76 posts categorized " Dear Lithe {love letters} "

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS) 20 Nov 2014

LL-10
Dear Lithe,
 
I love you!

I hate exercise. I mean I really, really, hate it. My guess is that it stems from being “forced” to play sports as a kid. In my house, it was mandatory to play a sport every season – tennis, softball, soccer, etc. Aside from my stubborn nature of generally hating being told what to do, I never really found enjoyment in these sports. As a result, the moment that rule was lifted, I stopped participating in all sports and had no motivation for physical activity. This lasted on and off through college. I would go to the gym on campus once a week and act like I knew what I was doing, normally leaving with shin splints from the treadmill. After a few years, I found yoga, which I enjoyed but never felt committed to. When I moved to Northern Liberties, I noticed the Lithe studio with pictures of these amazing women on the windows. I also noticed, day after day, as I walked past to get my morning coffee, the weirdest noise coming out of the studio. Why do they breathe like that? I was completely intimidated.

 

In 2011, I saw a deal online for five discounted classes and decided to give it a shot. I had a pretty rough start. I do believe that Lithe truly is for anyone, at any level of physical fitness – but it was hard to figure out where I fit in at first. I was in bad shape. Jumping jacks? Push-ups? Abs? Once I started to get the hang of it I bought a couple packages and Lithed semi-regularly for 5-6 months. Then I stopped. I blamed it on money, or knee pain maybe, but really it was laziness. Not only did I stop exercising completely, but I was out of control with my bad eating habits. Shocking result – I gained weight! 

 

By the time February 2012 rolled around, I was really unhappy with my body, and the external stressors in my life (work, relationship, etc.) were starting to close in on me. I needed something that would get me up off the couch. I signed up for Immersion and never looked back.  For me, Immersion was the right choice. I was able to slowly build up my strength over three weeks before jumping into classes. This time, I didn’t feel discouraged, I felt determined. I figured out that I needed to accept my limitations and do my best. I struggle with knee pain, tight hip flexors, and a lingering shoulder injury. I modify. I have good days and bad days. I made the decision for myself that quality was better than quantity. I would rather do 15 awesome lunges, than 30 sloppy ones. I admire the strong women around me who nail 30 lunges in stiletto – and I accept that might never be me. The hardest part is holding myself accountable to stop or modify only when it hurts, but not when I’m tired and want to give up. 

 

One year ago, the day after Labor Day, my relationship with my live-in boyfriend of 6 years came to an end. The following day I was in class with Kim in the small studio in Old City and I was barely making it through the barre work. I wanted to sit down. I wanted to walk out. At that moment, Kim, in her infinite and unknowing wisdom, started in on one of her mid-class motivational pep talks. “This is your hour! Forget everything else that is going on in your life and outside of the studio and focus on this!” Well, that hit pretty close to home. Staring in the mirror doing sumos and trying not to cry was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve had in the studio. 

 

Kim was dead-on, and I took it to heart. When you come to the studio for an hour, you are going to work hard and it’s not going to be easy, but literally nothing else matters. You have a full hour out of the day to commit to yourself – an hour that is not impacted by your job, your dating life, your kids, your friends. Outside of the studio, this year has been tumultuous. Single for the first time since I was 20? Unemployed? Broke? With all these things going on around me, I was committed to getting to the studio. I knew I could walk in with the weight of the world on my shoulders, sweat it out, and walk out an hour later with a new outlook on life. 
 
Making the commitment to Lithing 5-6 times a week paid off in the studio as well. Push-ups on my toes for the first time in my life! Mastering the Pom CCS, only to wonder why it ever took so long to figure out! Realizing that CCS might mean deadly cardio, but it’s SO MUCH FUN! Actually feeling what the instructors mean by “the space between your stomach and the floor” in a Superman hover! My results are measured in these terms. I don’t own a scale and I don’t know my weight (or care what the number is). In 2012, I wore size 12 pants, now it’s a 6 or an 8 (sometimes a 10 to fit the Lithe Booty). I used to hate wearing sleeveless shirts, now tank tops are my friends. Shorts? Bathing suits? These things don’t scare me!

 

The month of August was extremely challenging for me, both inside and outside the studio. I realized I was very close to making Varsity but I would need to make some extra efforts to make it happen. With the help of some awesome women, staff, instructors, and other fabulous Lithers, I was actually able to achieve this goal. This brings me to my final point…

 

Lithe is a place where you can get what you want from the experience. Some women want to walk in, work out for an hour, and get out. Other women want camaraderie to help them with their fitness or weight loss goals. For some, it’s a social venue. For me, it’s a place full of awesome women who I want to know. Some days I’m the get-in and get-out type, but mostly I stop to talk to everyone – front desk, instructors, other Lithers. And if you’ve met me, you know I lay it all out there (no filter here!). Lithe has been a fundamental part of my life, especially over this past year while so many other things have been in flux. I know that when I walk in, I am surrounded by other women who have also made it a priority in their lives to come to this place and who love it just as much as I do.  

 

xoxo,

Molly

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS) 10 Nov 2014

Love Letter

 

Hi Lauren,

 

I still feel the magic of yesterday's Lithe Tour Philly celebrating ten years of Lithe. With 200+ people in the studio glowing from "All That," live DJ beats bumping wall-to-wall, and cocktails flowing, there was a special energy that I'll never forget.  

 
Congratulations to you for creating an addictive workout that is its own category in the fitness world. I admire how your Pilates studio organically evolved into a method all of its own: CCS using the higher power band system. Your variety of choreography and props makes intense cardio FUN and the class rotations make plateauing impossible. I simply LOVE Lithing. The value Lithe delivers also goes beyond the physical.
 
From an emotional perspective, you helped me and countless other clients "love the skin we're in." Nowhere else have I experienced such an open, purposeful celebration of body diversity. I remember your What the bulk? post from 2010 where you covered body phenotypes while expressing zero tolerance for critical remarks about clients' bodies in the studios. In all things Lithe, the message is clear: Be the best version of yourself and support/uplift each other (#bandtogether). I see consistent evidence of this ethos in the studios. I, as well as many fellow Lithers, take that message and feel its resonance throughout other areas of life.  
 
Now about Lithe Tour Philly ... the new class "All That" really is ALL THAT, a thoroughly sweaty (!!!) ten-year retrospective mashup of CCS. I hope it shows up on mindbody very soon! DJ Muhammad curated an amazing playlist that was perfect for an intense cardio class. The 80-proof Art in the Age rhubarb liquor went down soooo smooth and the mixed drinks were the perfect post-CCS cocktails. I love my Duke & Winston tank! 
 
My favorite part is the community. So many times all I have time for is a quick "hey" between classes, but it was a great time to chat at length over drinks and bangin' music. The icing on the cake was the special guest appearances by Jordan and Mars (who spontaneously demoed his own mashup of CCS for a circle of admirers! #powerhouse)
 
Thanks to Jill, Jonathan, Katie, Kristy, the Lithe Instructors, and the entire Lithe team for helping the event go so smoothly. I know that the smoother an event goes, the harder the work was behind the scenes. You guys rock!  
 
Lauren, I raise my Bunny Mary to you as Lithe continues to achieve increasing success nationally and internationally in the years to come! Your positive impact is incalculable.  
 
Yeah!
-JL
 

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS) 5 Nov 2014

love letters

Kalika asked if this was anyone’s first time taking Sideline. Of course, I didn’t raise my hand … Does anyone, ladies? Oh, yes allow me to VOLUNTEER the fact that I will be flopping around like a fish on land for the next 60 minutes. Kalika will find out soon enough … poor woman. Somehow I was sandwiched between two girls who I affectionately referred to as Kirsten Dunst in Bring it On! And Janet Jackson in the "Rhythm Nation" video (thank you, Beyonce and Blue Ivy for allowing me to reference your Halloween costumes).  

As I watched these girls ROCK IT OUT during the cardio segment, my hip pops looked like I had some sort of medical ailment. When Kalika announced, “Keep your middle fingers stretched,” you can imagine what I wanted to do with my middle finger. When it seemed like the cardio would never end, we transitioned to the sculpting part of class. Then Kalika announced, “Whoops! We did back-to-back cardio by mistake!” The other Lithe girls sweetly laughed and I glared at her to such an extent that all the ice melted in Alaska.

Okay, sculpting! Here we go! I settled myself on my mat (aka correction corner) and got ready for the next portion of class. It went to next level and we used the Pom bands to sculpt both legs and arms. I only got tangled in the bands twice. For motivation to free myself, I pretended I was a spider caught in a web (the "Rhythm Nation" chick looked like a beautiful butterfly emerging from a cocoon). FINALLY, class was over. As I exited the room like a person crawling towards water in a desert, something weird happened. I felt invincible. I felt strong. I had survived. I had done it. Sure, I didn’t look like a member of the L.A. Lakers dance team, but I DID it.

As I reflected on my morning workout, I realized two things: One: I left my water bottle and some dignity in the studio. Two: I had done my best. And today my best was good enough. I walked into my apartment and immediately opened the app and signed up for Sideline again. Damn it, Lithe. You have hooked me and I love you for it.

See you tomorrow,
DJ


 

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS) 25 Sep 2014

Dear Lithe (love letters)
Lauren,

Hello! I haven't had the pleasure of meeting your acquaintance yet, but I spent the past week at Lithe and just wanted to write a quick thank you.

I played soccer for the greater part of my life.  I graduated high school and played semi-professionally instead of going to college. I dabbled in volleyball and softball growing up, but stuck with soccer above anything else.  In all sports, I never had to try – I seemed to be a natural and relied on that.  When I turned 23, I decided not to resign with my team and to enjoy a social aspect of life. However, something has really, really been missing. I've reorganized my priorities in life and goals and to obtain the things I want for myself, I have to lose some serious inches in my legs and hips (4-6 inches on my upper thighs, 1-2 inches on my hips, and a total loss of 9-14 pounds), so I turned to Lithe on top of my new clean eating and kickboxing regiment.  
 
After the first day I was hooked and after the first week and six classes, not only am I sore and so far outside of my comfort zone, I am happy. I absolutely have some learning to do in the cardio classes as far as the routines go, but your instructors are understanding, which makes it really comforting for someone who is used to being a natural at most athletic things. I am really excited for this journey (I've booked classes until October 14 at this point and plan on buying the calorie trashers in a few weeks!) and want to thank you and your instructors SO much for sharing your gifts and patience with me!

Thank you,
Briana Tyson

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS) 26 Aug 2014

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS)

Dear Lauren,

When I was little, I thought that one day you woke up, and your body would just be where you wanted it to be.  So as I ate macaroni and cheese and ice cream all through college, I assumed it would work itself out someday, that I would end up how I wanted to look.  But I didn't.  I gained weight from bad habits and lost it by happenstance, never doing anything sustainable or long-term.  I was the girl who went to the gym once a semester and used it as justification for weeks of unhealthy eating.  I had some dance experience and had jogged around a little, but would not call myself "athletic."
 
I was what Louis CK calls "cosmetically overweight."  Nothing was "wrong," I was within normal range, especially because I was really good at hiding my size.  I was careful with what I wore to make sure that no one could really see me.  Last summer, after several half-baked attempts to get into shape, I needed a change.  I saw women leaving Lithe in the Rittenhouse building where I have supervision and saw that they were all in phenomenal shape, and figured there must be something to it.  Most of all, they seemed so confident.  I signed up for 101 and hoped for the best.
 
On a Saturday last August, I went to Old City and had my Lithe 101 - it was just me and Jaime.  She walked me through everything slowly, correcting me as I went, and I remember being out of breath as we did the cardio from Pom, and barely making it through ten of each move at the barre (I thought, "Thirty of each? Are these people insane?!").  After the class, while I downed a coconut water, I asked her if it ever got any easier.  "It will never be easy," she said, "but you are always able to find a new way to challenge yourself within Lithe."  I knew that if even the stretches were hard, that this was the right place to be.
 
Within a couple of months, I could see the difference in my muscle tone, and I could gradually add more classes per week without feeling exhausted.  I used to chase sculpting classes because I felt like I lacked the stamina for cardio, and after a few months I found I didn't need to do that, either.  I was getting stronger.  I was changing.
 
I never set a pound goal at Lithe, or inches, or even a clothing size.  I wanted something tangible, measurable, but I didn't know what it would be.  In January, I counted the number of classes left and the number of days before the end of August to see if I could reach Varsity. There was just the right amount, if I committed every day to coming. I knew that if I committed to achieving 250 classes, then the rest of my desired results would follow, and asked myself, "if not now, when?"  I crossed off a day on a calendar on my wall every day, inching closer to that 250.  I changed my eating during the series of spring challenges, and felt my metabolism and body change in the ways I intended.  It was happening.
 
There were days when I was absolutely decimated from work, feeling drained, when the desk staff, instructors, and community perked me right up and cheered me on, as did accomplishing a new part of a class.  I vividly remember my first set of 30 at the barre, or 10 full see-saws, or making it through all of the jumping jacks without stalling.  If you had told me a year ago that I would voluntarily wake up at 5 am to go work out, I would have told you that you were crazy.  Something had changed - I loved it and always found a way to squeeze it in, every single day.
 
So today, as I sit here, having taken my 250th class today, all I can do is tell you how grateful I am.  Lithe has changed my life.  It has taken me from being someone who hides to someone who embraces herself.  I don't hide behind ambiguously shaped clothing.  A chronic hair straightener, I have even found myself embracing my hair's natural curly texture.  I am more confident, I am a more dedicated person, than I was when I found you a year ago.  
I have met amazing, capable, hilarious women through classes and challenges, and have come to adore this community of supportive instructors who want to see us shine, of other tough ladies, and most of all, you for dreaming this whole thing up.  This group of ladies (and a gent or two) has been there for me and supported me in a way I could have never imagined in this last year, from supporting me on my lowest, most stressful days, to challenging me in the studio to push through just one more rep because I can do it.  
 
I didn't wake up one day feeling this way, I earned it.  And I have to say, the result was well worth the journey.  I cannot thank you enough for the last year, and I'm looking forward to many, many more. 
 
Love,
Rebecca Newman

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS). 23 Jun 2014

Love letter

Dear Lauren and the Lithe Community,

This summer, I wanted to embark on an introspective journey towards self-care. Chronicling my journey through the hashtag, #sexysalubrioussummer, my goal initially was to reclaim a sense of worth. My friend cajoled me to join Lithe after I regaled her with stories about my struggles with vulnerability and courage. Experiencing searing emotional pain from the effects of love and loss, I also wanted to exert and expend my energy into something new. Lithing has not only become a physical exercise, but an exercise that has helped me to embrace vulnerability. My goading anxiety about being the only male in classes most times has slowly diminished because of the inspiring inclusive community. I am realizing how much strength I actually have, and for the first time in years, I can look in the mirror, like what I see and affirm that I have inherent worth. The empowering ethos that is Lithe is incredibly palpable. I always look forward to the conversations with staff, instructors, and Lithe sisters/brother (hi Jonathan!). Lithers exude such grace.

Liz and Marisa, it is always an absolute pleasure to be in your classes. As much as I want to scream expletives because of the burn, your careful guidance and reassurance makes it all worth it. After only about a month of classes, I am noticing my physique is more toned. I am eating healthier, feeling more energetic, and appreciating all that is me.

While I will be moving to Minneapolis this fall to pursue my doctorate, I will still be frequenting Lithe when I can. I am always deterred by the angry personas of fitness that get reverberated by the media. Exercise does not need to be a hyper-aggressive or competitive endeavor. At Lithe, we all attune to the common goal of reaching our optimal selves. Lauren, I can't thank you enough for developing such a graceful and beautiful outlet for me, as Dr. Brene Brown says, to dare greatly.

With so much love and care,

Justin

 

 

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS). 9 Jun 2014

Love letters

Dear Lauren & Lithe,

I feel compelled to write saying thank you!  I have been lithe-ing for about 2 1/2 months and I am seeing results faster than any other work out routine I've tried.  I am getting married in October, but regardless of that I was sick of feeling floppy, weak and tired.  
 
Since I've been taking classes my booty is about 3 inches higher and I feel so much stronger and energized in general.  After my first 101 class I was so sore I couldn't walk for about 3 days, but I was absolutely hooked and kept coming back; each time I felt a little stronger and a little more sure of myself.  I love the variety of classes so I'm never bored and the instructors are so great and encouraging.  I love love love Lithe, and I love my "new" butt and the way I feel.
 
THANK YOU,
KS
 

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS). 4 Jun 2014

Ll-9

Hi Lauren,

I didn't want to post these on my personal accounts but I've seen great results from Lithe Spring Clean to the end of T-30. I've lost around 5 inches from the 5 points I measured in the beginning; Two inches from my waist and 1 inch from each thigh.  More than the inches lost, I feel more energetic and fit.  I really enjoy the challenge concept; Having fitness goals is really motivating.

Rachel B.

 

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS). 30 Apr 2014

love letters

Dear Lithe,
This past January depression set it. Single, cold, and overweight. I came back from a family vacation and was the heaviest I had ever been and felt like I couldn't even walk a mile. I have been taking Lithe classes on and off since 2011 but as of January hadn't gone in a year and figured Id give it another shot. Since then my whole life as completely turned around and I owe it all to you.

For starters I love my lithe friends. From morning til night we text about what classes were taking and remind eachother what each class entails. I love walking into class and seeing so many familiar faces smiling and waving. Keeps me motivated and excited to workout everyday!

Next, I love the staff. From Lauren to Danielle to Jonathan and everyone in between, everyone at Lithe makes me feel great! Always there to answer questions and listen to me talk about nonsense ( even if they dont care!) Everyone is so passionate and knowledgeable  and they all do their best to make Lithe a welcoming environment.

Finally, I love me. I have never felt more alive and good about myself than I do right now.  I was Lithing 4-5 times a week and since the challenges started I have upped it to 5-6 ( I hit 7 once!) I would have never thought I would actually look forward to my workout but I do every single day. I get stressed if I have to miss a day and try my best to change plans to work around lithe, I have even cancelled dates! There is no better feeling in the world than completing a class especially a barre focused class. Anyone who knows me knows how terrified I was of the barre in the beginning, now I get excited because I know how good it feels when Im done!

I would love to end this with telling you that I have now have a six pack and have lost 20 lbs since January but I cant. I can tell you that I have realized that being happy with my  body is NOT about the number on the scale but about the smile  I give my reflection every single morning. I am so proud of the woman I have become both physically and mentally and I owe it to Lithe. Thank you for being a great boyfriend, an awesome best friend, and a second family. I love you Lithe!


xoxo Jill Horn xoxo

LITHE BRIDE {LOVE LETTERS} 18 Mar 2014

Bride-4

 

My Lithe love story starts like many others... I was frustrated with a 15 pound weight gain that crept up on me during graduate school (quite a lot on my petite 5'2 frame!). I would run 2 miles or do the elliptical at the gym and call that my workout. But with the guidance of a nutritionist and increasing my mileage, I was able to healthily loose all that weight. I enjoyed long-distance running -- beating my PRs in each subsequent half marathon and completing my first full marathon in the fall of 2012. But I was totally beat after! The training was a huge time commitment and my body often hurt without enough time to recover my aching muscles each week.

 

A few weeks after the marathon, I got engaged! And I was ready for a new workout challenge... ENTER LITHE! While I had reached my weight goal, I wanted tone and definition, something I had never achieved with long-distance running. I immediately noticed more definition in my back; and after a few more weeks of Lithing, my butt was transforming and was more tight and perky (my fiancé didn't complain!). I reflected on how truly ineffective my past workout regiment had been back in graduate school. I started realizing the benefits of Lithe, and how it simultaneously enhanced my running performance.

 

Then came the fall challenge #lithein35 which literally lead me up until my wedding day. Of course I had to do the challenge -- it was a great final month of motivation, stress-relief, and healthy living! The fall challenge is when I witnessed my real results! My stomach was more slender and cinched; and my arms, finally my arms, achieved that tone and definition I had desired! I completed my 31st class in the #lithein35 challenge just the day before my wedding. Let's just say, I am now hooked on Lithe! Thank you Lithe for helping me feel strong, healthy, and beautiful on my wedding day!
 
-Becky

 

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