Thank you…6 months later.

Six months ago, my sister and I embarked on the barre n9ne 60 day challenge and as I sit here trying to capture what these months have meant to me, it is so incredibly hard to put into words. Because honestly…I’m speechless.

Before this challenge, I felt absolutely awful about myself, physically, but also mentally. I was weak, I slid into comparison mode at a split second, and I hated everything I saw in the mirror (just reading what I wrote about here makes me sad. Especially recalling that ‘knock out drag down fight I had with Jess. We haven’t fought like that in well, a very long time. It was a painful fight and I never want to do that again.).

Before this challenge, I was afraid. I had no idea what was ahead of me, but it was far more committment and focus than I ever had previously (and to think I was dedicated to my health and fitness before? Well, I wasn’t. I only went halfway…and then stopped). I *hoped* it would be life- and body-changing, but after all of the other workouts I’d tried in various combinations previously, I admittedly didn’t think it was possible.

Before this challenge, I struggled with confidence and believing in myself. I doubted my abilities in running, in my job, in everything. If there was any cause for doubt, I’d have it. Because it was easier than believing in myself and just trying harder. Not just trying. But trying harder.

This challenge was – and still is – isn’t only about losing weight and inches, it has truly been a test of wills, a test of strength and a test of focus for me. It’s shown me that I can accomplish what I set my mind to, and that I am stronger than I think I am. And that dammit, I’m gaining in on feeling pretty damn fearless.




After this challenge, I feel utterly incredible. In every possible way.

I have completely reshaped my body. I actually caught a glimpse of my legs in the mirror (wearing a skirt) yesterday and I did a double-take because my legs looked thin. THIN. I have what I consider thicker, more muscular legs, so to actually see physical change in them is freaking incredible. (those things never freaking changed with ANY other workout I’ve ever done! EVER!). I’ve lost more than 15 inches on my body, and from my waist alone? Almost three inches. I purchased my very first pair of size 27 jeans today…and got home and actually, they feel almost *too* roomy. The same jeans that wouldn’t even fit over my hips previously. Hell, I would have laughed in your face if you told me I’d actually try ON (let alone fit into!) a size 27 before.

I have completely reshaped my attitude towards food. I’ve learned to treat food as fuel and not to equate food with joy. For food to have less of a mental hold on me is so freeing. I enjoy what I eat. I allow myself the treats that I would like to eat. I just plan for them. I plan for wine consumption (because we all know how much I heart wine!!). And chocolate. And even pizza. And I don’t feel deprived. Ever. I’ve never felt that way this entire time. THAT is incredible. I always felt like a ‘tortured soul’ as I’d dramatically whine about wanting a bagel or ice cream or whatever it may be…but ya know what? Plan for it in your calories for the day and it’s yours!

I have confidence. Simply put. Confidence. I am not ashamed of what I see in the mirror. And I finally have the mental attitude that matches that. I’m not scared. I’m not worried. Shit, I’m not even overthinking!! I just feel good. It sounds so simple, but before, I was quite frankly a mess in my brain. Constantly fighting myself. No more. And I vow not to go back to that, ever.

I am in my happy place. My happy weight (I still don’t know what I weigh, but I estimate that I have probably lost 15 lbs or so, which would make me about thisclose to my ‘happy weight’). The here and now. And damn, does it feel good.

I did it. ME. I took the tools I was given, the classes I was fortunate enough to take, and I challenged myself like no other. And I used this time to heal. To strengthen my mind and my body. I feel as though I can apply what I have learned in so many settings now, physically and mentally. It’s so hard for me to explain, but I just feel empowered by what I have learned and what I have experienced in the last 6 months.

And to think…this challenge is one that I’ll continue to carry. It’s not a challenge anymore. It’s how I live my life, how I approach food and how I work out.

The barre n9ne challenge has truly been life-changing. To some, that might sound ‘dramatic’ but honestly, I can’t put it any other way than that, because I completely believe it. I believe in Tanya’s approach, it is managable, it is balanced and it just works for me.

So…6 months later, thank you, Tanya. For giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I hope to pay it forward continuously because it just works. And I can’t wait to see what unfolds next. The sky is the limit.

As my sister said in one of her posts: I’ve got to learn to be fearless. To own each challenge I commit to. This is my time. To finish what I started. <Accomplished.

25 thoughts on “Thank you…6 months later.

  1. Congrats girl! Its great that you undertook this challenge (along w/ your sister). It’s great that you found something to help you realize how awesome you are!

  2. Man, you know how to make a sister tear up over here! This was the most beautiful post I’ve ever read from you — and I think it was mostly because this post was written with such heart, but it was also written with a fearless confidence I have never seen in you before. Incredible what this 6 months has shown us…we can do ANYTHING we put our minds to. Now that we finally know how to put our minds 100% to something! Because guess what? From May 12th forward? We finish what we start. Always.

    PS. I never want to have a fight like that again ever ever. Can we make a pinky swear on that please? xoxo

    1. Aww, thank you sis. Glad you liked it and thank you for pushing me to believe in myself. That fight was a catalyst for this, truly, it was. And any time we butt heads, it’s usually because of that…trying to get me to believe in me and know I can, instead of sliding into can’t all the time. But I never do want to fight like that again either. Ever. XOXO.

  3. Well done you for doing so well with the barre challenge, wow you’ve done so well and that’s cool about the jeans and feeling good about yourself.

  4. Very proud of you. For the whole thing but especially the way it’s improved the way you look at you and life.

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  5. Thats outstanding Jolene! Youre absolutely right, the challenge is not about losing weight and inches, its so much more. And when you work hard and start winning the weight and inches take care of themselves. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you Jim! You are very right, once I stopped thinking so hard and just WORKING hard, everything really started falling into place. It feels really good to have conquered this mentally and physically!! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s