Are you finding your groove in Week 3? Our team members definitely are. Read on to see how they’re staying strong through slip-ups, what changes they’re noticing and most excited about, their favorite recipes, and more. How about you? Do you have fewer cravings? More energy? Let us know in the comments below!
Before starting the Challenge I set a goal to lose 7 inches and 8 pounds. At the start of Week 3, I had already lost 6.75 inches and 5 pounds! The voice of negative self-talk is getting quieter and quieter, and in its place I’ve found new found empowerment. This new mental freedom has even given me the confidence to try new things! I had been wanting to try boxing for a very long time, and over the weekend my husband and I took a boxing class together. It was so fun and so hard. There were a good amount of things I couldn’t do, but I had the perspective to not beat myself up because of my body’s boundaries. I felt very empowered to know options that did work for me! I simply did knee marches while others were doing crazy leg lifts. I logged five workouts (four of which were barre3), took care of my sick baby and husband, helped sleep-train my daughter to sleep twelve glorious hours a night (and all the parents said, “amen!”), kept my house tidy, cooked every day, genuinely engaged, and fell deeply in love with my life. I even started journaling, began teaching myself calligraphy, and decided to go back to school! Barre3 has been such a godsend for me. It has become a launching pad to a whole other dimension of my life, and I’m so, so grateful.
OK. It’s time to let the cat out the bag. I have a bit of a confession. I am a…perfectionist. I live a joyful life among my color-coded to-do lists, endless calendar reminders, and days filled of “I did it” or “I didn’t do it.” These past few weeks I’ve viewed my Challenge journey through the lens of to-do boxes. This past week, I didn’t do my 4 60-minute barre3 classes; I only made it to three. My last box went unchecked. It was easy to feel like I failed. But through this Challenge, I’m coming to the realization that I need to look at what I have been doing. What boxes am I checking? I haven’t eaten packaged/processed food for three whole weeks! Let me tell you, that is no small feat for this Jersey girl. I’m finding time to go for a walk with my dog or a jog to my favorite tunes, when normally I’d be glued to the couch. Rather than staring at my phone at night, I’ve been reading. I’ve read over 1,000 pages so far this month. WOW! When I start to look and what I am doing,rather than the boxes I’m not checking, I realize that I feel stronger. I feel healthier. While some boxes are going unchecked, I am achieving. Bring it, week 4!
So by this week in the Challenge, I’m feeling stronger than I did just a few weeks ago. My glutes and core feel stronger, and the added bonus is that my lower back, which has a tendency to flare up, hasn’t felt this good in months. I’m motivated to keep this up because I’m seeing the benefits from healthy eating and not drinking, but I’m most happy about feeling less pain in my body. I’ll never have a six-pack—but that’s not the sign of strength. To me, a sign that I’m feeling strong is a balanced, happy body. Happy body = Happy Dino. I also found new excitement about my own barre3 practice because I’m getting out in front of instructors that I don’t normally get a chance to take classes from, and I’m absorbing all their goodness too!
This week I’m looking back on the myth I once believed: that I need to kill myself every time I workout. I’m totally the person who always believed that if you’re not dripping with sweat, feeling like you want to pass out, and totally drained, you didn’t have a good workout. As you guys have heard, I really like my treats, so I know I need to commit to working out consistently to keep myself in check. What I’m loving about the Challenge is that I’ve finally realized that I can do barre3, modify the class, and still get an amazing workout! I know everyone has heard that and I was a little disbelieving at first. After taking my 4-5 classes a week this month I’m really realizing that barre3 is what I need to stay strong and see progress. I definitely feel SO much more toned. I also feel so much stronger—I can ski for (almost) 8 hours straight and not have to take breaks to rest my legs. I’m so happy about that, and it’s what’s pushing me to stay strong the rest of the month and beyond!
This week the Challenge diet is starting to show its benefits. The absence of sugar highs and crashes, which I’m especially sensitive to since I have autoimmune issues, has me sleeping better. Because I’m so well-rested, I’ve been consistently focused enough that I’ve been able to cut off caffeine entirely this week. I forgot how relaxed mornings are without a stress-inducing caffeine hit! I’ve been more relaxed in the evenings, as well, by watching Planet Earth at nights instead of sports or dramas. Makes me wonder if crowding out trash TV and social media with documentaries and books is worth trying for the next Challenge. Body-wise, I’m feeling pretty strong! Excited to head to Mount Bachelor this weekend, which is my favorite place to ski in Oregon.
I cannot believe we’re already in Week 3 of the Challenge. This week I started out pretty exhausted. I had every intention of starting my week with a 6 a.m. class on Monday morning, but the cold weather got the best of me, and I stayed in bed a little late. My schedule was a little lighter this week, so getting in four classes was easy. The 10-minute online workout was a perfect little break when I was working from home this week. I’m still struggling when it comes to eating clean. Cooking a healthy meal for one always seems so daunting to me. I always resort to grabbing something that is faster to make and not as healthy. My main focus this week was to focus on eating healthy by making multiple barre3 recipes and drinking lots of water. I fell in love with Chia Seed Pudding for breakfast. It’s light but filling at the same time, and I feel great after I eat it. Dinner is always the hardest for me because I’m usually tired and don’t want to cook. I made two different barre3 salads this week: the Spinach, Apple and Pecan Salad and the Warm Kale Salad. Both were super easy to make after a long day. Going to class so consistently for three weeks definitely has me feeling stronger and starting to see improvements.
There’s this amazing thing about being in a room with a bunch of other beautiful human beings who are pushing themselves (with you) through the temporary (good) pain that our instructor is guiding us through. The community here makes me feel so welcome and so strong, and I’m so thankful for our fearless leaders! Whether it’s Brittany’s butt-burning class, CJ’s amazing squats, laughing through the burn guided by Caitlyn’s high energy and pep, or Dino’s amazing music (and diamonds) getting me in the zone, I know I’m going to find and push through my limits. I feel unlimited. My body is getting stronger, and my energy is soaring! The stronger I get, the more my form is improving, allowing me to optimize my workout and feel results more quickly.
I’m feeling really good about the groove I’m in. While I’ve allowed myself some liberties (a few almond-milk lattes in the morning—hello! I have a teething 9-month-old), I have stuck to a clean-eating plan, tons of water, and four to five studio classes a week. One thing I’m bumming about is my lack of fresh air. I try and get 30 minutes outside, rain or shine, every day. I’m an Air sign and crave the outdoors. This is something I’m going to try and make more of a priority as I am feeling the Vitamin D deficit during this gray Portland winter!
Finally. Finally everything is feeling really, really good. I’m back in the swing of work, meal prep, workouts…and feeling #balance. I’m finally not painfully sore after teaching or taking class, and I think I’ve made it past the sugar detox stage! I am craving my workouts, and my bum isn’t dragging at 3 p.m. every day like it was over the past couple of weeks. I’m less dependant on my matcha almond-milk lattes, and that feels really good, too. I remember being a little cray over the holidays when I didn’t have my special green tea, and I realized I was sort of addicted to it—and it wasn’t a good look. I feel like I can breathe and relax this week, and while the holidays are fun, they’re also super stressful and they take a number on my sleep, cortisol levels, skin, etc. I love you barre3.
I finally feel like I am back in the swing of things, though I’m still not following the nutrition plan 100%. I’m actually trying to gain some weight, and I’m doing that guy thing where I just eat anything and everything. I do notice a difference, though, in my mood when I eat whole foods and when I eat junk. I’m a lot happier with whole foods, and I tend to sleep better. I’ve been committed to taking four classes and doing the 10-minute online workout each week. I’m also making an effort to get out of my comfort zone and try new forms of exercise. Last week I did boxing, and this week I’ll be taking a hip hop class. I’ll be teaching a ton of classes this week, so finding time to take might be difficult. I’ll make sure to plan out my classes for the week and put them into my calendar. When something is in my calendar, I’m more likely to commit to it.
If you haven’t joined the barre3 Challenge yet, you’re welcome to jump onboard at any time. We’re keeping our Challenge Hub up for one more month so you can get stronger, more balanced, and feel good in February. Get access for free once you subscribe to our online workouts.