I'm typically a fairly confident person. I've thankfully never been someone who struggled with having the "perfect body" or "perfect look". I've always embraced who I am, flaws and all, and for the most part I've been pretty strong in the confidence department.
But that all changed in April. I returned home from a week with my grandmother in Fort Myers Beach, FL right as international stay at home orders were beginning to take effect. Suddenly I went from beach chair to couch, from bikini to sweatpants and let me tell you I did not handle the transition well at all.
I suddenly went from my routine of getting up and spending my days walking around campus, to sitting on my couch bouncing between zoom classes and the next movie on my self-made list of quarantine must-watches. I was living off snacks and caffeine and fitness was the last thing on my mind. Sure, I tried the whole at-home workout thing. Hell, I even bought dumbbells and a yoga mat. But it didn't matter.
I would work out for 2 or 3 days then I'd tell myself I didn't need to work out as much during quarantine. "Everyone is taking a fitness break." I told myself. Then, after enough excuses, I just stopped trying.
Here's the problem though. After years of being used to walking at least a mile or two a day across campus, along with a pretty consistent workout schedule my body didn't adapt to my new couch-based lifestyle as well as I wanted. I'm not sure if I assumed I'd have the same body I did in high school or if I was just delusional. Regardless, I was quickly 25 lbs heavier and had lost all of my self-confidence I spent years building.
I remember my friend, who also happens to be a great photographer, kept asking when I wanted to take my senior pictures. I kept telling him I wanted to wait until "closer to when I actually graduate" or "when the school finally gives us a new commencement ceremony date" but in reality, I just couldn't think about being in front of a camera.
I looked nothing like the girl in my Fort Myers photos from before quarantine. Now, I wouldn't be caught dead in the shorts and bathing suits I wore on that trip. So, what happened then? I wish I could tell you I just snapped myself out of it, forced myself to start working out again and everything was fine. That would've been awesome!
Instead, I spent the next, almost 4 months in this constant state of self-doubt that quite frankly bordered on self-loathing. I couldn't get into a fitness routine I liked well enough to stick with. I tried running, but let's be honest, I hate running. No studios were open. By the time I got home from work all I wanted to do was go to sleep. I was struggling - until the end of August that is.
At work one day I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and landed on an ad for Pure Barre and the special Pure Barre Lexington had going on for the fall. I saved the post, thinking I'd come back to it later, and went about my day. Later on that day, a friend and co-worker of mine mentioned how she was looking for a new workout class and that was all the push I needed. I convinced her to sign up for Pure Barre with me, and now I was committed.
Not only had I spent the money for the membership, but I had someone else planning on going and keeping me accountable. So, on August 23, I started my journey to rediscover my self-confidence.
After only a month and a half I've already noticed a huge difference. On the surface, I look physically different than I did a few months ago, but more importantly I feel so much better. I have more energy, I'm stronger, I feel more balanced, and - I found my confidence again.
Now, I don't care what the scale says. If I want to wear certain outfits, I don't think twice about how I'll look or feel in them. Most importantly, I feel confident in my own skin again. I feel like I've found something that balances out the stresses of everyday life while also helping me look and feel physically fantastic.
I'm not going to lie to you all, I went into Pure Barre hoping I'd get back into shape and that was it. I had no idea how much it would help me feel better and find my confidence again. It's not because I look "fit" that I suddenly found my confidence again. It's because I feel strong. I feel like I'm able to channel my stress into something productive. Now, I have a place where for an hour or so I can reconnect with myself, completely uninterrupted and figure out what I need in that moment.
What makes you feel confident? Let me know! If you want to know more about why I love Pure Barre so much check out my blog post all about it, here!