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


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Instructor Spotlight – Stefanie!

Many of you may know Stefanie because she is one of the best ZumbaĀ® instructors in Boston! She of course is just as amazing at teaching her barre and non barre fitness classes. Her smile and energy light up the room while she is teaching and you can’t help but have a good time, even when you are shaking, burning and pouring sweat! The best compliment you can give her is to ask if she is Latin šŸ˜‰ {inside joke!} But for real, if you haven’t gotten to one of Stef’s classes you are definitely missing out! Ā 
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1 – What are your favorite songs to workout to?Ā 

-This is a very tough response, because as anyone could tell you, I take my music very seriously! I’d say my absolute top three would be “World Hold On” by Bob Sinclair, “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, and anything – literally, anything – by Pitbull. šŸ˜€

2 – What’s your favorite food/guilty pleasure?

Favorite food, hands down, is watermelon.

Favorite guilty pleasure — an everything bagel from Bagel World with lite scallion cream cheese. Or ice cream, any flavor. Ha, I have many guilty pleasures!
3 – Favorite move to teach? Favorite move to do?Ā 

This is also tough!! I have a lot of moves that I love. I think my favorite move to teach would be an entire leg series (inner and outer thighs) on the mat, because it’s so great to see legs shaking all around the room – it shows me that the clients are really feeling it! My favorite move to do personally would be a plank series (I know, who loves planks?) – as hard as they may be, nothing works those abs (and whole body, really) quite like a plank does.

4 – What’s one thing about you that clients may be surprised to know?Ā 

I am trilingual! My family is from Italy originally and my first language was Italian. When I was in middle school, I started taking Spanish classes, and stuck with it through college. I am now fluent in Spanish as well, and love getting mistaken for a local when I travel to Spanish-speaking countries. (It also helps when I belt out all of the songs while teaching ZumbaĀ® classes!) šŸ˜€

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5 – What do you love the most about teaching at barre n9neĀ®?Ā 

Well, there are many things that I love about barre n9neĀ®, so whatever I say may sound a bit cheesy and cliche, but I can’t help it – it’s all very true. I love the sense of community that has grown in this studio among both clients and instructors. When I came onboard here at barre n9neĀ®, the studio was a much different place – there were only a few of us instructors, and not nearly as many classes, as it was pre-expansion. The first 60-day challenge with Jess and Jolene was just about to begin. So for me, it has been just wonderful to witness the studio blossom from a mere fitness studio into a place that many women turn to for support, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging (while still getting their booties whipped into shape at the same time!). I have been teaching fitness for more than six years, and not every studio has the same sense of welcoming like barre n9neĀ® does. I have become close to both instructors and clients in the time that I have been there. Many of them watched me go through my pregnancy, cheered me on and sent me gifts when my baby was born, and supported me in my quest to bounce back to my pre-baby shape. barre n9ne has some truly wonderful women – strong, healthy, and positive. When you are surrounded with people like that, you can’t really go wrong.

Here is a pic of Stef with her beautiful little boy James aka JJ who just turned 1 years old in November 2012.

mommy and jj
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One Year Later: the barre n9neĀ® 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 officialĀ barre n9ne studio 60 day challenge,Ā 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.Ā Her totals:

chest 6.75

waistĀ Ā  7.5

hipsĀ  7.0

thighĀ Ā  8.25

calfĀ Ā  2.5

armĀ Ā  3.0

Amanda, you look amazing, you are beautiful, confident, happy and the epitome of the barre n9neĀ® spirit in every way. Ā 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!Ā 

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)?Ā 

I had been following barre n9neĀ® 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, 2011Ā  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?Ā 

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 n9neĀ® 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.

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

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 CelesteĀ  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.Ā  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?Ā 

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.Ā  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 n9neĀ® signature ‘move’ and why?Ā 

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 n9neĀ® is much more than a place to sweat! Its a community of awesome, supportive girls that I consider my friends.


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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, everyĀ  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.