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.