The holidays are coming up, and while most people are thinking about all the turkey and ham their little hearts can desire, I’ve got fitness on my mind. I’ve worked out for as long as I can remember, so this is nothing new. However, I’m getting married this year so I’ve kicked up the intensity and frequency of my workouts and added a new favorite to the routine!
Insert: Hilliard Studio Method. I originally heard about HSM from a few friends of mine who had attended their classes and raved about it. At the time, I was working out with a trainer and I just couldn’t combine the two from a monetary standpoint. However, it still peaked my interest. When this year rolled around, I knew I needed to find something that worked for me. Something that was “easy” to keep up with, held me accountable, motivated me with results, and felt “different” each time. This was the only way I was going to see the longevity I needed before the wedding without burning out before it even happened. With that being said, another girlfriend of mine happened to bring HSM up again, and I decided to try it out with her.
I. was. hooked!! The energy in the room was electric, there were women of all ages around me who looked amazing, and I felt extremely challenged. It was the hardest class I had ever taken, but damn did it feel good!
HSM is a core-centric workout that incorporates resistance training by utilizing a combination of different modes to strengthen the core and spine. Think Pilate’s with weights! That’s the easiest way for me to describe it, but it’s unlike any other class I’ve ever taken. No workout at HSM is the same, every class is different and it’s challenging – pushing you to your “edge.” This is a phrase you’ll hear often at HSM. No matter what your skill level is, each trainer is there to help motivate you for the full 60 minutes. To put it into perspective, my entire body is usually trembling uncontrollably and just as I’m thinking about dropping to my knees for a modified version of the exercise, whoever is teaching that day will challenge me to hold that position for an extra 10 seconds. My edge has changed over the weeks, and yours will too. You become stronger, healthier, your mind is clearer, and overall you just feel powerful.
I recently got sick with a nasty cold after my bachelorette trip (Miami, you – win), and the worst part about it was that I had to take a week off from my classes at HSM. I couldn’t wait to get back! What’s usually the dreaded “workout” of the day, has turned into a physical and mental treat for myself. I look forward to each class, and the challenge it presents weekly.
Speaking of challenges, at the beginning of my HSM journey I had the opportunity to sit down with Liz and Clary (owners of HSM). Liz asked me what my thoughts were on cutting added sugar out of my diet and joining their fall challenge (40 classes in 10 weeks + no added sugar). The sound of this was intimidating. I didn’t immediately commit, but went home and thought about it. I knew I could challenge myself to take four classes a week, but no added sugar was a whole different story. This girl loves her PSL’s and a good piece of chocolate, ya know what I’m saying?!
I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be able to adhere to it perfectly. I had two bridal showers, my bachelorette, and a birthday in the middle of the 10 week span. But, I loved the idea of trying to get as close to perfect as I possibly could. Y’all, it has made all the difference in this journey! I started by cutting sugar out of my coffee, which I never in a million years thought I could do. I was drinking two lattes a day that were loaded with sugar. Cutting out coffee all together just wasn’t an option, so I did some research on what I could have and found a great alternative that I’ve stuck with. Removing just this one item from my diet, was a game changer. I think because I was starting my day with sugar, it set the precedent for the rest of the day. Now that I’ve eliminated that, my overall sugar cravings have gone down significantly. In addition to that, I switched from drinking liquor in a cocktail, to wine. The rest wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I was already eating relatively healthy (paleo, whole30 etc.), so it was just a matter of paying extra attention to what I was currently eating that did have sugar in it.
I have seen results in my entire body. My core is super defined, and with 6 more weeks to go until the wedding – I feel confident I may actually see a full six pack for the first time in my life. I have less cellulite in my problem area (my thighs), and I’m starting to see some muscle definition there as well! My shoulders have rounded out and I’m beginning to see toning around my triceps (also a problem area for me). Not to mention, every pair of pants I have put on in the last few weeks need to be taken in. I am swimming in them! Overall, I feel more compact and more importantly – I feel strong. I’ve had countless people ask me what I’m doing, and mention they can see a difference (especially in my face). HSM has helped me both mentally and physically. I feel healthier, happier, stronger, and my energy levels are significantly better! I can’t wait to continue my journey with them!
Okay, so if you’re still reading – I applaud you, because this is a lot longer than I anticipated! But, I have good news! If you are interested in trying Hilliard Studio Method, I have paired up with them to offer my readers 10 classes for $99! That’s just $10 a class, y’all! If you’re not local to Charlotte, not to worry — they offer live video streaming (my mom takes their classes from her home in Seattle), and all of my readers will be getting the first 2 weeks free and 50% off live streaming services for a month! Can I get a hell yeah?! Both of those options are also great gift ideas! If you have a family member whose been wanting to get their butt back in shape, what better gift to give them for Christmas than this!? To redeem to these offers, click on the hyperlinks a few sentences above and enter code “CHEEKYBEEN” at checkout. The offer expires December 31, 2018.
Cheers to a happy healthy rest of 2017.
*In partnership with Hilliard Studio Method