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Do you remember a specific moment that nudged you to go to class, or decide that it was finally time to make a change?

I live walking distance from (MDR) East. I always noticed all the pink, and wasn’t really drawn to it. I just assumed it was a barre studio - not like I even really know what that is. Then, back in September, I was in between gym memberships and looking for something new. I had tried Equinox, CrossFit, spin, yoga, and lost my groove with all of them. I work across the street from the Playa Vista location, and heard good things, so I got some co-workers to try it with me. It didn’t take long to get hooked and discover all that I was missing. There was so much strength work, and a lot of room to stay challenged. I was so excited, I started selling my wife on it, and we’ve been both coming 3-4 times a week since.

What were the first changes you noticed after the first few weeks of taking classes at The Studio (MDR)?

I was exhausted and sore everywhere after each class. And, I could feel by belly tighten up almost right away. That got me curious because I hadn’t experienced that before, even with how active I was. Once I started to slow down and hold poses longer, that’s when significant change happened quickly. And, it was most noticeable outside of class. I had more strength and stability when I hiked, ran, rode, or did other full-body workouts. That’s when I knew that (MDR) was the perfect compliment to all other exercise I enjoyed. The instructors really motivate as well, and play a big part in my progress. I keep getting stronger thanks to the great cues and adjustments from Stephanie, Albina, Lindsay, Erika, Yumi, and Mary.


Have you cleaned up your diet and if so, how has it changed?

I have, and I’ve never felt better! I met with a nutritionist a few months back, and shifted to a whole food ketogenic diet. She had me focusing on eating greens, veggies, and quality protein, all while keeping healthy fats a big part of my overall intake. That really helped kick start my weight loss. After some fine tuning and a lot of weight fluctuation, I lost nearly 30 pounds over several months. Most recently, I read The Plant Paradox, and it has changed how I make food choices and evaluate my overall health even more. It’s a combination of an elimination diet and an anti-inflammatory diet. I know that sounds a bit extreme, but the impact on my quality of sleep, energy level and mental well-being have made it all worth it. I’m still eating a lot of greens, but now I am much more conscious of the type of veggies and amount of protein I eat. And, it has also helped me easily maintain my weight without having to pay attention to calories, which is a nice plus. 


What’s one pose that you used to hate but love now?

Transitions used to frustrate me at first, because I never could tell what was coming next. I felt like I was spending more time listening and looking around than doing actual work. Now, I like the challenge in between poses. I’m getting better at anticipating what we’re working on in the next move, and whether I should modify and recover, move fast, or stay engaged.


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How far have you come from your starting point in both physical and mental ways? And what are some of your new goals when you look ahead?

Doing (MDR) has made me more confident to explore new workouts. Before (MDR), I felt like I was just going thru the motions with any activity. Now, I’m more in touch with how my body works and I feel more athletic. Moving forward, I’d like to challenge myself more mentally. I started meditating recently and I’m finding that a daily practice has been helpful for staying positive and compassionate during workouts, along with every other part of my life. I’d love to develop that more.