WHAT'S (NEW) IN THE FRIDGE? 15 Apr 2014

JiMa

Have you tried it?  We're now carrying one of the tastiest, locally-made granola bars: JiMa!

LITHE'S TUNES ON PHILLY.COM 15 Apr 2014

Lithe
Lithe Tunes
Check out the tunes!

INSPIRATION 14 Apr 2014

FUNK

Image of Lithe Instructor Rachel D. wearing Lithe via Dom

 

SUMMER BODIES ARE EARNED IN THE WINTER (ED.9)! 14 Apr 2014

Summer-9

After getting to know Lither Betsy C. on Lithe Escape, I thought it was the perfect time to demystify her.  Enjoy!

Age: 34    
     
Kids?: Maybe someday
          
Her Fit.Hip.Healthy: Some people don’t believe it, but growing up I was heavy. I was a very active kid, and I loved to play sports, but I was a pretty picky eater, which led to food and weight issues.  At a fairly young age, I learned about eating better, strength training and cardio.  When I was in high school, I became obsessed with spinning, Tae Bo, lifting, running, using an elliptical machine, etc.  That "eating better" part went out the window when I became a victim of the diet fads of the 90s, eating fat free everything and too much sugar.  So I would spin and use the elliptical for hours a day.  All that repetitive motion just made my thighs look like tree trunks.  No matter how lean I was, my quads were always SO big, I loathed them.  

After the summer of 2012, I came home from the last weekend at the shore where I go to boot camp at 80th street in Stone Harbor.  I decided that I needed to look for something like that near home.  I searched for similar workouts but feared they wouldn’t be challenging enough.  I found Facebook friends praising the effects of Lithe.  So I decided to give it a whirl, and I was immediately hooked.  Within 5-6 months, I noticed my clothes fitting better and I felt stronger and more confident in myself.  During the holidays, my mom and sister-in-law were saying I looked like a new person.  My skin and hair looked healthier and I looked happy!  I hadn't lost any weight really, but I was leaner.

The thing I love about Lithe compared to all of the workouts I have ever done, is the variety of different classes to choose from, and they are challenging and effective.  I noticed that my body has changed, I feel stronger and leaner than ever.  The combination of moves, combination of sculpting and cardio are so efficient and fun, what’s not to love!? Another bonus is the sense of community within the studios.  The friends I've made over the last year and a half are priceless.  I love meeting new ladies and getting to know their stories, successes and struggles.  I feel like we’re a team, supporting and encouraging each other to be a better version of ourselves.  I also have to give a shout-out to the amazing instructors.  Without each of you bringing your energy and enthusiasm, where would we all be?!

I used to do 2 classes at night and then for an extra calorie burn I would go to the gym to use the elliptical.  After developing tendonitis in my ankle, I realized the elliptical was doing more harm than good.  By June, I decided to give it up.  A few weeks later, I noticed my clothes were fitting even better than they had since the initial few months.  It took me a year to let go of my fears of not burning enough calories.  I thought that my body was different, and that I was genetically predisposed to gain weight.  Essentially, I thought that my metabolism would let me down.  Almost a year later and I have never felt so good inside and out.  I thank my lucky stars that I found Lithe! Thank you, Lauren!
     
Fell off the wagon?:  Never.  I struggle to take a day off as it is.  However, when I am out of town, I bring along my old workout videos that are no longer as challenging, like P90X.  I throw in a few Cardio-Cheer sequences from Pom and Stems 2.0 when the P90X cardio intervals aren’t kicking my butt enough : )      
     
How she Lithes: I try to kill it every time, all the time.  It’s my hour (or two) of me time.  Why not make the best of it?  And by the weekend, I like to earn a few cocktails.  Then sweat it out the next day.  I work hard, play hard.
     
What is "key" for her:  A balanced diet and as much sleep as I can get. I wear Lithe's Calorie Trashers in almost every workout becuase I have really tight hips.  They work wonders for me.
   
Her Diet: I am on a somewhat restricted diet due to an intolerance to dairy and yeast.  I don't eat refined sugar.  I eat veggies, grains, nuts, fish, and fruit. The juices and meals available at the studio have been great.  When available, I definitely stock up! 
          
She does weigh in: I usually weigh in every morning.  At 5’9”, I have been weighing about 138-142 lbs consistently for the last year. I am happiest at this size; Not too thin, not too heavy.  I feel confident, healthy and at peace with my thighs.  I have been on both ends of the spectrum and I like being right in the middle.

She feels: Fantastic!  The Lithe Escape proved that I have a lot of room for improvement!  I came back feeling rested and much stronger than I thought I would.  We took time to do stretching instead of all cardio and sculpting, and I may try to take some more of those types of classes to help with my inflexibility.

Image of Betsy C. in Jamaica via Lauren

 

LITHE SPRING CLEAN WEEK 3! 13 Apr 2014

Lithe Spring Clean

You're half-way there!  Week three is another detox week, but it's not as spartan as week 1.  You'll notice that your menu is filled with smoothies, green veggies and muscle building lean protein.  If you're hungry during the day, add in more protein and increase your portion sizes.  I want to see your results on Friday (even if it's a happy smile!) so hashtag #Imlithe!  

Download LSC Week 3

Download LSC Recipes 3

FIT.HIP.FRIDAY GIVEAWAY! 11 Apr 2014

Lithe & Instacart

Happy Friday, Lithers!  You are going to love this because it's life changing.  You can never get all that you need from one place, right? Well, now you can! This week's giveaway comes to us from my new favorite grocery (and wine!) delivery service, Instacart

Instacart is a same day grocery delivery service that allows you to buy groceries on-line from your favorite supermarkets and have them delivered to your door within an hour. They currently deliver groceries from Whole Foods Market, Super Fresh, BJ's, Fine Wine & Good Spirits and local Philly gem Green Aisle Grocery Instacart recently launched in Philly on February 18th, and they're growing - they add new zip codes and stores constantly. 

Instacart is giving away a one year Instacart Express membership ($99 value)!  With Instacart Express, all your 2 hour & scheduled grocery deliveries over $35 are FREE. For a chance to win, please leave a comment below telling us why you need to win!  Ultra Lithe Bonus:  Everyone that comments here will receive $10 off and free delivery on their first order (the special code is Lithe)!  Download the App & follow @instacart @instacartphilly!

Images via Instacart

 
 

LAUREN'S GINGER SOY CHICKEN! 10 Apr 2014

Lauren's Ginger Soy Chicken

#Lithespringclean'ing?  I am!  Here's a tasty chicken dish that that everyone in my house loves.  And, it's SO easy that it's sorta ridiculous.  My secret?  Tessemae's!  You can get Tessemae's at Whole Foods or buy it on-line.

Ingredients:  3-6 tablespoons Tessemae’s Soy Ginger Dressing,  1 lb chicken breast, a litttle bit of Braggs liquid Aminos.

Make it:  Cut raw chicken breast into strips.  While you're doing that, heat your dressing and Braggs over low heat in a pan.  Place raw chicken in the pan and cook over medium heat until chicken is done.  Remove from heat and serve.  I usually add more dressing : )

Image via Lauren

 

 

LITHE SHARE REFERRAL PROGRAM! 10 Apr 2014

LitheShare

Here's a huge thank you to our loyal Philadelphia brand ambassadors: our Lithe Share Referral Program!  Starting on Monday April 14th, we're rewarding our customers for spreading the Lithe, and at the same time, helping new people try us who have always wanted to. 

How It Works:  Refer a friend to Lithe, and if your referral purchases a Monthly Membership (1-A-Day, New Client, or Undergrad) within 14 days of their first class, you get $20 off a 1-A-Day or Undergrad Monthly Membership!

 

LitheShare Discount Details:

  • Only valid towards the purchase of a Monthly Membership (1-A-Day or Undergrad). 
  • Your discount must be used within 30 days of you being notified of having received the discount.
  • Your referral must purchase their membership within 14 days of their first.
  • The discounts are cumulative!  Example: If you refer two friends and they become lithers you will receive $40 off of your membership, if you refer 3 friends and they become lithers you will receive $60 off, you get the point …
  • Tell your LitheShare to share your name when they fill out their new client waiver.
  • Only valid for new referrals (i.e. sorry, nothing retroactive).

Image of Lithe Instructors Lauren Boggi (Founder) & Danielle Ingerman wearing Lithe via Dom

MISSION: LITHE! (JONATHAN & KATIE'S RESULTS) 10 Apr 2014

6-8
Check out Jonathan and Katie's results!  You can visibly see the difference from their before picures

For the past nine days theyv'e been Lithing and eating clean!  We'll hear from Jonathan later today, but Katie said, "I feel AMAZING after completing the 9 day challenge!  This challenge was one of the best things I have recently done for myself.  It allowed me to truly focus on myself instead of letting a busy life get in the way. In addition to the Lithing 9 days in a row, I made sure to drink between 64-92 ounces of water a day, and I stuck to the #LitheSpringClean menu (except for some weekend pizza). By day 3 of the challenge, I found that I've constantly been in a great mood.   I've literally been dancing around to Good Vibrations by Marky Mark  and Happy by Pharrell on repeat.  I feel stronger, healthier and I have more energy.  I feel so great that I'm going to keep going and try to complete 20 in 25 days for  the Lithe Spring Clean Challenge!" 

Images via Lauren

 
 

            

NO 101? NO PROBLEM! 9 Apr 2014

101

You've spoken out and we've listened!  Last month we lifted our 101 requirement and adjusted our teacher training program to accommodate newbies in a way that doesn't make them feel frightened or alienated.  If you or a friend have been wanting to try Lithe, but our 101 schedule hasn't worked for you, this is your chance to get Lithe! 

Although the 101 is no longer required, we still believe that our workout is best experienced when you know the basics and our bio-mechanical principles, so our 101 will forever be offered. Guess what? Soon, you'll be able to learn our 7 basic principles and Lithe on-line!

Ready to get started today?  Sign up on-line and create a profile. Select our Complimentary First Class pricing option which is available to all new Lithers and can be used for either a 101 or regular class.  We're here to help, so if you have any questions or concerns please call the studio and they will help you find the right first workout for you so you can have the best experience at Lithe! 

Image of Lithe Instructor Diana Khuu via Dom

SAYEH'S LIVING LITHE TIPS! 9 Apr 2014

Sayeh

Whether you're in the midst of the second phase of your Earned in Winter challenge, or some variation of your own challenge, I think we are all feeling the sudden urgency of beach weekends, and the swimsuits that go with them, fast approaching. (This is crazy since 5 minutes ago it was snowing, and I felt like we were never going to see temps rise over 25, and summer felt so so far away). 

As we all rev it up a bit, I'm feeling the need for motivation more than ever. And as I've completed my nine days, and ramped up to 5 or 6 days a week since, I've been paying attention to the things that keep me going and thought I would share 5 of those things with you in hopes that they may be helpful to you too.

  1. FOCUS: We all know that being mindful in class is important. Zoning out means form gets sloppy, and we don't get the most out of our workout (story of my life). So, I've been taking that concept a bit further to make sure I stay present by focusing on some THING every class. Lately, it's been my breath. Expanding my rib cage and then contracting and knitting it back together on every single inhale/exhale is quite the challenge and quite the workout. In other classes, I focus on things like completely straightening my leg and pulling up on my knee caps at the barre. Choosing one thing to work on helps me to not only stay present, but  also helps me to push myself to really perfect my form.
  2. GET COMFORTABLE: Nothing ruins my life more than wearing my oldest, most ill-fitting sports bra to a high cardio class. I've been finding that paying attention to class descriptions, and wearing the appropriate clothes and having the appropriate gear (gloves, sweat bands) makes a world of difference in my ability to work out effectively. When the bands are chafing my wrists because I've forgotten my wrist bands, or hurting my ankles because I didn't wear long pants, I focus more on my discomfort than anything else. If I don't take the time to strap into my bands correctly at the beginning of class, I'm battling with rogue velcro for 60 minutes rather than getting lower, jumping higher and squatting longer. Having everything you need--from your water to the right wunder unders is key. 
  3. THINK BODY PARTS: When instructors say: You should feel this in your BLANK, I realize where I should be feeling it and it helps me big time. I adjust my body to feel it there--wherever there is--and all of a sudden I'm doing it--whatever it is--correctly. I learned long ago if you're not feeling IT during a Lithe move, you're not doing it right. Recently, in Tight End, after realizing my inner thighs were the focus, I took all my focus to them--literally thinking INNER THIGHS, INNER THIGHS over and over again with every deep lunge, and it helped me to push through the impossible (for me) box series in that class. Connecting the move with the body part it should be sculpting, helped me to stay motivated to stick with it. 
  4. GET DOWN WITH THE GET DOWN: Listen. I'm not gonna lie. There's nothing I hate more than when an instructor tells me to smile and have fun. Literally nothing. I'm pouring sweat, my thighs are burning, my hair is stuck to my head, my muscles are quaking, the room is so hot, I feel like I'm in bikram Lithe and it's all I can do to focus on my inner thighs and my breath and not keel over onto the girl directly behind me. I DON'T WANT TO SMILE. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE FUN. I just want to GET THROUGH IT. Must I LOVE the torture?? Isn't it enough that I'm here? Have you no SOULS?? But then, some times, some days (if the music is right and I'l slightly less curmudgeonly than usual), I do smile and I do get down, and put a little fun and attitude into my CCS, and I have to admit it really does help. So even though I'm shaking my fist on the inside, Lithing with abandon really is...fun...and does make me smile. Eek. I hate myself. 
  5. FOLLOW A LEADER: Every class has a veteran lither in it, with incredible form. When I'm struggling, I lock my eyes on her and strive to match her drive and form. She shows me how to do the hip swivel thing right, keep in rhythm during complicated CCS, and generally stick to it. There's inspiration all around us in our classes. 

Keep on keepin on ladies. I'm inspired by all the hard work I see around me, and by the pictures for the #earnedinwinter series on the blog. If you have your own tips, feel free to share! I can use as many as I can get!

See you in class!

SPLIT! 8 Apr 2014

Split-6

LITHE NEWTRITION (DO CARBS MAKE YOU FAT?) 8 Apr 2014

Newtrition

Welcome to our new column, NewTrition, written by Lithe Instructor and trained chef, Danielle Ingerman! We're debunking common food and nutrition myths by giving you facts about sugar, fat—even comfort food—and more, so you can feel good about diggin' the foods that you love.  Danielle is studying to be a Registered Dietitian at Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions.  Her favorite class is Micronutrient Metabolism, and she's currently interning at CHOP and a private practice in Trenton, NJ.  I'm thrilled that she's shedding some fresh and passionate "Eating Lithe" insight here on Fit.Hip.Healthy!  

Is butter a carb? Ah “Mean Girls”, although generally a far departure from how ‘real people’ view carbohydrates, for here, it could not ring more true. This winter has been ROUGH, long days inside, school cancellations, boredom, comfort food comes a-calling. P-p-p-p-iiizza. C-o-o-o-kies. Make it go away! These foods make us ‘feel good’… or do they? After a 48 hour snow-day binge, I know I feel like a deflated pool float.

Diets attacking carbohydrates as the sworn enemy of the body get a lot of attention these days, and here’s why. When we’re talking about weight gain, typically our focus centers around refined simple carbohydrates- white sugar, white flour, you know, the stuff that makes foods insatiably delicious. Problem is, satiation. These products carry high glycemic index values, meaning once you eat them, they are metabolized into a surge of glucose that zaps directly into your bloodstream. Why does this matter? Well, since our bodies are the coolest machines ever, we can get rid of that crap through the mechanism of insulin, which grabs the blood glucose, and distributes it throughout the body. Unfortunately, this act in many women stimulates what’s called reactive hypoglycemia- basically our body says HEY! we don’t have enough of what we need, lets stimulate some hormones to get it back in here. Cue…hunger. Our bodies think we are starving from our low blood sugar levels, so it stimulates our hunger hormones to get us to eat more to even things out. Ipso-facto - just a few hours after eating you are exhausted and amazingly starving again, which is where the weight gain comes in.

Before you ransack your cabinets and dispose of all carb-laden items, STOP! Not all dietary carbohydrates are here to hurt us. Complex carbohydrates slow the absorption of glucose into your blood, evening out the digestion process and avoiding that blood sugar spike and hypoglycemic drop. Whole grains, legumes, and many fruits and vegetables carry low glycemic index values and often contain many nutrients used to nourish our bodies. However, although eating five apples a day won’t make you gain 5 lbs, it can stimulate more hunger, which is why an even distribution of complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein in your daily diet kicks those blood sugar spikes and curbs your appetite from face-planting into a bowl of cereal at 9 pm. What’s the best combo to stay “lithe”? Try a grain salad mixed with your favorite protein, if you’re feeling famished after an 8 am yogurt, skip it the next day for some eggs or protein and see how you feel. Starving at 3 pm? Try carrots instead of fruit. Remember, the best meals leave us feeling full AND energized. As always, all things in moderation, have fun with your food and try new things. Feel good food is all about balancing what your body loves and what you love.

Image of Lithe Instructor Danielle Ingerman wearing Lithe via Dom

INSPIRATION 8 Apr 2014

Determination

Image of Lauren Boggi wearing Lithe via Dom

WHAT'S (NEW) IN THE FRIDGE? 7 Apr 2014

Whatsnew
Two new delicious options from Pure Fare!  Sweet Potato Custard and Grain Free Granola: $4.50  Sushi: $8.00

SUMMER BODIES ARE EARNED IN THE WINTER (ED.8)! 7 Apr 2014

Summer Bodies Ed 8

I'm SO proud to feature Lither Judy U. today in Ed. 8 of our Earned in Winter series.  Judy has come a long way (she has lost over 100 lbs!).  I know that you'll really enjoy reading this.

Age:   36.75
 
Kids?: Probably not, thanks.  I'm solid with nieces and nephews - I call them my rentals.  And could be down with a step kid should I find the right single dad. 
 
Her Fit.Hip.Healthy: If you saw my preview post/love letter, you know that I was once neither fit, nor healthy. I started out as an overweight child, a chubby teen, and went straight to obese adult.  College here in the city meant food truck cheesesteaks for lunch and pizza for dinner with a side of soda.  When I started working, I was a fast food queen often eating twice the portions. The highest weight I ever saw on a scale was over 280 lbs.  I made some half hearted attempts at weight loss - things like weight loss shakes, fasting, and frozen meals with words like "healthy or lite" in the title.  None of that worked. My doctor told me that if I kept gaining weight I probably would die in my thirties.  I got mono and lost about 20lbs without even trying.   I knew things were out of hand but it wasn't until 2001 after my first niece joined the world that I spent more than a year on Weight Watchers and lost a ton of weight - feeling like I had finally "figured out" what I had been doing wrong - note - my "exercise" at the time was the occasional walk around the neighborhood and crazy dance nights at the old Polyester's on Race Street (I wish I was kidding about that).  Jump to 2003, and my Dad passing away.  Welcome to emotional eating and ballooning back up - re-finding all the weight I had lost.  I floundered for a while and made a few more half-hearted attempts to lose weight.  Finally in 2008, I went back to Weight Watchers with my now huge tail between my legs and at the time was over 250 lbs.  I had some good success and then started grad school at about 210 lbs.  I did okay - I did gain some weight back during my three years of working and going to school at night.  Less time meant less preparedness and more reaching for quick solutions. In 2010, I started working in Princeton, NJ and finishing my last year of grad school at Villanova.  My office is right around the corner from a gym, and so during my first week I thought I might as well check it out.   I signed up an figured I could go there right after work and avoid some rush hour traffic on the nights I didn't have a 90 minute drive to get to school.  They offered a free consultation with a trainer and so I took advantage of that.  My trainer Patrick became a force in my life - making an appointment with him every week was a way to really make sure that I kept exercising.  I was working so hard that it made me want to eat better.  So I started packing my lunch and weight started coming off.  I mixed in walking on the treadmill and graduated to jogging a little and did my first 5K in 2012 - I got Patrick one of the t-shirts to commemorate this huge achievement.   At that point, I was pretty sure I was an invincible athlete and that I would eventually win a marathon.  Later that summer, a friend suggested that we try a barre class.  Since I was now this stellar athlete, obviously I would try it.  Standing outside the studio, one of the gals said - "did you see that Lithe Method has a Living Social deal?  That's what Becky Miller did to get ready for her wedding".  Since Becky looked straight up crazy hot at her wedding, I agreed to try this mysterious Lithe thing.  We did the 101 and I thought I might die - but I had paid for FIVE classes - I was going to take all of them!   That showed me that I still had a long way to go and that maybe I wasn't quite the athlete I was in my head.  I was mixing Lithe into my regular workouts and a couple months later, Patrick announce he was moving away.  I was getting tired of the regular gym, and I kept throwing out my back every time I was running.  Ugh.  Lithe was always there floating along as one of the things I could do without hurting myself and it helped me realize that maybe I liked doing classes because there was someone pushing you a long - just like Patrick had been pushing me.  So with Patrick gone in early, 2013, I started lithing a few times a week, and adding in a spin class, or a barre class to mix things up.  The next thing I knew I was working out 5-6 times a week - and mostly looking forward to Lithe.  So that's my fit.  And in combination with my diet (see below) -it's my healthy.    
 
I'm still working on my Hip - I'm more Talbots and red wine than ??? I don't even know what's hip.....  
 
Fell off the wagon?: Not really.  I started slow with Lithe - going once a week and mixing it in with Patrick, walking/running, and the occasional barre or spin class.  I injured my hip (maybe that's my hip!) in the first half of 2013 and had to slow down a bit but focused on lower impact classes until it was better.  Since starting regular exercise in 2010, I've never gone more than a few days without doing SOMETHING.  The exercise drove me to want to eat better and though I have my emotional battles with cupcakes, most of the time I win.  Only sometimes the cupcake wins.
 
How she Lithes: 3-4 times per week - aiming for 5.  I just finished the 9 day stretch after being so inspired by Chrissy and Kristin (and Sayeh). I couldn't believe that I did it!  I even did an extra class at a barre studio with some girlfriends during that week!    For me Lithe is a challenge every time and there are always opportunities for improvement and learning - plus the schedule and updated classes keep everything so fun and interesting.  I go back and forth between loving the sculpting classes for their slow pace and crazy burn and loving the cardio classes for their fun dancy cardio where I pretend that I'm a Laker girl in my head. Also, the cardio classes almost always have plyos - when you're 280 lbs, you can't really go up a flight of stairs without getting winded so in my head, every plyo feels like a little miracle.  You may notice my often goofy smile during plyos.  
 
What is "key" for her:   Balance.  I travel 20-30% of the time for my job.  I'm lucky that I get to go to some amazing places and fancy restaurants but eating out takes a toll.  I do the best I can with finding healthy options on the road, and often pack my own snacks with me.  I've made it priority while travelling to find a good workout class and have tried barre and yoga classes across the country!  While home, I believe that as long as I eat well 80% of the time I can leave room for a night out or an after dinner treat.  And on the days, when hormonal, work or social challenges leave me feeling defeated in the war against the office candy jar, I find my way to self-forgiveness and get right back to trying again the next day.  
 
Also - information - I had so much to learn over this long journey but something that has kept me focused is finding new information on working out, recipes, success stories, food ingredients, etc.  Anything related to a healthy lifestyle reminds me of why I'm working so hard in class and spending time preparing meals for my week.
 
Her Diet:  STRICT Vegetarian.  Lacto  ovo - although not much lacto - I was allergic as a baby and never really grew out of it.  Some yogurt is ok and a splash of milk in my coffee is fine.  I love cheese but when I eat to much, it makes me so sick.  I became a vegetarian in 2008 after I had been living alone for the first time and found that cooking chicken and fish was really grossing me out.  Ick.  I read a few books, watched some documentaries, and never a piece of meat would grace my lips again.  I'm not a pushy vegetarian - I think animals can be part of a healthy diet but it's just not for me.  I didn't become vegetarian to lose weight and actually gained a little when I first started because I wasn't really focused on eating a healthy diet.    A little at a time, my diet has changed to focus on REAL FOOD.   I eat a ton of fruit and vegetables, and whole grains - mostly organic and - very minimal "processed foods".  And because everyone asks.... protein comes from a lot of places - eggs/egg whites, sometimes greek yogurt, quinoa, peas, beans, nuts,  a little soy, and I use a raw vegan brown rice protein powder just to fill in a little.  I loosely follow the Tone It Up plan.
 
I also count calories using LoseIt - an iPhone app.  I don't panic if I'm over or under calories on any particular day - remember my thing with balance!  But it does help me monitor what's happening.   But you have to be honest with it - those days when I'm typing in 4 mini twix bars from the office candy jar are not pretty but it is what it is. On the road, it helps a lot to at least try to guess what was in the restaurant meal I had - it makes me think about how to make the best choice I can when looking at the menu.  I hope someday to transition to intuitive eating but I'm not there yet - and if I never get there, it's ok.  I don't mind the tracking - plus I like seeing the data - I'm good with numbers!  I also track calories burned from working out using a heart rate monitor.  There is something gratifying when logging in a 600 calorie Lithe burn!
 
She does weigh in:   Almost every day.  Right now I'm floating between 190-195lbs.  This is my lowest adult weight. But I have a LOT to say about this.   I'm 5'6" - most body weight charts for women would have you believe that 150-155lbs is the upper weight limit for someone my height. And that a healthy weight is somewhere between 120-155. (depending on which chart you read)  But this doesn't really tell the whole story.  This can't possibly be the whole picture.  Turns out there are many numbers to help access your health and fitness.  How about BMI??  Well at 195, my BMI is 31.5 - that means I'm obese.  Crap! This numbers thing isn't going my way huh?   
 
How about body fat percentage?  Well I've been 190-200 lbs for quite some time so last year at about 200 lbs I had my body fat percentage professionally measured using a Bod Pod - the same egg shaped thing that the Biggest Loser uses.  At the time, I was 40% body fat, but 60% lean mass.  (Get your calculators girls!  It's about to get real!)    So that meant I was 120 lbs(60%) of "lean mass" and 80 lbs (40%) of fat.  This is too much fat - there's no denying that but the lady who performed the test said that I was a lot of "lean" - so many people are "skinny fat" (her words) where they are more than half fat.  So let's think about this...... if I'm ALREADY 120lbs of lean, where can I land on the weight chart that's realistic.
 
CLEARLY, I'm never going to be at the bottom of the range - unless I start losing some lean mass which doesn't feel like a good goal.  Let's say that I haven't gained any additional lean mass (or muscle in this case), and that I've only maintained that 120lbs - if I were to drop to that 155lbs, that would mean that I would have 35lbs of fat (155-120) on 155lb body.  35lbs/155lbs= 22.5% body fat.  This is actually pretty lean for a woman.  Again there are all sorts of charts, but it looks like the upper limit of body fat percentage for a woman my age is about 23%-27.5%.   
 
But I've been Lithing and doing all kinds of fun workouts for a year since my last measurement - maybe it's fair to say that a I've gained 5lbs of lean mass since then.  So maybe now, I could be 125lbs of lean mass - if I got to 170lbs, I'd have 45lbs of body fat - 45/170=26.5% body fat which is squarely in that healthy range.  I'm not trying to math my way out of being skinny but I'm trying to find a realistic goal.  We're all going to lose lean mass as we age so the more we start with, the better off we'll be later in life.  I'm not willing to lose what lean mass I have to fit into some weight chart and in fact, I'm probably going to keep trying to build more! I'm never going to be skinny but what I like about Lithe it showcases a variety of healthy body types through our instructors.  I'm never going to have the long slim limbs of the lovely Danielle but I can aspire to have the gorgeous curviness of Bari or Lauren.  I already have  big boobs and backside!  I'm halfway there!
 
One more word on the body fat measurement - it really helped me learn a lot about Basal Metabolic Rate.(BMR) The printout they gave me showed how many calories I needed in a single day just to exist.  Turns out my MINIMUM required calories were somewhere around 1600 - most diet plans would tell you not to go below 1200 calories - but for me, I can't ever go below 1600 without hurting myself.  (I'm not complaining!) This was eye-opening.  Gone are the days where I'm trying to eat as little as possible to stay under some ridiculously low calorie target - I'm eating what's HEALTHY for me!  
 
What about other numbers?  How about blood pressure?  Mine is great - 110-120/70 is average for me.  How about resting heart rate?  Mine is the 50's.  yeah - I'm really an athlete now!  How about dress size?  I'm a 14. The first time I put on a size 14 pants I cried with happiness in the dressing room at the Gap.  I was this size in 8th grade.  I'm closing in on a size 12 jeans- I can get them on  and zipped - I just can't breathe in them - or walk or sit.  Details!
  
She feels:   Like a goddess.  My weight has been a lifelong struggle but now it feels like worrying about weight isn't the top priority anymore.  These days, I'm more worried about getting to class on time and what I'm going to pack for lunch this week.  I also feel pretty honored to be part of the Earned in Winter feature.  I think body diversity is something to be celebrated and I'm so proud of Lithe Method for taking on this challenging topic by featuring real bodies of different sizes and shapes - even those that are atypical.  So many Lithers have come up to me since my love letter and told me how much they were looking forward to my Earned in Winter feature. That really meant a lot to me and it's been so great to meet new people.  Lithe has also helped me feel like I can sort of do anything - at at least TRY anything. Last year I did the first day of the MS 150 City to Shore bike ride.  This year, I'm hoping to do both days.  I rode my bike yesterday and only fell off twice!  I got back up twice too :-)
 
I know my squishy tummy probably isn't what you were expecting to see when you pulled up the blog today, but that fold on my belly and jiggle on my arms are my badges of pride.  They used to be filled with fat that was killing me - if a little flab or skin flopping around during class is the worst thing that happens in my days, then I've lived a grand life.  I hope that any of the larger lithers reading this will be inspired to find their own versions of a healthy body and those of you who pulled the super lean card from the deck get a little insight as to how things work for us bigger gals.  All our bodies are fantastic! Look how they can plyo!
 
Image of Judy via Stuart Goldenberg

LITHE SPRING CLEAN WEEK 2! 4 Apr 2014

LITHE SPRING CLEAN

I'm in Utah for the weekend, so I wanted to get these to you early so that you can plan and shop.  I'll post prettier, more perfect versions of these on Monday (please excuse any typos). 

Here's our #lithespringclean menu for week 2!  Just like our Lithe Foods/Lithe Escape food philosophy, you'll notice that our menus are based on lean, local, mostly seasonal and detoxifying, whole foods.  Our menus coincide with our lifestyle of hard work and consistency, so Monday through Friday you'll want to follow the rules.  Moderation is key for long-term success, so Saturday and Sunday are yours to eat as you please!   

Remember to drink 64 oz of water everyday, and Lithe 5-6 days a week.  Stay tuned for recipes and more food, fitness and tip starting on Monday.  We want to see and hear about your results!  Now lets go shopping!

Download LITHE SPRING CLEAN Week 2

Download LITHE SPRING CLEAN RECIPES Week 2

 

FIT.HIP.FRIDAY GIVEAWAY! 4 Apr 2014

FHF
Aveeno & Lithe

Happy Friday!  Lithers love oats, and so do the folks at AVEENO®, Lithe's beloved locker room and shower product sponsor.  Oats are the lead ingredient in many of AVEENO®'s ultra moisturizing products.  Spring is here, we've just completed week 1 of #Lithespringclean and we're ready to bare some skin!  Say sayonara to dry, itchy, flaky skin with AVEENO®'s iconic oat-based products.  My three favorite oatmeal products are also AVEENO®'s best-sellers:

Daily Moisturizing Lotion, formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal and blended with rich emollients to soothe and moisturize dry skin.  AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, also formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal, cleanses and nourishes skin while replenishing and locking in moisture.  AVEENO® Soothing Bath Treatment is one of my favorite products!  It's made of finely milled 100% pure ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal to soothe dry, itchy, irritated skin.  When dispersed in water, this powder forms a soothing milky bath that works as a natural cleanser, provides temporary skin protection, and relieves skin irritation and itching.

To celebrate Lithe + AVEENO®'s shared love of oats in honor of #Lithespringclean, we're giving away an AVEENO® Oat Bundle ($100+ value) of their most iconic oat-based products for moisturizing and soothing skin! For a chance to win, please tell us your favorite use or recipe for oats! A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday. Good luck!

Product images via AVEENO®.

INSPIRATION 3 Apr 2014

Flight

Image of Lithe Instructor Julie Fannin via Dom

MISSION: LITHE! 3 Apr 2014

Mission Lithe!

Two more of our incredible front of the house crew is doing a nine day challenge! The fabulous Jonathan Cedrone (he's also currently doing his Co-op with Lithe Foods) and Lithe's General Manager, Katie Kempf are on day 4.  Lets cheer them on!  Read about why they are on a mission...

Jonathan:
 
Why did you want to do a 9 day challenge?
Now that I'll be out of school on co-op for the next 6 months, I feel like I finally have a hot second to actually devote to some [much needed] self care. After seeing Kristin and Chrissy's transformations, I was inspired to make a change for myself as well. As part of the extremely rare species known as the "Lithe Boy", I wanted to see if Lithe would affect the male body in the same way that it affects the female, as seen through all of our amazing client transformations! With this new found inspiration and time, I figured the 9 day challenge would be the best way to literally whip myself into shape so that I could take classes more regularly (without nearly passing out in the mat room - I don't know how some of these ladies do it!) and in preparation for becoming Lithe's first male instructor! While losing some unwanted inches of fat, ideally I'd like to gain some more muscle! And what better time to get started than right before summer?! (gasp, shirtless...)
 
What day are you on?
Today is day 4 of the challenge!
 
What is your typical diet like?
Living on the budget of an undergraduate who literally pays for everything himself, nutrition is extremely difficult for me. With barely any time available to devote to shopping for healthy groceries and actually cooking, I tend to gravitate towards the already prepared options, and 9 times out of 10, that means bad for you. With that said, I don't fall into the stereotype of the college kid who only eats Ramen noodles, but I definitely don't have enough fruits, veggies, and proteins (read: I eat a lot of pasta). Regarding portions, my diet fluctuates a bit too much as well. When I'm home with my family, I tend to eat portions that are definitely too large; my family is Italian, so that means consistent yelling from Mom and Mommom that I'm "not eating enough" despite the 2 bowls of pasta with meatballs and bread that I just ate. But when I'm on my own at my apartment, portions are too small. I've been needing an overhaul to steer my diet towards a more nutritionally-valuable, middle road!
 
Did you fall off the wagon?
Technically, I'm fairly new to Lithe classes, so I've never "fallen off the wagon" in that sense. However, my fitness has definitely not gotten as much attention as I'd like recently. I have generally been in good shape since high school because of dance (I was heavier as a pre-teen, thanks to Mom and Mommom, as mentioned above). In high school, dance for me was much more athletically based, especially with my competition team (read: jumps, turns, splits...). Ever since coming to Drexel and joining their company, dance is more focused on performance and the artform itself. However, that meant dance could no longer suffice as my only exercise. But between rehearsals, dance classes, academic classes, homework, work, and social life, finding the time to get in a workout was the last thing on my list. Ever since, I've never been completely comfortable in my own skin (especially on the beach without a shirt), although I know I'm not overweight or completely out of shape.
 
How are you feeling right now?
Right now I'm feeling much more energetic and happy, despite the soreness! It's only day 4, and I'm starting to see exciting changes in my body: my stomach looks and feels tighter, my chest seems fitter, and my arms are definitely bigger and more defined. With that said, I'm extremely excited to check in next week!

 

Katie:

Why did you want to do a 9 day challenge?

I wanted to do the 9 day challenge because I think it will help me recharge.  It's the perfect opportunity to focus on myself for a bit and get ready for Spring.  I'm pretty social person, and I love spending time with my family and friends.  However, between work and life I don't get much "me" time.  Taking a class is my own personal time and it's so important for my mental health.

 

What is your typical diet like?

My typical diet is fairly healthy when I'm by myself, but I am very influenced by my friends and will feast whenever the opportunity presents itself.  My diet is full of fruits and vegetables...but it's also full of pizza and cookies and brownies.

 

Did you fall off the wagon?

I didn't completely fall of the wagon, but I have not been able to take as many classes each week as I would like. I used to Lithe 5 days a week and for the last few months I've been averaging 1-3 classes per week. I'm really excited to get back to the level that I used to be at.

 

How are you feeling?

Today is day 4 and I feel great.  I'm more energetic and already feel more like myself- happier, more positive, and more appreciative about the little things in life!

 

Images via Lauren

 

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