I recently finished the Barre Blend Program I started eight weeks ago as the Coronavirus was starting to settle in and halt our lives as we know them. Aligning this program with a global pandemic was not on my list of intentions for this year but ultimately it did align – very complimentary I might add. For anyone who has ever completed a program like Barre Blend, you know the feeling of accomplishment, sense of pride, and congratulatory achievement you give to yourself when it is all said and done. Completing this program became the culmination of almost two years’ worth of work on my health and fitness journey which started at another turning point in my life.
I needed hernia repair surgery.
Early in 2018 it was determined that I needed to have surgery to repair an inguinal hernia that was most likely caused by birthing three amazing little stinkers. Post-op, my surgeon would tell my husband that this hernia existed since my own welcome to this world, but exacerbated by my latest pregnancy. While I was glad to be headed in the direction of getting some much-needed relief from the pain this was causing me during workouts and normal everyday activities like walking – I did what every Mom does and kept pushing off the inevitable, making excuses like work and personal life events that would have needed to be adjusted to accommodate this surgery.
Finally – in the Fall of 2018 I had had enough. I was halfway through 80 Day Obsession and had already completed my first round of LIIFT4 when I realized I could not sustain the level of activity, energy and flexibility that I was used to, pre-hernia issues. If you’re an avid and loyal Team Beachbody member like I am, then I am speaking your language. If not, then check out the links for each of these programs. Needless to say, my frustration with struggling through workouts I knew I could perform better at but wasn’t capable of at the time, became the catalyst for me scheduling the appointment and doing the damn thing.
November 2018 arrived and at that point, I had managed to lose about 10 lbs so that I wouldn’t feel terribly bad for taking 6-8 weeks off for recovery but I was nowhere near where I wanted to be weight-wise. I’m not the kind of person who enjoys slowing down. It is a forced action that I have to be mindful of at all times. So, the realization that I would have to take it easy for some time took a moment for me to process. But in the end I understood that the outcome would actually make my progression to goal a lot more effective.
Surgery came and went…and it was successful. So did the New Year and 2019. But I was a little bit of a mess as a result of the surgery, the downtime and the loss of progress. Finding consistency is something that takes time and tweaking. Some people can fall into a pace that just clicks after one day of implementing their plan. At this time in my fitness journey I was traveling 2-3 days a week and no week was like the next – my ‘schedule’ was defined as ever-changing and never the same. No two days were alike. And that can be difficult and frustrating when trying to build consistency…if it’s not a priority. Add in a relocation from the Nashville area to South Florida and it’s a recipe for complete chaos if no prior plan or path was in place. I’ve lost weight before, I’ve crushed fitness goals before and I have relocated before – just not all at the same time. So, while I was being very hard on myself – I was simultaneously allowing myself some grace without completely giving myself an ‘out’. Still – I longed for the body I knew I was capable of having, back.
As we settled into our new home and community – our lives slowly started to show signs of a return to ‘normal’ and a life we recognized – just in a different spot in the country. It was time for me to get serious. I began forcing consistency back into my world even if it meant making 5 AM workouts a “thing” in order to do so. My husband is an incredible motivator and his steadfast commitment to this journey alongside me is what has helped me get to where I am today. In acknowledging that – I also realize there are so many women who don’t have that support system in place at home, which makes it that much harder to push through. Those women who do, are my heroes.
The fourth quarter of 2019 was a solid performance on my behalf but I knew in 2020 I wanted to kick things into high gear. I doubled down on my health and fitness goals and started incorporating time restrictive eating as well as consistent workouts. Game. Changer.
Meet Me at the Barre
I typically wait for programs to become free before I try them out. No shame. I’m a Mom of 3 who has to pay for a lot of crap for the kids’ activities, keep them clothed, buy groceries…you get the drift. I love the accessibility and freedom I have at which I can utilize all of the programs Beachbody has to offer – but I don’t typically like to pay anything extra for them. But I made an exception for Elise Joan’s, Barre Blend Program. Call it what you may but there was just something about her that I was drawn to; her genuine passion for helping others seemed to exude through the iPad screen into my garage and I was intrigued at how chipper and excited she was to share this program and her story. Her story is what hooked me. I signed up and paid for the only program outside of my normal membership and 21 Day Fix, since 2009. I’m so glad I did.
The daily affirmations, the non-stop workouts that build from 25 to 30 to 40 minutes in length were challenging – and I come from a dance background. While I found myself being able to ‘level up’ from the get-go…it was a workout! Each day made me stronger, more fluid, more in-tune with my body and more focused on achieving certain goals like adding a releve to all of the barre exercises as added tension to push myself. I documented every day of the program on my Instagram stories because I wanted to keep myself accountable and I wanted others to be able to see how inspiring these daily cards were to helping me stay committed to the goals I’d set which also spilled over into my professional and personal life.
Reading, I am DRIVEN, I am WORTHY, I am ADVENTUROUS…I am PASSIONATE had such an impact on reframing my perspective for how I would approach each workout. There were days when I wanted nothing more than to go sit on the couch and watch TV or play with my kids in the pool because it had been a long day at work or my morning was flooded with calls and I had slept in – hello COVID and Quarantine life.. But I knew that I needed it for my mental health and wellness – and during this time of coronavirus it has been especially imperative. So I pushed through each of the workouts and by the end of Phase 2 found myself getting into a groove.
Much like I have in the past when I have completed programs like 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme: both of the real time versions of these programs, LIIFT4, 80 Day Obsession, P90X, Insanity and Transform20, I began to reflect on my experience as the last week of the program approached. Here are a few of my takeaways that helped me gain physical strength and stamina but that also provided clarity in my professional and personal life which needed it more than I realized.
- we all lose our balance from time to time. in life, it is inevitable. but it is trying in the first place, getting back up and finding our balance again that matters. that’s what makes our transformations and transitions impactful.
- show me your attitude is just not about a graceful dance move. it is about moxie. strength. determination. standing up for yourself and choosing yourself first so that you can care for and love others in the way you want without feeling drained. it’s about confidence.
- stretching is not just a physical term for lengthening your body and preserving your muscle’s viability and strength. it’s about pushing yourself beyond the limits of where we normally feel comfortable, where we reside without any issues, waves or bumps in the road.
- grace comes in all different forms and aspects of our lives. to be graceful with ourselves outside of the fluidity of movements is something i’m learning. it is the gift i work daily to give myself because in life, grace is something we all can use a whole lot more of.
- passion for the fitness journey i’m on has seeped into my professional life, driving me to be more successful and care about the work i do.
Eight weeks of work might not change your life but they can be life-changing. Meeting Elise at the Barre five days a week gave me much needed perspective outside of the physical demands the program called for and it came at a time that was crucial to my overall health and well-being. I combined her workouts with LEAN with Amanda Nighbert‘s program on time restricted eating and creating well-balanced meal plans for myself and my family. Combining the two really made the overall journey more results driven and the progress I made was visually evident.
When I look back to November 2018, reflecting on the seasons of life that have happened since my surgery, I am proud...
2020 will still be my year. And it can be yours too. I’ve cycled through so many fitness programs and journeys throughout my motherhood and even pre-motherhood. Each one has taught me something different in the moment in time of which it was experienced. I’ve settled at a point of happiness, health, acceptance and strength when it comes to my personal, professional and fitness life as well as drive, resilience and passion for my goals. I’ve made ME a priority and unabashedly so. In taking these steps, making these progressions and choosing to find meaning, clarity and purpose from the journeys we set out on, we make improvements to our lives that impact us well beyond ballet’s first position. We find ourselves. And that is something I will support and champion every time….even if it takes meeting at the barre.
-Confessions of a Corporate Mom
*this piece is not sponsored by any of the programs linked. I’ve been a member of the Beachbody community since 2009 and have enjoyed the programs and content they put out in regards to fitness, nutrition and supplements but this piece is in no way affiliated with trying to get anyone signed on as a member or coach. I’m just sharing my experience.