At 46, my body certainly doesn’t behave like it did 13 years ago at 33.
We’re one month away from the pageant, and I’ll be honest, I’m frustrated by how hard I’ve worked on my nutrition and fitness for “so little” progress.
I’m not seeing the progress on the scale. I am seeing some progress in my clothes (although my abs are ALWAYS a challenge)! I’m noticing progress in my fitness apparel and strength!
Yesterday in my class at Barre Las Vegas, I was so fortunate to meet a barre “newbie” – someone there for her first class. She was a rockstar and did awesomely, and yet at the same time, I was reminded of the beginning of my barre journey in 2009.
I had been taking pilates for years, but I was at a point where my weight had crept back up, I was NOT healthy, and I was unhappy in my skin! At a party one night in my Carlsbad, CA neighbourhood, I was chatting with one of my Pilates duet partners whom I hadn’t seen in a while. Her entire look had changed in the past six months, and I had to know what she was doing to create the change.
She had just begun teaching barre at one of the three barre studios in all of San Diego County.
Barre? What is this barre you speak of?
Imagine taking some of the hardest parts of Pilates and trying to do them standing up – on one leg… That’s a great cursory description of Barre. But I had to see for myself!
The next morning I, and my neighbour, Georgina, headed off to barre class. OMG!!! It was SO hard. Pushing up into the barre, I couldn’t get my oblique to lift my leg into that pretzel thing that they kept trying to tell me to do. My oblique just didn’t work that way! I couldn’t get my brain to tell it what to do in such a way that it understood and complied!
At the end of class
Georgina and I walked out, and we looked at each other with amazement.
I said, “Oh my gosh. That is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to come back here.”
Georgina laughed and said, “Oh my gosh. That is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m never coming back here!”
For the next days, my quads and hamstrings hurt so badly that I had a hard time getting down the stairs or trying to sit on the toilet or office chair. And don’t even get me started on how my abs felt every time I laughed! It all was PAINFUL! And I loved every single moment of it!
Once I could walk again, I promptly went back to that barre studio, gave them my credit card and paid $230 for a month of classes. I did my best to drag my tush there 4-5 times a week if I could. I tried to stop on my way home each night after my corporate finance job because I knew if I went home first, I might not make it back out.
I was BLOWN away by how quickly my body changed. My weight had crept back up from sitting at a desk and using wine to cope with stress and anxiety. It was at that time I also coined my phrase “the upward or downward spiral.” You see, once I started working my tail off at barre class, I certainly wasn’t going to leave and have pizza and cake. I was going to have nuts and salad and steak. Once you start making ONE good decision, you start making a SERIES of good decisions. On the flip side, once you allow good habits to slip, it’s easy to fall off the wagon altogether
In just a few months, I went from a size 10/12 to a size 4/6. It was unlike any fitness gains I had ever experienced.
I became SUCH a barre junkie that I opened Barre Studios number 4 and 6 in San Diego County in 2010 and 2011. I left my finance career that I started at 19 years old, and launched fitness studios – something I had NEVER done before. It certainly worried my parents a bit…
When we moved to Vegas in 2017, I sold the business. I worked from home and just truly didn’t leave the house very often for things other than Junior League! The nearest barre studio took me 30 minutes to get there – and it was just TOUGH to commit to – so I didn’t.
I started attending regularly at the end of 2019, and then COVID… Nevada required masks indoors – and barre class with a mask was a bit tough, so I just stopped going again.
Fast forward a few years and…
Competing in the USOA Mrs Nevada pageant has been all about personal development for me… Pushing myself out of my comfort zone and forcing myself to make BIG gains!! Much of that was in how I was taking care of myself. Knowing I’ll be putting on a swimsuit on stage meant I needed to get serious!!!
A month out – I’m still FAR from where I wish I were. It is SO frustrating when you know what to do. You know you’re doing everything right, and you’re still not seeing the gains. The scale hasn’t moved at all!
I know I’ve gained muscle and am losing fat. I can tell that my body is tighter and more compact. I can tell that my tushie is lifting! (You’ll know a barre tush when you see one!) But UGH – this has not been quick or easygoing!
So, what’s my plan been the past few months when we’ve been home? And how is it going to change these next 29 days?
- CLEAN eating – heavy protein.
- Little to no processed carbs.
- SMALL portions
- One Meal a Day
- Anti-inflammatory diet
- MORE Fiber
- 4-5 barre classes a week plus ideally 15k steps a day.
- Wine one day a week – premeasured into 2 glasses and no more! 😉
For those that wanted to see it – this was my original before and after when I found Barre in 2009 and about 3 months into studio ownership. Quite a change…
Before I started this journey, I took one before photo, one photo before I got serious, and I will be taking some after photos. This time I started from a size 6, so the gains AREN’T going to be as pronounced as when I had so much more to lose.
But to the ladies at Barre Las Vegas who come up and push me to lift my heels a bit higher, to lower down a little bit lower, to make the move just a little bit smaller – the muscle gains and the compact body is to do every one of you who pushes me harder than I’d EVER push myself. You make me smile and laugh in class. You ask us, “But did you die?” There is nothing better than a fabulous community of women committed to self-improvement!
Yesterday, the title of my last post was Progress Over Perfection. That’s kind of my life mantra at this point in my 40s.
Some people will like me. Some won’t.
Some will agree with me. Some won’t.
Some days I’ll do things “right.” Some days I won’t!
For now – I’m just enjoying the journey of trying to be a little bit better today than yesterday.