Alex and I were married on October 4th on Kiawah Island, South Carolina at the Ocean Course. We met during first week of undergrad at Duke where we both lived in Wilson Dorm. After dating on and off throughout college, we parted ways for awhile while he moved home to Georgia for medical school and I worked in fine art in Manhattan. When he matched for residency in Philadelphia, I followed quickly with my dog Sprout in tow! Fast forward about a year, and Alex proposed to me in the middle of Philly's City Hall on bended knee while tourists looked on and a busker jammed on an electric violin. While we love it here in our adopted home (I'm from Wisconsin, go Pack!), we decided to get married in a pseudo-destination wedding off the coast of South Carolina where we celebrated our first anniversary during college.
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.
We love seeing your incredible results and we're so impressed with all of your hard work and dedication. Are you proud of yourself? Share with us by sending your results to firstname.lastname@example.org!
I'll be posting individual losses for everyone later this week, but check out this awesome Lithe Escape success story. Lither Kristy G. wanted me to take her picture on Thursday when we arrived in Tulum and again on Monday morning immediately after our final workout. Look at her gorgeous results! In Kristy's own words...
When I left for Lithe Escape I really didn’t know what to expect for myself because I am what you might call a different breed of Lither. I mean, I knew I would be working out a TON, but I already Lithe an average of six days a week so what was I going to get done in four short days? I joke with Lauren that I have the willpower of an ant because I Lithe 5-7 days a week, but also eat and drink to a level that one may consider concerning.
Working in the food industry leads to many extra drinks or bottles at the table and an extra dish or five of foie gras. And to be honest, I just don’t want to say no. My average day usually starts with green juice, and then moves on to something relatively healthy for lunch usually post midday Lithe, and then I have dinner which can easily include 4-5 bourbon drinks and 6-8 shared dishes of food which always include some type of red meat. Oh and there is a lot of coffee happening throughout the whole day. I just love the flavor of strong delicious coffee, so you'll often find me hopped up on caffeinated deliciousness.
Fast-forward to the Escape and I was still eating non-stop. I mean I had the most oversized plate of huevos amongst the group, but this time it was different. I could feel the difference in the quality of the ingredients and every meal went this way. I was so worried about not being full that I stocked up on Lithe's kale cashew bars to take with me and let me tell you I didn’t open a single one. Our second to last dinner was an awesome Thai curry (I'm known to be judgmental when it comes to food) and I seriously could not finish it. Half of my fish stayed in the bowl.
Now you must be wondering, did I drink? If you've met me, you obviously know that I did. However, Lauren said as long as I stuck to no more than two per night I would still see results. So, that's what I did. I mean, you can’t go to Mexico and not have a margarita, right? I didn't think that I would see dramatic results because I was drinking, but I was also okay with that because it was the perfect balance of getting on track while also being realistic to the life I was returning to on Monday night.
When we got our measurements, I thought, woah 9 inches. That was definitely more than I thought I would lose, but I am usually pretty hard on myself so I initially was like ah if you didn’t have those two margaritas you would have had a few more. Then later on last night when I was home, Lauren sent me my before and after pictures and almost fell off my chair, that is what 9 inches look like – GO ME! I always feel like I'm slowly getting stronger at Lithe, but this is a different feeling of strong that I don’t quite know how to explain and my confidence switch has flipped.
If you want to know if I feel lighter, my answer is actually not really (although I did lose 2 pounds). However, I feel fabulous and this trip made me realize that's what actually matters. I AM stronger, I AM definitely in shape and I WILL continue to grow as a Lither and as a person even with a drink or two. I don’t know if I fully believed in the magic of Lithe Escape before I left, but I can tell you for sure you’ll see me on the next one!
Images of Kristy via Lauren
Kalika just completed her nine-day challenge. Check out her before pictures. It's truly incredible what nine days can do! Congrats, Kalika! Mission accomplished.
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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