114 posts categorized " Lithe Mama "

MAMA SAYS: ALISON WHITEHILL-PETRELLI 14 Apr 2015

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If you're a regular at Rittenhouse's 9:45AM classes, you've undoubtedly seen Alison Whitehill and her wide-eyed toddler Paco. The duo has made coming to Lithe an integral part of their morning routine. A dental hygienist before Paco came along, she's now a stay-at-home mom. She lets us in on their shared love of chocolate chip cookies and the babysitting in Studio B. 

Children: Paco will be 2-years-old in August. 

How do you fit Lithe into your schedule? The babysitting service has been a game changer. And Paco enjoys his time at Lithe, too. As soon as we arrive, he starts yelling “ball” and excitedly makes his way to Studio B. When I pick him up, he is usually quietly working on a puzzle or listening to a story. 

What was your last family-related late cancel? Before the babysitting service was available at the Rittenhouse location, I often had to cancel evening classes because my husband was running late from work. He’s the managing attorney of a law firm, so while it was frustrating, it was also inevitable.

Does Paco eat your healthy meals or does turn he turn his nose up at your nutritious dinner attempts? I’ve been lucky so far. He loves my meals! Avocado has always been his favorite thing to eat. 

Which one of your Paco's foods can you not resist munching on? I bake really good chocolate chip cookies and can’t help nibbling a few with him. 

Which Lithe class makes your body feel its best? Any class that Lauren teaches. She is really good at breaking moves down and making adjustments that challenge your muscles in a way you didn’t understand before. I also love Jonathan’s CCS cardio classes because even though you are working hard, you leave feeling like you were just at a dance party. 

MAMA SAYS: MYRIAH LIPKE 31 Mar 2015

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Myriah Lipke knew she would get help with navigating the world of early motherhood when she attended a breastfeeding support group. But the unexpected bonus? She found out about Lithe, too. Two fellow moms happily revealed that the classes were the reason for their admirably tight (and strong) bodies. Now a frequent Lither herself, she tells us the secrets behind effective ab work, raising adventurous eaters, and maintaining a chicken nugget-free household. 

Children: Arabelle will be 4-years-old and Scarlett will be 2-years-old in May.

What's your day job? My primary job is to care for my amazing and insane children. I also work part-time at Temple University as an academic advisor.

How do you fit Lithe into your schedule? Having my schedule planned in advance is the key to going to class regularly. My husband is a musician and is usually gone for 3-4 weekends a month. I try to go to class at 6AM on the three days that I work. Then I try to squeeze in two more times later in the week or on the weekend. I spend my whole life giving to others and it's completely draining. When I committed to Lithe, I became a better mother and person. 

How has Lithe helped your post-baby body most? It has been essential in healing my diastasis recti, the abdominal split that many women have after pregnancy. Lauren suggested that I wear an abdominal compression band for all of my ab work and I'm very conscious about not letting my belly pop. 

What's their favorite thing about Lithe's babysitting service? The girls love going to Mommy's exercise class! On Monday Arabelle got so excited to hold the Pom bands and jump around like me. 

Do your kids eat healthy or do they turn their nose up at your nutritious dinner attempts? I have pretty amazing eaters. I've given them regular table food since the time they could pick up a bean between two fingers. I think the reason they both eat so well is that I almost always cook dinner and we eat as a family. I make food from different ethnicities, so it's all normal to them. I also don't keep chicken nuggets in the house, so that's never an option. That said, yesterday I made granola bars with kale hidden inside. The girls looked at me like I was nuts, but then proceeded to eat big bowls of sauteed kale for dinner.

Which of your children's foods can you not resist munching on? The entire family goes gaga for Little Baby's Ice Cream. At least we get some exercise by walking six blocks there and it's made from natural ingredients, so I don't feel too guilty. 

Photo via Myriah Lipke

FIT.HIP.FRIDAY GIVEAWAY! 27 Mar 2015

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Happy Friday, Lithers! This week's giveaway is from my new favorite place to pick up a gift for Mars, Momo's Tree HouseMomo’s Tree House is Old City’s new toy boutique. It carries high-quality toys for curious kids of all ages and has a craft table, spacious play area, and a great personal shopping service. Plus, it has an awesome storytime every Wednesday at 3:30PM!

We're giving away a $25 gift certificate to FOUR lucky winners! For a chance to win, please leave a comment below telling us what your favorite toy is! One winner will be chosen at random at noon on Monday, so you have four days to enter. One entry per person. Thank you and good luck!

Momo's Tree House
205 Arch Street
Tues.-Fri., 11AM-6PM, Sat., 10:30AM-6:30PM, Sun., noon-5PM

DOING IT ALL IS SO OVERRATED 24 Mar 2015

Lauren Boggi

A few nights ago around 9PM Jordan snapped this photo of me finally sitting down (my glass of wine was just outside the shot) right after we got Mars to finally go to bed. He said, "Laur, stay right there, the lighting is so good on your face." I actually don't love this photo – I had taught three classes, was half asleep, and my smile was not genuine. I wanted to just stick my tongue out at him and scream. 

At the risk of oversharing, I have had a few very difficult weeks. I like to think of myself as a pretty positive, even-keeled person, but the last month has thrown me into total overwhelm mode. I would love to tell you that I have been riding it out gracefully, but I really haven’t. I have not been myself. I’ve been cranky, pessimistic, aloof, and questioning every part of my life.


I put off writing this post because I didn’t want to spread my Negative Nelly vibes across the Internet and into the studios, so I internalized it (I’m really good at that), and then I decided to just do it because I think there is something to be said for sharing my current struggle with you. I would be upset if, from reading the blog or what you read about me, you gathered that I am an invulnerable health and fitness guru who always has it together. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful life and I can usually juggle a zillion balls in the air, but I am having a messy moment.

I'm struggling with running a company and caring for a child. And I have to tell you that doing it all is totally overrated. I'll be honest, guys, I'm spent. I feel like I need to go to rehab for exhaustion. My life — both work and personal — has changed so much over the past year and the juggle has become more difficult. I've since taken on more staff (salaries to pay), I'm expanding Lithe, and have a few large projects in the future (greater expectations on myself), and I have a child who needs and wants me, but also makes me feel torn.

We currently have a part-time nanny and Mars is in school part-time, so I'm basically a very part-time stay-at-home mom with two full-time businesses. I love having the ability to work from home and be with Mars when he's home but it doesn't really work out, so for the past three-and-a-half years, I worked around the clock, all day, in the evenings while Mars was in bed, on the weekends, and whenever he napped. And now he no longer naps, so things (and stress) started to pile up in every area of my life. 

My days are crazy. I teach, train teachers, blog, shoot content for Lithe, FHH, and Lithe Foods, and cook meals for my family. I take Mars to school, soccer, art, and to the playground while checking in with my teams, managing projects and people, developing product, planning, programming, streamlining Lithe, and responding to a gazillion emails (and feeling guilty for being on the phone around him and also feeling guilty for not being there for my staff as much as I should/could).  

Sometimes I feel like I may explode over this constant battle of being pulled in a zillion different directions. And I hate the constant combination of being stretched so thin while feeling guilty. I feel guilty that I have to leave work to pick up Mars, I feel guilty when I can't put more time into something at work, I feel guilty when I have to leave Mars, and I feel guilty when I get snippy (or go completely internal) with Jordan because I'm taking my stress out on him. I love my job, I know myself well, and I know that I need (and want) to work, and that my creative brain really thrives when doing so many things. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.  I also know that my son will only be little for so long and I want to spend more time with him.

Why am I telling you this? Because people ask me all. the. time how I do it all. I say that I have a stellar team, I try my best, and I pick my battles. There are so many moving parts and I've had incredible success and some amazing failures, but mostly I am a work in progress. I'm still figuring it all out. Oftentimes I find myself pushing and working so hard that I forget to be present. This whole working while parenting experience has made me reevaluate my life. I know that it's okay not to always be okay and right now it feels really good to slow down, be mindful, appreciate idleness, and live in the moment. I hope that my struggle with the juggle helps some of you working (and non-working) moms (and non-moms) out there. We're all in this together! 

While writing this I was inspired (via my friend January) by the Hopewell quilts article in Mother Mag.

Image of Lauren via Jordan

A BABY-WEARING WORKOUT! 26 Feb 2015

Lithe+ Oh Joy + Ergo 1 Lithe + Oh Joy + Ergo

I had so much fun working with Joy and Ergobaby – check out our baby-wearing workout!

If you're a mom, you know just how tough it is to squeeze exercise in, but our baby-wearing workout makes it a reality when you have an Ergobaby wrapYou guys are familiar with these Lithe moves, but when you're wearing a baby, it takes them to an entirely different level and you really work up a sweat. I recommend tacking these moves onto a 20-30 minute brisk walk.  

While some of the motions may look small or simple, these functional and fat-blasting exercises balance the body muscularly while targeting the core. We're flexing, extending, and rotating, and no muscle is left un-worked. It's really important (and feels good) to extend the spine during this time because new mamas are always hunched over due to nursing and tending to your babe. These particular moves were designed for wearing a smaller baby (less than six months) facing inwards. Coco was so cozy and in a sleepy bliss the entire time!

{Photos by Casey Brodley; fitness consulting by Lauren Boggi of Lithe Method}

 

BEHIND THE SCENES {OH JOY + ERGOBABY + LITHE} 24 Feb 2015

Joy Lauren + joy

I had a great time in L.A. this afternoon working with Oh Joy + Ergobaby. Joy did a fantastic job Lithing it up with baby Coco. Stay tuned for a blog post and a baby-wearing workout!  

Images via Casey Brodley

FEB-MARCH BABYSITTING SCHEDULE! 3 Feb 2015

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Hey, mama. We know that you need YOU time. We have you covered every day of the week! We're offering safe, certified, and insured babysitting in our small, child-proofed studio Monday-Friday 9:45AM at Lithe Rittenhouse. Our babysitting service is BARE BONES, which means we'll watch your child for one hour and provide fun and toys, but we will not feed your child or administer medicine. Here are the details:

What: Lithe Babysitting!

Who: CPR-certified sitters Ruth, Mary, Kristin, and Lystra.

When: Mon.-Fri., 9:45AM classes

Where: Lithe Rittenhouse small studio

Drop Off/Pick Up: Arrive as early as 15 minutes prior to class. Pick up immediately after class. 

Reservations: First-come first-served. To reserve, call 215-545-5144.

The latest you can reserve: The day of class by 7:30AM.

Cost: $7/hour CASH ONLY 

Maximum Capacity:  10 children per class

Ratio: One sitter to 5 children

Structure/Rules: Feeding and naps are not provided and medicine will not be administered. Our service is BYO. If your child needs a blanket, lovey, pacifer, particular toy, iPad, etc., please bring it with you. Lithers, we encourage you to not leave class to "check on" your child. It is disruptive to YOUR hour, the class, and your own child. No sick children, please. We reserve the right to come get you in class if your child has fallen ill or is uncontrollable.


Image of Lithe Instructor (and Lithe mama!) Julie Fannin via Dom

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

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