I’ve never had a problem motivating myself to exercise. Sports were always a huge part of my life growing up and in college, I fulfilled that same competitive need with spin classes and later, through marathon training. I would push myself so hard, however, that I’d often just come home and want to sit around the rest of the day, too tired to do much of anything else, and would snack on whatever (usually carbs) I could get my hands on to try and regain some needed energy. And if I skipped a day of working out or tried to do a “lighter” workout, my muscles would be so tight and achy that I thought killing myself in spin classes was the only way to go.
While I was marathon training, I started doing a few online Barre3 classes as a way to cross train, especially when my hip flexors starting causing a lot of pain. I loved the Barre3 philosophies of finding balance, working smarter, not necessarily harder, mindfulness, but I wasn’t convinced that I could actually get a sufficient workout by only doing Barre3.
During my concussion recovery process, I began to rely more and more on Barre3 as a way to get a semblance of a workout in without raising my heart rate too high or moving my head too much, as those were big no-nos. It wasn’t until I participated in the 2015 January month-long challenge, however, that this new mindful way of working out really clicked with me, and I really started embracing this new lifestyle.
Still, I wanted to try and get back into spin and running shape, so once my body allowed, I pushed myself just for the piece of mind that I could do those exercises if I wanted to. But the same joy and fulfillment I had once found in those exercise just wasn’t there anymore.
So, that summer, I let my gym membership expire and committed myself solely to Barre3, completing 4 60 minute online workouts and 2-3 30-40 minute ones per week, and, just as importantly, made it a priority to adhere to the Barre3 way of eating: whole foods, reducing processed sugar, almost entirely eliminating alcohol, and trying to really listen to my body when it came to eating. Since I could also now walk to work (hallelujah!), I also tried to just move more throughout my day and get at least 10,000 steps.
And over the next year, without really trying to, I lost 15 pounds, doing what my prior self would have thought of as “less intense” workouts. And more importantly, I had more energy, I was stronger, more aware of my body’s needs, and more able to trust in the journey, knowing that this was a practice, and not something that would ever be perfect.
So, this summer, I’ll be committing to Barre3‘s 3-month long Barre3 Anywhere program, mostly at home using their online workouts and popping by a few studios (I already have plans to visit the one in D.C.!) when I’m traveling. After a stressful end to the semester, I’m really looking forward to reevaluating some of my food and exercise habits and just connect to a community of likeminded people.
I’d love if you joined me–it’s always so much easier and more rewarding to have others participate along with you and if you’re like me, may just change your entire relationship with exercise.
Read more about the program here (it kicks off tomorrow)!