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Lither Maya emailed me about being posted on the blog for a new type of challenge.  After hearing her story, struggles, and goals, I knew that it would give her all the accountability that she needed to succeed in making a  real lifestyle change.  Today Maya is kicking off a ONE YEAR challenge toward health, strength, and well-being.  One of her long-term goals is one that we can all relate to: she says that she knows it will be a long time before she truly has a "summer body," but she wants it this time next year.  
After hearing about Lithe via (retired) Lithe Instructor Brooke Holloway, she combed the blog prior to taking classes. In May 2012 she completed 4 Immersion classes and her first regular class was 7 months later in December, 2012.  Then, she went from taking 23 classes a year in 2013, to 20 classes in 25 days in 2014.  What changed?  The #EarnedInWinter, #LitheSpringClean & T-30 challenges gave her a goal, motivation and accountability.
Maya says that she has learned so much about herself during the first challenge; Her focus was no longer the number on the scale, but how she feels: strong, energized, empowered, and on her way to a healthier life.  She says that her day isn't complete without Lithe - We can all relate to that!  We'll be checking in with Maya on a monthly basis.  Lets cheer her on! 

Age: 32
Kids: 1 boy, age 7
Her Fit. Hip.healthy: Prior to my car accident 8+ years ago I enjoyed dancing, lifting weights, Pilates & martial arts. I've been limited to physical therapy and swimming until Lithe. I discovered lithe through a previous Lithe Instructor (friend of a friend). I read about Lithe on the blog before trying Immersion in 2012. I was out of shape and in lots of pain from my car accident. I barely made it through four of the six classes during those first three weeks. Fast forward to Jan '14. I agreed to have a rhizotomy (procedure that heated the nerves in my lower back). For the first time in eight years, my back pain was greatly reduced. I was able to workout! I committed to the #EarnedInWinter challenge. I went from 4 classes in 3 weeks to 4 classes in one week. I went from 20 classes in one year to 20 classes in 25 days (some double classes too!). I went from not being able to do a modified push up to attempting those clapping push-ups (on my knees). Three challenges down and I can finally pull up from lying down to balancing on my sitz bones (this frustrated me as I did Pilates many moons ago). I really needed these challenges, not just for commitment, but for myself. I'm happier, stronger, and have less back pain when I Lithe.
Fell off the wagon: Yes and no. I honestly wasn't really on the wagon until Jan of 2014. I did immersion in May of 2012 but didn't come back for several months. I purchased a few deals on LivingSocial and Rue LaLa. Classes were few and far between until January 2014. Since January, I have taken, at most, a week off between challenges. I hated it, but I have knee issues and I needed the rest.  I find that my pain increases if I take more than 2 days off. 
How she Lithes: My goal is 5 times a week. Sometimes less, sometimes more. It hasn't been easy. I have to stop during class pretty often due to my back pain. I check my form constantly, modify, stretch, or take a breath. I look forward to the day I don't have to do this, but for now, I do what my body will allow. 
What is "key" for her: Finding a balance between being a Mom, taking time for myself, and managing my injuries. All three of these need my attention. 
Her Diet: I'm currently doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I did it back in January and it was life changing. After this I plan to transition to a Paleo/Primal type "diet." My goal is to eliminate all processed, chemical laden foods. No judgement if you choose otherwise. I just can't stop myself when I eat those foods. 
She does weigh in: I try not to worry about small fluctuations. I often weigh in daily, so I know how my weight fluctuates. It helps me keep perspective. On the other hand, I keep all my NSV (non scale victories!) in mind. Weighing in is only part of it. 
She feels: Content, grateful, and happy. I'm happier than when I started, that's for sure! I have a long road ahead of me but I'm excited for the future. I look forward to all the positive ways my life will be changing. I am grateful that the rhizotomy I had earlier this year has allowed me to get to this point. Without it, there's no way I would have been able to complete the three Lithe challenges. 
Images of Maya via Lauren


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You got this!

Go, Maya, Go!!!! You can do it!!

Good luck! You'll do amazing ;-)

What great perspective! Getting back in shape post-injury is so tough—finding the balance between the constraints very real pain and the right amount of pushing oneself. I hope lithe continues to help alleviate the pain from your accident, and I look forward to being inspired on a monthly basis! Rock on!

Cool challenge. Good luck!

PS you already have a "summer body".

So motivating!!!!!! You're going to do incredible!!!!!

never forget how strong you really are, what your doing after injury is much more then most ever could. What an incredible role model for your little boy, to be able to see first hand what strength, determination look like in a powerful woman! You go girl!

You've got this Maya!!!!

Hi Maya - I'm in those 945 classes with you and you have a fierce little warrior in there thats coming out. I see it more and more. Let her fly!!!

I hear you on the missing days. I find my energy dies out a little, my cravings get worse and my joints start to squeak! Can't wait to get back to it in July!!! Cheers to you lady! I'm rooting for you.

Get it Maya! Can't wait to see your progress both mentally (which is soooo important) and physically. If you're ever in need of a motivational high five I'm your girl! Good luck!

THREE LITHE CHALLENGES!! CONGRATULATIONS! The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step! Best wishes for a successful year filled with love, joy and Lithe! We're all rooting for you!

Thank you Lithe for continuing to showcase beautiful bodies of all shapes! XO!

Go for it Maya! You got this!!!

awesome! i can't wait to follow your progress from afar!

Thank you for the kind and encouraging words! It is very much appreciated.

Sending you good wishes on your healing journey.

Think about it this way - you have your own cheerleading squad in every class. You got this and we've got you! Rah!

Act or Accept, they say. You are already ahead of the game as you were able to identify your challenges and act upon them!
Enjoy your fit, hip and healthy journey!

Maya your attitude and commitment are so inspiring! I look forward to seeing your journey and hope to meet you in class someday. Good luck and keep celebrating every accomplishment big and small - you deserve it!!

I'm cheering you on from the back of the room!

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