Pure Barre – 90 Day Update

Happy Thursday, my peeps! Well, friends, it’s officially been 90 days since I started my Pure Barre challenge. The time has really flown by! I have officially completed 63 classes! Holy cow! With the exception of a couple weeks, I mainly went 5 days a week. It was a huge commitment, but I can officially say that I am thrilled with the results in different ways. I have gained strength, I have gained new friends, I have gained a better knowledge of exactly what I am capable of and it’s a whole heck of a lot! This has truly been life changing for me.

I wanted to be sure that I covered everyone’s questions in this post, so I am hoping this answers a lot for you all! If I miss anything, let me know and I will add it.

I wanted to start off with how this whole journey began. I realized I unintentionally didn’t share this in my original PURE BARRE POST, so I figured I definitely needed to add it into this one. So, why did I decide I needed to get into a workout routine? To most, I seem small and pretty thin and I guess I was, but I was not toned. I was not happy with my body and I wasn’t happy in my clothes or in a bikini. We were on spring break and I had taken a picture of me with Reagan and I hated how my stomach looked. I know, it’s my own issue, but I am just being honest. My thought was “oh I wish we could photoshop this picture.” Then, I was like “heck no, you just need to get yourself into the gym. I have never photoshopped and I don’t believe in it for myself. I am who I am and I’ve always been proud of that, so after that thought crossed my mind, I knew I had to make a change because that just was NOT me. Enter Pure Barre. I started it the following week and I haven’t looked back.

So, here’s the thing, I don’t love working out. I never have. I don’t get a “high” from it. I’ve always done it to maintain and in some cases just because its the right thing to do. That changed with Pure Barre. I truly love it. I enjoy each class and there are some classes I enjoy more than others because of certain positions that are a struggle for me, but I truly do  love it. It might not be for everyone, but I think I found my thing and I’m going to stick with it. And while I have come a long way in 3 short months, I still have a ways to go to accomplish my fitness goals. And to be honest with you, I felt a little discouraged the other day, just feeling like I should’ve made bigger strides in 90 days. I think it’s hard to work really hard and not actually “see” the changes as much as you’d like to. I was reminded by my friend, Heather (co-owner of my Pure Barre studio) that change happens small and we can’t have unrealistic expectations. It was a good point. I tried my best and worked my butt off (literally)! What I’ve accomplished was actually pretty great, so I needed to gain some perspective on that! We are always our own worst critics and once I received the last set of pictures, I was able to see more change, as I could compare and contrast all the different photos. And I am pretty darn proud of myself for sticking with this!

Here is what I started out looking like:

Here I am now…

TOP // SPORTS BRA // PANTS

Here are some of the details that I have loved about my experience with Pure Barre…

MIND

I mentioned in my 60 DAY UPDATE POST that it had been so good for my mind. One hour a day that I can check out and completely focus on myself. This is hard for anyone to do, moms, businesswomen, etc. We are all running at such fast paces that I believe everyone could benefit from giving themselves one hour a day to focus on just them. My friend Karlee and I were chatting about that this am on the phone, making this one hour a day, a priority might seem nuts to some people, but to us, its necessary. I’m truly thankful to have found this. I am worrying less for the most part which is huge for me. If I’m feeling stressed about work or life in general, taking this hour a day for just me, has helped immensely. I am sleeping better for the most part as well. I think I’m just exhausted by the end of the day and ready for bed! I used to stay up to the wee hours of the morning. I’ve always been a night owl. This has helped me become more regular with my sleep. I would say one of my favorite aspects of incorporating Pure Barre into my life has been the mind stuff. And once I realized it helped, thats when I upped my classes to 5 days a week! As I said in my 30 DAY UPDATE POST, the mental break that Pure Barre offers is like no other. I am type A. My mind never shuts off, I truly feel like there are always a million things racing through my head. I have tried lots of different workouts and I can never truly shut off my mind. Well, I can with Pure Barre. One hour a day of thinking about nothing but my workout. This!!! This has been truly life changing as well. It’s one of my favorite aspects of Pure Barre.

COMMNUITY

As I said before, I truly feel like I hit the gym jackpot, you guys. The level of positivity is off the charts and I could not be more thankful for the owners of our studio, Heather and Jaimee and the instructors that I take from on a weekly basis (shoutout to Heather, Jaimee, Jamie S., Melissa, Louise, Jolie, Lacie, Megan, Christy, Ashley for being awesome teachers! Hope I’m not forgetting anyone!). I am grateful to call these women friends now and their commitment to helping me (and everyone else at PB) reach their goals has been amazing. They truly care about every client and I so appreciate that! It’s so nice to feel like you have people in your corner who truly care about you! Love you, girls! I am thankful for all of you! I have also made new friends in class and that has been so great too! Love my PB buddies! The community aspect is such an important part. I have realized I need this type of positive place to go to for my workouts. This has been key for me. I have loved meeting so many new friends at Pure Barre. I had a couple friends who already did it at my studio (Hi Mere and Melissa) and it’s been nice to see them on a regular basis there. I have made new friends too (Hey Karlee and Candace and Charlie and Stacey and Lynn and Sherri and other PB friends, there are lots of you!!)! I truly love spending my time with these gals each morning. They are fabulous. I have loved all of the instructors as well. I am truly thankful to call all of these gals my friends.

FOOD

So, I didn’t cover my food intake in my 30 DAY UPDATE, but I did in my 60 DAY UPDATE. I am adding the same info into this post for you. I didn’t eat bad in general prior to starting Pure Barre. I do love a cheeseburger and I do love french fries. I don’t eat gluten, so I don’t feel guilty eating a burger, because the bun is missing and it’s on top of lettuce. As one lady said to me once, “it’s basically a taco salad!” I have added more salads into my diet (I share them on my Insta Stories a lot). I try to either eat a salad for lunch or dinner. I add protein and veggies and it really fills me up. I really try to eat clean during the week, so that I don’t have to be so strict on the weekends. That being said, the more I workout, the better choices I make when I eat, weekend or not. I don’t want french fries as much as I used to. I’ll eat a few of the kids and move on. Or I will order sweet potato fries. It’s all about balance though. If I want something, I will eat it. I don’t believe in depriving myself of food because anytime I’ve tried that route in the past, it makes me want that food even more and I don’t like that feeling. If I want a piece of chocolate, I have one. If I want pizza, I will eat it. The point is, I’m not perfect and I do have off days and I try to pick back up where I left off and do better the next meal/day. As requested, here is a sample menu of what I will eat during the week:

Breakfast

Black coffee, 2 scrambled eggs or 1 fried egg, piece of gluten free toast or 2 pieces of avocado toast (half an avocado)

Snack

If I do a mid day (11:30/noon) PB class, I will eat a snack around 10:30 or 11. An EPIC BAR or RX BAR typically because I can eat it on the go. A hardboiled egg is another option. Since summer started, I can’t do these later classes, so, I have added a smoothie into my morning routine as well and usually make it and drink it right after my 9:15/9:30 class

Lunch

Salad with protein (chicken or sausage, etc), veggies, pumpkin seeds, feta or goat cheese. Or I will do gluten free toast with smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning.

Dinner

Some sort of meat with veggies.

I will also say, this is a sample menu, there are days that I am more hungry and I’ll eat more. If I’m hungry, I eat. I just try to make smarter choices. I also make more of an effort to eat 3 legit meals a day and not skip meals. That has been huge for me, because I used to skip meals a lot.

Here is a little glimpse of my progress from the past 90 days!

pure-barre-pictures-90-days

After 90 days…

TOP // SPORTS BRA // PANTS

Measurements *I started Pure Barre March 22, but we didn’t start measuring until April 2nd. Just an afterthought to keep better track of the results. Results will vary from person to person.

start (april 2)

Shoulders: 39 Inches

Waist: 33.5 Inches

Hips: 38 Inches

2 Weeks later: (april 18)

Shoulders: 37.5 Inches

Waist: 30 Inches

Hips: 37.5 Inches

2 weeks later (may 3)

Shoulders: 37 3/8 inches

Waist: 30 inches

Hips: 36 1/8 inches

2 weeks later (may 22)

Shoulders: 36.3/4 inches

Waist: 29.5 inches

Hips: 35. 1/16 inches

2 weeks later (june 7)

Shoulders: 37 inches (likely due to muscle)

Waist: 29.5 inches

Hips: 35.1/16 inches

*not much change this two week span, which is pretty normal.

90 days!!! Ending measurements (June 22)

Shoulders: 36.5 inches

Waist: 28 inches

Hips: 34 inches

I lost a total of 2.5 inches in my shoulders, 5.5 inches in my waist and 4 inches in my hips!

Here’s a reminder of what I started out at:

Now…

TOP // SPORTS BRA // PANTS // FLIP FLOPS

 

I had a bunch of questions from you guys and here are the answers!

Reader submitted questions:

What time of day do you go? How do you go since the kids are out of school for the summer?

My kids did a few 3 hour sports camps and VBS one week this summer. I usually squeeze it in during that time. I got a babysitter a couple days as well. I don’t have a nanny and I have a husband that travels so I squeeze it in when I can. I will also go on days that my husband is home. With summer, you just squeeze it in when you can and it’s been no easy feat for me. Early morning classes (5:30, 6:30 am) would be ideal, but with a traveling spouse, it doesn’t work for me. A few of my friends have done that this summer and it’s worked well for them.

How did you stay motivated in the beginning?

Honestly, I really and truly wanted to see my body change. I was not happy with how I looked and I knew I had to dedicate the time and effort to see it happen. I made a commitment to 3 months and I knew I had to stick it out, but honestly, I also fell in love with it pretty quickly, so that helped. If you don’t truly love your workout, I think its hard to be motivated to keep going. My advice would be to try a few new things and see what you enjoy. I swear that aspect is huge for me. I’ve not loved many workouts in my lifetime! If I didn’t love Pure Barre, I think it would’ve been hard to keep up with it for 3 months!

Did you change your eating when you started Pure Barre? 

My original plan was not to change my diet. I don’t eat gluten anyway and I try to eat pretty healthy. BUT!!! The more I worked out, the better food choices I made. It’s a nice little bonus to working out. I then started trying to eat cleaner, but I don’t deprive myself of stuff. And like I said earlier, if I want a piece of chocolate, I’ll have one. If I want pizza, I’ll have it. I totally go by the everything in moderation rule. I always feel like when you deprive yourself of certain foods, it makes you want that food more. I just don’t like how I feel on those types of diets or cleanses, so I don’t do them.

Do you truly believe that Pure Barre gives you the longer, leaner muscles they claim it does?

I believe it does. But, I also believe it takes time. I’m 3 months in and I still have a ways to go towards my fitness goals. Change happened, but slowly and I can’t wait to see where I go from here.

Did you take basic barre class or cardio (Platform) too? 

In the beginning, I took the Platform class once a week. The first class I took was actually Platform (insane! ha!). As I got more into Pure Barre, I stopped doing the cardio class as much because the other times just worked better with my schedule. In hindsight, I wish I had stuck with it once a week and I hope to incorporate their new cardio class that is coming late this summer, into my weekly routine.

Are you going to continue going now that the 90 days is up?

Yes!! I truly love this workout routine! I plan to keep it up. I think I will do a 6 month and 12 month post to keep you guys updated on my progress.

Where did you see the most changes and least changes? Changes in skin and hair?

The changes are small when looking at me, but the measurements don’t lie. I lost a good amount of inches in this challenge and I thrilled with that! My skin and hair are the same. I haven’t noticed a change.

Has your stamina and flexibility increased? 

My friends, Karlee and Candace are probably cracking up at this question because my flexibility or lack thereof id funny. You guys, I’m the least flexible person. I can’t touch my toes. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been able to. I have bad hips, so I am SUPER tight. I don’t see much change in my flexibility yet, but I work on it daily in class! My stamina has increased. I feel stronger. I’m at the point where if I need to come out of a position, it’s because I did class the day before and my body and muscles are fatigued. A few instructors have even mentioned how much stronger I look in class, too. I’ll tell you, in the beginning, I wasn’t sure, I would be at a place where I could do a full class without coming out of position.

What is your favorite/least favorite moves from class?

I honestly don’t have favorites. I enjoy most of the positions because I just know that they are changing my body! I don’t love the “waterski” position if I’m being honest. It’s just an awkward move for me and my back and hips hurt a bit when I do it. That being said, it’s a great position to change the body, so I suffer through it. 🙂 Oh and I don’t love “reverse chair” but its a good one and you know it’s changing your body!

Do you think this is a good workout for beginners who are trying to lose weight?

Totally! I took my mom to a class and she did great! To lose weight, the diet is huge too. So, doing Pure Barre is great, but be sure you are making healthy food choices too. They say abs are made in the kitchen and I truly believe that now. The eating is huge!

Besides losing weight and inches, are you sleeping better, skin changes, more energy?

I am sleeping better for the most part. I am exhausted by the end of the day, so I’m ready for bed by 9 or 10. That is a huge change for me because I’ve always been such a night owl. Once I figured out my food intake, I have more energy, I needed to get my morning started off right and I think my egg and toast routine has helped with that.

Will you continue to go 5 days a week?

That is my plan. This has been great for my mind, as well as my body and I truly do feel better the days I take a class, so if I can squeeze that hour in, I will.

How has this changed your lifestyle? Is this something you think you can maintain (5 days a week)?

I honestly feel like this has changed my life in a way. Working out has never really been a priority, except after babies and then I just kind of let it go. It’s tough to balance it all. Going to the gym 4-5 days a week has become important to me and it’s become a big routine. I’m a huge creature of habit, so I like to stick with what works. I plan to try and keep up with the 5 days.

How far along were you when YOU finally noticed results?

I would say, I felt tighter after 30 days, but I honestly think the 60 day and 90 day marks are definitely when I could actually see the change in my photos.

Do you ever get bored?

I don’t! The instructors change it up and you truly don’t have time to really be bored, you’re so busy working in each class! I truly haven’t gotten bored of anything at this point.

 

I wanted to take the opportunity to end this post and this 90 days with some encouragement for you. If you’re not happy where you are in any aspect, all you need to do is, begin. That was the hardest part for me. I put off getting back into shape for so long and all I can think now, is why did I wait so long because I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!! I am stronger emotionally, mentally, physically and I truly feel changed. I am thankful to Heather and Jaimee, the owners of my local Pure Barre studios for partnering with me on this journey. It has been so amazing to gain two great friends and I am truly thankful for their support. One of them was always there to lift me up, on the days that I needed a little extra encouragement. I also wanted to thank you guys for wanting to follow along on this journey with me. I have received countless messages that this 90 day challenge has inspired people to get back into the gym and I absolutely love that! I’m so glad this journey has helped you guys as well. Yes!!! I plan to keep you posted on my Pure Barre journey. I will probably do a 6 month post and a 12 month post to keep you up to date on my fitness journey! I am thankful to end this 90 day journey knowing that it’s not over for me, it’s really just beginning. Let me know if you have any questions! XO!

 

See my journey start to finish here:

PURE BARRE START POST

30 DAY UPDATE

60 DAY UPDATE

 

 

Photography by Melissa Parsons

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6 Comments

  1. Lisa B wrote:

    This is awesome! You should be so proud. And it’s very brave to put yourself out there like this. Inspiring!! Xo

    Posted 6.22.17
  2. Marie Heckard wrote:

    I had a similar experience with Pure Barre! It is the only thing to which I have been dedicated. After two years, I still love it! I definitely have longer, lean muscles. Stay with it!!!

    Posted 6.22.17
  3. Anne wrote:

    I can see the inches you lost!! You look fantastic!! (You looked great before, but you look really fit now!!). It is so awesome to set a goal and then see it happen!! Inspiring…thanks for sharing the details!!

    Posted 6.23.17
  4. I feel like I saw a lot of changes after 6 months of doing pure barre. I use to hate the butt section until one day I noticed myself in the mirror and I thought ‘wow my butt looks more lifted’ hahha. I love pure barre!!

    http://www.cashmereandjeans.com

    Posted 6.23.17
  5. Lauren wrote:

    Congratulations Ashley! I have been doing Pure Barre for the past 2 years and I’m hitting my 500th class on Saturday! Keep up the good work and definitely stick with it!

    Posted 7.3.17

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