I usually keep my workout routine to myself, but one of the first things I did when I started doing barre five months ago was Google people’s barre results. So this post is for you guys, who are considering barre and who are moseying around the Internet looking for a definitive answer to whether they should try out their local barre studio. Guys, do it. Barre has not only improved my body, it has also improved my energy level, my posture, my motivation, my outlook on getting and staying healthy, and it has also introduced me to some incredible friends.
It’s not fun for me to look at the picture on the left. Back in high school, I played two sports and exercised for at least an hour a day, often more. But when I got to college, I barely worked out, I ate at dining halls and ordered late-night food to my dorm, and I drank a lot of beer. My body was in shock, and I ended up gaining 40 pounds throughout those four years. By senior year, I had let myself go and it was depressing to me, but instead of doing anything about it, I just wore baggier shirts that would hide my stomach. After graduation, I made the decision to move to New Orleans, which was a phenomenal decision for me as a person, but a horrible one for my waistline. New Orleans has some of the best food in the country, and most of it is fried. Therefore, my weight didn’t improve.
Fast track to when Stephen proposed in Jan. ’16. I knew that I needed to lose the weight. My exterior didn’t match my interior. I’m such a happy person, but I got really down on myself when I had to go through 8-10 outfits just to find one I felt comfortable in. I didn’t want to feel that doubt about myself on my wedding day. So, I signed up for a gym membership. I started off with the treadmill and/or elliptical and I absolutely hated it. I get so bored doing 30 minutes of cardio unless it’s incorporated into a sport. I dreaded going to the gym every day, and I didn’t want to feel that way. So, I decided maybe a class at the gym would work for me. I signed up for a dance fitness class. It was fun, but I didn’t really feel like I was getting a workout at all, and none of the women in my class talked to me. They came, danced, and left. It didn’t have that family feel that I wanted, and it wasn’t challenging enough.
Then I found barre.
I signed up for a free trial at the barre studio near me, Barre Beauty, and the first class kicked. my. butt. I was working muscles that I never knew existed. I was doing push ups, planks, squats, all while actually having a good time. How is that possible, right? In my experience, and with my barre studio, everyone there is so friendly and bonding over health and happiness. Everyone wanted to be there, no one was begrudgingly or unwillingly going through the motions. Also, since I’ve started, the studio has held meal prep parties, nutrition seminars, a “sweaters to swimsuits” challenge, a taco night, blackout barre (with glow sticks and black lights), and other events that keep you interested and involved in the community. I wrote this recently for my barre studio, which sums it up perfectly:
“Barre Beauty isn’t just another gym or studio. It’s a place of solitude and inclusiveness where you get to be yourself, while working to better yourself. You’ll sweat, shake, and burn calories, but you’ll also laugh, dance, and make lasting friendships. You’ll learn about yourself and your body’s capabilities, leaving feeling empowered and strong. You’ll tone the outside while letting your inner beauty shine through. When you enter Barre Beauty, you enter a judgement-free zone where we all come together for one purpose: wellness and betterment of our true selves.”
Side note for one second:
For those of you who don’t know what barre is, it’s created around dance positioning from ballet and combined with Pilates, using small movements and fatiguing each muscle group, which allows you to quickly burn calories and tone each muscle group without bulking. In class, we break the class into four time slots and do arms, legs, glutes, and core. We use small weights (I use 3 lbs.), resistance bands, and weighted balls to improve results.
At the end of each class, you feel like you got your butt kicked, but you enjoyed that butt kicking, if that makes sense haha.
I love staying at barre for the improvements to myself physically, but I also stay for the mental improvements. The confidence in myself, the willingness to exercise, the joy of being healthy, and the enjoyment I get for taking time for myself, has been unmatched by any other program/studio/environment I’ve been a part of. But since I can’t show you those improvements in photos, I’ll stick to letting you see my physical changes:
Here’s a look at my three month results:
You can already tell that in three months I was losing inches off of my waist. And the best part is, when you see results, you become addicted. I attend a barre class 5-6 times a week, and it feels weird on days that I don’t go.
Here’s a look at my four month results:
Lastly, here’s where I’m at today, five months after starting:
So far, in these five months I’ve lost:
- 6 inches from my waist
- 4.5 inches from my hips
- 2 inches from my right thigh
- 3 inches from my left thigh (less dominant, and was bigger, now they’re even!)
- 1.5 inches of muscle in my bicep
In just five short months, my results make me so happy. I know I have a long way to go to where I want to be, but finding a fitness family and being able to stick to a workout and actually love it is huge for me. It’s made me get over so many hurdles that previously kept me from being healthy and looking/feeling my best.
Stay tuned for more barre results in the future!
Tried barre or are hoping to? Let me know in the comments below!