1. WHAT DID LIFE LOOK LIKE BEFORE YOU FOCUSED ON CONSISTENCY ON NUTRITION AND FITNESS?
I grew up in a family that prioritized health and what we put in our bodies. While this sounds positive and healthy, what it meant was a lot of jumping from “healthy” diet to diet trying to find the “optimal diet”. That coupled with being a typical child (who loved a delicious treat) and a competitive athlete in sports that weren’t known for positive body image, I grew up with a skewed view of what my body should look like. Looking back now, I was thin most of my life; but I was always tracking what I ate, making sure it fit the vegetarian, vegan, raw food, Gerson, whatever diet we were currently eating as a family. Additionally, I knew that my mother loved fitness videos and staying strong, and we would do together as well (but of course would track the calories lost in our calorie tracker). I learned that we can always be healthier, stronger, better. (Cue perfectionism)
Unfortunately, all this coupled together eventually led to an unhealthy binge and exercise cycle in college (because what kind of college cheerleader doesn’t have a perfectly flat stomach)? Eventually, it became a binge and purge cycle that lasted several years. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s and with my current husband that I started to examine my previous experiences with food, and diet and realized not all people knew how many calories are in a bag of chips. Additionally, I learned that some people can have chips or cookies in the house and not eat the whole bag in a day! (WHAT)?! Lucky for me, my husband’s modeling of his healthy habits, coupled with some internal work and journaling myself, led to a newfound relationship and appreciation with my body.
During this time, I also started teaching fitness classes. I realized that exercising didn’t have to be about weight loss, it could be about getting stronger and feeling healthier. I started teaching boot camps, but once I got pregnant found intense exercise was too much for my body. My first pregnancy was when I found Yoga through Les Mills Body Flow, and fell in love.
After my first pregnancy I found my next love, OULA. I realized that with a young child I was too tired to work out “hard” and needed my workouts at this time of my life to be fun and feel as though I wasn’t working out. OULA fit the bill. Through my next 3 pregnancies and 2 children, OULA and yoga continued to be the best fit for my life. I definitely had ups and downs in terms of my body image as my body experienced 4 pregnancies and 3 children, but OULA reminded me it’s not about how it looks, and moving my body helped me realize we all go through stages and as long as we are taking care of ourselves that is what is most important.
2. What made you decide to make a change?
Since being a part of The Warehouse, I have learned my story is not the only one of its type. Previous to joining I had had a pretty “easy” life: loving parents, middle class home, no major traumas. But upon joining the Warehouse I met so many wonderful people who were at such different places in their lives who had all gone through so many different things. It’s as though it was placed in my life at just the right time.
The first summer after joining, I lost my brother to suicide. At a time where I felt so alone, I found so much comfort in the care, stories, hugs, and communal dancing of the Warehouse. No one made me feel silly when I cried through songs (which I still do). And everyone lent an empathetic ear, sharing their own stories of grief and loss. Without the wisdom of the members of the Warehouse, I know my grief journey would look much different.
3. What has changed (attitude, energy, weight, habits, priorities, race times, blood work, confidence, etc.?)
I think what’s changed the most for me with the Warehouse is my patience with myself in my fitness journey. I used to be the person who did boot camp and tabata, and these days I don’t find I have the energy for it. I used to go to class 5-7 days a week, and now I only get to the classes I teach. I’m grateful I have a reason to workout, but I also know that it’s ok that this is not a time of my life where I workout as much as I once did. Talking to members with older children, or grown children, I’ve learned we have to have grace for ourselves in all stages of life. It’s ok if you prioritize your time differently and OF COURSE you are exhausted with a 3, 6, and 8 year old. Working out can look like sledding with my kids, or walking them in a stroller. This stage isn’t forever.
Share the following below:
1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAREHOUSE WORKOUT SONG?
Better When I’m Dancing – Meghan Trainor
1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAREHOUSE WORKOUT CLASS?
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?
“Misery might love company, but so does joy. And joy throws much better parties.”
— Billy Ivey