Pure Barre Studio Owner, Jennifer Bodin, Shares How Pure Barre Changed Her Life
I’m getting personal this week on how Pure Barre saved me. I’ll go into details about my own personal transformation, both physically and mentally. I’ll share with you some amazing photos and success stories that I’ve witnessed because of the Pure Barre technique, I’ll fill you in on the (hard) journey I took before getting into the business and I’ll let you know what daily life is like being an entrepreneur in this industry.
Pure Barre will change your life, if you let it …
First, you need to know that I’m a real woman. I’m not just a “fit blonde” who has had everything handed to her with the perfect husband (although he’s pretty wonderful!), with the perfect house, perfect dogs, and perfect family. Real life has happened to me.
To get straight to the point: I’ve gone through a painful divorce, at a very young age, I’ve been a victim of physical, mental, verbal & emotional abuse, my mom has struggled with alcoholism for years, etc. (Sometime in the future I do plan to write more in depth posts about these moments and how I overcame them) … but for now, know that … I know life can be hard.
I’ve had to work really, really hard to get where I am in life & it’s been worth it! I’ve had to cut off relationships that were once meaningful. I’ve had to focus on putting all of my faith in God in order to get through those rough times and for the record – I’m a far better person, a more thankful person, because of my journey.
Pure Barre transforms bodies nationwide …
It was over four years ago when I started working on bringing the Pure Barre technique to the New Orleans area. No one in New Orleans even knew what “barre” was and some still don’t. I still remember interviewing with Carrie, creator of the technique, trying to convince her that New Orleans wasn’t just a “party place” and that we desperately needed Pure Barre. (I mean NOLA, aka “The Big Easy,” is known for Mardi Gras, drive thru daiquiri stores, no open container laws, etc … but it’s all about balance, right?)
But seriously though, I’m forever grateful she believed enough in me and approved me to be one of the first franchisees. Within six months, I had two studios. Fast forward four years, I’ve opened three locations, sold one and currently own two studios – Pure Barre New Orleans & Pure Barre Metairie Rd. Not only did the New Orleans area need Pure Barre, but I quickly learned that I desperately needed it too.
Pure Barre New Orleans | 3923 Magazine Street (Pure Barre New Orleans was about the 32ish location to open and today there are over 250 Pure Barre studios around the nation!
Healthy doesn’t happen overnight …
During the last four years, I’ve witnessed countless success stories, seen hundreds of bodies change, humbly watched as women formed healthy habits and positively changed their lifestyles – all because of Pure Barre. – I personally owe it to the Pure Barre technique for not only changing the shape of my body, changing how I feel about my body, but also teaching me that health and wellness really is a lifestyle – not a fad or a quick fix.
Can you see the change? I seriously hate looking at these before photos … mostly because of the lifestyle I was living at the time. However, these photos do remind me of how far I’ve come and that’s always important to remember.
[Side note: That's my amazing dad in the bottom photos. He's probably the smartest businessman I know and one of my best friends! Oh, and that's my first bulldog, Jasmine. She was my once-in-a-lifetime, forever, soul-mate dog. I still cry that she's gone.]
When you see photos of me now, you’re looking at a lifetime of progress – specifically four years of taking Pure Barre classes and making smart and healthy choices daily. You’re looking at a lifestyle change. It’s taken hard work, commitment, dedication, patience and plenty of “English bulldog” determination (which my husband could probably argue that I get a little too determined sometimes!)
Little changes bring big results …
Before Pure Barre, I weighed myself everyday, experimented with plenty of fad diets, tried every type of workout you can imagine. I even had access to some of the best trainers while working in the NFL, but I either ended up not enjoying the workouts, not seeing results as quickly as I wanted or I’d get bored pretty quickly. I worked out too much some weeks and not enough the other weeks and even though I knew how to prepare, weigh and portion my meals ahead of time I didn’t do it consistently. I was either at one extreme or the other … which lead to yo-yo dieting … and my weight fluctuating a lot – from 108 lbs. to 155 lbs. (I’m only 5’3″ so even 5 lbs. shows on me!) The whole process was out of balance, frustrating and discouraging.
After I started taking Pure Barre classes, I saw how fast my body began to change. Those results encouraged me to implement little changes in my day to day routine and I started to see huge results and live a more balanced lifestyle! I stopped drinking diet coke, I educated myself more on processed foods vs. whole foods, I experimented with some various healthy cleanses, I discovered how amazing juicing was, I found out what supplements I needed, etc. I started making smarter choices and my lifestyle (finally) completely changed.
Pure Barre is for every ‘body’ …
One of the things that I love about Pure Barre is that it really is for every ‘body’. I’ve got many clients of all ages, shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, who all benefit from taking class. The community of women formed inside the studio creates a judgment free zone where focusing on improving lives is top priority.
The technique itself is a full body workout that uses the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements that lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs, and arms, and burns fat in record- breaking time. (LTB: Lift. Tone. Burn.) There’s no dancing experience required, as Pure Barre is nothing like actually dancing – so no intimidation there! Pure Barre not only tests your physical strength but also tests your mental toughness. You have to block out life to simply focus on the specific muscle group you’re working – there are no time for distractions.
Pure Barre has become my go-to workout because it’s fun, effective and it makes living a healthy lifestyle more attainable. It’s helped me find balance and allowed me to love and appreciate my body. My top 4 reasons why I consistently fit Pure Barre into my life:
1. Pure Barre, the technique, is always evolving + every single class is always different. This means that I never get bored!
2. The longer I take Pure Barre, the harder it gets – truly. It doesn’t ever get easier.
3. Results are guaranteed, Pure Barre is time efficient and it works fast! My body is to the point where if I miss a week of working out, I can take just 3 55-minute Pure Barre classes and see results!
4. Pure Barre is an intelligent exercise and there are no impact on joints. (So if you have any pesky old knee, shoulder, wrist, ankle injuries, they typically aren’t affected by the workout.)
I don’t surround myself with negativity so it’s natural for me to want to be surrounded by the Pure Barre community because it is both motivating and empowering. I constantly need motivation to take class (yes, even I need to be motivated) and the energy during class is contagious – and quite frankly, necessary in order to finish strong! Pure Barre always makes me feel strong and leaves me craving more – and to feel a great the sense of pride and accomplishment after every class … that’s addicting!
Allow Pure Barre to change your life & stay inspired …
Wherever you are in your journey, stay inspired and health hard. I’m a walking testament that you can overcome difficult times and also live a happy, healthy and fulfilled life. Overall, you’ve got to find a wellness and fitness routine that’s enjoyable and works for you. For me, that means mixing up Pure Barre classes and Bikram yoga …with a side of green juice! (I’m talking juice next week!)
If you haven’t tried out a a Pure Barre class, you should … but be warned, it’s life changing! Schedule your first class at a studio near you and glance at these tips to help you prepare for your first class.
Have you taken a Pure Barre class? How has the Pure Barre lifestyle changed YOU? If you have any before and after photos email me!
Jennifer Bodin is the owner of Pure Barre New Orleans and Pure Barre Metairie Road, Louisiana and creator of Health Hard, a lifestyle community that encourages healthy habits and motivates you to press on no matter what life throws your way. Learn more about Jenn and Health Hard here.