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


4 Comments

5 Questions with…Rebecca McCabe!

Our  5 Questions’ series continues! Meet Rebecca McCabe. She is a 60-day challenger in our Andover location and we chose to feature her for a few reasons!

First, she has seen AMAZING results in such a brief amount of time doing the barre n9ne® 60 Day Challenge. She began on June 1, 2012 and has lost 12.4 pounds and 13.75 inches! She has a completely new mindset and outlook on her healthy, fit, and happy lifestyle! She, like some of our new challengers when they first start out, was wary of actually eating *more* calories than she previously had been. She worried about gaining weight.  It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s truly the opposite! Fuel your body with real, wholesome foods, stay active (10,000+ steps a day!) and work up a sweat in any of our fabulous barre n9ne® studio classes, and the inches and pounds will literally come off.

Rebecca is a gleaming example of this! We are so proud of her, for trusting us, the approach, and going full-force into the challenge, seeing amazing results and realizing she can have things like PEANUT BUTTER again! Congratulations Rebecca!

~~

Why did you decide to do the barre n9ne challenge (and when did you start)? 

I started the 60 Day Challenge in June, about a month after I started to take classes in Andover and I never imagining the impact it would have on my life.  After my first class in Andover, I knew I was in love with barre.  I’ve danced all my life, and these classes were right up my alley. I’ve tried countless times to lose weight, sometimes with success and sometimes not.  I would definitely categorize myself as a yo-yo dieter: always being on a diet, or “starting my diet tomorrow.”  As I learned about the challenge, it just seemed so different from anything I’d ever tried, a life changing experience, not just a 60-day experience.  Seeing as my previous attempts at losing weight had failed, I had no doubt that I wanted to give this a try.

What were you doing previously (if anything) for fitness?

My main form of fitness prior to the challenge was dance; dancing once a week for about an hour and a half (my favorite hour and half of the week)!  An hour and a half of dance is great, but exercising once a week, I know just doesn’t cut it!

I was also an on again, off again runner.  I would start to run for 2-3 weeks everyday, then I’d get bored and stop for a long time.  My expectation was that running would help me lose weight, and when I didn’t see results, I would just stop.  I didn’t really have any real goals with running; I was just running without a purpose.

I had a mentality of “all or nothing.” I would work out really hard (everyday), and track calories (1,000/day).  However, the minute I stopped doing one thing, I would give up entirely, in large part to the fact that my exercise and calorie regime was completely unrealistic and unsustainable.

Did you have any reservations going into the challenge? Or any skepticism?

I remember being in the meeting for the first challenge as Tanya was going over the program.  I believe she said: I’ll start with the easiest step of the challenge and lead to the hardest.  The first three steps seemed like they were going to be challenging, but I wouldn’t say I was skeptical.  I recognize that they were all very essential parts of a successful lifestyle, and would help me attain the changes I was looking to make.  The 4th step however gave me many reservations:

  • STEP 1: 64 oz of water….PLAIN WATER! I am someone who NEVER EVER consumed PLAIN water.  I have endless packages of various Crystal Light packs stocked in my pantry because I used them all the time, even carrying them in my purse to restaurants.  The very thought of having to drink 64 oz. of this bland substance, seemed like an impossible mission….and this was supposed to be the easiest part?  I had some reservations about my ability to complete this task, but I completely understood the rationale.  With determination I knew it could be done!
  • STEP 2: Take 10,000 steps/day! I actually thought that this part of the challenge would be easy for me.  I’m a physical therapist at a hospital, so I figured I’m moving around for a good portion of the day, so that’s not too bad…..but after putting my fitbit (pedometer) on for a day, I quickly learned that 10,000 steps/day is a lot more than I had anticipated. I realized how much of the day I spent sitting down for one reason or another.  This too was going to be a challenge that I knew would just require me becoming more aware of how much I was moving, and making an effort to get up and about more.
  • STEP 3: No artificial sweeteners. Well, aside from the 4 packs a day of Crystal Light that I was consuming, I knew that this part of the challenge would NOT be a problem for me.  I’m not a coffee or tea drinker, so the only thing that I had to really get rid of the the crystal light, and if I have to drink 64 oz. of plain water, then there would be no need for artificial sweeteners.
  • STEP 4: STICK TO YOUR NUMBER!!!!  And this is where I had all my skepticism.  When I first started this challenge I was eating 1,000-1,100 calories/day.  I had “dieted” before (in college) eating 1,000 calories/day and lost a lot of weight, which I later gained back.  Leading up to the challenge I was back to “dieting.”  I had lost 6 pounds in 1 month, eating at this number!  So, in the back of mind I contemplated not changing my number, not even addressing how much I was eating, just sticking to STEPS 1 – 3, while eating 1,000 calories/day, figuring I’d definitely have success. It’s such a hard concept to grasp: eat more, and lose more.  I just thought I was the exception…. “yes, everyone else can eat their number, but I’ve done this for so long now (eating low calories) that my body’s just used to it, and that if I try to eat more, my body will want to store it!” I was convinced that this would never work for me. I did in the end decide to discuss my number with the staff, who gave me a number, a number that was a complete compromise, because my reservations about eating high calories was so big.  About a week into the challenge, as I started becoming more active on the facebook page it became clear to me that I really needed to take the full plunge, and give this challenge my all.  Why put all the effort into most of the challenge, if I wasn’t going give it 100%!

What have your results been – both physical and mental?

Physically:

During my first challenge I lost 10 pounds, and 11.75 inches, fitting into clothes I’d never thought I’d get back into.  Less then a year ago I was digging through my closet trying to find something to wear for a job interview, and none of my nice clothes fit.  Today, I put those same clothes on, and not only can I get them over my hips, but they are now falling off!

Mentally:

I wouldn’t say that I’m a new person, I’m just a better me.  Somewhere on these journey, I’ve become more confident, happy, and developed the mentality that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!  This challenge has quite literally changed my life: the way I feel, how I eat and look at food.  I went from being a “dieter” to being a healthy person! I started as someone who didn’t enjoy going out because of how I looked, and now I’m someone who enjoys being out and about and can hold my head high, and with confidence in who I’ve become.

What was your biggest a-ha moment during the challenge?

I’ve had a couple of a-ha moments!  First, was probably when I saw my family for the first time since starting the challenge (about 5 weeks into it).  Their first comments being “where did all of you go!”  It was that moment, combined with my half-way point weigh-in (2 days later), that provided me with the “a-ha”…eating more really can make you lose more.  I was beaming inside, and couldn’t get over that feeling of success; that feeling that make these positive life changes were all worth it.

My second a-ha moment was going out to lunch at Cheesecake Factory.  Going out to eat was something that I’d dreaded, thinking I was going to watch my family eat pasta, or a burger, with fries, while I would be munching on a bowl of lettuce with dressing on the side.  So, when I opened my menu, I was pleasantly surprised to find a section that offered lighter options…..that didn’t just include salads.  I scanned the page, and found “Margherita Flatbread Pizza.”  I absolutely could not believe that this was even an option for me.  I had my doubts about how big this would actually be, or if would taste good……but let me tell you it was absolutely PERFECT! For 330 calories (330 calories I never would allow myself when eating 1,000 calories/day), it was by far the BEST pizza I have ever had.  This is the moment when I realized that eating out isn’t something to dread, but something to enjoy and share with great company.

How have your eating habits changed or evolved since embarking on the challenge?

Without a doubt, the biggest change I’ve experienced throughout this challenge has been my eating habits.  Prior to this challenge my meals consisted of having cereal for breakfast, a sandwich, granola bar and 100- calorie pack for lunch, and pasta or a lean cuisine for dinner, and lots of after dinner sugar free/fat free snacks.  I was consuming foods because they were low in calories, never looking at what was in these foods to make them so “low-calorie”.  The only vegetables that I ate were onions, and sometimes bell peppers (because I decided I didn’t like them) and I had never EVER had fish!

Since this challenge began, the foods I have tried and meals I have made are endless.  There wouldn’t be enough time or space for me to tell you everything I’ve tried, but I’ll give a few (unlikely) foods that I think you should definitely try, if you haven’t already: tilapia, eggplant, quinoa, and my favorite – SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Now I LOVE grocery shopping! I love piling up my shopping cart with fresh produce and exploring the aisles for new healthy options.  I’ve been amazed to learn how much processing goes into so many foods.  One of the most eye-opening experiences I had was when I encountered peanut butter with NO CALORIES! With everything I’ve learned thus far, all I could do was laugh.  I thought to myself, there is absolutely NO WAY for this to be good for me…..and quickly realized that the old me would have jumped on the opportunity to have a no calorie peanut butter, not thinking twice about what was being put into it.  One of my favorite parts of this challenge (other than experimenting with lots of new foods), has been the addition of REAL PEANUT BUTTER into my diet! Because I was eating so few calories before, real peanut butter was never an option (high calories, but lots of nutrients)…..now I think everything tastes better with a little P.B.

I also try to use my weekend to plan my meals for the week, usually making a different dinner each night.  It gives me something to look forward to every night, instead of coming home to a small little TV dinner.  It’s also more enjoyable to eat, because I know how much time and effort I spent putting everything together.

Lastly, dessert is something that I absolutely love, and would never go without. Thanks to the barre n9ne® banana peanut butter ice cream, dessert is both delicious and nutritious.

What motivates you to continue the challenge and what advice do you have for anyone embarking on the 60 day challenge?

What motivates me to keep going…..WHAT DOESN’T?!  I love the classes, I feel better about myself, I love that nothing gets easier, but I’m still getting stronger, I love the people that I’ve met, and I love how much my life has changed for the better.  What motivates me is that I still have “a-ha” moments, that I’m still growing as a person, and I continue to be challenged each day through class, making the right food choices, getting all those steps in, and drinking that water.

Since embarking on this challenge, I decided I wanted to complete a half-marathon.  It’s always been something I put on the back burner, but never really gone for it. So, TODAY, while I was running around the lake, going on my longest run (ever), I just thought to myself, anything is possible.  It’s not that running is a part of the challenge, but I feel that since starting this challenge, I’ve gained this mentality that literally anything is possible, if you put in the effort.  When I started this challenge, I thought it would be impossible to drink the water, walk 10,000 everyday, eat “real” food, but I’ve done it.  I LOVE that this challenge has made me feel that nothing is impossible, and that’s what keeps me going back for more!

Advice:

My best advice would be to embrace this challenge with open arms.  If you’re skeptical (as I was at first), I’m telling you, just give it a try!  These instructors are all great, and knowledgable….utilize their knowledge and TRUST them.  If something’s not working for you, let them help you. To me, this challenge is a community of wonderful people all striving to make changes in our lives for the better! This challenge is the best gift that you could give to yourself: believe in yourself!

Some helpful tips that have worked for me: planning makes all the difference in the world! If you are able to determine ahead of time what your schedule will be like the next day(s) you’ll know when you need to fit in some extra time for walking, so you’re not walking in circles around your house at 11:45pm (unless that’s what you like to do), or making sure you have snacks on hand. Planning can get you excited about what your next day/week has to offer.

NO ONE SAID IT WOULD BE EASY, THEY SAID IT WOULD BE WORTH IT!

Bonus question! What is your favorite and least favorite barre n9ne® signature ‘move’ and why?

I have a love – hate relationship with the side-lying leg lifts (for the side swoop) – they are SO painful, but I LOVE the challenge, and they always leave me SORE (in a good way)!

I just want to finish by saying THANK YOU to this amazing barre n9ne® staff!  This challenge has without a doubt changed by life for the better.  I’ve learned so much about a true healthy lifestyle and feel like I’ve grown so much as a person.  The wonderful B9 staff has been incredible; they are so helpful, encouraging and motivating.  There aren’t enough positive words to describe the impact this challenge has had on me.  Anyone who talks to me for more than 5 minutes, knows about barre n9ne®…….it has become such an integral part of who I am.  I look forward to completing this challenge, and many more to come!

Rebecca’s amazing results!!

Rebecca ‘barren9ne’ing’ it on her way to work – bring on CHAIR!

Advertisements


10 Comments

One Year Later: the barre n9ne® 60 Day Challenge and 5 Questions with…Amanda Hathaway!

Here at barre n9ne studio, we are excited to celebrate the one year barre-o-versary since launching the first official barre n9ne studio 60 day challenge, a challenge we kicked off after our winning spokeswomen Jolene and Jess had such success with it in May 2011 (more on that in a later post, when we’ll hear from them and their 60 day journeys, which has continued on to this very day!).

Today, we bring you Amanda Hathaway, one of our (many!) rockstar clients who has been doing the challenge since August 1, 2011 and she has not looked back since. Not only is she incredibly motivated, she is inspiring and mentoring so many other challengers and truly paying it forward.

We are kicking off a new series of Q&As with some of our clients and Amanda is our first! She has worked incredibly hard, and has seen amazing results. She has lost 53 pounds, and more than 35 inches! Her proudest? More than 8 inches from her THIGHS alone. Her totals:

chest 6.75

waist   7.5

hips  7.0

thigh   8.25

calf   2.5

arm   3.0

Amanda, you look amazing, you are beautiful, confident, happy and the epitome of the barre n9ne® spirit in every way.  Thank you for embracing every aspect of our program, giving it 110% and allowing us to travel on this journey with you to the NEW & IMPROVED, Amanda! We have loved watching you transform over the past year! 

Amanda’s journey – Aug 2011 – Aug 2012!

And now…5 questions with…Amanda Hathaway.

Why did you decide to do the barre n9ne challenge (and when did you start)? 

I had been following barre n9ne® studio on facebook and saw the results of Jessica and Jolene’s 60 day challenge. My son was 6 months old at the time and I couldn’t use the excuse, ” I just had a baby that’s why I am overweight” anymore. I emailed Tanya about it and knew it was the right thing for me to do. I went to my sisters wedding on July 16th, 2011  and felt so uncomfortable in my bridesmaid dress. I knew it was time for a change. I signed up for the August 1 challenge…I am very competitive so when I saw “challenge” I knew it was perfect!

What have your results been – both physical and mental? 

Physically I have lost about 35 inches. More than 8 inches in just my thigh!!!

Mentally this challenge has been a life changer. After 31 years of living I finally know how to eat. I know how many calories to put into my body to lose weight and how many calories to put in my body to maintain. If that isn’t the key to being healthy, I dont know what is!! I feel like I am a better person, Mother, wife, friend, sister. Exercising and barre n9ne® are my happy pill. I feel confident in myself again and feel comfortable in clothes again. Any woman who has had a baby knows that it is a huge adjustment in your life. I feel like while learning the ropes to being a Mom, I was also able to change my life by doing this challenge.

 What was your biggest a-ha moment during the challenge? 

I feel like I have one everyday! When I saw my 6 month change from b9 I felt proud. I am very hard on myself and feel like that is some of the key to my success but I was able to reflect. At that point I had gone from a shy person (NOT ME) hiding behind huge bulky clothes to a confident woman with her hands on her hips smiling. The 6 month picture was my sons 1st birthday party. Gaining 65 pounds while pregnant and being where I was that day, made me feel like I had done something awesome for myself. I felt like I hadn’t given up on ME which can be easy to do after pregnancy.

How have your eating habits changed or evolved since embarking on the challenge?

OMG where do I begin!?!? I eat foods that are good for me- and enjoy them. I also realized that in order to eat well you have to plan well. When I go to the grocery store there isn’t a box of pizza or Mama Celeste  in my freezer. The few times I’ve actually saved enough calories to splurge on food like fried clams…I decided to eat a salad before and then have a few clams. I knew I wouldn’t feel well if I pigged out on them because my body wasn’t used to eating crap! Doesn’t mean I cant have any but to fuel my body the whole day on something with 0 nutritional value, I was all set.  1 year ago I was eating steak bombs and chips and ice-cream and pizza. 1 year ago I looked like a steak bomb. haha!

What motivates you to continue the challenge and what advice do you have for anyone embarking on the 60 day challenge? 

I LOVE IT! I know that is a vague statement but I just love everything about it. I love the 10k steps a day goal, the food log and the 4 classes a week. (sometimes 5 if my husband was being extra nice that week) I love being measured and seeing my success.

If there are ANY WOMEN out there that haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?!?! Never in my life has there EVER been a time that I enjoyed working out. Every class is different, every teacher is awesome. When I first started I was SO OUT OF SHAPE! I could barely get the first set of anything without stopping. Every class you get stronger and feel great when you are done. I was so nervous to start because I thought I would be that fat girl in the corner everyone was staring at. I never felt that way. Everyone is there for the same reason and SO SO supportive! If you are unhappy with yourself and feel insecure about your weight, you have to try this challenge. The results you will see if you give it your all are fool proof. You will lose weight and inches and feel great after.

My motivation for this challenge is 100% my son.  I feel like if I am happy with myself and have energy it will make his life that much better. I feel like I can now give him the correct tools and education to eat well and be active. That to me is PRICELESS!

Bonus question! What is your favorite and least favorite barre n9ne® signature ‘move’ and why? 

My least favorite move is pretzel because it hurts like CRAZY!!!!! My favorite is wide plies, and glutes with the blue ball behind your leg at the barre that Tanya uses in Toned Firm Fit & Ready!

Bonus bonus bonus:

I also just want to say how much of a huge impact all the teachers have had on my life and how incredibly supportive and awesome they are! barre n9ne® is much more than a place to sweat! Its a community of awesome, supportive girls that I consider my friends.


5 Comments

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

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.