Tuesday, July 31, 2012

[Olympic Special] Going for the Gold

The Summer Olympics are upon us and I LIKE IT! This incredible group of athletes from all around the world inspire us to be our absolute best and to work together toward common goals and aspirations. We look to them as pillars of strength, endurance, and self sacrifice. They motivate us to work hard to reach our own maximum potential and they give us the determination and drive that we need to believe in ourselves along with a world and commitment much larger than ourselves.

These cream of the crop athletes demonstrate that health, fitness and an active lifestyle is so much more than a number on a scale, the perfect pair of skinny jeans or a fad diet to get beach ready. They show us the true meaning of a goal driven lifestyle that requires dedication, perseverance, commitment and beyond. Not only that, but they remind us that we're not alone in our journeys to greatness. They are constantly surrounded by trainers, coaches, teammates, family, friends and supporters from near and far. Through them, we begin to grasp the importance of combining self motivation and personal determination with team work and a necessary reliance on the people around us.

More often than not, I struggle to truly conceptualize just how AWESOME the Olympic athletes really are. We watch and critique from the comfort of our own home and don't actually give them enough credit until we attempt a back flip floor routine on our front lawn and fall flat on our face (or in my case, flat on your back with the wind knocked out of you - true story... when I was much younger, HA!). This summer Olympics feels different to me though. For the first time, I'm watching these incredible athletes and events as an active and healthy person myself. I'm finally seeing through eyes of understanding and empathy; I'm aware of my own person fitness level and just how much it takes to get to the point these athletes have reached.

The Olympics should serve as a reminder to each and every one of us to live a positive and healthy lifestyle. It should remind us to go for the gold every single day and become the best possible person we can be. If you're focused on a specific routine or fitness program, step it up a notch. My current commitment, as most of you know, is to Pure Barre. As we began class yesterday, my motivation was exponentially increased as my beyond incredible instructor Jake DuPree announced that this would be an extra special (aka: hard) class in light of the Olympics. He pushed us hard and in turn, I pushed myself beyond points I thought possible. I walked out of class feeling more victorious that ever and completely pumped to get back to the barre ASAP. For those of us who aren't as committed to a certain program, the Olympics should serve as an introduction to try new things and get outside your comfort zone! The best way to change our bodies and minds is to try something new and different. We forget how sedentary we become and that something as simple as jumping in the pool and swimming 5 laps can totally change our perspective. Need some ideas of new sports to try out? The Olympics have tons of options!

At the end of the day, remember to rise above the challenges you face, push yourself harder than you thought possible, focus on reaching your goals, and seek support from the people around you. Be proud as you stand on top of your own Olympic podium and receive your gold medal for being a superstar!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

[TPBE] The Best of the Best of the Best, SIR!

It's my last full week of The Pure Barre Effect... where has the time gone?!? Of course and as usual, life is trying to get in the way of an ideal week consisting of nothing but Pure Barre classes everyday, a blissfully healthy eating regimen and endless amounts of energy and motivation. No such luck though. Work is crazy hectic, I'm house sitting all week, I have various get togethers and events to attend, and the list goes on. Sounds like time to roll over and give up, right?? WRONG!! It's time to SHINE, baby! Like the Men in Black would say, we want THE BEST OF THE BEST OF THE BEST, SIR!

You know me, though... I like to be honest, and as much as I want sit on my high horse and proclaim, "ohhh yahhhh no problem - I have it allll under control" - that's just poppycock. An insanely busy schedule combined with high and mighty goals can be a tough combination to balance and doesn't typically end well. It takes a concerted effort, planning, a desire to succeed, the persistence to keep going, and reminders reminders reminders. If I was living with my parents, I might be able to rely on a plethora of post-it notes scattered around the house, but that's not the case (thank goodness - no offense, love you and your post-its, mom!) So far, the best thing that's worked for me during a "really on" week is a series of reminders of things to think about and act on.

For TPBE, my reminders consist of a variety of Pure Barre related and general lifestyle items. The two aspects combined help me push it to the next level, feel tangible changes and see physical results.
Raise higher on my toes, keep a tucked seat, and sink lower into the position during the entire class.
Feeling comfortable, slacking off and doing the minimum to get through class.
Focus on my breathing throughout the entire class - Inhale...2...3...4... Exhale...2...3...4...
Keeping my body tight and holding my breathe.
Bring my water to stay hydrated right before class starts and right after class ends.
Going unprepared and feeling dehydrated and tired.
Use 3 pound weights in class.
Sticking with the 2 pound weights I always use.
Close my eyes and breathe through the pain when it feels unbearable.
Giving up and coming out of the position.
Concentrate on my form and monitor myself in the mirrors.
Slacking off and avoiding the maximum benefits possible.
Take 30 seconds to mix up a protein shake on the go.
Driving through to get fast food because I'm "too" busy and didn't plan ahead.
Go for a quick walk around the block when I get home.
Eating right away or sinking into the couch when I walk through the door.
Focus on one task at a time.
Getting overwhelmed.
Drink a glass of water.
Mindlessly snacking.
Stop, think, make smart decisions, and act thoughtfully.
Drifting through my day on auto pilot and suffering the consequences of making mistakes and poor choices.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Friday

Never miss an opportunity...
to be grateful
to say thank you
to show your appreciation
to allow yourself to feel great
to reconnect with an old friend
to work hard
to enjoy your day
to have a positive attitude
to say I love you
to get to know yourself
to take a deep breathe
to give yourself what you deserve

Make it a great day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

[TPBE] The Q & A Session

Week 4 of The Pure Barre Effect is done and I'm still loving the classes at Pure Barre Pasadena. I've been getting a lot of questions from Love Fit Life supporters, so I thought it would be fun to change up the review & recap this week and do a little Q & A session... 

Q: What's all this TPBE and Pure Barre about?
A: The Pure Barre Effect (TPBE) is an experiment to see what happens when I cut out all my weight training and change my regular exercise routine to revolve around consistent classes at Pure Barre Pasadena. My transformation experiment will be complete on August 1st (Eeeek!) and I'm already seeing more results than I ever thought imaginable. This unique workout/class style that incorporates Pilates, yoga, 2-5 pound weights, a little red ball, the ballet barre, and isometric movements creates long and lean muscles that strengthens and tones your whole body.

Q: How often do you go to classes at Pure Barre Pasadena?
A: I've been going to about 3 classes per week. On Mondays, I'll go to the schedule online and sign up for 3-4 classes that week that I can go to. Sometimes my week is a lot busier than expected so I'll only make it to 2 classes, while other weeks work out as planned and I make it to all 3-4.

Q: Isn't that a lot? Aren't you busy?
A: Well, yes, I am really busy, but this is a critical part of my routine - by making it a priority to aim for 3 classes per week, I am more careful about keeping an organized calendar, I'm more mindful about overbooking myself, and I'm rewarded by looking and feeling fantastic at the end of each and every day. I typically plan classes for a few days right after work so I still have time to get my day duties done and make it home in time for dinner and a good night sleep.

Q: Isn't it expensive?
A: It's probably more expensive than that gym membership you're paying for and not really using, but it's less expensive than a lot of alternatives and it's incredibly worth it. By buying smart and getting packages to use over time or unlimited memberships on a monthly basis, I end up paying about $10 per class. When $10 classes that yield outstanding and noticeable results is up against the comparable alternatives like personal training sessions, it's a no-brainer for me.

Q: What exactly are these outstanding and noticeable results so far?
A: Ohhhhh let me tell you...
  • My arms are more defined in the best way I've ever seen them - no big bulk, just sleek definition. That famous area of fat by the armpit that overflows over tube tops is also going down - thank goodness!  
  • My back is more toned and defined... and is getting compliments for the first time (I think ever).
  • My abs are more flat than they've ever been (yes, even flatter than when I went to the Bahamas) - the area under by breasts that always bulges out when I have a bra on is disappearing and my lower abs which is my main trouble area is flattening out more than it ever has with any other exercise or workout program. This is my biggest area of excitement!
  • My love handle area is toning up and the muffin top effect that always happens with certain clothing is getting smaller... like a little mini muffin now and soon to be no muffin at all (hopefully). 
  • My seat (buttocks) is more toned and lifted than when I began... I've been blessed with good child bearing hips (as my mother likes to say), so this area will take a consistent amount of effort, but I've definitely noticed an improvement.
  • My thighs are thinner and there's space forming in between my legs when I stand up straight (with my legs together).
  • My calves are getting super toned!
  • My posture and "at-ease" stance are improving - I find that I'm keeping my core tightened without thinking about it as much, and my habit of slouching is transforming into standing up tall - hooray!
  • My menstrual cycle symptoms have dramatically improved.
  • My overall frame appears to be getting smaller. When looking in the big mirrors in class, I've noticed my profile looking a lot leaner.
  • My clothes fit better... they're not necessarily bigger like they would be if I was losing weight, but they look and feel better overall. This is awesome to me because when I have lost weight and changed sizes, it can get expensive to change out a lot of your wardrobe.
Q: Are you serious....?

Q: Does the class get easier the more you go?
A: Yes and no...
  • Yes...it gets easier in the sense that you are more familiar with the movements and your mind and body get better at breathing through the pain. The more I work certain muscles, the more they can handle before I want and/or need to give up. The more consistent I am about going to class, the more conditioned my body is to get through the workout. 
  • No...it doesn't get easier because the movements are always changing, the class gets modified, and realistically, you wouldn't see such great results if it was easy... One thing I love about Pure Barre is that you can self-modify to make it harder again as you DO get better. For instance, I was recently in a class, in a certain position/exercise and I noticed I was smoothe sailing through all the reps. I knew this wasn't right and that it was a sign I needed to self-modify because I was improving. So, I raised up higher on my tippy toes, sank down lower into my "seat" position, and instantly started shaking from how hard it was. Since then, I've been more and more aware to self-modify and adjust as I go more and get better. Yes, it kind of sucks when you go from "ohhh yahhh this is a piece of cake" to "ohhh noooo I want to scream," but the results and that great "I DID IT" feeling that follows certainly does NOT suck at all.

As always, I want to hear from all of you so don't hold back if you have more questions, comments, suggestions, etc... Until next time, remember to tuck your seat! See you soon baboon!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY Inspiration

I am a firm believer in creating a place for yourself that keeps you inspired, balanced, motivated, peaceful and replenished. Unfortunately, that's hard to do. Between family, friends, roommates, spouses/partners, pets and more, the concept of such a place seems unattainable to most. I've found that the solution often appears in the form of "the little things" that are mixed into all the commotion: your favorite candle, your special chair, your perfect bathtub, your beautiful garden, your fort under the covers, and so on. 

My favorite "little thing" is in the center of my cottage. It's my bathroom door that's covered in chalkboard paint. Here, on this small little black door, I create my very own DIY (Do It Yourself) Inspiration. 

What was originally an idea to draw all kinds of cool stuff when I moved in quickly changed as I stood in front of the door for the first time with chalk in hand. I had no idea what to draw. While some call me creative, the sight of a blank canvas is more frightening to me than most would probably think. Even though I had absolutely no one to impress, I felt an enormous amount of pressure at that moment and was simply unable to do anything. So, the chalkboard door sat there, blank, until the next day. The next day was challenging... I don't remember why, but it was one of those days when you would rather be screaming and punching things than smiling and acting polite. I got home, dropped my bag, picked up the piece of chalk, and without even thinking, I wrote a memorable quote that had helped me through the day:

Smile and let everyone know that today, you're a lot stronger than you were yesterday. 

Since then, my chalkboard bathroom door has been the center of my household inspiration and my personal creativity. It reminds me that the slate can be cleaned and new stories can be written. It encourages me to express myself without hesitation. It inspires me to stand up tall and walk into the world with courage. It motivates me to reflect and respond to my emotions instead of running from them.

So, the next time you need a little bit of change and a lot of inspiration, remember it can be as easy as picking up some chalkboard paint. Your blank black canvas awaits you...

Friday, July 13, 2012

[TPBE] The Halfway Hump

The Pure Barre Effect is going strong and I'm proud to report I've successfully finished my 3rd week! I can't believe how fantastic the classes at Pure Barre Pasadena have been so far, the friends I've already made and the outstanding progress I've seen and experienced in such a short time. The completion of my 3rd week is extra exciting too because it means I've reached my halfway point. With my completion date of August 1 just around the corner, I'm reminding myself to really put in the time and effort to finish with the maximum results possible. For me, the halfway hump in any project or goal reaching journey has a tendency to get me a little down and dragging... but not this time! I feel more motivated than ever to step up and get that long lean and toned body I've always dreamed of!

Playing peek-a-boo before Jake whips me into shape!

During my 3rd week of TPBE, I attended the following classes:

Monday 7/2/12 @ 6:35 pm with Jake DuPree
Class with Jake on Monday was outstanding! The routine was clearly changed up a bit from the previous week so I got to do a lot of new and challenging exercises. One thing about Pure Barre Pasadena that I'm really loving is this change of pace and routine - just when my body starts to adjust to a certain move, they switch it up which results in more progress! Jake's amazing ability to instruct and demonstrate made the class even more of a success too. Love it!

Tuesday 7/3/12 @ 6:35 pm with Kimi Cantrell
Pure Barre the day before Independence Day was awesome! Not only was the class filled to the brim, but it had more switched up moves like the day before. I noticed some of the same changes from the day before, but there were even more new moves incorporated. This new routine the 2nd day in a row really had me working up a sweat, and Kimi's incredibly sweet and reassuring nature got me through to the end without a problem!

Saturday 7/7/12 @ 8:25 am with Jake DuPree
This was my first morning class at Pure Barre Pasadena and let me just say... I WANT MOREEEE!!! Granted, it's always challenging to rise and shine on a weekend to exercise, but I wouldn't have done it any other way! I had a long day planned ahead of me and it was exactly what I needed to get myself going and in a positive state of mind. Jake, as always, was amazing and got me giggling, which was critical when trying not to be upset about being awake on Saturday morning!

Thoughts & Observations
Again, I must stress how wonderful the change of routine was... or rather, how wonderful it was that I actually noticed for the first time. Since it was my 3rd consistent week I was able to identify a pattern to some extent - while there is a base template for the class(es), the focus and specific movements are modified and adjusted each week (so it seems). I'm not sure what the method to the madness is, but I love it - it's making me confident and comfortable with the technique while simultaneously getting me excited and working hard on something new.

This week, I really started noticing bigger changes in my body and the level of toning that I'm getting. My legs feel and look leaner... there is space forming in between my thighs when I stand with my legs together... I quite literally thought that was impossible (for my body). My lower abdomen is flatter than it's ever been... the source of my "I hate how this shirt/outfit looks" statements is disappearing... again, I thought that was impossible!

In terms of soreness, I feel it the most in my triceps (back of the arms) and calves. Along with the soreness though, I also notice how shockingly good they're looking.... ohhhh yahhh!

Being fun and fierce with Kimi & Jake - obviously...

Favorite Technique of the Week
Stretching throughout class.
At Pure Barre Pasadena, we are constantly stretching throughout class. We'll warm up, do arms, then stretch... we'll do thighs, then stretch... we'll do our seat (buttocks), then stretch... we'll do abs, then stretch... it's outstanding. My issues and inability to get into a good stretching habit is being completely redefined by Pure Barre Pasadena. I've come to require and appreciate this portion of class more than I thought possible. Not only has it increased my performance and ability to excel in class, but it's dramatically increased my overall flexibility, which I'm totally in favor of! Like Mase would say, BREATHE, STRETCH, SHAKE!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Taste Tester Review: Dog Haus Biergarten

Once upon a time there was a group that just couldn't decide where to go eat. Some members of the group wanted to get down and dirty... load up the calories and comfort food because they're in it for a good time. Meanwhile, other members of the group wanted tasty food that wasn't necessarily going to destroy their calorie count... load up the veggies and meat substitutes because they're thinking about the health factor. The age old dilemma was all too familiar, and as usual, it left the group frustrated and hungry.

If this story sounds familiar, join the club. Family, friends, co-workers - you name it and it can be absolutely hell raising to figure out something as simple as a place to eat that will make everyone happy. So, when I discovered the family of Dog Haus eateries, I was overcome with a sense of relief and excitement. Finally, a place to satisfy the whole crowd; a place to settle all the discussions and hungry stomachs.

The Dog Haus location that I frequent is Dog Haus Biergarten (93 E. Green Street) in Old Town Pasadena. Dog Haus Biergarten is equip with a delicious menu of plentiful options, friendly staff, a full bar, inside seating and an outdoor patio filled with large group style picnic tables. It can be found nestled on Green Street, in between Raymond Avenue and Arroyo Parkway and conveniently located across the street from the Schoolhouse Parking Structure that offers 90 minutes free parking. Whether you're looking for a tasty bite alone, a quick lunch with co-workers or a substantial hang out session with family and/or friends, this is the spot. Oh and did I mention that it's extremely affordable?! Like, I'm talking a mega bratwurst, tater tots (YAH, TATER TOTS), and a drink (alcoholic or otherwise) for less than $10-$15 (depending on what you get). If you ask me, that's AWESOME!

The good news doesn't stop there, either! Their menu has preset options of hot dogs, bratwursts, burgers and more, or you can create your own. The more I go, the more creative I get... the fun never stops! In case you need suggestions, some favorites are:

Sooo Cali
Dog Haus signature 1/4 lb. all-beef, skinless hot dog topped with mixed greens, diced tomatoes, tempura fried onions, spicy basil aioli and avocado on a King's hawaiian bread roll.
*Swap out the hot dog for a turkey dog or veggie dog if you want to be more calorie conscious.

Dog Haus signature 1/4 lb. all-beef, skinless hot dog topped with smoked bacon, lettuce, avocado, Serrano chilies, sliced tomato and mayo on a King's hawaiian bread roll.
*Swap out the hot dog for a bratwurst or spicy Italian dog for an extra kick.

Holy Aioli
Dog Haus 1/3 lb. certified Angus beef patty topped with white American cheese, caramelized onions, smoked bacon and haus garlic aioli on a King's hawaiian bread bun. 

Angus beef topped with white American cheese and grilled onions on mini King's hawaiian bread buns.
*Buy them by the slider to get as many as your heart desires!

My Favorite (Guilt Free) Creation
Turkey or Veggie dog: lettuce wrapped and topped with arugula, dijon mustard, dill pickles and avocado (a variation of this is pictured below).

But wait...there's more!
Dog Haus Biergarten hosts fun events with live bands, welcomes groups and supports the community too, which makes it even MORE AWESOME! I've been to mixer events at Dog Haus Biergarten hosted by Pasadena Jaycees. Once a month you can usually spend the night listening to and having a great time with a live band like the Past Action Heroes. Cruise by on a Tuesday night between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to go for a run around town with the Dog Haus Running Club then enjoy some well deserved grub! Again, the fun never stops... 

So, what's up Dog - have you hit the Haus yet?!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Broken Hearts Club

Recently, I called "my" cab driver, Varoujan, to take me to my desired destination for a fun evening out. As usual, I sat in the front seat, applied a final coat of lip gloss, popped in a piece of gum and we pow-wowed about what was new since my last ride... likely the weekend before. All of a sudden, we were knee deep in one of our standard BFF conversations. Among other things discussed, we realized it was nearing our 6 months anniversary of our first cab ride together - the night that was also the first night I was completely moved into my new "all mine" place - the perfect little back house cottage of my 20-something dreams... the first night I called a cab to pick me up from this new and exciting address... the first night I felt like I was completely on my own, without anyone to check in with or answer to... the first night I hit the town feeling like ME... a ME that I never imagined possible...

Looking back, it feels like a twilight zone of just yesterday and a million miles away all at the exact same time. We were sitting on the bed in our apartment when it happened. All of a sudden, the world was uncontrollably collapsing around me. Everything I thought I knew was now unknown. Every reaction that I thought I would have to this situation was muted as I sat there unable to speak, unable to move, and unable to comprehend the feeling of everything coming to an end.

The next morning, nothing had changed. My eyes were still filled with tears, my head still clouded with fog, and my chest still crushed with heartbreak. I woke up early to make it to Lifeguard Tower 11 in time to meet with the Huggers Group II. I had been going to this AA group for a few weeks now to fulfill my DUI requirement from only a short time prior. Today was different than all the other days, though. Today, this was the only place in the world I wanted to be. I sat there, on the sand, surrounded by friendly faces who I knew would understand unlike anyone else, and listened to the discussions of hardship, addiction, lost love, and finding the way out of the darkness...
...And it hit me...

This is it. 

My series of game changers was now spiraling out of control and it was my time to move onward and upward... I knew this now, for certain. Above all else, I needed to stop and take a step back; I needed to do what was best for myself, no matter how hard that may be; I needed to set new priorities and commit to them for good; I needed to handle my shit.

I left our home and moved back in with my parents who live conveniently close to my job that I had been commuting to. The change of scene was refreshing, and being surrounded by my uniquely entertaining parents kept me occupied initially. As the weeks passed though, I realized I needed space to continue my recoup process. For the first time in my life, I admitted to myself (and my mom who was not excited) that I needed space from people - time to just be with me. I had spent the last 24 years of my life around people, being the enthusiastic, lively and loud one in the group. It was finally time to take a break and take care of myself. It was embarrassing and saddening to realize further that I didn't even know myself! As I went from spending everyday with someone to being completely alone, I felt shockingly bored. Or at least, I thought it was boredom. In fact, it was the harsh reality setting in that I've always relied on people to keep me entertained and keep me entertaining in return. It was undeniable: my new membership to The Broken Hearts Club, plus being in my 20-somethings when I was still "free" to some extent was the PERFECT time to build a new friendship with myself and awareness of who I really am. So, I did...

I read
I took baths
I discovered I enjoy candles
I started writing in a journal
I made exercise a consistent priority
I stopped eating out as much
I drank less alcohol
I tried new recipes in the kitchen
I went exploring
I reconnected with people who have had a positive influence on me & my life
I got outside more
I explored my creativity
I hung out by myself on Friday/Saturday night
I took a vacation
I watched less TV
I drank more water
I disciplined myself to meditate
I joined (a few worthy) organizations & committees around town
I took myself out on dates
I experimented to find my passions
I spent more time with family
I reflected on the issues that I carry from past experiences & relationships (romantic & otherwise)
I brainstormed exercises & activities to resolve those issues
I gave some overdue apologies
I expressed more gratitude
I made a deliberate effort to think more positively
I cried
I smiled
I told the truth
I went for more walks
I bought myself flowers
I payed more attention
I said "Please" and "Thank You" more often
I learned to love myself
I forgave...myself & others

My process is never ending; It continues every moment and grows at every opportunity. Yet, the membership that so many of us share in The Broken Hearts Club is lifelong. It will not go away, no matter how much healing may happen, but it will get better with time. As my time passes, I've gotten better at prioritizing myself and my well being, I am more consistently healthy and active, I pay more attention to myself and others, and I respond more thoughtfully to the world around me.

During that same cab ride with Varoujan recently, he said something to me that stopped me in my tracks and really brought The Broken Hearts Club reality and my healing process to life. Out of no where, he turned to me and said,

"Listen, we are friends. You do not have to tell me. Someone broke your heart - I can see it in your eyes. Just be you - you are great." 

Real - Simple - Honest
Just be you - you are great.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

[TPBE] Little Tuck, Little Squeeze & Big Results Please!

Another week of The Pure Barre Effect is done and Pure Barre Pasadena has me hooked!

During my 2nd week of TPBE, I attended the following classes:

Wednesday 6/27/12 @ 6:35 pm with Leah Purcell
Leah continues to push me to my limit and keep me motivated. I can't help but swoon over her long and lean body equip with legs that are always so perfectly straight! In Leah's class, I often find myself determined to keep going and get to that point of flexibility. She also does a great job balancing a cheerful attitude with strong leadership that really clicks with me... Thank you, Leah - I will see you and your long and lean self again soon :)

Friday 6/29/12 @ 5:30 pm with Melanie Colbrunn
This was my first class with Mel and it was a KILLER! I'm not sure if it was so challenging because I was tired from a long week or if her moves were just too much for me to handle (or a combination), but it definitely got me sweating and out of breathe. I liked her feisty and determined attitude that really kept the class going even when we were struggling the most - at one point she even refused to count down the last 10 reps until everyone was doing it together... Feeling that sense of Pure Barre team work felt great!

Saturday 6/30/12
I am sad to say that I signed up for this Saturday morning class and I didn't end up making it there. Unfortunately, I just had too much going on, which is a very real part of life sometimes. I am happy (though) to say, I didn't allow myself to get discouraged and I committed to going strong the next week.

Feeling that Pure Barre Effect and LOVING IT!! 
Thank you, Pure Barre Pasadena for making this 4th of July my most confident red, white & blue bikini body day I've ever had :)

Thoughts & Observations
Week 2 has me feeling more at ease with the exercises and already noticing big changes. The 2 areas I notice to most: abs/midsection and calves. My lower abdomen is flattening out more than I've ever felt or seen which literally leaves me jumping for joy! My calves are noticing big changes too - all that work up on my tippy toes is giving my legs some incredible definition... I feel like that episode of MTV's True Life where the guy gets calf implants (hehe).

Favorite Technique of the Week
"The higher the heel the thinner the thigh"
One thing we do A LOT at Pure Barre Pasadena is go up on our tippy toes. It's hard and it's a no joke addition to the class - this seemingly simple movement/position leaves my legs and entire core worked to exhaustion and toned to the max. The part I love most is that you can modify this technique as you get better - the more experience I have, the higher I can go on my tippy toes and the more I will work all the affected muscle groups.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Motivate Me Monday - Don't Give Up

Your workout may leave you defeated
Your weekend may knock you off track
Your Monday doesn't have to be wasted
Encourage yourself to bounce back

My workouts are leaving me breathless
My weekends never feel like enough
I commit to a week that's productive
I will motivate myself to stay tough