Couldn't resist posting this.
I gave my dog what I call a "trust hour" the other morning as I went to a Barre class at Raw Space. We've been testing out whether or not he can be trusted outside the crate, unsupervised for short periods of time.
The results showed a total lack of self-control.
"It's not about having time, it's about making time."
I'm doing a new section where you share your stories with the RAW community to offer inspiration and motivation to other members! I have been inspired by my co-worker Beth who has way more motivation than I do to make changes towards becoming healthier and stronger. At the end of every work day she is there to encourage me and Stacey to get our butts moving. There have been many days where, if it weren't for her, I would have gone right home to the couch. She seems to have endless energy and I don't know how she does it with an hour commute and a toddler waiting for her at the end of every day.
The numbers speak for themselves. Beth lost 5.5 inches (measuring chest, arms, waist, thighs, hips) total in just one month of consistently going to classes and being conscious about what food she's fueling her body with.
Thank you Beth for sharing your story with us! And thank you all for supporting Beth in more ways than you know.
When did I join Raw?
I joined raw in late October 2016
What was the first class I attended?
I attended a Boxilates class
How many classes do you attend per week?
I go to at least 5 classes per week. There are some days that I will do one class in the morning then another class after work. I might do that up to three times in one week but it also depends on what else I have going on in my life but I really strive to get five classes done in one week.
What do you enjoy most about RAW?
This is a hard question because I enjoy everything. There are a wide variety of classes to take starting at 5am and last until 7:45pm. The environment is a very intoxicating. Everyone there helps to motivate and inspire you to push yourself and get out of your head or your comfort zone. Also with that, not to push yourself too hard where you hurt yourself, if you need work on a certain area push yourself to your limits then use the alternative moves to still help make you stronger without hurting you worse. If you have to use those accommodations its ok and it doesn’t make you weak. You are encouraged to know your body and move the best you can but with that also being said, don’t get stuck in those injuries and still get stronger with them. The owner will take time to talk to you either before or after class to make sure things are going well and see if you need anything, she cares about your well-being and gives you tips on how to make yourself better. All the instructors are great motivators and they make you believe you can achieve anything in the 45 minutes you step into that gym. You can’t help but to put your all in while you are there because the environment pushes you and seeing all the other women and men that are there going through it too makes you want to keep going.
Can you share with us what success at RAW means to you and how you consider yourself a successful member here?
Before I started at RAW, I had been doing the 21 day fix beachbody program and before that I was going to Planet Fitness. Planet fitness I really didn’t know what I was doing. I would run on the treadmill and do some exercise machines and free weights, all self-motivated. Then the beachbody 21 day fix, it was the same videos week after week with a check in from my beachbody coach here and there. However RAW fitness was a whole new experience for me. Different workouts all the time. Motivating and inspiring coaches that were right there with you every step of the way, also other people keeping you motivated. If you have any issues with your body, any of the instructors work with you so you don’t hurt yourself more. I was able to get my body measured and seeing the results really helps me gage how well I am really doing and keeps me going on those hard days where I really don’t feel like going to the gym. It has always been important to me to keep a healthy lifestyle because I want to be healthy and strong for myself and my family. As a mother, wife and a nurse, there are a lot of people that depend on me throughout the days as I live my life. The time while I am at RAW is MY time. The time I get to devote to myself to do something for me. The 45 minutes or longer a day where I can put myself first, I can push my limits and get the results I want to make me healthy and strong. The time I get to “put the world away” and just concentrate on myself. Everything that I do in life I try to give my all and being a part of this gym isn’t any different. Also seeing other peoples’ bodies and hearing their stories also pushes me to keep going more. Being successful means different things to different people. Stepping foot into the gym every day and giving it my all is success to me, not giving up or giving in to my excuses and to keep pushing even on the days I just want to go home and do nothing is success. I consider myself a member at RAW because I step into that gym, try to push myself to inspire people to push themselves too. To let them know, hey I am here we are all here together let’s give our all and inspire everyone to push one more minute to put ourselves first to devote this time to ourselves, to let everyone know we are all in this together. I always have enjoyed helping people, hence why I became a nurse, and if I can get into the gym, push myself and inspire people at the same time while being a member there then that is a great thing, even if it is only one person, that is better than none at all!
How has this experience changed your life?
I finally feel like I found a place I truly belong. RAW is more than just a gym to me! I feel like it is part of me like a separated family or community in my life that I am truly proud of being a part of. I enjoy walking through the doors even though I know in a short time I feel like I want to die but when I leave I feel absolutely amazing. The results I have seen in such a short time have really helped me to want to continue and not just continue in the same way but to do better. Not just do better at the gym but better outside of the gym too. Learn more about healthy food options and better ways to fuel my body. Better ways to heal my body, mind, and spirit so I can be a better mom, wife, nurse and person overall. My confidence has soared these past few months. I have more pep in my step and I am way happier than I have been. I do have a great life but now I feel like I am adding value and meaning to it. I am gearing myself up for a better tomorrow!
What advice do you have for new members?
This gym is one of the best gyms you will ever step into. Don’t think you cannot do these workouts because you are “out of shape” or “you don’t have time” or “have too many problems with your body” or “you’re too old” or whatever other excuse you have told to yourself. The instructors here make working out fun and keep you safe in your body so you don’t injure yourself from the first class to many years down the road. Everyone there is there to help and inspire you and wants you to succeed. If you ever have any questions you are never sent away or felt like no one really wants to talk to you. Your success is a success for everyone that walks into RAW. This is an amazing gym and a great community to be a part of! They offer great classes at various times and help you reach any goal that you have. It will be one of the best investments for yourself in your life!
Please share your thoughts and comments below to support Beth and let me know if you are interested in sharing your RAW story!
The Naked Nurse
I was especially grateful to ring in 2017 this year as my husband and I were surrounded by some of our great friends here in Saratoga.
As I sat by the fire one of our friends brought up New Year's Resolutions, which typically has meant for me cutting down on sugar and increasing my exercise routine. But this year I wanted to dig a little deeper.
Goal #1: Be gentle with yourself
This goal came about because one of my patients reminded me to chill the hell out. I find I hold myself to these crazy expectations that I end up struggling to meet day to day. I set the bar too high and then feel so discouraged when I can't get everything done. So I plan to set more realistic expectations to stop making myself feel like a big failure. Be kind to yourself. But not too kind where you have no goals or direction and end up back in your parents basement.
Goal #2: Start the day with intention
I love this. I'm not a morning person. I seriously think my sister contemplated spraying me with the garden hose to wake me up when we were children. I'd like to get up even just fifteen minutes earlier to have coffee, stretch and be alone to gather my thoughts each day. This would be a much healthier way to start the day rather than rushing around the house grabbing at things like there's been a bomb threat.
Goal #3: Seek out what awakens you
This one is powerful. It's so easy to get stuck in a routine and end up just going through the motions. I need refreshers constantly to shake me out of the norm and to remind me why I'm really here. I love finding things that make me feel alive. Planning a trip or a day out, finding an inspiring book or article, taking up a new hobby, tying a new class, spending quality time with family, writing a short story, helping a friend, etc. I have this magnet that says, "Life is not about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself." When we feed our soul we can then share that light with others. Until they suck the life out of you anyways. So basically every time a client yells at you at work just plan another trip to the Caribbean.
Goal #4: Express true gratitude
It's so easy to spit out the words you're supposed to say when you receive a gift or a compliment but do we really mean it? Do we really take the time to appreciate someone's efforts to make us feel good? I hope to do a better job of making sure people understand how truly grateful I am for their kindness and efforts. But in all seriousness I'm no longer grateful for chocolate. It's giving me a muffin top and a muffin bottom and I will then express my gratitude by mailing anyone who gives me it a bill for a whole new wardrobe.
Goal #5: Be silly
There always needs to be more silliness. Thank goodness for clips of animals doing stupid things. Watching dogs and cats failing at life really keeps me sane sometimes. Thank you Facebook.,
And the award for worst Christmas present received goes to my poor, innocent puppy. My husband, with good intentions, bought our dog a brand new bed for his crate. It was plush and comfortable. I could have fallen asleep on it. It had raised sides for his little head to rest upon (he loves a good pillow). It fit perfectly inside his little bin. River was excited about it as well. He immediately laid down on it, tail wagging with a stamp of approval.
The next day I arrived home from work to find the luxurious dog bed had spontaneously exploded into a million pieces, making River appear as though he were trapped inside a homemade snow globe. It took two garbage bags and a thorough shop vac cleaning to restore the living room to a habitable state. I’m sure he was just trying to delicately “fluff” his bed when the incident occurred. Who buys a self-imploding dog bed? Thankfully he was uninjured. I just picture the defenseless animal taking a snooze and then wham! Attacked by stuffing from every angle.
I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s a retriever, a breed known for chewing anything and everything they can fit in their mouth for the first five years of life. I’m sure the fact that his first dog bed died of the same fate is pure coincidence too.
So every year I say I will be ready for the holidays by the end of November, and every year I’m scrambling the week before Christmas to get myself together. I think my busy schedule is about average. I work full-time and have a husband, a dog and a bun in the oven. That’s not anything super crazy. I’m not going back to school and don’t have little ones running around sucking every ounce of energy out of me (yet). So why, why am I a lunatic every year around this time? It makes the holidays so much less pleasant because then I end up just looking forward to them being over. And then I fall into the category of “miserable shopper” when I have to run out last minute and stand in line for forty minutes because I needed to pick up two candles and some body lotion for a stocking stuffer. I didn’t send out Christmas cards like I wanted and I keep forgetting about random relatives that I have to acknowledge and somehow let them slip through the cracks.
What has saved me? Amazon Prime. Thank goodness for online shopping and 2 day shipping! What else has been keeping me sane? Remaining diligent about my work-out schedule. It continues to be the best outlet I have (especially since wine and tequila are out of the picture for a while). And new this year are open classes around the holidays. In previous years RAW has closed for a week so thank you Jen for the wonderful Christmas gift. You’ve probably saved a lot of strangers from my pregnant, mad-shopper rage. Another thing that I’ve found to be therapeutic is crafting. This year my husband and I have tried to tie in more home-made gifts that perhaps carry a little more meaning than running to the store. I do NOT consider myself a crafty gal by any means but there has been something very rewarding in creating a gift that has taken a considerable amount of time and effort to make. Even if it looks like I could enter it into an art show for children age six and younger. And lastly, one of the most enjoyable parts of December…cookies. Cookies of every shape, size, color, etc. Thank goodness for peanut butter blossoms, fudge puddles and butterballs. Without the sugar overload I never would have made it this far.
I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday! And continue to keep your s#$% together, we're almost to the end.
I’ve contemplated nutrition counseling with RAWs Barb Biagioli for a while. I met Barb in class maybe a year or so ago. She always seemed intelligent, down to earth and had a great sense of humor. The more I spoke with her the more I realized that yes, I would actually take advice from this person. Oh and has anyone ever met Barb? The other selling point for me was that she is gorgeous, even now at eight months pregnant, she’s flawless. Who wouldn’t want to take nutrition counseling from someone who looks like THAT? I need her secrets STAT.
So I signed up. As my appointment nears I can’t help but feel anxious. Will she expect me to break up with pizza? Will eating healthy be too expensive? Will the five week session be worth the money?
This is a big deal for me. I hide Sour Patch Watermelon gummies in my center console so my husband won’t judge my sugar addiction. Until now, only my dog new about this shameful act.
I’m also pregnant. So what better time to develop healthier eating patterns than now? It’s been the push I needed to get my act together. And I need to kick this sugar thing before the Holidays. I’m excited to become more educated about foods that trick me with their catchy words like “natural” or “whole grain” or “low-fat.” I’m excited to come up with a consistent, healthy routine. I’m ready to change my perspective on food as fuel for my body instead of eating my emotions. Right now my emotions taste like mint chocolate chip ice cream. So good.
I can’t wait to write about my transformation in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!
“It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
I wanted to write about peace this week because, what a great word right? Calm, quiet, peaceful peace.
I’ve read being around people who are relaxed and calm helps you in turn also feel more relaxed and at peace. But let’s think about this. When’s the last time you met with a care-free friend willing to share their peace with you without it draining them? On rare occasions I find myself in a moment of complete peace I want to throat punch anyone who looks like they might disturb my moment of Zen. Stop talking about your problems near my peace bubble are you nuts this thing is going to pop at any second! No I can’t share my peace with you, it’s taken me six days to construct my peace bubble for a meager five-minute escape. Want to share my anger bubble? Oh heck yes get up in here with that angst. But back off the PB.
So of course you are going to feel more relaxed around a relaxed person. You just robbed them of a week’s worth of work. I hope you feel better.
Last weekend my eternally stress-free cat Lily, gave me insight on what total peace looked like. It was then I realized the only way I was going to gain peace in my heart was to lie on the ground on my back like a boss. So I made the commitment to do Yoga once a week. Now, it may have taken me forty-five minutes of a sixty minute class to finally turn my brain off, but that fifteen minutes of peace was heaven. And I’m sure with practice, I’ll be on the road to enjoying life like Ms. Lilliput not just on my back, but in all positions throughout the day.
Check out Raw Space for yoga times and schedules so you can create your own peace bubble without wanting to shank a B for stealing your inner harmony.
Things I’d rather be doing today than working out:
Binge watch something on Netflix
Go to the Spa
Play with the dog
Adopt a kitten
Watch paint dry
Fake my own death
Things I'd wish I was doing while doing any of the above:
“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few years ago, I was interested in having Boudoir photos taken and found myself browsing local photographers. I would tell myself, okay self, we’re going to go to the gym five to six times a week for a year and we’re going to cut out sugar and eat lots of green stuff. Then, THEN, I will have the courage to get naked in front of a stranger and pay them a small fortune to capture me at my most vulnerable.
After a solid 15 minutes of being truly dedicated to the idea I quickly dismissed it altogether and ate a row of Oreos.
As my wedding day approached, I again revisited the Boudoir photo session as a potential gift to my husband. I tried to imagine myself sprawled out on a bed making a pouty face that implied, “take me now.” I was so serious this time that I actually put on lingerie and snapped a few selfies to test what I had to offer. After wringing my body like a wet towel and a sound duck-face failure, I erased all evidence. I couldn’t see myself as sexy as the broads on the websites.
A year later, a woman popped up on my Facebook feed. I went to her website and absolutely loved her work so much that I contacted her immediately to schedule an appointment.
Her page read, “Boudoir is about embracing your sensuality and femininity – breaking down your pre-conceived notions about beauty to show you how gorgeous you really are. As a woman guilty of this myself, I see so many struggling with negative self-image. We do this because we internalize the unrealistic expectation of beauty that are set out for us by the media and entertainment industry. The truth is, you are exactly as you are meant to be, perfect in your realest form.”
Oh my goodness that last line. Who is this woman and can she just come follow me around all day? I wanted her to capture the type of beauty that others saw in me. I wanted an escape from my every day criticisms by seeing myself through someone else’s eyes (or lens).
The girls were a wonderful team and from the moment I walked in I was at ease. It was like hanging out with close friends, just, in your underwear.
It was an experience of self-love. The pictures are hands-down sexy and I still can’t believe I’m the woman in those images. She truly captured an artistic sensuality and sassiness that I knew was in there somewhere but didn’t know how to tap into. I walked away being proud and confident for having the guts to bare all and strip down my inhibitions. Not to mention the sweet bragging rights when I demand my pictures be hung in the hallways of the nursing home I’ll belong to someday.
I realized I needed to lighten up on myself and to appreciate my flaws for making me real. It also taught me not to put too much emphasis on my future self but to recognize how hard I’ve worked to get to today. To live in the present.
I continue to be so inspired and amazed by the women in our community that are dedicated to making other women feel good. The staff at RAW Fitness and Lindsay (http://photographybylindsayrae.com/) dedicate their lives to helping others feel beautiful both physically and emotionally. It’s contagious, it’s empowering and it’s so much fun to be a part of.
I started obsessing over my weight probably my sophomore year of college. I didn’t gain the freshman fifteen but I did notice the scale tipping a bit. For the next ten years I would use the scale as an indication of how beautiful I should feel as a young adult. I thought to myself, I will be desired as a woman if the numbers are under such and such. My confidence depended on what that awful little machine reported back.
It wasn’t until six years ago when I realized numbers on a scale meant crap. I had to re-create and re-shape my idea of sexy and fit and healthy. My work-outs changed as I started adding more strength training to my routine. I also became more aware of just how much my diet affected my health. I joined a new fitness facility with my initial goal to “lose weight.”
It was all well and good and after a year I had never felt so strong and healthy in my life. The funny thing was, I gained eight pounds in the process and still maintain that weight today. At first I was mortified and actually considered quitting because it was having the opposite affect I wanted. But with some reassurance, some research and a little adjustment on my thinking, I realized I was way better off at a higher weight. Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, a pound is a pound, but it does take up less space than fat.
It makes me so sad that I dwelled on what my scale was telling me for so long. My point in all this is to invite readers to take a look at what they consider beautiful and why, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who was trapped in this mindset.
And maybe get a little mad. Did you know home scales were invented by insurance companies? Oh yes. Insurance companies have dictated what is considered healthy since the 1930s. You can thank them for the BMI charts too. This article was recommended to me if you’re interested in learning more (http://www.smashyourscale.com/blog/the-bathroom-scale-a-weapon-of-mass-destruction/).
I don’t own a scale. And I suggest if you do, take it out back and smash it! I imagine the scene from Office Space, you know the one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9wsjroVlu8). It would be so empowering.
So don’t focus on the numbers and keep working hard on your version of beautiful.
- Katie, aka The Naked Nurse