Blogs / From Tish
Every fashion magazine, at some point, will ask you if you are classic or trendy. I fall into the classic category, except on the far extreme end of that box. I’m what you would call a “sentimentalist.” I tend to purchase classic pieces that fit in well with my timeless look so that I can continue to enable my issue. You see, I have a problem with not being able to throw stuff away. This totally bleeds into my fitness apparel drawer as well. I’ve had this one sports bra since high school (yeah, you read that correctly), and I just can’t part with it.
Let’s be clear: I think some people are a little too quick to chuck out perfectly good stuff just for the sake of consumerism. But if this was a case of a sports bra that was awesome and did its job, then I wouldn’t even be writing this post. But this is an old sports bra—way before wicking technology came along. A simpler time, when a bra didn’t even have to handle nippage. This bra supports nothing but my weird need to hang-on-to-it habit.
I usually reserve wearing this sports bra for days when I’m just hanging around the house. I know every time I put it on that I’m being a silly nut. Images of me sitting in a house of old sports bras while the folks from Hoarders interview me and hold an intervention come to mind. I cannot help it though. I see the old girl, and I think about track days and hanging out with Jenn in gym class. How could I let that go?! It’s just too sweet!
While we’re spitting truth and waxing nostalgic, I should also admit that I have the same pair of shoes I ran my marathon in…with the D-tags still attached. Some people collect purses. I collect sentimental fitness apparel…
So what would you do? Would you chuck the sports bra? Keep it? What about you? Do you have any sentimental pieces you just can’t part with? —Tish
If you would have told me five years ago that I would be a fitness fiend, I would have laughed in your face. I used to believe that gyms were for the crazy…they were for girls with eating disorders and body dysmorphia…men who wanted to look like Arnold. It amazes me how completely off I was. Where on EARTH did I learn such rubbish?! Luckily, I’ll do just about anything for my best friend Jenn. Her asking me to cover a fitness class for the LA area was a smart move that I appreciate her for making every day.
We’ve said it again and again: being a Fit Bottomed Girl is all about feeling great. Physically, I’m in the best shape of my life. I can run for long periods of time, hike with the best of them and I’m strong like ox (say that with a deep Conan-the-Barbarian-like voice). Mentally, I’m more at peace than I’ve ever been with myself and others.
Something happens to you when you fit fitness and well-being in; you start to attract the most amazing and positive people. I happened to have met my fiance in the gym. I was training for a marathon, which required me to go down to my company gym daily and run for hours. We found out quickly we were both hyper kids with a hunger for life, which meant we were both totally using fitness as a gateway into the land of energy and fun. (You can do more and be more when you feel well.) Not only does he help me get out and moving, he creates the training programs I use to stay in shape. He also works with two different groups after work: a team of men who have more than 100 pounds to lose and families who want to be healthier together. The amount of energy and support he gives them is touching and admirable. It makes me oh-so-happy that I have such a good egg in my life.
Jenn always says fitness is a gateway drug. She’s so right! First, it was a couple of classes here and there. Then, it was eating better so that the fitness classes wouldn’t kill me…then it was meditations. I started wanting to heal everything and do the best things for my body and spirit. FBG did that for me.
Without FBG I would never be the vegetable fiend that I am today. I wouldn’t have FBGisms that I spout on a daily basis. I wouldn’t feel empowered, knowing that in my heart that I can do whatever I set my mind to. FBG did all of that for me.
The FBG family is constantly thanking its contributing writers for their help but all thanks should go to them. FBG is a contagious movement that’s making my world a better, fitter, stronger, happier place.
From the bottom of my fit heart, I thank you, the readers, for encouraging us to keep bringing the goodness. It’s all just one big fit circle of support, and I love it! —Tish
Whenever Jamba hosts an event, I know I’m in for a full day of intense muscle jubilee. The first year Jenn and I attended Jamba’s day of workouts, I didn’t properly fuel, and I paid for it handsomely with fatigue and Gumby-like limb movements. This year, I tried to prepare a bit better. I made sure to get in all my workouts that Mark prescribed, drank lots and lots of water, ate the yummy breakfast that Jamba provided (see what we noshed on and Jenn’s recap here) and attempted to not give it 100,000 percent (or 11 if you’re talking to Ms. Venus Williams) at the very start of the day. I should get a pat on the back for the attempt, but those workouts still worked me to my very core!
I must talk about Broadway Bodies first because it was by far my favorite workout. (Erin was right about it!) Being that I’m an actor in LA trying to land that big, beautiful break, I found home in this one. It was love at first move. Joseph Corella, a Broadway performer and choreographer, began with Rent’s Season of Love, and I about collapsed into Jenn’s arms. We started moving to the music, and he encouraged us to sing. What?! I can be happy, loud, smile AND belt out, “Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes?”! It don’t get no betta, y’all.
The class consists of high-impact, dance cardio moves to your favorite show tunes, movie musicals, TV musicals (Glee!) and pop videos. I’m not gonna lie: I have the coordination of a drunken baby giraffe, but the music and energy was so addicting I just forgot and kept moving, which led to some awesome sweat and increased heart flutters (and it wasn’t just because we did Beyoncé poses at the end of each song.) I SO want to grab a group of people and try this class again. It’s the perfect prescription for the blues. It’s impossible not to have fun. When you find workouts like that you have to hang on tight and never let go! (And sing like you’ve never sung before; jazz-hand like you’ve never jazz-handed before!)
I cannot tell a lie. By the time Piloxing came around in our day of constant movement, I didn’t think I’d have it in me. I knew going in that it was an intense class, so I was shaking in my Nikes. But Cortney Gornall’s energy (see above) was so amazing and the moves were so easy to follow that I grabbed a third wind and started jabbing like it was the first workout of the day. I loved the music, the moves and especially the body parts the music and moves were working! In a nutshell, Piloxing is a mixture of Pilates and boxing. It’s marketed to those who want fat-torching, muscle-sculpting, core-centric interval workouts—and after experiencing 15 minutes of her program, I’d say they have it just about right on the money. When you feel the burn, oh, how the muscles churn!
My summary of Bokwa: Choreographed cardio for the coordination-challenged. I had a completely different idea in my head of what Bokwa would be, I must admit. I assumed we would be lying on the ground and making numbers and letters in the air with our legs or something similar to that; something hard and ab crazy-licious, but Bokwa couldn’t be any more different. Instead, you draw letters and numbers with your steps to the beat of some awesomesauce music. The steps are easy to learn, and the intensity isn’t super crazy. It’ll keep your heart rate up without winding you or breaking you down. I actually came home and begged my fiance to bring this class to the gym he manages. I think it’s a great beginner class for folks who want to try a cardio dance class, but are intimidated by stuff like Zumba. (Tish raises her hand.)
Let’s get one thing straight: I am by no means a dancer. Keep this in mind when I tell you how challenging the Physique 57 workout was for me. I’m not the most flexible gal. Sarah Pfeifer lead our team of newbies through a shorter version of the class. I barely made it out alive. I have no clue how people can do a full class. They’re bad-asses. That’s all I can say about that. Never, ever assume a dancer’s lean body is wimpy and weak. You have to be strong like a tank in order to master these moves.
Physique 57 combines isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches to systematically lengthen and sculpt your muscles. You use your own body weight as resistance; targeting and overloading your muscles to the point of sheer exhaustion. We did this one ab workout that made us shake like a Polaroid picture the entire time. I’m pretty sure the 57 in the workout name stands for “57 muscle pains you didn’t know you could find.” This class is for my gals who are looking to beast it out in a group environment. Ballet has never looked so gangster.
In all, I had a much better experience this time around. I love the days where we get to try a whole bunch of workouts and see what’s new in the world. You would have thought I’d hate that much activity; that it would have drained me to the point of no return, but that’s what I prepared my body to do! Just so we could share the fun with y’all.
I would love to hear from you all! Have you taken any of these classes? Have a favorite? Taking something similar you’d love to share with all of us? Sharing is caring, you know! —Tish
I never thought I’d say this, but my current gym (or rather some of the women there) are bringing out the ugly in me. How is that possible, you ask? I mean, working out breeds positive spurts of awesome that people notice and pick up on, right? So, how is it that I can leave the gym snarling?
It’s all about sharing and hoarding.
Currently my workouts consist of supersets; meaning I usually need two different workout stations to be ready and available so that I can quickly move from one muscle exercise to the other. When you work out at a public gym that’s packed with enthusiastic health fiends though, this becomes a bit challenging. The other day I was setting up my stations for some pull-ups and push-ups. I set up the bar at the Smith machine and then laid out my mat for the push-up part. Right as I was about to start at it, a lady came up and started using the Smith machine that I had obviously just prepped. I was heated! I snarled even!
And…I said nothing because I’m a passive-aggressive punk. (Guilty as charged!) I switched up the order of the workout until the machine was available. Everything worked out, but I was still wasn’t a happy camper. I’m trying to be a nice girl in the gym, but it’s hard when I’m not sure of the gym’s etiquette and how to mark equipment MC Hammer Style. (You can’t touch this!)
That’s where your help comes in. Do you think it’s fair to reserve equipment? How do you stake your territory without being rude? And what’s your pet peeve: hoarding or sharing? Superset divas beg to know. —Tish
So I had mad stress trying to figure out what animal I was. A friend suggested I should choose a cheetah because I like to run and I have big hair like Cheetara from Thunder Cats. I cracked up over that one, but big hair and an affinity for cardio wasn’t enough to make me see spots. I needed to find my true animal, like Erin and Jenn were able to do.
I tried out the spider because I have long limbs that gave me the nickname “Mama Long Legs” as a child. Plus Mark’s last name is Arana which means spider in Spanish. But it still wasn’t enough for my fitness finesse. That’s when it hit me: I’m a cat! Which is TOTALLY weird because I’m not a fan of cats at all. (I’m allergic as all get out!) Of course, I would pick an animal that brings on hives and itchy eyes for me.
Why My Fitness Spirit Animal Is a Cat
1. They’re finicky; I’m a picky one, too. I might not be a fan of cats rubbing up against my legs, but I’m super finicky like the feline species. When I don’t like something, I really don’t like it, but when I do like something I LOVE it. Jenn’s always trying to get me to try something new, but when I’ve made up my mind that it’s not my bag, it’s really hard to get me to budge. I’ll leap from time to time, but for the most part I’m a cautious one.
2. The Cheshire Cat always had a creepy grin; I get called out for smiling in class all the time. I don’t know why it’s a big deal, but whenever I smile in a workout class the instructor always calls me out for it like I’ve just done something uber creepy. I can’t help it, though. When workouts are fun, when the energy is pumping, I am a happy darn camper and I grin from ear to ear.
3. Cats don’t have a sweet tooth; I’ve never been a fan of candy. I know it’s weird, but I’ve never been a fan of candy. It makes me literally sick to my stomach. I get this hot rush in my veins, and I start to go jittery. When I was a child my mom was clever enough to tell me vegetables were candy, and I ate that lovely little lie up like it was nobody’s business. To this day, when I have the munchies I reach for vegetables.
4. Cats and cow’s milk don’t mix; I’m lactose intolerant. I’m sure everyone assumes cats will drink any sort of milk, but they’re actually a lot like me. One sip of the moo-moo juice and their stomachs are on fire. Up until my alkaline challenge, I’d still sneak some dairy here and there and worry about the consequences later. Now I stay away from it all. I once went to the hospital because I had consumed a small strawberry milkshake. It’s not worth it anymore.
So what fitness spirit animal are you most like? Does it happen to be an animal you don’t really dig? —Tish
I apologize in advance for yet another bridal-inspired rant, but I’ve noticed a trend in the wedding community that’s made my fit bottom twitch a number of times: the issue of the boot camp bride-to-be marrying and then quitting the gym like it’s a bad habit.
I’m trying to figure out why in the world this would be. Is marriage such a prize that we honor that one stinking day (wedding day) and then we can just let ourselves go because we’ve finally gotten the darn ring on our finger? Is health only a ploy to getting the guy or gal? That kind of logic makes me want to barf and then some.
Yeah, marrying my guy is something I’ve dreamed about since the minute I first knew he was the one, but I never day-dreamed about what size the dress was. Instead, I looked beyond that to years and years spent with a guy who likes to get up and play and have fun and make life better. Me working out isn’t a symptom of getting married. It’s Fit Bottomed Girl ish! I want to be fit, healthy and strong like an ox for my happily ever after.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love that getting married entices women who were never really into breaking a sweat to get active. Whatever inspires you to keep on pushing. But, ladies, don’t stop loving your fit and healthy self just because you said “I do.” I hear ridiculous logic like, “Well, I’m off the market now.” And that’s just a feminist’s nightmare if you ask me.
Mark, my fiance, manages a corporate fitness gym, and he sees it all the time. Girls go cray in the gym leading up to the wedding, and then once the day comes, it’s cricket-time at the health club. He never sees them again. That is my nightmare! I work out like a champ right now, and I plan to keep that up for the rest of my life. We women need to learn that looking like someone society has deemed acceptable can’t be and shouldn’t be the prize. The prize is years and years of active and easier living because we keep our bodies healthy and strong.
My mom keeps asking me if I’m making sure to think of the marriage and not just the wedding day. She’s worried I’m gonna be one of those gals who gets married and then says “Now what?” I’m not a “Now what?” woman! I’m a gal with a plan—and that plan involves thinking of my relationship with Mark and myself as a work in forever progress. I’m going to be moving and shaking for the rest of my happy, long life!
What about you? Have you seen this trend? What are your thoughts on post wedding fitness? —Tish
This week in celebration of Fit Bottomed Pets’ Week, each FBG is writing about her experience with pets and how they make us healthier, happier and generally more awesome.
I swear I’m the black sheep (no pun intended) out of all the FBGs. I’m the only gal who doesn’t have a pet, and it drives me insane. I’ve wanted a pup for YEARS…a small French Bulldog that I would promptly name Petunia and my life would be complete, but my fiance, as swell as he is, isn’t down with dogs at this point. So I just collect god-dogs instead. I have two actually; one in the D.C. area named Kiwi (her name alone makes me swoon since I have a thing for kiwi) and a pup here in Los Angeles named Dolly.
Dolly is one hilarious little piece of pup. She’s the craziest, cutest looking mutt I’ve ever seen. The first time I laid eyes on her, I said to her mama, “She looks like Sir Didymus!” and it stuck. She’s now my little Sir Diddy, and there’s no going back.
The thing is, people and pups always live up to their names. It’s just the rule. Yes, Dolly acts like a Dolly (feisty country singer), but she’s totally a Sir Didymus, too. She’s feisty and totally alpha female extraordinaire. I get to take her for walks when her mama can’t make it home for lunch, and that little heifer always has to be in front of me. I’ll start running, and she will take off just so she can be in the front. It’s adorable to watch the little rat run as fast as she does (definitely has some terrier in her!).
She can only run for a block before she poops out on me or stops to smell the umpteenth blade of grass along our path, but for that glorious minute, she’s sprinting and I’m sprinting and we’re a team. An awkward team, but a team nonetheless. So if you really want to run with a dog but don’t own one, you can. Just grab yourself a god-dog!
What about you? Do you borrow dogs to play with? Run with a tiny dog? Care to share ways to get them to run for more than a minute? God-dog mamas want to know! —Tish
Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves?! Why is it so hard to wake up in the morning and give a little Jessica-like loving? I don’t know the answer to this quite yet. I do know we choose people who love us the way we think we deserve to be treated…so maybe that translates to self love as well.
I’m the queen bee of negative inner chit-chat (which I’m not proud of), so I’ve been actively trying to be as kind to my body as I can muster. Right when I decided I needed to start practicing more self-love, Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge about perfect health fell serendipitously into my life. So I figured that was a good sign to start. Each day, Deepak guides listeners through a sweet and simple 15-minute meditation. My day dreaming and tangents are infamous, so if I can manage 15 peaceful minutes, I know y’all can!
I was hooked by the first mediation. Chopra discussed the perfection of the body and asked for those meditating to repeat the mantra, “I am perfection. I am healthy. I am strong.” When you’ve gone so far off the negative deep end of funk, it’s hard to remember what words work. These were perfect because they’re all something we can all say—and if you think about it hard enough, believe.
According to Chopra, we should all imagine our illnesses as a friend. And as a friend, we wouldn’t ignore her. We’d embrace her and offer her encouragement and love. When we have an ache, pain or perceived imperfection, it’s important to acknowledge those areas and offer them love. So here I am…hands resting on my legs, eyes closed, ready for some good self-sweet nothings.
What about you? Do you wake up in the morning with a positive affirmation for your body and overall health? Need some help? If you’re like me and need a bit of guidance, Deepak is your guru. —Tish
Just a reminder that this is our new feature called Workout I Did. Read them all and feel the workout love here!
Each month I meet with Nicole the trainer at my gym and we take my measurements and all that jazz to see how my workouts are coming along. This last time I plateaued, so my fiance (the trainer) decided to shake things up a bit to get my body back to making muscle like a pro. Sometimes you just have to add some zings, you know? The logical choice was introducing my body to the world of supersets. I had never heard of the darn stuff, but apparently supersets are great for muscle building.
What are supersets, you ask? Supersets are two exercises performed back to back that target opposing muscle groups (i.e. biceps then triceps…pushing and pulling). The key to supersetting, though is not resting in between the two moves, which makes for one big, say it with us now…superset! Supersets increase lactic acid production (never thought I’d want to increase that!). Plus, they’re time efficient. You’ll develop muscle more quickly, which is always a plus in my book!
Two-mile run—with intervals: For this run, I try my hardest to do 15 minutes of intervals, meaning I will run as fast as I can for one minute then come down to a jog for the next minute; repeating this until the 15 minutes are up. It is hard. Your legs will burn like fiya but according to Nicole, it kicks your metabolism up a couple notches.
Stretch: I do a round of stretches that hit all the main areas of my body, making sure to do each twice. Mark is a firm believer in stretching twice.
Superset 1: Two sets of 15 each, no rest between moves
Pull-up row with bar
Superset 2: Four sets of 10 to 12, no rest between moves
Chest press on bench
Lat Pulldown Machine
Incline chest press with dumbbells
Superset 3: Four sets of 10 to 12, no rest between moves
Back row Machine
Bicep curls standing on a Bosu
This one’s definitely a doozy! I am more sore than I care to share, but hopefully that time pays off in the form of awesomesauce arm muscles!
Have you ever tried supersets? —Tish
Seeing that the gals were so into the Oscars this year and I LIVE for all things film-related, we thought that for this Question of the Week we’d keep the movie-love going by asking each FBG: What movie motivates you to be fitter? Enjoy the responses, and be sure to leave your own fave fit movie in the comment.
I had to cheat on this one. It was first a TV series that motivated me to want to be fitter. For all my fellow Carrie Bradshaw lovers, you know what I’m talking about when I say that Sex and the City was THE breath of fresh air for oodles of women in the world. We got to see beautiful, intelligent women doing the damn thing, and talking about the damn thing, and it was damn awesome. Beyond the fashion and cosmos though, I loved seeing the girls in their fitness element.
There were fun conversations over yoga, Charlotte and her pregnant running, Miranda and her marathon training…goddess hip thrusts to all of that! I loved seeing the women getting together and making fitness such a normal part of their routine. I loved that they worked out together and that it was totally normal for them. And let’s not forget all the walking they did all over that town! Because of that show, I giggle like a school girl when any of my buds agree to try something new with me. The SATC ladies showed us that fitness could be as sweet, endearing and fabulous as we need it to be.
Do you have a movie or TV show that inspires you to be fitter? —Tish