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To the woman who checks her abs….

Hey – just a head’s up I am that girl. I do check my abs. Daily. And figured it was time to say a few words that I myself needed to hear.

I’ve been listening to and reading a lot lately on the intersectionality of fitness, nutrition science,  and body image. In even the 5+ years that I started to take health and fitness seriously, there has been a shift in mentality. There has been burnout and rebirth, not just within myself but in the space around me.

In the last generation, there has been the “quest for 6 pack abs,” both for men and women. I’ve heard that region of the female body called so many things: “my problem area,” “my mommy tummy,” “my pooch,” “my soft parts.” For many there is such a negative association with that space and since its one of the easiest to see in the mirror, we interact with it every day.

The conversation becomes much more complicated around this idea that we have the power to change our circumstances (which I firmly believe) but that we also should love our current state, our current form, our current situation. I once had a yoga teacher describe to me that being stuck in the past is actually now a medical condition that has a name — depression; being stuck in the future, is what we know as anxiety.

So where do the ab checks come in?

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I ran my first half marathon!

It’s just about a week past my SeaWheeze half marathon (first half marathon overall!) and I documented a lot of my training experience on Instagram but thought it would be a good idea to have everything culminated in one story/guide.

This is quite a long story so if you would rather skip my background and race details, you can also proceed to FAQs at the bottom. Thanks for reading!

Running Story

The best place to start is sharing right off the bat my Running Story. Running for me did not start with signing up for SeaWheeze though I kind of knew in my heart that it would probably be my first half marathon if I ever decided to do one.

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Studio Tone It Up Review

I’ve shared a few thoughts here and there regarding the Tone It Up App since it was released and after spending almost a year using it, I figured it was finally time to share some overall thoughts and impressions. In addition, I’ve been working in software as a service for more time as well and have a personal interest in the intersection of technology and health and fitness. I hope to play around with more apps and review them in the future so if you have any suggestions of ones I should try (or want me to be the guinea pig!) I’m happy to. This is just the one I am probably most personally familiar with and worth having a discussion around.

What is Tone It Up?

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Yoga Teacher Training – the beginning!

Hi team!

First of all, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and curiosity around starting my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. It’s like you all knew I really wanted to do this or something 😉

Now that I just wrapped up my 3rd weekend out of 8 (Yes — already almost halfway through!) I figured I would summarize some of the most common questions I have gotten, some advice if you’re considering the same path and what this journey has done for me so far.

The Why

What made me want to invest 200 hours of my free time and quite a bit of money towards being a yoga teacher? Am I dropping my full-time career to teach yoga?

To answer that second question first — definitely not any time soon.

I have had a long term interest in health and wellness and it has taken me to many different places especially over the last 4 years. When I started practicing yoga over 10 years ago, it was a “like,” not a “love” and definitely not the passion or belief system that I see in it now.

Photo by oakie on Unsplash

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Tips for Bikini Series Success!

When I first committed to the Tone It Up Bikini Series in 2013, the brand looked a little different. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew the beachy fun vibes and confidence radiating from Karena and Katrina was something that I at least wanted to try – maybe I would even feel that way afterwards.

While not a huge transformation, that first challenge put me on a track to health and wellness that my life was heading anyway, but needed some guidance and a spark of new inspiration. I used all of their free content to find some fun workouts and try new recipes which after studying abroad, felt like I was taking some control back in my day-to-day life.

Years 2014-2016 were good, but I struggled to fully commit in the way I had that first year. I had joined the Nutrition Plan, loved the recipes, but felt like the Bikini Series was almost too large of a goal to tackle and that I would never see a dramatic transformation.

In 2017, something clicked. It may have been in part due to my life being in a much more stable place overall. I generally enjoyed working out, and I was ready to fully commit to the nutrition guidelines of the plan. This combined with the extremely high quality content of last year as well as having connected with so many Tone It Up Seattle girls in real life made the whole challenge feel like it was really my time to step up to the plate, hold myself accountable, and hit some goals.

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Whole Foods Hacks

I worked in the produce department in one of Seattle’s Whole Food stores for almost a full year right out of college. At the time, it was a great job that fit well into my schedule and lifestyle that year and the company overall was something I could get behind.

As a foodie before I even took the job, I made sure to pick up on some of the best ways to take advantage of shopping at Whole Foods beyond my employee discount. Some of these tricks and tips may change in the coming months with the Amazon acquisition, but I think most of them will continue to hold true. In addition, most of these are also applicable to your local high-end grocery store or co-op, but since Whole Foods is a national chain, it works well as an example.

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