Pure Barre Review: I didn’t die!

Before I start, I’m up 2.6 lbs for the week. Hormone hell-week has commenced. I expect better numbers next week.

I went to my first Pure Barre class today! My legs and arms are still shaking and I could wring sweat out of my shirt. Hope y’all enjoy that visual.
This is me before, wearing my green for St Pattys.

I was very nervous. I don’t really fit well into new social situations. I’m pushing 30, married, but no kids. I drive a semi truck to California and back every week, yet I live in the Beverly Hills of the South. I’m lily white but crank Tupac and Jay-Z in Dolly Parton, my trusty Acura (everyone names their cars, right? RIGHT??) I’m from the uber conservative Bible Belt of central Alabama, yet I’m as liberal as they come. You get the picture. I’m a social outcast pretty much.
So rolling up to Pure Barre in Buckhead this morning, I felt really out of place. I purchased my class online (their system is super easy to use, you can buy packages and schedule classes, AWESOME time saver). Dolly Parton parked among the BMWs and Mercedes of the group and it kind of made me feel like I should’ve driven my husbands BMW just to blend.
I stood outside among women who all talked to each other and not to me. It’s ok, they knew each other from other classes I assume. Then I realized that I was the fattest person there.

They were all tiny.

The largest size there may have been an 8. And that’s a stretch.

I had body envy.

I’m their worst nightmare. I’m the reason they go to Pure Barre in the first place. I’ll take being an inspiration any way I can, even if it’s so people don’t end up like me. Because obesity sucks, y’all. It’s an avoidable battle that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I got over my urge to cry and walked into the building.

Self pity is not progressive. Moving your ass is.

Upon entering the class, I approached the desk and signed in. I had already read a few reviews online and knew that I would need some grippy socks. I contemplated wearing either my old ballet shoes or these:

But I figured that would make me look like even more of an idiot. Smart move on my part, because this is what the socks they sell look like:

I inquired about them and I guess the instructor didn’t want me to waste my $ if it was my only class, so she said that I could just use the socks I had on. Bad move. I had a twenty dollar bill. I should have bought the socks (for $12 and some change). My feet slid all over the place. Live and learn.

Here comes my first screw up of the class. Somehow I was so nervous I didn’t see the sign that said to remove your shoes before walking into the classroom. I totally spaced it and felt like a huge dummy. Me, the worlds largest germaphobe, broke a sanitation rule. Of COURSE no one wanted to work out on a floor that had shoe grime on it. I felt the need to apologize to my fellow classmates, but I just won’t make that mistake again. Another lesson learned.

The I grabbed a stretchy tube, two small hand weights, and a little ball and found a spot on the floor where I thought I’d have the best view of the teacher. The music was great! Remixes of popular music, upbeat with enough bass in it to get you going. The class started out quickly and really feels like a blur now that it’s over. We worked our legs, rear ends, and abs– oh, the abs how we worked them… Exercises were moved from standing positions, to the floor, to the barre and back, using the tubing, weights, and ball. Small, quick movements really made you feel it and burn in a hurts so good kind of way. I was pouring sweat. I concentrated on my breathing and the instructor. She did a fantastic job of motivating us through the class. My thighs were quivering within the first 5 minutes of the 55 minute class. There was a time during the class that I wasn’t sure I could finish. And just like magic, she said “30 more seconds! You can do ANYTHING for 30 seconds!” and that spoke to me.

I can do anything for 30 seconds.
I can do anything for 30 minutes.
I can do anything for 55 minutes.

I’ve been on this path to healthy living since July 31st of last year and my life has gotten better and better.

I can do any damn thing I please with this lumpy, capable, strong body.

And I did.

And it won’t be this way forever because I’m changing it every single day.

The class ended and I jetted outside to get some fresh air. When I climbed in Dolly, I checked my face in the mirror. As always with a workout, tomato red. My arms and legs were shaking so bad I wasn’t sure I could drive home so I sat there a few minutes and reflected on what I’d just done.

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, especially as an obese person, is hard. But it’s necessary. Fat people retreat into themselves and don’t socialize and participate in group activity. I’ve spent the better part of the last 10 years that way. No more.

I’m signing up for a monthly pass so I can take as many Pure Barre classes as my weekly home schedule allows. Something about standing at that barre took me back to every year of the 15 I spent in dance classes. It was comfortable and familiar. I even caught myself smiling through the sweat. I’m hooked.

Check out a Pure Barre class in your area. They have an awesome website!


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40 Responses to Pure Barre Review: I didn’t die!

  1. Carolyn @ lovinlosing.com says:

    Good for you!! I’m awkward in new situations, too! I hate small talk and meeting new people.

    • Oh I am the queen of awkward. Partly because I find it hard to lie so i pretty much say whatever pops into my head. Also, I don’t get out of the truck much so when I do I talk and talk and talk:) or stand there quietly because I feel so out of place, which was the case at Pure Barre.

  2. Michelle says:

    Awesome review! While I don’t have the balls to go to a class alone (I’m just not there yet), I am dying to try this. I was a dancer a really long time ago and would love to try this.

  3. Emily says:

    Major props for trying something that put you out of your comfort zone! Not quite ready to run out to a Pure Barre class myself, but you’ve inspired me, so maybe one day!

  4. Good for you! I’m so glad you found something that clicked. I’m going to give Pure Barre a try for sure!

    • Let me know how you like it! When I love something I’m fiercely loyal to it and spread the word as much as possible. This is such a great workout, my whole body aches!

  5. Cindy says:

    Great review, it inspired me to look up a their website and hope their might be a something close. Not one in the whole state of Indiana! So the closest I will come to doing a pure barre class is through reading your blog :) I used to live in Marietta, GA and Buckhead is super exclusive – Good for you for going out of your comfort zone – it makes me want to find a new exercise to try!

    • Aw that’s too bad! Hopefully they will expand to your area. Yes, I feel like a big country fish out of water in Buckhead but I love it. There’s always something to do and something going on and I LOVE the fact that I can walk anywhere. Even if I do stand out like a hillbilly sore thumb;)

  6. Diana says:

    Hi…thinking about taking this class after I finish my “Insanity” DVD series. Unfortunately there are no classes available here in Greenville SC. I loved your review and I too am not much for small talk and new social situations :) – how are you doing with the classes so far? Have you seen an improvement with weight/inches?

    • I hear the DVDs are awesome as well. I havent been back, but mostly due to life getting in the way. I highly recommend Pure Barre though! I may order the dvds for home myself.

  7. Melissa says:

    I’ve been considering trying pure barre for a while and thisvhas convinced me. I’m a flight attendant so I’ll buy the dvd’s for the road but I’ll also be looking into classes in my area.
    Your blog really is inspiring, truly one can do anything for 30 seconds, 30 minutes, 55 minutes.

    On another note, ignore the other bodies in those classes, they belong to other women and the one that belongs to you is equally beautiful, and yes, strong and capable.
    Certainly there is always room for improvement, plenty of room here in my own body, but loving, accepting and rejoicing in who we are right now is key in happiness . . . . . . That’s my two cents :)

  8. jennifer marcum says:

    I just wanted to commend you for trying these classes. I personally love them and in conjunction with regular bike rides and walking I have truly noticed a difference in my body and lifestyle. I too was very intimidated when I walked into class the first few times. It is a fast paced, hip environment- none of which I would characterize myself as. I now walk in confidently and always make sure to smile and appear welcoming to all. It doesn’t seem right that on top of a daunting and physically exhausting task, one should feel the anxiety of social acceptance. I hope many people will be inspired by your words and encouraged to try new activities. Good luck to all.

  9. Cory says:

    I’m taking my first class tomorrow night…so glad I read your blog to prepare! You sound like my exercise soul sister! :)

  10. Maggy Moo says:

    Hey there! I just read your review and I swear, I could have written it! I am the only middle-aged chubby woman in my Pure Barre cohort, but I am totally committed to sticking with it. I had the same exact experience as you (everyone already knows everyone else from other classes, triathlon training, PTO, yada-yada), and felt very much like the outcast, with the one possible difference being that the studio I go to just opened and I was there literally from the word “go”. But I think it’s women like you and I who can be the inspiration for others, and it’s so important for us to be in these spaces. If I can achieve what Pure Barre is promising, what better advertisement could they possibly ask for, right?

    • Thanks for your comment! I really love pure barre and wish I had more time (and money!) for it. I think it’s important for people that are overweight to be in those classes to show other people who happen by that you are welcome and accepted. How else are we going to shrink our asses if we’re scared to go in?
      Do glad you enjoy PB!

  11. Jen says:

    Great review.

  12. We need an after photo!!! I just started and need encouragement! :) Good work for going I’m sure you look even better than you did before!

  13. Sam says:

    I am fighting the same battle as you and I have to say your positive, no BS attitude is an awesome inspiration! : ) good luck, keep taking the pure barre class. I’m doing it too and I love it!!

  14. Kourtnie McKenzie says:

    I am TOTALLY with you on this review! Biggest girl in the class, but darn it, I made it through it, and I’m going back again!!

  15. Lauren says:

    Girl, I just joined PB in Buckhead a month and a half ago and I surely felt like a fish out of water. Now I’m totally addicted! I’ve lost 7.5 inches and 11.5lbs. I still have about 35lbs to lose and don’t plan on quitting. I’d love to see you back in the studio!

  16. lisa says:

    This is the BEST review of pure barre I have ever read! I am about three weeks in and your play by play of the first class is incredibly accurate even for a naturally skinny (read: out of shape!) girl! We are moving away from my local studio so I am contemplating buying the DVD’s and my own bare to keep in shape! I am so afraid to stop because I know it will be so hard to start again! Keep it up and awesome review!

  17. Rhonda says:

    Thanks for the review. Ironically, I just moved from Buckhead to Lone Tree, CO. I’m trying so desperately to motivate my plump rump to used the Pure Barre Groupon I purchased two weeks ago. Thanks for the motivation!

  18. Amanda says:

    I ran across this blog post searching for “pure barre results.” Google gave me a boat load of images and when I saw you with your tooth brush in your mouth I HAD to read the post. Great perspective, and humor! There’s a PB opening near my work next month and they’re doing a 5 wk unlimited deal for $99. So, I signed up before I could change my mind. It was also fun to click through to your main page and read about where you’re at in your life now. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks so much! I so wish ours would offer $99 for a month! I really enjoyed it and feel like it’s a great workout. This is still my most viewed post. I’m glad people find it interesting and helpful!

  19. Clare says:

    As a deeply introverted person that loves barre classes too, I totally get it.

  20. I’ve been a recent barre addict since October and am loving it! The results are incredible and it’s a workout I actually look forward to :) Great post!


  21. Dodger says:

    Hi, your post was so inspiring. Pure Barre’s advertising is so intimidating as well as targeted to thin white women, mostly blondes! Hahaha. Through googling for fat people, of which I hesitate to say I’m one of, I found your post. I’m seriously considering going or buying that fluidity bar, but without will power, the former choice may be better. Wish me luck.

    • Thanks so much! I have reached out to Pure Barre to try and collaborate with them to show overweight women that it is possible to participate regularly in class. I have shared with them the response to this post and how many people have viewed it. They have chosen not to respond to me, completely ignoring the point that you’ve just made: They gear their workouts toward skinny blonde women when overweight women are most certainly interested! Our YMCA offers a barre class. I’ll try it out I suppose.

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