y’all! I promised to tell you how my first five weeks of Pure Barre went, and what I’ve learned since I started.  I had to take a little time away from the barre to go on a Disney cruise with my sweet family (tough life, I know) and I’m now in my 8th week of classes.

So, is it working?

Yes. Slowly but surely, yes!

I have some definition in my arms and abs that was not there before (yay!) and I’ve lost a little weight.  Just before we left for the cruise I was at Petticoat Fair in Austin trying on swimsuits and bras, and the lady fitting me remarked that she’d need to go down a band size from my previous fitting, and asked if I had lost weight! By the end of my five weeks, I had indeed lost about four pounds. I was hitting the barre 3-4 days a week, but also really watching what I was eating, too. Four pounds might not seem like much, but for me it was significant, since I’ve been stuck at the same weight for the last five years or more, regardless of what I’ve done.

Confession Time: even though I was pretty good about eating healthy during the cruise and the holidays that followed, I allowed myself some indulgences. One or two of those four pounds may have found me again.  But I’m not sweating that. They’re just visiting.

What else is different?

I’m getting stronger. To my surprise, I’m discovering that little by little, I can get better.  I am getting better! I can stay in my plank for 90 seconds without coming down to my knees.  (So, so tough, but I can do it!) I’ve earned a permanent red, rough stripe of skin on each elbow to prove it. While some might see them and say, “Ew, what happened there?”, I actually feel a bit proud of my stripes. They’re little badges of honor. I’m not quite ‘hardcore’ yet, but I’m tougher than I was when I started!

I can (almost! so close!) get through all of the standing arm exercises without stopping. I can do good push ups. They’re on my knees for now, but they’re good. Little victories.

I know that my brain is sometimes lying when it tells me that my legs can’t get through any more thigh work, and that I have to keep breathing and stay in it. It was the same when I used to run. The brain says you have to stop, but if you can ignore that and keep going, eventually you get past it and you can go further than you believed was possible.

Hey, Brain: Shut It. You're not the boss of me. -- Often Charming

The biggest change? Probably my confidence. I’m not perfect by any means, and I still have areas to improve in, but I am out there in some skinny jeans now without caring if there is something about me to criticize.  I’m working on it. We’re almost always our own worst critics, aren’t we? And how sad is that? I’m not going to do that anymore.

So, I’d call my five-week Pure Barre experiment successful. The results of my time at the barre have really been more about what I can do, rather than how I look, but I’ll let you be the judge of which is more important.  I’m happy with both for now, and hopeful that each will continue to get better. I’ve committed to a year’s membership, so time will tell.

And no, my ball has not gone shooting across the room. Yet. Time will certainly tell that story, too.

Cheers!

Heather's Signature -- Often Charming

NOTE: Petticoat Fair is the best place EVER in the history of bras to buy them. I have always HATED BRA SHOPPING WITH THE BURNING PASSION OF A THOUSAND SUNS and let me tell you, at Petticoat Fair they make it quick and easy. They fit you correctly, they bring you what you want, and you will look good, ladies.  Bras that do what you need them to, without looking industrial-strength. Pretty, lacy ones (if you’re into that). Go see.

This is not a sponsored post. All links provided in this post are purely meant to be helpful.