“Be a bad ass with a good ass.”
I never used to care about fitness. How’s that for honest, right? I didn’t grow up playing a sport (huge mistake!) and I’m naturally thin, so I easily prioritized other things I wanted to do over hitting the gym. I had plenty of friends who set their alarms for 6 am spin classes before work, loved their green juices and all that. I admired their self-discipline but kind of had a “good for you but no thanks” philosophy.
So what changed? Well I did. When I moved to LA at the end of December, I made a commitment to fill my new world with self-love. I, of course, quickly realized that self-care is such a big part of that equation. How could I learn to love myself if I didn’t give my body the respect it deserves? I knew if I really wanted a whole new life, I needed to put in all the work. I also imagined all of my organs as little Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roaming around my body—if that image doesn’t get you off the couch, I don’t know what will, lol!
I threw myself into a million different workout classes on my mission to a healthier and happier self. I think it’s safe to say I’ve tried—and thoroughly embarrassed myself at—practically every workout class on the Westside of Los Angeles. It was hard, y’all. SO hard. Apparently working out maybe once in a blue moon for the first 25 years of your life really does not prepare you for even geriatric yoga. My thoughts during my first SoulCycle class were something like the following, “WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK IS HAPPENING?! HOW ARE THE INSTRUCTOR’S LEGS MOVING SO FREAKEN FAST? SHE LOOKS LIKE A HAMSTER ON A WHEEL!! OMG WHY DID I EAT A BANANA BEFORE CLASS?! HOW DO I CLIP OUT OF THESE DAMN THINGS?! HELPPPPPPP!”
But I kept showing up. I showed up even though my muscles hurt in places I did not even know existed. I showed up even though I hated when the yoga teacher would hand me one of those blocks because I wasn’t flexible enough like everyone else in class. I showed up when friends would cancel and I had to face the room by myself.
I think just showing up is so much of life, right?
There were countless times I wanted to cancel a class because I was tired of feeling stupid and self-conscious and/or just wanted to stay home, drink wine and watch The Bachelor. Note to self- do not book a pilates class when Nick is down to his final four women! But I also knew if I cancelled one class, I would cancel the next one and then my commitment to self-love would be out the window. And I was determined to not let the Hot Cheetos win, lol!
I’ve worked my way up to taking 4 classes a week. I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m really proud of myself! I like a combination of yoga, spinning and pilates. My favorite studios in LA are YogaHop, SoulCycle and Uprise Wellness.
YogaHop is just so fun. The music is loud and energizing so a class kind of feels like a dance party, which I’m all about. The studio offers several different classes but my favorites are YogaHop, their signature class, and YogaHop Candlelight, which is the coolest experience. All levels are welcome so I got used to struggling in the corner while girls next to me effortlessly twist their bodies into pretzels. The instructors are so nice and encouraging as well. Get ready to seriously sweat in your first class! Sweat now, shine later, right?
Ooomgosh SoulCycle. I really didn’t want to like it for some reason. Initially it felt a little cult-y, you know? But of course, I was hooked as soon as I clipped in for the first time. I definitely prefer fun workouts and SoulCycle offers that in spades with awesome instructors, crazy moves on the bike and energizing playlists. I recommend taking a Soul 101 class first. I didn’t realize that was an option, so I went through several classes like, “What is a tap back?! How am I supposed to do push ups AND pedal at the same time?!” Lol oopsies! Initial confusion aside, I’ve now become one of those girls with a 12 pm Monday alarm, and I’m not mad about it. I’m also a sucker for branding, and we all know how well SoulCycle does that.
I had always taken reformer pilates classes, but I became all about the tower when I started at Uprise. I’m really inflexible and during my first class, my instructor told me 2 years ago she couldn’t touch her toes either. That was very encouraging, because developing flexibility and strength are so important to me right now. I read somewhere that Uprise is the only LA studio to use the tower. I don’t even really know how to describe it but don’t be afraid that it looks like a medieval torture device! I was definitely intimidated at first but continuing to work at it has made me feel more confident as an athlete and as a person.
As for workout clothes, I like to keep it cute! A ratty old sports bra just does not motivate me, you know? Have you seen how amazing J.Crew’s activewear line is? I love the star get up I’m wearing in these photos. I’m also all about stripes and gingham in my everyday wardrobe, so whoever decided to put those patterns on workout clothes is my personal hero. And can we talk about these pink shoes?! It really does not get any better. I also like shopping for activewear at Nordstrom, Old Navy and Target.
What has your fitness journey been like? Is it about self-love for you too, or what moves you? Do y’all have any LA-area classes and fitness brands you love?! Let me know in the comments! x