Since I’m starting off the year with quite a few extra pounds and because my stretchable pants won’t stretch anymore, I decided to move more and eat more less. As I very well know from past experience, this is not the easiest thing to do, especially the ‘eat less’ part. However, this has become an absolute necessity because I have no money to spare on buying new clothes that fit my overweight body. That money is reserved for my beach vacations and “seefood” diet (to eat what I see). The struggle is real!
So, after much contemplation and taking into consideration my hatred towards gyms, I decided to drive around the neighborhood (insert: had hubby drive around neighborhood) to check out what other workout options were available close to home. It is then that I discovered Barre. I should have been as happy like the time I discovered the neighborhood bar and was excited to know I could actually drink and walk instead of drive home.
A quick online research educated me that Barre is a combination of ballet, yoga, pilates, and fancy words like isometric strength training. Photos showed beautiful (skinny) women with great posture doing things I should be doing instead of eating bagful of potato chips before dinner. Dang, now I’m hungry! What was not to love about that? I signed up for a trial class immediately.
For my first day I found and dusted my 8-year-old yoga pants that were originally black but now look gray and got ready to take over the Barre world. As I walked into the dimly lit studio with fresh towels and essential oil diffusers and humidifiers, tiny bands and balls, mats and weights, the only thing I could really pay attention to were the big French doors that opened up to a busy street. Perfect! Entire Folsom driving down that street would now see me squeezing those balls (pun intended) and doing my happy baby pose on those mats that in reality look like I am lifting my legs and farting, which might be what I’m really doing. When the instructor cracks open the door to let the cool air in, she is actually letting the gas out.
But that was not the worst of all. As I positioned myself in class and glanced at the mirror I quickly observed:
- I was the fattest person in the room
- I was the most covered in clothing
- My clothing was highly out-of-place as it did not include the word “barre” anywhere and had an image of an elephant instead. #barrefail
- I was the only woman not wearing any makeup
- And by the end of the class I looked like this…
Coming back to the point that every single person in the studio was wearing something, including socks, that had “barre” written all over it was in general very helpful. My mind was at ease at all times knowing I was indeed in the right place and not in the cycling class adjacent to it. I think I’m going start appearing at random places, like the movies, wearing a shirt that says “movies” to avoid any confusion.
This class also turned out to be very enlightening. I found out why most stay-home moms are skinny. They are constantly working out, unlike me sitting at a desk all day stuffing my mouth with food out of depression from sitting at said desk. Some of these women take two to three classes a day – while their kids are at school and after their husbands get back from work. Their motivation, as per a very loud conversation, is to get bikini-ready in time for summer. At whatever angle I look at them, they seem to be those women who are ready for bikinis year-round, which is a smart thing to do with global warming and all. But what do I know? I come from a culture where Lord Krishna was so tired of all his scantily clad girlfriends, that in his divine speech to Arjun made sure our culture would shun women wearing underwear in public and my body would never get into a bikini during the years it remotely could. I’ve enjoyed swimming in the ocean fully clothed. The laser vision of men that penetrated through the heavy wet fabric clinging to my underwear was the closest to a bikini my bikini-ready body would ever see.
Maybe that is why I am often confused why people feel the need to constantly look at themselves in the mirror at every angle while working out. That is the level of self-love I need to attain because right now I just scare myself if I have to look into the mirror at any given time to check my posture. The positioning of my own butt is becoming the root cause to my nightmares along with my feet that are the only pair of non-pedicured ones in the class. I need to get me some socks that say “pedicure.”
Jokes apart, I am quite enjoying the classes. Most importantly they are good for me in many ways, especially because it keeps me away from the bar and kids at the same time and teaches me self-restraint for all those time I don’t end up punching the instructor to show her exactly how strong I am when she repeats, “You can do it. You are SO strong!” I also know I am not the only woman who feels this way (yes, I am admitting to my judgmental nature) because it provides me the humor to get through this process of trying to fit into my stretchable pants. So for all those of you trying out something new to get healthier or like me being too cheap to buy new clothes or mad at yourself for throwing away years of hard work, know I’m rooting for you and trying to keep it real one Barre at a time.