I am not going to lie, I have pretty much been on the thinner side of the scale my whole life. In fact, I rarely needed to buy a size larger than a 4. All of this changed, however, when my husband and I decided to start a family. Two heartbreaking miscarriages and two fertility medications later, we were successfully pregnant. And, about 25 pounds heavier than my usual weight….at the start of my pregnancy. Well, add 22 pounds of pregnancy weight onto that over the next 9 months, and by the time I gave birth I had an overall weight gain of close to 50 pounds.
Now I know this may not sound like a lot to some people, but for the record, I am 5’ 1”. Unfortunately some people were brutal to me about this weight gain. I can absolutely sympathize with Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson. Women would just look at me and make cruel comments about how you can never lose all the weight. I dropped the 22 pregnancy pounds pretty easily, but at 4 months postpartum I was still with almost 30 extra pounds and depressed. I was officially overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy. No, not postpartum I can’t get out of bed depressed. It was a, “I can’t stand the way I look or feel,” depressed. It really hit me when I looked back and realized that I had only ONE picture taken of my child and I together because of my insecurity. That is when I knew I had to make a change.
My career as a trauma surgeon continuously teaches me that life is too short. That message never rang more true than at this point in my life. Although I do believe that life is too short not to eat a piece of cake every once in a while, life is also too short to not be happy with yourself…especially to the point that you won’t have your picture taken with your newborn child. So, I talked to my wonderfully supportive husband, who seriously is the best man on the planet. I started to think about my life and wanted to set a goal… something that I never thought I could do in a million years. I signed up for a 5K. Again, this may not seem like much to some people, but even when I was young and thin and a cheerleader, I was never a runner. I hated it. Running around the track in high school was my own personal seventh level of hell. But I needed something, anything to help pull me out of the dark place I was in, and I was hoping those 3.1 miles would be it.
Let me tell you, getting back in shape and in the gym was tough. I felt awkward, big, and quite frankly, ugly. I didn’t have cute gym clothes and couldn’t find any that were flattering. So I worked out in maternity t-shirts and baggy shorts. And I started out slowly, working out three days a week and slowly increasing. I did the ‘Couch To 5K’ program and literally started by running in 1 minute increments. I also slowly and steadily changed my diet. I downloaded My Fitness Pal and began recording my food. Six months after my first road race ever, and before my child’s first birthday, I ran a half-marathon. I felt such a sense of accomplishment I can’t even begin to explain the depth of it.
I was now 20 pounds lighter, but not yet still at my goal. That is when I found Pure Barre.
I had a girls’ weekend and saw my best friend since 3rd grade for the first time in over a year, and she looked great. I mean, high school-thin-and-fit great. So I asked her what she had been doing and she replied, “Oh, this is all from Pure Barre.” I had no idea what Pure Barre was, but took a class with her over that weekend. And just like most people during their first class, I realized it was brutal! I actually cursed her under my breath during my first class, told her she was crazy, and that I didn’t realize that extremity seizures were supposed to be a good thing!
Well, needless to say, that first class revealed my next self-imposed fitness challenge. I signed up for the New Client Special, and told myself I had to go to at least 10 classes that month. I haven’t looked back since, and that was five months ago. In the first two months, I lost 2 inches off my waist, and those aren’t the only changes I have enjoyed. My running times have dramatically improved, and I have lots more energy. In addition to the better posture, sculptured arms and the abdominal definition, I have regained even more confidence. Confidence not only in how I look, but also in appreciation for what my body can accomplish! I now recommend Pure Barre to everyone and love bringing my friends to their first class! It is low impact, challenging, and most importantly, effective! Five months in and I continue to appreciate changes to my body and my mind. Thank you Pure Barre, from my son and I, because now he has lots of pictures with his mommy.
-Jamie Coleman, Pure Barre Enthusiast from Pure Barre Indianapolis, IN – Carmel