In 2017, I will

2016 started on such a high note, with the birth of my daughter and the opening of Flex & Flow.

2016 wound down to a devastating close. It was the year that showed us that the glass ceiling is disinclined to break, but will take advantage of your proximity by stabbing you in the back and grabbing your lady parts.

I took a break from the internet, from the news and social media, for a few weeks in December. I had to break free of the masochistic tendency to open up the comments section on any news article (why? WHY?) and to step away from the trolls that sank me into a major depression about how much our country hates women.

Anyway, I digress. The whole point of this was to step away, to recenter, to come back with renewed energy.

To stop feeding the trolls with my attention.

The last week of the year is typically easy on my inbox—thank god for small mercies—and it’s a time I typically use to step back and plan and power through some projects that hadn’t been given the attention they deserved earlier in the year. This year, this week, I’ve been focused on how to change my mindset from this dark shitstorm that closed out 2016 to one of empowerment and action.

Our theme for 2017 is #IAmEmpowered. The community will be rallying around positive action, and I’m so eager to see my community lift up inspiration and inclusiveness after a hateful, divisive year.

I’m tacking on to that my word for 2017, which is actually two words, because #IAmEmpowered to make it so, dammit.

Begin again. 

Did I mention this has been a brittle, tough year? My resilience is beaten down. It’s saggier, less springy, and it has dark circles under its eyes. In the moments when bouncing back feels too fucking hard, I repeat these words to myself, again and again, until they lose their meaning and become pure sound.

Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. 

In 2017, I refuse to let anyone strip me of my power. I refuse to give up. I will make change and I will stand up for what I believe is right and I will keep hammering at that fucking ceiling.

In 2017, I will not let little setbacks add up and become insurmountable. I will begin again.

Bring it, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Just do it… in public

I’ve never really gotten into video workouts. I mean, I’d so much rather go to a class. I like the accountability, the energy, and, mostly, somebody telling me what to do. At home, with just me and the computer screen, it’s so easy to get distracted. There’s always laundry to be done, a snack to be had, and a million other micro distractions that somehow get me pressing pause, moving on, and forgetting all about my 7 minutes to fab abs.

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A rare home workout.

Since getting to classes is a lot harder these days, I’ve had to push myself to get creative and step outside my tried and true. To find a new tried and true, if you will.

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Last week’s challenge with the Runtastic fitness channel helped me rethink video workouts, and approach them in a new way.

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Right off the bat they were easier to get into than other video workouts I’ve tried, because I know and love Lunden – the instructor – in real life. So I pretended that I was right there in her class instead of separated by a whole ocean and, of course, a screen.

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Photo: @lifelikelunden

I also, by complete accident, figured out how to get around the distraction / lack of follow through. One of the days of the challenge required a pumpkin, and yes, I could have used the spaghetti squash at home, or some other heavy object, like, ahem, a baby, but I had this vision of how much better the pictures would turn out with an actual pumpkin. Plus, I hadn’t carved a jackolantern or anything this year, so I had an itch to get seasonal.
Off we went to Whole Foods to get a pumpkin. The original plan was to bring the gourd home, but in the spur of the moment, I decided to work out in the Whole Foods pumpkin patch.

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Right in front of the main store entrance. It was like performing for the whole parking lot, something I usually feel kind of awkward about doing. (Somehow having nathan there to take photos made me feel less awkward. Like the fact I had a paparazzo somehow validated my strange public workout).

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Anyway, the point of this is, I realized that having an audience made my ego kick in. I was so much more motivated to finish the whole thing, and to have good form while I was at it. The shoppers that day were my unwitting accountability partners.

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Even though none of them stayed to watch (thank god!) so really, I could have crapped out early and no one would have been the wiser, just the mere fact of having an audience made me not want to look like a wuss or a quitter.
So there you have it: my own personal recipe for being successsful with video workouts. It’s super easy; just remember the three Ps.

  • Pumpkin
  • Public place
  • Paparazzo
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Another public workout… in the Las Vegas airport!

The other workouts are great, too, so if you want to skip the pumpkin and do a body weight workout, try this video or this one!


This post was sponsored by Runtastic. Alll opinions and recipes are my own! 🙂

All the fun things

There’s so much going on this week I don’t even know where to start. Let’s just make a list, shall we?

  1. Yesterday, I did yoga for the first time in probably 6 weeks. This is what not sleeping and not exercising will get you: a creaky, stiff body and a hankering for some twists. Luckily, yoga delivered. I feel light years more alive, and I’m determined not to let so much time pass before my next class.
  2. Today is Halloween. Mackenzie is either going to be a unicorn or a great white shark. HOW DO I PICK BETWEEN MY TWO FAVORITE COSTUMES? HOW?
  3. Today is the last day to save 15% off on prAna’s fall line. Code: PFS16AMB
  4. Today is also the very last day of If Girls Ran the World. I’m squeezing in a few last miles to get us all toward our collective goal. if girls ran the worldWon’t you run /walk / jog a few, too?
  5. Tomorrow, Aftershokz is doing a flash sale for 20% off EVERYTHING, plus free shipping. Whee! Get in on the action starting at 12am ET 11/1 with the code SWEAT20.
  6. Tomorrow is also the start of not one, but TWO challenges. dp_huyh_prepromo1_post_1200x1200We’re getting sweaty with the Runtastic Fitness Channel and with Designer Protein. runtastic-rfcfallfitGet involved here, win prizes. Boom.

Not a bad week, eh? And it’s only Monday.

prAna, If Girls Ran the World, Runtastic, Designer Protein, and Aftershokz are all clients of Fit Approach. I so appreciate your support of the brands who support the #sweatpink community. You make my day. 

Friday Five: let’s do this

Image: Liz Wilson

Happy Friday! This month is all about PINK. I mean, literally, the sheriffs in our county are wearing pink badges. When I first saw one, I thought it was a toy badge. #oops. pink-badge   Any way… I love seeing so many people and organizations come out and wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. I mean, I wear pink all year round, so it’s nice to have some more company in my color.

Wearing pink is a fantastic first step toward promoting breast cancer awareness. But this month, I’m challenging you to do more than just wear pink. Take the next step, if you will, and work to end this stupid cancer once and for all.

Treat yo’self to some pink

bright pink sweat pink Join our #AwareWithPink challenge (just do your thing, tag the tags, and get a chance to win a pair of pink Trekz Titanium headphones from Aftershokz. Best headphones I’ve ever tried, no contest). Or, just treat yourself to a pair. For every pair purchased this month, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink, a non profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and education.

Run around the world (no, really)

awarewithpink sweat pink This virtual event aims to get people to collectively run around the world, fundraising for organizations that empower women and girls. It’s not too late to jump in and contribute the miles you’re running anyway toward something greater than yourself.

Don’t want to do it yourself? That’s cool. Help a girl out and contribute to my fundraising page. K thx. 🙂

Host a Beauty Drive

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This was a gift from the amazing Becky Stifter. Not regifting – this is for ME! – but how could I not share this?!

I’m obsessed with this Feel Beautiful Again program by the Breast Cancer Charities of America. They put together beauty swag bags for breast cancer patients to help them feel like themselves after losing their hair, breasts, eyelashes, and other traditional markers of femininity. I’m hosting a drive in my building, collecting beauty products; you can too. It’s an easy, low cost way to give back.

Take care of yourself

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No, really, I’m serious. Prevention is the best kind of healthcare. Go for a run (around the world!!), eat your veggies, take time to destress. Do it for you, and do it because you never know who you’re inspiring to treat themselves with the love and respect they deserve, too.

Read this

In case you need some inspiration to get involved, or if you just want to experience all the feels AND read some exquisite writing, read this. My friend and yoga teacher Lindsay is currently battling breast cancer, and she writes about her journey in a way that makes you laugh and cry and feel what she’s going through… even as she resists dipping too far into the ugly details of her treatment. Warning: if you read this at work, there is a significant risk that you will also cry at work.

Run like a mother, for mothers

If you follow me anywhere on the internet, or know me in real life, you probably know, or have gathered, that I’m super ambivalent about running. On the one hand, it’s a really convenient way to get exercise, especially with a certain baby around. And I like the way I feel after I run, or when I have been running regularly.

On the other hand, I pretty much think it’s torture. All the time. No matter what.

My ambivalence means I dip in and out of regular running (okay, let’s be honest, running is a generous word; let’s call it a jog or a shuffle).

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I’m not the person who can go out and spontaneously run a few miles with friends. I’m the person who has to build up in tiny increments, 60 seconds here, now 3 minutes there, until after weeks of walk/shuffle intervals, I can knock out 3 miles without stopping.  I’ve started the Couch to 5K program countless times over the last 5 years, and I’ve actually completed it twice. Each time I jump back in is like starting from scratch.

It’s like a bad boyfriend who won’t put a ring on it, but I just can’t give up on, either.

Anyway, all this to say: in October, I’m willingly submitting myself to more torture, but it’s not just about me this time. I’m doing it to support Every Mother Counts, an organization that aims to make pregnancy and birth safe for women around the world. It’s a cause that feels really, really personal and meaningful right now.

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If I hadn’t had access to amazing care while pregnant and while giving birth to Mackenzie, I honestly don’t know how things would have turned out for either of us.

I don’t mean to be melodramatic. We both made it through in perfect condition, but the outcome could have been so different had we not had access to care: around the world, a woman dies every 2 minutes from pregnancy or childbirth complications. And 98% of those are preventable.

I’m so grateful that we are healthy. I’m so grateful that my mom had the same access to care and was there not only through my childhood, but also at Mackenzie’s birth, and in those first few hazy, confusing, postpartum weeks.

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Imagining becoming a mother without my own mother’s presence and support is basically unfathomable to me. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without her.

Maternal mortality one of those big, scary problems that I want so urgently to do something about. I’m not a clinician. I can’t go volunteer, save lives, make a difference in the field. What I can do is raise funds and awareness.

Through the #sweatpink community, I’m partnering with everydayhero for their If Girls Ran the World event.

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That means I’m committing to raising money and awareness, and tracking my miles in October as part of a collective goal to run around the world.

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Ugh, that means I’m going to be shuffling a lot in October.

I love pretty much everything about this event: it supports women and girls. There’s a beautiful symbolism in women coming together and achieving something amazing, together. That’s how we do.

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It’s happening in a heated political climate in which I find myself newly horrified by the sexism and misogyny still so rampant and so accepted in the US and around the world. That, too, feels so big and so beyond my reach.

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So I’m going to run. I’m going to run, and I’m going to make a dent, however small, in the care and opportunities available to women and girls.

 

Will you get involved, too?

There are lots of ways:

This post was sponsored by everydayhero. I’m honored to be part of this incredible event, and as always, all opinions, running hatred, and political commentary are my own. I so appreciate your support of me, the sweat pink community, and our amazing partners.