All about barre-style workouts, what inspires me and tips on healthy eating for life

Why the barre n9ne challenge changed my perspective. By Jolene Bonina

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It might sound dramatic, but honestly, the barre n9ne challenge has changed my life in many ways, and most certainly, my perspective. You may be wondering how a workout could have that affect on me, but it has, and here’s why.

  • I view food as fuel, not happiness. I never thought I had an emotional tie to food, but going into this challenge, I most certainly did. I thought sticking with my ‘number’ would be insanely difficult in the summer, especially, where there are cookouts abounding, drinks aflowing and goodies everywhere you look. But with Tanya’s guidance, I was able to navigate many cookouts and weddings too, sticking within my number (or as close as possible) without feeling deprived. This was one of my biggest a-ha moments and is why I plan to stick with this way of eating forever. It doesn’t end with the challenge. This is a lifestyle change (and yes, I was still able to fit in my beloved wine on weekends and not starve myself. It is possible!!)
  • I’ll never go to a gym again. (except the dreadmill in the throes of winter). I’ve already canceled my gym membership, and will only open a new one (when I move next month) soley for the dreadmill in the winter. This is a huge departure for me. I have had a gym membership for as long as I can remember. I remember moving to Beverly almost 5 years ago and trying to ‘time’ when one membership would end and when the next would start, so I wouldn’t have a gap in memberships. I went to my boyfriend’s gym at his apartment today just to stay active while he did a weight workout. Damn, I was bored. There were no machines that interested me, nothing. I just wanted to do plies and maybe even some dreaded love to hate planks. barre n9ne is where I wanted to be. It is where I plan to be, 4-5 days a week, sticking with the best and hardest workouts I have ever done.
  • I am starting to love, not hate, my body. Prior to the barre n9ne challenge, I was heading for a dark place, mentally, when it came to my body image. I tore myself apart. I hated how I looked and didn’t know if it was because I was comparing myself to others, or if I had actually gained weight. I didn’t want to admit that maybe I had, but looking back at pictures prior to the challenge and now, it is clear. I most certainly did gain a few, but beyond that, I was like a hamster spinning on a wheel. My workouts were not effective. I was not seeing results. Week one of barre n9ne? Results. Need I say more?
  • I don’t miss spinning, lunges or squats. At all! When Tanya laid out our plan when we started the challenge, she requested that we do not do any other classes except hers (a very fair and valid request, given the goal was to do HER classes to see results) and do not do lunges or squats. She swore by her Legs class and as much as I was thrilled to start that class, I clung to lunges and squats at first. I panicked a little in my head, thinking that my legs wouldn’t see results without those two exercises (the ‘gym staple’). Damn, was I wrong. My legs have never looked better and I am amazed that I can even say that and believe it when I say it!

I could honestly go on and on, but I will leave you one piece of advice for those of you considering the challenge.

Immerse yourself.

Surrender to the challenge and live it, breathe it and commit to it. You won’t be dissapointed.

And, if there is any reason you are wavering against doing it, please, GO FOR IT, it will be worth every penny, every  bead of sweat, every minute of pain. (pain in a good way!). Trust me.

Tanya, thank you for giving my sister and me the challenge of a lifetime. I firmly believe you meet everyone for a reason and we met you at exactly the right time in our lives. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the barre n9ne community, to have met you and Julianna and the other fabulous instructors, and to be what I believe is just the beginning of something huge.

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Author: Jolene

I'm 34. I’m divorced (almost five years later…it no longer defines me, but I hold it proudly as a sign of strength, determination and new beginnings). I’m a runner. A barre (n9ne) instructor/geek/devotee. A sister. A lover and a wife (to M…a man I met at just the right time in my journey and is truly the man handpicked for me, the man I’m meant to be with…forever). Join me on my journey, as it unfolds, sharing my thoughts on all things life, from running (a half marathon dabbler and ‘never say never’ attitude towards races), to my experience as an instructor at barre n9ne (my passion and addiction!) and healthy and fit lifestyle of choice, to choosing happiness and keeping perspective on life. This is also my haven to (sometimes) share my experiences in love, and where that journey takes us, 3+ years strong…and anything else that inspires me to push, sweat, and smile.

5 thoughts on “Why the barre n9ne challenge changed my perspective. By Jolene Bonina

  1. Pingback: Parallels. « Determined to Be

  2. I’m still jealous I don’t live near you so I can take these classes too!

    So happy to witness how this program has changed your life, jobo. I look forward to seeing the results in person one day!

  3. Pingback: Instructor Spotlight – Stefanie! «

  4. Pingback: Instructor Spotlight: Jolene! «

  5. Pingback: the story behind the barre n9ne® 60 day challenge |

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