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41 posts from August 2013

DEAR LITHE {LOVE LETTERS} 30 Aug 2013

  Lithe Results & Love Letter

Hi Lauren!

 

February 28, 2012 is the day that my life changed forever. I’d been exercising on and off for about 10 years but never had a healthy diet to match. By that time I’d tried every diet/weight loss program under the sun and never really had any major success, and would always gain the weight back. The night before, I stood on the scale and saw a number that made me utterly sad, but even more importantly moved me into a season of action. I no longer desired to live as a spectator in my own life and became an active participant of change.

 

I decided to map out a plan for weight loss, and really stick to it. My motto was “Create a Plan. Execute Plan. Achieve Goal.” I put that on a post it note and taped it to my desk and created a goal board where I listed out 12 things I wanted to change in my life in 2012. From that point on I knew if I followed my plan, I’d have success and what would happen when I didn’t.  It was simple. I cut all processed/packaged/manufactured foods from my diet and sugar for the first 90 days. In that time frame I lost 40lbs – which, was impressive but also a major clue as to what had been weighing me down.  In the months that followed, I continued to follow the plan and the weight literally peeled off.  At the time I was just doing group fitness classes at the gym (Zumba, Body Works, Spinning, etc). By June I knew I needed try a different workout in order to continue to challenge my body so I decided to try running. I couldn’t even run an entire mile so imagine the smile on my face after completing the Broad Street Run 10 miler in May 2013 J!!

 

Fast forward to September 2012.  I was having dinner at a close friends’ (and fellow lither, Lesley P!) house when she began to tell me about Lithe Method.  She was so excited she couldn’t even get her words out and demonstrating the moves so happily; I’d never seen her so jacked up over exercise so of course I had to try a class when Gilt was offering a 5 class card.  I procrastinated and did not try my first class until November and needless to say I got hooked, fast! For Christmas my then boyfriend donated to my 2013 Lithe Fund.  Most women might be offended by such a gift, but he knew I was in love with Lithe and he was in support of anything that made me smile.

 

In January 2013 I got serious about my workouts and revved up my schedule.  True to your words, 6 months later I was in a different body. Lithe helped me (along with proper diet!!) go from a size 14 to an 8, shave almost 10 total inches from my body, increased my endurance, introduced me to an amazing community of women, and really grounded me in my new fit, hip, and healthy lifestyle.

 

I could be upset about the 10 weeks I recently missed over the summer due to a non-Lithe related foot injury, but I’m even more excited that because I kept my diet in line, my body didn’t suffer. This was a summer of total confidence, happiness, and full of satisfaction that I did the work that produced my results.

 

To date I’ve now lost 113 pounds! This journey has been so much more than weight. I’ve learned so much about myself, discipline, strength, and goal setting.  I’ve never had a workout that has ever made me sweat (and smile!) so much, challenged me, and created such incredible results. I am forever grateful to my instructors: Gerri for her bubbly energy in 6am classes, Bari for inspiring me to get my knee oh-so-low to the floor during lunge series, Rachel for encouraging me to keep my arms up in “T” when I felt like I’d die during any of her arm classes, Melissa for correcting my form so that I no longer had foot/ankle pain, Diana for her patience after class to help address questions, and Tif for cracking the whip when she knows you can dig deeper. And to all of my fellow Lithers, thank you for your smiles, kind words, and sharing your Lithe stories/journeys with me.  I am constantly amazed at this team of women!

 

I know you hear this all the time, but THANK YOU for creating Lithe Method! I love that Lithe is a small business, owned by a woman, from a small town in Jersey, just like me.  It further proves that if you put your head down, make a plan, and go to work, you can produce amazing results in any area of your life.

 

Love in Lithe,

Cortney

 

PS – I’d love to meet you sometime to give you the biggest hug ever for helping me live my best life!

FIT.HIP.FRIDAY GIVEAWAY! 30 Aug 2013

Fri-1

Happy Labor Day weekend!  Today's giveaway is perfect for prepping your summer skin for fall:  A 1-hour Ayurvedic facial from The Parlour (valued at $95!) with the fabulous Kelley Hughes.  The Parlour is a hip Philly/Fishtown favorite for natural beauty, including facials, haircuts, color services, make-up, and waxing.  Their facials are based on Ayurveda and holistic principals, and everything is customized for each client's skin type each time they come in. They use 100% organic herbs and natural ingredients in their purest state. Treatments are decadent, yet extremely therapeutic.  It is an amazing experience. 

For a chance to win, please leave a comment below telling us why YOU need natural beauty therapy from The Parlour. One winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday after the Labor Day holiday, so you have four days to enter this time.  One entry per person.  Good luck!

Images via The Parlour


SELF OBJECTIFICATION 29 Aug 2013

Kim

 I DECLARE WAR

As summer comes to a close, I have been reflecting on some of the things I have seen, heard, and experienced both in and out of the studio. In a nut-shell, here are some highlights:

  • An on-the-beach wrestling match with a good friend, sunscreen in-hand, who refused to apply SPF to her overly-tanned and peeling body
  • A plea to a good friend who insisted on following a strict (and extremely under-nourishing) “bride diet”
  • A trasher tug-of-war with a seasoned Lither attempting to wear them in a high-cardio class during our lovely July heat-wave
  • A dressing room heart-to-heart with a gal pal re: her horrified reaction to sizing- up on a pair of high-waisted shorts

Ever heard of a Sunburn? Skin Cancer? Premature wrinkles? Orthostasis? Cardiac Failure? Edema? Hair-loss? Dehydration? Heat-stroke? Coma? Body Dysmorphia? Disordered Eating? Mic-check 1-2… IS THIS THING ON?!

The truth is… yes! We have heard of all these things but… nope! We don’t care. We are accustomed to focusing on our outward appearance, at the cost of stifling our inner-beauty, health, and happiness.

As females, we have become conditioned to be overly-concerned with how “attractive” we appear to others. We have the propensity to internalize others’ view of our own bodies, the phenomenon of which has been termed self –objectification. When we self-objectify, we become preoccupied with how the body appears to others while simultaneously disregarding how the body feels.

Mind over Matter?

The disconnect between our mind and body can be dangerous, though: losing touch with how your body feels means you could miss important signals it tries to communicate. This can have a variety of consequences from poor form in class, over-worked muscles, to even a Lithe-career-ending injury.

Rest assured. We aren’t crazy, superficial freaks. Paying attention to our outward appearance is innate and, I would argue, adaptive. From an evolutionary standpoint, it made sense to present the best possible version of ourselves to potential “mates.” Appearing attractive to the opposite sex was advantageous—and necessary—because it allowed us to procreate and carry on the tradition of the human species. But we are nowhere near in danger, as humans, of becoming extinct. Our abilities to survive are not questioned (except in the occasional Lithe class!) in the ways they once were, yet our focus on our appearance has evolved to create higher standards and a more narrow definition of what is “attractive.”

We are constantly comparing ourselves to others; we constantly encounter “body-image threats” when face-to-face with someone we perceive to be more attractive than us. This can result in a variety of deleterious effects including body-image concerns and negative mood.

As avid exercisers, one would assume the average Lither does not deal with these issues since we are shakin’ it on a regular basis, but research suggests otherwise: self-objectifying thoughts, also known as body surveillance, are often triggered in exercise situations. Of note, however, is that women who do this will engage in less physical activity than their peers who are able to avoid these kinds of thoughts and behaviors.

Further, this study out of the University of Birmingham found that, compared to women wearing baggy clothes, wearing tight, revealing exercise clothing heightens exercisers’ levels of self-objectifying thoughts. Being surrounded by mirrors and flanked by beauties in tight clothes (pretty accurate description of a class, from an Instructor’s point of view!) seems like a recipe for constant body surveillance, sure! But it doesn’t mean we have to give in to the pressure

A Call to Arms

It’s a war-zone out there: competing images and messages about inner-beauty are waging war against the attractive ideal portrayed by the media; disordered-eating, numbers on a scale, and living in the digital age of being constantly photographed… these things have also come to battle. Not to mention the inner term-oil within our own minds. In this battle-zone, where all weapons are drawn, are you going to triumphantly survive or passively surrender?

Your body is your biggest ally. Use it to help you win your battles, not create them. The sooner we can conceptualize our bodies as allies, instead of enemies, the sooner we learn to mend the split between what we want and aspire to be, versus what and who we are.

We need to focus less on ourselves as observable objects and more as people. We have extraordinary bodies that can do remarkable things (cue mental image of Melissa’s heel-stretch push-up on instagram). Have you seen Elizabeth blow through a 3 sets of penny pushers? Tiff rockette-kick at 7-months preggo? Ever witnessed Meg’s graceful out-in-outs or effortless flexibility? Watch Liz sprint it out? Ever seen Bari lunge at the barre? Danielle fights arthritis related joint-pain on a daily basis, but you would never know! God help anyone that comes between her and a set of plyos. Those girls are warriors, and I would gladly follow them in to battle any day.

One year ago, I couldn’t do a set of push-ups to save my life. Today, I blow through ‘em all yet find myself winded after that second set. Tomorrow, I’ll kill all three sets with a smile on my face. That is what I choose to focus on. And when I do, it makes the size of my derriere seem less-important.

So, next time you find yourself objectifying your appearance in class or comparing yourself to others, try to keep your head (and knees!) up. Don’t miss a beat of that CCS, but do take a quick moment for a check in: “did I come here to feel bad about myself and cheat myself out of a workout, or did I come here to FIGHT?”

So, dearest Lithe Army, please say you will fight with me. Let us slap on some baby-blue war paint. Together, let us rockette-kick our way up to the front lines of this battle, and prepare to kick some serious tail. Take a look at those biceps. Those are your guns, and the only weapons you will need in this fight. Let’s draw our line in the sand, if only just for one day or one class, and wage war against self-objectifying thoughts that weigh down our hearts and bodies. I already feel a little lighter, stronger, and lither… and I hope you do too.

Image of Lithe Instructor Kim Sauer wearing Lithe via Dom

 

 

ME ON MONDAY (SAILING THE GRENADINES) 29 Aug 2013

Grenadines

Two weeks ago I sailed the Grenadines for the second time.  The island chain is one of my favorite places in the world.  In fact, there are insufficient adjectives in the English language that really can describe their beauty; the landscape is volcanic and the water is so deep; you literally feel like you're on the edge of the earth.  The Grenadines lie between the tropic of Cancer and the Equator, approximately 1,600 miles south of Miami.  The island chain is unspoiled because it's only accessible by boat and you are far enough away from “normal” external reality to gain a totally new perspective.  I'm excited to share more pictures, stories and adventures with you all over the holiday.

Images via Stuart Goldenberg

LITHE ON LOCATION! 28 Aug 2013

Lol

Check out Lither (and Lithe Bride) Maria Ferzola and her bridal party on her wedding day!  Perfect Liberties Ladies!  

25 THINGS {BY SAYEH}! 28 Aug 2013

Kelly
This week's 25 Things comes to us from one of my newest favorite instructors, Kelly Wong. Her style is encouraging, yet relentless and firm yet infused with humor. Exactly how I like it, and exactly what her list below demonstrates. Her Watershed has even pulled me out of bed to make a 7am class, and we all know that I am not a morning person. There's something to be said for a person that can make me laugh while I have a spiky ball pressing into my IT band. Enjoy! I certainly did. 
  1. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." One day I tried cliff jumping. It's terrifying.  I wonder if Mrs. Roosevelt ever did that.  
  2. I am a slow reader because I...savor...every...word. 
  3. I have one sister, who still laughs at my jokes, no matter how corny.
  4. I love movies about high school even though I didn't really love high school.
  5. I was born with a full head of jet-black hair that stuck straight up in the air.  I was known as Mophead for the first 3 years of my life.
  6. My grandfather was a U.S. Army WWII veteran who once told me that if I didn't stop sucking my thumb, he would cut it off. I believed him and stopped shortly thereafter. Effective indeed.
  7. You can find me with a cup of green tea on any given morning.
  8. I didn't exercise regularly until I started at Lithe, but quickly became hooked.  I wouldn't let myself "late cancel" and set weekly goals in a journal.  I learned to prioritize exercise and make plans around my workouts. 
  9. I couldn't swallow pills until I was 14.
  10. I want a party, not a funeral.
  11. I have dyed my hair only once and donated it twice.
  12. When I was a kid, I had a dream that I was married to Mumm-ra, the evil demon sorcerer from Thundercats. Only I could make him be nice.  I guess my ideal super power was to make the bad guys be nice!
  13. I listen to the Spa satellite radio station when I'm driving to avoid road rage toward aggressive drivers.  Who can be angry amid the harmony of pan flutes and waves crashing on the beach? Possibly Mumm-ra.
  14. My teenage Hollywood crush was River Phoenix.
  15. I am easily startled.  I'm talking high-shrieking, large-gasping, blood-pumping, hand-to-heart startled.  Scary movies and I don't mix.
  16. I am filled with gratitude that my parents have been open-minded and supportive through all my major life choices.
  17. I have two rescue dogs who love mornings even more than I do.
  18. I practice yoga, which helps me breathe better through stressful moments and busy days.
  19. I clean, decorate, or organize when I'm procrastinating from stressful projects.
  20. I've never seen The Matrix -- not for lack of trying, but something always gets in the way. 
  21. My strange party trick: I can rotate my shoulders almost 360 degrees around. 
  22. I was born at the hospital shown in the opening credits of General Hospital.
  23. I have driven cross-country 3 times, with 3 different people, in the same car, with the same dog.
  24. I often sleep diagonally in the bed, with my arms spread out, and I steal all the covers.
  25. My husband is my best friend and is really understanding about my sleep habits.

SEPTEMBER 4TH LITHE DETOX! 26 Aug 2013

September 4th Detox
Was it a cruel summer?  Grab your girls and let's band together!  It's a new month and our September Lithe Foods 3 Day Detox begins on Wednesday, 9/4, perfect for a post-Labor Day reset.  Call 215-625-4919 or email lithefoods@lithemethod.com to order.  Order deadline is Wednesday, August 28th @ 7PM. 

Image of Lithe Instructors Kelly Wong & Shannon Graham wearing Lithe via Dom

COLLEEN MCNALLY! 26 Aug 2013

Colleen

From: Hatboro, PA

Favorite City: Philadelphia, PA

Favorite Lithe Workout: Rock Steady & Weightless
Favorite Lithe Exercise: Plyos with Blue Bands

How'd she land a spot on the Lithe team?: Colleen is strong, humble, fun, honest, hard-working, and has such a commanding presence. Movement is second nature to her, and so is instructing!

Other Job: Waitress at Sabrina's Cafe

Enjoys: Dancing, coffee, going out to breakfast, Lithing, yoga, reading magazines, ice cream, rainbow jimmies, hello kitty, The Kardashians (her favorite is Kourtney), the beach, quotes

What you wouldn’t know just by looking at her: Colleen graduated from Temple University in 2011 with a BFA in modern dance. She has performed for many local dance artists. She was a participant of the Philly Fringe Festival for three years in a row with one show being her own. She considers Martha Graham, Trisha Brown and Frida Kahlo her closest people to "role models." She can speak some Spanish and wants to speak fluent someday. She only has one tattoo you can't see. She is an ex-vegan, ex-vegetarian who recently started eating fish. Colleen is the youngest of three children and the only girl. She has been coloring her hair since she was 12. Her favorite hair color was pink. She shaved her head recently with the intention to never color her hair again. That lasted two weeks. It’s been platinum ever since. You can usually catch her with her two-year-old son Max, setting up train tracks, belting out The Lion King theme song, and sticking their feet into fountains when the sign clearly says not to. She started Lithing in April 2012 to get her “pre-baby” body back. She planned to do just Immersion plus 2 monthly memberships, but she was hooked right away and continued Lithing way beyond that. For her, Lithe is the perfect blend of hard work and fun!

LITHE GOAL OF THE WEEK! 26 Aug 2013

Kelly

Make the most out of the last days of summer, but start to get motivated, prep and plan for fall!  From new workouts to food, we have an arsenal of Fit, Hip and Healthy inspiration coming your way right here and in the studios! 

Image of Lithe Instructor Kelly Wong wearing Lithe's Endvy Capri's via Dom

DEAR LITHE {LOVE LETTERS} 23 Aug 2013

Lithe Love

Dear Lauren,

This Love Letter is long overdue. I began writing it on my flight to California, but just couldn’t do it. Saying “goodbye” to Lithe was something I was not ready to do. I have now been gone from Philly for close to a month and a half and can honestly say, today is no easier.

During my time in Philly, Lithe became so much more than just a workout; it became a part of me. Letting something like that go is so hard. Cancelling the classes I was signed up for was difficult and I waited until the last possible moment, hanging on to the hope that maybe we would get to stay after all. Well, the time came and we did have to leave, but I Lithed up to the last possible second, finishing my final class on the day we flew out.

During the flight, I decided to count the classes I had taken during my time in Philly. It was a lot. A LOT. But seeing all of this only reaffirmed what I already knew – no amount of classes would have ever been enough. If it were possible, I would have Lithed forever.

Let me go back… Almost two years ago I relocated from California to Philly. After living in California my whole life, I had no idea what to expect. I had never been to Philly and, the only images I could conjure up in my mind were cheesesteaks. Lots and lots of cheesesteakes. I do not eat meat so, unlike my boyfriend, this was not a major draw to the city for me. Once I arrived, it took all of one day for me to fall completely in love – the beautiful buildings and parks, the history, everything. Our new apartment had a gym, and I love to run, but become easily bored with routine. Before I moved, I regularly took Pilates reformer classes, as well as the occasional barre class, and I was in desperate need of something to switch up my new gym routine.

Luckily, a few months in, I stumbled upon Rue La La. I signed up as I do with everything else, waiting for some “amazing” deal. Well, low and behold, I found it. One morning I opened my inbox to find a deal for 5 Lithe Method classes. I had heard of Lithe and was interested in at least giving it a try. I scooped up the deal and the rest is, well, history.

Once I finished my first two 101 classes, I was hooked. My first regular classes were Waist Not and Thigh High. The day I finished my 5th class sealed the deal. I went home and told my boyfriend that I had to keep going. That night I purchased my first monthly. From that moment on I Lithed most days of the week, every week, for a year and a half. During that time, I took pretty much every class Lithe has to offer and I can honestly say, while I definitely had my favorites, every single class is amazing and unique.

During my time Lithing, I never once became bored. Lithe is so different from any workout I have ever experienced. It is not Pilates, not Barre. There is simply no comparison. Lithe sculpts, defines and builds stamina like no other. The cardio is killer and the choreography is amazing. Lauren, you are truly a genius. I wish I could better describe what Lithe is, but I simply can’t. You have to experience it to truly understand Lithe in all its amazingness.

If you have not taken a class and are by chance reading this – DO IT. Go to your computer, or the studio, right now and sign up for your first class. I’m not kidding. You WILL love it. Even if you are someone who does not like to sweat, you will learn to. You will wear it like a badge of honor. Lithe classes are so unbelievably fun that you might even forget, at times, that you are drenched in sweat and shaking with fatigue (the good kind of shake). If you are worried about other women judging your appearance or your size/shape, they won’t. Everyone at Lithe, clients and instructors alike, are unique REAL women with REAL bodies. There is no cookie cutter image to attain. No matter your fitness level or background, you will fit in. If you are not comfortable in your body now, you will be. Lithe has a magical way of improving not only your physique, but also your self-image.

To every Lithe instructor I ever took a class from (and even those I wasn’t able to), I want to thank you for your never ending encouragement, energy and ability to always leave me drenched in sweat, smiling, for making it through another crazy fun workout. During my time in Philly, Lithe was my escape. I Lithed through some of the most amazing, as well as difficult, times in my life. I met incredibly wonderful, unique women and forged some awesome friendships along the way.

My final class was with you, Lauren, Thigh High (version 3.0). I went in expecting 2.0 and found myself in 3.0, which I had no idea existed – a true testament to the amazing workout you have created and your dedication to always keep it new and exciting!

Lithe is so much more than a workout. Lithe is a community, a lifestyle, and something I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of. Regardless of the fact that I am unable to be in the studio, I will remain a Lither at heart. Now, and always.

Thank you. Seriously, thank you (from the tip of my “stiletto” to the bottom of my “Sumo”).

H

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