Sweating for the Wedding

I started Balance because I wanted to get in shape for my wedding and I couldn't find classes that I wanted to take at a time when I could actually take them. Of course there is more behind my decision, but basically, that is how the ball got rolling. 

Like many women, I wanted to look good in my wedding dress, on my wedding day, in my wedding pictures! Now that fitness is my job, this hope better materialize :) (I get the pictures back in a couple weeks so fingers crossed!)  Believe it or not, I have not lost a pound or an inch since opening the studio almost six months ago. WHAT?!?! I know you are shocked, but here is the deal - I am okay with it.  (Kinda!) I would love to look like those slim fitness models, but I also love to drink wine with my friends and eat mashed potatoes when I want. Don't get me wrong, I think I look more toned and all that positive stuff that comes with working out several hours a day, but I also still look like me and I love that, too! 

The moral of my little story is this:  If you have a goal that you are working towards - don't focus on the numbers! Focus on how you feel! Exercising offers more benefits than just losing weight so if the numbers aren't shrinking, don't worry! You will feel happier and be healthier and that is the most important!

 

Sugar Stinks

We have all heard the expressions "you are what you eat". It might have been used to dissuade you from eating something less than healthy. You might have shrugged it off or taken offense, but here is the real deal - it is true. You are what you eat. What we put into our bodies hugely impacts what we get out of our bodies. Our skin, or weight, our energy, our sleeping, our health... all impacted by what we eat. 

Does that mean you are never allowed to have fast food or a cookie, heck no! Treats are important, but being aware of what we eat (and how much) can improve your overall health.

Let's start with the number one culprit of evil foods... sugar. Sugar can cause breakouts, sugar "highs" followed by the sugar crashes, weight gain, diseases, and so much more (read about all the scary things here -> wow!)

If we can all cut out added sugar, the benefits would be amazing, but unfortunately, we are human and that is nearly impossible to do these days. We don't even realize how much added sugar is in a lot of the foods that we buy. When most people look at the nutrition label of a product, they hit the top row - calories, fat, servings, etc. Sugar is way down at the bottom in a sub category of carbs like they are trying to hide it from us! Look at the whole label and think about what each thing means to you. 

The World Health Organization recommends that the average sized adult eat less than 25 grams of sugar per day. (see more here --> yikes!). Tons of processed foods can get you well over that limit in a single serving.  For example, granola bars mask as healthy and convenient snacks, but in reality, they can have almost 22 grams of sugar!

Not all sugar is evil. Sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and veggies is not what we are talking about here. Unfortunately for us consumers, the standard nutrition label doesn't let us know which sugars are naturally occurring versus added so look at the ingredients list, too. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the most common, but there are tons of code names for sugar out there.  Just being aware of what you are eating puts you ahead of the game, but it is up to you to decide what is worth it and what isn't.  Don't be fooled by "health" foods and "low fat" options. Low fat foods typically are filled with extra sugar because they have wouldn't taste good without it. Cutting back on sugar is way more beneficial than cutting back on fat!

Bottom line -- reducing your sugar intake can make you healthier and happier :)

#fitspiration

If you type in #fitspiration into the search bar of Instagram, you get almost 7 million results. That is crazy, right!?! That means that over 6.9 million fitness posts have been shared with the world in the hopes of making others feel inspired. It is a nice thought - a giant community helping each other stay motivated - but it can also lead down a road of self doubt.  We have all been guilty at some point of comparing ourselves to a complete stranger. It is hard not to do when we see beautiful actresses and models on every magazine in the grocery store or all over our televisions, computers, and phones. It is important to know that your main goal should not be to look like any random stranger.  Let me elaborate!

First of all, I think it is super important to have fitness goals! I harp on that with all my clients whether their goal is to climb a mountain or to lose 20 pounds. Goals help motivate us and when we achieve a goal, it is the best feeling of accomplishment! That said, it is equally important for those goals to be realistic! For example, if you are 5'1" and have a goal to look like Kendall Jenner (who is 5'10"), that is not very realistic. Unless you are still in high school, the chances of you growing 9 inches is slim to none. If you want to compare yourself to someone and have that #fitspiration photo that you look to, try and find someone that has a similar body type to yours.  Look for similar height and build. If you are naturally slender, don't draw inspiration from someone who has wide shoulders. While muscles can be built up, you can't extend your frame beyond a certain point. Setting realistic goals will help you get that awesome accomplished feeling and it will prevent you from getting disheartened when you lose 20 pounds, but still don't look like Alessandra Ambrosio.  

The problem I have with trying to find those goal photos is that the way someone looks does not always equate to their health. Being healthy is infinitely more important than the way you look. If you aren't healthy, then I don't care if you have a six pack or not. We get overwhelmed by how others look and by how we want to look that we sometimes forget the important things. Losing a ton of weight in a short period of time is almost always unhealthy. You will set yourself up for failure if you start crash dieting or start working out 3 hours every day. You will burn out quickly and it isn't maintainable. I want you all to get into a routine of exercising and eating right that works for you. Health comes first!

My last little piece of advice when looking for fitness inspiration is this - never let someone's journey make you feel less happy about your own journey and progress!!! When you set a goal and hit it, you should celebrate! Get excited and treat yourself! You accomplished something that you were working on for a while and nobody can take that away from you! It is too easy to forget about your own achievements when you start comparing yourself to others and you lose your excitement. 

So the moral of my little rant here is this -- be happy with who you are and what you have achieved! Get inspired and set those realistic goals, but never let it become something negative! Y'all are all rockstars in your own way and just remember that you are probably someone else's #fitspiration!

 

The Barre Buzz

Barre gets a ton of attention these days. We all have that friend who is obsessed with whatever Barre studio they go to/basically live at. There are tons of options in the big cities, but our choices here in Beaufort aren't so plentiful.  Hint hint - that is where we come in! 

So what is all the buzz about? Barre uses a fun combination of ballet and pilates to work all the muscles in your body. We have you up on your tippy toes and ask you to sit in a chair position and hold it. Next we ask you to pulse - tiny movements up and down. These isometric (holding muscles for extended periods of time) and the small range movements are a fantastic way tone your muscles. We push you to your limits and sometimes, you will need to break for a second, but that is okay! The more you come, the fewer breaks you will need. That is you getting stronger! Once you realize that, then you start to see it in the mirror. Next thing you know, you are addicted to Barre just like your friend and you are absolutely okay with it. 

Barre works. Plain and simple. Is it going to cause you to drop a huge amount of weight? No. But if you come a few times a week, you will see toning and strengthening in your legs, butt, arms, back, and abs. You know that sounds pretty fantastic!

See y'all at the barre!!!

Finding Balance

I started Balance Boutique Fitness because I wanted to take fun and engaging classes to get back in shape. I looked for a while and asked around, but there wasn't anything available at times that were convenient for me. I worked full time in Bluffton and 10 AM classes just didn't work for me. I asked around and it wasn't just me that had that issue so just like that, Balance Boutique Fitness was born. 

My goal for Balance is to have a variety of fun classes at times that work for anyone and everyone. Whether you like to exercise first thing in the morning or last thing before you go home at night, we can help you! Whether you like barre or circuit training, yoga or P90x, we have a class for you! 

I am so excited to be starting this adventure and to meet all of you! Come visit us!!