8 posts categorized " Lithe Psych "

RAH! 18 Feb 2014

  Lithe's Rhythm Tee & Spur Skirt

Ready?  Okay!  What's Rah?  Rah is a raw, total-body, cardio-focused CCS workout utilizing Thinny Bands and our blue, Higher Power bands.  Set your Pep Talk to empowerment, join the Spirit Circle for beat-box and sassy, vocal cheer motivation, and Lithe towards transformation and healing.  Rock your body, hottie. 

*Rah has a back-bone and deep psychological roots. Stay tuned for Lithe Instructor RZD's, PSY.D. write up on it!  You'll need: Sweat Bands  Tip:  If you like Rock Steady, you'll love Rah!

Image of Lithe Instructor Julie Fannin in Lithe's Spur Skirt & Rhythm Tee via Dom

BEST OF FHH 2013! 27 Dec 2013

2013

What a great year!  Some standouts: Busting workout myths for the Huffington Post, Sayeh and food, Lithe in The New York Times, Sayeh tries the 9 Days of Lithe, Lauren for Fitness, Lither gratitude (before & after), CCS at its best: Rock Steady, Loving your athletic body, my favorite skinny heathen, Bouncing Forward for Huffington Post, Emerald Mary, Me on taking risks, love letters like this, Lithe in Philly Mag, Summer lovin', Positive studio-esteem tips, lithers lithin' all over the world, Tips on trimming the fat talk, my apple, Lithe on the Kris Jenner Show, prepping, the bomb, major transformation, Lithe ink, Lithe's first Varsity team, Old City 6AM'ers on Halloween, my favorite smoothie of 2013, the love letter that pumped us all up, turning 36, Thinkfest, Sayeh's wedding & Forbes!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS? HERE'S SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT (RACHEL DORE, PSY.D.) 26 Nov 2013

Lauren Boggi at Pogust Party 2012

Ah, the holidays are upon us. While some of us are polishing off the last of our Halloween candy, others of us have moved on to hoarding recipes for cornbread-stuffing and pumpkin pie… then comes the Christmas cookies and egg-nog, not to be out-done by the champagne cocktails with-which we toast to bring in the new year…

Most people indulge during the holidays. They just do. And most people feel bad about it afterwords. They just do! Enter “detoxes” designed to flush out the body of toxins and waste that accumulated during our Holiday Bender.

I believe in detoxing. One of the things I love about Lithe Foods is the Lithe Foods Three-Day Detox. Why? Because it does detoxify the body and can jump-start weight-loss, but in a psychologically healthy way! You still eat meals, you still get dessert (praise the Lithe Gods! Dessert!). The program does not follow a deprivation model—meaning it does not cut out FOOD, it just provides you with the purest, cleanest form of it! Of course, Lauren could have created a three-day juice cleanse without batting an eyelash. But there is a reason that she did not. As you will read in the following post, juice cleanses, for some, can be dangerous: medically, emotionally, psychologically, and otherwise. . .

I’ve heard Lithers freaking out about the Lithe Foods Holiday Vacation (Oh My God, Becky, did you hear!?...) While I will choose to wait ‘till 2014 to get my Detox on, I am aware that many of you will not. I am also aware that the Holidays, although meant to be joyous, are not always so happy. Whatever our vices may be, they tend to intensify during times of stress, and for many of us, the holiday season is extremely stressful. It’s important to keep all of this in mind so that we are able to make healthy decisions.

For these reasons, I thought it might be meaningful to post some excerpts from a recent interview I did for Redbook Magazine Online regarding my thoughts on all-juice cleanses, weight-loss, and how these elements can contribute to disordered eating. Check out the following post for a peak into my discussion with Sunny Sea Gold, freelance writer and author of Food: The Good Girl’s Drug. As a woman in recovery from her own eating disorder (Binge Eating Disorder, commonly referred to as BED), Sunny’s questions where playfully curious yet honest and caring. I really enjoyed my work with her and hope you enjoy it too.

Image of Lauren Boggi at the Pogust Holiday Party December 2012 via Stuart Goldenberg

RACHEL'S JUICY INTERVIEW (RACHEL DORE, PSY.D.) 26 Nov 2013

Rachel Dore & Redbook Magazine
Lithe-Cashew-Milk-Mini

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

SELF OBJECTIFICATION (RZD, PSY.D.) 29 Aug 2013

Kim

 I DECLARE WAR

As summer comes to a close, I have been reflecting on some of the things I have seen, heard, and experienced both in and out of the studio. In a nut-shell, here are some highlights:

  • An on-the-beach wrestling match with a good friend, sunscreen in-hand, who refused to apply SPF to her overly-tanned and peeling body
  • A plea to a good friend who insisted on following a strict (and extremely under-nourishing) “bride diet”
  • A trasher tug-of-war with a seasoned Lither attempting to wear them in a high-cardio class during our lovely July heat-wave
  • A dressing room heart-to-heart with a gal pal re: her horrified reaction to sizing- up on a pair of high-waisted shorts

Ever heard of a Sunburn? Skin Cancer? Premature wrinkles? Orthostasis? Cardiac Failure? Edema? Hair-loss? Dehydration? Heat-stroke? Coma? Body Dysmorphia? Disordered Eating? Mic-check 1-2… IS THIS THING ON?!

The truth is… yes! We have heard of all these things but… nope! We don’t care. We are accustomed to focusing on our outward appearance, at the cost of stifling our inner-beauty, health, and happiness.

As females, we have become conditioned to be overly-concerned with how “attractive” we appear to others. We have the propensity to internalize others’ view of our own bodies, the phenomenon of which has been termed self –objectification. When we self-objectify, we become preoccupied with how the body appears to others while simultaneously disregarding how the body feels.

Mind over Matter?

The disconnect between our mind and body can be dangerous, though: losing touch with how your body feels means you could miss important signals it tries to communicate. This can have a variety of consequences from poor form in class, over-worked muscles, to even a Lithe-career-ending injury.

Rest assured. We aren’t crazy, superficial freaks. Paying attention to our outward appearance is innate and, I would argue, adaptive. From an evolutionary standpoint, it made sense to present the best possible version of ourselves to potential “mates.” Appearing attractive to the opposite sex was advantageous—and necessary—because it allowed us to procreate and carry on the tradition of the human species. But we are nowhere near in danger, as humans, of becoming extinct. Our abilities to survive are not questioned (except in the occasional Lithe class!) in the ways they once were, yet our focus on our appearance has evolved to create higher standards and a more narrow definition of what is “attractive.”

We are constantly comparing ourselves to others; we constantly encounter “body-image threats” when face-to-face with someone we perceive to be more attractive than us. This can result in a variety of deleterious effects including body-image concerns and negative mood.

As avid exercisers, one would assume the average Lither does not deal with these issues since we are shakin’ it on a regular basis, but research suggests otherwise: self-objectifying thoughts, also known as body surveillance, are often triggered in exercise situations. Of note, however, is that women who do this will engage in less physical activity than their peers who are able to avoid these kinds of thoughts and behaviors.

Further, this study out of the University of Birmingham found that, compared to women wearing baggy clothes, wearing tight, revealing exercise clothing heightens exercisers’ levels of self-objectifying thoughts. Being surrounded by mirrors and flanked by beauties in tight clothes (pretty accurate description of a class, from an Instructor’s point of view!) seems like a recipe for constant body surveillance, sure! But it doesn’t mean we have to give in to the pressure

A Call to Arms

It’s a war-zone out there: competing images and messages about inner-beauty are waging war against the attractive ideal portrayed by the media; disordered-eating, numbers on a scale, and living in the digital age of being constantly photographed… these things have also come to battle. Not to mention the inner term-oil within our own minds. In this battle-zone, where all weapons are drawn, are you going to triumphantly survive or passively surrender?

Your body is your biggest ally. Use it to help you win your battles, not create them. The sooner we can conceptualize our bodies as allies, instead of enemies, the sooner we learn to mend the split between what we want and aspire to be, versus what and who we are.

We need to focus less on ourselves as observable objects and more as people. We have extraordinary bodies that can do remarkable things (cue mental image of Melissa’s heel-stretch push-up on instagram). Have you seen Elizabeth blow through a 3 sets of penny pushers? Tiff rockette-kick at 7-months preggo? Ever witnessed Meg’s graceful out-in-outs or effortless flexibility? Watch Liz sprint it out? Ever seen Bari lunge at the barre? Danielle fights arthritis related joint-pain on a daily basis, but you would never know! God help anyone that comes between her and a set of plyos. Those girls are warriors, and I would gladly follow them in to battle any day.

One year ago, I couldn’t do a set of push-ups to save my life. Today, I blow through ‘em all yet find myself winded after that second set. Tomorrow, I’ll kill all three sets with a smile on my face. That is what I choose to focus on. And when I do, it makes the size of my derriere seem less-important.

So, next time you find yourself objectifying your appearance in class or comparing yourself to others, try to keep your head (and knees!) up. Don’t miss a beat of that CCS, but do take a quick moment for a check in: “did I come here to feel bad about myself and cheat myself out of a workout, or did I come here to FIGHT?”

So, dearest Lithe Army, please say you will fight with me. Let us slap on some baby-blue war paint. Together, let us rockette-kick our way up to the front lines of this battle, and prepare to kick some serious tail. Take a look at those biceps. Those are your guns, and the only weapons you will need in this fight. Let’s draw our line in the sand, if only just for one day or one class, and wage war against self-objectifying thoughts that weigh down our hearts and bodies. I already feel a little lighter, stronger, and lither… and I hope you do too.

Image of Lithe Instructor Kim Sauer wearing Lithe via Dom

 

 

SAYING "F-YOU" TO THE "F" WORD (RACHEL DORE, PSY.D.). 31 Jul 2013

Lithe at Bands

Give Your Thoughts a Makeover

Re-define your concept of “thin.Use words! Replace the old ‘fat’-laden language with new language. Or, even better, get rid of that word all together! Words like “skinny” and “thin” carry a lot of unhealthy connotations that we have picked up through exposure to things like the media over the years. I personally try to steer clear of that kind of language. I prefer words like “fit”, “trim,” and “lean.” If I were to define my ideal version of myself, it would be something like, “lean all over with boobs and a butt!” The only “Twiggy” reference in my life is related to Lithe class scheduling.

Stay Positive

Instead of immediately casting- off a negative thought about your body, allow yourself to honor and acknowledge it. Label it as ‘fat talk’ and then promptly replace the thought with something positive. For example:  “I’m stocky” becomes “I’m petite and strong!”

Get Inspired

Get over that ideal ‘perfect version’ of yourself. Try to let go of that and start noticing people with your body shape. Pay attention to how they play up or down certain features for a polished, proportional look. Check out style blogs for different body types, or create a personal style look-book for inspiration.

Adjust the Focus on your Lens

And while you’re at it, zoom out a little bit! Try to avoid hyper-focusing on one particular element or area of the body. Instead of focusing on what your body is not, concentrate instead on what it is, and all that it does for you. Next time you are feeling down, do a set of calf-pumps (arms: your choice!) or drop down for a quick set of burpees!

The Golden Rule

Just as you treat others as you wish to be treated, do the same for your body. Talk about your body respectfully, and honor how powerful it is. I love this analogy I heard once: think about a dandelion. Technically it’s a weed, but it could also be a flower. How you label it, however, will influence how you feel about it. Call it a “weed” and it ends up in the trash. Call it a “flower” and it ends up in a vase on the kitchen table. You will likely take better care of your body if you think about it with respect, awe, and gratitude.

Image of Lithe Instructors via Dom

TRIMMING THE "FAT TALK" (RACHEL DORE, PSY.D.). 31 Jul 2013

Lauren Boggi at Bands

“Look at this pooch! No matter how much I suck in, there is still that little roll right there!”

“You’re curvy, so you can get away with it, you can’t even tell I swear! See, these love-handles are way more noticeable on me because I have no boobs or butt.”

“What love handles?! SHUT UP, if you think those are love handles … I don’t even want to know what you think of these (Squeeze, squeeze)...”

Fat talk¸ or talking negatively about the shape or size of your body, is a common type of banter that women (especially) are often exposed to. As this study from Northwestern University shows, most women engage in Fat Talk. The most common response observed in these types of social exchanges are: 1) denying that one’s friend is fat and 2) stating that in fact they are the one that is fat... Sound familiar?

Even though the focus is on physical, observed flaws of the body, the damage happens internally. Talking about yourself this way it introduces a negative thinking pattern that quickly impacts other domains of life. This University of Arizona study found that fat talk predicts lower levels of body satisfaction, higher levels of depressive symptoms, and greater perceived pressure to be thin. Talking smack about your beautiful body is harmful not only to yourself, but can also negatively affect how others feel about themselves. Recent research has found that hearing others engage in fat talk not only makes us feel guilty about our own bods, but also makes us more likely to engage in fat talk, ourselves.

Still feel like whining about your cellulite? Fine, but people will like you less. A recent study conducted at the University of Notre Dame’s Body Image and Eating Disorders Lab found that women who engage in fat talk are far less-likeable compared to those who make positive statements about their body.

I realize it is unrealistic to trash Fat Talk completely… we are all here, working out together, because we care about our bodies. Some of us are here with specific goals in mind. For example, if you are packing your Lithe schedule with Peeled and Wings to tone your upper-half, it is not unreasonable to want to pay closer attention to your arms for the month! Totally normal, as long as you are able to keep things in perspective: having crazy-ripped arms is cool, but it won’t make you a better mother, nor will it make dinner with the in-laws less-awkward…

As women, we often equate the way our body looks with certain desirable attributes and ideas (e.g., success, achievement, happiness etc.) but in so doing, we are taking power away from ourselves as autonomous, strong women. We are minimizing the importance of our mental capacities and capabilities to achieve these ideals, which in reality, have no correlation with how toned our arms are.

So…what kind of locker room buddy do you want to be?! It’s up to you what you say and to whom, but think twice about this kind of blasphemous babble now that you know the consequences it could have on you and those around you.

 Stay tuned for my tips on ways to keep your internal and external dialogues “fat”-free!

Image of Lauren Boggi at the bands wearing Lithe via Dom

 

 

POSITIVE STUDIO-ESTEEM TIPS (RACHEL DORE, PSY.D.). 18 Jun 2013

Lithe Instructors

Rachel's tips on how you can boost your self-esteem and positive thinking in the studio:

Fake it ‘till you make it

Just keep moving! If you are totally lost in a CCS series, try to approximate the choreography as best you can. For example, lose the feet and just do the series using your arms or vice versa, keep your arms by your side (activate them by engaging the lats to slide the shoulders down and reach for the floor with your finger tips) and work on perfecting the moves with your lower half. 

Back to Basics

If all else fails, do what you know, and what you do well. If you can’t get the CCS down, revert back to the fundamental moves in our cardio practice (think: Cheer Preps, jacks, jogging in place, marching, etc). The same can be said for the barre (think: Lunges, Sumos, Curtseys). This approach will help you maintain confidence and push yourself. 

Ignore the Competition

When setting up for your sweat session, plop your gloves and props down near a mat in the front of the room. This will help you focus on YOU instead of others in the room in your line of sight. 

Chat Up your Instructors!

Grab us pre-class and let your instructor know that you are nervous/ don’t know what to expect etc. I love it when Lithers do this and I always make it a point to cozy up next to them at the barre for a few reps to help with form and timing. Remember-- what you perceive as a weakness is actually strength- asking for help when you need it is hard but that is how you learn and grow which will improve your practice—be it here at Lithe or beyond!

Image of Lithe Instructors via Dom

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