Hi everyone my name is Rachel and I am a Pure Barre addict.
Like I said in my previous post I am in the process of becoming a Pure Barre instructor which has been an amazing journey for the past two months. I am almost there!
I am sure you have at least heard of Pure Barre, and if not just briefly it is a full body workout class that consists of a combination of ballet, yoga, pilates and isometric movements sometimes using a ballet barre. You can find out all you want about the history, techniques, etc. on their website. But that’s not what this post is about. It is about my health & fitness journey and how I can say that I am in the healthiest and best shape of my life. It’s about all the crazy diets, cleanses, fasts, workouts I have tried.
Growing up I was able to stay skinny as a rail and eat whatever I wanted. However I was always extremely active in high school. I ran track and was always conditioned. I was in great shape!
BUT then in college I became totally lazy as most college students do. I ate and drank like crap and was rarely active. I got sick a lot and had horrible skin. Somewhere in my college years I watched a video about the production of animal products in America and decided to become vegan. Which I did not do responsibly or in a healthful way. I basically ate nothing but bread and bunch of fake cheese and meat products. YUCK. Once I realized how horrible it was for my body I finally decided on just being a vegetarian to bring back proteins from yogurt, etc.
Then after college my metabolism that allowed me to always stay thin slowed down. I now cannot eat whatever I want and stay thin, my body holds the weight in my thighs and butt. And if I eat any unhealthy fat…that exactly where it goes.
I decided to start competing in beauty pageants and set out to get into great shape. I started running again, walking my dogs and working out. I even ran Warrior Dash. I was combining cardio, ballet and the Brazilian But workout. And I thought I was in good shape. Now looking back I can admit I was “skinny fat”. I had no muscle definition, no strength, I was just thin.
Shortly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer which just proved to show how unhealthy I was actually living. It does run in my family but the more research I have done there are so many things I was consuming, and putting on and into my body that contributed to the cancer.
I came out of the battle, cancer free and determined to become and live as healthy as possible. Organic, clean, not processed. Did a bunch of cleanses and even attempted to go on a raw diet. But that only lasted so long and I was back to a semi healthy lifestyle.
Over the years I have became what I guess you could call a pescatarian, however the lines are blurry. I eat only CLEAN fish such as salmon or tuna, that is wild caught, never farm raised. I do not eat eggs or any dairy besides Greek yogurt. Healthy grains, never processed. So there really is no title to my eating style.
Last year I became Miss Michigan US International and went on a crazy diet and committed to working out 6 days a week with a personal trainer for almost a year. I woke up and did cardio on an empty stomach, then would train for over an hour with weights and lunges. I ate small meals 6x a day. Cut out sugar, carbs COMPLETELY, I basically lived off proteins and vegetables. I went to a sauna 3x a week in a sweat suit to shed excess water weight. And I finally was in really great shape. I had little body fat, great abs and arm definition.
My hard work paid off! I placed in Top 5 at Miss US International.
However the crazy amount of strength training really built up the muscles in my thighs instead of slimming them. I am in no way saying in the above photo that I am not in great shape however my body proportions are off. My abs are toned and sculpted along with my arms however they are still thin. In comparison my thighs are muscular and large compared to my upper body.
Disclaimer! I am in no way cutting down weight training. Nor am I saying there is ANYTHING wrong with women who like large muscular thighs. When I look at the photo of myself I am extremely proud of all the work I put in to get there.
However my point is this:
For one being that I in fact model for a living I simply cannot have large muscular thighs.
And two, the lifestyle that it took to get to the way I looked in the above photo is not reasonable nor sustainable in the long run. Your body needs a well balanced diet including HEALTHY carbs, sugars and sodium. No one enjoys doing cardio at 7am on an empty stomach and then only eating 1/4 cup of plain oatmeal.
Which is exactly why shortly after I gained just over 5lbs as soon as I went back to a ‘normal’ life. Then I went to China for over a month and packed on some more weight due to the food and not being active. You can see in the below photo how I always carry my weight in my thighs.
I returned from China, 10lbs heavier, feeling wonderful about the experience but unhealthy and my skin started to freak out. My agency told me I needed to drop weight and clear my skin or I wasn’t going to be able to work for swim season. The stress did not help.
Then the game changed.
It all changed when I found Pure Barre.
Just over two months ago I accepted a studio management and instructor position in South Florida with Pure Barre. I had been wanting to commit to living in FL since my agency home is in Miami but without a job outside of modeling I wasn’t willing. It all happened on a whirl wind and now here I am in FL.
Upon moving I made a commitment to myself to start fresh, living a healthy, clean and balanced lifestyle. No diets, no fasts, nothing crazy. Just simple and natural.
I still am a vegetarian that doesn’t eat dairy or eggs, with the exception of very high protein & low sugar Greek yogurt. I also eat wild caught tuna & salmon for protein. Lots of fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes. Nothing processed, bleached or packaged. I try to be gluten free whenever possible. The only bread I will eat is the live sprouted kind.
The photo on the left was taken just under two months ago when I first arrived to FL. The photo on the right was taken last week. In just under two months that’s how Pure Barre has completely changed my body. My abs definition are back including my obliques, my arms are toned, my thighs are becoming sculpted but thinner!
And here's the craziest part. I love the workout. It is my favorite part of my day. I have never liked going to a gym or doing cardio because I had to. There were times I wanted to strangle my personal trainer during dead lifts.
Pure Barre is different. I enjoy it, which makes me want to go MORE!
I am committed. I am committed to living a healthy life, that involves eating clean and natural, being conscious of what I put in and on my body (lots more coming on this!) and staying active with something that I love and works!
All those years of diets, cardio, weights and money on a trainer have never changed me like Pure Barre has. And I couldn’t be happier to share it with everyone!
-with the other instructors during training-