107 posts categorized " Lithe Mama "

DEAR LITHE (LOVE LETTERS) 22 Jan 2015

Lithe Love Letters

Hey Lithe.  How’s it goin’?

So here’s the thing - I had a baby and stuff got weird. I mean, it’s not as if I wasn't warned that it was going to happen. Throughout my pregnancy everyone with a face insisted on telling me about the delightful physical changes that occur both during and after pregnancy. I smiled my way through a number of traumatic conversations around birthing hips and foot swelling. But, turns out the alarmists were right on this one. I emerged from my pregnancy about 9 months ago with a wonderful baby girl named Perry and a whole mess-o baby weight.

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I wasn't exactly rockin’ a Victoria’s Secret Angel body pre-baby, but I've always been active. When I found out I was pregnant (read: surprise!) I had been Lithing for a few months, maybe 2 or so days a week. I supplemented with fairly long runs and some spinning. Exercise has always been a big part of my life and I think, key to my sanity. Although I'm slightly embarrassed to do so I have to admit that I obsessed throughout my pregnancy about when I could get active again. I was basically chomping at the bit to no longer be a swollen, hormonal maniac.

The doctors cleared me for physical activity 6 week after my c-section and I was ready to roll. I busted out that jogging stroller and made it happen, only to find that the strain of running caused me incredible pain in my lower back and hips. Not one to give up easily, I kept running only to find things escalating to the point where I was unable to pick up the baby. Panicked about how I’d get back in action, the friend that I had Lithed with pre-baby (shout out to Lindsay) suggested that I start up again, so I hit the studio. I started with Step Rally, which had been one of my pre-baby favorites. Needless to say, it was hardly a magical experience. I left class crying and drenched with sweat, shocked by how far my strength and stamina had fallen. But the thing is, I kept coming back.

It’s hard for me to even say that I enjoyed Lithe before the baby. I spent so much of my time hiding in the back, stressed about what the fitness mavens in the class might think of me. I also felt certain that I could only do the sculpting classes because my tall and moderately awkward (on the best day) body doesn't lend itself well to CCS.

But after a few post-baby classes, I found myself letting all that go. It wasn't about just surviving through classes, it was about thriving. I forgot about everyone around me and instead looked inside…literally. I started thinking about my breathing and my core. I focused on the instructors’ cues instead of praying that they’d ignore me entirely. I even started doing the unthinkable…I asked for their input on my form.

What I’ve found is that my time in the studio is now entirely stress-free. I’m able to focus on improving each time and not worry about how ridiculous I look during that RockSteady CCS sequence (I know the answer – fairly goofy). It's funny to notice that  around the time that I stopped caring if I looked like JLo is when I started to see some great results. 

So now, you name the class, I take it. Pom? I’m there! Sideline? You betcha. All That? With bells on!  I can’t say it’s entirely about confidence, but something has changed for me. It’s easier for me to feel accepted because I see that we’re all in the studio with different motivations, but we’re all in it together. We’re trying to improve for a countless reasons, each one as valid as the next. It’s about accepting who you are and having a little fun with it. If you don’t know the steps just be sure to keep moving…and you might surprise yourself. Letting go is fun. Not to mention very good for your hip pops.

Sarah

HONEY DO FACIAL 12 Jan 2015

Honey Do Facial

As a working mom, I try to spend as much of my free time as possible with Mars. That means I don’t have as much time for personal maintenance as I used to, even though I need it more than ever now! I am lucky that Mars still occasionally naps during the day on the weekends, so I try to make the most of that time for me time. Give this facial a try this weekend, post-holiday. 

Ingredients: This is super-easy! Just mix approx 1 tablespoon pure (preferably raw) honey and 1 tablespoon cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil.

Do: Draw a warm bath, and apply the mixture to your face. Honey is antiseptic and fights the breakouts you sometimes get when you're tired. Coconut oil is so hydrating (I also use it on Mars's skin). Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse it off. It leaves my face smooth and glowing.

Image of Lauren via Jordan

AN OPEN LETTER FROM JULIE F. 6 Jan 2015

Julie F

Dear Lithe Community,

As some of you have realized, I have had to take a personal leave from Lithe and haven't been in the studio recently. I wanted to share what's been going on with me and also hope that it might inspire you to start your New Year with a fresh perspective like it has done for me.

Earlier this fall, I started to have trouble with my vision. It started gradually, but by November it was quickly deteriorating to the point where I could no longer read, drive, differentiate colors, or see my husband's and daughter's faces clearly. I went to an ophthalmologist about six weeks ago and was sent for an emergency MRI. They found a tumor on my brain that was pressing on my optic nerve, causing the changes in my vision. Making things a bit more complicated, I am also 14 weeks pregnant. The hormones from my pregnancy were stimulating the tumor, which the doctors believe led to my sudden loss in vision. The tumor was thankfully benign, but it was large and growing more quickly because of my pregnancy, so the doctors wanted to move fast.

About three weeks ago, I underwent a craniotomy to have the tumor removed. It was a long procedure that lasted over 10 hours, but fortunately my neurosurgeon was very happy with the removal and everything went well. And, even though I have not had any official testing yet, my vision appears to have fully returned or, at the very least significantly improved, and I can see more clearly than I have seen for a long time. The doctors believed that I was at a serious risk of being permanently blind and had told me that it would be "something of a miracle" to wake up from surgery with my vision fully recovered, so I feel extremely fortunate. I have also had three ultrasounds since my surgery, and my baby is doing well and growing right on track. For these things, in particular, I will forever be grateful.

Over the past few weeks, I have been feeling better and my recovery has gone about as well as it could be. Less than 48 hours after my surgery, I was able to move around, take short walks, and even managed to make it up and down a flight of stairs on my own. My doctors and physical therapists at the hospital were impressed with my strength and stamina after such a major surgery and had told me that it would be a game-changer in my recovery. I am thankful that I am in good shape, and know that it has made such a difference in helping me to overcome so many of the challenges my body has faced since my surgery. In the past, I've worked out with intentions of "fitting into that smaller dress from a few years ago" or "getting bikini-ready for summer", but this experience has helped me to realize how important it is to be active and fit, for no other reason, than to simply be healthy.

When the doctors found my tumor, I was told that I could no longer exercise because they didn't want me straining in any way. While I knew that I would miss it, I was not prepared for the void I would feel by not being active. I miss moving my body, taking walks with and carrying my daughter, and, of course, lithing, more than I could have imagined. For me, it has truly been the hardest part of my recovery; trying to just relax and forcing myself to do less and rest more. Once I return to a more active lifestyle again, I know that I will not take it for granted, and that I have found a much greater appreciation for it.

As anyone can imagine, receiving the news of my initial diagnosis was a life-changing shock for my family and me. And while I definitely can't say that I'm thankful for it, I am grateful for the new perspective it has given me. In the beginning, I kept thinking this can't be for real...this can't be happening. I'm not sure if it's even fully sunk in at this point. It definitely was a jolt that shook me to my very core. How quickly life can change in a matter of seconds. For me personally, it has always been easy to over-think minor details, to let my to-do lists run too long, and to get caught up in "keeping up," to the point where these things take over and cause me a great deal of stress and worry. But in the face of a situation like the one I've just been through, I realize that so much of this doesn't matter and that life is just too short. Now I can appreciate that, at the end of the day, there are very few things that truly matter aside from health, family, and friends. My New Year's resolution is to keep this new perspective in mind each and every day, and to be there for others during their time of need, just as I’ve been lucky enough to have so many people here for me.

I am looking forward to regaining my strength and getting back into the studios and seeing all of you over the next month or two. Wishing you all a very healthy and Happy New Year!

xo,

Julie

BEST OF FHH 2014! 29 Dec 2014

NHY

What a great year! Thank YOU for all of your hard work and dedication: We completed 3 challenges, 2 Lithe Escapes, traveled on tour to Seoul, NYC & LA, celebrated a decade in Philly, Welcomed 11 fantastic new instructors (Meredith, Cate, Jen L., Maggie, Jenn B., Annette, Liz S., Kalika, Jonathan, Alicia, Katie B), 3 veteran instructors became Masters, debuted 7 new workouts (Rah, Lithe Beach, Hi-Top, All That, Sideline, Mercy & Lithe Lab), 2 WKND's and have seen the most killer camaraderie and results than ever before!  Here's to 2015!  Check out some of our favorite posts...

Lithe Escape Jamaica, Lithe WKND, Lithe Escape Tulum, Love Letters, Kristy's Before & After, Lithe Tour Philly, Seoul, NYC & LA, Because I'm Perfect, Lauren's Gym Bag Essentials, Beauty Tips for a tired face, 3 Days to Flat Abs, Lauren for Prevention, Breaking the Mom Cycle, Talking biz with Forbes & Jon Oringer, Fall Transformation Results, Elizabeth Tomkins x Destination Maternity, Lithe Foods x Art In The Age Skinny Heathen series, Sayeh's Living Lithe Tips, Earned in Winter Challenge, Results, T-Minus 30 Challenge, Mission: Lithe, Mama Says, Lithe Spice No.1, Meg G. & Lithe on BLDG 25, love from the Press & Eating Lithe,

 

LITHED-UP SUGAR COOKIES 23 Dec 2014

Cookies

My Mars has a serious sweet tooth and now that he's three and a half, he's at the age that I can't totally fool him with something healthy.  These sugar cookies are Mars (and me) approved...

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour
  • A little over 1/8 tsp. salt (like, 1/8 + 1/16 tsp.)
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 level tsp almond milk or Lithe Foods cashew milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  • Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  • Combine all liquid ingredients (except nut milk).
  • In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir well. 
  • Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and keep stirring, breaking up clumps as you stir. The batter may seem dry at first. If so, you can add the extra 2 tsp. milk. It will eventually form something that can either be squished into a ball with your hands.
  • Roll out dough to cut-out cookie width, either between sheets of parchment paper.
  • Freeze dough at least 20 minutes before baking. 
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes (depending on desired crispiness). 
  • Let cool another 10 minutes before even attempting to remove cookies from the sheet. The cookies should firm up well.

Images of Mars making cookies via Lauren

25 NEW THINGS! {BY SAYEH} LITHE EDITION! 19 Dec 2014

Windshieldwiper_A

We all know Lauren as the brains (and the body) behind everything Lithe. From the constantly evolving classes, to the clean drinks she creates to compliment them, to the stylish, high performance gear she designs for us to wear during them (and out to dinner after we leave), she has carefully crafted an entire lifestyle for her clients. One that is without gimmick and that gains die-hard converts daily, because of one simple fact: it works. But aside from all of that (and that's a lot), one of the things I l love most about Lauren is the genuine joy she still gets when she watches how Lithe changes her clients' bodies and lives.

I'll never forget when I ran into her a couple of months after my initial Lithe Diving commitment. I had lost another 7 or 8 pounds and toned up quite a bit. She saw me, and just seemed overwhelmed by my results. She had this childlike delight and surprise – almost like she couldn't believe that it was she, herself who had created this thing that had worked so completely. It was a glimmer of something underneath that typically unwavering, fierce vision she has when it comes to Lithe – the almost preternatural confidence she has about what it can do for a woman who commits to it, and how much it will continue to grow. It was a brief flash of that side of her that still cries at every love letter and whose jaw still drops at every before and after picture and endless summer hashtag. The side that kind of still can't believe that her dream is coming true. This week, she brings us 25 NEW Things to share as she continues her constantly evolving journey to better herself, life, love, and Lithe. Like me, I'm sure you'll tip your hat at the screen a bit thinking about her skills, business acumen and the general bad-assery she's brought to our lives.

1. Being a mom has inspired me in so many ways. I'm working on two new projects for 2015 (one food and one fitness) that I think all the mom's out there will love! 

2. I can't believe that I'm saying this out loud ... I've been toying with the idea of possibly having another baby at some point. I've gone from never again, to maybe...

3. I'm developing two new incredible in-studio workouts for 2015 and even more content will be debuted online. For the many displaced Lithers who have been dying for VOD for all these years, we've heard your cries : )

4. I'm never idle. When you don't see me on the schedule, I'm where the business needs me: instructor training, working on my book, Lithe Foods, a project, or another aspect of the businessLithe is so much bigger than me and most days I go from 5AM to 12AM, just trying to chase it!

5. I don't have a favorite studio, but Rittenhouse is conveniently located two blocks away from my house, so to make my life easier, I prefer to teach there. Since having Mars, I've realized that my time is so incredibly valuable. I’ve really learned how to work smarter and not harder, as well as choose quality over quantity.

6. Teaching is my happy place. I'd always rather be teaching. 

7. I've been asked to be a ambassador/sponsor for many companies. I'm taking on my first one this year. The most important lesson I’ve learned when it comes to associating yourself with another brand is to be selective and to align yourself with something that you truly believe in. I believe that it's vital to work with companies that are harmonious with Lithe and myself. By being selective, I strengthen the connection with my fans as well as their confidence in me. At the end of the day, it’s really about authenticity and staying true to yourself and your brand.

8. Lithe is such a small business. We are a team of approximately 50 (and only three studios), but our brand is so much bigger than the business itself. I giggle at some of the things that I hear. Sometimes people assume we have "issues" because it takes us time to install mirrors, for example. It all boils down to being a small business. At our core, we are a workout. We're not a large company (yet!).  

9. At this point in my career, I feel like I have an MBA. I learned it all through experience and that is priceless.

10. When I opened our first studio in 2005, there were no boutique fitness options in Philly. I feel like Lithe (and Lithers!) are the pride of Philadelphia. In my opinion, the rise of the local fitness scene was due to Lithe. We put Philly on the map. The big box fitness brands wouldn't be here if we hadn't built and proved the market. I've enjoyed watching Philly grow and reach its full potential!  

11. Lithe is absolutely amazing. We're working towards a goal and every six months we're stronger and more united. Our current manangement team is phenomenal and I pinch myself every day. I work with such talented, hard-working people.  

12. Pepsi recently asked me what my proudest (business) moment has been so far. Honestly, it has to be having THREE men on the Lithe team. I couldn't be more proud of that and the direction that we're moving in.  

13. I'm striving for Lithe to make it on one of the best places to work list, and someday that will happen. Over the past year and a half we've completely changed our culture. I don't believe in your typical workplace seniority. A very smart business man taught me about the importance of horizontal organization charts.

14. Eventually, I will cut back to only one studio in Philadelphia. I look forward to shifting my focus and scaling the business in a different way.  I'm an entrepreneur at heart. 

15. When it comes to my leadership style, I'm a big believer in hiring great people, and then getting the hell out of their way. 

16. Don't believe everything you think and don't worry about what other people think.

17. Fit.Hip.Healthy turned seven this year! Because I have so many hats to wear, many aspiring bloggers want to know how I continue to blog and support each facet of my business effectively. It all boils down to time management and your team. I changed the type of staff I've had a lot over the past several years. I started with interns during the early days of 2008. Then, I worked with freelance contributors. Then, last year, I decided to go back to blogging by myself and now I only have a few Lithe-specific contributors posting on occasion. I feel like I've found the perfect balance that works best for me. 

18. Progress is impossible without change. So many people are afraid of change and become caught up in failure. Do not worry about failing. Its your failures that inspire you to go out and do something better. Missed opportunities open doors to better opportunities and help you recognize how you can improve in preparation for them.

19. I hate excuses. Our 6AMers have inspired me so much over the years. There's always a way to get your workout in!  When I find myself in a bit of a fitness slump, I realize that the best way to get back on the horse is to stop making excuses. When it comes to working out, we all set our own limitations. The truth of the matter is that if something is a priority, you will make time for it.  

20. Confidence is the key to happiness. Embrace your thighs and measure yourself in strength, not pounds. Allow yourself to be the best version of the person you really are!  

21. Working with 45+ females (and over 1,000 female Lithers) is fascinating. There are so many different personalities to manage and some women tend to be negative and gossip instead of support each other. When I catch wind of something negative that's happening in-studio, it changes the way that I think about that person. This quote has really stuck with me: If those words appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?

22. I still cry over every love letter that I receive.   

23. Yes, send us your before-and-after photos! I never tire of seeing Lithers' progress and results. It totally makes my day and makes me realize why I do what I'm doing. It's a true light bulb moment every time!

24. I'm an eternal cheerleader and I believe that everyone needs one. Whenever I'm overtired or just not feeling 100 percent, I pump myself up by watching this clip of USC's Sandstorm, and then I head out to face the world. Channel your alma mater!  I swear it works. 

25. I highly recommend having a fierce vision when it comes to yourself. There's nothing wrong with being a little egotistical! The best project you'll ever work on is you – the trickle down effect is profound. 

Image of Lauren for Prevention Mag wearing Michi NY, Lithe & Norma Kamali via Dom

 

MAMA SAYS 18 Nov 2014

  MAMA

While many Lithe mamas are still in the midst of sleep training and toddler temper tantrums, Lauren Leahy has been through it. Though you'd never guess it by looking at her, she has a 14-year-old son. A single mother for years (she just got hitched!), she's figured out a formula to fit in me-time. Read on to hear her wisdom.  

Children: Liam, 14

Day job: Expense analyst

Tell us your Lithe story: For awhile I would buy class cards here and there to supplement gym memberships. Only in the last couple years have I been able to go 5-6 times per week. Now that Liam is old enough to be at home for a little while by himself, I sneak out of the house for 6AM classes while he's sleeping. I'm actually not a morning person at all, but I have a just do it attitude when it comes to exercise. Making the financial commitment also encourages me stick with it every month. 

Your attendance is pretty impressive, but surely you miss class here and there. What was your last family-related reason for late cancelling? That would be when my husband broke his foot. 

As a single mom, how did you make it work? Because I feel calmer when I exercise, I always set aside time for it. In the past, I'd go for a 20-minute run or do an hour-long yoga DVD. For awhile, Liam would tag along with me to a morning yoga class and eat Cheerios and read comic books in the back of the studio. 

Does all your healthy living rub off on Liam? Well, I definitely have to choose my battles when it comes to food. I recently made a stir-fry with vegetables from our CSA and he picked out everything green. Luckily, he's more enthusiastic about exercise. We used to take kung fu together and I convinced him to run a 5K with me. 

Can you share some advice for all the new mothers out there? Acceptance of your body is key. I'm finally at a place where I appreciate my curves. Also, no matter how busy you are, you can fit in a workout if you really try. 

LITHE INSIDER 17 Nov 2014

  
Lithe Insider
Lithe Insider


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LITHE'S ELIZABETH TOMKINS ON DESTINATION MATERNITY 28 Oct 2014

Q&A with E.T. QA E.T & Destination Maternity

You love her workouts, and you've watched her bounce forward phenomenally. Read all about Lithe Instructor, Elizabeth Tomkins on Destination Maternity's blog, Cravings

Images of Elizabeth via Lauren

BECAUSE I'M PERFECT. 16 Oct 2014

Lauren & Mars

Today I'm rapping about body love and words of wisdom from a toddler...

I think my three year old son Mars is soo cute. Like, I could just eat him up. When I ask him why he's so cute, he responds, "Because I'm perfect!" (!!!!?????!!). Now, I've never told him that he's perfect, but he truly believes that he is. And, as his mom, I really feel like I'm doing something right, which is not always the case. You can imagine my reaction when I heard that for the first time. I mean, how fantastic is that? And, he inspires me – my little boy has not one ounce of negativity in his head.  He really loves himself and thinks he's just perfect. We all should have that high level of self-love, right?

Many of us are finishing up our Fall Transformation (myself included), and some of us are just getting back into the studio, post-summer. Recently, there's been a lot of talk about our Stop Bitch moments, body image, what other Lithers do, do too much of, or don't do enough of, and what it means to be healthy and empowered. But behind all of this talk about being Lithe lies the heart of what it means to be healthy: Loving the skin you’re in, treating yourself right, and feeling empowered to question, challenge, and redefine your own self-view of beauty and wellness.  Loving the body you have, and working to improve your health and head is so important. In fact, many of you are already super-confident and intuitive. Here are a few emails that I've received over the past few weeks: 


Being healthy shouldn’t be about appearance, it should be about health.  

I'm all about improving myself and becoming healthy and fit.  Almost everyone I know should spend more time working out, and making lifestyle changes.  It's everything! 

Once I let go of trying to be thin and focused on the idea of loving my body, I became healthier.

This Fall Transformation has taught me so much about myself and my level of commitment.  I've never felt so great about myself.  I feel like me again.  I'm unstoppable!

Here’s what I think about loving your body. As women, we all struggle with self-confidence. There are always those little things we wish we could change about our bodies. Whether it’s wishing we had a six-pack, more defined arms,  or thinner thighs.  My approach has always been accept it, or act to change it. Because of this, I have always used my "imperfections" as motivation to work harder. Over the years I've learned to love and respect my body for what it is because it has been so good to me. It's gotten me through almost ten injury-free years of Lithe and allows me to burn the candle at both ends and work hard when I need to. It has given me my Mars, it takes me on walks every day, helps me sail a 50-foot catamaran every summer, and feels so strong invincible when I Lithe. 

And, in exchange, I treat my body the very best that I can. I live a healthy, balanced lifestyle by staying active and eating well. I let it rest at night, take Epsom baths and stretch to keep it flexible. On the weekends I have fun, give in to my cravings and just let go. 

So, this fall, as you're working towards your best you, remember that it does not mean that you're working to fit into a particular mold. Not a certain weight, size, or shape: YOU are perfect. Make that your mantra! You're working towards building that confidence muscle – which is the best possible way to learn to love the skin you’re in.

Image via Lauren & Mars via Jordan 

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