2016 Goals #25–Clare

So last week I went out and bought fat shorts. (Not doing well in fitness or finance choices). I am still doing sun salutations every morning. And focusing on eating better. But I’ve tossed the “losing weight fish” back in the pond and said–whatever. Interestingly, I looked in the mirror yesterday and didn’t feel chunky. Weird. I also returned a few things. 

I’ve posted some things on Poshmark and EBay (so there are two thumbs up for finance and for organization). 

Auditions seem to be rolling in lately. So yay. And I’ve started writing again!  

2016 Goals update #4 Clare

This week I got the coughing cold that everyone seems to be getting–stay healthy folks!–And I had a really busy week at work, so its excuses week… I made a little progress, though.

Fitness:

I did a workout this week… but it was in hopes that I could push my cold through my body faster.  It just made me tired.

Organizing/ Cleaning:

I’ve convinced myself that I need to clear out and get rid of more of my things… so I can have room… actually doing it will be another day. But, honestly, I’m a “stuff person” so just changing my mindset to get rid of things is a huge step.   I’ll update when I actually do this–it will definitely be after I’m feeling better.

Financial:

I was failing at writing down ALL purchases by the end of January.  I need to sit down and analyze purchases with my friend.  I think I’ll make notes of February purchases as well–looking back at January, I feel like this wasn’t my normal purchasing routine… so I want to look at a second month.

Book:

I’m told I’ll have my cover art by next week!!!!!!  So exciting.  Now I just need to raise more money and get the manuscript back from the copy editor!

Agent:

I took an acting class this week with a prominent casting agent… so baby steps.

2016 Goals update #3 LL

Life is back in full swing. A wedding, work and my birthday are here. In the schedule and asking for attention. It’s easy to drop new habits to quickly handle the opportunities that arise. But, my goal is to use these opportunities to strengthen my new habits. So, a few schedule changes here and there and wah-lah. All is well and now I can enjoy the nuptials of my friend and have my birthday cake too!

Health: my yoga teacher is out of town. I took advantage of his absence by going to my friends classes.

Personal: Operation consolidation is in full swing. I am free of an extra checking account.

JobLove: Filming a workshop and submitting applications for these workshops to offer continue education credits.

If you take a look ahead you can pretty much make room for anything extra that comes your way.

xx~LL

How I Survived Spin Class

I deserve a sticker. Or a shirt that says “I survived…” Or something shiny or yummy.  I went to my first spin class!!
Ridiculous and over-dramatic, probably. But in all honesty, my third largest fear is group fitness classes at fancy gyms. I’m 100% serious; and when you figure out how to convince a small child that there is nothing under the bed, you can come back to me and my irrational fear of group fitness.

If I were analyzing myself, I would say that I probably am still suffering from some trauma(s) in a group fitness class in middle school or high school–teenage girls are mean. Something about even if you start on a level playing field in fitness, you’re still going to have lots of different abilities and levels… And because I’ve always been tall, people assume I’m athletic or want to be. Nope.  Always have had my muffin top, though.

Anyway, my Anum Cara, my soul-friend, has in the last year, transitioned his career towards group fitness-which I support 153.76%. However, I personally DON’T like working out when it feels like exercise. Take me on a hike, ice skating, swimming–no complaints. Group fitness–unless it’s seniors water ballet–count me OUT. There is something about the pressure to be “enough” in a class that my brain hates and tosses out the flight response, forget the fight–something in my past has told me fighting isn’t worth it.  I avoid group fitness classes like they’re a disease.
However, I love my friend dearly and he is amazing at supporting me, so I knew it wasn’t a choice when he turned my words against me one day and basically made it a “friend assignment” to attend one of his classes. And stay for the whole thing.


I tried to cheat. I tried to take it back. I tried to turn his words around. But, I knew I would feel guilty for the rest of my life if I didn’t TRY a spin class. And no one has died (yet) from taking one. “Yet” being the operative word I hoped didn’t pertain to me.

Here’s my timeline.
A month before: I accidentally say I’ll go to a class.
I recount the conversation to my mother, my friends, my boss, LL…none of who have the appropriate response: to pity me or to tell me that I shouldn’t go–in fact the opposite happened. Everyone told me to go; most told me I would probably die.

Two weeks before: I commit to taking a class, sending a confirmation text to my friend on Sunday. Class is Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday are brutal at work. I have not had a response text that I can take the class. In the middle of my happy dance that I was off the hook, my friend texts and says he can’t wait to see me in class the next day. Ugh. DOUBLE GUILT. I beg off promising I’ll come the week after the holiday break. Thinking I’ll go off to the beach, swim a lot, be more fit which equals less chance I’ll die. He says ok.  I breathe a huge sigh.  Maybe bad weather will ground me in the Dominican Republic and I’ll never make it home.


A day before:
I made it home a day ago. I realize I’m an idiot for promising to go this week. I didn’t get as fit as I would have liked, was on a bit of a detox, and mom was leaving at 3am the morning I was taking class…so I had two 4 hour naps.

Day of:
At 3am I help mom down the 4 flights of stairs to my apartment and into a car to the airport. When my second alarm goes off at 8, I limit myself to one cup of coffee because the less awake I am, the less I will feel pain. And my impending death-by-stationary-bike. I try on two different workout outfits–why? Because I was going to a fancy gym and I didn’t want to look out of place. I can fake a lot of things, and I’ve learned a good costume will get you far.
I wait in the lobby, hands shaking (I’m not being sarcastic or funny, my hands were shaking) while texting my friend to get further instructions. I felt like a needy jerk at this point, and was terrified. He texted back to sign in and make my way to the classroom. I think I hid my terror pretty well when I signed in and handed my coat to coat check.
Trying to take deep breaths and not panic while I was descending the stairs, and also wondering when life would start to flash by my eyes.
I got to the room to find it almost full-I hate being late. Luckily a bike was reserved for me. But my panic starts to overwhelm me.  I turn into a giant needy baby, just trying to control the shaking in my hands.  Looking back at that moment, my friend the instructor, was lovely, and adjusted my bike and talked me through putting my feet in the straps–seriously, he had to give me step by step instructions on how to put my feet in stirrups. The struggle was real.

5 minutes in: Head down, listening to the music, I pedal.  Hands are still shaking.  I’m sure everyone is judging me.  If I don’t make eye contact with any of them, I can pretend they’re not judging.

10 minutes in: Life is still not flashing before my eyes, and my hands have stopped shaking. I’m not happy, but I’m surviving.


20 minutes in:  The older ladies who are at least twice my age are doing better than I am.  I can’t stand on the bike for more than 15 seconds.  I want to cry.  No, worse: I want to jump off the bike and run out of the room.  I seriously contemplate leaving.  The only thing stopping me is that I KNOW it would be upsetting to my friend.  So, I woman up, and keep pedaling.

35 minutes in: I’ve slowed way down.  I’m still trying not to make eye contact with anyone, especially my instructor friend.  I’m telling myself that if I don’t cry I can have a donut after class.  (SERIOUSLY who puts a donut shop next to a gym?!?–someone who knew I was coming apparently.)

38 minutes in: for the last 3 minutes we are told to go as far as we can.  I pedal.  With a minute left, I’m not far from a mile… so I push, and right as 3 minutes ends, I hit a mile.  WOOOHOO!


We cool down.  I stretch. I feel like my legs are tied to cement pylons.  The pain in my legs and the pride that I did a mile at the end make me forget about all of my insecurities.  Shaking has moved to my legs now, but I’m sure that is healthy muscle stuff.  I walk up to my friend, when my legs allow me.  My lack of coffee leads me to answer way too bluntly when he asks if I had fun in class with: “NOPE.  But I’m sure I’ll remember it fondly.” Whoops.

After class I get my donut and coffee and head back across town to my apartment to meet up with LL to take pictures for the blog.  I suddenly become happy because I now have a whole different realm of conversation to have with my instructor friend AND LL!  My badge of honor is the ability to complain about the pains of working out for AT LEAST the next 48 hours.  Everyone tells me they’re proud of me.  No one is surprised that my toosh hurts.  For two days.

Somewhere in the following week, I somehow get talked into taking a second class… from a few people, several offer to go WITH me.  I never thought THAT would happen.  UGH.  Here we are again.  The cycle (no pun intended) starts over–I think to myself. Hopefully, my hands won’t shake when I enter the class.

Last week, as it happens… I went again.  This time, I got there early.  I adjusted the bike myself.  The instructor friend had to put my pedals on for me, though.  And I’m happy to say I made it to 32 minutes before wanting to cry, and at no time did I want to jump off the bike and run out of class.  AND, bonus, my toosh didn’t hurt at all this time.

My fear of group fitness classes is far from being quelled, but I’m no longer afraid of my friend’s spin class.  I might even go again.  (But, maybe don’t tell him…it will be our secret for now.)

That night, I went home and made myself a deluxe grilled cheese with lots of butter AND bacon grease.  YUM.  And I don’t feel guilty one bit, because as Michael says at the end of every class: he doesn’t like good choices, he likes fun ones, so make some fun choices.


–Clare

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Love the Skin You’re In 

I get it! Working out is hard. Some days are easier than others. Some days you have to drag yourself to the gym or out the door for a walk. Some days you want to throw in the towel and eat a bucket of ice cream and binge watch House of Cards. Stop! Put the spoon down. Watch an episode of HOC, not the entire season. Save some for later and get moving. Why? Because you’ll feel better.

Yes, some days are tougher than others but move anyways. If you don’t it’ll just be harder the next day. You’ll just be putting off your health. It’s a fact you rest, you rust. Move it or lose it. This year I set out to “Love the Skin I’m In”. As I wrote about in Desires,  I started out setting all my goals as Desires instead.  At the end of 2014, I decided how I wanted to feel this year. The decision I made: I want to love every inch of me. Part of that decision is feeling strong and healthy. Working out is a huge part of this desire. However, some days my alarm goes off and I have no idea what day it is or why I’m getting up. I have to fall out of bed, away from my snooze button, so that I get out the door. I may drag my feet to the corner to meet my exercise buddy for our run, but 33-35min later I’m thrilled I did. Iced coffee in hand, walking home, I’m ready to take on the day!

Since the first I’ve been holding myself accountable to difference fitness modalities. I did thirty-three days of yoga at the beginning of the year. Committed to running four times a week, Pilates three times a week, and a session with my trainer. Yes, it sounds like a lot but it’s not bad. My workouts are so important in achieving my desire that they are in my calendar already.  I schedule everything else around it. After all, not only is it good for my health but it’s key to helping me to love the skin I’m in.

I so proud and blessed to say that it’s still the beginning of the year and everyday I love the skin I’m in more and more. I’m challenging my body. I’m stronger I look and feel better. I feel sexy. All because I set a goal/desire and took action towards it. As a Pilates instructor I know so many of you hate the gym, don’t like to workout. Are super busy. I hate to break it to you. You get one body. That’s it! One. You’re in it! Would you rather drive around a clunker that has squealing breaks or bad alignment? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I urge you to find a workout that makes you happy. Challenges you from your soul, outwards.

Need an inspirational workout? Check out Sean Hayes doing his moving for the day. What? You don’t have a trampoline in your home? Here are some easy tips to get your body moving and have fun while doing it:

  1. Grab a workout buddy: Ideally someone who won’t cancel on you. Someone who wants to even work harder than you a little to hold you accountable.
  2. Join a gym, yoga studio, cycling studio: having to pay for a membership puts value on it and makes it harder to just do nothing. Similar to the workout buddy the membership becomes your monetary accountability partner.
  3. Check out local teams or meetup groups for fitness and join groups or sports teams.

No funds. No gym. NO EXCUSES! You think I am going to let you work, eat, sleep and repeat? No way. You’re too awesome for that. Besides, you rest you rust! Seriously. When I think about rust I remember this old wheelbarrow out in the back yard where I grew up. Do you really want to become and old wheelbarrow? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  1. Download an app, join an online workout site: Pact is working for Clare. I love PilatesAnytime.com, yogaglo.com and the dailyburn.com or popsugar.com or just google! Google know’s everything and can help you find something that moves you.
  2. Start small and add in as needed. If you have not had a regular fitness routine pick something you like and try to do it a couple times this week. As you get used to adding things to the calendar add more movement. Slowly progressing into the schedule you need to hit the goals you have. Go on, get up and shake a tail feather and love the skin your in.

What’s your favorite way to workout? I love Pilates Yoga and Running.  Leave us a comment and let us know how you plan to Love the Skin You’re In!

Xx~LL

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Transitions

Recently, I was taking a Pilates class and the instructor emphasized how important the transitions are.  I know Pilates, Transitions…sounds like I’m trying to get you to exercise, but let me explain.  In Pilates, there are several key principles; one of them is “Flow.” Each exercise should shift from one to the next so that the person doing them never actually stops moving.  Often, we throw away the importance of that movement from one exercise to the next: the transitions. When practicing Pilates, instead of lifting both feet at the same time keeping our abdominals on, we can also slide our feet into position or do one at a time. Why? It’s easier. We subconsciously want a break. We just didn’t know we wanted a break from the movement.  Whatever the reason may be for ditching the transition or keeping the principle of flow in mind the out come is the same. We didn’t utilize the transitions from point A to point B to the fullest. For their intended purpose.

Ok, why am I talking to you about Pilates transitions? Simple! In life we go through transitions all the time. There are times between the moments, events and/or goals that we miss. Skip or even complain about. These times we have names for: lulls, ruts, bad days, retrogrades, etc. You with me yet?

As the one year mark has finally arrived, the day that I became single, I thought back to all the transitions I have been through this past year. The transitions I am still going through. Guess what…even though at the time I endured what I had to, I am so thankful for each one of them. Even the ones that made me cry.  In fact, today I am declaring that all life transitions be welcomed and celebrated as much as the peaks in our lives.

In one year I have: moved (4 guest homes and one apartment), furnished a whole apartment (I moved clothes, an antique trunk and my grandma’s china), the studio I taught my clients out of closed (had to find a new home for them), I totaled my car (leaving the Ex’s home thank you universe for making sure I was well aware I needed to stay away from the valley) adopted a dog and sadly, buried her, published a book, won Best of Los Angeles Magazine Pilates Instructor, transferred studio manager locations, won a half marathon and walked in one (never have walked in a race in my life), went to Colorado five times, New York twice, traveled to Florida, Vancouver and San Francisco alone. Of course I did so much more in this past year. I hit goals, I can now do unassisted pull ups. I was selected by my company to teach my workshops in Colorado, San Diego and Los Angeles. I have dated winners, whiners and men who were not for me. I have made friendships I never would have, gone to restaurants that never could have been and enjoyed trials and errors that often make me smile and their ridiculousness. Its been a lot.

Here I sit after all of the good and the bad, happy as a clam, stronger than I ever knew was possible and while I feel like I am constantly in transition these days. I know now that this part of the journey is just as important as the place I will arrive. Which of course makes me wonder—do I ever want to arrive? What does that mean and then where shall I go after I have arrived? But let’s save that rabbit hole for another posting.

Today, I challenge you to enjoy your transitions. Yes, even the ones that make you cry. When you find yourself saying you are in a rut, having a bad day or feeling stagnant observe it. What should you be learning from it? How far have you come from where you were? Instead of jumping from peak to peak, enjoy the hike in between. Take in the views.  When you are feeling like crying, that its been a seven year transition and you’re just wondering WHEN it’ll be over. Lay on the ground, open your palms and get as heavy as you can with mother earth. Literally, get grounded. Eat warm soups, drink hot tea and fill full. Then take a look at your world from a different perspective. What’s rocking and what’s rolling? What makes you smile and what makes you frown?

Without these challenges, how would we know how strong we are? How far we have come? How much can we can handle and bounce back? Thank the Universe for these transitions, I do. I would have no idea what I could survive with out them. Sure, it would have been nice to not total my car and lose my dog.  But, I also negotiated my own car lease and had more friends reach out to comfort me than I probably get to see in a year!

If we take the moment to enjoy the transitions we may just see how lucky we are and how blessed we are to be the high times. I have decided to OWN being in transition.  Recently, when a male suitor was over trying to make dinner in my small kitchen, he mentioned that I didn’t have much in the way of cookware (a strainer, more than one bowl, knives) I am still living without. I declared: I am a Work in Progress, don’t be jealous!

It’s been one heck of a year. I must enjoy, welcome, take in the different transitions the Universe has in store for me. They are gifts. I will continually be transitioning, as will you. Just remember a transition doesn’t last forever and its only the movement from one position to the next.

LL