It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and I’m single. I could write a post about being single on Valentine’s Day–either how it’s kind of nice, or how it kind of sucks–but instead, I’m going to take a different direction. Instead, I’m going to write about loving myself. That’s what’s most important here.
I’ve mentioned in other posts my challenges with fitness, like how I’ve struggled to find a method that’s good for me, doesn’t kill my knees and is enjoyable. I used to do lots of high-impact weight training and stuff like that, but my knees can’t take it anymore. Consistency was hard, too. But recently, I’ve found a fitness method that meets all of my criteria: barre classes. It’s made a huge difference, even though I’ve only been doing it for just over a month.
Barre classes are my fitness match made in Heaven (well, them + yoga and stretching). It’s rooted in ballet, small muscle movements, isometric holds and other small-impact exercises. After taking ballet for 12 years, I thought I could jump into barre classes and catch on quickly. It’s harder than it looks, I’ll say that! But so far, so good.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to a “Blogger Barre Class” at Pink Barre, a boutique fitness studio in Atlanta. A group of Atlanta bloggers met up for an hour-long class at the Buckhead studio. Our instructor Mallory led us through an intense series of arm, leg, core and cardio combinations that made me sweat like I’d just run a marathon.
How Barre Classes Have Taught Me to Love Myself
Barre classes have really showed and taught me how to love myself. It sounds silly and cheesy, but it’s true. After Mallory’s class at Pink Barre, even though I was dripping in sweat, I felt fantastic.
Here’s how barre classes have taught me to love myself:
I have confidence.
…in confidence alooooone! Not a Sound of Music fan? Just me? Okay.
Who finishes a workout and doesn’t feel better about yourself? We may be out of breath or tired, and probably sore, but all in a good way and for good reasons. We know we just did something that’s good for our bodies, our souls, our minds, and just for us. We’re taking care of ourselves. And that should make us feel pretty confident.
When I feel good about myself, I love myself even more. I just want to hug myself all day, because I deserve it.
I have energy.
Nothing pumps you up quite like conquering a challenging exercise or combination, or even a full workout. I’ve always preferred to do my workouts earlier in the day. That way, I have the rest of my day to do whatever else I need or want to do, and I have the energy to get those things done. Energy is an indicator of a happy person who loves herself.
I have motivation.
I always feel so accomplished after a barre class. They’re not easy, so making it through 60 minutes of it feels like a huge victory. But you’re not lifting heavy weights or doing jump squats or dead lifts! Oh, but we are doing lots of isometric holds in funky positions on raised toes. Those sure take me back to my ballet days.
If I can make it through a barre class in the morning, then there’s nothing else that day that I can’t accomplish. It’s like I can do anything. Except run a half marathon.
This wonderful group of ladies sweated through Mallory’s class, and we still look fabulous.
Speaking of looking fabulous, I’ve already noticed some physical changes since I started my barre classes. I’m leaner and more toned, which were my goals. I don’t need to lose weight, just tone up a little bit. I’m so happy with my progress, even after just a month!
Remember: You can do anything for 15 seconds.
Really, 15 seconds is nothing. Hold that plank for 15 meager seconds. Stay in relevé for 15 short seconds. “Embrace the shake,” as they say in barre class. It may not feel like 15 “short” seconds in the moment, but once you’re down, you realize just how short that was.
It’s amazing how something like a fitness class can make such a difference in my life, in such a short amount of time. I said this year would be my year of self-care, but I think I’m going a step beyond that. I’m going to love my body and love myself, too.
And I already feel much happier.
What’s your preferred fitness method? How are you taking care of yourself this year?
Thanks to Tierney and Kelly for organizing the blogger class, Pink Barre Buckhead for hosting, and Mallory for leading!