Confessions of a Barre Mom

Recently, I was able to pick the brains of our resident instructors Angela and Kim (aka supermoms) to see how they manage to balance the roles of being a wife, mom and instructor…

Added bonus: Angela shared some of her favorite tips for staying fit!

Tell us why you LOVE Neighborhood Barre and more importantly, how it has helped you both pre and post baby.  

A: It’s challenging but also fun. I’m not looking at the clock the whole time wishing it to be over which makes me want to keep doing the workouts versus getting burned out. Also, being low impact I get to burn a good amount of calories but still have enough energy to chase and haul 25lbs around for the next 12 hrs of the day!  

K: I love Neighborhood Barre and have been taking class and teaching for over two years. There are multiple things I love about this place: the intense workout, the fun music, the friendly instructors and most importantly the results. While pregnant, I came to class at least 3-4 times per week. It is low impact, so it was easy on my joints while carrying the extra weight. Now, one year post baby, I attend or teach class at least 4-5 times per week. I am, by far, in the best shape of my life! I also really love the community element at Neighborhood Barre. I see old friends and have made many new friends, including other new moms! It is my much needed escape in this new busy life with a toddler!

We know having little ones can keep you busy – how do you find time during the day to workout and teach classes and Neighborhood Barre?  

A: For me, I can sometimes squeeze a childcare or evening class in, but my personality and busy schedule has to have consistency if I’m going to make my workouts a priority. That means 6ams! I have actually come to enjoy it as my own “me” time before anyone else in the house wakes! I actually get ready for the day, make up and all, before the 6am because it’s the only uninterrupted time I have to focus on myself all day- and it’s really nice!  

K: I make my workout a priority. It’s that simple. I can always find an excuse to not workout: too busy, too tired, too much laundry…whatever! The commitment to health and fitness must be a priority! Even if your goals seem too big, start small and commit to two classes per week. I make sure I can get in my weekly workouts by utilizing the free childcare, getting a class in when my husband comes home for lunch or heading out when he gets home for the day.

What advice would you give a new mom looking to start classes at Neighborhood Barre?

A: Don’t be too hard on yourself- your body has just been through a lot. Commit to a plan, be consistent, listen to your body- push when you need it and rest when you need it- but don’t be lazy… You know the difference, just show up and do your best and over time you’ll get back to where you want to be strength and size wise. Don’t compare yourself to other post-partum mommies either- everyone’s body and story is different… Just love yourself and do your best!

What tips would give a mom who is trying to bounce-back after pregnancy?

A: You’ll be a better mommy and wife if you find a “me” thing that is unrelated to those two roles. For me, that thing is barre. It’s doubly awesome that my “me” thing makes me happy, stronger and more energized. I recommend bouncing back in a healthy way (both physically and emotionally) Drink lots of water, eat healthy food and good sized portions, don’t skip meals or binge, make a fitness plan that includes days and times for working out and stick to it by talking to your family about your goals and asking them to help you achieve them by running the house/kids during those times, get a good nights rest (hah- when you can and take a nap during the day when you can), love yourself and show yourself some grace… Perfection every day isn’t realistic but trajectory towards your goals is! Stick it out – you got this!

K: Put on your yoga pants and give NB a try! No matter where you are post baby, now is the time to try something new…And come take my class, I’ll have you back in those skinny jeans in no time:)

And now, advice from Angela…..

  • Try to do one active thing every day, even if it’s just going on a short walk. If you feel tired and lack energy, just commit to 10 minutes. Most times after the initial 10 minutes you won’t want to stop!
  • Don’t skip meals, ever. It messes with your metabolism and just isn’t healthy. It will keep you from reaching your long term goals.
  • If you’ll be eating out, make a plan. Don’t skip meals that day as it will only make you over indulge when you’re out. Try to order a normal sized portion… an appetizer as your meal or ask the waiter to pre-bag half of your meal before bringing it out to overcome the enormous portion sizes offered when out to eat. Don’t be scared to order “a la carte” as you can keep cleaner options that way and won’t be tempted with extra sides you didn’t even want in the first place.
  • Keep your non-stretchy (aka non-workout) pants close by and throw them on often. Yoga pants are comfy and practical, but they sometimes can also allow us to gain in size without realizing it.
  • Try not to use a scale as your measuring tool. Muscle is healthy and improves your metabolism. Muscle also weighs more than fat so weighing yourself too often can be disappointing or wrongly insightful. Instead, measure your focus areas with measuring tape, use your form fitting clothes to measure (they will get looser as you gain muscle and tone up), or get your muscle and fat mass measured doing a bod pod test.
  • Don’t reward yourself with food for your workouts. Eating an unhealthy, high calorie diet will make you bulk and prevent you from reaching the long lean healthy muscle results you’re reaching for. Working out is only part of the recipe- you have to eat right too.
  • Drink lots of water. I drink at least 130 ounces a day.
  • If you eat one bad meal or snack, don’t let it derail the entire day. Get back on track and stay positive.
  • Never go to the grocery store without a list- you will end up with unhealthy things in your kitchen and you’ll be destined to fall off the wagon.
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Angela – 8 mos pregnant, still killing it.

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Kim and barre baby, Colin.

The Bounce Back After The Binge.

Are you a weekend binge-eater? A late-night-pig-outer? Or a fall-off-the-wagon-all-week kind of person? With Spring Break upon us and summer looming in the near future, we decided to round up a few of our favorite tips and tricks from the NB team so you’ll be reaching for your bikini instead of that baggy white tee.

Hallie: “Drink as much water as you can handle! Divide your weight in half and you should be drinking that number in ounces a day. Also, add lemon to your water. Lemon breaks down the lactic acid in your muscles. I’ve found that not adding ice to my water allows for me to drink much more.”

Madison: “Chia seeds are my vice, I add them to my breakfast and lunch. They really keep me feeling satisfied. Also, I love using pasta substitutes like spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles using my Veggetti

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Ann Holland: “Drink lots of water. Limit sugars, grains, and dairy. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, and protein.”

Julia: “I love walking my dog first thing in the morning, well after 6 am barre of course ;), it’s become part of my daily routine and getting fresh air every day makes me feel so happy and healthy. I need a lot of protein in the morning to keep full after a hard morning workout at Nb, so I like to make smoothies – greek yogurt, a banana, peanut butter, and lots of spinach is my favorite. I think having a big protein filled breakfast and smaller meals throughout the day makes me feel my best!”

Katy: “Brags apple cider vinegar – good for skin, lowers blood sugar, and is a natural diuretic. Take a shot or mix with water. Anytime I’ve overindulged on the weekend, my ACV makes me feel so much better and gets me back on track.”

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Erin: “Replace one meal a day with a green smoothie (almond milk, spinach or kale and frozen fruit)!”

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Krista replaces unhealthy snacks with healthful homemade treats! Check out her recipe for Oatmeal Energy Bites (they are delicious).

Meanwhile in Mexico….. Kelly advises us to “steer clear of all-inclusive vacations”….

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Take A Peek Inside Madison’s Closet….

Our resident fashionista, Madison Ford, always looks so put together! From her oversized sweaters to street sneaks, we love her look at Neighborhood Barre. Below she has put together 3 looks – including accessories – to help keep us studio to street chic whether heading to brunch, errands, or happy hour, after class.

If I could choose one word to describe my closet (besides color coordinated) it would be practical. Since I spend the majority of my day in ‘barre attire’ I have really tried to fill my closet with staple pieces that can easily be dressed up or down depending on my plans post-barre. The key in adding versatility to your workout wear is accessorizing.  By grabbing a pair of sunnies, throwing on a cute sneaker, stacking bracelets or wrapping up in a scarf, you gain the ability to tailor your assemble to channel your personal style and, better yet, transition from class to post-class plans. I’ve put together a few outfits (from the studio) as well as my own closet below:

Brunch: This outfit is perfect for a weekend class when you plan on treating yourself to a mimosa after. Navy is such a strong color for Spring and these pieces from Beyond Yoga are far too chic and comfortable to only be seen in the studio. I grabbed a lightweight scarf, my favorite Tkees flops, and Ray Bans to complete the look.blog1  blog4

 Ray Ban aviators, Tkees flip-flops, Beyond Yoga top and leggings – available at Nb (duh).

Shopping: We all know shopping and errands equal walking (and lots of it) so I chose a neutral outfit that I could make pop with some cute sneakers.  NB plug: I am obsessed with the mesh detail of this pocket tank and a bright sports bra would add some edge to the look.

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Nike Air sneakers, Beyond Yoga top and leggings, BKR water bottle

Happy Hour: My mantra when choosing an outfit to take from barre to the bar is to stick to neutrals, and by neutrals I mean black.  I chose these specific items because of the detailing. The quilted texture in these Beyond Yoga leggings and the strappy Alo bra add an element of edge to the pairing. I left off a top because while keeping on your workout tank is totally fine (and recommended), I would bring my favorite cashmere to throw on after class.

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Sublte Luxury cashmere, Alo sports bra, Beyond Yoga leggings, BKR water bottle

What’s your must-have studio to street piece? Comment below!

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