When Jessica, the owner of the St Louis Bar Method studios, asked me to write my success story, I was taken aback. I am just an ordinary person with an extraordinarily crazy, busy life! But I have lost 30 pounds this year, and I want everyone to know it’s possible! I’m still trying to get used to my evolving body, and I have days where I feel like I’m still chunky. But when the doubts go away and I see the reflection in the mirror, I am really proud of the work I am accomplishing. Once I made time for myself, changes started happening.
I was thin most of my life, bouncing back to a size 4 after my first two pregnancies. During my third pregnancy at age 38, I was diagnosed with insulin dependent, gestational diabetes. When our daughter was born, the diabetes disappeared. But a year later, I became very ill. My worst fear was realized; the diabetes was back. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. My pancreas does not produce insulin. Without the insulin pump I wear, I would die. This diagnosis changed my life and my body.
Since the diagnosis, I gained a lot of weight. I went from a size 4 to a size 8. Enter The Bar Method. I was fortunate enough to attend classes in October 2010. I was hooked. I went to class five days a week, whenever I could squeeze it in. I would even go to the 6 a.m. class before work so I could get my five days in. I dropped to a size 6 within two months. But life got crazy busy, and I stopped making time for myself. I was in and out of the Bar. In May of 2011, I had a hysterectomy. I gained a lot of weight. I was too embarrassed to go to class.
Then in December of 2011, I just sucked it up. I knew without the Bar, I would not get better. I needed to be healthy to deal with my chronic illness. I also needed the Bar to help me with my mind, not just my body. The friendly, knowledgeable instructors make me feel great about myself. The students in class support and uplift me. No one cared that I was heavy. They only cared that I took enough time for myself and attended class. And slowly, the weight and the inches melted away.
The Bar has made me stronger, mentally and physically. When I leave class, I feel like I can do anything. I never thought I could tone my core without a tummy tuck. And now, after attending religiously at least 4 times a week for the last year and a half, I am close to looking like what I did before diabetes. I have been told so many times in the last month, “Mary, you are skinny!” I never thought I would hear those words again. I actually can wear a 4 again. I am so excited to be 48 years old and feeling great!
My advice to anyone is to know that no matter what shape you are in, it doesn’t matter. The Bar accepts you for who you are and where you are. Also, make time for you. Attend classes four times weekly. Take before measurements so you can be proud of the inches you will lose. Read Burr’s blog for helpful hints. Take a new option weekly. Try pushups on your toes – it changes your core. Try to lift your feet during flat back – it also changes your core. And throughout class, breath in and out, getting that belly button back to your spine with your breath. Know and believe that you are strong. And when you see the reflection in the mirror and the changes that happen, embrace them. You are worth it.
Photos show the difference from May 2012 to July 2013 in my son and me!