I've wondered whether juice cleansing could be a form of anorexia for some people -- basically being able to deprive themselves of food, but in a "healthy" context. What are your thoughts on that possibility?
Yes, but I don’t think it necessarily starts out that way… Take the non-pathological person who seriously wants to drop some pounds: while refusing to eat food for 3 days straight would likely not fly with those around them, calling it a “cleanse” makes their behavior seem more legitimate and socially acceptable. In this case, the person, like you said is “depriving themselves of food but in a ‘healthy’ context.”
How does a Juice cleanse become unhealthy?
It’s a slippery slope because when one does this type of strict cleanse, they will likely see results—this can act as reinforcement for one’s efforts (i.e., when the outcome of a behavior is positive, this increases the likelihood that this person will engage in said behavior again). Further, they might receive praise from others (“you look great! Did you lose weight?!”…. “Oh wow, I really admire your self-control, you are so disciplined!), which further reinforces one’s juice-fasting efforts, and makes them—you guessed it-- hungry (pardon the pun!) for more. So they do it again… and again…
Is it possible for someone to abuse a juice cleanse, as they might a drug?
Yes. Juice cleanses are to be done sporadically, and in isolation. Juice cleanses go wrong when they aren’t used properly. For example, someone may follow a juice-cleanse regimen for a prolonged period of time to lose weight or they might do several shorter cleanses within a short period of time to lose substantial amounts of weight.
OK that makes sense. What else? When does it become pathological?
Someone goes on a three-day bender of eating and drinking whatever they want, followed by a three-day “cleanse” to counter-balance the “damage” they did. It may be seen as a quick fix and might be appealing to someone with that type of lifestyle. BUT it becomes “pathological” when an unhealthy habit is formed: It could quickly turn into detox, then retox, then detox again pattern. This is not unlike the binge/purge cycle of Bulmia Nervosa: consuming a large amount of calories in one sitting and then “purging” the body of said calories through a variety of means. It’s the same underlying cycle regarding impulsivity and loss of control followed by compensatory mechanisms to restore one’s sense of control and emotional peace.
So why do some people try a juice cleanse and emerge just as mentally healthy pre-cleanse, while others may fall into a full-blown eating disorder as a result?
It has to do with the person’s goals, coping skills, and personality factors. Many people will do a cleanse as a way to lose weight but really it’s supposed to be a springboard for weight loss—a kick-start to a healthy and balanced low-calorie diet. But people don’t get that and instead see this as a quick fix: they do the cleanse… and of course they lose weight—much of which is water weight—and the body goes into starvation mode; then they resume their normal eating habits (and most likely indulge a bit as a ‘reward’) and not only do they gain the weight back, but they might even gain additional weight which might compel them to adopt unhealthy habits in efforts to “re-lose” the weight in addition to that which they gained post-cleanse. They think to themselves “well I thought I was going extreme by doing this intense & expensive three day cleanse but not even that worked so I guess I need to go even more extreme!”
On the other hand, do you think it's probably okay for someone who really has no eating disorder tendencies to try a cleanse if they're curious?
Definitely. The most important thing is to educate your self, and have a good understanding about yourself. What makes you tick? What triggers maladaptive coping behaviors? If you have struggled with disordered eating, it’s probably not a good idea for you to introduce a rigid diet into your life because that would trigger all kinds of thoughts and behaviors that aren’t good for you.
Regarding juice cleanses, I choose to remain completely neutral. I am not saying that you should do them, and I am not saying that you shouldn’t do them. For some people, doing a juice cleanse can be the beginning of a beautiful journey towards better health, totally! I am only saying that, like adopting any diet or lifestyle change, you educate yourself.
Any advice for those of us who are curious to try a juice cleanse?
Let me first say that I am no expert in juice cleanses! Nor do I possess advanced knowledge in nutritional counseling! If you want to try it, do your research so you know what you are putting your body through, because it is a shock to the system and should only be done per the directions of the company supplying the cleanse in conjunction with a consultation with your physician. Set realistic expectations. If you want to try it, make sure the reasons for which you are doing it are healthy.
What is the WORST piece of weight loss advice you have ever heard?
Such a good question! I have definitely heard many things, but the sad part about that is most of the things, no matter how disturbing/ grotesque etc. they may be, do work to some extent other wise they wouldn’t have been expressed to me. I choose not to comment on that or repeat these kinds of things because that makes those tips available to others. It’s so easy for things like this to be taken out of context and used for evil instead of good! Even though most people would see those things and laugh or cringe, someone who is not well, psychologically, would see or read that and think “oh. I’m going to try that!”
Article via Redbook Magazine Online & image of Lithe Food's Cashew Milk Mini via Lauren
Today is my 36th birthday. I've never really been big into birthdays, they always feel like any other day to me. Last week someone reminded me that my birthday was approaching, which got me thinking a little about age and aging. Last weekend, someone asked me how old I was going to be and I couldn't remember. Like, I had to think about it and do the math. I stopped counting at 27.
I've considered myself lucky that I've always looked young for my age and being petite plays a big part in that. In fact, if I wear no makeup, pull my hair back and wear flats, I can appear as young as 14. So, I've never lied about my age or tried to act coy about it (except for those two years at USC that I used that horrible fake Michigan ID that got me into all the bars at Five Points). BUT, today is the first time that I feel a tad bit strange about saying my age out loud. Thirrttie-sixx. Don't get me wrong, I've loved my thirties and I wouldn’t go back to my twenties if you paid me, but, today feels different. I think that it feels different because I'm firmly nestled into my thirties now. I have a husband, a kid, and a whole lot of responsibility that comes with adulthood. And, I hate all the adult-ness that comes with responsibility. It makes me feel all rooted and I'd much rather be floating.
I've always been all about age positivity. Like, I never understood why some people say that they can't Lithe because they are 40. That makes absolutely no sense to me. When I was 27, I read that women reach their physical peak at age 36. I held on to that and I truly believe that now. Word is bond. I don't think there is a certain age that we turn “old”; I think we decide what “old” means. Being "old" is totally relative, and it’s forever shifting.
I may be older on paper, but I have more energy, more "life" in me today than I did when I was 27. I drink less, I Lithe just as much as I did in my 20's (although I Lithe smarter, now), I eat and drink my greens, I sleep waaay more. I take far better care of myself now and it shows—I look and feel better now than I did at 27.
The biggest differences between now and then are pretty inarticulate—My room is still a mess, I'm still "all over the place" as people like to say, and I’ll still stay for one more drink, and I'll dance on the bar. But, today I know that I'm older because some things have definitely changed: I haven't been carded in the past year, the people at Whole Foods now refer to me as ma'am, and my right knee crunches when I gain a few pounds. Other than that, I don't feel a day older than 27.
So, thank you to all of you who sent me birthday wishes today. I even got a few texts/emails that made me laugh out loud: "Happy Birthday Lauren, today is the first day of the rest of your life; Laur, you’re only as old as you feel, and happy thirty-six years young"! Ha! I say bring on the 36, I can't wait to see what I can accomplish before 37 kicks you out! Cheers, everyone!
Image of Lauren Boggi via Jordan
I'm back. I'm a married woman. And I have to say I feel profoundly different.
Pre-wedding, my husband (whoa, it's still so weird to say...or type) and I already lived together. We were a team in most things--'heavily partnered' as one of my girlfriends puts it, so I didn't anticipate feeling differently at all to tell the truth. I thought: we will have this amazing party, make this thing we're already doing official, and then we'll come back and sit on the couch and watch the Shahs of Sunset premiere. Business as usual, except we'll both have a little extra jewelry on.
I couldn't have been more wrong. Don't misunderstand. I didn't emerge from the ceremony feeling different immediately, although my husband says he did (I mean...I did look good y'all). The feeling took a few days to settle in for me, and I didn't even notice it until it was already there.
For most of my life, I have considered myself a Bridget Jonesy kind of person. A bit of a mess in lots of ways, while also being a bit put together in others. Emotional. Dramatic. Having relationships that would start with a flare, and end with tears and lots of girl-pop anthems. I longed for things that I was actually afraid of attaining, and probably did some self-sabotaging along the way as a result. My girlfriends and I would talk endlessly about the people we dated, in search of that one partner, wailing and commiserating when those relationships didn't pan out...again.
Yet, simultaneously, it wasn't as if I really really wanted to get married. I figured: if it happens, GREAT. And if it doesn't, I'm cool with that too. But, there was this disconnect between my ambivalence about marriage and being really disappointed when a relationship didn't work out. Was I devastated because I wanted to marry that person? Not really. Was I actually hoping to see this person every day for the rest of all time? Not exactly. Then, it was bound to end at some point, right? So what was I so sad about? Ego? Rejection? Just plain missing someone I really liked or even loved (the suckiest part). Yes, yes, and yes (none of these small things). But more to the point, if I was sad that my relationships didn't work out, why was I so weird about marriage?
And I think it's because I've always looked at married people as grown ups. Like real humans. And I have to admit that I don't often think of myself as a real human. I don't think of myself as a person who navigates joining my finances with another person, or has conversations about buying a sensible car. I think of myself as a person who frantically digs around the bottom of her purse for a token as a bus approaches. I think of myself as the person who buys vegan leather leggings at Marshall's (since when did we start calling fake leather vegan??) and then feels guilty about the frivolous purchase for a week, but doesn't have the heart to return them because they are so dang cute.
In some ways, when I used to think about marriage, I felt like it meant leaving the cool kids club where they scoff at the sheep. I could just see all of my cool kid friends waiving at me like a sucker. Have fun, real human, they would say, we'll be back here drinking wine and listening to Ani DiFranco and getting all introspective and bonding WITHOUT YOU! Have fun having babies and passing the torch onto your offspring who will inevitably grow up to screen your calls and find you incredibly annoying! Which is obviously silly because my friends aren't horrible horrible people. But you get the point.
But what has happened instead of all of those insane fears is that I feel incredibly incredibly...secure. Plain and simple. And that has been quite literally life-changing. I don't think I even realized I felt insecure before. But, for the first time in my life, a disagreement isn't just another opportunity to reassess the entire relationship. Every bump in the road is no longer an opportunity for either party to change their minds. And it's not until now that I've begun to grasp how much that threat has affected how I've felt and how I've behaved in relationships. That fear of rejection. Of being left behind. Dumped. Broken up with. How if it's happened to you once, you're always on the alert so you'll never be caught off guard again. How if it's never happened to you, you want to keep it that way. And how much that colors everything...how vigilant you become even when you think you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
But now we've said our vows in front of our friends and family. We've signed a contract. We've filed that bad boy at City Hall. And as purely ceremonial as all of those things seemed to me before, I felt first hand their impact. Now it feels like there's no more wondering. No more fear. A gentle, but profound psychological shift. I trust you. I'm letting go. Let's DO this. And in the words of Larry David, it's pretttttty prettttttty pretttttty good.
Of course, I can only speak for myself and my own experience and don't pretend to think I have it all figured out. Nor do I think marriage is the answer to everyone's relationship quandries. I'm just a few weeks in, for crying out loud. I'm no fool about what lies ahead and about peaks and valleys and all the rest. All I know is that I'm pretty sure I'm still a cool kid, after all.
See you in class!
Check out Lithe in Japan's Nikkei Woman (April, 2013). We've had it translated:
A “Flying” Exercise that Ups Girl Power.
The Lithe Method (an art that creates a flexible body) is a workout that uses a Higher Power Band System to incorporate cheerleading moves. Currently popular in the US, it has been featured in women’s fashion magazines including VOGUE and LUCKY, as well as women’s fitness magazine SHAPE.
An exercise that targets “trouble zones” like the waist and calves, the workout is popular among a wide age range of women 18 – 65 years old, but most popular among women in their twenties, thirties and forties. “There are even 2-3 brave men that show up to classes” (founder, Lauren Boggi), but the majority of the students are women.
On how she founded the method, Boggi says ‘I was looking for a workout that was fun and creative that yielded results, but couldn't find anything that met my needs. So I used my cheerleading experience from USC, a school that is well known for American Football, and created the “Cardio Cheer Sculpting” Lithe Method.’
“Cardio Cheer Sculpting” incorporates all three elements: 1) Cheerleading inspired aerobics; 2) Cardiovascular exercise that shakes the muscles; 3) Strength training.
“Lithe is not only fun and incorporates feminine movements, it is also intense and competitive. It is a full body workout. The cardiovascular aerobic exercise burns the fat and creates a lean and flexible body, so the results are two-fold—you can expect to lose weight as well as sculpt your muscles.
Basic cheerleading moves include: “V’s” --Raising both arms in a 45 degree angle creating a “V” shape; the “Touchdown”--raising both arms straight up; the “L’s”--raising one arm up and reaching one arm out straight to your side, creating 90 degree angle or “L” shape; kicking; balancing poses; stunts; and dancing. These are all incorporated in the workout. ‘To motivate students, we also cheer “We love it!,” “Hey!,” “Yeah,” and other things during the workout, like we do in cheerleading.’
This method utilizes the Higher Power Band System, created by Boggi. “By using this system, we can incorporate cheerleading stunts like flying in the air, so in this way, we can achieve things that other workout methods could not.”
There are three types of bands: one you hold with your hand, ones that wrap around your wrists and ankles, and one with a special handle. The blue bands that you use with gloves are geared toward beginners. You attach a 5.4 kg – 6.8 kg weight and increase resistance, burning fat with each move. When you remove the weight, you can fly higher by adjusting the force of your body weight.
One session is divided to into three parts to work out the core, the lower half , and upper half of the body, so that in the whole hour you get a full body workout. “We always incorporate new moves and use small props so students won’t get bored.”
There is talk of possibly including Japan into Lithe’s future international expansion. “I don’t think there is anything more American than cheerleading. It’s so fun, I feel Japanese women would love the workout too.” Currently, other than the workouts, Lithe offers “Lithe Food” and exercise wear “Lithe Wear,” with plans for further lines.
Images of Lithe Instructors via Dom and Lither Veronique Hooper via Lauren
Hey Lithers, we're counting down to the end of the challenge! Here are some FAQ's:
#lithein35 ends: Last class of the day on Saturday, November 16th!
Complete it? Those who have completed 30 hours/classes will receive an email notification, along with their 20% of monthly membership promo code prize on Monday, November 18th.
Grand prize winner: Our #Lithein35 winner of a monthly membership will also be announced on social media (& emailed directly) on Monday, Novermber 18th!
Have something to say? All challenge participants, whether you completed 30 hours or not, send in your #LitheLove letters and testimonials to firstname.lastname@example.org! We wanna hear it all!
Images via Lithe's #Lithein35 Instragram feed
I've been waiting for months and tomorrow is the day! Isabel Marant's collection for H&M arrives worldwide in stores tomorrow, November 14th at 10AM and on-line at noon. Anyone going?
Image of Frieda Pinto wearing Isabel Marant, head-to-toe via People.com
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