Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

The Fat Ballerina

on June 22, 2011

I took dance from the time I was 4 until I was around 13. I remember loving the costumes, the sparkles and the moves my older cousin and her friends had. I wanted to be a cool kid. I wanted to be a dancer. I still have every old costume saved in the attic, and I still have fond memories of those years. I started off taking tap and jazz. I loved jazz, it was funky music I knew from listening to the radio. One year we danced to “Hot Stepper” by Ini Kamoze. Years later I would hear that song at work and bust into choreo. No lie. πŸ˜‰

Here I am (being a ham) dancing to “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”. Someday when I reach my goal weight I will buy a yellow polka dot bikini and do a comparison picture!Β  (Please note the “Yeah, I’m awesome” face I’m making. Haha. )

I never took ballet. At the time I think you had to be 12 to start and by then I wasn’t interested. I had moved on from my dreams of being a dancer to wanting to be a doctor (but then I found out blood was involved and that dream fell by the wayside too, LOL). I’ve always held a soft-spot ballet; I’ve seen “The Nutcracker” several times and I find the art form to be one I respect and admire. However, as a 311 pound adult I didn’t think I was cut out to try a ballet workout. I was SO wrong. Being a fat ballerina is totally possible!

I found Jess and Jolene‘s blogs on a whim (I’m really not sure how I stumbled upon them, kismet I guess!). They both mentioned the barre workout at a studio called barre n9ne in Danvers. I was intrigued. I wanted to hear about their 60-day challenge with barre n9ne and was blown away by their progress in the first 30 days!Β  Jolene lost 8.25 inches all around and Jess lost 6! That’s over a foot of loss! Go ladies, go!

This morning I had my very first barre n9ne virtual workout. Literally it was just me, my laptop and my living room. How cool is that?! I expected to be slightly challenged, but I figured as a long-time dancer (and now bellydancer) I could handle this like a pro. I was so, so, SO wrong. I almost died. Ok ok…I didn’t almost die. But it sure felt like I might! Tanya is a *professional* – and she is in excellent shape. We did a full body workout – legs (plies, leg lifts of doom, squats lifting one heel), abs (roll-ups, plank of death etc) along with a bunch of other stuff. My brain is mush. However, I distinctly remember laying on the ground thinking “Dear god are we almost done? I cannot do one more leg lift. It’s been an hour!“. I glanced at the clock – it had been 3 mins. Well…it FELT like an hour!

I can’t wait for the next one. Honestly. I never thought I would say this, but I love getting up before the sun and getting my ass kicked! Wanna join me? All you need is a good internet connection and Skype 5.0 or higher! Sign up here! Wednesday mornings at 6:15am! πŸ™‚

I asked Jess and Jolene about their experiences with the barre n9ne workouts and I wanted to share their feelings with you guys:


This 60-day challenge has changed me. Infinitely. And we’re only a little bit more than halfway through – and I am so very grateful. I’ve learned (already) to love what my body can do – that it can take on any challenge I ask it to. That I can eat healthfully and wholesomely and still have “fun” – especially on the weekends (my nemesis, or it *was* my nemesis I should say!). That I am stronger than I thought – especially mentally. Some of the movements we’re asked to do in barre n9ne require ridiculous concentration and control – and it hurts (so good). I’ve learned that by closing my eyes when the going gets tough, I can breathe through it and conquer those loonnnnnng sets of never-ending reps. But most of all? I’ve learned to love what I see in the mirror – because I did that. It is the most empowering feeling I’ve ever felt. And I’m grateful.

What I love: All of it. Every single minute of class. These classes are the right balance of intensity with endurance and I always feel so loose and strong and powerful by the end. And I realize that the more classes I do, the more I want to keep taking classes and make this a lifestyle change for me. No more gym. No more spinning. No more kickboxing. JUST Barre N9ne and running. I never in a million years thought I’d say that. I used to love spinning more than anything and now? I couldn’t care less. The results I’ve seen in a month have been incredible and the mix of these classes, with running and eating to ‘my number’ have been the magic combination for me.

What I’ve learned: I’ve learned that you definitely need to love your workout to stick with it. Not to totally compare this to Core Fusion, or the 30-day at-home challenge Jess and I did awhile back, but I look back at that and while I did like the DVDs (and the classes are hands-down, the best, especially with Fred DeVito co-creator, at the helm!), I didn’t love them nearly as much as these workouts. I think barre n9ne is the right mix for me. It’s always different, there are constantly new moves and tweaks to moves we’ve done before to keep my body guessing. I’ve also learned that keep tracking of calories and being held accountable (even if I know it’s just me and Tanya peeking at my journal in FitDay!) has helped me focus and even more think twice before eating something. Am I hungry? Or am I just thirsty? Or bored? Eat to fuel, don’t eat to cover up another emotion or feeling or need.

What I’m surprised by: I’m surprised at how I view food now. I LOVE to eat, don’t get me wrong. But I no longer see food as a driver to happiness…and I think I sort of did equate it with that before. Food is fuel and sure, food makes me happy, but it shouldn’t be a big reason for that. It’s hard for me to explain, but now, when I do choose to go out to dinner (rarely!), I enjoy the company and the glass or two of wine MORE than the food, because I see the food as fuel and not as indulgence. I don’t gravitate towards the middle of the road/semi-bad, I veer towards as healthy as I can be. I look up nutritionals before I go out so I have an idea of my calorie intake and planning ahead for it. Because I view food this way, it doesn’t feel like I am deprived. And honestly, I am eating much of the same foods as I was before, but just with a lot less daily indulgence. It’s cleaner, it’s moderated and I just FEEL better.

Doesn’t it sound totally awesome? I know! πŸ™‚


12 responses to “The Fat Ballerina

  1. jobo says:

    Ahh!! I LOVE this! SO glad you loved the workout and it was as hard as we’ve been saying, hehe πŸ˜‰ I am so glad we ‘met’ too and can’t wait for you to try the park class!!!

  2. Katrina says:

    This sounds awesome! I might have to check this out. I love finding new workouts that don’t involve me running or spinning or kicking. πŸ˜‰

  3. Aleksie says:

    I’ve been taking “ballet aerobics” IRL, and my ass was kicked initially, but after the first few classes, it’s getting better.

  4. JessSutera says:

    I am SO SO SO happy we “found” eachother and that this class left such a big impact on you. That makes my heart smile πŸ™‚ You’re right – Tanya is killer!! SO GOOD!! Can’t wait to take a real class together soon πŸ™‚

  5. The pilates studio I go to is starting a barre method workout class the Saturday after the 4th of July–I’m not going to be able to go every Saturday, but I hope to make it there at least a couple of times a month. It sounds amazing! (, if anybody local is interested)

  6. Jess and Jolene’s results are pretty amazing and are a testament to the fantastic workout that they are doing. I have been doing barre workouts for years and credit them with initiating my love for fitness. Good luck with your progress and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  7. Sam! Great post!!!! I was in virtual class with you too the other day!!! Yup, it was killer & awesome. I love your ballet “love”….I am good friends with Tanya; we co-teach a DanceFIT Babies class together. I am teaching my own virtual class(es) next week. Virtual BalletFIT….Try it with me!!! You can still stay in your living room! Nutcracker, here we come!

  8. djperaza says:

    I was also in the virtual class. I thought I was the only one that felt like I couldn’t handle another rep! It feels awesome afterwards though! Will be taking more virtual classes for sure!

  9. I love the see food as fuel line. I think that’s one I’ll write down and refer to when needed as a reminder. I love food, which was my reason for being so over weight. I do have a better relationship with it now but it still has it’s ups and downs. Remembering that while I love the taste, it should really only be for fuel will help me back away from the table. Thanks for this wonderful take away!

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