In November of 2015 , I stood on the bima of our synagogue feeling very proud of my youngest son and his accomplishments. I also felt the love of my family and friends sitting and watching this wonderful moment in the life of my child.
However, a part of me was feeling incredibly superficial thoughts and was distracted by feeling disgusted with my body and my size and my current state of mind. (Note: To my friends who have never had a weight issue and can’t understand what it is like to look around to try to figure out if you are indeed the fattest one in the room, you may want to stop reading and just know the point is, I worked my butt off with Bar Method and lost almost 50 pounds. To the rest of the 95% of the population who has at least some struggle with food or knows someone who does, keep reading. I am a bit funny. Especially when I am making fun of myself.)
I started to come to the decision at that moment that I could not continue to let my life be ruled by my disgust with my health and appearance. Yes, I know I was still somewhat healthy and that many people are happy at the size I was. Yet, no matter how much I tried to tell myself, “what matters is what is on the inside”, “I am a good person and should not be judged by my jean size”, for me, it wasn’t comfortable. I never hit my rock bottom (or sky high) number on the scale that terrified me. We all have one, the “OH NO Never in my life number” that feels like it would be the point of no return. Honestly though, I was pretty close.
It took me a few more weeks to get to a point of action. I woke up on my 46th birthday and still felt horrible. I promised myself I would not ever wake up on another birthday feeling the way I felt.
I started The Bar Method Winter Park, Florida at the end of November and while I was optimistic, a voice in my head told me this would be another activity in a lifetime of temporary successful exercise regimens. It was hard. It was so hard. I spent the first few classes just trying to get through the exercises. I don’t know if I was more afraid of throwing up, passing out or passing gas! Really, it did something to my stomach that made me really worry that was a possibility.
Well, then a few classes turned into 10. I bought myself a celebratory pair of socks. Then 25 classes came and I treated myself to my first Lululemon pants. With each milestone, I treated myself to something to celebrate. On Mother’s Day, I celebrated my 100th class with my daughter tucking and squeezing and planking right next to me. Then in October, I hit 200 and celebrated with a trip to NYC to look for an apartment!
I really do give The Bar Method credit for helping me start a new chapter in my life at an age when I thought I would just be settling in for the rest of the ride.
The confidence I gained from The Bar Method also helped me make many positive changes in my life. I was able to think clearly and make rational decisions without being weighed down (please forgive the pun) with an overall unhappiness with my self.
Truly, it seems silly to say all these changes started with “raising my roomside arm” in The Bar Method class. However, that is the push I needed to jump-start my life. I still worry every day I will slip backwards into an unhealthy lifestyle as I have done in the past. However, as long as I keep showing up on a regular basis for diamond thigh and waterski seat, I feel confident I can continue to wake up feeling healthy and energized in my own body.
NOTE: Since writing this love letter to my bar studio in Florida, I have moved to NYC and become an avid fan of Pure Barre which is similar to what I did at The Bar Method. I do love my new NYC studio as well but will always have a special place in my heart for my original studio and all the amazing Bar Babes in Winter Park!