A powerhouse friend and I for quite awhile have been talking about starting a podcast together. We are both fitness junkies, La Croix addicts, and spiritual gangsters on a journey to be more connected and in tune every single day. We want to share that journey (as well as fun tips like our fave books, music, makeup, powerhouse feminists, and more) with you! Check us out here and give us your feedback and ideas! I could not be more excited to start another leg of my journey, to reach more lives, and to share our ideas around the globe! Big love!
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. At Oh My Fitness we are incredibly passionate about this topic (whatever words are most extreme than "incredibly passionate" are actually much more accurate!). Though we recognize it's not a fun or light hearted topic, it's certainly one we need to discuss more to protect and save those who are trying to recover from such horrific acts. Every woman deserves to feel like the exceptional human she is. For more resources on how to help or recover, check out the NSVRC, and consider purchasing one of our Women's Wellness Planners, which donate to women's programs. Oh My Fitness owner, Laura, shares why she's beyond fired up to help end this violence and remind every woman she's a freaking powerful, deserving, worthy, valued badass.
Originally posted on LaGoesWest.Wordpress.com fall 2016
This is, now, my truth.
Not too long after starting my own business, I was at a networking event. This was something I was doing 3-4 evenings per week at that point, to try to get to know people in this place completely foreign to me, after making the insane leap of starting my own company (with very little money, connections, or gameplanning) so soon after moving most of the way across the country from my friends and family. This networking event seemed like any other at a swanky professional club in the valley. I was dressed conservatively and professionally in a nice shirt and slacks, trying to stay close to the couple people I did know, while talking to new possible connections and colleagues. I had 1 glass of wine then switched to soda waters just to keep having something to do with my nervous hands. Unlike most events though, this one changed the course and depth of my life forever. Because at this event I was drugged and raped.
I don’t think I can describe to you how many times I just tried to type that sentence. How unbelievable it still feels to me every time it comes out of my mouth talking to a close friend or to my therapist.
I’ve been through a lot of truly tough things in my life (my life overall is so incredibly blessed, sooooo fortunate, that I really try not to dwell on the challenges), from family members and really close friends dying, health struggles, job changes, picking up and moving across the country when I thought I had my life pretty mapped out where I was. And though those things are truly challenging, and I would never minimize them to anyone going through them, this trauma has been much…different. Much deeper and rattling. You see, through those other hard times, I still knew sort of knew who I was deep down (as much as a young person can, right?!). I may not have the job I want, but I could find (or create) one to succeed. I may not have my amazing friend right by my side any more, but I could share memories of her with my other girlfriends and talk to her in my own way. I couldn’t instantly heal my stupid health issues, but I could try my best and to listen to my body. I could meet people in my new home and put one foot in front of the other. I could see challenges and struggles as times to offer it up and see an opportunity for growth. But rape. Rape strips all of that from you. Because when some asshole deems you as less than human (as someone must to be able to in order to try to destroy someone in this way) you question it too. Who am I? Am I really a beloved and worthy human being? Do I deserve love, happiness, or even to live?
You see, it’s a big, ugly ghost that follows you around every damn day. A ghost made of both who you thought you were and you used to be, and of all the dirty, unworthy, shitty thoughts you carry within yourself now. It taunts you every single day. It’s an evil unlike any other. Nothing I could have had nightmares of would have come close to the terrifying, shaking doubt of this. Nothing has tried to steal my identity and self worth the way rape has. Nothing.
For me, it was also the one type of hardship and evil I thought I had total control over. I couldn’t control death, or the happiness or job security of people I loved. I couldn’t control some of the giant disasters happening in our nation. But I could damn well make sure I was never raped. I was confident! Aware! Careful! See, I was the girl at age 15 as a black belt in martial arts school teaching women how to keep this from happening. I was yelling to the women defending themselves against a fake attacker in our classes to fight harder, that their life was worth it, that they COULD survive and beat his ass.
And they did. And their life is. And they CAN and DID and WILL survive.
I thought, on my worst day, it was an evil I’d have to fight off. Never did I think it was an evil I’d have to recover from. Cope with. Lose myself in. Daily look in the face and tell it hasn’t beat me.
That’s the level rape affects a woman. It’s realizing evil will find and try to decimate you no matter how you prepare for it. Imagine yourself waking up every single day trying to convince yourself you’re just worthy of walking on this planet, much less, worthy of accepting and being loved, happy, or successful. This is why, my dear friends, I cannot be silent in this time of political and social turmoil. Before a few months ago, I really thought I was recovering from this trauma pretty damn well. Then Brock Turner happened. Then the Donald Trump happened. Which turned into more discussions of Bill Clinton. Which made me want to curl up in a ball and hide forever and regress in the healing process. But I can’t do that (even though girrrrrrrl, it’s so damn tempting many days). We all have our causes. And for me, I simply, 110% refuse to accept that our country is okay with anyone leading our nation who is okay with assaulting women or being an accessory to assaulting them. I will not be silent about that. #sorrynotsorry. We deserve better. Don’t we?? Even on my worst day, I will fight for that. If not for me, for YOU. Always. Rape can try to take everything from me. But it won’t. I damn well promise you…
There are definitely days where I grind my teeth into (apparently complete) oblivion, get stress migraines that floor me, that I drink too much wine to cope, that I cry trying to read myself affirmations in the mirror that just acknowledge I’m a worthy human being and have to do my mascara for (ugh!) the 4th time, that I cannot sleep because of such nightmares and anxiety, that I pray to just somehow help me find a light in this somehow, some kind of reason this possibly could have happened to me, so that I can keep going and press on.
Some days, aka today: all of those things are my truth. And you know what, it’s shitty, so freaking shitty, but it’s okay.
Because literally nothing else I have ever or will ever encounter, will ever be as demolishing as this. Will never spark such a fire and passion and anger and path in me the way this has. Assholes, beware: your time is limited. We will face you. Survive you. Beat you. You don’t own us. You don’t own me. And not for much longer will you get away with treating a human being as anything less than the perfect, incredible person they are.
To my fellow survivors, thrivers, risers out there: Let’s acknowledge that some days blow. I think, honestly, that’s the biggest lie I tell myself: that healing from this stupid insanity was and “should be” 1-2-3-4-5, when in fact it looks much more like 1-2-3-2-3-2-1-4-3-2-4… If I’m being truthful, I think my rape will always haunt me. But I’m counting on the fact that I am one damn strong lady. It hasn’t broken me yet, and haha you fucking asshole—it won’t. I will not feel like super woman every day. But you know what, every gosh darn day, I’m alive. I deserve to be alive, and I have a lot to do, a lot of people to help. So fuck you. I’m getting outta the fire alive. And I’ll never stop fighting to help others do the same. You are worth it. Every damn day, girl. Don’t, please don’t, stop fighting. Rise. Fight. Show them the fire I KNOW you have in you. It lights all of our paths, and that’s what we need today. Even if some days we are trading who lights or holds the fire, there is always a path.
I have that fire, and literally most days, that’s what I see as the only possible “positive” or “reason” to come of this mess. I’m unapologetically sassy and combative now. Bye, Laura of yesteryear who just smiled to please everyone, this current girl ain’t got time for that. We have major issues to handle. We WILL stay in the fight till the final round. As Mandisa says: you might be down for a moment, feeling like it’s hopeless, but that’s when it reminds you, you’re an overcomer.
Don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer. I believe in you. Whatever your struggle, your calling, your personal fight, I so very much believe in you and your journey. Press on. I hear you, I love you. On your brightest day, on your darkest day, I love you and I am here for you. Because you are worthy. No one will change that, ever.
But really, okay? (‘ Cause I see you, girl who is just like me, shaking her head like this is for everyone else. You are worthy. EVERY. DAY. Whatever your journey or your struggle. You freaking rock, and you have such an incredible purpose.)
P.S. Sassy Laura says: You fucking deserve this. Don’t run and hide. Fight with me. When darkness comes to town, we will trade off being lights. Because we are survivors, who are completely worth it. Don’t forget it, okay? Now let’s go. We have a lot of work to do!
I don’t know about you, but I am SO glad summer is on the horizon! (I know, I know, I live in Northern California, but we had more rain and winter-like weather here than you’d expect! HA!). As such, I thought it was time to share some of my favorite quick hairstyles that are great for summer, but even more amazing for workouts year-round!
…because your hair flopping in your face or getting stuck on your neck truly distracts and annoys you when you’re killing it in your sweat sesh, right? Have no fear, here are four of my go-tos that anyone can do (like, really. I have no hair skills to speak of and am ever thankful for my amazing hairdresser and for girlfriends who don’t mind when I beg them to curl my hair for me. So if I can do these, you can totally handle them!).
Note: You could definitely make these look way better if you took more time to do them. I literally threw these each into place in less than 1 minute as we were shooting photos and changing backdrops, and that’s about realistic for how much time I’m willing to spend on gym-hair.
My bada** name for this triple bun style! Who doesn’t want to feel more powerful in the gym, right? This style is great for any length hair, but extra handy when you have shorter hair, lots of layers, or think any amount of flyaways is super distracting (ME!).
Tools needed: 3 medium size hair bands
Note: Depending on hair thickness and length, you could do more or less of these. Three is about right for me. For reference: my hair is super thick and reaches just past my shoulders.
To-do: Gather about one third of your hair at top and wrap into a bun, securing with band. Follow suit with next portion, and the third. I wrap my buns super tight so there’s no chance of them slipping out, and love that this one stays really secure. It’s also a comfortable to do floor work with, since they’re lined up and you can lie flat back on them.
THE DUAL FRENCH BRAIDS:
This one looks much more impressive than the skill it takes (I would know.), and I like adding a headband to it to keep from falling apart in case you didn’t braid tightly enough.
Tools needed: 2 small hair bands, optional headband (this one is Lulu Lemon and actually fits my large head!)
Note/to-do: Haha, it’s cute if you thought you were going to get a tutorial on how to French braid. At 27 years old, I still don’t do it correctly (always do them backwards, somehow? Maybe just my left handedness?!), but here’s a great link on how to! After you do that, I simply slip a flat headband on (so I can still wear my Beats over it) and get my movement on!
MESSY BUN BRAID:
This is probably actually my favorite style. I’ll wear it for days at a time (thanks, dry shampoo! My favorite two affordable superwoman brands: Not Your Mother’s and Dove. Fun fact: I’ve noticed a trend where I always buy products with “volume and fullness” in the name as if my hair wasn’t enough of a lion’s mane, but hey, I’m from the Midwest/south, where we believe the bigger the hair, the closer you are to God.)
Tools needed: Just a smidge of patience, 1-2 large hair bands
Note: I used to look at this one and think “no way!,” but I promise it’s super easy.
To-do: Flip yo’ head over and gather a small section of hair from nape of neck. Start a small French braid (yeah, scroll up again if you need help with that part), until you get about halfway up your head. I generally braid it pretty tightly, then gather the braid with rest of hair, flip my head back over, and quickly toss it all into a messy bun. Boom. Incredibly fast and messy, and yet totally cute.
Okay, fine, so this one is equally my favorite. It’s so fun and versatile (read: also a style I do when going to music festivals or needing to channel my creative side.), and probably the quickest style to complete.
Tools needed: 2 medium/large hair bands depending on hair length/thickness and a big goofy grin
To-do: Split hair in two. Gather one side into tight bun. Secure with band. Repeat. Done.
I hope these help you kill some workouts and the summer heat this season! Be sure to let me know what you think or if you have more suggestions for great, easy workout hair!
We always hear we “should” be drinking more water, but why should we really? Here are eight quick and powerful reasons!
1. Life! We literally cannot exist without water, and we have to constantly replenish it. What else will you actually die from if you go without it for three days?! Water scarcity causes wars and hardship, while abundance can cure disease and troubles.
2. Our bodies are comprised 80% of water! The brain is roughly 85% water, the blood 80%, most tissue around 50%, and those muscles of yours: 70% water. Pretty crazy, right?
3. “You’re irreplaceable!” Sure, fruits and veggies get you a bit of water, but there’s nothing compared to water itself to help nourish you. Other liquids, especially those with caffeine or liquor, actually dehydrate you.
4. It plays an essential role in clarity and mental focus. Just a 2% drop in your body water level can trigger things like difficulty focusing, mental fuzziness, and trouble with basic fine motor skills or math.
5. It’s the natural “detox” and immune support. Water naturally clears waste out of your system and keeps your cells hydrated enough to fight off disease. Water helps keep your system balanced and nourished properly.
6. Cir-cu-late! Water and high levels of hydration keep your energy levels high. When you’re better hydrated your oxygen levels are actually higher in your body, so hello to better workouts, better mood, and a better day overall!
7. Cool it! Water is your body’s natural cooling system! Your body will absorb 8 ounces of water within 15 minutes, so it’s imperative when there’s any sort of stress on the body. We mostly think of this in the heat, but don’t forget it’s equally important when it’s cold outside (that’s stressful on your body, too!).
8. The ultimate transporter Water is the magic behind transporting waste and stored fat out of our system, as well as metabolizes and moves the protein and carbs that we eat. Choo choooooo…
Other helpful tips:
-Use the “pee test.” In general, if your urine is clear/very light yellow, you are properly hydrated. If it’s darker, get yourself to that water fountain!
-The standard we hear about water is 8 glasses per day, but that truly varies from individual to individual. A more consistent number to shoot for is: divide your weight in pounds by two, drink that amount of water in ounces each day.
-For your personalized Hydration Challenge based on your weight and activity level, email Laura at email@example.com
Ahh, resistance bands. My favorite versatile piece of workout equipment! Whether you're traveling and don't have room to pack anything/a hotel gym, or you want a deep stretching session, or a really good workout! Yay!
For this workout, feel free to use either a long flat band (like what I'm using), or a long band with handles that you could wrap to make tighter.
Do the circuit 1-3 times depending on how good of a workout you want!
Click here to get your resistance band flow on!
I am all about cook-ahead breakfasts. As I have a lot of 4am mornings, I don't take much time to prep breakfast or get ready, so bites like this are perfect! They're incredibly easy to make, and give me a lot of protein and nutrients to start my morning!
Note: I used to do a lot of bell peppers and tomatoes but am recently on an Ayurvedic medicine based food plan where I avoid the nightshade family & add foods like turmeric to decrease inflammation in my body. Feel free to sub in whatever veggies and spices you want to make it tasty for you! :)
3/4 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup spinach
1 tbsp green onion
1 glove garlic
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4c chicken broth
Coconut oil spray
Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin pan with coconut oil spray. Combine all ingredients (except cheese) well in bowl. Pour into pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until just a tad bit brown on top. Makes 10-12 quiches. (I like to add my parmesan cheese in the morning when I warm the quiche up). 85-95 calories per muffin.
Hi lady loves! Join me for this amazing, fun day to uncover your most powerful, confident you this spring! Email me for more details on signing up!
In this Engaging Half-Day, you will Receive Four Workshops in One You'll discover:
- How to see yourself in a whole new light and cultivate your winning look!
- Five proven steps to help you organize anything.
- How to clarify your personal vision so that you can take inspired action to reach your goals.
- Fun ways to make activity a daily part of your life.
Your life is a journey and we are here to help you reach your optimal level of success.
You are a unique and amazing woman! We are here to help you enhance your Unique, Beautiful Self.
Workshop 1: Glenda Evans, Certified Professional OrganizerYour home is the cornerstone of your life.
• Would you like to find things with ease?
• Feel calmer when life is busy?
• Have time for the things that matter?
Being organized can make a difference!
Here's what you can expect in this workshop:
• Everyone is different! Do you know your Clutter Personality?
• 5 proven steps to help you organize anything
• How to tame paper clutter
• Organizing can be fun!
Glenda Evans is a Certified Professional Organizer. She specializes in hands-on organizing in homes and home offices when there’s too much stuff, nowhere to put things or lots of paper clutter. She works primarily with women who want to enjoy a greater sense of calm and order in their homes.
Workshop 2: Mary Lou Manlove, Color and Style ConsultantTake the guessing out of dressing!
See yourself in a whole new light and cultivate your winning look!
Attendees will learn:
• The basics of building a wardrobe
• How to highlight your best features with color.
• How to coordinate a mix and match wardrobe to fit into a small travel bag.
Mary Lou Manlove, Image and Color Consultant, helping women and men understand what colors and clothes to choose. What works on them and why. She creates wardrobes to get them to their goals.
Workshop 3: Kavita Melwani, M.Ed., Transformational Coach/HypnotherapistHow to effectively craft your Vision for Success and Reach your Goals for 2017• Deeply connect with and Clarify Your Vision for 2017
• Set your 2017 Goals for your Life and/or Business
• Create the mindset and erase roadblocks to reaching your goals
• Craft a plan that connects with your Authentic Vision for 2017
Manifesting your Vision comes with clarity of what you truly want. You will clarify this Vision and so that you can take inspired action to reach your Goals.
Kavita Melwani, M.Ed., Transformational Coach/Hypnotherapist
Kavita’s passion is empowering heart-centered entrepreneurs move past stress and overwhelm into a life of ease while fulfilling their dreams, desires, and goals.
Her commitment is to help her clients Transform, Connect, and Destress... Live their Blissful Success!
Workshop throughout the day: Laura Voss, Certified Personal Trainer and Health Management ConsultantLaura Voss is a certified personal trainer and health management consultant who is on fire with helping women feel their strongest and most confident. She believes strongly in the mind-body connection and how movement can help improve every part of a woman's life. Being active, whether it's through standard exercise, sports, or recreational activity is key to helping women feel more empowered every day, and Laura can't wait to show you how to do just that!
Laura will get you moving, and share fun tips on making activity a daily part of your life for your physical, mental and emotional health!
Check out one of our newest blogs on the Women's Wellness Planner website about setting amazing goals for the new year, and how to make them "SMART." (in more ways than one!) I can't wait to see all the goals you smash this year!
Happy Halloween! What better way to celebrate than with a pumpkin inspired workout?!
Complete 3 rounds of 12 of each movement!
PUMPKIN SQUATS! Keep weight in bum and heels, holding pumpkin at chest height entire time.
LUNGE + TWIST! Holding pumpkin at chest height, step forward into a lunge, keeping back tall. As you come down into lunge, exhale and twist torso toward front leg. Push off and come back to center.
PUMPKIN SWINGS! Channel your kettle bell warrior and swing pumpkin from in between legs to shoulder height, squeezing glutes and using hips to create momentum.
PLANK + LEG LIFT! Keep your weight shifted forward on pumpkin as you hold abs tight and slowly lift one leg at a time.
PUMPKIN PUSH-UPS! Keep weight shifted forward again. Complete one push-up with right hand on pumpkin, left hand on ground, then walk it over to other side and switch.
SIT UP AND REACH! Hold pumpkin in front of you and complete a sit up, then push it overhead. Bring back to core and roll back down slowly.
YOU DID IT! Have a happy Halloween! ( And a bit of chocolate!)
Because just like a little black dress is an essential in every woman’s closet, you feeling strong, confident, and powerful in your body is essential every damn day in your life.
The Little Black Dress Challenge, which I’ve been promoting nonstop (I know, I know, okay?!) was a dream of mine long before it became a reality last year.
It was an incredible journey, seeing these women completely transform, actually take time to focus on their health and well-being, and connect with other amazing ladies on a similar path. The mental and emotional growth and strength I got to witness was so, so spectacular that I have goose bumps writing about it. I can’t tell you how awesome it was to see such phenomenal women band together and stand tall. We all go through some serious sh*t in this beautiful life, and we need each other to help us see our light, our beauty, our strength. This year when prepping for it, though, I was reluctant to use such a physically focused name for the transformational challenge.
Unfortunately, the society we currently live in tends to think that any kind of fitness (or female) related challenge/goal is centered around weight loss and aesthetic measures. Obviously, I believe it’s important to be healthy physically. Period. But really, there’s a much bigger picture for me. At the end of my life, I’m not going to be like “Great job, Laura! You stayed steady at 138lb your entire adult life!”
I really hope to be like, “Damn girl, you rocked this. You helped SO many people. Empowered SO many lives. You felt strong, thankful, and happy, and you shone that onto every person you encountered.”
Physical health is really important, it truly is. But even more importantly, especially in this day and age, is making sure a woman likes who she sees in the mirror. Not what she sees in the mirror, or on the scale. It should begin and end with you, the perfect, wholly created woman you are, loving yourself. Loving your obvious strengths and beauties, and loving the ones that others have to point out for you to see.
Looking in the mirror could be something we enjoy. It could be a time for us to be like, “Dang girl! Look at you! Look at your strong legs that are going to run you around all day taking care of amazing people in your life. Look at that killer smile that lifts your soul and lights up the room. Look at those calluses you got on your hands volunteering to help those in need. Look at that freaking bruise you got when you ran into the door because you were too busy catching up and laughing with your girlfriend to see the door jam in front of you.
You know, all those things work. All those things could be things we celebrate. Because just like a little black dress is an essential in every woman’s closet, you feeling strong, confident, and powerful in your body is essential every damn day in your life. You deserve it. We all do. Nothing changes that. You rock this life. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. Don’t let anything demean it down to only the first.
So, no, it’s not a weight loss challenge. It’s not even a fitness challenge. It’s a power, strength, confidence, butt-kicking, realization, community building, damn-I-run-this-sh*t-and-love-my-life-challenge. And I cannot wait to share it with you and shine our lights on the world.
Big love, ladies,