When I was first invited to Women's Health Magazine's "Well-thy" House event, my initial thought was-"Well-thy? What does that mean?" I can now proclaim with freedom and abandon that I drank the Women's Health Kool-Aid and I'm a firm believe in the well-thy movement. Our culture is starting to become more and more aligned with health, wellness and strength. Our lives are all about transformation and putting your best foot forward. My personal identity and evolution as a young adult has been shaped around the fact that I fell in love with running. I'm always growing, changing, transforming and ultimately succeeding thanks to my relationship to my health and wellness and that is, essentially, my well-thy life. Let's talk about how we can get even well-thier.
Besides being really fun, this event was seriously inspiring. I wish I would have brought a notebook because my friend Aly and I spent a lot of the sessions ferociously typing on our iPhones trying to capture every nugget of inspiring wisdom our well-thy gurus gave to us.
We started the day with a Yoga session with Famous Yoga Wizard and Author Mandy Ingber. Now I thought I hated yoga. When I was in College, we started most of our theater classes with Yoga. I would get embarrassingly sweaty, I spent the majority of the time uncomfortable, I was weak, and my teacher promised me that I would get stronger. I never got stronger and Yoga never got easier. (That was probably because I never really did the work, I showed up, got through it and tried to forget about it.) It left a bad taste in my mouth and I wasn't looking forward to looking stupid and getting disgusting and sweaty in front of all my cool new Women's Health Friends.
Ready for a curve-ball? I loved it. It never dawned on me that I'm in a very different place physically and mentally than I was back in 2010. (I know, shocking.) Sure I was struggling through some of the poses, I'm not going to lie and say it was easy. But now that I'm a runner, I don't really suffer through pain and discomfort as much as enjoy it. (Now that sounds sick and awful but it's true. "It hurts so good" is something I find myself saying all the time now.) I get why people love Yoga. It was really peaceful and dare I say it...FUN! At the end of the session, Mandy gave each of us a card with a word on it. Ironically, mine was "clarity" which is the one word I would use to describe what my trip home to California did for me. It gave me clarity on a lot of things. Funny how the universe works like that isn't it?
Next we had a session with celebrity nutritionist, registered dietitian, healthy cooking expert Keri Glassman on cleansing. The turning point in my battle with my weight was when I took a nutrition course in college. I had such a warped understanding of food that it was terrifying. The words fat, carbohydrate and calories all had negative connotations and it couldn't have been further from the truth. Once I learned about nutrient dense calories, I was finally able to restructure the way I thought about how I fueled or the things that I ate. Listening to Keri’s take on a cleanse was really groovy. We all know juice cleanses are a bucket of bull sh*t. Your body cleanses itself, that’s why you have kidneys, a liver, etc. etc. etc. If you really wanted to cleanse your body, you would just eat really healthy food all the time.
Now I’m not about to do that because why say no to a cheeseburger if you’re in the mood for a cheeseburger? It’s all about balance! You can have a cheeseburger or some cookies every once in a while. If you develop healthy habits, you don't have to worry about the balance. Here was my favorite part of Keri's session -- “We should eat from an empowered place: the food we put in our bodies should make us feel inspired and healthy.” As someone who spent a majority of her life associating food with shame and regret, I can honestly say that is the best nugget of wisdom anyone can give you. Food should empower you, give you life, taste delicious, give you energy and make you happy.
Next up was the gem of a human being Heidi Powell. Back in September, I found the show “Extreme Weight Loss” on ABC and I was in a puddle of tears. The show's contestants take you on an emotional journey as they fight to get their lives back. As Heidi started talking I kept thinking, “Her voice sounds familiar.” Then I remembered THIS EPISODE and I realized who she was. Rarely are people actually the way they appear on TV and it’s almost unheard of that someone is even more wonderful than they appear on TV. Heidi is one of the exceptions to that rule. (Randy Fenoli is the other.) I ran a marathon last week and wasn’t sore. 30 minutes with Heidi and I can’t walk. Holy moly, not only was she really motivating but she made the workout SO MUCH FUN. Her entire platform is teamwork and bringing each other up. I loved it, I love her, and holy moly what a workout. (I’m not kidding. I am so sore. Talk about a wake up call...)
Next we got gardening tips from Jeff Dawson and a really fun cooking lesson from Greg Frey Jr. But the real crème de la crème of the day was James Houston. James has created something called the Houston Effect and it rocked m world. It was so simple and so brilliant; I am having a hard time putting into words just how much it affected me. We have very little in our lives that we can control but our home is one of them. What we see visually, what we smell, what we feel, all those things have a really huge influence on our state of being. Here’s the biggest thing I took away from James’s session, we make things a lot harder than they need to be. Sometimes the hardest part is simply saying yes. If you surround yourself with things that stimulate your senses, your life, relationships, work and sense of self will all be affected by it. CLICK HERE to read more about James Houston and Headspace/Homespace.
Then it was on to the party on the beach to raise money for the Feed organization. It gave me the idea...have you heard of Run 10 Feed 10? Well, here in New York the 10K happens on my birthday weekend and even though I love my birthday, I HATE planning things. This year I am not only going to host a FEED Supper for all my friends but we're going to run the Run 10 Feed 10 10K the following day! Here's how you can get involved, I want you to host a Feed Supper. CLICK HERE for more info on how you can have a party and help this really incredible organization. More info to come so stay tuned on this one. And for more info on how you can run the race, CLICK HERE.
I have to say, I’m exhausted. These past 11 days have been truly unforgettable. I slept for 12 hours when I got home from the Hamptons on Saturday if that has any indication as to how drained these past 11 days made me. Now I’m slowly going to immerse myself back into marathon training...Once I can walk again. (Thanks for that Heidi.)
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.