Set the Table + Pure Barre Belmar | Pt. 3

This post is the third in a series I'll be sharing in partnership with Pure Barre Belmar. All opinions are my own! Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be sharing my journey with Pure Barre Belmar and giving you updates on my stats. I hope you'll follow along! 

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It's been about a year and a half since I began exercising regularly. It was so hard in the beginning. Actually, it was hard even before I began. I couldn't imagine finding the time to exercise outside of my home for one hour a week, let alone 2 or more. As with most things, I had to start small and see that it was doable. I had to see that I could find the time if I really wanted to. Once I felt comfortable carving out two hours of time a week to exercise (this took nearly a year), I knew it was time to add a bit more. Enter: Pure Barre Belmar

Honestly, it isn't easy for me to get to my barre classes. This particular studio is nearly a half hour away from my home. But the wonderful thing about it is that I get time to myself in the car. I listen to audiobooks and podcasts more than usual and I savor each quiet moment of my drive. It's therapeutic in so many ways and has helped me develop thoughts and ideas that otherwise float right out the window because someone needs a snack or wants me to read or another of the 3,572 things I do every day for my sweet children. I don't take any of that for granted, just to be clear. 

After getting the drive to myself, I get to spend 50 minutes toning my body. The results have been wonderful and surprising. And every moment has been 100% worth it. 

And with that, here is my third update, including my measurements! The big news: my waist is starting to shrink! Slowly but surely, my muscles have strengthened and begun to tone up. I. am. THRILLED. 

waist: 30 1/2 inches (-1/2 inch)

thighs: 21 inches (-1 inch)

hips: 37 1/2 inches (-1 1/2 inches)

biceps: 10 1/2 inches (-1 inch)

bust: 34 1/2 inches (-1/2 inch) 

Here's my advice: if there is something you've been wanting to try that just might stick long term and make you healthier, just give it a try. The hardest part is taking that first step to get started! Also, in a year, you won’t regret taking care of your body.  You will regret if you don’t at least try to make an effort. Trust me. I’ve been there. 

 

Wasteless Wednesday | Getting Started

Every Wednesday, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite ways to work toward a zero waste 24 hours in the kitchen. These tips are easy to implement, affordable (anyone else a fan of saving $$$?), and kind to our planet.

Welcome to my first Wasteless Wednesday post! Today, I'm offering my favorite (and easiest) tips for those of you who need to take that first step to wasting less. We have gotten to the point where our trash bin is rarely even half full because of how much we've reduced the amount of trash we produce in the kitchen! None of it has been disruptive to our lifestyle and all of it has saved us money and time.

 Here we go:

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Reusable Sandwich/snack bags: These bags are essential, especially if you have little ones! They are perfect for packing snacks for the park, or for school lunches. And they are really easy to clean! It’s amazing how much money you can save with this one simple change. 

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Bees Wax Wrap: I have to admit that I struggled with this change in our kitchen. It felt strange to me not using plastic wrap. But after a few weeks, I started to really love this stuff. It keeps food just as fresh as plastic wrap and it can be used over and over and over again with a simple wash in soapy water in between uses. 

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Glass Straws: I am obsessed with these! We have smoothies a few times a week and after using paper straws (great for photos but TERRIBLE for actually drinking smoothies out of) I finally decided to give these glass straws a try. I love them because, unlike stainless steel straws, you can see through them so you know if they are nice and clean. We've had ours for well over a year now and, I know some of you are wondering about this, we have not broken any! With a 3 year old and a 6 year old using them daily, that's saying a lot about their durability! 

So here’s what you can do with this information: order what you feel comfortable getting started with. For us, the straws were the easiest place to start. Or, go ahead and jump in by getting all three. Starting small with big changes is key. Fortunately, every small change you make will make counts! 

If you start implementing any of these changes, I’d LOVE to see photos! Share on Instagram and tag me (@setthetableblog) in the photo!  ♥️

Set the Table + Pure Barre | Pt. 2

This post is the second in a series I'll be sharing in partnership with Pure Barre Belmar. All opinions are my own! Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be sharing my journey with Pure Barre Belmar and giving you updates on my stats. I hope you'll follow along! 

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Well, it's been a month! I've gone to 13 barre classes and I feel like a different person. The changes may be small from the outside, but I can feel it in a BIG way on the inside. I don't know how to explain it except to say that there was a shift in my mindset after class 5 or 6. I realized that I didn't have to surrender to what I thought my body couldn't do after 2 c-sections. Instead, I needed to focus on what it could do. That alone has taken my fitness and body image to a whole new level. 

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I've been consistently going to 2 classes a week at Pure Barre Belmar, but I’m working on fitting at least 3 classes in each week. I did this last week and I could tell by the third class that I would make MUCH more progress going that often. It can be hard to schedule with the kiddos, as usual, but I'm determined and some things simply cannot go on the back burner. So, the 3 year old gets extra time with grandpa and I get extra time to get stronger and healthier. WIN WIN. 

Current STATS  

And now for my updated measurements! I'm proud to say that there is some movement! My thighs, hips AND biceps are slightly leaner, which is AMAZING. To see the measurements from my first post, click here! I want to point out that I don't love keeping track of anything involving number. Weight, inches...it sometimes gives me anxiety. I am easily discouraged if I don't see HUGE changes in numbers, whether it is weight or inches. But for you guys, I'm gonna do it! And I promise not to get down on myself if the numbers don't change as much as I'd like. Because that doesn't help anyone. #lifeslessons 

And now, without further ado, my updated measurements: 

waist: 31 inches

thighs: 21 3/4 inches

hips: 38 1/2 inches

biceps: 10 1/2 inches

bust: 35 inches 

I'm over here doing a happy dance because I was not expecting any changes at all! Now, I wonder how much more of a change I'll see after upping my attendance to three times a week...? 

How you can follow along:

I'll be sharing more with you in my Instagram Stories and here on the blog over the next couple of months. I'm excited to share my progress with you and I hope this encourages some of you to get out of your comfort zone and try something new to improve your health! If you're local, head over to Pure Barre Belmar to give them a try! 

If you want to start your own Pure Barre experience, local friends can use code SETTHETABLE at Pure Barre Belmar to get your first class free! 

I have so much more to share with you, so if you'd like to keep up to date on these posts, sign up for email updates (if you're on a computer, head to the side bar to your right and enter your email address; if you're on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the page) so the posts go directly to your inbox. I promise I won't get all spammy! 

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Set the Table + Pure Barre Belmar

This post is the first in a series I'll be sharing in partnership with Pure Barre Belmar. All opinions are my own! Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be sharing my journey with Pure Barre Belmar and giving you updates on my stats. I hope you'll follow along! 

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Guys. I started taking barre classes and I have a couple of thoughts to share with you right from the get-go: First, I NEVER thought I'd be one of those people to even consider doing something like barre because only super serious, in-shape people do it, right? Turns out, the people who do barre look so in shape BECAUSE OF barre. You have to start where you're at to get where you want to be. Second, my core muscles, mushy from 2 c-sections and years of simply not using them, are actually starting to show some life! Trust me. I'm as surprised as you are. 

Why I decided to give barre a try: 

A few months ago, I was invited to an event for the new Pure Barre in Belmar. Since I had never tried barre, I decided to accept the invite, hoping to get our of my comfort zone a bit. After a brief class, I couldn't stop thinking about it! I was sore in places I didn't know I could be sore. Also, when I looked around the room, I saw a bunch of lean, strong women and I thought: YES. I want to be lean and strong too. 

My workouts up to this point have been amazing. I have grown much stronger over the past year and I still love going to my classes each and every week. But variety is also important when you're trying to live a healthy lifestyle. And barre is just the variety I need physically and mentally. 

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What I love about barre after 2 weeks of classes: 

It's already making me stronger! Two weeks doesn't seem like a long time, but in those two weeks and 4 classes, I can already feel my muscles changing, specifically in my core. Since having my first baby 6 years ago via emergency c-section, followed by another c-section 3 years ago, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would never have a toned midsection. But you know what? I truly believe barre is going to help me achieve what I thought was impossible. 

I also love how barre focuses on the entire body and provides a challenging workout every time. I thrive on feeling challenged when it comes to exercise. If things start to get too easy, I lose interest. So far, barre has proven to be one of the most challenging things I've done and that makes me feel great. 

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Current STATS:

Remember how I said this whole barre thing was out of my comfort zone? While we are discussing being out of my comfort zone, might as well throw some measurements in there for you! These measurements were taking a few days ago and I'll do another update in 2 weeks, along with what I'm SURE will be stunning before and after photos. 

  • waist: 31 inches
  • thighs: 22 inches
  • hips: 39 inches
  • biceps: 11 inches 
  • bust: 35 inches

My hope is that the inches around my waist and my thighs decrease. I'm not looking for anything super drastic at this point, but I'd like to see a shift there. 

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How you can follow along:

I'll be sharing more with you in my Instagram Stories and here on the blog over the next couple of months. I'm excited to share my progress with you and I hope this encourages some of you to get out of your comfort zone and try something new to improve your health! If you're local, head over to Pure Barre Belmar to give them a try! 

If you want to start your own Pure Barre experience, local friends can use code SETTHETABLE at Pure Barre Belmar to get your first class free! 

I have so much more to share with you, so if you'd like to keep up to date on these posts, sign up for email updates (if you're on a computer, head to the side bar to your right and enter your email address; if you're on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the page) so the posts go directly to your inbox. I promise I won't get all spammy! 

Here's to being strong and healthy and willing to try something new!

-Rachael