I really dislike working out. Growing up, I was fortunate enough not to have too. My adult life has been spent standing on my feet and running around stores and malls so it was easy to maintain. I knew when I lost my job back in May I was going to have to start doing something. I was not going to be as active as I had been, and at my age, weight gain was inevitable.
I started the summer with good intentions. I was very committed to getting in shape and losing the “skinny fat girl” image I had in my head (a trainer in LA told me once that’s what I was and he was right). I went to yoga every morning, took Barre classes three times a week, spent an hour on my treadmill-I was doing it. And not seeing any results. Then, at the end of August, my grandfather passed away. Then I got a cold and allergies and cramps-you know how it is. Before I knew it, two months had passed with no exercise. Then I got on the scale yesterday and saw I had gained 7 pounds. Now, I’m not one to get hung up on a number, muscle weighs more than fat, ect. But none of my jeans fit and well, you just know when you’ve put on a little pudding. Time to get busy-again…
I don’t do high-impact. After spending the better part of two decades standing on cement floors, my joints often ache and I don’t want to add to that. I know myself well enough to know that sticking to a class schedule will not work-too easy not to go. I need to do something at home. I decided to turn to what I really love-Ballet Beautiful.
I discovered Ballet Beautiful after seeing “Black Swan”. I was curious as to how Natalie Portman got into dancer mode so I hit the internet. I learned she had trained with Mary Helen Bowers for a year and a half to prepare for her role. After further investigation, I learned that Mary Helen, a former New York City Ballet dancer, had her own company-Ballet Beautiful.
Ballet Beautiful provides the techniques to build and maintain the beauty, strength and highly specific aesthetic of a true ballerina’s form. And they do it three different ways.
The first is Ballet Beautiful Live. The first of it’s kind on-line studio offers real time ballet classes, live with Mary Helen, from anywhere in the world via the internet. You can take a group class or get private training. I haven’t done this yet. It uses Skype (I think) and while I have a Skype account, I’ve never used it and have no idea how to. There are class schedules and on-line registration. I love the idea of this though-a real class without leaving the house!
Bowers, photo from Vogue
The second is streaming videos from your laptop, computer or iPad device. There are several toning videos to choose from and now two cardio videos as well. You can purchase which ones you want (very minimal, $8-$10. It is a one time fee.) and then do them whenever you have time. I did both cardio workouts this morning and they are not easy. Lots of leg work (tendu anyone?).
Doing a private class. Photo from Vogue
The third are her workout DVDs. The first is a Blast. It’s made up of four 15 minute workouts that target specific areas. The second (and the one I have) is a 60 minute comprehensive workout. It is a killer!!! Both dvds are $21.99, but you can purchase them together for $38.99.
Stretching. Photo from Vogue
The great thing about Mary Helen’s technique is that you do not need any prior ballet training to do her workouts. I’m not going to say they are easy-they are not-but she really does a great job walking you through each move and explaining the ballet terms. If you are looking for a workout that will tone and sculpt you, but not add the bulk, then try Ballet Beautiful. I’m committed to sticking with it and look forward to sharing the results with you.
Trailer for DVDs and streaming toning classes
Trailer for cardio series