“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”

ballet beautiful

Saturday, June 30, 2012

ballet beautiful
I'm sure most of you have already heard of Ballet Beautiful before, but it's fairly new to me. I heard about it a few months ago on Pinterest. I am always into ballet inspired workouts and when I heard about BB, I had to find out more! I am the type of person who hates to workout and honestly have not really been working out on a regular bases all of my life. Recently I've been thinking more seriously how I need to workout more regularly. I eat pretty well (though I'm not perfect!) so I don't really need to go on a diet, and hate the thought of dieting anyway. But I don't get a lot of exercise and I absolutely hate working out in public or at the gym. I also live on the second floor of our apartment, so jumping up and down will not work so great. However, there was a short period earlier this year when I got a DVD that had some jumping around in it, so I did let my downstairs neighbor know in case I bothered her at all (I didn't, thank goodness)! But I never ever see any sort of results when I exercise. I worked out all last year, diligently every single day. And yet I felt like I gained weight at the end of it all. So I sort of gave up. I even did a lot of yoga earlier this year, which was great, except there is only so much stretching one can do without getting a little bit bored. So I figured full-time yoga was not for me. Though I do like to use some of the things I've learned from yoga.
ballet beautiful
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In the last few months I have been reading a lot about exercise and health and what our bodies need. I have come to the conclusion that I need more weight training, or muscle building (whatever you call it) in my life. Enter Ballet Beautiful! I decided to purchase both of Mary Helen's DVDs, since the cost of two was only slightly more than buying just one. So far I've used the full 60 min workout a lot more than the Ballet Blasts DVD, but that is mainly because I would like a full body workout and I think the Ballet Blasts will be perfect for when I'm on vacation or have less time to workout. I have done the famous "Swan Arms" from the Blasts DVD, which is awesome! Really burns like crazy. You would not want to see my face when I'm doing the Swan Arms! Oh no you don't! I am biting my lips and making weird faces with my teeth and squinting my eyes (I made the mistake of doing this in front of my vanity the first time; not pretty). I don't exactly look like the calm, graceful Mary Helen, that's for sure! But I know I'm out of shape (in the sense of weak muscles!) and I haven't done this kind of workout ever in my life. So I think with time I will build more endurance and my face will start to look, hopefully, a little more pleasant during my workout sessions!

Since starting the Ballet Beautiful workout, I have been doing 60 minutes consistently every other day (3 times a week) for three weeks thus far. I know that doesn't sound like a lot to some, but I am pretty proud of myself for doing it this long! Even just yesterday I was due for another BB workout and I really did not want to do it. I was having "one of those days" where I was feeling gross (my face is breaking out like mad (at 28 you'd think that would be history, but it isn't) and I have a terrible eczema flair). I was laying on the couch and told Jed that I should do my workout but don't want to and he encouraged me to do it. So I did and of course I felt a hundred-million times better! For me, it is all in my mind. I can convince myself out of anything! I'm an expert at it! So this is something that is hard for me, but I really want to keep at it. No matter how many people disapprove (saying things like "oh you are thin already, you don't need to exercise!" etc...). Also, this kind of workout is really encouraging, because you start to see results a lot sooner than most workouts (probably because it literally kicks your butt, and thighs and hips and...!). This isn't an "easy" workout, but after doing it a few times, it isn't so bad. The first time I got the DVD, I did the workout and I was literally sore for a whole week. So I didn't continue until a few weeks later when I sat down and really made a schedule and some goals for myself. The second or third time my body didn't ache anymore. I do think stretching a lot is key to not having a lot of pain afterwards!

So there you have it. We'll see how much progress I make over the summer. I am mainly wanting to tone up a little more and be a stronger person. I want to be able to not feel utterly exhausted out of my mind the next time we have to move (no elevators in this apartment)!!

P.S. Sorry this is so lengthy! I started it a few weeks ago and then just kept adding to it. Sometimes this subject feels kind of personal to me and other times I am all about sharing. So I was a little hesitant to post, but thought I might as well!

P.P.S. I love this and this so much!



18 comments :

  1. I've never heard of ballet based workouts before, but it totally makes sense. Thank you for sharing this! Good luck!

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  2. thanks for sharing because I never heard of this. many times I googled ballet exercises because I wanted to do some muscle leaning exercise and I hate heavy impact exercises. surprised these dvds are so cheap and my libary had the book. going to try it out!

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  3. I love that you can see your ballet slippers in all the photos! :)
    Good on you for working out regularly!

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  4. Good for you! Getting your body moving and in shape is never a bad idea. I've been trying to get better about exercise too. Actually, my husband got one of those things for his xbox where you can play it ineractively (it scans your body into the game) and I got a workout game to go with it that I like a lot. Probably because it gives you so much control over the time and what you're doing. I'm so bad about excercising and counting the clock and wondering "when will this be over?!"

    I also hear you on the adult break outs. It is so frustrating. I've struggled with it too until my dr. gave me a prescription for a topical gel called clindamycin and its worked wonders for me, and isnt that harsh or expensive.

    Well, good luck with everything and stay cool! Enjoy the ballet!~

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  5. Thanks for sharing! I need to find a workout that works for me too, since I have the same problem of getting bored easily. But having a strong body is so important! I have a history with ballet, so I might try this one.

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  6. Thanks for letting us know about this! I've been looking for a nice, ballet-like workout for months and haven't found anything that works well for me. I'm definitely going to give it a try!

    Good luck with your workouts, I think its great you're trying to be more active!

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  7. that looks nice! I'm usually very lazy and absolutely non athletic (unless i'm motivated by something like running for the start of the sales or something), but this looks like a very cute way of keeping in shape! I also love your ballerina shoes! have fun :) xo

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  8. Hey, that looks neat! And don't let anyone discourage you -- fitness is about health / feeling good, and not being thin. In fact you will probably gain weight as you build muscle - but muscle weight is totally different from fat weight, after all.

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  9. I've heard of it and her dvds are on my wish list.
    Ciao*

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  10. sounds intriguing...i hate the gym, too. mostly i run/jog, with basic mat pilates when i have time. i'm trying to get back in shape, and it's hard to be patient. right now i'm focusing on building up muscle again. we'll see how it goes.

    my skin was terrible from age 23 to 30. no joke! pregnancy made it incredibly bad, and then the second pregnancy made it go away. i guess it's hormonal for me. i'm hoping as i get older it will calm down entirely. so anyway, i feel your pain!

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  11. i have been thinking about cancelling my gym membership and getting these dvds. Thanks for letting us know what you think of them!

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  12. I don't know if this is too far away from you, but I had a lot of fun tricking myself into working out at Michelle L'amour's Burlesque Studio. She has different levels of classes and it really gets your butt into gear. She's near the South Loop.

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  13. I like my pilates DVD because it's not like aerobics (I hate) or too boring like yoga. I am sweaty when I'm done, so it feels like a workout, but it's just 20 minutes! Regardless, I have been getting lazy about exercising. I blame it on the heat. Thanks for an inspiring post.

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  14. oh, i want to try this! as for eczema, i have it (i'm 25). i use mustela stelatopia cream cleanser morning & night to wash my face and aveeno eczema therapy moisturizing cream directly after. both have really helped when nothing else has and i do not have many flare ups anymore. maybe this might work for you, too?

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  15. Ooh, I'll need to check those out! I haven't heard of those before but I love the videos I use which are also somewhat ballet-inspired: SELF Bikini Ready Fast and SELF Slim and Sleek Fast. They have stupid titles, given how great the work-outs are and the instructor is the perfect blend of helpful and encouraging. If you want something that I tend to only do about 30 minutes but I believe they go for 45 minutes each. It sounds like you might like the bikini-ready one because there is NO JUMPING for at least the first 30 minutes, and she incorporates weights. (I got mine off of Amazon in a 3-DVD set for about $20 but for a while they were streaming free on Netflix.)

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  16. Oooh! Sounds neat! I might have to try it! It's hard for me to stick to workouts, too. It's so easy to keep putting it off.

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  17. I am not sure how tall (or short) you are, but I'm 5' 2" and am always feeling like it is so hard to get in shape because of my build. I found this book called the petite advantage which is a diet/exercise book for the vertically challenged... 5'4" and under. Seeing someone's professional opinion on how someone shorter should exercise was a lot of help. Since I read the book I have switched up my exercise routine and feel so much better! And yoga is one of my favorite things to do now! I makes my muscles feel and look longer instead of becoming bulkier and bigger.

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  18. there is no reason to "disapprove" exercise. even someone slim ( like you) can always benefit from it. physically or mentally (endorphins). i was able to survive my grandparents (who raised me and died 3 weeks apart) by going swimming 5 times a week. although i didn't realize it at the time, looking back i'm more aware of what an important place exercising has.
    go girl !

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