Hey dudes 🙂 A big announcement in today’s post, but before I tell ya what it’s all about, wanted to give you some backstory. Perhaps it’s because I work as a health coach and fitness instructor, but over the last few years I’ve become hypervigilant towards the marketing messages we receive in regards to the foods we consume and the way we exercise/move our bodies. There are few things in life that I preach about dogmatically, but this topic is one of them. A little fire burns inside me each time I happen to see any of the below. Btw, these are just the icing on the cake:
- A food manufacturer marketing their product as “guilt free” ….as if feeding yourself should ever come with a side of guilt. GTFOH with that noise.
- A barre, spin, yoga, whatever studio or gym promoting their establishment as a place to get “your summer body”. If you have a body and a bathing suit, you have a summer body. Go rock that shit and enjoy the beach, k? I’m not naive to think it doesn’t sometimes take courage to wear less clothing. I’m probably one of the prudest chicks you’ll ever meet, so let’s be real. But the process should be about becoming more comfortable in your own skin, not changing your body.
- Any form of calorie counter (yes, I loathe all those bracelet/watches) as a means to dictate how successful was your workout. I’m not talking about runners keeping track of miles, or walkers tracking steps. As a runner, I know this is important for training. What I’m referencing are the people in my classes that get two minutes into the workout and freak out because they haven’t turned their Fit Bit on, and want to know about how many calories I expect they’ll burn. I’m referencing the spin studios that tell you “It’s Taco Tuesday! Come earn your treats first!”. BARF.
And… I’m referencing my former self, the gal who was suffering from an out of control thyroid, an undiagnosed gluten allergy, and had tacked on a healthy pregnancy weight gain, despite not being pregnant. The girl who was so eager to be “healthy” and “fit” that I often counted calories or points just to know how long I would have to run on the miserable treadmill at the gym, or ride the stationary bike to burn it all off. I thought that’s what it meant to be healthy. And let me tell ya, I was dedicated. I often drove over 250 miles a day in my former pharmaceutical sales career, and as expected, was exhausted when I got home. But no matter how lethargic my sick bod was, I worked out. Why? A few reasons. One, I lacked total confidence and self-worth. In fact, I didn’t even think I deserved confidence until I “got in shape”. Sad, but I know many can probably relate. Two, I wanted so, so badly to be that girl that just LOVED to work out and eat well. I would laugh it off with friends and say “wouldn’t be amazing to just be the person that hated pizza and loved to exercise?”. Ring a bell with anyone? If it does, don’t beat yourself up for a single second. This post is NOT about belittling anyone with this mentality. It IS about challenging you to think differently.
So, how DID I become the chick that fell so in love with nutrition and exercise, who stopped giving a fuck how many calories I was eating, or how long I had to put in on the treadmill to burn it all off? It certainly didn’t happen overnight, but my story looks a bit like this…
After years of logging miles on my treadmill (even training for half marathons on it), I went outside one early spring day and hit the trail nearby. With another race coming up, I thought I’d try to mix up my terrain a bit. I had my fav jams playing; the sun was out; flowers were beginning to bloom. AND… I let go. I let go of everything else going on in my life and allowed myself to get lost in my breath, the strength of my body, and the beat of the music. I was so present in the moment that I forgot about how much I despised my job, that my parents were going through a nasty divorce, that I was in a body that felt 75 instead of 30. When the miles got longer and tougher, I began to question my ability to keep going. This was a familiar thought, as I asked myself about every 90 seconds on the treadmill. I was used to quitting. But rather than seeking motivation to continue by reflecting on that bag of chips I ate earlier, I asked myself a second question. Are you really in pain, as in going be injured if you don’t stop? Or, are you just uncomfortable? Out of your comfort zone? I find that in most scenarios– whether it’s on my yoga mat, in spin class, in the barre studio– it’s the latter. This is really just a metaphor for succeeding in life. It’s about letting go of results, detaching from negative self talk, and seeing what happens if we keep the journey going.
I wasn’t exercising. I was meditating through movement, and I fell in love with every second of it.
My journey into nutrition is basically the same. I stopped eating for the perfect body that doesn’t exist, and tuned into what gave me enough energy to feel well and do epic shit. I won’t rehash it because I have written plenty of other posts about the subject, but feel free to go back in time on the blog if you’d like to know more.
Today, seven years later, my life is dedicated to helping others cultivate their healthiest and happiest selves through eating well and moving more. It’s my passion and purpose. My inspiration is no longer to burn calories or “get a hot summer body”. I’m inspired by the women that push themselves out of their comfort zones, that stay the course when their head wants to quit but their heart says keep going. My inspiration are the women that have never really moved their bodies before because they were scared they wouldn’t fit in at a barre, spin, yoga studio, or running group but came anyways. And most of all, my inspiration is ME, unattached to the outcome or end result, but present in the power of the moment… something I feel most when I’m moving and my body is in sync with my breath.
Okay, okay, it’s finally announcement time! I’ve been so fortunate to connect with other local lifestyle blogger gals. After one particularly thought evoking brainstorming sesh, we decided more people should get to have FUN when they’re exercising or moving their bodies. They should get to experience what it’s like to drop the FitBit and let go of checking the “I worked out today” box! Moving your body has so many more benefits that have absolutely zero to do with weight loss, and we want to challenge you to DISCOVER THEM! So, in partnership with Ashley Weaver, of EucalyptusDreams, and Lizzy Pepper, of PepInYourStep, we have created ‘The Exercise Experiment’ (#ExperimentalExercise)! We’ll be trying out as many opportunities as we can to get movin’, and we want YOU to join us! Local? Awesome! You can join us by following our Insta posts about where we’re headed to next, OR you can rock it out in your own hometown and tag us!
We had the pleasure of trying out ‘Sky Zone’ Timonium’s trampoline park last week for an adult boot camp, and I’m not sure if my core hurt more the next day from all the planking OR from laughing so hard I almost wet my pants. Shout out to Connor for teaching one of the most fun and challenging classes I’ve taken!
This is just the beginning, ya’ll! We hope you’ll join us on this crazy adventure! As I always say, YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK! See what happens when you don’t quit ; )