Why We Love
A Mega-Bridal Journey
(first, second, and third fitting)
“On November 21, 2016, I got engaged. On November 22, 2016, the panic of wanting to lose weight before I went gown shopping set in. I began doing hours of cardio followed by hours of cardio with no success. Oh, sure, I sweat more than I thought I could, at that point, but I wasn’t seeing any changes in my body, or in my mind for that matter. Fast forward to May and I saw the number on the scale decrease, but I didn’t see nor feel any changes.
“With Memorial Day looming, I attended an event at MegaBurn. It was an event featuring MegaBurn, Pure Barre, and yoga. From that little sampling of what MegaBurn had to offer, my interest was heightened in the workout. I, along with my at-the-time fiancé, took part in the MegaBurn Memorial Day event. I am not sure that I could walk properly for a few days after that. I thought that I had sweat an exorbitant amount from cardio, I was wrong. Well, not so much wrong but more misinformed about the amount of sweat I could really produce. From that 45-minute Memorial Day class, I was hooked on the workout, the community, the environment, and the Megaformer itself.
“During a private meeting session with Carolynn shortly after Memorial Day, she told me that my dress would be taken in 2 to 3 sizes by the time of the wedding. To be honest, I wanted her to be right but being who I am, I was a little more than skeptical.
“Throughout the summer and into September (I was getting married September 30), I went to MegaBurn 2-4 times a week. Some weeks were better than others. Some days were more of a battle than others, but throughout I would show up to class and do the work to the best of my ability that day. I should note that despite every bridal magazine telling me about the newest diet and my Instagram feed full of the newest supplement or superfood bowl, I really didn’t change my diet much. This is to say, wine and pizza were always, have always, and will always be two of my main food groups. Trust me, no one would benefit and all would suffer if I were to eliminate these from my life.
“I knew planning a wedding would be stressful, but I wasn’t ready for just how stressful it would be and how many opinions people would be thrown at me, despite not wanting them. To add to that, I live with, embrace, reject, fight, and make space for my mental illnesses each day of my life. The accumulation of everything going on was a not-so-perfect storm of mental health triggers and hell. But with my MegaBurn practice, I noticed that I was becoming mentally stronger and this, in turn, allowed me to navigate the wedding waters with a bit more ease and with fewer anxiety attacks than I would have predicted.
“Not only was I getting mentally stronger (which to be honest was something I was not expecting), I was getting physically stronger. I started to see some changes in my body, such as an oblique muscle that I thought was just a fairytale myth. I stopped caring what the scale said and judged my success on how I was feeling and how I personally was progressing. I stopped comparing myself to the woman next to me and to a previous version of myself. My biggest competitor was myself and it was that mindset that powered me through my months of diving into the bridal burn.
“Come the end of August when I had my gown fitting, Carolynn was right. I did, indeed, have to have my dress taken in at virtually every seam (note: my dress had multiple seams). Not only was it taken in due to a reduction in size, it was taken in due to an alteration of the shape of my body. My booty had shape and was higher than it was used to, my chest was smaller, my waist had definition. When I went back for my final fitting, I realized then just how much the work I had done paid off.
“The difference in my shape from when I bought the dress to the day of my wedding was drastic but the difference in my mental strength and my confidence in myself was what set everything apart, wedding or not. MegaBurn taught me to push myself, but to also listen to myself because no one would know what was best for me or my body like my sense of intuition. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and beyond my anxiety around fitness studios. It gave me more tools to embrace the world with.
“On September 30, 2017, I got married. As I walked down the aisle my mind all at once racing and still. But the last thing on my mind was if my stomach was pooching out, how my butt looked, or if I had lost enough weight because I was confident in the knowledge that I had done the work—I had done my best—and now was about to enter into a love to last forever.”
(Picture courtesy of Jennifer Alyse Weddings)
Check out Breanne’s Mega Transformation:
Counting down the days until your wedding? Contact us today to book your bridal burn!
Written by Breanne Gratton
“My boyfriend and I have always had a love of fitness, he played football in college, I played volleyball for many years, and we ran our first half marathon last year. We also both work in the fitness industry, I work at CycleBar, a premier cycling studio, and Dylan works as a sports performance coach at TWIST performance + Wellness.
“I finally made it into MegaBurn about 3 months ago, I’d been meaning to try it for a year but after meeting Carolynn at CycleBar I knew I had to see what it was about. Her kindness was so infectious and she pushed herself so hard on the bike I knew she was someone I needed in my life! A week later I signed up for my first class on the infamous Megaformer and I’ve been hooked ever since. After a month of raving about how amazing it is I finally got Dylan to try it with me. Trying new workouts is something we consider a hobby that we can enjoy together. I love group fitness and Dylan loves to challenge himself to be a more well rounded athlete and physically active person. We push ourselves to try everything we can but with my awful joints and his countless leg injuries finding something that challenges us without the pain can be tough. Megaburn is all about slow isolated movements without putting stress on your joints and the instructors are always there to modify anything if needed. So you’ll always get a killer workout no matter what.
“After just three months of MegaBurn I felt like I had been going since the day they opened (which looking back I wish I had.) MegaBurn is more than just a challenging pilates class, it’s a fantastic community. The instructors are amazing, they push us to greatness and motivate us every class. Everyone that comes into MegaBurn makes you feel a part of the MegaFam as soon as you walk in the doors. Basically MegaBurn is MegaBadass!”
“When I think about everything I love about Megaburn, the 45 minute class is not even at the top of the list. Now don’t get me wrong, this is my absolute favorite workout I have ever done. It is full-body burning, shape-changing, confident-building, and incredibly challenging, but all of that is truly the icing on the cake. The highlight for me is the people. The instructors all bring something different to the table so there is something you can learn from each, but what they all have in common is how motivating and encouraging they are. This is where my testimonial comes in!
I met Carolynn last May when the stars aligned and someone I don’t even know invited me to class. I still have no idea how this person even got my contact information, but I am so thankful because as these things always happen, it was meant to be! I quickly fell in love with the bright and clean studio, the fun music, and our incredibly passionate instructor Carolynn. Before the start of class she took so much time with each of us to make sure we felt comfortable and ready for the workout. During class she was so motivating, I could not give up. Since that first class I have been hooked, have found something I absolutely love about every instructor, and feel like I am part of an amazing community that Ellie and Carolynn have created.
I am lucky enough that part of my job is finding out what workouts are trending across the globe. I’ve experienced all sorts of barre, spin, pilates, yoga, boxing, cross fit, and dance classes, but have truly never loved anything the way I love Megaburn. In just a few weeks I started noticing changes in my body, improvements in my strength, and even a boost in confidence, but the friends I’ve made is what makes me feel like I couldn’t live without this place.”
In search of fitness inspiration, we turned to Kassandra Atoe to chat about her fitness journey. In addition to being an MegaBurn OG, she is also a mother, instagrammer of all things delicious (and healthy), and an overall badass woman. We sat down with Kassandra and asked one simple question…
“Why do I MegaBurn? The real question is why didn’t I MegaBurn sooner? I remember when MegaBurn was under construction. There were many times when I just kept passing it by thinking, ‘Okay, it’s just another one of those fitness studios. It was not something that I was familiar with at all. In all of those times passing by, what I didn’t realize was how fearful I was of not being able to physically do whatever it was they did at MegaBurn. Shoot, I’d never even heard of a Megaformer, but then I did a little more research on this place and the machine. See, I was always a fit person playing volleyball, coaching volleyball, track, martial arts, running marathons, gymnastics…damn I even trained for MMA. I ran six miles every day and at one point even did crossfit six days a week. The fact is, my body craves intense physical activity. I love it, and I need it. However, through a series of unfortunate events and a very badly hurt back, I was unable to do a quarter of what I used to just a few years prior. I was on the verge of having back surgery, and unable to stand or sit for longer than an hour. On top of that, I had a c-section, which left my core feeling weak. After countless phone calls (… and many hang ups on my end), call backs from Carolynn (who would call back even when I didn’t leave a message), I finally decided to try a class. The fact that it was a ‘low impact, high intensity’ workout is what made me try it. I still didn’t understand the concept, but I was completely surprised at how unique and special this place really was. Carolynn and Ellie were so attentive and everyone there was so welcoming and inspirational. After my first 45 minute class I was hooked, and I signed up for monthly unlimited right away. I saw the value MegaBurn offered, and I couldn’t stay away—I love it so much I even come to class after my 12 hour graveyard shifts. After just one month, I went back to my spine specialist, and he let me know that I no longer needed back surgery!
In less than six months I have toned my body, lost a significant amount of weight, but more importantly I have gained friends and support from an amazing community of people that inspire me everyday to live my healthiest life. We slay these workouts together, and I am able to leave all the other burdens of life on the machine. I push myself more and more each time, breaking boundaries and exceeding all of my expectations. When I started at MegaBurn, I no longer had the confidence or belief that I could be fit again. Here I am today, with the help of truly amazing and dedicated instructors in addition to my inspiring MegaFam. Today, I stand stronger, healthier, and more confident.
Love Kassandra’s story? We do too! Check Kassandra out on Instagram (@kleankravings)
“I discovered my love of fitness during college when, one summer, I decided to become a runner. And for a while, that’s all I did, until a series of injuries forced me to take breaks from running and find alternative forms of exercise while recovering. Always frugal, I began doing workouts at home – buying DVDs, getting them from the library, and watching YouTube videos. Occasionally I’d attend classes, and this is where I fell in love with the Megaformer. But I never committed to a regular schedule due to cost, classes filling, inconvenient times or locations, or simply having to work late so often (people in NYC are crazy).
Fast forward a few years and I’ve moved to Portland, still running (when not injured) and still taking the occasional class but mostly still working out at home. Then last fall, through the magic of social media, I saw that MegaBurn was set to open minutes from my office. My initial plan was to get the new client, first month special and then get class packs to take classes less frequently. But, after taking classes consistently for that first month, I felt amazing and decided to continue with the monthly packages to get the most for my money. I had never before taken more than 2 Megaformer classes in a week, mainly because it made me sore for days afterward. Classes never get easier, but now that I’m less sore afterwards, I’ve been able to take 3, 4 or even sometimes 5 classes per week for the last 7 months.
Better still – running feels easier, I find that I’m stronger and more flexible when I take yoga classes, and I recently did some at home strength DVDs and I was amazed at how heavy I was able to lift (I think I have to buy some new weights!). And aside from that, I just FEEL better, I have more energy and I’ve seen more results in my appearance in 7 months than I have in 10 years of consistently working out. I didn’t have any specific goal when I started going to MegaBurn, I just loved the way the workout made me feel physically, and also the sense of accomplishment after each and every class. So it’s amazing that I have these quantifiable results that keep me motivated to keep coming back for more 🙂 “
“MegaBurn is so much more than just a Pilates studio! In August of 2016, I had a knee repair surgery that left me immobile for over 3 months. The muscles in my leg atrophied and despite physical therapy and trying to build muscle back, it still wasn’t the same. I was told I would never re-gain complete strength back in that leg, and it would always be weaker then the other.
In January, (just 6 weeks off crutches) and after seeing my best friend post over and over about how she loved coming to MegaBurn and what it was doing for her, I decided it was time to give it a try!
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared! I was so afraid to re-injure my knee and have to have another surgery. Who has time for that?! The minute I walked into MegaBurn I felt this sense of community. It was a safe place, with no judgement, everyone at their own fitness levels, different ages, men and women! I knew I found something special.
Carolynn walked me through the machine, introduced me to some of the people who had been coming for awhile and made sure I felt comfortable doing all of the moves and transitions. She continued to check back in with me during the sweaty 45 minutes.
Now 5 months in, I can tell you I’m stronger than ever, I have made new friends, and I’ve gained a sense of empowerment (favorite Ellie phrase “YES YOU CAN!”) This is a place I absolutely love coming to. It has truly changed my life! I am so grateful to MegaBurn and the instructors for the knowledge, passion, and energy they bring to every single class.”
“I just graduated from a pretty intense grad program that kind of took over my life. While in grad school I had no time to workout, and most of my meals were whatever I could eat easily on-the-go. By the end of the 4 years of that program I was at my heaviest, and while I didn’t think I looked “bad”, I also didn’t feel quite like myself.
I began going to Megaburn Fitness because my friend, Ellie opened the studio and I wanted to support her. I thought I would likely just purchase the first monthly unlimited special, but then probably just start going back to the gym since it was much cheaper, and right next to my house.
I signed up in January during the New Year’s MegaStrong Challenge…
…The challenge required me to take class 3-4 times weekly. I figured to be able to do well in the challenge and stretch my money the furthest, I would go to MegaBurn 4 times a week. It was a numbers game really. I did not weigh myself or take any measurements, because I was not necessarily trying to lose weight. I am always trying to tone up, but weight loss was not something I was/am concentrating on at the moment. I am still concentrating on studying to take my board exams, and I just can’t think about too many things at once.
By the end of January people started to tell me how great I was looking, and how they could see my body changing. I am always hard on myself, and I still felt like I had a long way to go to get back to the shape I was in before grad school, so I didn’t take much stock in such comments. What I did notice was how wonderful I was feeling going to MegaBurn. I felt like I had more energy, a bit more get up and go in the mornings, and I could feel my strength building. A one month membership has since stretched into a monthly unlimited membership that I have decided means more to me than spending money on going out to eat, or to bars. MegaBurn has become a place that I go to in order to give back to myself, since I haven’t had time to think about myself much in the past 4 years. I find inspiration and encouragement from the community here. I am feeling more loving to myself than I have in a while, and well, I think the pictures speak for themselves.”