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on July 26, 2015
When I first heard about Ballet Beautiful, a light bulb turned on inside of me and I knew, right there and then, that I would have finally found the perfect solution to my health. I was, and still am, just an ordinary girl who, like many other females, score high and low for an exercising and dieting regime. I've tried going to the gym, I've tried doing P90x, I've tried running on the treadmill in a basement, I've tried jogging in my neighborhood, I've tried fitness trends like Zumba dancing and so on. And it always ends the same: Either I hate the way my body started to look, or it got too difficult and I would become commitment-phobic and just drop the regime, much to my deep disappointment. What really burns me is that I can't ask people nowadays on how to lose weight without looking bulky because then I'll get verbally assaulted, that "women cannot bulk up", that I'm being ridiculous. Well, I did P90x, and I bulked and looked strange. As a soft spoken, sensitive introvert, it just doesn't fit my personality, if that makes sense. I wanted to look lean, limber, and very much feminine. I thought I'd never find the solution... and then I brought this Kindle.

I read about her workouts in the book and I knew I had to grab her DVDs. They were all surprisingly challenging, despite her moves that look deceptively simple, but they are also very fun and the results are losing weight, dropping inches everywhere, becoming firm and toned, and still keeping your womanly curves without the bulges and cellulite. I look and feel like a princess the more I do these. Mary's first couple of chapters is her talking about the mindset- that no, you do NOT have to do her workouts perfectly, and that you do NOT have to kill yourself every single day doing a lot of working out to get results. She taught me that, hey, its okay to mess up and not workout for an entire day or even a week because of life circumstances. She taught me that I should forgive myself, brush myself off the dirt, and just workout the next day with her customizing workouts. This is such a huge relief for me. So much of the workout culture is all about shaming other people and pushing people too hard. I don't do that mess anymore, and I remain flexible thanks to Mary.

Her diets are amazing! I have found new dishes and food that are nutritionally dense that I've never heard of before! Mary is so right about eating a healthy, balanced meals, and to not stress yourself too much over sizes or calories. Remember that not every calorie is equal. Ever heard of "empty calories"? Yeah, it's true: Tons of unhealthy, processed foods, like diet sodas, are nothing but empty calories and have a ton of sugars and dangerous chemicals that knocks your entire body system off. People become overweight and obese, not just because of how much calories they put inside their bodies, believe it or not... but because a lot of people are eating THE WRONG FOODS. When you eat the wrong foods, you will always feel crabby, moody, hungry, sickly, and experiencing sugar spikes that will have you eating the entire house and STILL not feeling satisfied! Mary's meals are nutritious, clean, wholesome, and has a wonderful balance of healthy carbs, fats, and proteins, so that you will always feel and look your best. Let go of the numbers for once and start looking at the ingredients. When you eat good food, you will always feel contently full and satisfied, and you'll be able to just live life in peace. She preaches about never going to the extreme just to get results; you can still enjoy chocolate, alcohol, coffee, red meat, and other sinful foods, you just have to learn to pick healthy alternatives rather than restricting yourself from the things you love. I'll never give up on chocolate, but I can give up my favorite Snickers bar for a healthy alternative, which is dark chocolate that is rich with antioxidants and a high percentage of cocoa, for example!

Mary Helen Bowers, despite her seemingly glamorous life, is a down to earth lady just like you and I, and she is never arrogant or proud. She always stays humble and knows the reality of how busy life can be for everyday people. All she asks of you, is to stay flexible and open- If you're a mother who also has a full time job, all she asks is 15-30 minutes of working out during the evenings when the kids are doing homework and you can have time for yourself. If you're a med student deep in stress, all she asks is 15 minutes here and there to keep you healthy and alert. If you're juggling so many things at once, all she asks is that you plan your healthy meals accordingly so that you'll always munch on healthy snacks while running around with tasks. If you can stay flexible and forgiving of yourself, I promise you, you will see amazing results, and you will feel immensely proud of yourself. Just ask me! :-) My body is looking more and more amazing each day!
37 helpful votes
38 helpful votes
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Enthusiast: Makeupon February 13, 2017
I bought this book after using Mary Helen's DVDs for a while to get a more full-picture perspective on the Ballet Beautiful program. It's nice to have all the elements described in detail and with accompanying photos. I like the realistic, practical approach she has. The only meh part of the book for me was some of the recipes. There's literally a recipe for toast lol. This is only a small section of the book though, and I utilize it more for the exercise and philosophy portions of it over the recipes.
1 helpful vote
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on April 29, 2014
I suffer from an arthritic condition and I stumbled across this program during a particularly painful flare up. It's easy and gentle on the body and absolutely helps with flexibility and strength. After a week I've noticed an improvement in posture and muscle tone and I am fairly athletic to begin with. The book touches well on clean eating and finding balance with nutrition and physical activity, that being said, if you are just looking for the workouts go for the DVD.

Either way great read and I loved sharing in Helen's beauty philosophy, truly a radiant and remarkable woman.
3 helpful votes
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on December 15, 2014
One of the best workouts ive ever done. I really don't do the dvd anymore, but when i go to the gym i always do the leg workouts from this
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on July 28, 2014
You will get some gorgeous, swan arms from this DVD! I saw a photo of my arms and was shocked! The outside of my arm actually had definition, which is definitely not normal for me. My arms tend to look a little flabby.
The leg workout are killer! I had a hard time trying keep up with her during the leg workouts. The sequences are very long on one side, so in order to keep going I would keep switching up my legs. She's very strong , graceful and inspiring! And I ride my bicycle and do yoga! Trust me, this DVD is a challenge! Tip: try changing up the leg work outs by standing instead of balancing on hands and knees. Makes it a little more fun and easier to watch her.
1 helpful vote
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on May 20, 2014
I am pleasantly surprised how lovely written this book is! I was hoping it was not like any other dub exercise book, and thankfully it isn't! It's charming, delicate and insightful! Now I just need to finish it and actually begin the DVD I bought too! Thank you Ms. Bowers for your book. You are a lovely classy lady!
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on May 24, 2017
Don t expect a ballet work paper and its for very basic knowledge but still enjoyable , a good book in concordance with her videos
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on January 19, 2017
I purchased this book for my daughter who enjoys working out with Mary Helen Bowers. The book shares a different side of her and is a must for anyone who appreciates her sense of style, grace and beauty as she gently guides you through to a "ballet beautiful" body. Wonderful branding that just conveys her style, very well done.
1 helpful vote
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on October 28, 2013
After a bad car wreck and much therapy, I decided to get back into an exercise routine. The ballet exercise is one of the easiest exercise programs I have tried. Even though I can not do everything in the book yet, going through the basic steps have been helping me with my balance and strengthening my legs and back. I like the ballet exercises better than Yoga, as there are more of the exercises I can do.

I am 60 years old, and I recommend this type of exercise for anyone.
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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on April 14, 2013
I'm already seeing results and it's only been a week. I would recommend getting this with the DVD's since this includes not only variations on the DVD's, but eating tips and mindset reminders.
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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