The other day while getting dressed a caught glimpse of myself in the mirror and had to take a second glance. Things are changing.
Despite the huge push for self care with my counseling background, I – as many moms are guilty of – do not spend much time focusing on my personal needs. I almost always put the needs of others before mine. Sure, I take some time for me, but I constantly sabotage my efforts as I do not make my well being a priority making consistency nearly impossible. Over the past month though, that has changed – I have started to invest in me.
Right now might seem like an odd time to invest in myself. If you’ve read my previous posts you may already know that my husband left his job at the beginning of summer and has been searching for his next career opportunity. It’s not in my nature to spend money on myself, so doing so at a time where our money belt is cinched a bit tighter than normal seems a little unnatural, but it is a choice we have consciously made and I could not be happier with our decision.
A little less than a month ago a friend of mine encouraged me to go to a Barre3 class with her. She is an instructor, but is currently not teaching as she just had a baby. I was hesitant for many reasons, but she talked me into taking a class with her. She had amazing things to say about how it has changed her body as well as her mind. After attending my first class I was not fully convinced. I did not love the class. I like high energy classes that keep you moving and Barre has a lot of slow movement and controlled holds, pulses, and an inconceivable amount of squats – probably my least favorite exercise out there. I told her at the end of class that if she didn’t want to be friends she could have just told me rather than torturing me. Lol. I only kid. I was so sore the next few days. It was a good sore though, and I noticed that the areas I was the most sore were the exact same areas that I complain the most about wanting to tighten up. That said though, the price tag was hefty. I was worried about spending any money right now, so other than the free class she brought me to, I doubted I’d continue. I kind of wrote it off, but she kept talking up the benefits of Barre not only to me, but my husband as well. He encouraged me to take the time to focus on myself and try it out for a bit.
We agreed on a price point for a specific package which would allow me to get a good feel of the class. The company encourages you to take at least 3 lessons to try it out so that your body has a chance to get used to the new movements. I went to a second class a week later with my friend and although the class felt a bit better, I still wasn’t convinced. BUT, with the encouragement of my husband, I decided to go ahead and invest at least this one time. When I went to purchase my package I realized that they were running a promotion for new members offering a significant discount for the unlimited monthly classes. So, for the first month it was half the cost of what my husband and I agreed that we’d invest – AWESOME!
Well, they are right – 3 is the magic number because by my third class I was hooked! During the first two weeks of my membership I went everyday! Unfortunately, this streak had to end when we left for our camping trip, but I have been back steadily since our return home. It has been a little more than 3 weeks since I’ve been going and I’m already seeing changes to my body. My bum is lifting, my arms are more defined, and everything looks a bit tighter than last month. But more importantly, I feel great.
In addition to the Barre classes, I’ve also invested in better skincare products and focused on a regular skincare regiment. I mentioned in a previous post that I had recently become a consultant for Beautycounter. When I was first approached about the opportunity, I had only briefly sampled the products, but signed on because I believed in the mission. Now that I’ve used the products regularly, I am so thrilled that I took the leap. Not only are the products safer, investing into them has completely changed my regular beauty routine. I won’t lie – I have never been one to put too much attention into my skincare and often would go to bed with a face of makeup, but now that has changed completely. I am honoring the Beautycounter routine and I am so happy with the changes I am seeing. It’s not just about the changes I’m seeing in my face, but the changes I am seeing within myself. I am taking time to care about me!
I am trying to be patient with the transformations that I am currently making to my body, as I know big changes take time, but I feel good about the results that I’m getting so far. I’ve also had people make comments about my appearance asking me if I’ve lost weight or saying how fresh my face looks. It’s kind of caught me off guard – but man does that feel good! My husband is certainly noticing these changes too. Although a little firming up is always nice, I think he is proud of the shift he is seeing within me – rather than the simply the external changes. I feel better about myself overall and that’s important for the vitality of our relationship.
This month I’m continuing to challenge myself. I have decided to take on the Barre3 Challenge which includes eliminating gluten (DONE!), refined sugar (no prob!), dairy (easy enough), alcohol (getting harder), and COFFEE (aghhh!!!). I’m starting today and I’m super pumped. I think giving up both coffee and alcohol as a way to help focus on authentic body regulation. No more coffee to perk me up or wine to wind me down. Rather I am going to put my focus on healthy bedtimes and stress reduction that don’t require a nightcap. Right now I am challenging myself for 30 days, but perhaps it will end up longer. I gave up alcohol for 1 year a couple of years ago and it may have been my most productive year yet. Lol. If anyone is interested in joining me for this challenge – comment below and we can encourage each other along the way!
Overall, I am really glad that we didn’t let the recent employment changes dissuade us from making these investments. I am proud to say that my husband has started his first day with his new employer today and seems genuinely happy with the opportunity before him. We took a lot of risks this summer, but they seem to be paying off. I joke with my husband that the Bs are taking over my life – Beautycounter and Barre3, but he – without question – is my biggest supporter.