I decided to do the Fall Challenge to challenge myself. I've been a Lither for less than a year. When I registered for Immersion, I took a couple 101 classes before because I figured it would help me know what I was in for. It was hard but invigorating, more than I had expected from hearing about it. I have friends who swore Lithe was amazing (Bela Shehu and Danielle Rossi). Well, they looked amazing so I figured, why not? I've done gyms for years, Yoga, some Pilates, martial arts (Tae Kwon Do), I cycle and hike - I've basically been a fit woman . . . but, I have ALWAYS hated my legs. Actually the feeling is beyond hate, I am ashamed of my legs. I have not worn a pair of shorts since I was 13 years old, swimsuits were the same. I went through my adult life hating summer because I hated my body. I never had experiences sharing a summer house with people because it would have meant I could not hide behind clothes. I would actually feel envy seeing women in shorts or short skirts because I could not imagine how it must be to have the freedom to do that. Not just the "perfect-bodied" girls, I would even be jealous of the girls with all their rolls hanging out in glory in clothes far too small and giving us way too much to see. I wished I could feel so free.
So 30 Days. It was butt-busting. I will admit that at least 2 out of the 5 days a week that I needed to Lithe to meet the challenge I felt, I can't do it today. Or I don't want to do it. Or I'm too tired. Or who cares? I will still have the same ugly legs. But I told my husband, my family and my friends I would complete this. I got HUGE encouragement. With my rescue inhaler always at my side to save me from an acute asthma attack, I did it. I showed up. The funny thing is I loved every minute of it, even the minutes I hated when my body felt pushed too far. Thank doG for the voices of all the instructors who chimed in, as if divine intervention, to say, "You are almost there, last set". And I would realize I was there, the last set. And I would feel shocked and amazed and so damn proud.
My husband has been a great supporter. In the beginning of my Lithe experience, he would say, "Oh, you look 10% Lither"! I was so excited I'd try to explain Skinny Jeans or Thinny. He didn't totally get it but he listened to me. Then he saw me change. Not just my body, but my entire attitude. When we went away for 6 weeks during the summer, I was trying to do Lithe exercises on my own (believe me, it is NOT the same!). But I was holding stiletto in 2nd on a floating dock on a river in St. John's, New Brunswick Canada. That's when I realized I am a member of the "Cult of Lithe". Since our return in September, I went to a class the day after our trip and haven't stopped. After completing the challenge, my husband said, "Babe, you are 24.8% Lither"!
I have muscles and cuts in my body I am so proud of. I almost feel like I should name each new cut after Lithe instructors.
What is truly amazing is that I have two extruding discs in the top of my C-Spine from a traumatic cycling accident that have caused relentless pain for years. Since I have Lithed, I no longer have to seek acupuncture and therapeutic massage treatment for this injury. I also have chronic asthma and my lungs have become stronger. Hot Stepper was probably the hardest class for me because of the breathing. I've never been at the front of the pack but I make it. This challenge has been a benefit to my health in more ways than I can explain.
I entertained a huge house full of people for Thanksgiving. I still had to finish my challenge. The night before Thanksgiving, a shelf collapsed on the door of my fridge sending glass shattering, I was barefoot. A vein on my foot was punctured and would not stop bleeding. I was up until 4 a.m. getting the wound to stop. The last two days of the challenge I did it with foot injuries (also got embedded glass on the bottom of one foot). Yep, I kept my socks on and Hot Stepper was grueling for me.
The best part of Thanksgiving is that I wore a short skirt as I hosted. No, not hooch short, but above the knees which is a freedom for me that is hard to describe. I wore a black pleated skirt with tights, heels and a great blouse. My husband loved it. All through the day and night, I remembered to relax my shoulders, tuck, stay in my stilettos and breathe. I felt beautiful. I loved my legs that night and the way they worked (bleeding toe and all) to deliver food, happiness and love to my family and friends. There wasn't a point that I wanted to hide my body - I actually did not think about it. I felt confident. That spells F-R-E-E-D-O-M. Yes, I was cheerleading that!
So, I am thankful for the Fall Challenge. The part that will make you all laugh is my husband said, "When does Winter Challenge start?"! He saw how much it changed me.
So, can 30 days change a person? Yes. Yesterday I purchased a black sequined short skirt (even shorter!) for New Year's Eve. I'll still wear it with tights but it is progress and I will wear it with a new-found freedom and you better believe, I will look LITHE!
Thank You Lauren - you have touched so many women's lives.
Hugs to you all - I made it!