braveWORDS

Flex your brain muscles and find your daily dose of inspiration.

A healthy body starts from the inside out. Find inspiration through our brave words.

MondayMantra + Brave Body Project X Puma Event Photos!

rsz_dsc_9989

Monday Mantra: We are stronger together than we are alone.

Hey BBP fam!  What a weekend!!!!  We had SO much fun with all the brave babes that came to sweat with us at the Brave Body Project X Puma NYC Pop Up Event at The Benjamin Hotel.  It was great to see our veteran BBP members and meet some new faces.

Thank you all for sharing your strength, sweat, laughs and hard work with us.  We had so much fun, we can’t wait to see you again.  We hope you enjoy your complimentary Brave Body Project membership and Puma swag bag.

Have photos from the event you want to share?  Use the hashtag #bravebodyproject on Instagram so we can see!

Have a great week and stay tuned for details about our next event!

Be brave,

Amber + Lindsey

 

FullSizeRender-2

rsz_1fullsizerender

rsz_dsc_9823

rsz_fullsizerender-2

rsz_fullsizerender-1

FullSizeRender copyFullSizeRender

IMG_2848

FullSizeRender-1

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender copy

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Choose the path that brings you joy.

Hey BBP family!  It’s the final week of our #5k5day run challenge!

IMG_2522

 

It hasn’t been easy but so many of you have inspired us with every step you’ve taken! We have one week left and we want to challenge you to change it up and HAVE FUN.  No matter what workout you take on, try to switch it up!

How? Find new ways to tackle those 3.1 miles by trying out intervals on the treadmill or maybe even a steady pace to test your endurance.  Add in some strength training into your workout, throw in 5 minutes of abs at the end of your sweat sesh, or why not grab a friend and hit up a hot yoga class to give that body some love for all the hard work you have done this month.

Have a great week BBP babes!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Today is the beginning of whatever you want.

Hey BBP fam!  Happy 2017!  We hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year.  We firmly believe in setting intentions instead of resolutions.  Resolutions can be tricky because overdoing your wish list for the year can leave you feeling disappointed if you don’t follow through.  We believe that setting your intentions for the year combined with small, attainable monthly goals will set you up for success and push you towards being the bravest, most bad-assed version of you-you can be.

IMG_0312

Here’s what we’re doing for the month of January.  Let’s do this together!

  1. Join us in our January #5k5day challenge.  The rules are simple: Over the next 4 weeks, do a 5k run (3.1 miles) 5 days out of the week.  We’ll be running alongside you and each week we’ll give you our favorite tips and tricks to avoid burnout and motivation to keep you moving.  Use the hashtag #5k5day and #bravebodyproject on Instagram so we can cheer you on!
  2. Plan your meals and keep a log of what you eat and drink.  Give your body a little TLC by taking a few minutes at the beginning of the week to plan and prep your meals.  Keep a simple food log and review it at the end of the week.  Looking at the big picture will help you monitor your food habits and show you how to adjust some less-than-healthy choices.
  3. Find your sweat sister.  We believe that we’re stronger together than we are alone.  Find a fitness loving gal pal and commit to sweating together for the month.  You’ll be less likely to skip out on your workout if you have a friend there to help hold you accountable.

IMG_0292

We want to be your sisters in sweat!  That’s why we’re giving you two weeks FREE when you purchase your Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!

With our vault of over 70 quick, easy to follow and (we’re being honest here) SUPER-sweaty-butt-kicking workout videos we solemnly swear you’ll be obsessed with the results of your BBP membership. Online tools to track your progress? You got it. Help/support/advice when you need it? Absolutely. All of this for a dollar a day? YES.

IMG_0325

 

Click HERE and use the code BRAVENEWYOU2 at checkout to get two complimentary weeks when you purchase your membership!

Happy New Year BBP family!  Let’s start 2017 off with a bang!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: I choose joy.

IMG_9997

We’re keeping today’s Monday Mantra simple in word but powerful in spirit.  I choose joy. 

Choosing joy isn’t as simple as waking up in the morning and saying “Today I’m going to be happy and everything is going to be perfect.”  You need to work for it.  That’s why this week, we’re putting all of our focus on cultivating habits and practices that will increase our joy.

How?

Start by reminding yourself about the good things in your life and the wonderful people in it. Create a daily gratitude log, send a card to a loved one just because, pay it forward and buy a coffee for the person behind you in line.  Finding little pieces of joy in your life will keep that good energy going all day.

Have a great week, BBP fam!

Be brave,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

braveWORDS: My Meditation Rollercoaster

As part of the Energize pillar of the BBP Holiday Hustle, Lindsey is highjacking the blog to talk about how her experience with meditation. Starting it, stopping it, and picking it back up again.

rsz_120160319_bravebody-798-layers_web

My introduction to meditation came about 2 years ago in January.  I was still recovering from ACL reconstruction surgery, I had packed on 15 pounds because I couldn’t exercise, I had just finished a grueling 4 months of filming WorkOut New York for Bravo TV, and the experience and the stress of my current situation, my current life – left me reeling with anxiety. 

It wasn’t until I went home that Christmas and in passing my aunt said to me “Are you ok?  I can tell there’s something wrong. It feels like you’ve lost your spark.” That sent me off the deep end.  And she was right.  Something – many things, just weren’t right.  I wasn’t myself and I could feel it.  I had to do something about it.

I had considered meditation for some time now and in my internet searching, found former showgirl turned meditation teacher, Emily Fletcher had created a company called Ziva Meditation.  I was intrigued.  I rustled up some courage and went to the intro talk.  She wasn’t what you’d assume a meditation teacher to look like.  There was no long beard, no drapey costume.  She just seemed like a normal New York City gal but she was radiating with energy.  She seemed sublimely happy.  I wanted that.

I signed up for the course and over the next 4 days I was thrust into the unknown world of meditation. The type of meditation I was practicing – Vedic Meditation, was the perfect option for me.  It’s built for people who lead busy lives (isn’t that all of us?) and requires you sit with your back supported, head free and eyes closed two times a day for 20 minutes.  At first, I was skeptical of the time commitment, but I wasn’t being asked to go full on Eat-Pray-Love-monk-in-the-mountains level of commitment so I said ok.   Like any New Yorker, I’m always tight on time and committing to sitting still and closing my eyes for 40 minutes a day was asking a lot.  But I did it.  I found quiet places to meditate.  Churches, hallway closets, even the subway.  I was committed.   In just a couple of weeks, I noticed a HUGE difference in my anxiety.  Suddenly, things that would send me into a panic attack weren’t affecting me anymore.  I was sleeping better.  I was becoming more creative in my job.  I was just a much nicer, more pleasant person.

I stayed on the meditation train strong and full speed ahead for about 6 months.  It was then that I started to slack.  Life got in the way and sleeping an extra 5 minutes seemed like a better option.  I wouldn’t make time for myself in the morning.  I thought, well if I missed the first one what’s the point.  Or I’d slack and skip my second meditation.  Before I knew it, skipping one meditation turned into skipping a day, which turned into skipping a weekend which turned into skipping a month.  Before I knew it, I had let “life” take back over and that didn’t include meditation.

Since I stopped meditation, I’ve been thinking about it almost every day.  It’s like that nagging thing on your to-do list that requires a little more of your attention so it keeps getting put off.  For almost a year I’ve found an excuse to put it off.  I don’t have time, I don’t have the patience – all things that would point to the fact that I DEFINITELY should be meditating.   Lately, I had been thinking about it much more often to the point where I would look up a time to go back to Ziva Meditation for a refresher.  For some reason, sitting down, closing my eyes and repeating a mantra for 20 minutes wasn’t something I could do all by myself.  I needed someone to tell me to do it.  I realized I had anxiety about starting to meditate again.  Talk about an oxymoron.

I’m not sure how it happened but last Sunday I woke up and did it.  I just decided to do it right then and there.  I sat down.  I crossed my legs.  I sat up tall.  And I just closed my eyes.  I just did it.  But getting there, to that spot where my legs crossed, my eyes closed, to just sat there in silence with nothing but my thoughts and my mantra….it took over a year to get there.  I let thoughts come and go.  I started thinking about how I had to blog about this.  I told myself to stop thinking about that. And then I would go back to the mantra.  I did it for 20 minutes.  I opened my eyes.  And I felt this great sense of something.  Peace? Clarity? Joy?  A combination of all three maybe?  I woke up and decided that today was the day.  And so it was.

Why was it so hard for me to start again?  To pick the practice back up?  I think I had reached a point where feeling just “ok” during the day wasn’t good enough for me.  The anxiety, the stress, the panic – they weren’t welcome visitors in my home anymore.  I decided enough was enough.  I took control back.

What I’m getting at here is: no person can make you WANT to do something.  It doesn’t matter how much you’re pushed, how many times you’re encouraged, how many times you say “I really should do this today.”  You won’t until you will.  You’re not ready until you are.  And it usually happens in the quietest ways.  It doesn’t happen by creating an event in your calendar or setting an alarm on your phone.  How many times do we do that and fail?  You can set your alarm clock 10000 times in the morning to wake up and do the things you’re supposed to do:  finish writing your book, brainstorm a new idea for work, workout… but if the inspiration isn’t there, then neither are you.

Since sitting down on and meditating last Sunday I’ve meditated almost every single day, 2 times a day for 20 minutes.  The difference this time?  I’m not being so hard on myself.  I think the greatest reason I failed before was I felt like if I didn’t commit 100% – if I wasn’t the perfect meditator – then what was the point at all?  It was all or nothing.  This time I’m approaching it slightly less intensely.  I’ve found that being a little softer on myself has made me more excited to actually do it.  If I miss a day I’m not going to throw the whole practice out the window, I’m just going to pick it back up the next day.  Simple as that.

Be brave,

Lindsey

P.S. – Want to try meditation but don’t know where to start?  I would HIGHLY recommend Emily Fletcher and Ziva Meditation.  Don’t live in New York?  Never fear.  She’s created ZivaMind – an online course that will teach you how to meditate right at home.

Show comments

The BBP Holiday Hustle is HERE!

The BBP Holiday Hustle is BACK and we have a lot of fun things planned for our BBP fam over the next couple of months.   The is a 2-month challenge will help keep you accountable in all areas of your life from now until next year.  We’re focusing on 3 pillars of health we believe are most important to maintain a healthy body and mind.  The 3 pillars are:

  Strengthen  /  Nourish /  Energize

 

The Strengthen Pillar focuses on cultivating and maintaining a powerful body through the holidays.  We want you to be able to count on us to help you get your body moving, even when you feel like you’re crunched for time.  Today marks the start of the #BBP21DaysOfSweat Challenge!

IMG_2484

Make sure you post a photo TODAY on Instagram to tell us you’re up for the challenge!  Share with us who or what you’re dedicating your 21 days of sweat to, hashtag #BBPHolidayHustle and #BBP21DaysOfSweat and you’ll be in the running to win some amazing prizes from BBP and Puma! Click HERE to watch the Vlog and find out more about the contest.

 

The Nourish Pillar focuses on filling your body with food that will satisfy, satiate and empower you through the holidays.  We’ll give you tips to avoid overindulging and focus on foods and recipes that will comfort and satisfy you without packing extra calories on your plate.

rsz_20160319_bravebody-555-layers_web

The Energize Pillar focuses on pulling  back to a place of peace, calm and gratitude during the holidays. With extra family time, long shopping lines, and money woes the holidays can bring, it’s easy to forget to breathe.  We’ll explore practices that will help you avoid holiday burnout and stress through meditation, practices of gratitude and moments of mindfulness.

This week’s Monday Mantra is: “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ~Amit Ray

Starting today, right at this moment we want you to stop, take a breath and be present.  Be present in your workout by putting your phone away and focusing just on you.  Be present while you eat by stopping to actually savor your food and enjoy your meal instead of  rush through it.  Find moments of mindfulness in your day where you can simply sit, breathe and enjoy what’s happening in your life at this very moment.

rsz_20160319_bravebody-686-layers_web (1)

Putting a special focus on these 3 areas in your life will motivate you to stay healthy, satisfied and calm during this wonderful season.  Make the commitment with us to have the healthiest and happiest holiday season yet.  Feeling festive?  Share it! Join in on the fun on Instagram using our hashtag #BBPHolidayHustle!

Have you checked out the BBP Online Fitness Membership? 

BRAVE BODY PROJET

With our vault of over 70 quick, easy to follow and (we’re being honest here) SUPER-sweaty-butt-kicking workout videos we solemnly swear you’ll be obsessed with the results of your BBP membership. Online tools to track your progress? You got it. Help/support/advice when you need it? Absolutely. All of this for a dollar a day? YES.

Click HERE and use the code NEWBRAVE4FREE at checkout to get two complimentary weeks when you purchase your membership!

Stay brave friends!

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

The #BBP21DaysOfSweat Challenge + Holiday Hustle Kickoff starts Monday!

We love this time of year most of all – the parties, the festive food, the comfort and joy of being with friends and family, the excitement the new year brings – how can you not love it!  But with the holidays comes some stress – your workouts are replaced with shopping trips, your quiet mornings have turned into list-making, task-doing frenzies, and your usually healthy eating habits have taken a backseat to all things labeled Pumpkin Spice.  We get it.  We’re with you.

That’s why we’re bringing back the Brave Body Project Holiday Hustle: a 2-month challenge to keep your accountable from now until the end of the year by focusing on 3 pillars of health we believe are most important to maintain a healthy body and mind: Strengthen, Nourish and Energize.  Over the next two months, we have SO much in store to keep you on track and have fun doing it.  The BBP Holiday Hustle officially kicks off this Monday, November 7th and what better way to kick it off than a sweat challenge sponsored by the amazing team at Puma!  Ladies and gents, we present to you….

 

IMG_2484

 The #BBP21DaysofSweat challenge begins on November 7th and will run through November 28th.  The rules are simple!  To qualify to win some amazing prizes from Puma and Brave Body Project all you have to do is:

1. Tell us you’re in.  This Monday, November 7th snap a photo and put it on Instagram to tell us you’re up for the challenge.  Dedicate your 21-days of sweat to a person or a thing that inspires you.  The month of November always bring a reminder of all the wonderful things to be grateful for in life… why not dedicate your sweat sessions to that!  We guarantee you’ll be more motivated and excited to sweat it out every day.

2. Log your sweat.  Run, take a spin class, do a boot camp, or take a yoga class and tally your hours each week.  Are you part of the BBP Online Fitness Membership?  If you are, you’ll get one extra hour of sweat added to your tally courtesy of us! (Use the code NEWBRAVE4FREE and get 14-days FREE when you purchase a membership! Click HERE and sign up!)

3. Share your sweat log on Instagram.  Each Friday for the next 3 weeks, post a sweaty selfie sharing how you got your sweat on and how many hours of sweat you tallied.  Use the hashtags #BBP21DaysofSweat and #BBPHolidayHustle so we can keep track!

How simple is that?! We’ll be giving a special prize to the participants who’ve logged the most sweat hours at the halfway mark of the challenge and the top male and female winners will receive a SERIOUSLY amazing prize courtesy of BBP and Puma.

So… are you in?  Share this with your family and friends and get them involved!  The more the merrier!  We’ll check back in with you on Monday and share more of what’s in store for you during this years BBP Holiday Hustle!

Be brave babes!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

 

 

 

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Find out who you are and do it on purpose.

IMG_9273

We’ve got to thank Dolly Parton for this quote.  It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it?

The best part about YOU is that you’re unique.  You are unlike anyone else.  You bring something special and new to the world each day.  Your perspective, your energy, your weirdness – that’s what makes you… YOU!

This week we want you to show up and be unapologetically 100% YOU.  Because being who you are and doing it on purpose?  We think that’s pretty brave.

Have a great week BBP fam!

Be brave,

Amber + Lindsey

P.S.

Are you signed up for the Brave Body Project newsletter?  Click HERE to add your name to the list.  (Don’t worry, we’ll never flood your inbox with too much mail!)  We do have something pretty exciting we want to share with you next week!

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: The strength you need is right beside you.

rsz_img_9147

Summer has passed, fall is here and change is upon us. As we head into this new season, life can throw a lot our way. Jobs become more demanding, weather takes a toll on our bodies, and our well-being and healthy mindset can easily be thrown out the window. We feel your struggle and are all feeling the change of the season too!

Sometimes the most consistent things in our life are the people around us.  We want to challenge you to go with the change and find your strength! Look to the people around you to stay on track. Set a plan with your best friend or coworker. Go for a run every morning, hit your favorite spin class after work, then head to happy hour. Change is good. Change is fun. You’re surrounded by strength!

Have a great week BBP babes!

Be brave,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: I give myself permission to be wherever I am in life right now.

rsz_1dsc02650

If you love all things health and wellness like we do, your social media feed is probably chock full of fitness models showing you their favorite workout move or the newest açai bowl on the market.  There’s image after image of post-workout sweaty selfies, encouraging messaging reminding you to “Never give up!” and “Hustle and heart will set you apart!”  We love all the positivity and pro-wellness that’s being put out in the world (Hello, it’s a huge reason Brave Body Project exists in the first place) but recently we’re feeling a little burnt out by it.

In a recent article for The Huffington Post, Jaime Varon hits the nail on the head.  She writes:

“You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that what’s right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.”

Similarly, Jesse Israel wrote an article for Well + Good opening up about being “overwhelmed by the volume—and intensity—of hear-me-roar feel-good messages.”  He writes:

“On a particularly low day, I was at a gift shop and noticed a Hallmark card glaring at me. In a bold graphic the front of the card stated (demanded?): “Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.”

I wanted to burn it.”

We’re happy to hear other leaders in the fitness and health world speak out about this suddenly oversaturated market of be-happy-eat-kale-don’t-stop-achieve-your-dreams world.  And while we want you to eat, look and feel the best you can, we also want you to know that’s its ok to stop, breathe and simply be wherever you are in your life right now.  Because being wherever you are right now, whether it’s 5lbs overweight, unmotivated, stressed, sad, unsure of where you’re going in life – that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be.  And just like being happy, feeling super fit, feeling inspired – it all comes and goes as it should.  We are not robots.  We cannot operate at 100% all of the time.

We hope you have a great week.  We hope that you will give yourself permission to be wherever you are in life right now.  And most importantly, we hope that you will be brave in doing so.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: The more you share, the more you have.

IMG_8903-1

Happy Monday Brave Body babes!  We’re loving this week’s Monday mantra: The more you share, the more you have.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?  Sharing doesn’t necessarily have to cost you anything. And let’s be honest, sharing makes YOU feel good.   What’s one thing you could commit to sharing this week? It could be something as simple as a smile to someone on the street today.  We guarantee you’ll get one right back. And who knows? Maybe that will prompt that person so start sharing some love too.

Have a great week BBP babes!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Work hard at being awesome!

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 10.37.31 AM

Happy Labor Day Brave Body Project family! We all work so hard day in and day out at our jobs and for our families but don’t forget how hard you work on YOU! Today let’s not only celebrate the hard work you put into your jobs but also the labor of love you put into yourself to make you the awesome person you are!

Be brave,

Amber + Lindsey

 

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Don’t wait for inspiration. Pursue it.

IMG_2688

Feeling stuck in an inspiration rut?  It happens to everyone.  Here’s our advice for you:  MOVE YOUR BODY.   Right now.  Go for a run.  Jump in the ocean.  Get outdoors.  Get moving.  Doing something that will recharge your body and your mind

Doing something that will recharge your body and your mind will help you recenter and refocus yourself. Changing the state your currently in and swapping your scenery just might help you find that inspiration you’re looking for.

Have a great week Brave Body fam!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Monday Mantra: You are entirely up to you.

IMG_2629

You have the power to be and do anything you want with your body and your life. Invest in yourself. Make your body. Make your life. Make yourself. And most importantly, be brave.

Happy August Brave Body Project babes!  

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Today I will realize what’s around me.

rsz_img_5983

We wait all year for these months. The beach, the warm summer nights, the weekend escapes with friends. Enjoy it! Slow down, look around, take it in and don’t fast forward your life away. Appreciate the moments you have, the people you’re with and celebrate the time you’re in.

Have a great week BBP babes!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: I will be a catalyst for change.

IMG_9993

It seems like the news these days isn’t short on its supply of shootings, attacks, violence, and hate.  Doesn’t it?  Does your Facebook newsfeed feel more like a political debate than a place to check in with your family and friends? Are you sick and tired of seeing people argue, faceless behind their computer screens about Donald Trump vs. Hilary Clinton, the black lives matter movement, good cops vs. bad cops and more?  We are too.  And while we think it’s important to get involved in the conversation on ALL of these topics, we want you to shift your focus.  We want to urge you to be a catalyst for the change you want to see in the world.

If you’re feeling angry about the recent shootings in the news you can do more than just make an angry facebook status, right?  DO something about it.  Sign a petition.  Donate money.  Donate blood.  Donate time.  Get involved and help create the future you want to see.  Be the change.

Stressed about the next president?   Get out and vote.  Become active in your political community.  Talk to your local congressmen about what matter to you.  Be the change.

Don’t like the way something is being run in your workplace?  Don’t just gripe about the things you do like to your coworkers.  Request a meeting with management, brainstorm new ideas to fix problems, speak out.  Be the change.

YOU have the power to make change possible.  This week we want you to use your voice – at home, at work, on social media, wherever you can.  Let’s start working on a revolution of love instead of hate. Of progress instead of regression.  What’s one thing you could do today – right now – to improve a situation you feel badly about?

Have a great week BBP fam.  Be the catalyst!

Be brave,

Lindsey + Amber

 

 

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Today I will celebrate my circle.

If you follow BBP on social media, you’ll know by now that this weekend Lindsey got into a pretty serious accident when a car hit her on her bike. We’ll let her tell the rest:

FullSizeRender-1

I’m not going to make an already dramatic story more dramatic by telling you all the gory details of my accident.  I was riding my bike from one Barry’s Bootcamp studio to another. Cut to me getting whacked by a car, flying over my handlebars, backpack and sunglasses tossing in the air and me as a ragdoll hitting the pavement hard.  What I saw was my hands fly out in front of me, my sunglasses hit the pavement and then me nose dive face first into the concrete.  Then black.  To say it was one of the most horrifying and painful experiences I’ve ever been through would be an understatement.

In my shock, I immediately stood up.  Then, as I realized I was covered in blood I took a page out of Brandi Chastain’s book and ripped my shirt off, fell down to my knees and covered my face in it. Fortunately, the accident happened right by NYU Medical and within 30 seconds I had two doctors and one nurse by my side to help me.  Was this Grey’s Anatomy?  Is McDreamy about to see me laying on the ground as he’s crossing the street?  I wondered.

As I was laying on the ground, looking up at the very clear, very blue New York City sky, I wasn’t thinking about how much it would suck if I died today.  I wasn’t thinking about how my face might be mangled and never look the same.  I wasn’t thinking much about me at all.  My first thoughts went straight to the people I loved.  I knew the news of this would cause a lot of people pain, worry, and suffering and I hated that they would have to go through this.

I knew I had to call someone and tell them I had been in an accident.  I picked up my phone and gave Amber a call.  I knew I had to tell her all the important information right away. “I got into an accident.  I’m ok. I was hit by a car.  I’m ok.  I’m at 34th and 2nd.  I’m ok.”  She was out the door and on the way the second I called.

FullSizeRender-2

Can you imagine getting that phone call?  I feel like I was luckier to be on my end of the line.  The first things you feel when you hear the news that someone you love – your best friend, your mom, your brother – has been hurt?  That is fear staring you right in the face.  Your whole life changes in an instant.  But what do you do? You have no choice.  You have to be brave.  You have to show up, look fear in the eye and say “Move aside, you are in the way.”  I was lucky to have someone like Amber there to help me that day.  To sit in the ambulance with me.  To help me with paperwork.  So hold my (bloody) ankle while doctors were stitching up my face.  To sit for hours with me waiting to see what might be broken.

The biggest takeaway I have from this accident?  Life can change in a second.  And if you are fortunate enough to have people in your circle, on your team who are willing to look fear in the face and say “Not now, get out of my way”  then you are more fortunate than you can imagine.  I am fortunate enough to have a best friend like Amber, a family, friends and a community like Brave Body Project standing in my corner.  Thank you for all the support you’ve given us so far.  I might look like a member of Fight Club right now but it’s because of all of you that my spirit remains strong and I will continue having the courage to move forward knowing you’re all right behind me.  Today I celebrate life and all of the amazing people who are in it with me.

Be brave,

Lindsey

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: There is no finish line so enjoy the journey.

rsz_img_8781

Happy Monday Brave Body Project babes!  We’re coming up on the final week of the Brave Buddy Run Challenge!  Can you believe how many miles you’ve logged onto your sneakers in the past 27 days?!  You’ve had bad days, you’ve had good days, some runs have felt like torture while others have felt like a breeze.  You’ve tackled long flat roads, hills, hot day time runs and chilly night time runs.  You’ve done it all.

rsz_img_8857

And while the end to this challenge may be coming this week, we want to remind you this is definitely not the ultimate finish line.   Yes, you will cross the proverbial finish line with us this Thursday and tally up your miles for the month (and maybe even win some awesome swag from Puma!) but it’s not about the finish line, is it?  It’s about the adventure to get there.  Think of how your body has changed over the past 30 days.  Are you stronger?  Faster?  Do you have more energy?  Has your outlook changed on running?  Maybe this challenge helped you realize that you’re much stronger than you think.  We have a feeling it did.

rsz_img_8908

Whether you’re running with us this month or not, this Monday Mantra can serve as a great reminder for everyone.  Ultimately, there is no finish line in life.  Every end, every bench mark in your life is just the beginning a new adventure.  So yes, keep running towards your goals full speed ahead but don’t go so fast that you miss all the beautiful things happening around you in the process.

Have a great week! Be brave.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber 

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Today I will celebrate all victories big and small.

FullSizeRender

We’re about 2/3rds of the way through the ‪#‎BraveBuddyRunChallenge‬ with Puma and we want to remind you today, whether you’re doing the challenge with us or not to stop and celebrate anything you’re proud of, big or small.

Today let’s recognize and appreciate our daily progress and our commitment to getting better, stronger, faster, smarter, and kinder.

What’s one small victory you can celebrate today?

Let us know, we love a reason to party.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Today I will show gratitude in everything I do.

Gratitude

In the wake of the tragic Orlando nightclub shooting, we can’t help but take a step back and pause.  We get so wrapped up in our day to day lives, in the work deadlines, the business meetings, the never ending list of items waiting to be checked off our increasingly busy schedules.  It’s unfortunate that it takes something this big, this horrible to make us stop and reevaluate our own lives but it also serves as a harsh reminder that life is beautiful but fleeting.

What happened in Orlando could happen to anyone, anywhere.  That could have been your husband, your wife, your best friend.  It could have been you.  And what’s equally important to remember is that IS someone’s husband, someone’s wife, someone’s best friend.  We send our love and support to the victims of this horrific crime and the LGBT community.

This week we put the focus on gratitude.  We’re halfway through the #BraveBuddyRunChallenge and we’re so impressed by the hard work and dedication everyone has given to the challenge so far.  We want to be grateful for every step you take.  Every mile you log.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, how long or short your run is.  You have a body, you have two legs and you have the ability to put one foot in front of the other.  Never take that for granted.

IMG_9015

Later this week, we’ll send a Vlog your way about the lessons we learned while running the NYRR Mini 10k and on Friday we have a special surprise for everyone participating in the run challenge!

Get out there and spread some extra love today.  Everyone needs more of it in their lives.

Be brave,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: “Your speed doesn’t matter. Forward is forward.”

FullSizeRender

We’re still in the first week of the Brave Buddy Team Faster Run Challenge and we’re LOVING the dedication and hard work all our run buddies have put into it.  We’re seeing Instagram posts galore showing miles completed, happy pre-5k race faces and post-run sweaty selfies.  It’s so inspiring to see people from all over join forces to become stronger, better versions of themselves (and maybe score some Puma swag in the process.)

IMG_7029 IMG_7034

We’ve heard a lot of Brave Body Project members say:  “I don’t run.  I suck at running. I’m not a REAL runner.”  We’re here to tell you that that simply isn’t true.  Let’s redefine what it means to be a runner.

If you’re running, if you’re putting one foot in front of the other towards that finish line then you ARE a runner. Running doesn’t have anything to do with how fast you are, how long you run, or how much you run.  Fast, slow, long, short, it doesn’t matter.  What makes a runner?  You do.  

IMG_7033 IMG_7035

This week, we’re excited to share the Brave Body Project VLOG (our first VLOG guest EVER!) with a special superstar run expert!  If you’re in need of some inspiration to carry you through your Brave Buddy Run Challenge this week we’ve got you covered!  Check back in with us on Wednesday!

Lastly, your Brave Body Project gals are signed up for the NYRR Mini 10k in Central Park on Saturday, June 11th at 8:00AM and we want YOU to run with team BBP!  Sign up for the race and email us at info@bravebodyproject.com to let us know you’re in.  We’ll update you with a pre-race meet-up space for some high fives and free BBP tanks to wear during the race.  How much fun is THAT?!

IMG_7028

Alright, get out there and have a great week.  Remember your speed doesn’t matter.  Forward is forward. And we’re moving forward together.

Be brave!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: “A hero is someone who has given their life to something bigger than themselves.”

kris monday mantra

We’re wishing everyone a Happy Memorial day today and taking a moment to honor and remember all the men and women who gave their lives while serving our country.  Today, we celebrate the importance of courage and bravery.  When one person stands up and shows courage it becomes contagious.  We’re going to stand with our head a little taller, our spines a little straighter as we walk through our day today in honor of those who have done so before us.

We hope you have a fun and safe holiday today.  Get some sunshine, enjoy time with friends and family and take a moment to appreciate all you have.

Be brave.

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

11 Tips to Be Happier Starting Right Now

Amber & Lindsey Present: 11 Tips to Be Happier Starting Right Now

 

#11 – It All Starts With Your Mindset

Start “Being” rather than obsessing on what you need to be doing “next week”.  Sounds counter-intuitive but yes! Practice being present minute to minute and focus on the now…aware of your life, your breath, your senses. Remember – We are human beings not human doings. (more…)

Show comments

Monday Mantra: We can’t be what we need to be by remaining what we are.

rsz_img_4785

Your ladies here at BBP are all too familiar with feeling a comfort in our day to day lives. But that can easily make us feel unmotivated or maybe even stuck. This week we want to challenge you to add one new change or simple task to your week. Take a spin class instead of your usual run outside, plan a mid-week date with a friend, it could be as little as a call to your parents! Little changes in our day to day lives can keep us from feeling in a rut, and it may even give someone else that extra inspiration to make a change or a difference too.

Get out there and have a week full of brave choices.  We’re right there with ya.

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Today is the perfect day for a fresh start.

DSC02557

Some Mondays, (like today) we weren’t exactly ready to jump full speed ahead into a new week.   There was a laundry list of items from the previous week we still had to tend to, we were feeling off track with our workouts and we just felt like we needed one more day, a free pass, if you will until Monday hit us.

This morning, instead of stressing about the stuff we needed to get done for the week ahead we decided to stop, take a deep breath, and hit the reset button.  Today is a new day, full of possibilities and exciting opportunities.  It doesn’t have to be a day of stress and worry.  Your Monday can be anything you make of it.

Take this day, this time, right now and press the proverbial reset button.  Let go of anything you didn’t accomplish last week.  Don’t beat yourself up if you fell off track on healthy eating.  Don’t be hard on yourself if you didn’t fit all your workouts in.  This is a new week, a new day, a new moment.

Let’s get off on the right foot together.  Today is the perfect day for a fresh start.

Be brave babes.  Happy reset day!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.

Today’s Monday Mantra is:  It’s not WHAT we have in life, but WHO we have in our life that matters.  

IMG_9578

This week, we’re celebrating friendship because, well… it’s the absolute best.  Having a best friend – a person who will do absolutely anything for you without question is a special thing.  If you’re lucky enough to have a person like that in your life, never let them go.

This week, we honor the best friends in our lives.  The person who has seen you at your worst and has loved you anyways.  The person who is brutally honest and always forgiving.  The person who is by your side not just for your triumphs, but for your failures.  The person you can let down your hair with and just be you.

Cheers to friendship.  May you be lucky enough to have another weirdo just like you out there in the world.

Be brave!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

 

Show comments

WE’RE 1 YEAR OLD TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Birthday Brave Body Project!

IMG_8536

What a difference a year makes.  At this time last year, we were anxiously sitting at our computers in anticipation of the launch of our new company, Brave Body Project.  Prior to our launch, we had only scratched the surface on what our company was, who we wanted to reach out to, and how we were going to create a living, breathing, thriving company that had an impact on the fitness community.  We knew our manifesto:  Be strong.  Be inspired.  Be brave.

In our very first post, we talked about the challenges we faced while even imagining to start a company in the toughest city and the most constantly changing industry in the world.  It’s too hard.  It’s too much money.  It’s too much time.  There were so many roadblocks ready to stand in our way.  How could we do it?  Back then, there was one word that stopped us from calling it quits.

IMG_8539

Brave.

Brave.

Be brave.

We said it then and we’ll say it now.  That word still gets us every time.  We had to feel the fear of starting this company and do it anyway.  Brave through all the doubt, fear, financial woes, all the voices in our head saying we couldn’t do it.  We had to stand tall and brave our way in the direction of our desires.

IMG_8552

The push has been well worth the effort.  Over the past 12 months, we’ve experienced a bunch of amazing things.  We contributed to Shape magazine, Seventeen magazine, Self magazine, and more.  We were on a national TV show together.  We became Sweaty Betty ambassadors.  We got sponsored by Puma.  Above all, our greatest joy has come from creating our online fitness membership.

IMG_8553

We’ve been able to help people from all over the world reach their fitness goals, commit to getting healthy, and most importantly, have a community; a place that they can call home. We’ve jumped for joy at our members transformations.  We’ve (literally) shed tears over watching people who could barely do a push-up on their knees knock our a full set like it was their job.  We feel honored and grateful that we’ve been fortunate enough to help people all over the country and the world live a strong, brave life through health and fitness.

IMG_8545

At one year old, we’re still just a baby but we’ve created some pretty solid legs to stand on.  And we couldn’t have done that without each and every one of you.  Whether you’re an online member, you do our free BBP workouts,  you watch our weekly vlogs, or you just support the idea of living a brave life that defies rules and embraces courage, we thank you.

IMG_8550

Today we celebrate everyone out there living a life that’s courageous, full-hearted, and above all brave. We’re going to do our very best to keep inspiring you to continue living that life.  Cheers to many more years of Brave Body Project.

We love you.  Stay brave.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Monday Mantra: “This is the beginning of anything you want.”

braveLOOKS Hero

 

This week’s Monday Mantra is: “This is the beginning of anything you want.”

Big changes in your life can be stressful and even scary.  Moving, starting a new job or beginning a new relationship throws you outside of your comfort zone and into the unknown.  But isn’t that where the magic happens?  This week, we want you to get excited about the possibility of change.  What’s one big thing in your life you’ve been wanting to change but have been too scared or too resistant to do?

Be brave, babes.  We’re right there with you.

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: “Success is achieved by learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

111713_Lindsey Clayton-2166

This week’s Monday Mantra is: “Success is achieved by learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Let’s get uncomfortable this week. Happy Monday!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

New BBP Vlog: How to say “NO!”

 

Today we are talking about the art of saying “NO!”

When it comes to working out and achieving your fitness goals we are all too familiar with that good ol‘ book of excuses.  Saying “No” to our own excuses and deviants is one thing, but when put in front of the people we love, it’s not such an easy task. 

Get our top tips to say NOOOOO to the people who are out there to sabotage your daily fitness goals without sacrificing your relationships or losing the fun and social life you love.

#1- Social butterfly. We get it. We love a good time and we are no stranger to a happy hour with our friends. BUT we also know a happy hour can turn in o multiple happy hours and end up becoming not so happy the next day when you’re trying to get your booty to the gym.

#2- The foodie. This is the person that tries to convince you to go against your nutritional goals.  We love a slice of pizza or a margarita with our favorite Mexican cuisine, but it’s annoying when everyone has an opinion about the delicious protein-packed egg white omelet you ordered to fill your belly.

#3- Gym hatters gonna hate. -These are the people that we love but they tend to take your gym priority personally. It’s hard enough to motivate yourself to put your workout plan into motion, let alone when your bestie comes up with a last minute party plan that just happens to be during your gym time.

At the end of the day, you are in charge of your life, your goals, and your happiness.

Be strong. Be inspired. Say, “No!”.

Stay brave,
Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Monday Mantra: “No experience is wasted.”

 

This week’s Monday Mantra is: 

No experience is wasted.  Everything in life is happening to grow you up, to fill you up, to help you become more of who you were created to be. – Oprah

Remember that everything in life is going exactly according to plan.  The fall downs, the missteps, the bad days.  They’re all preparing you for your next step.  And every step you take is shaping you into the person you are meant to be.

Be brave,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Monday Mantra + PUMA Sponsorship Announcement!

This week’s Monday mantra is: “You are fast, but together we are faster.”

unspecified

When we launched Brave Body Project, is was our vision to create a community where people could come together to sweat, learn, grow and be brave with their bodies and their lives. We wanted our members, our readers to feel like they had two best friends in their corner that they could turn to when they needed help, support, confidence, or just reassurance that there are other people out there in the world who are in pursuit of a beautiful, bold life.

Having a support system is important to us.  We believe we’re much stronger together than we are alone.  If one of us is having a bad day, the other is there to lift that person’s spirits.  If one of us is having a bad workout, the other is there to motivate.  We’re each others biggest cheerleaders, number one fans and best friends.  We’re capable of doing a lot as individuals, but we’re capable of going so much further together.  That’s what Brave Body Project is all about.

IMG_6359

There’s another company that believes strongly in those values too.  When PUMA reached out to us a few weeks ago to talk about a possible sponsorship with Brave Body Project we almost fainted!  PUMA is all about faster; a commitment to constant improvement.  That’s why they’ve created Team Faster: A group of hand-picked athletes from around the globe to represent the brand.  We’re so honored to be backed by this iconic company and we’re so excited about what this means for Brave Body Project (and YOU, our readers!)  Expect a lot of fun things (and maybe some sneakers!) headed your way soon.

IMG_6389

You are fast, but together we are faster.  Together can think bigger.  Together can push harder.  Together can go further.  Together can finish faster.

Be brave babes.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Monday Mantra: “If it doesn’t matter, get rid of it.”

IMG_8312

This week’s Monday Mantra is:  “If it doesn’t matter, get rid of it.”

Spring cleaning has arrived.  Let’s strip down and get rid of the things that are weighing us down.  

What’s one think you could clean out of your metaphorical closet today?

Get out there and be brave this week.

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

 

Show comments

braveWORDS highjack: BBP Member Laura!

bravebodyproject

Happy Friday brave friends!  Today, we’re handing the blog over to one of our original BBP Online Members, Laura!  This University of Wisconsin graduate is one of the sweetest, strongest ladies we know! This week, Laura tells us the top 5 reasons the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership worked for her and how it could work for you. Take it away Laura!

Do you ever try something new—a new hobby, experience, food—and find that you instantly click with it? It draws you in, keeps you coming back for more and you truly love it. This is how I feel about Brave Body Project.

I decided to give Brave Body Project a try on a whim. I didn’t know Lindsey and Amber, I don’t live in New York, I just happened upon it through social media. I didn’t really know what I was getting in to or if I would like it, and now, 12 months later, here I am doing the workouts every week and loving it.

I can’t say enough about the impact that Brave Body Project and Lindsey and Amber have had on my life, and I would absolutely recommend Brave Body Project to anyone. If you’ve been wondering about it or you’re not sure what it’s all about, I’ll give you the top 5 things I love about Brave Body Project. (It’s hard to narrow down to just 5!)

It’s empowering.

I won’t lie, Brave Body Project workouts are tough. There are times when I’m not sure how I’ll get through the workout or even the rest of one movement, but there’s never been a time where I can’t. And let me tell you when I finish a workout, I feel like I can take on anything which is one of the best feelings in the world.

That feeling lasts long after the workout ends, too. In general, my confidence has improved and I truly feel at peace about my body. The workouts let you see how strong you are and that shapes how you view yourself. 

It works.

I saw results from Brave Body Project within the first month of starting the workouts. My body was stronger and leaner. I was doing workouts and moves that I never thought I could do, and I could see my endurance and strength constantly improving.

I couldn’t believe how much my running improved just from incorporating these 30-minute workouts. I could go farther, faster and I wasn’t running out of breath. Brave Body Project workouts were a saving grace for my marathon training.

To this day, I still see myself improving regularly as a result of consistently doing the workouts. Before starting, pushups weren’t really a thing I did. I could maybe make it through about 5-10 in a workout. Now, over the course of 30 minutes, I can do 30-40 pushups.

It doesn’t come without hard work, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll see improvement from the workouts.

It’s fun.

I know I’ve already said the workouts can be tough but they’re also fun! Seeing the improvements you make or doing moves you never thought you could do is part of the fun. The workouts always stay fresh too because Lindsey and Amber do a great job of updating them each month and incorporating new moves.

I feel like I’m always learning something each time I do a workout and never really get bored because there’s such a variety. I think this is so key to staying consistent with workouts, which is ultimately going to get you results.

Anyone can do it.

Any move from any of the workouts is modifiable to any level. Whether you’re a beginner just getting into structured workouts or an old pro, you can do it. And because every move is modifiable, it gives you the option to keep challenging yourself every week. Maybe you start off doing a modified pushup on your knees during Week 1, but by Week 4 you’re able to do a few on your toes. If you’re holding back from trying it out because you think you’re not advanced enough, too out of shape, anything…don’t!

The workouts can also be done just about anywhere. Throughout the last 12 months, I’ve done them in a tiny apartment, on carpet, on hardwood, outside, while traveling and with or without weights. You don’t need a gym to do these workouts and you need very limited equipment. Or you can choose not to use any! It’s really simple to get started and you don’t need a gym or anything fancy to do it.

Another great feature is that you get to choose your cardio. If the cardio videos from Amber and Lindsey are a little too intense, pick something that suits you better. Go to a spin class, head outside for a run, anything your heart desires!

This isn’t a one size fits all workout plan. There are options and modifications that really make it accessible to anyone.

The trainers.

Bottom line, Amber and Lindsey are awesome. They are two people who truly care about others and want to see their clients succeed. I wasn’t sure how all of this would work since they’re in New York and I’ve been in Illinois/Wisconsin when I first started. But I can say without hesitation that they have been extremely accessible for me, both through email and FaceTime, to answer any questions I have, and they’re both very knowledgeable about health and fitness.

Each month, they come up with great new routines and keep things light in the videos. Both of them are doing the workout right along with you, which helps you get through it, too!

They’ve created a great community that I can only see getting bigger and better as time goes on. I’m so happy to say I’m a part of it and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next from them!

This wraps up my last blog post for the time being. It’s been so much fun to have this opportunity to share some of my experiences with fitness, life and Brave Body Project and thanks for following along! And please, if you haven’t yet, check out Brave Body Project!

Thanks for sharing Laura! We’re so happy to have you in our community and you truly represent what it means to live a brave life. Did you miss Laura’s first blog highjack?  Read it here. Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life? Join Laura and our amazing Brave community by joining the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!    Create your username and password and start your FREE 14-day trial today!

Show comments

Superstar, Bradley Cooper: How He Trained For American Sniper

Preparing for this role was not an easy task. It took Bradley Cooper a 24/7 commitment. You’ll be shocked at the foods he had to consume. The exercise preparation was brutal. But, that’s not all. Bradley Cooper had to transform in mind, body and spirit.

Bulking Up 40-Plus Pounds

bravebodyproject

Image Credit: Warner Brothers

It’s hard to imagine having to gain approximately 40 pounds, mainly muscle, to prepare for this film. He had to eat about 8,000 calories a day. To do that, Cooper had to eat about every 55 minutes.

Click here to read more.

He Used His Own Trainer

bravebodyproject

Image Credit: GC Images

 

 

Cooper had to work out about 4 hours a day, every day, for several months. He did not use any hormone or steroid supplements. His trainer was with him on a constant basis.

Click here to read more.

But, It Took More Than Just Bulking Up

bravebodyproject

 

 

Bradley Cooper really had to know what it felt like to be a Navy Seal, and specifically, Chris Kyle. He trained with real Seals, spending numerous hours at target practice. He also watched countless hours of Kyle, himself. Cooper utilized a vocal coach and learned Kyle’s mannerisms.

Click here to read more.

Show comments

Monday Mantra: We travel not to escape life, but for life to not escape us.

 Monday Mantra: “We travel not to escape life, but for life to not escape us.”

IMG_6424

Every year around this time we get that itch to pack up and head out of town.  The ocean was calling us, so we hopped a flight to Mexico with the promise of sunsets and tan lines in our future.  It’s so important to carve out relaxation time into your schedule.  Your workload may be heavy and your bank account may be low but relentlessly grinding at your work will leave you tired, overworked and overstressed.

Here are the 5 things we learned from our vacation:

FullSizeRender

1. You don’t need an alarm.  We were so excited to be in such a beautiful setting we didn’t even have to set our alarms to get up in the morning.  Our favorite moments of the day were sunrise and sunset and our internal clocks woke us up so sit and watch the sunrise with coffee and the sunset with a cocktail.  When you’re excited about your day your body automatically tells you it’s time to get up.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 10.36.37 AM

2. Say “Adios!” to the agenda.  Who says you HAVE to have an agenda when going on vacation?  We decided we wanted to take advantage of doing absolutely nothing and that’s exactly what we did!  We traded swimming with dolphins and going on excursions for laying on the beach and taking in our beautiful surroundings.  Simply enjoying the scenery was enough.

IMG_6130

3. Put your phone down.  We made sure we didn’t sit on our phones all day.  It seems ridiculous to scroll through Instagram when there was a beautiful ocean staring directly back at us.  Reserve some time for your social media and then leave your phone in your room.

IMG_6141

4. Don’t overdo it.  We decided we were going to eat what we wanted during our trip and not freak out about putting extra calories in our mouths.  By doing this, we found we ended up making healthy options anyways.  Vacation shouldn’t be an excuse to binge eat.  We ate when we were hungry and enjoyed the occasional side of bacon with our breakfast if we felt like it that day.

IMG_6127

5. Live in the NOW.  This one is always challenging.  We focused on enjoying the moment instead of rushing our vacation away. On our last day, instead of being sad that our vacation was coming to an end we focused on enjoying our last moments with the ocean.  Why be sad something is almost over when you can focus on the fact that it’s currently still happening.

We hope you have a great week Brave family.  Whether you’re ocean-bound of not, we want you to try to implement our five tips sometime this week.  You don’t have to be on vacation to practice them!

Be brave,

Lindsey + Amber

 

 

Show comments

Monday Mantra: Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try.

FullSizeRender-5

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try.  

We don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions over here at Brave Body Project, but we do believe in making small attainable goals with a plan.  When New Year’s Day rolled around this year, we found ourselves talking about the need for a fresh new start.

As trainers, we work out daily and we’re conscious of what food we’re putting in our mouths but our workouts were starting to feel stale and the occasional pizza party seemed like it was happening a little more frequently than it used to.  We decided it was time for a change and that’s when we decided to do something about it.

When setting a goal, it’s important to be smart about it.  Literally.  S.M.A.R.T. : Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

Using this model, we created our plan.  Here’s what we did:

1.  We set a timeline. We gave ourselves a timeline of 3 months to get our bodies in the shape of our dreams.  We created a spreadsheet to record our weight and body measurements and we took 360-degree photos of ourselves every Monday.

2. We created a nutrition plan.  We sat down and figured out exactly what our body needed to transform over 3 months.  We tallied our daily protein, carbohydrate and fat intake requirements for the day and created a grocery list and a meal plan around that.  On Sundays, we would prep our food for the week and get everything portioned out and packed in the fridge.

3. We created a workout schedule.  We really upped our workout game over these 3 months.  We went to the gym with a specific daily plan and we didn’t stray from it.  We held each other accountable for our workouts and we “hired” each other as trainers to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones (trainers need trainers too!)

4. We created an “end goal”.  We scheduled 2 photo shoots almost 3 months from the start date of our program.  It gave us something to work towards; a finish line of sorts.  We wanted to celebrate the hard work we had done and having those photo shoots scheduled kept us accountable for sticking to our program.

This weekend at our photo shoots we felt a tremendous sense of pride.  Creating a plan and sticking with it is so rewarding in the end.  We’re so excited about our journey over the last 3 months that we’re going to break it down for you even more.  If you’re looking to kickstart a goal and find inspiration to commit to something, we’re here to help you.  Each week, we’ll break down exactly what we did to get photo shoot ready and help you take the guesswork out of committing to your goal.

This week your BBP babes are taking some much-needed R & R and heading south for some sun and sand in Mexico! Make sure you’re following us on Instagram for a week of salt water, sand, and sun!

Be brave!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

Show comments

braveWORDS highjack: BBP Member Laura!

Happy Friday brave friends!  Today, we’re handing the blog over to one of our original BBP Online Members, Laura!  This University of Wisconsin graduate is one of the sweetest, strongest ladies we know! This week, Laura talks about what to do when you don’t want to work out (something we can ALL relate to!) and how she finds her motivation. Take it away Laura!

image2

Do you ever have one of those days where the last thing you want to do is work out? You’re tired, hungry, your favorite show is on, I could go on and on with this. The bottom line is it can be really tough to motivate yourself to get up and going for a workout some days. As Brave Body Project comes up on its 12th (!) month, I’m looking back on how I’ve stayed motivated to stick with the workouts, focusing especially on what I do on days where I’m a little lacking in the motivation department.

I think one of the most important things for people to realize is that those who consistently exercise don’t always want to do it. I’ve heard people say many times, “I wish I had your motivation” or “where do you get the motivation?” like it’s always sitting there waiting for me to throw on my workout gear and gym shoes. The reality is that this is very far from the truth. There are many days where I have an internal battle with myself about whether or not to work out. Usually, most of my reasons for not wanting to work out are excuses that aren’t legitimate reasons for skipping a workout.

Conquering these excuses and overcoming what’s in your mind that’s stopping you from working out is half the battle of doing the workout. This can be really hard! And I think that a lot of the times, there isn’t enough focus put on just how difficult this is. This is something that everyone deals with, no matter what your level of fitness is. Regular exercisers don’t possess a super power that makes them immune to the pull of excuses. I believe that those who successfully overcome these excuses and don’t let the excuses regularly throw them off track have identified when they’re making an excuse and have figured out ways to not allow these excuses to derail them.

Some of my most common excuses for skipping the workout and spending some quality time with my couch include being too tired or worn out from the day, being hungry, being sore from a previous workout, being sick of a certain workout, being afraid of how difficult a workout may be or simply wanting to do something else with that time.

I think the first step to finding more motivation to work out is identifying some common reasons you come up with for not working out and taking a deeper look into why these are coming up. For instance, if you’re always tired, do you need to be going to sleep a little earlier every night instead of staying up watching tv? If you’re too hungry to work out, are you eating quality foods and setting yourself up for success ahead of time by packing an extra snack?

Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can enable you to feel much more motivated to do a workout such as having more energy from a good night’s sleep or having the fuel to make it through a workout by eating a small snack beforehand.

I also like to look at some of the excuses or reasons I’m not working out and think about how working out might actually help these issues. If I’m sore from a prior workout, doing another workout and moving those muscles will usually help me feel better. If I’m feeling intimidated by a workout, I think about how much stronger I’ll be if I go through the workout and how it’s better to go through a workout and maybe not meet your expectations than skipping it all together. You’ll also come out stronger than nixing the workout all together.

The best motivator of all for me when I’m struggling to get going is thinking about how good I’ll feel once I do the workout, both physically and mentally. I try to remind myself that I’ll have more energy, less stress and won’t feel guilty about skipping a workout if I just do it. I also try to remember that a lot of the time, simply starting a workout is the hardest part and that I’ll usually get into it and enjoy once I get going.

If you do find yourself in a workout rut, I’ve found the easiest way out is doing the workout you love the most or commit yourself to something that holds you accountable to showing up. For me, that’s either a Brave Body Project workout or a group exercise class. When you truly enjoy what you’re doing, it makes it so much easier to do. All in all, working out is something that should be fun!

To wrap it up, motivation for working out can be hard to come by. Do your best to fight off the excuses that pop up and once you establish a consistent routine, the motivation will come easier. Remember that top-of-the-world feeling you have once you finish an awesome workout and just get started.

If you’re ever looking to shake up your routine or need some new ideas, check out all of Amber and Lindsey’s Brave Body Beat Downs or the Brave Body Project program, which has helped me stay motivated and consistent for the past year.

If you have any other tips or tricks for staying motivated, let us know!

Thanks for sharing Laura!  Did you miss Laura’s first blog highjack?  Read it here. Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life? Join Laura and our amazing Brave community by joining the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!    Create your username and password and start your FREE 14-day trial today!

Show comments

Monday Mantra + A Special BBP Milestone!

Today is an epic day for us here at Brave Body Project.  We’re back in the studio today filming our 12th and final month of the BBP Online Membership.  At the end of the day today, we will have filmed 72 workout videos for our members.  That’s 36 straight hours of planks, pushups, squats and burpees. We’re feeling pretty excited to have conquered this huge goal.

We decided to create the online membership because we wanted to connect with people.  There are a lot of online membership programs out there and we felt the one thing they were lacking was the connection.  Yes, you can buy a “30-day fix” or a “Daily Burn” program and have all good intentions of reaching your fitness goals but the truth is sometimes you need more than that.  Sometimes you need some friends who are in your corner, giving you that extra push.  We knew we wanted to be those friends for people.

Our greatest joy over the past 11 months has been the interaction we’ve had with our members, some of who we’ve never met face to face but feel like our family.   Laura from Wisconsin would email for advice on her upcoming marathon or just give us an update on her training.  In D.C., Cee-Cee created a personalized BBP food journal we loved so much we added it to our member email.  Chase and Ryan from Atlanta would post photos of their BBP workouts in the middle of the ocean on their cruise ship contract.  Haley would skype in with us from Dubai to talk about her meal prep and workout schedule.  And Natalie from would post her favorite BBP move of the day on her social media from her home in Florida.  These are just some of our favorite moments.

IMG_5768

We wanted the BBP Online Membership to be an interactive experience.  A community where people could gather together for support and inspiration.  We wanted people to realize that working out should be fun, it should feel good, and you don’t need to do it alone.  You don’t need to be in a gym to work out.  You don’t need to work out in the morning.  We wanted to take the cookie cutter image of what working out looks like and throw it out the window.  With us, it’s all about the connection.  We love the BBP Online Membership because we’re able to sweat, laugh, cry and learn with our members each day.

Today we’re celebrating 12 months of hard work, dedication and inspiration.  It hasn’t been easy. Nothing worth having is. We’ve learned so much about ourselves and the direction we want to take with this company.  We’re so excited about what’s next for BBP.  But today, let’s raise a glass and celebrate a seriously kick-ass accomplishment.  Thank you to every single person who’s brought us to this day.

Be strong.  Be inspired.  Be brave.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

Want to try out the Brave Body Project Online Membership?  Click HERE to create your username and password and start your FREE 14-day trial right now!

Show comments

braveWORDS highjack: BBP Member Laura!

Happy Friday brave friends!  Today, we’re handing the blog over to one of our original BBP Online Members, Laura!  This University of Wisconsin graduate is one of the sweetest, strongest ladies we know! This week, Laura talks about what it’s like to run in a marathon, the importance of strength training to support your running goals, and mental endurance vs.  physical endurance.  Take it away Laura!

bravebodyproject

Running a marathon is hard. Harder than anything you can prepare for in training or anticipate before your first. I came to this realization around Mile 18 of last year’s Chicago Marathon when I wasn’t sure how I would be able to take just another step forward let alone keep going for eight more miles. While this wasn’t my first endurance event, I had done a number of triathlons and shorter road races, it was my first of this magnitude. And during the stretch of time from Mile 18 through about Mile 23, it was the lowest I had ever felt during any race I had participated in and I had to dig deeper than I had in any past event.

Reflecting after the race, I came to two conclusions. One was that the mental aspect of the race, which I knew would be tough, was even more challenging than I planned for. The other was without my Brave Body Project workouts, I don’t think I would’ve been able to finish the race.

With the marathon slated for October 15th, I planned to start training at the beginning of June. Unfortunately, about a week before I wanted to start my training, I sprained one of my ankles pretty badly. On the bright side, it didn’t push my training back as far as I thought it would but when I did start training, I started dealing with some knee and hip problems on the same leg as the sprained ankle. I was still able to run and build up some mileage, but long story short, come race day, I had not trained enough as I had wanted to.

This is where the two realizations come into play. Because I was somewhat undertrained, the race was really tough, both physically and even more so mentally. Based on training and previous experiences, I knew it would be hard physically and mentally. I did my best to train as much as I could and I put a heavy focus on preparing myself mentally before the race. I purposely trained on routes that were boring and monotonous in attempt to get myself to that mental place of wanting to stop but having to keep going.

In my opinion, mental strength in sports and exercise is even more important than physical strength. I truly believe that to an extent, anyone can finish anything. However, your mind will want to quit far before your body will give up on you. This proved true for me when at Mile 18 of the race. I didn’t know how I’d keep going, but I crossed that finish line.

bravebodyproject

I think this is true whether you’re running a race, in a group exercise class or doing anything similar. I believe that you can build mental strength like how you can build physical strength through training and pushing yourself. It’s something that has the ability to grow and change and no one has a set amount or level of mental strength. Just like building physical strength, it takes a lot of work to build mental strength. It doesn’t just appear overnight and it has to be honed, whether you’re an elite athlete participating at the highest level of sport or whether you’re running a race for fun.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people overlook or underestimate the importance of mental strength. They think you either have it or you don’t, not realizing that it needs to be focused on and trained just as much as the physical body. The marathon really hammered home for me how important mental strength is. You have to give it just as much attention as physical training, or you’re going to struggle similarly to if you haven’t trained your body enough.

Brave Body Project was another tool I used to build mental strength and was also incredibly important in helping me build endurance and physical strength for the race. There were many parallels between the workouts from Brave Body Project and running that helped me prepare for the marathon.

I particularly love the format of the Brave Body Project workouts. With Brave Body Project, each week you’re trying to do a little more than the last week. Whether that’s one rep more or 10 reps more, you’re simply trying to improve yourself and your only competition is yourself. I approach running in the same way that I approach my Brave Body workouts. Simply trying to improve upon myself day after day, focused on myself as the competition.

The Brave Body Project workouts are challenging and test your will to keep going, just like running does. There are many times throughout my Brave Body workouts where I want to throw in the towel and call it a day, but I know if I stick with it a little longer, the end gets closer and I get better. I was able to take mental lessons I was learning from my Brave Body workouts and apply them to marathon training, and I still do this to this day.

While I believe the mental game of working out is incredibly important, it would be silly to overlook how truly important the physical preparation is. You can’t just wing running a marathon. Running is obviously a huge part of the training, but cross-training and strength training are integral parts of training for a marathon and improve the experience drastically. I cannot say enough how much the Brave Body workouts improved my endurance and my strength. Running is not something that comes easily to me, and I was absolutely blown away by how much my running improved by incorporating these workouts. I wasn’t short of breath, my legs felt solid and my overall strength was so much higher than before I started.

On top of that, I had Amber and Lindsey supporting me every step of the way and I could not be more thankful for what Brave Body Project did for me during my training.

Overall, don’t forget about training your mind in addition to your body when doing an endurance event! If you’ve never done a race before, try one out! It can be scary to jump into, but every race is always such a rewarding experience. And if you are getting ready for a race of any kind, look into incorporating Brave Body Project workouts into your routine and prepare to be blown away!

Thanks for sharing Laura!  We’re so proud of you.  Did you miss Laura’s first blog highjack?  Read it here. Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life? Join Laura and our amazing Brave community by joining the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!    Create your username and password and start your FREE 14-day trial today!

Show comments

#MondayMantra: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”

IMG_1502

 

This week’s Monday mantra is: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” – Irish Proverb

 

In  honor of National Sleep Awareness week, we’re dedicating our blog at Brave Body Project to just that.  The importance of sleep goes way beyond feeling refreshed or banishing pesky undereye circles.  Getting an adequate amount of Zzz’s every night plays an important role in your mood, energy, concentration, and athletic performance.  Snoozing the recommended amount of hours each night (7-9 is best) can fight against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and weight gain.  

Positive Health Wellness has come up with a pretty incredible study on snoring and sleep apnea.  Check out their full article HERE.

The National Sleep Foundation has created a list of 25 random facts about sleep.  Read up and see how many you know!

  1. Man is the only mammal that willingly delays sleep.
  2. The higher the altitude, the greater the sleep disruption. Generally, sleep disturbance becomes greater at altitudes of 13,200 feet or more. The disturbance is thought to be caused by diminished oxygen levels and accompanying changes in respiration. Most people adjust to new altitudes in approximately two to three weeks.
  3. In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult.
  4. Divorced, widowed and separated people report more insomnia.
  5. Six in ten healthcare professionals do not feel that they have enough time to have a discussion with their patients about insomnia during regular office visits.
  6. More than eight in ten survey respondents think that people often or sometimes misuse prescription sleep aids.
  7. Caffeine has been called the most popular drug in the world. All over the world, people consume caffeine on a daily basis in coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks, and some drugs.
  8. In general, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep. Others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours.
  9. We naturally feel tired at two different times of the day: about 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM. It is this natural dip in alertness that is primarily responsible for the post-lunch dip.
  10. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.
  11. According to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, shift workers are at increased risk for a variety of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.
  12. Newborns sleep a total of 14 to 17 hours a day on an irregular schedule with periods of one to three hours spent awake.
  13. When infants are put to bed drowsy but not asleep, they are more likely to become “self- soothers,” which enables them to fall asleep independently at bedtime and put themselves back to sleep during the night.
  14. Eighty-two percent of healthcare professionals believe that it is the responsibility of both the patient and the healthcare professional to bring up symptoms of insomnia during an appointment.
  15. The body never adjusts to shift work!
  16. There are individual differences in the need to nap. Some adults and children need to nap. However, the majority of teenagers probably nap in the afternoon because they are not sleeping enough at night.
  17. Snoring is the primary cause of sleep disruption for approximately 90 million American adults; 37 million on a regular basis.
  18. Scientists still don’t know — and probably never will — if animals dream during REM sleep, as humans do.
  19. Some studies show promise for the use of melatonin in shortening the time it takes to fall asleep and reducing the number of awakenings, but not necessarily total sleep time. Other studies show no benefit at all with melatonin.
  20. One of the primary causes of excessive sleepiness among Americans is self-imposed sleep deprivation.
  21. According to the results of NSF’s 2008 Sleep in America poll, 36 percent of American drive drowsy or fall asleep while driving.
  22. According to the results of NSF’s 2008 Sleep in America poll, a surprising 34 percent of respondents reported their employer allows them to nap during breaks and 16 percent provide a place to do so.
  23. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels (leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone) fall, promoting appetite increase.
  24. Rates of insomnia increase as a function of age, but most often the sleep disturbance is attributable to some other medical condition.
  25. Seasonal affective disorder is believed to be influenced by the changing patterns of light and darkness that occur with the approach of winter.

Later this week, we’re taking it to the VLOG to give you our top tips to maximize your Zzz’s.  You’ll also hear from our amazing Brave Body Project Online Member, Laura. 

Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life? Join Laura and our amazing Brave community!  Click HERE to create your username and password and start your FREE 14-day trial!

Be brave!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

braveWORDS highjack: Meet BBP Member Laura!

Everyone say hello to Laura Godlewski!  Laura is one of our original BBP Online Members.  This University of Wisconsin graduate is one of the sweetest, strongest ladies we know! Over the next 4 weeks, we’re handing the blog over to her so she can share her story, her adventures in becoming a marathoner and her experience with Brave Body Project.  Take it away, Laura!

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.45.30 PM

In this day and age, eating right and exercising can be a challenge for most, regardless of age. Schedules get hectic, food is everywhere, and while definitely not impossible, it can be difficult to make consistent, healthy lifestyle choices.  throw in the newfound freedom of being a freshman or sophomore in college. For the first time, you are completely in charge of how you treat your body. No one is making you dinner or telling you what to eat, you don’t have scheduled sports or PE and temptations are everywhere when it comes to food and alcohol.

Side note, I have quickly learned that this does not end once you graduate college.

It can be really tough to maintain a healthy lifestyle in this atmosphere and saying “no” when everyone is doing something is challenging. Having just graduated college, I can tell you firsthand that this is something that I and many others struggle with, and unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier once you get to the “real world” as I’m sure many of you know.

I entered college at the University of Wisconsin leading a relatively healthy lifestyle and throughout my four years at school, I learned the hard way that (surprise, surprise!) a steady diet of fried food and beer without any physical activity doesn’t lead to a healthy body. Sophomore year was a huge reality check for me when I realized I had slowly gained 20 pounds and had effectively cut exercise out of my life. Besides the fact that I was at an unhealthy weight and did not physically feel good, mentally and emotionally I was completely frazzled and unhappy.

I constantly felt anxious, moody and unmotivated. I made excuses for why I couldn’t work out, one being that the gym was too far of a walk from my apartment. You know things are bad when you avoid going to the gym because you don’t want to walk there.

Towards the end of sophomore year, I decided to make a change and took control of my health and life again. It wasn’t easy, but by adjusting my diet and incorporating more exercise into my schedule, I lost the weight I had gained and felt renewed mentally.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.40.03 PM

Throughout the three years since I committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t work for me when it comes to exercise, eating right and treating myself well. While I realized a lot of these ideas in college, I think they’re truly takeaways that any person at any age can gain some insight from.

1. Find a workout you love

What got me back on track with working out was finding something I truly enjoyed doing. For me, that was spin classes. I looked forward to going to these classes, which in turn, made it much easier to show up and made working out feel less like a chore.

2. Don’t be too hard on yourself

It is still possible to eat delicious food and go out for drinks while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you just have to make sure you’re balancing it all out. Depriving yourself of certain foods or working out too much usually doesn’t end with a positive outcome. Give yourself a break if you need one and listen to your body and what it needs. Get in your workouts, but also find time to enjoy the good stuff in life!

3. Moderation

I can still enjoy dessert and cocktails, but I just have less of them. For me, this was especially hard in college where it seems like junk food is everywhere and there are deals at every bar encouraging you to have more (turns out half-priced margaritas don’t have half the calories). But once you establish some habits and learn how to say “no,” it gets much easier and you realize you don’t have to deprive yourself.

4. Find some workout buddies

I think this is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable to showing up for a workout. You have someone who’s counting on you to be there and who is also a cheerleader when things get tough during the workout. Plus, it’s more fun to work out with a friend! And if you can’t find someone who wants to get fit with you, Amber and Lindsey make great long-distance workout buddies ☺

5. Be consistent

What I’ve experienced so far is that consistency is the most important aspect when it comes to working out and maintaining a certain fitness level. It’s so much harder to get back into the swing of things once you start taking a lot of time off from working out, both physically and mentally. My rule of thumb is not to go more than two days without some kind of work out. I’ve found that when I’m consistent with my workouts, the results I get from them are faster and the workouts get and stay easier, which we all love!

Sticking to these tips helped me not only maintain a healthy lifestyle during my last few years of college, but also helped me enjoy doing it! If you’re at a point in your life where you don’t know where to start, all I can say is, just start. It takes some time to figure out exactly what works for you, but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll find success.

Check back next week to hear about Laura’s first marathon experience and how Amber and Lindsey helped her cross the finish line.  Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life? Join Laura and our amazing Brave community by joining the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!  

 

Show comments

MondayMantra: “Today is a good day to take a leap.”

IMG_1203

This week’s Monday Mantra is:  “Today is a good day to take a leap.”

A leap year is a year containing on additional day. It only happens once every four years and today, we get that day.  It’s kind of fun to think of today as a free pass, a wild card, an extra chance.  Today, do something you haven’t done before.  Take a new class, try a new coffee shop, walk to work instead of take the subway. What will you do with your bonus 24 hours?  We want you to go wild.

IMG_1785

In honor of National Sleep Awareness week, we’re devoting this month to catching up on our ZzZz’s.  Getting adequate sleep doesn’t just feel good, it’s a key component to a healthy body, mind and spirit. Each week, we’ll share our favorite tips and tricks to get you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and centered.

FullSizeRender

Later this week, you’ll meet Laura, one of our original Brave Body Project Online Members.  Laura has been sweating with BBP for 11 months now and we’re excited to her to share her story with us.  Want more member testimonials?  Check out BBP Member Cee-Cee’s story here.

Want a FREE 14-day free trial?  Click HERE to create your username and password and try out the BBP Online Fitness Membership today!

Take a leap.  Let’s work on you – together.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Cee-Cee’s braveWORDS highjack: Why I love Brave Body Project

Hey brave body babes!  Cee-Cee, one of our original BBP Online Members is highjacking the blog every Thursday this month to talk fitness, running, and more! Cee-Cee has gone through an amazing weight loss journey and turned herself into a marathoner and a triathlete with a passion for fitness.  This week, Cee-Cee talks about why she loves Brave Body Project and how the BBP Online Membership changed her life. Take it away, Cee-Cee!

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 3.54.03 PM

When I started my fitness and health journey over 4 years ago now, I started alone. I didn’t have anyone in my life I could talk to about it or ask for help, and for me that was ok. Running and working out alone gave me the time to quietly focus on what I wanted to achieve and each time I laced up or hit the treadmill I visualized a happier and healthier me. Through this time, I joined Instagram groups, fitness websites, and grab training programs off the internet. Some worked better than others but I became overwhelmed in a world of promises about Beach bodies and bikini ready workouts. The promises they made seemed unrealistic and, honestly, not what I wanted to achieve. I mean, yes, ultimately speaking I wanted Jillian Michaels’ abs, Michelle Obama’s arms, and JLo’s derrière. But my main goal, my first and foremost desire, was to BE healthy. I wanted to be strong and I wanted to fuel my body to do that. 

Unfortunately, for most people there isn’t a quick fix. Getting “bikini ready” isn’t a goal obtainable within a few weeks, at least not without dramatic, unsustainable changes. But it is possible to improve yourself, and I believe this happens every day. Every day we are given an opportunity to see what we are made of and I think that’s what makes Brave Body Project perfect. It brings that challenge to me and every week I compete with myself to be better, faster, stronger. And that’s the best part of BBP, it gives me the workout but my biggest challenge is competing with myself and learning how to move faster or better each week. Amber and Lindsey have created a program that isn’t about quick fixes, it’s about creating a better body and lifestyle, about making it a part of your day-to-day routine. 

I am very lucky to have Lindsey and Amber in my life, as a member for a year now I have had  two friends I can look to for support or guidance. When I needed modifications or help they were and are  only a quick email away and it’s incredible to have two such amazing people on your team. I have done fitness both on my own and with help but the reason BBP has been so instrumental in my life is I get all the support of personal trainers while fitting it around my constantly moving schedule. Having the freedom to workout at 4AM or 11PM without inconveniencing anyone else gives me the freedom to do swim classes, spin classes, go out with my friends, or make up a session on the weekend if I need to. And with all that freedom I still get feedback on how to improve my journey and we discuss changing weights or how to reach my goals in an obtainable manner.

I would and do recommend Brave Body Project to everyone I meet because it is an opportunity every day to find out what you are made of, no judgement, no shaming. Brave Body Project is a promise that if you are brave enough to face your challenge every day you will become strong, and we were all made to be strong.

ceecee1

Thanks for sharing your story with us this month, Cee-Cee!  We love having you in the Brave Body Project family. Click here if you missed out on Cee-Cee’s first BBP post. Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life?  Join Cee-Cee and our amazing Brave community by joining the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!  

Be brave!

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

Woman Crush Wednesday: Seventeen Magazine Editor Andrea Stanley!

This month on the BBP blog we’re excited to feature 4 women who are truly making a positive impact in their industries and represent the 4 tiers of our site: braveBODY, braveEATS, braveLOOKS and braveWORDS.

We kicked off our #WCW series with celeb trainer, Rebecca Kennedy, we introduced you to celeb nutritionist and trainer Kara Griffin, and last week you met the lovely ladies of Smith + Brit.

This week, we’re super excited to introduce you to Andrea Stanley.

andrea2

Andrea is a Manhattan mama, editor at Seventeen Magazine, and a dear friend of ours.  We sat down with Andrea to talk about her career, what being brave means to her and more.  Read up!

BBP: Tell us a little bit about yourself.  

AS: Nothing gives a writer full-body hives faster than the classic “tell me about yourself” question. But here we go: I’m an editor at Seventeen magazine where I get to tell big, important stories about girls who are changing the world, in addition to covering all of our health and fitness content. I pinch myself everyday. It’s a total dream. I’ve also worked at some other really rad places, like ELLE and SELF. But when I’m not at work pretending to be a teenager, I’m spending time with my husband, Greg, seven-year-old son, Connor, and our little pooch, Wilson. I drink a lot of black coffee. I often have a serious case of wanderlust and wish I could travel somewhere new every month. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was six. I secretly love sneakers as much as I do stilettos. I’m training for my first serious race. How’d I do?

BBP:  What does living a brave life mean to you?

AS: My absolute favorite quote of all time is from writer Jack Kerouac (one day I’m going to be brave enough to get it as a tattoo!). He said, “The road is life.” That way of thinking really epitomizes brave living to me because it’s so easy to associate the idea of being brave as something you pull out occasionally in those larger-than-life, name-on-the-bigscreen kind of moments. But to me, it’s about choosing to be fearless and honest and true to yourself all of the time. Being brave isn’t waiting until you’ve arrived. It’s living fully and really going for it even when you aren’t quite there yet. 

andrea 3

BBP: What was one moment courage over fear in your career?

AS: A little less than ten years ago, this was my life: Got married. Bought a house. In a suburb that fined you if your grass wasn’t green enough. Worked part-time at a city magazine and the local newspaper. Had a baby. Wasn’t happy. Totally happy with the husband and baby. But not happy that I leaned towards what was safe, instead of taking a chance on myself when it came to my career. I never went for the New York job because the thought of failing felt like it would leave a hole in my life so big it would swallow me. But that was happening anyway. So late one night I went onto a job posting site and applied for a bunch of random magazine jobs in New York City. It was dark. And no one knew I was doing it. It almost felt like a dream. But it was real life and eventually the phone was ringing and someone was on the other end asking if I could come to New York for an interview. 

I remember flying into the city that day so clearly. The sunlight was so heavy and blue and gold that it made me feel like I was viewing life in slow motion from underwater. I left the interview feeling like I totally bombed it. My outfit was too lame. I was shaky in my answers. I was seven minutes early—not the acceptable five. I was positive I’d never get the job, but I wasn’t crying myself to sleep in the corner. I actually felt good—really good—like I had done something. And I had—I had tried. And I realized that’s where strength comes from, not in the succeeding, but in the trying.

Two weeks later I got offered the job. 

andrea 2

BBP: Tell our readers how you stand up and stand out as a confident strong woman in a male-dominated work field.

AS: Well, I’ve been really fortunate. Ever since I started working in publishing in New York, I’ve been surrounded with super-smart, strong women all along the way. In fact, every boss I’ve ever had has been a woman, and each of them have not only helped shape me as a professional woman, but have empowered me to totally own who I am. With that being said, because I write for women, I have had to deal with the occasional “boys club” mentality that tries to minimize the work I do and box it up as fluffy, light reporting because I cover “girl” issues. You bet I write about periods, boobs and birth control. I also write about transgender teenagers who are sharing stories that could put their lives in danger, teens who are championing for gun reform, working on the cure for Ebola or fighting to eradicate stereotypes against certain races and body types. All of this is valid. Anybody that tries to tell me otherwise is just noise—and I don’t listen to the noise. 

Thanks for sharing with us Andrea!  Stay up to date with Andrea on her Instagram and online (or on newsstands!) at Seventeen Magazine.

Show comments

#MondayMantra: “Don’t lose your fire.”

FullSizeRender

Today’s Monday Mantra is: Don’t lose your fire. 

Sometimes it feels like you’re running in a circle, on a hampster wheel that’s going nowhere.  We work so hard, we relentlessly push, we hustle, we grind around the clock.  All that pushing, all that creating, all that hard work can sometimes leave us feeling drained.  Do you ever think: “What am I doing all this for?  Am I making a difference?”

We want to remind you that you ARE.  This week, we want you to remember why you started.  Whether you’re working on your health, your job, your relationship… whatever it is.  We want you to take a step back and reignite your fire.  Remembering your WHY is the first step towards finding that inspiration to continue.

Later this week, we’ll introduce you to a woman who has some serious fire in her, Andrea Stanley.  Andrea is a writer, wife, mom, and editor at Seventeen Magazine.  We’re so honored to have Andrea as our Woman Crush Wednesday feature this week!

On Thursday,  our bae Cee-Cee is highjacking the blog to talk about her experience with the Brave Body Project Online Membership for the last 10 months.  We can’t believe we’ve been sweating together for almost a year!

Alright friends.  Take a deep breath.  Ignite your fire.  Get out there and be amazing.

xx.

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Cee-Cee’s braveWORDS highjack: Injuries and the Art of Cross-Training

Hey brave body babes!  Cee-Cee, one of our original BBP Online Members is highjacking the blog every Thursday this month to talk fitness, running, and more! Cee-Cee has gone through an amazing weight loss journey and turned herself into a marathoner and a triathlete with a passion for fitness.  This week, Cee-Cee talks injuries and stepping up to the weight rack. Take it away, Cee-Cee!

ceecee3

I’ve always been “one of those girls” when it came to lifting weights; I didn’t want to do it and there wasn’t anything you could say or do to convince me to even take a 5 lb weight in hand. At 5’9″ I already tower over most of my girlfriends and unnervingly (for some) am able to stare men straight in the face. With broad shoulders and sizable hips, I was convinced if I started “pumping iron” I would soar straight into Schwarzenneger territory without so much as an “Ah’ll be back”. 

Sadly, as anyone who has over-trained knows, I found myself sidelined from the races when I tore 7 tendons in my left foot. I sank into a depressive state as I watched my friends run without me and I gave up registrations for races I had fought to be in. Determined to not become an extension of the couch and to fill up my now excessive free-time I researched exercises I could do while in a boot. According to research, there is very little besides swimming (Side bar: my orthopedist at the time insisted I could also bike as long as I kept the boot on- a risky and potentially hazardous endeavor I decided was ultimately not worth it). With my options limited I signed up for adult swim classes. It was terrible and awkward and hard, like learning how to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time ever hard. But I also didn’t have a choice, it was swimming or no cardio at all. 

I began to couple the swimming with strength training with a personal trainer. While I was not enthralled with missing my runs I also found I liked doing other things. I got the same adrenaline rush from swimming that I did from running but it also felt great to stretch out in the pool. With my trainer, I began to lift A LOT of weights and instead of bulking up I just saw definition where before there had been none. While maybe at times I was a little bit Brienne of Tarth-like I didn’t bulk up the way I had expected to and I felt a sense of accomplishment for tackling something I had been so adamantly against.

IMG_5686

When I finally got out of the boot my left foot was tender but I was strong. Through cross-training, I had managed to keep up fitness without losing the hard work I had accomplished with running. Once back in my running shoes, I had to be careful not to over-do it so I ran 2-3 times a week at best and then cross-trained the rest of the week. During this time, I crushed 5 PRs (personal records) in my running. Cross-training had made me a stronger and more efficient athlete and the work I did in my running workouts was more focused, more beneficial. I can’t say that I am a natural born weight-lifter or swimmer but I can tell you that by taking the time to focus on other activities I have become a better athlete and I’m definitely not afraid of weights anymore!

Click here if you missed out on Cee-Cee’s first BBP post. Check back next Thursday for more fitspiration from Cee-Cee!  Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life?  Join Cee-Cee and our amazing Brave community by joining the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!  

Be brave!

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

#MondayMantra: Love the skin you’re in.

IMG_1724

Monday Mantra: Love the skin you’re in. 

Temperatures have dropped to sub-zero degrees here on the East coast and we’re feeling the (icy-cold- freezing-oh-my-god-I-can’-feel-my-face) winter burn. These cold days and nights have a serious effect on our skin and this week we think it’s important to give your bod a little extra TLC (and moisturizer.  Here are our top 3 must-haves for healthy, hydrated winter warrior skin:

1. Prep your skin at night. Before we go to bed, we always wash our face and hydrate our skin with Kaplan Hydrating Essence.  This oil contains a blend of 8 essential oils in their purest form to deeply hydrate and nourish the face and body.  We’re seriously in love.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 11.31.31 AM

 

2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Before we put makeup on or head out the door we slather a layer of Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer on our faces.  We love this moisturizer because it’s perfect for dry skin, it has SPF to protect our faces from harsh winter rays, and it’s super affordable.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 11.34.42 AM

3. Kick chapped lips to the curb. We never leave the house without protecting our lips!  Our pick  is Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm.  It’s hydrating, paraben-free and we love the mojito flavor (it reminds us that happy hour is closer than we think!)

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 11.41.13 AM

Later this week, we’ll talk to Kristyn Smith, Claire Beevers, and Ali Hynes: owners of Smith + Brit, a beauty and wellness destination in the heart of Chelsea, New York.  Our faces (and feet!) got some serious TLC a few weeks ago in the form of facials, microdermabrasion, and reflexology  and we loved the experience so much we decided to make Smith + Brit this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday feature!

You’ll also be hearing from our BBP Online Member Cee-Cee on Thursday and we’ll send you into the weekend with a BBP Full Body Beat Down on Friday!

Until next time, stay (moisturized) and brave friend!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

Cee-Cee’s braveWORDS highjack: Why running is my BAE.

Hey brave body babes!  Cee-Cee, one of our original BBP Online Members is highjacking the blog every Thursday this month to talk fitness, running, and more! Cee-Cee has gone through an amazing weight loss journey and turned herself into a marathoner and a triathlete with a passion for fitness.  This week, find out why Cee-Cee is in a fully committed relationship with her running shoes. Take it away, Cee-Cee!

ceecee1

Relationships are complicated, even though Facebook tries there’s no way to fully encompass in one or two words their true complexities. That being said, I have been in a serious, committed relationship for over 4 years now. We’ve had our ups and downs, good days and bad but I find that no matter what happens I’m in it for the long haul. And it’s complicated, and it’s an open relationship but there is no jealousy, no veering from the path I have chosen. I’m, of course, referring to my relationship with running. It started out like most new relationships do, new and exciting and a little bit scary. I would flirt with other sports or activities but when it came down to it nothing was exciting as running, so I committed. 

And it really is like a romantic relationship, as over-extended as the metaphor may be, getting into a sport or practice. The first year of running for me was definitely the honeymoon phase, still getting to know running, how to fit it into my life but not let it take over who I was. I discovered a lot about myself during this time, realizing that maybe I really am an athlete in my own right and not a person who cheers on the sidelines. I went to new and exciting places, saw trails and parks in my own neighborhood I never knew existed. And I tried and did so many things I never thought I would do, like run a trail half marathon or run a single mile in under 7 minutes! And, just like all relationships, the honeymoon phase ended. There were days I felt I was just phoning it in, or I was tired or bored. Running the same two or three routes would feel monotonous and my legs would feel like lead. But getting through these phases was what made me fall in love all over again. I had the freedom to walk away from running knowing that if I needed it all I had to do was pull on my Brooks and I could pick up right where I left off. 

Where I am in my relationship now though is the best part because, the truth is, running makes me a better person. I have a better relationship with myself and my body because I committed to it. And I give myself freedom, if I miss a run I don’t feel guilty or beat myself up, it will still be there tomorrow. I have fast days and slow. When I get bored I change my routine or invite a friend or simply do something else until the mood passes. I plan races, lots of them, but I also take time to do things that have nothing to do with running. I swim and I bike and I binge-watch Netflix. I sleep as much as I’m able and read books but, like someone who is truly, madly, deeply in love, I always make time for my Bae, running.

ceecee2

Click here if you missed out on Cee-Cee’s first BBP post. Check back next Thursday for more fitspiration from Cee-Cee!  Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life?  Join Cee-Cee and our amazing Brave community by joining the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!  

Be brave!

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

15 Inspirational Quotes To Help You Push Through Hump Day

Happy Hump Day!

Everyone needs a little motivation to push through the week and more importantly your workout!

Here are 15 Brave Words to help you get through today!

A New Definition For Sweat

A Good Type Of Pain

No Excuses … Ever :)

Making An Effort Makes All The Difference

Remember, You Are Making The Effort For You!

Every day, any way!

Eat, drink and move!

In The Zone

Be The Master Of Your Destiny

It starts with a single step, lift, push of the pedal

Know What Makes You Tick

Exercise Builds Both Muscles & Confidence

No One Can Make Your Dreams Come True

Embrace Your Sweat

Life Is Fluid

Show comments

#MondayMantra: Make yourself a priority. At the end of the day, you’re your longest commitment.

Contact Us New Photo

Today’s Monday Mantra is:

“Make yourself a priority.  At the end of the day, you’re your longest commitment.”

It’s just your flight attendant says before you take off: “In the event of an emergency, make sure you place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping someone else.”

It seems selfish.  But by this point in your life, we’re sure you’ve come across this scenario once or twice.  Our go-to is to help everyone else before we help ourselves.  But by doing that, we end up exhausted, drained, with no time for ourselves, frustrated.  Putting the oxygen mask on someone else before you leaves you gasping for air.

Since we’re celebrating the month of love, we want you to focus this week on loving YOU, whatever that means for you.  Maybe you decide every day this week you’ll carve out an hour just for you.  Whether it’s reading, working out, meditating, meal prepping healthy food for your week or just laying down and watching TV we want you to give yourself a little extra TLC.  You deserve it.

Later this week, you’ll meet our next #WCW, Kara Griffin.  Kara is a certified nutritionist, personal trainer, group fitness instructor and all around incredible human being.  We’re excited to have her on the blog.  On Friday, we’ll share a fun partner workout that you and your bestie can do anywhere!

Have a great week Brave family.  Remember to send some extra love your way.

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

braveWORDS Highjack: Meet BBP Member Cee-Cee!

This month at Brave Body Project, we’re focusing our love on strong, empowered women making courageous choices and living brave lives.  We’d like you to meet one of those women today. Everyone say hi to Cee-Cee Swalling!  Cee-Cee is one of our original BBP Online Members and we love and admire her strength, her commitment and her courage so much we thought it only fitting she share her story here with all of you.  Cee-Cee has gone through an amazing weight loss journey and turned herself into a marathoner and a triathlete with a passion for fitness.  Over the next 4 weeks, we’re handing the blog over to her so she can share her story, her favorite run tips and more.  Take it away, Cee-Cee!

IMG_5686

Change sucks. There, I said it. 

Not only does change suck but as you get into that place that feels wrong and uncomfortable you feel terrible. You’re scared and nervous and a big portion of you wants to pack up and go back to bed until the big, awful, scary thing is no longer looking you right in the face and baring down on you. That change for me has always been my weight.

Ever since I can remember I’ve had a belly. When I was 4 it was cute, when I was 8 it was tolerated, but from 12 on I was deemed gross and fat. Miss Piggy, Fatty, Thunder thighs- these were all epitaphs hurled at me in the hallways, in the classroom, eventually at college, at work, by passersby. When it was brought up with my family I heard in a disappointed and shaming tone, “You’d be so beautiful if you only lost twenty pounds”. My parents tried to help and I’d get “encouragement” from teachers and concerned friends’ parents passing on unsolicited advice of what I should and shouldn’t do. But it was overwhelming. At every turn I felt like I was being told I was ugly, I was disgusting, everything I did was wrong. It wasn’t that I had to change one thing- I had to change EVERYTHING. My activities, my entire diet, I was to go into a zone and a place that looked nothing like the life I was living.

And, here’s the kicker, my life was not so unhealthy. I didn’t sit around eating ho-hos, drinking coca-cola with every meal, and binge-watching TV; Sweets were not left in the house, soda was not allowed, and we didn’t have a television at home. I played sports but felt discouraged because I didn’t look like the other girls on the team, so I turned to other pursuits. I read a book a day, I joined academic teams, I just did other things.  But you can imagine how shocked I’d be when I was told everything in my life needed to change. I like what I did, I liked my life so giving it up seemed silly just to appease bullies and parents alike. And that’s the problem right there, isn’t it? No one should feel like there is something so fundamentally wrong with their lives. When we look at change it shouldn’t be a monster that scares you and forces you to stop being who you are. Doing the things that make you happy, that’s what makes you YOU.

It took me years to learn this. Well into adulthood and post-college life I was still doing what made me happy. I was happy, I liked my work, and I liked my friends. One of these friends, out of the kindness of her heart, asked me to run a mile with her. I remember thinking, “A mile? Ha! I can’t run a mile, that’s impossible!” And then I stopped and I REALLY thought about it. “I can’t run a mile? One, single, mile?!” I was 24- I should be able to run one mile! And I considered my future and wanting kids somewhere down the line and thinking that I would want to run around with them, I would want to play with them and keep up. So I made a very simple New Year’s Resolution- the only one I’ve ever kept, in fact- I was going to run almost everyday. I didn’t have a time,or a goal, or a distance. I didn’t care if I had to stop and walk or if I was slow, I was just going to do it. 

So I bought my first ever gym membership. I bought gym shoes, workout capris, grabbed a cotton t-shirt and vowed to go at least 6 times a week. I woke up at 4:30 to be at the gym and when it opened and I would go to the furthest away treadmill. I would listen to music or watch TV while I ran but I was going to do it. And it was hard, with every step I felt every part of my stomach bounce and jiggle. When buff guys and cute skinny girls would walk in I’d pray they couldn’t see me in my corner, sweaty and red and out of breath. I thought I was going to die a lot of the time. I would picture myself falling over on the treadmill gasping for air as the spinning belt sucked my cotton shirt up into its gears exposing my white gelatinous belly leaving me humiliated and, of course, dead. BUT, I didn’t die, and every time I ran I got stronger and better and the little voice in the back of my head who said “You’re going to be ok” well, she got stronger too. 

And I can’t really tell you how I did it because really, there’s no secret trick to it. I had bad days, a lot of them, and I really wanted to quit but…I just didn’t. If I missed a day, I’d get back to it the next day. I didn’t beat myself up but instead chose to be kind when I failed.  Fancy that, huh? Within the first three months I lost 30 pounds, without weight loss ever being the goal. I then decided I wanted to get faster so I modified my eating, I counted every calorie, I kept track of what made me feel good and what didn’t. And, to be clear, I didn’t go on a diet. I ate chocolate and peanut butter and I drank beer, I just did less of it. I’d see where the calories would go and I ate a lot more fruits and vegetables. Within the next 6 months I began to run outside. I bought real running shoes, and I signed up for my first race ever. 

By the end of 2012 I had lost 60 pounds and had run hundreds of miles. And, as a bonus, I was fast! By the time I was ready to run my first race I was REALLY ready. I ran my first race in Disney World, the Princess Half Marathon, and it was truly magical. While I flew through the crowd I thought about how great it felt, how exciting. I remembered how when I first started I thought it was impossible to run even one mile and here I was tackling 13, my longest run to date, and as a bonus I was leaving people in my dust*! I cried at the castle running high on endorphins and emotions thinking to myself, “Here I am, I’m doing it! It’s not impossible!!!” I realized in that moment I had tackled my “change”, the monster lurking ahead of me, my impossible thing. I realized that change is not so scary and impossible.

Impossible ain’t sh*t.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 3.54.03 PM

Check back next Thursday for more fitspiration from Cee-Cee!  Want to commit to a program, get real results and change your life?  Join Cee-Cee and our amazing Brave community by joining the Brave Body Project Online Fitness Membership!  

Show comments

#MondayMantra: “Other women are not my competition. I stand with them, not against them.”

 

IMG_4975

Today’s #MondayMantra is:

“Other women are not my competition. I stand with them, not against them.”

It’s February, the month of love. We’re not really into all of that mushy stuff over here in the house of BBP but we do love love so this month we’ve decided to focus all our love and attention on strong women who are movers and shakers in their industries. (Don’t worry boys, we love you too.)

There’s nothing more empowering than standing side by side and celebrating strong women who are choosing to live a brave life. We’ve got a ton of fun stuff in store for you!

In addition to our usual Monday Mantras and Friday Full Body Beat Downs, you’ll be hearing from some new voices! Every Wednesday, we’ll be rolling out with our WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) of the week. We’ve found 4 women who are truly making a positive impact in their industries and represent the 4 tiers of our site: braveBODY, braveEATS, braveLOOKS and braveWORDS.

We’re also so excited for one of our original Brave Body Project Online Members, Cee-Cee Swalling to highjack the blog this month. Cee-Cee has gone through an incredible weight loss journey. She’s one of the strongest women we know both inside and out and we’re so excited to you to hear her voice. You’ll be meeting this marathon mama on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 2.55.04 PM

Lastly, we’re so proud of everyone who participated in our Brave New You January Run challenge! We both achieved our goal of 80 miles this month (Amber was an overachiever and hit 90!) It was so inspiring to see all of you commit to a goal and fight to accomplish it. It’s proof that when we stick together we can accomplish amazing things. Right now we want you to set a goal for February. Maybe you want to become a better runner, lift heavier or lose a few pounds. Figure out your intention and create a plan of action. Tell us about it! We always have your back.

We love you Brave family!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

IMG_4980

 

Show comments

#MondayMantra: “The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help someone else get it first.”

IMG_4294

Happy Monday Brave family!

This week’s Monday Mantra is:

“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help someone else get it first.” – Iyanla Vanzant

This quote hits home for us.  Brave Body Project is truly a passion project.  We didn’t start this company because we wanted to become famous fitness instructors or become millionaires.  We started this company because we couldn’t NOT start it.  Brave Body Project chose us.  Every morning we wake up knowing that if we can help even one person feeling proud of their body, feel strong in their own skin or choose the courageous choice over the safe choice we’ve done our job.

The success of YOU- our members, our readers – is what drives us to keep going.  We want to thank YOU for showing us what it means to be brave.

Get out there and be awesome today.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

Show comments

VLOG: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Guys, we’re old.  And we’re not getting any younger. (Ok, we’re only in our 30’s but we feel like we’ve been here on this earth FOREVER!)  We’ve learned a lot and we’re still learning.  But today we thought it would be fun to stop and think about this:

What would you say to your younger self?

Maybe you’d say: “Don’t worry about your frizzy hair and your crooked teeth… you’re going to look gorgeous one day!” Example A:

IMG_2956

 

Maybe you’d say: “You may be a huge nerd now but when you get older you’re going to have an amazing career that supports you!”  Example B:
IMG_6281

Check out our blog to see what we’d tell our younger, less wise selves!  What words of wisdom would YOU give your younger self?  We want to know! Tell us in the comments below!

Stay brave friends!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

Show comments

MondayMantra + Living Brave Semester Week 1 Recap

IMG_7851

This week’s #MondayMantra comes from Brené Brown.  She says:

“If you’re brave with your life, you’re going to get your ass kicked.”

 

Well, we couldn’t agree more.  We’ve just completed our first week of the Living Brave semester on CourageWorks and we’re already in love with what we’re discovering about ourselves through this process.

Throughout this 12 week course, we’ll be diving deep into Brene’s two amazing books: Daring Greatly and Rising Strong.  Side note: if you haven’t had a chance to read these, stop what you’re doing and go grab these books.  Her research and thoughts on vulnerability, shame and living a wholehearted life will spark a fire in you and push you to ask yourself some pretty serious questions about the kind of life you’re living.

This week, Brené started the course with one of our favorite quotes from Theodore Roosevelt. It reads:

CW_ArenaQuote

This week she asked us:

What is your arena? What is a place in your life that you would like to show up and be braver?  What’s somewhere in your life where you wish you could get a little more courage?

Lindsey: “For me personally, Brave Body Project is my arena and it’s an arena I want to be braver in, a little more courageous in every day. I want to be an outlet in the fitness industry that supports men and women being healthy, happy, fun and realistic. I believe I’m making good headway by doing that but at times, it can be hard to truly own my story.  Everyone has body image issues (myself included) and comparing myself to others is human nature.  I want to work on being brave enough to OWN my beliefs, my vision of a healthy strong body and I want to share it with others that are looking to stand in that arena with me.  I’m going to continue working hard to stand tall and proud because I truly believe what I have to share, what Brave Body Project has to share is important.”

Amber: “When I thought about my arena of course, Brave Body Project came to mind.   I love my Brave Body Project community and I am very candid and up front with you all.  You’re my family and there is a comfort in that.  For most of us, we wake up, put our feet on the pavement and go through our daily lives.  As we do that, our thoughts, ideas, and passions slowly start to become filtered as we journey throughout the day.  My arena is this army line. The face to face interaction with the world around me.  This is a place where I fight to exude my bravery.  I think we all find that we can talk the talk, but when it truly comes to facing the fight of life, we lose track and we lose sight of what we actually showed up for. (This is me!)  It’s a challenge to approach our situations and people in our lives head on sometimes. It’s hard to to step forward and bravely allow ourselves no excuses, no filters, and truly fight the good brave fight.  What I have to say, what Brave Body Project has to share, what you have to express is important and worth fighting for.”

It came as no surprise that we both chose BBP as an arena we want to get braver in.  We’re excited to move through this course and discover new things about ourselves, our company and the life we want to create.

What is YOUR arena?  What’s a place in your life you want to work on showing up more?  Being a little more courageous?  Being a little more brave, even if you risk getting your ass kicked in the process?  We want to know.  Let’s do this – together.

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

FITNESS MYTH VLOG #5: Crash Diet or Bust!

It’s Fitness Myth week here at Brave Body Project and today we’re debunking our final myth of the week. Fitness Myth #5: Crash Diet or Bust!

Crash diets are called crash diets for a reason.   They’re a short-term solution with serious long-term effects.  Drastically cutting down your calories for a wedding/event/vacation will force your body to burn muscle for fuel instead of fat.  And you know what having less muscle does?  It slows down your metabolism.  And that my friends is no bueño.

Bottom line: Get off the juice-cleanse-no-carbs-no-food train.  That kind of yo-yo dieting is going to mess up your body in a serious way.  Plus, you’re going to be walking around like a hangry b%$!h all day and nobody wants that kind of negativity in their life (OK!?!)

If you know you have a big event coming up PREPARE for it ahead of time.  We promise you’ll have a healthier body AND a healthier attitude if you do.

We had a blast debunking Fitness Myths this week!  Have a myth you want us to debunk?  Tell us in the comments below!  We’ll be doing another round of Fitness Myths in the near future!B

Be brave friends!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

FITNESS MYTH VLOG #4: Heavy Weights = Bulky Body

It’s Fitness Myth Week here at Brave Body Project and today we’re debunking Myth #4: Heavy Weights = Bulky Body.

This myth drives us crazy and it’s got to stop!  Lifting heavy weights will not make you turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight.  It takes fitness competitors and bodybuilders months, even YEARS to achieve their athletic physiques.

Whether you’re a woman or a man, lifting heavy has billions of health benefits.  You’ll increase strength, endurance and power.  You’ll be able to do everyday functional movements (like picking something off the ground and putting it on a shelf, walking up flights of stairs or helping your friends move their crap from their tiny Manhattan apartment into storage) with the greatest of ease.  Plus the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day (BONUS!)

On the flip side, we love lighter weights for high intensity classes like dance cardio, spin and of course, our BBP Full Body Beat Downs but we’ll discuss those benefits more in depth another day.  We welcome all weight choices into our world and we don’t want you to discriminate either.

Bottom line:  Heavy weights will not make you look like a bodybuilder unless you’re under a strict regimen of strength and cardio routines,an intense meal prep or you’re gunning to become the next Mr./Mrs. Olympia.

Alright brave bodies!  Go pick up something heavy and toss it around.  We give you permission.  Check back in with us tomorrow as we debunk our final myth of the week!  Fitness Myth #5: Crash Dieting.

Be brave!

Lindsey + Amber

 

Show comments

FITNESS MYTH VLOG #3: More is Better!!!

 

It’s Fitness Myth Week here at Brave Body Project and today we’re debunking Fitness Myth #3: MORE IS BETTER!!!!

The health and wellness scene is hotter than ever.  These days, people are trading in cocktail hour for group fitness sessions, jeans for moisture-wicking leggings, and eggs benedict for avocado toast.  Everyone is jumping on the healthy train and it’s going full speed ahead.

We love that everyone is diving in and committing to living a healthy life but we’ve witnessed (and are culprits ourselves) of overdoing it.  Which brings us to Fitness Myth #3: More is Better!  At first glance, it may seem fun, cool, and exciting to jump from a FlyWheel class to Barry’s Bootcamp to Pilates to Kickboxing to Y7 Yoga before you #brunchsohard with your besties.  We’re here to tell you that kind of behavior will have adverse effects on your body.  Here’s what YOU need to know:

QUALITY VS. QUANTITY

If you’re performing your “workout du jour” at your max capacity that should be all you need to do.  Tacking on multiple hours of training is going to have adverse affects on your body and could lead to some serious problems and injuries.  We’re talking muscle imbalances, dehydration, exhaustion, mood swings, central nervous system problems, missed periods, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, dizzy spells and even strokes.  Want to know more?  Read this article Lindsey contributed to Thrive Market about her personal experience with estrogen dominance HERE .

Bottom line:  Use fitness as a tool to make you your most powerful, bad-assed self.  Don’t ruin your body by overdoing it.

We’ll see you tomorrow for Fitness Myth #4: Heavy Weights = Bulky Body.  Click here if you missed Fitness Myth #1 and Fitness Myth #2!

Have a myth you’d like debunked?  Tell us in the comments below!

Be brave friends!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

FITNESS MYTH VLOG #2: The Thigh Gap Epidemic

It’s Fitness Myth Week here at Brave Body Project and today we’re debunking Fitness Myth #2: The Thigh Gap Epidemic.

Here’s the truth. Having a thigh gap has little to  do with fat and everything to do with BONE STRUCTURE.  Some people naturally have a thigh gap and some don’t.  If you have wider set hips you’re more likely to have a gap.  If you have narrow hips, you probably won’t.

That being said, if you’re unhappy with the way your legs look there are plenty of things you can do to create muscle and lose fat (like this video HERE) BUT that doesn’t guarantee you’ll ever feel the breeze between your legs.

Bottom line:  Worry less about the gap and more about lovin’ your legs because they’re strong and beautiful.

We’ll see you tomorrow for Fitness Myth #3: More is Better.  Click here if you missed Fitness Myth #1: Spot Treating.

Have a myth you’d like debunked?  Tell us in the comments below!

Be brave friends!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

FITNESS MYTH WEEK + MYTH #1 VLOG!

#MondayMantra: Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t. – Bill Nye 

We’re all about learning and growing over here at BBP.  We love the bravery it takes to be a beginner and we think there’s no better way to grow than to constantly try new things and “begin” again.  Fortunately for you, one thing we’re seasoned professionals in is health and fitness!  In a market boasting all types of gadgets to help you “shred the fat”, “tone the muscle”, and “lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” we’re here to tell you that there’s no substitution for a fierce workout plan and a solid diet (minus the occasional pizza party of course).That’s why we’re dedicating this entire week to…

FITNESS MYTHS!

 

Every day this week, we’ll debunk some of the top fitness myths that drive us bananas.  Today’s topic: SPOT TREATING.  You simply cannot spot treat your way to a better body.  Example: Doing 100 crunches a day may strengthen your abdominal muscles, but it won’t make them more visible unless you take other steps to reduce your overall body fat. The 5 factors that determine whether you lose or gain weight are diet, exercise, sleep, stress and hydration.  Keep all of those things in check and you’re on your way to a lean, mean, fat-burning machine!

Check back in with us for Fitness Myth #2: The Thigh Gap!  Have a myth you want us to debunk?  Tell us in the comments below or email us at info@bravebodyproject.

Until tomorrow, be brave!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

 

 

 

Show comments

BBP Wake Up Call: How to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

Good morning!  Today the topic of our BBP Wake Up Call is:  How to Get Out of Bed in the Morning.

When your alarm goes off in the morning, it’s easy to jump out of bed, check your twitter/facebook/instagram/email, grab some coffee and jet out the door to get to work on time.  But all that frenetic energy in the A.M. might be causing you added stress throughout your day.  Take a look at your morning routine and check out our top tips for getting out of bed the right way.

1. Countdown from 10. When the alarm screams that’s it’s time to get up, take a second.  Find a few moments of breath to center yourself before you start worrying about your laundry list of tasks.

2. Stay unplugged. As tempting as it may be to check your email and social media first thing in the morning, try refraining for 15-20 minutes.  Seeing image after image of friends and social media personalities who have already “crushed” their morning workout, finished an entire novel and saved 2 cats from trees is going to make you feel like you’re already slacking on your day.  Remember not everyone is on the same schedule.

3. Do something for you.  Meditate, read a book, enjoy a cup of coffee, journal.  Do something that isn’t work related and that’s just for you.  If it takes setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier to do it, it’s worth it.

4. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with our days.  Fitting in work, workouts, time with friends and family, appointments and time for yourself can be tough.  Take your day in small segments and focus on the positive of each hour, each interaction, each chance to connect.  You’ll feel less stressed and more in control of your day.

Do you have a favorite tip or trick to help you get out of bed in the morning?  Tell us in the comments below!  Have a Wake Up Call idea you want us to talk about?  Tell us!

Have a great day, friends.  Be brave!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

 

 

Show comments

MONDAY MANTRA + THE #BRAVENEWYOU RUN CHALLENGE KICK OFF!

IMG_4386

“You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan

We’re feeling pretty excited about 2016 over here in the house of BBP.  This month, we’re going to reconnect to our bodies, our minds, our relationships and most importantly, ourselves.  That’s why today is the perfect day to commit to reconnecting to YOUR body with the Brave New You Run Challenge!

It’s easy to participate! We’re challenging you to pick how many miles you’re going to run for the month of January.  Simply post your number on social media (snap a photo and tag us @bravebodyproject on Instagram… or Twitter and Facebook!) with the hashtag #bravebodyproject.  Throughout the month, we’ll be there to guide and support you with our favorite run playlists, tips on running form, plus a bunch of fun motivation to keep you going strong BBP style!  We’re both challenging ourselves to run 80 miles this month.  How many miles will you run?

Expect great things from yourself.  Set your goal.  Let’s do this – together.

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

 

Show comments

BRAVE NEW YOU JANUARY CHALLENGE!

Happy 2016 Brave Body Project family!

We hope you had a fantastic New Year’s Eve filled with champagne toasts and laughter!   2015 was an incredible year for Brave Body Project and we’re so excited to share what we have in store for you this year!  We’re ready to hit the ground running and kick off 2016 with a bang!  That’s why we’ve created…

IMG_0406

 The Brave New You January Challenge!  

This January, we’re putting our focus on connection. We’re going to reconnect to our bodies, our minds, our relationships and most importantly, ourselves.  Each week, we’ll give you tips and challenges to spice up your workout, revamp your eating habits, excite your mind, find joy in your life and pursue your wildest, bravest adventures.

Here’s are some exciting things we’re cooking up for the Brave New You January Challenge!

braveBODY

55msN3LrdoM7fqj9b2w0XwKTG8dUlJMrQOI8VnKXhjg

We’re lacing up our sneakers and getting ready for some serious sweat this month!  Join us for our Brave New You Run Challenge!  The BNY Run Challenge officially starts on Monday, January 4th. We’re challenging you to pick how many miles you’re going to run for the month of January.  You’ll post your number on social media to hold yourself accountable and you’ll have us to guide and support you through the month!  We’re both challenging ourselves to 80 miles this month.  How many miles will you run?  Check back in with us on Monday, January 4th for the official kick off!

P.S. We’re so excited to unveil our NEW online fitness membership site.  Now, directly on the Brave Body Project website, you can:

  • Create your own personal profile
  • Track your weight/body measurements
  • Buy membership packages
  • Gain access to a library of fast, effective and FUN workouts
  • Easily track your progress with our online tools
  • Message Amber and Lindsey directly
  • Be the first to know about membership specials + discounts
  • Start the adventure to the bravest, most brilliant version of YOU

Ready to join the community, reach your fitness goals and fall in love with the new brave, bad-assed, brilliant you?!  Click HERE to create your username/password and get started!  Use the code BRAVENEWYOU10 at checkout for 10% off all packages!!!  Let’s work on you – together.

braveWORDS

FullSizeRender-1

It’s no secret that we love Brené Brown over here at Brave Body Project.  So when we found out she created an online course called the Living Brave Semester… well… we were the first ones ready to sign up.

The Living Brave Semester is a unique, online learning experience that provides participants with the opportunity to explore what it means to fully show up in our lives – to be brave, lean into vulnerability, and to rumble with the challenges that come with living a daring life.

The course starts on January 11th!  Want more information?  Head to Brené’s site COURAGEworks, check it out and join us!

braveEATS + braveLOOKS

This month, we’re thinking outside of the box when it comes to what we eat and what we wear! We’re kicking our style up a notch this winter and we’re in search of the best studio to street outfits to keep you looking cute (and warm) throughout chilly winter months!  We’re also going to give you our best tips to keep your summer glow all winter long.  We’ll share our newest hair, skin, makeup and beauty obsessions with you!

We’re also revamping what we eat!  We’re taking a close look at the food we’re putting in our bodies, seeing how they affect our energy and playing around with what gives us the best performance power before a workout.  Let us be the guinea pigs!

We’re so excited for all the amazing opportunities this 2016.  Take a deep breath, open your eyes, lead with your heart and let’s start this adventure together.  We think this will be our bravest year yet, don’t you?

Happy New Year Brave family!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

 

 

Show comments

HAPPY NEW YEAR VLOG!

Happy New Year Brave Body Project family!  2015 was a whirlwind year and we’re so grateful to each and every one of you for joining us on this big, brave adventure.

With 2016 right around the corner, we want to slow down for a minute and talk about something that’s on everyone’s minds: New Year’s resolutions.  Whether you love or hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions, you can’t deny that this time of year gets you thinking about what you want more or less of in your life.

Our top tip for making your resolutions stick?  Don’t overdo it!  Whether your goal is to lose weight, try something new, or refocus your energy, keep your goals small and attainable.  There’s nothing wrong with thinking big (we encourage it!) but we want you to set yourself up for success by creating small monthly challenges that push you towards your greater goals.

IMG_7469

Tomorrow, to kick off 2016 on the right foot we’re rolling out our Brave New You challenge. This January, we’re putting our focus on connection.  We’re going to reconnect to our bodies, our minds, our relationships and most importantly, ourselves.  You’re also getting a free Brave Body Project Full Body Beat Down you can do right in your home (pajamas and mimosas are totally acceptable here).

We’re so excited to dive headfirst into 2016 with you.  Have an amazing New Year’s Eve.  We’ll see you next year!

Be brave,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA + BBP WAKE UP CALL: ACCOUNTABILITY

Today as part of the #BBPHolidayHustle Pillar: Energize we’re taking it to the camera and giving you a BBP Wake Up Call about Accountability for your workouts.

Here are our top tips for holding yourself accountable for your workouts!

1. Find an accountability buddy. Pick someone in your life who has the same fitness and health goals as you.  Whether they’re a workout buddy you meet every day or just someone you check in with to talk about how your workout went, having someone to turn to will help motivate you to get in the gym and sweat.

FullSizeRender-2

 

2. Create a challenge for yourself. We love to set goals and challenges for ourselves each month.  If you know you’re working towards a goal you’ll be less likely to fall off the fitness wagon.  We love doing monthly run challenges.  Each month, we set a certain number of miles and try to match or better our number.  It’s fun, it forces you to keep track of your miles and you don’t end up skimping on your runs.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.08.17 PM

 

3. Post it on social media. One sure fire way to stay accountable is to put your fitness or nutrition goals out there on social media for the world to see.  Announcing your goals to your friends and family will give you more motivation to actually complete what you set out to do.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 1.07.14 PM

Have a favorite tip or trick to hold yourself accountable for your workouts?  Comment below!

Until next time Brave family!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

 

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA + BBP WAKE UP CALL: BE PRESENT

#MondayMantra: “Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot

Today as part of the #BBPHolidayHustle Pillar: Energize we’re taking it to the camera and giving you a BBP Wake Up Call about being present.

We’re right in the thick of the holiday season and now more than ever we need to breathe some calmness and peace into our daily lives.  Social media and other digital distractions, worrying about work, money, traveling, family and friends prevent us from being fully present in the moment.  Here are our top tips to BE. HERE. NOW.

 

  • Unplug.  We spend so much time looking at our computer and phone screens that we often get lost down a social media rabbit hole.  If you’re having trouble logging out and unplugging try deleting a few of your favorite apps for one day.  Realizing how many times you naturally go to Instagram a photo, make a new status update and Tweet it will put your social media obsession in perspective and force you to look up and be in the moment.

 

  • Get your zen on. Emily Fletcher, owner of Ziva Meditation puts it best.  She says we need to “Stop reviewing the past and rehearsing the future.”  We spend so much thinking about what happened yesterday or that conversation we had with our boss this morning.  We think about our work schedules,  what we’re eating for dinner WHILE we’re eating lunch.  But by doing that we aren’t spending any time in the current moment.  Multitasking is ok but not when it’s all we do.  Stop reviewing the past and rehearsing the future.  Focus on the now.

 

  • Be all in.  It sounds so simple but it takes a lot of mental practice.  Invest yourself fully in the conversation you’re having, the food you’re eating, the show you’re watching, the workout you’re doing.  Start small and keep practicing being all in.  Before you know it, it will feel less like work and more like living life.

 

Do you have a favorite tip to practice being present?  Comment below!

Until next time Brave family!

xx,

Amber + Lindsey

 

Show comments

The Brave Body Project Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffer Edition

 

We here at BBP love the holidays.   Our absolute favorite part of gift giving lies in the stocking.  There are so many possibilities!  Today we’re breaking down our top picks for the favorite fitness fanatic in your life.  Take a watch, click the links below to read up on our top product choices, and get your stockings stuffed BBP style!

 

 

1. Sweaty Betty – The hottest UK (and now USA) luxury fitness line is our go-to whether we’re sweating it out in the gym or heading to coffee.  We’re both proud US Ambassadors of the brand and can’t speak highly enough of the company, the product or the staff!    Their mission is to inspire women to find empowerment through fitness.  How could you NOT love it?!  Sweaty Betty’s line is BEAUTIFUL, the fabric is amazing for high-performance sports, and their pants with quick dry technology are awesome for your studio to street look.  Plus, we’re giving away two $50.00 gift cards to the first two people to tell us what their favorite Christmas carol is on our facebook page.  Get to it!

2. Bombas –  We spend the majority of our day sweating, running, teaching and training and we can’t get through the day without a high-performance athletic sock.  Whether we are doing our favorite beatdown or lounging at home, Bombas socks are engineered and designed to look better, feel better and come with an incredible mission to help those in need.

Bombas says: “Socks are the number one most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.”

For every pair of Bombas you purchase, they donate a pair to someone in need. How great is that?  Bombas are built for athletic performance and designed for extreme leisure. Each section of a Bombas sock has been carefully created to improve on years of sock complacency in the industry.  Trust us, Bombas wins the sock game!

3. Brave Body Project Tanks – We know our tanks have been on your Christmas list and now’s the time to snatch them up!  Both our BBP Women’s Grey Crop and our Unisex Black Tank come in S/M/L and they won’t break your bank! Our tanks are $25 bucks plus tax and shipping.  Email us at info@bravebodyproject.com with your order, size request and address and we’ll get em’ to you before Santa comes down the chimney!

4. Malin and Goetz – This NYC-based company is our go-to for beauty care essentials.  Malin and Goetz  specializes in developing products for people with sensitive skin.  Their advanced formulas blend trusted natural ingredients (no gross synthetic material!)  with performance technologies for the face, body and hair.  Plus the smell pretty awesome too.  We’ve been a huge fan of Malin + Goetz for years (our favorite is the Peppermint Shampoo) and we know you’ll love it too!

5. Selfie-Z – When it’s time to take that gym selfie, there is no time to waste!  The Selfie-Z is our favorite smartphone sportswear because of it’s magnetic case and armband.  The magnetic case makes it easy to attach the phone to your armband or easily mount your phone to any metal surface! Selfie Z has cut out the need to beg your workout partner to film or photograph your form or progress.  How awesome, right?! Now, you can workout, check your form, AND throw it on to your social media to show your ninja skills without any hassle!

6. LuMee – The number one rule of taking a good selfie is all about lighting! If the lighting isn’t right, you’re probably going to wind up with a less than perfect shot.  Never fear, we’ve found the ultimate solution!  A vanity for your face! Check out the LuMee case.  This brilliant front-lit smartphone case is changing the way people shoot and share on social media. Get your selfie on… we approve.

7. Mobot  – The top two things we all need after an intense workout: Hydration and Recovery.  Well wouldn’t you know, someone went and found a way to blend the two together!  Enter: The Mobot.  The Mobot is world’s first and only foam roller water bottle, delivering hydration and self-myofascial release all in one portable, eco-friendly package.  This gift is perfect for the runner, yogi, bootcamp fanatic in your life. We can’t get enough!

So there you have it, folks!  Our top picks to bring the merriest Christmas to your favorite fitness fanatic. We wish you a very happy and safe holiday.  Happy stocking stuffing!

Be brave!

Amber + Lindsey

 

 

Show comments

BBP Holiday Hustle Energize Pillar + #MondayMantra + AMBER Hijacks the Blog!

Today it’s Amber’s turn to hijack the braveWORDS blog.  Read up on her Shark Tank addiction, her obsession with Fridays, and find out why grey is her new favorite color.

 

141113_Amber Rees Portraits-2263This week’s #MondayMantra is:

There is something beautiful about living in the grey.

If you’re anything like me, you love to have something to look forward to. I love to have something vibrant and colorful to focus on whether it be an event, a party, a trip. Having that special something in my near future gives me something to talk about.  Friday. FRIDAY.  There is something special about Friday. It’s the release at the end of my week for all of the hard work I put in. I love Friday.

IMG_4302

 

I have two sides to myself. There is the “Weekday Amber” and the “Weekend Amber”.  The “Weekday Amber puts her trainer pants on and her nose to the grindstone. She focuses all her energy on her work, her clients, and Brave Body Project.  She wakes up early, she works late and she lathers, rinses, and repeats throughout the week.

Then there is the “Weekend Amber” (that’s me right now, writing this).  I may not have anything planned for the weekend, but this is where I allow myself to relax.  I definitely still have work to do, but Friday is the moment in my week where I let loose a little. I allow an evening where I surround myself with my favorite people or even a simple night in my apartment with a movie and a glass of wine.  It is the gold at the end of the rainbow. It is the colorful end to my week.

This week as I sat down as “Weekday Amber”  to plan my classes, clients, BBP post and more I started to feel a little overwhelmed.  There was so much work to be done.  Friday, why do you feel so far away? A sense of anxiety started to set in.  Instead of putting my foot on the gas and charging forward, I stopped and put my foot on the break.  Why am I spending so much time looking ahead?  Looking ahead towards that trip, that party, that great thing we are going to do, to Friday.  What about now? I had a realization. I am passing by so many moments in my life. Sure, they may not be monumental. They may not be bursting with bright colorful lights. But, why can’t I enjoy each day and learn to live in the grey moments? Love the grey. Experience the grey. Breakfast, teaching classes, Brave Body meetings with Lindsey, making a playlist. Every day is a day to celebrate. A day to live in the grey.

So, right then and there, I decided to make a list of the “grey” moments in my week that I wanted to live in and celebrate.  To truly live, love, and experience the beauty of the simplicity.  Here’s what I came up with.

Breakfast.  I eat avocado toast every morning, and I LOVE it. I have a seriously emotional relationship with it and I refuse to apologize for that and all its greatness.

IMG_5371

 

 

Teaching Class.  -I do this 3+ times a day. I love the energy. I love the people. I love jumping around, dancing, making jokes, and helping people reach their goals.

IMG_5689

 

 

My Workouts.  Whether I’m in the gym alone or taking a class, I love working out. I mean, don’t get me wrong it’s hard. Some days it’s challenging and it sucks, but it really does change my attitude and my perspective. It’s therapeutic. I need to stop thinking of it as a task in my day, but as a little hug to myself. Giving myself a little time to sweat, get my blood pumping, my endorphins high and enjoy that time for me.

IMG_1579

 

Shark Tank.  I love Shark Tank. I have currently have 25 episodes saved to my DVR and I watch and reawtch them all. Maybe it’s an unhealthy addiction, but I don’t care. I love to make dinner, sit on my couch and hear the absurd fights over 2% equity and the booming music that hits after they shout, “I’m out!”IMG_9066

 

These are just a few of the many amazing grey moments in my week to come. I am going to relish in them this week, next week, and from here on out.

What are the grey moments in your week that you can celebrate and live? T ake this challenge with me. Find the beauty in your life. Not in just the huge life changing moments, but the small ones too. The not so colorful ones. The grey ones. Find the beauty in the in between. There is something beautiful about that. There is something beautiful about the grey.

Be brave friends!

xx,

Amber

Show comments

BBP Holiday Hustle Energize Pillar + #MondayMantra + Lindsey Hijacks the Blog!

 

Today Lindsey is hijacking the braveWORDS blog to talk about starring on Bravo TV’s WorkOut New York, the ACL tear heard round the world, and her adventure of learning how to stand up, stand out and be brave with an entire nation watching.


IMG_3278

This week’s #MondayMantra is:

Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do. – Brené Brown

I have to be honest.  Filming for WorkOut New York was one of the hardest, most depressing times in my life.  Two weeks prior to our first day of filming, I fell and tore my ACL.  As an athlete, fitness instructor, dancer and person who spends their life jumping, running, training and LIVING in New York City there’s no worse injury.   The timing could NOT have been worse.   I was supposed to be a 6-pack clad glamazon burpee-ing my way to reality TV fame and here I was: immobile with crutches, a brace that made me look like the bionic woman, 6 months of physical therapy and a lot of tears ahead of me.

When I called the casting director to tell him the news of my injury, I anticipated him saying they’d have to cut me from the show.  I mean… how was I supposed to be on a show called WorkOut New York if I couldn’t do that… I couldn’t use half of my body.  To my surprise, he said “You’re like Rudy!  This is horrible to say, but this will actually make for good TV.”  And that it did.  On the first day of filming, we swapped me running through Central Park in a sports bra to me at the hospital, about to undergo a complete ACL reconstruction.  It felt like a nightmare.

IMG_3255

(Right before going into surgery.  I was being filmed going in and out of the hospital, hence the stellar hair and makeup job.)

 

FullSizeRender

(My knee post op.  I was in that brace for over a month.  It was the WORST.)

 

My other 6 cast mates were in their physical prime and were focused and prepared for anything the filming of the show threw at them emotionally.  I was on the sidelines like “I want to go back to sleep and wake up when this is over.”  My outlook was not bright.  I felt sad.  I felt fat.  I felt useless.  This was my chance to shine and I was barely scraping by.

During this time, something amazing finally happened.  Amber and I were in the slow and steady process of creating Brave Body Project.  At the time, we had no idea what our company was going to be, we just knew we wanted to help people feel strong, inspired and teach them about health and fitness in a fun, relatable, realistic way.  If you’re a member of Brave Body Project or just a fan of the site, you know everything here is done with a side of humor and sarcasm.  We don’t take ourselves too seriously here.

Creating Brave Body Project while filming for the show gave me something to feel excited about and took my broken little spirit and mended it back together.  I went from crying to the cameras about feeling out of shape to talking about the importance of a positive body image.  Talks about how awesome it is to have 6-pack abs became talks about having a healthy, happy body that was strong, not just aesthetically pleasing.  I swapped feeling sad about my injury for feeling empowered that the knowledge I had because of my experience could help someone going through the same thing.  All of a sudden, the show didn’t seem so bad anymore.  My life didn’t feel so bad anymore.

It was a challenge for me to own my story.  And it didn’t happen right away.  I fought that story tooth and nail.  I didn’t want to be that story.  I hated being the underdog. But somewhere along the line, I realized that everything that happened: my ACL tear, filming my recovery, exposing myself when the chips were down, the creation of Brave Body Project – it all happened exactly as it should have.  Being perfect wasn’t relatable.  Being vulnerable, being honest –  that was relatable.  I stood in the boxing ring, under the lights with everyone watching.  And I fell down a LOT.  And I got back up.  And while the getting back up is important, it’s not as important as stepping into the ring in the first place. My experience forced me to be brave when I didn’t know how to be.

IMG_2112

Leading back to Brené’s quote: “Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” I want to encourage you today, right now to own your story.  If you feel too skinny, too fat, unhappy, overwhelmed, depressed.  Fucking own it.  And stop being so hard on yourself.  I guarantee  if you own your story and share it with others you’ll hear a lot more of “Me too” than “Oh, you poor thing.” 

Thank you for taking this adventure with me, with Amber, with Brave Body Project.  I’m going to continue owning our story through the good and the bad.  Through the highs and the lows.  I’m in the boxing ring, under the lights and I’m happy to fall down if it makes me braver each time.

Own it, brave family!

xx,

Lindsey

WorkOut New York airs every Sunday at 9PM EST on Bravo TV.  

Show comments

BBP HOLIDAY HUSTLE: ENERGIZE + #MONDAYMANTRA

It’s time to tackle the Energize Pillar of the #BBPHoldiayHustle with this week’s #MondayMantra:

“You cannot live a brave life without disappointing some people.”  – Oprah

IMG_3587

There are two ladies we’re constantly inspired by in the house of BBP.  One of them is Brené Brown.  The other one is Oprah.  So when Brené launched the Living Brave Interview Series with Oprah as her first guest… well… we both fainted and had to remember how to breathe again!  Brené says courage is contagious (we agree!) and she’s created this series to highlight conversations with people who are truly being brave with their lives.

In the interview, which you can watch here, Oprah says:

“You cannot live a brave life without disappointing some people. But those people who get disappointed, it’s really ok.  The people that really care for you….the people who are rooting for your rise will not be disappointed.  The only people who are disappointed are the people who have their own agenda.  And they’re agenda is not aligned with your agenda.  And that’s how I make myself brave…”

Well.  We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.  We here at Brave Body Project will always be rooting for YOUR rise.  Get out there this week and live your life bravely.

Happy Holiday Hustle brave family!

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

BBP HOLIDAY HUSTLE: ENERGIZE + #MONDAYMANTRA + NEW VLOG!

This week’s #MondayMantra is inspired by the words of Jack Canfield:

“Gratitude is the most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life.”

 

Today, we’re excited to combine our #MondayMantra with the Energize Pillar of the #BBPHolidayHustle and introduce a new segment on Brave Body Project TV: WAKE UP CALL.  The BBP Wake Up Call is like a quick cup of coffee for your brain.  This morning we’re kicking off the Wake Up Call series with the topic of gratitude.

The holidays are an excellent time to ramp up the gratitude factor, especially with Thanksgiving just around the corner.  But practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be a once a year event.   Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level.

Try these steps to make your practice of gratitude more habitual:

1. Make a mental checklist.  Stop what you’re doing right now and think about what you’re grateful for.  It can be something as small as “I’m grateful I got a seat on the subway this morning.” to something as large as “I’m grateful for my health.”  Once you get the wheels rolling on the Grateful Train, you’ll be surprised by how long your list gets.

2. Write it down. Grab a post-it, a piece of paper, or just open up the notes section on your phone.  Write down the top 3 things you feel grateful for right now.  Put it in your pocket and carry it around with you. Place it on your desk at work.  Tape it to your mirror at home.  Seeing your gratitude list throughout the day will feel like a breath of fresh air and energy.

3. Act on it.  Write to someone and tell them you’re grateful for them.  How often do we write people notes just to say we appreciate them?  Not only will it make them feel amazing, but it will make you feel excited and prompt you (and probably them!) to spread gratitude and love around.

Check back in with us on Wednesday as we Nourish you with our top tips for avoiding the dreaded FESTIVE 15 and Friday we’ll Strengthen you with our Post-Thanksgiving Full Body Beatdown.

Have an amazing day friends.  Get out there and spread the gratitude!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

BBP HOLIDAY HUSTLE: ENERGIZE + #MONDAYMANTRA

This week’s #MondayMantra comes from the incredible Maya Angelou. She was once quoted to say:

“This is a wonderful day.  I’ve never seen this one before.”

FullSizeRender-7

Reading this quote instantly fills us with wonder.  It’s so simple and so true.  You’ve never experienced this day, this time, this exact moment before.  Our stories unfold according to us.  Fill your story today with gratitude and love.

Right now in this exact moment list 3 things you feel grateful for.  If it’s available to you, write them down on paper and stick it in your pocket.  Move through your day with those 3 pieces of gratitude leading the way.  When you lead with love, you encourage others around you to do the same.

We’re so excited for week 2 of The BBP Holiday Hustle.  Later this week, we’ll Nourish you with our favorite tips for managing your sweet tooth during the hustle and bustle of holiday parties and on Friday we’ll Strengthen you with our BBP Beatdown focusing on Shoulders and Triceps.

Feeling the BBP love?  Comment below and tell us why or tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #BBPHolidayHustle.

Enjoy your day friends!  You’ve never seen this one before!

xx,

Lindsey + Amber

Show comments

#MondayMantra + THE BBP HOLIDAY HUSTLE BEGINS!!!

This week’s #MondayMantra is:

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” -Helen Keller

We here at BBP LOVE the holidays.  From November through January, we’re in a constant state of good holiday cheer.  We’re the first to put up our Christmas tree and decorations and the last ones to take them down.   There’s something about this time of year that feels like magic.  It’s a sense of excitement, anticipation and wonder that you don’t always see and we revel in every second of it.

With all the parties and fun that surround these coming months, it’s easy to lose focus on you: your goals, your workouts, your dreams and your well-being.   That’s why we’re rolling out with…..  

IMG_3147

The BBP Holiday Hustle is a 2-month challenge will help keep you accountable in all areas of your life from now until next year.  We’re focusing on 3 pillars of health we believe are most important to maintain a healthy body and mind.  The 3 pillars are:

 Strengthen  /  Nourish /  Energize

 

 The Strengthen Pillar focuses on cultivating and maintaining a powerful body through the holidays.  Each week, we’ll give you free workouts you can do with minimal time and little to no equipment. We’ll create workout challenges that will inspire and motivate you to stick to your workout routine. We want you to be able to count on us to help you get your body moving, even when you feel like you’re crunched for time.

 

 The Nourish Pillar focuses on filling your body with food that will satisfy, satiate and empower you through the holidays.  We’ll give you tips to avoid overindulging and focus on foods and recipes that will comfort and satisfy you without packing extra calories on your plate.

 

The Energize Pillar focuses on pulling  back to a place of peace, calm and gratitude during the holidays. With extra family time, long shopping lines, and money woes the holidays can bring, it’s easy to forget to breathe.  We’ll explore practices that will help you avoid holiday burnout and stress through meditation, practices of gratitude and moments of mindfulness.

Putting special focus on these 3 areas in your life will motivate you to stay healthy, satisfied and calm during this wonderful season.  Make the commitment with us to have the healthiest and happiest holiday season yet.  Join in on the fun on Instagram using our hashtag #BBPHolidayHustle!

Check back in with us this Wednesday as we help Nourish your belly with Commandment #9 of the BBP 10 Commandments of Food (plus the recipe for our favorite pumpkin protein shake!)

Stay brave friends!

Amber + Lindsey

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage.”

This week’s #MondayMantra is:  “Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage.”

Kris4

We’ve been through a lot of big, scary, exciting changes recently here at BBP.  We’ve set the bar high, made some pretty big goals and we’ve made brave choices to push ourselves towards those goals.

It’s easy to sit back and play it safe.  Color inside the lines. Rely on the safety net beneath you. But the exciting breakthroughs, the most exhilarating changes come when we risk it all.  Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is looking fear in the face and saying: “I’m scared, but I’m going to do this because I want to be better.”

The more courageous you are in your daily life, the more privy you are to discovering the best version of you.

What’s one courageous act you can commit to this week?  Tell us about it.  We have your back.

As always, be brave friends!

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

This week’s #MONDAYMANTRA is: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

FullSizeRender

What kind of way do you see the world?

If you’re feeling a lot of anger, sadness or grief in your own life, that’s exactly the world you will create for yourself. If you remain open, positive and full of love, the world around you will be just that.  We build our own reality and we see no more than we expect to see.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  What shift, small or large can you make right now that could transform the rest of your day? 

Be brave, friends!

Show comments

OUR VERY FIRST VLOG!!!!!

Well friends, the time has finally come.  We got the lights, we got the camera, and we’re ready for action. Brave Body Project is launching a VLOG series and hitting all the hot topics you want to know more about.

Things like:

  • WTF is a foam roller?
  • Why are ankle weights awesome?
  • What’s the best way to get out of a workout rut?
  • How do you make a healthy cocktail?

We’re here to give you our tips and tricks on making your workouts (and your life) bold, brave and most importantly fun.

Have some questions you want us to answer?  Email us at info@bravebodyproject.com or comment on this Vlog and we’ll get to talking!  Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss anything and follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Happy Vlog viewing friends.  Be brave!

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

This week’s #MondayMantra is:  “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”


FullSizeRender-2
  

Laughing can’t cure everything that may be going wrong in your life, but there are a bunch of positive things it CAN do for your body, mind and spirit.

Laughing can:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Release endorphins
  • Reduce Stress
  • Give you a serious ab workout
  • Make everyone around you happy
  • Help you live in the moment

This week, get your laugh on.  Positive energy is infectious and will rub off on those around you.  Come on, get happy.

Be #brave friends!

xx,

L & A

 

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”

FullSizeRender-1This week’s #MondayMantra is:  “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” – Rumi

We want to know: What gets you excited to jump out of  bed every morning?  What motivates you? What propels YOU forward?

This week, we’re all about living and breathing in what excites our spirit.  So, come on. Join us as we focus on filling our lives with the things that make getting out of bed each day pretty damn amazing.

Be brave friends!

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Act as if what you do makes a difference in the world. It does.”

 

This week’s #MondayMantra is: “Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”

Be strong.

Be inspired.

Be brave!

xx,

Lindsey and Amber

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “The ones crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

This week’s #MondayMantra was inspired by Steve Jobs.  While we could sit all day and quote his genius, these words hit home with us.

Steve says: “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently.  They’re not fond of rules.  You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things.  They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Be brave this week friends.  Change the world.

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.”

This weeks #MondayMantra is: “I’m not interested in competing with anyone.  I hope we all make it.”

Take your focus off of trying to be better than other people.  Set your focus on being the best version of yourself.  A better friend, a better athlete, a better human than you were yesterday.  We don’t need to compete against each other.  Let’s be in this race together.  Let’s lift each other up along the way.  And let’s all come out on top.

Be brave friends!

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “I never met a person I’d rather be.”

IMG_1946This week’s Monday Mantra is: “I never met a person I’d rather be.”

You are here to breathe new life into this world.  Don’t waste your days with you had a different life, a different body, a different story to tell.  You are unique.  You are beautiful.  Spend this week celebrating just how awesome it is to be YOU.

Show comments

Introducing…. The Brave Body Book Club!

We here at Brave Body Project are all about inspiration.  Giving it, getting it, and being it.  But, with so many people putting their good juju out in the world we don’t always get to process the amazing, inspiring things we see on social media, hear in a fitness class or read in a book.

That’s why we’ve decided it’s time to roll out The Brave Body Book Club.  We’re choosing books we’re inspired by, reading them together, and sharing what we’ve learned with all of you.  And we want you to join in on the conversation.

Our first book was an easy choice.  This month, we’re diving into Brene Brown’s new book, Rising Strong.  

imgres

 

On the cover, Brown says: “If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall.  This is a book about what it takes to get back up.”  We’re so excited to explore this book together, talk about our own brave acts, failures and the process of rising to strength again.

Want in on the Brave Body Book Club?  Pick up Rising Strong and start reading!  We’ll check back in next week with some topics and quotes that intrigued us.

Get to reading friends!

Be brave,

Amber and Lindsey

 

Show comments

The #BETTERFORIT Instagram Challenge!

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 3.39.11 PM

Wayne W. Dyer wrote: “With everything that happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or you can treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

So here it is! This month your BBP Co-Founder Lindsey has decided to create (drum roll….) The#BETTERFORIT Instagram Campaign and we want all of you to join in. When you’re at the gym, out with friends who inspire you, trying something new, failing HARD at something or just reminiscing about how far you’ve come in the last year, snap a photo, hashtag #betterforit and explain how what you’re doing now/ what you did then has helped you grow. Make sure you tag us @bravebodyproject and hashtag #bravebodyproject too!

FullSizeRender-1

This month we’re all about being#BETTERFORIT. Let’s do this together! 

Be brave!

 

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Be authentic.”

This week’s Monday Mantra is simple: Be authentic.

Brene Brown says: “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

Brene, we just love ya girl.  As two former self-proclaimed vulnerability protestors, we’ve found that opening up instead of shutting down, letting ourselves be seen instead of hiding, and embracing vulnerability instead of pushing it away has impacted our lives in monumental ways.

So be authentic.  Be honest.  Let yourself be seen.  Mess things up.  Be ugly.  Fail at something and fail HARD.  And most importantly, above all:  Be brave.

 

 

 

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “The world needs what you’ve got.”

This week’s Monday Mantra is: “The world needs what you’ve got.”

We want to remind you to keep creating, keep exploring, keep evolving, keep striving for the greatest version of yourself.  The world needs it.  Your path inspires others.  Remember that.  Be brave.

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Fill your life with experiences, not things.”

This week’s #MondayMantra is:  “Fill your life with experiences, not things.”  

We were fortunate enough to spend the last 10 days traveling across the country visiting our families.  We decided to make an adventure of it; not just jetting from one location to the next, but enjoying the experience on the way.  We took a road trip from Indiana to New Hampshire.

In those 10 days, we gained a lifetime of memories.  We laughed until we cried with Amber’s family in small town Marion, Indiana.  We rode roller coasters in Ohio.  We sang every song on the radio known to man as we crossed the entire state of Pennsylvania.  We talked about dreams for Brave Body Project.  We sipped cocktails at an underground speakeasy in Philadelphia.  We reminisced about my childhood at the beach in New Hampshire and again, we laughed until we cried with my family in my little town of Manchester.

Life isn’t about stuff.  It’s not about the clothes you wear, the car you drive or the apartment you own.  It’s all the things in between that make your life worth living.  It’s about the late night car rides and impromptu dance parties.  We were lucky to create a lifetime full of memories in the past 10 days.

Fill your life with experiences, not things.  Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.

Stay brave.

 

 

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “And now, I’ll do what’s best for me.”

This week’s #MONDAYMANTRA is: “And now I’ll do what’s best for me.”

We want you to put yourself first.  For a lot of us, this is a challenging thing to do.  Get that extra workout in, hit snooze on your morning alarm if you can afford 5 more much needed minutes of sleep.  Say NO to the things you don’t want to do and say YES to the things that make you happy.  Odds are if you’re happy in your own life you’ll send that energy out all around you.  And don’t we want more of those positive vibes out in the world?

Remember, taking time to do the things that are best for you are not selfish.  They’re the most necessary step in creating a life that is healthy, happy and balanced.

Happy Monday and be brave everyone!

Show comments

braveWORDS Takeover: Courtney Romano

We here at Brave Body Project are drawn to strong, powerful humans who are looking to make a difference in the world.  When we were building this company and needed a triple espresso-sized jolt of inspiration and creativity we turned to none other than the creative genius, Ms. Courtney Romano.

Don’t you feel inspired just looking at her? A little bit about Courtney:

10375896_316508625172264_1479201092849291877_n

 

Courtney is a creativity addict. She’s obsessed with drawing creative genius out of people who want more out of their lives but don’t know where to start. She currently writes for Distinct, a digital magazine and artist exhibition, set to launch this fall in addition to heading the coaching program and leadership development at The Bari Studio in NYC. Her writing has been featured on Lifehack, NY Press, and she will publish her first book, The First Ten Years: A philosophical and practical guide to creative longevity this fall. Courtney is also a Barrymore-Award nominated actress with performances ranging from Off-Broadway to commercials. 

Basically, she’s a genius.  If you’re looking for a kick in the creativity pants Courtney is your girl.  And lucky you, she’s giving you some of her genius free of charge.

design (22)

Join Courtney for a Free Webinar: How To Build a No-Fail Plan for Creative Success on August 4th at 1pm EST / 10am PST. Get more information and RSVP here: bit.ly/nofailplan

We asked Courtney to tell us what being BRAVE means to her and her answers were too good not to share. Read on, readers.

Courtney:

brave (adj) ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.

 

We all want to be fearless. But that’s too easy. That just means we’re somehow mentally predisposed to facing the toughest battles of our lives without much effort, without much to overcome. Where is the excitement in that? Being fearless means we haven’t toed the line of our own limits. Being fearless means that we are stoic. We are so together in the face of uncertainty that we are cut off from that which could really, truly change us.

 

What can actually get under our skin and into our bones to change us in profound and exponential ways is being scared shitless and doing it anyway. That’s brave.

 

Brave means walking through the fire. Brave means showing up despite the fear, the danger, and the pain. Brave means you know it’s going to be tough and you decide to do it anyway. If fearless is a quality, brave is an action. Which means, anyone can be brave. It’s simply a decision.

 

That’s what having a brave body (and mind and spirit) means to me. It means stepping in the shit time and time again because I know I can choose to push through it. It means sticking with a plan that will make me better than I was yesterday. It means not settling for what I know I can do well, but attempting to learn what I can do better. It’s about doing what I said I was going to do.

 

It’s also about telling the truth. It’s about being brave enough to admit when I fall out of integrity with myself, and not hiding behind those moments. It’s about understanding that those moments are a symptom of something else going on inside me, and then excavating, digging down deep to find out what threw me off track. Sometimes it’s brave to just ask the question, Am I okay? And if I’m not, How can I get better?

 

It’s also about owning my whole picture. There are some days (many days) I want to lay low and binge on guacamole and other days I want to take on the world and start a creative revolution. There are moments of supreme clarity and moments of heavy fog. A brave spirit embraces life’s contradictions with enthusiasm. A brave mind strategizes through the muck while staying anchored in hope. A brave body lives life wholly, without losing the ebbs and flows that evoke the richness of life. I love kale and quinoa, but I also love a nice, hoppy IPA and both of those things are okay. Being brave means owning every inch of you.

 

Being brave also means knowing when to walk away. Knowing who or what to walk away from means you are constantly reaffirming yourself and the life you choose to live. You edit the world around you to look more and more like your ideal. You don’t say terrible things to yourself and you don’t let others say them either. You say thanks but no thanks, send out love and light, and then edit your way to a world that builds you up to your best. Because being brave is a gift and you give it to everyone in your path. Your bravery is the permission they might be silently seeking to love their every inch and live their lives without apology. The more you clear away, the more space you have to build up not just you, but everyone around you.
So it would be nice to be fearless. It would be cool to easily defeat my demons without much effort, but it wouldn’t transform me. I want to be brave. And for me, that means evolving, getting stronger, and learning to be more authentically who I am. All it takes is one decision at a time.

Courtney Romano

website | email |  twitter  

reply with a hell yeah if you want to be the first to know when Courtney’s book comes out!

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Wherever you are, be all there.”


FullSizeRender-1

This week’s Monday Mantra is: “Wherever you are, be all there.”

Living in New York City, running a business, hustling hard to accomplish your goals is our daily life here at Brave Body Project.  With all that hustle, it’s easy to lose focus on staying present in the moment.  So this week we’re focusing on being fully present in whatever situation we’re put in.

Put down your phone.  Stop checking your Instagram.  Leave your Facebook page (for a little while).  We’re not saying “Go cold turkey!” and throw your iPhone in the ocean. We just want you, our Brave readers to realize that life is happening all around you, at this moment.  So sit back, look up and enjoy the moment. Be all there.

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “STAY WILD AT HEART.”

This week’s Monday Mantra is: “Stay wild at heart.”

This week, stop and laugh.

Make a it a belly- aching-can’t-breathe-tears-running-down-your-face kind of laugh.

It’s moments like that that keep us young.

It’s moments like that that keep us wild at heart.

FullSizeRender

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.”

This week’s #MondayMantra is: “Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.”

The “extra mile” can be a lonely place.  The extra mile is also filled with endless opportunity.  So whatever that extra mile represents for you; a specific goal, a smaller pant size, a job, a relationship; choose to stay the course and never give up.

Steve Jobs, in all his brilliance, put it perfectly: “If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, change the status quo as much.”

Whatever you’re working towards, make sure it’s something you love.  Take whatever that is and go the extra mile.  Stay up late.  Wake up early.  Make the time.  Don’t be a victim of circumstance.  Be in charge of your destiny.

Go the extra mile.  It’s never crowded.

Show comments

#WATCHWHATHAPPENS: BRAVO TV NEW SERIES WORKOUT: NEW YORK

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 2.19.49 PM

SURPRISE! We’ve been hiding a HUGE secret for over a year and now we can finally come out with the amazing news!  Your Co-Founder Lindsey is starring on Bravo TV’s newest show: WORKOUT NEW YORK.  The show follows Lindsey and 6 other celebrity trainers in New York City and documents their lives, their relationships and their careers!

The best part about the show is that we created Brave Body Project during the filming!  It was a very crazy, fun and challenging time for us and you get to watch us (YES, Amber will be making MULTIPLE cameos on the show too!) as we begin to create the community that you’re a part of today.  

Click HERE to check out the Bravo website and to watch the trailer for the show. The premiere episode airs on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 10:00 P.M. ET.

Read the UsWeekly.com article HERE!

Tell your friends and tune in to see what’s sure to be a crazy look into the lives of New York City trainers and support Brave Body Project! 

Show comments

#MONDAY MANTRA: “Be bold enough to carry the weight of the world on your back. Be wise enough to know you don’t have to.”

This week’s #MondayMantra is:

“Be bold enough to carry the weight of the world on your back.  Be wise enough to know you don’t have to.”

It’s so easy to let the stress of family, friends, work and relationships build up.  We take those stressors, we put them in our backpack and we keep walking.  By the end of the day, the month, the year our bags become so heavy it makes our shoulders roll forward and our heads tilt towards the ground.  We can become so consumed with this stress that we forget to look up and live in the now.

This week, remember that you don’t always have to be a hero.  Stepping back and letting others help you is a very brave move indeed.

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Love is love.”

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Love is love.”

In light of the monumental rulings in favor of marriage equality this weekend, we here at BBP are so thrilled to celebrate that love is love and love wins. We are continuing with last weeks Mantra, in that love always wins over hate. Stay tuned this week for BBP to spread the love and support that love always wins.

Show comments

#MONDAY MANTRA: “Let’s find a new way of living. Let’s find a way of forgiving.”

This week’s #MONDAYMANTRA stems from the exquisite lyrics of the song “Somewhere” from the musical West Side Story: “Let’s find a new way of living.  Let’s’ find a way of forgiving.”

 

We’ve seen so many acts of hate and violence in the news recently.  This week we’re focusing on love.  We want everyone to take a step back and remember love always wins over hate.  The week, choose love over hate.  Choose light over darkness.

 

Later this week on braveWORDS, we’ll tackle the issue of  human rights and discuss how the lyrics and themes in West Side Story (created in the 1950’s) still hit close to home in 2015.

Show comments

Breathe.

This week’s Monday Mantra: “Remember to breathe every once in a while. Do not drown within your own storm” really rang true for me.

 

When I was in high school, the swim coach gave us an exercise. If we could swim to the bottom of the deep end, pick up two large bricks, and return them to the edge of the pool, we wouldn’t have to take the semester final.  Well, much like today, I loved a good challenge.  I had my mind made up that I would not be taking that final exam.  Swimming was not hard for me, and I was an expert at holding my breath.  This seemed like a piece of cake.  I watched a few other students take a shot at it, fail. And another, fail. Once it was my turn, I had no doubts.  So I dove in.  Once I reached the bottom, I put one brick in each hand and as I looked to the top of the water, I began to realize that I never really devised an actual plan on how to accomplish this task. I pushed off the bottom of the pool and began to frantically kick my feet as hard as I could.  This tactic was not working as well as I’d hoped.  The bricks were significantly weighing me down and I found that I was quickly running out of air supply.  I refused to give up and let go of the bricks for fear of looking stupid, so I paddled my feet harder and harder.  I began to get more and more exhausted as I tried to reach the water’s edge.  As I looked up towards the surface, I saw the coach yelling at the fellow school kids to help me up.  She was screaming and waving her hands at the other kids in the water, but all I could hear was a mess of blurbs.  Much like the mother in those Peanuts cartoons: “wah wah wah”.  As I neared the top the world around me began to fade, I could see the surface but it just wasn’t close enough.  All I wanted was air, but I could not seem to let myself feel the defeat of letting go of these bricks.  By this point, I was unsure that I would make it even if I did drop the bricks.  As I neared the water’s edge, I felt the world around me fade to darkness. Suddenly, two hands, which seemed as if they came out of the sky, reached in and pulled me to the edge of the pool.  I remember even as I sit here now, that huge gasp of air I took as I pierced through the water.  It was like taking a huge gulp of water in the desert.  Breathe.  Air.  Nothing in life felt as good as that swallow of air that I took to bottom of my lungs. I could breathe again. Oh my god, I could BREATHE.

 

Looking back on it now, I can’t help but think to myself, “What kind of exercise was this?”  In who’s right mind was this a learning exercise for swim class?  Now, at age 30, looking at my 15-year-old self, I wonder, what could possibly be so hard on a swim class final that I’d choose to do such an idiotic exercise?

 

All dangerous concerns and thoughts aside: Why don’t we let go of all the insignificant things that weigh us down? Why don’t we ever allow ourselves to stop, drop the weight and breathe? We race through our days. We leap from point A to point B as people place bricks in our hands along the way. We pick up bricks from our work, friends, significant others, kids, and even the man we see at Starbucks every day who can’t seem to spell our name right. “No, it’s not Amanda, it’s AMBER.” By the end of the day, week, month we are exhausted, weighed down and unable to breathe. We find ourselves unsure how to get off the ground with the weight we carry. By the time we actually allow ourselves to breathe, the breathe ends up being a gasping inhale of necessity.

 

Last summer I worked myself so hard that I had to escape the city. I went to a small secluded place upstate away from the stressful hustle and bustle. As soon as I arrived, I took a moment to sit down and gaze at the gorgeous scenery. I immediately took an uncontrollable gasping breath and began to sob. Ugly sob.  At the time, I had no idea why it was happening.  I hate crying and all I wanted to do was stop. It was literally a million bricks of stress and frustration that I continuously collected over time until I couldn’t handle it anymore.

 

Breathing is something we take advantage of. We do it on daily and don’t even think about it.  You’re doing it right now.  Honestly, I’m happy for the struggle I had with those bricks that day. They taught me how to be strong and fight but also to not be such a Buffoon. We need to allow ourselves to let go of the things that weigh us down. The breaths that we take should be seamless. They should be calm. They should be invigorating. We need to stop holding our breath and pushing through the heaviness that surrounds us.

 

I know you’re all dying to know, Did I have to take the semester final? No way.  I’m pretty sure I scared the shit out of the teacher and scarred her for life.
As we move forward this week, month, year, let’s learn to bravely suck up our pride, drop what is weighing us down, and give ourselves the calming happiness we deserve.  BREATHE.

Be brave,

Amber

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Remember to breathe every once in a while. Do not drown within your own storm.”

This weeks #MONDAYMANTRA is: “Remember to breathe every once in a while. Do not drown within your own storm.”

 

 

We challenge you to take moments this week to stop, breathe and realize the weight of the world is not yours to bare alone.

 

 

This Thursday on braveWORDS,  Amber will be sharing her experience on how we can rid the heaviness of our circumstances and learn to breathe like never before.

 

Show comments

Excellence vs. Perfection

When I sat down to write my blog this week I was having a severe case writers block.  I knew this week’s Monday Mantra: “Excellence does not require perfection” was something I could relate to and I wanted to write about it.  But as I sat at my computer screen, I found myself getting instantly down on myself.  I thought: “Well if I can’t come up with the perfect story to coincide with this mantra then what’s the point?  I might as well skip the blog this week.”

 

I consider myself to be a high achieving person.  I have a lot of goals, I have a lot of plans and I’m going full speed ahead towards these goals every day.  While I believe high achievers possess many good qualities, there are also some glaring downfalls in being a person of this nature. One of them is that I find that I’m never satisfied, particularly in my work.

 

In my quest to create amazing  work that inspires and changes people with Brave Body Project, my perfectionist tendencies can often times become a distraction.  I spend so much time thinking about how I won’t participate in creating new work unless it’s presented in a perfect, shiny box with a bow that I get in the way of actually creating the work at all.  And what good is that doing anyone?

 

Perfection is an ideal.  But is it something that actually exists?  Isn’t our idea of perfect something we create in our own heads anyways?  And isn’t everyone’s idea of perfect completely different?

 

I want to flip the script on striving for perfection and turn my focus on striving for EXCELLENCE.  If I’m always aiming for perfect, I’ll be in a constant state of lacking.  I’ll never be satisfied.  But if I’m striving for excellence; if I’m committing to doing the best I can right now, at this moment then I’m creating work.  And that work will continue to get better and better with the more effort I put in on my part.

 

So my question to you is:  Are you setting yourself up for perfection or excellence?  I want you (yes, YOU) to start striving for YOUR personal best.  And I’m going to do the same.  Let’s be on this crusade together.
And would you look at that?  By deciding to sit down and just write this blog with no end goal of it being perfect it ended being the most excellent thing I could do for myself.  Excellence vs. perfection friends. Flip the script.

Be brave (and excellent!),

Lindsey

Show comments

MONDAY MANTRA: “Excellence does not require perfection.”

This weeks  #MondayMantra is: “Excellence does not require perfection.”

 

The road to success is never a straight shot.  Enjoy the twists and turns down your path to success and keep moving in the direction of your desires.

 

Later this week on braveWORDS, we’ll talk about how your purpose in life is not predetermined and how leading with passion and love with always take you down the right path.

 

 

Show comments

The Beauty Post-It Challenge

The Beauty Post-it Challenge.

 

“Beauty is____.” Go ahead. Fill in the blank.

 

Seriously, I mean it. How would you fill in that blank? What does beauty mean to you?

 One of the most ridiculous phrases I’ve ever heard is:

 “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

 Does anyone actually believe that?

 I could tell myself day in and day out that the things others say don’t affect me, but that just isn’t true. People’s words can have the power to discount, demean and devalue you. Unfortunately, how we see ourselves can depend heavily on the opinions of others.

 Growing up, I had a complex about how I looked. My nose was long, my shoulders too large, and my feet should have been attached to the body of a gigantic monster. In high school, I had braces and a horrible perm. Yes.  A perm. I was an awkward child and I never felt confident in my body. My imperfections took me to a new discovery. I couldn’t control my nose, my shoulders or my feet but maybe I would feel better about myself if I was thinner. That was something I knew I could control. I noticed that when I was dancing and performing on stage I began to get thinner. I started to recieve a lot of attention for it.  People constantly commented on how skinny I was and I loved it. Before long, I developed a fear of eating and my obsession with being skinny developed into an eating disorder.  Being skinny made me feel prettier and more accepted.  As a kid, it’s hard to find your own place in the world and being thin instilled a sense of confidence in me.   It almost became a competition. For example, if I was at a pizza party, I wouldn’t eat the pizza. Choosing to not eat the pizza made me feel like I somehow was winning; like I was better for not doing it. How unfortunate. Why do we do these things to ourselves? I was lucky enough to grow out of this when I found the love for a gym in college.  Working out became a new, healthy endeavour that gave me the right kind of confidence and strength.

 

Isn’t it funny how one comment, one Facebook post, one word about how you look can change your whole demeanor? We easily let other people’s comments, thoughts, and opinions dictate our perception of ourselves. The second someone looks at you and says:

 “You are beautiful.” your perception changes.

 “I am?” you think?

 Then you proceed to gaze at yourself in the mirror and say:

 “Wow, I guess I am.”

 On the other side, someone says:

 “Wow, you look tired today.”

 You start second guessing everything. You think “What did I eat last night? Maybe I look puffy. Do I need more makeup?” It’s ridiculous! We’re constantly letting ourselves, social media, and all of the world around us tell us what we’re supposed to look like.

 Last fall, I went to my best friend’s apartment to hang out and drink some wine. It was a hard time in both of our lives. We were going through a lot personally and our outlook on life and ourselves was less than positive. These friendship meetings proved to be good for us both. As I walked around his apartment that night, I saw colorful Post-Its randomly placed throughout each room. One on his pillow that said “You are doing great.” One on his closet door that read, “Keep your head up.” And one by the light switch, “You are a good person”. At first, I thought this was a little cheesy and kind of silly. Throughout the evening I found myself seeing more of these post-its. On the coffee maker, “You are strong”. One on the couch, “Keep going.”  The more I waltzed through the apartment throughout the evening, I found myself starting to believe what these Post-Its were telling me. I AM strong. I AM doing great. Finally, I found the one that hit home. Stuck to the bathroom mirror, the words  “You are beautiful.” Such simple words, but words that are often so hard for me to believe. I felt like these words of encouragement were little notes from a secret friend. Words that other people think about me, but I don’t always think about myself.

 Sticks hurt.  Stones hurt. And words definitely hurt. We may never get rid of the body dysmorphia that we create for ourselves, but we own the power to give ourselves an extra boost of confidence and strength that we need.  And don’t we deserve to treat ourselves a little more kindly?

 So, here it is folks. The Post-It Challenge. Grab a sharpie, grab some Post-Its and let’s get to work.  I challenge you to do this for yourself or maybe even for someone you love. On each Post-It, write a phrase or word of encouragement.  Post them EVERYWHERE. On walls, in purses, wallets, notebooks, mirrors, utensils, everything!  See how it changes your outlook. Beauty is more than how others perceive you.

 Beauty is ____.

 Go ahead. Fill in the blank.

 Stay Beautiful. Stay Brave.

Amber

 

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “I have beauty.”

This weeks #MONDAYMANTRA is “I have beauty.”  We’re thrown into a world where society dictates what beauty is.  Magazines and social media can make us feel like we’re not good enough. We’re too fat, we’re too skinny, we aren’t pretty enough.  What if we took charge of who gets to make that decision?  Let’s celebrate our freckles, our dimples and our beautiful imperfections.

This Thursday on braveWORDS,  Amber is unleashing the Beauty Post-It Challenge!  We’re sick of letting social media decide what’s beautiful and what’s not so we’re taking it into our own hands!  Find out how a few post-its and a magic marker can change your perspective on how you see yourself.

Until then, be brave friends!

Show comments

The Fear of Failure

Before my fitness days, I was living the Broadway dream full time.  I was a dancer from a young age and eventually, in junior high I started doing musical theatre.  In high school, I knew it was my destiny to go to school for theatre and have a career on Broadway. When it came time for college applications I found my desk piled high with brochures from a bunch of colleges all over the country touting their programs as the best of the best.

I knew in my heart of hearts that NYU was the college for me.  To go to school in New York City would be the ultimate experience.  To live and study musical theatre just a subway ride away from the Great White Way was enticing and I wanted to be part of that scene.  I could feel the pulse of the city from 250 miles away in my little bedroom in New Hampshire and I could not wait another second for that to be my everyday reality.  NYU was it.  NYU was the dream.

Submission time approached and the application fees, essays and letters of recommendation had all been sufficiently and timely filled out.  All except one.  There sat my NYU application untouched, collecting dust on my desk.  I had so openly expressed my love for the school to my family and friends.  Everyone knew it was what I wanted.  But as the admission deadline approached I found myself crippled with fear.  My mind was filled with questions:

“What if I don’t get in?”

“What if I’m not good enough for the program?”

“What if I get waitlisted?”

I was so wrapped up in my fear of being rejected.  But I wasn’t so much afraid of being rejected by the admissions office at NYU.  No. My fear took shape in the reactions of my family, friends and everyone else who knew me.  I thought my family would be disappointed. My friends would judge me for not being accepted. Everyone else who felt mediocre about me or maybe didn’t even like me very much would finally have something tangible to criticize me for.

My 17-year-old self wanted to appear perfect. I could do that on my own terms but when someone else was deciding that when someone else was deciding if I was a valuable, worthwhile student/employee/lover/trainer… that was out of my hands.  That I had no control over.  So I didn’t apply.  I didn’t go to NYU.

I didn’t understand at the time that the failing, the falling down is what I needed to do in order to get back up and do it again.  I thought, well, if no one ever sees me fail, if everyone thinks I’m constantly winning at everything I do, then I’ll look perfect, then I’ll FEEL perfect.  But who was I benefitting by doing this? Not myself and certainly not anyone else. Now, sitting here at 30 years old writing this blog all I can think of is:

Isn’t failing a chance to grow? And isn’t the concept of being perfect such complete and utter bullshit?

Over the last 10 years I’ve struggled with lots of failing, lots of falling down (literally and figuratively) and I’ll admit it took me until recently to realize that being bulletproof isn’t benefiting myself or anyone else.  Being vulnerable, showing the not so pretty parts of me, admitting that I don’t know everything; that takes much more courage than staying in the safety net of perfect.  And putting yourself out there; taking risks and yes, possibly failing makes the thing you’re failing at seem not so scary anymore.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that failing leaves you open to taking more risks in the future.  Failing makes you brave enough to take chances.

Part of me wishes I could go back in time and do things differently.  Maybe I would have been accepted into NYU and my story would have unfolded differently.  I’ll never know. But if it had gone that way, I highly doubt I would be sitting here typing these words to you today.

From here on out I’m committed to having the courage to be vulnerable and accept that being vulnerable means I might fail. If I feel like I’m failing, I’m going to sit with that feeling. I’m going to take comfort in the fact that at least I’m taking action and putting myself out there instead of playing it safe.  And I’m going to remember that trying something and failing takes much more courage than not trying at all.

Be brave friends,

Lindsey

Show comments

Finding Joy In Your Daily Routine

“Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling. Everything’s going my way.”

What do you think Rogers and Hammerstein were thinking when they wrote these lyrics? “Everything’s going my way.” Have you ever said those words to yourself when your alarm goes off? I’m guessing we can all collectively say no to this.

When my alarm screeches in the early morning my thoughts immediately begin to race. “What day is it? What do I have to do today? How do I accomplish all of the things that I need to get done?” and so on. I suffocate myself in my own mind before I even put my feet on the ground.

Let’s talk about routine.

My days used to be insane. Long, busy and exhausting. I’d wake up every morning barely giving myself enough time to jump into my clothes, brush my teeth and run out the door. I moved from client to client, from class to class. My day became a huge checklist to my end goal. What was that goal? Usually, returning home to that beautiful space on the couch where I would eat my dinner, drink some wine and watch something mindless on television. I was often exhausted and my brain felt like it was consistently on autopilot. I only had one focus and that was to get home, feel relaxed, and shut off my mind. I was tired of my everyday routine. It felt monotonous and I was never really present in my current situation.

One night I was having drinks with a friend, clearly waiting to check even this event off of my list and move forward. I found myself complaining about my schedule, my lack of days off, my frustrations, my longing to constantly be on vacation. She looked at me and said, “Then change it.”

My thoughts immediately stopped.

“What?”, I said.

She repeated again: “Then change it.”

My mind was blown by these simple words.

I suddenly felt so much clarity. What’s wrong with me? I love what I do and I should be enjoying my life. I had unknowingly stopped enjoying my routine. I had stopped investing in myself.

Taking my friends advice, I decided I would make that change to bring back some joy in my life. And that change came in the form of one simple thing.

I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier the next morning. When I woke up, I grabbed a pen and paper and began to write. I told myself I would write 3 pages of whatever I felt like writing. No end result or task in mind, just write. At the end of those 15 minutes, I felt amazingly free. Writing cleared my mind, my mentality and my heart and it prepared me for my day. That simple 15 minutes added a joy to my day and put more happiness in my work. I loved it so much that I allotted 15 minutes in the middle of my day to do the same. It seems so simple. It was just 15 minutes but utilizing that time in a different way, writing instead of sleeping in, writing instead of checking Facebook, changed everything.

What if you changed your routine? What if you gave yourself enough time to journal, drink a full cup of coffee, read the paper, read a book, meditate? Try it. Allow small moments out of your day just for yourself. Give yourself the time to think about how great life truly is. Allow yourself to be excited about the next task in your routine and give yourself the time to be present and invest in that task. We live to work, we work to live, but there is no reason why we can’t enjoy the process. Maybe we CAN wake up in the morning and say to ourselves “Everything’s going my way.” Your routine, your life CAN go your way. Your life is going to happen however you choose to let it happen. Sometimes we just have to change what we’re doing to get what we want. We have to remember that we are in control here. We just need to be brave enough to take that control and make that change. I think we owe it to ourselves to be happy. I think we deserve it.

What’s one small thing you could change this week to improve the quality of your life? Share with me in the comments below!

Stay Brave,
Amber

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Today I am excited about everything.”

This weeks #MONDAYMANTRA is: “Today I am excited about everything.”

“Why be excited?” We think the question should be: “Why NOT be excited?”

Each day we’re given a fresh start; a blank slate. We’re allowed another day to cultivate friendships, learn something new and make lasting memories. This week we want YOU to wake up and take some time to be grateful for the day that lies ahead.

This Thursday on braveWORDS we’ll talk more about finding joy in your everyday routine. Until then we have a project for you. Each morning you wake up this week write down 5 things you’re grateful for. They could be as silly or as serious as you want, the choice is yours. Keep them with you throughout the day and at the end of the week take a second to reread all the things you felt grateful for. We have sneaking suspicion it’s a habit you’ll want to continue with.

Stay brave friends!

Lindsey and Amber

Show comments

Knowing Your Worth

This week we’re both stepping up to the mic to talk about times that we had to realize and value our worth.  For Amber, it was a relationship.  For Lindsey, it was a job. Read how we gained clarity on what we wanted and had the bravery to step up and receive it.

First up, Amber:

IMG_7890

 

“Walk away from what you care about.”–said no one ever.

Sometimes it’s the things that we care about that most that hold us back from what we are truly destined to become.

There is no doubt about my drive for the things I love. When I am passionate about something or someone, I question nothing and dive in head first. I will invest, I will push. I will submerge myself, my heart, and my soul into it.  When there is something that I care about, it/they deserve all of me. Unfortunately the things we are passionate for, driven to, and invest ourselves in don’t always reciprocate the same drive and support. So when that happens and the ball is in your court… what’s your next move?

There was a time (well, there have been multiple but lets just talk about one) that I felt stuck. I felt stuck and I didn’t even realize it. I found myself continuously investing my time, energy and heart into a relationship that I was incredibly passionate about. Relationships can be hard. Whether its personal or business, dealing and working side by side with someone else in can always be a challenge.  I dove into this relationship head first. I sacrificed myself emotionally and financially and I allowed it to take over my life.  Now, remember I had no idea I was doing these things while in the middle of it all.

If you know me, I’m stubborn. I know, I know, hard to believe from this bubbly headed Taurus, but its true. If a situation isn’t working for me, I refuse to give up. I am not a quitter. Dave and Becky (my parents) never raised me that way. You deal with the hand you’ve been dealt and you make it work. My question is: what happens when you have nothing left to give?  The relationship I was in started to become suffocating.  I constantly felt like I couldn’t breathe and there was no way out. No one to turn to, no help in sight.  I continued to give and give and invested day in and day out, but did not receive what I needed in return to be fulfilled and happy.

So, what do you do?

What did I do?

….I left. Ah. It even takes my breath away to type it.

I LEFT.

I don’t do those things. Was it easy? Was I happy now? Screaming for joy? Skipping down fields of daisies?

Of course not. The fear of uncertainty lied ahead and that was horrific.  The thought of being alone without the support of someone along my side anymore was so sad and scary. The judgements of friends and family that were sure to pour from the world around threw me into a constant state of anxiety. What will people think, say and believe about the situation?

It was the hardest thing I had ever done. I was suddenly engrossed in a million thoughts.

Was I a quitter?

I should have done more.

Should I go back?

I’m scared.

But I quickly learned…that Its OK. Let me say it again.

IT IS OK.

Life, bravery, is not about living a fearless life. HELL NO. It’s about facing that fear and choosing to go full speed ahead THROUGH the thing you’re scared of.

Am I happy now?  YES. Again…

I AM HAPPY.

I now feel a freedom and happiness that I haven’t felt in quite some time. By letting go I am now doing what I love, surrounded by the things I love, and embraced by an amazing community of people. Easy, no. But your worth is WORTH FIGHTING FOR. Easy is not what being brave is about. Brave is hard. Brave is scary. Brave is knowing your worth.

 

Next up, Lindsey:

111713_Lindsey Clayton-2523

I had a job once, as we all do. But this job was different. It was a job that I felt so much passion for.  The position was not easy to get and I trained hard for it. I happily put in tons of work, often waking up early or staying late to make each project more special than the last.  Without question, I threw myself into this chance at a new adventure, a new start.

Everything was great. I was investing in what I loved and knew I had so much more to offer. Then weekly schedules were out.

After months of hard work I was surprised by the hours and classes I was being given. At first I thought “It’s ok. I’ll just work hard and prove that I deserve to have a prime time schedule and a little more seniority.” Weeks passed and it felt like things were continuously going down the opposite road. I called meetings with the owners to express how I was feeling. I expressed my passion for the company and what I had to offer. But it became clear we just weren’t on the same page.  For the first time I suddenly felt under appreciated and unhappy. Working in this environment started to feel much more like a brown nose-ing competition between employees and management and much less like acknowledgement was given based on hard work, passion education.

When my work was not being valued it frustrated me to no end.  I couldn’t understand how this these people could not see what I saw in myself.  I began doubting my skills and suddenly I found myself second guessing all my choices which made me angry. Seeking an outlet, I ended up projecting my anger on everyone else around me.  I found myself complaining about my schedule, starting to resent going to work. The reason I wanted to be a part of this team became so clouded with negativity. I had lost my “why”. I had lost my reason for showing up every day.

I decided to ask myself some questions in order to weigh the pros and cons of my current situation.

Would this company see what I saw in myself?

Would I be wasting my gas tank of energy on trying to make them see what I saw?

Would wasting my energy frustrate me and would that frustration seep into my other work?

Would staying complacent in a job that no longer drove inspiration breed more negativity and self doubt in myself?

Was what I had to offer as an employee valuable?

Did I deserve to have more than I was being given?

I found myself answering yes to all these questions.

I made the decision to leave the company.

Walking away from something you care about is never easy.  You leave your job, you instantly fear for your bank account.  You leave your lover, you instantly fear you’ll be alone forever.  But what’s worse than leaving that job or person or place where you aren’t being valued?

Staying.

The initial blow of walking away hits hard. But eventually you will thank yourself for having the courage to take that step. Stepping away from something is often times the first step in the right direction towards living the life you want. In my case, stepping away from this job gave me more time in my schedule to create. I was less tired, more happy and I was able to create a higher quality amount of work. This resulted in a raise at my other job and more time to train clients privately.

Remember this:  The work you create is not on sale. Never settle for less than you deserve.  The second you think you deserve more think you’re being given, YOU’RE RIGHT.  And that my friends, is a very brave realization indeed.

Know. Your. Worth.

Stay brave,

Amber and Lindsey

Show comments

#MONDAYMANTRA: “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”

This week’s #MONDAYMANTRA is “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”

Do you want a raise? Ask for it. Do you want a better job? Ask for it. More communication with someone you love? A better connection with a friend? More guacamole on your burrito? Ask. Ask. Ask. You may not always get it (or they’ll charge you extra for the guac…is anyone else feeling suddenly hungry?) but you’ll never get anything if you stay silent and wait for things to magically happen to you. “Have you ever thought that maybe YOU’RE not asking enough of those around you? It takes a lot of bravery to stand up and ask for what you want out of life. When you decide to get clear on what you want and have the courage to express it you’ll be surprised by the outcome.”

Later this week we’ll talk more about asking for what you want and how that directly connects with knowing your worth. Right now, think of one thing you want that you’re not asking for. Make a plan of action! How are you going to change that? Feeling brave? Share how you plan to ask for something important you want in the comments below, on our Instagram or Twitter !

Stay brave friends!
Lindsey and Amber

Show comments

I have everything I need to start.

Starting a company is hard. Starting anything new is hard. You need money. You need time. You need good ideas. You need a lot of things. Amber and I almost quit this company 20 times before the actual conception of the website. There were several accounts in which I wanted to march right up to my boss (me) and say “This is too hard! I don’t want to do this!”

We had wanted to create something together for some time now but could never pinpoint exactly what that thing was. After two years of starting and stopping, being inspired, uninspired and inspired again we finally hashed it out.

Working as trainers in New York City we would teach to upwards of 150 people a day but we wanted to reach more. Why should you have to live in a big city to reap the culturally rich benefits of the environment the fitness world had to offer? You shouldnt. We decided to bring everything we loved about working out, feeling good, eating well, and making bold brave choices to a larger demographic. We wrote all of our favorite words on index cards and spread them out over our dinner table.

Slowly but surely the words were cut down, leaving just three. Three simple, but powerful words that seemed to jump off the table.

Brave Body Project. Our company was born. We were ecstatic. The next day, at our first official “business meeting” we sat down with our computers. We were inspired, driven and ready to go. We also had no fucking clue what we were doing. I jokingly pulled up the google search engine and typed in “How do you start a business?” The joke was about 97% serious. In the coming weeks we started to feel overwhelmed. Our work lives and personal lives were consuming us. We were teaching fitness full time to make money which left us with no time to work on the business we just passionately created. Amber was in the middle of a heartbreaking divorce and I was 8 weeks post a grueling ACL surgery and barely able to walk. (don’t worry, we’ll save those stories for another time) The proverbial planting of the seed of this company felt light years away from the harvesting and the reaping of the “finished product.” We felt like we had bitten off more than we could chew.

It must have been kismet that the word brave was the first word in our company name. That word is sneaky. Every time we felt like giving up that word would stare us in the face and say “Oh really? You’re scared so you’re just going to walk away? You don’t have the courage to create something that needs to be created? You’re going to settle for that?” Brave looked back at us much like a parent would look at their kid who flunked a math test. Brave wasn’t mad. It was just disappointed. And you know there’s no worse feeling than that.

Brave.

Brave.

Be brave.

Ugh, that word is such a jerk. Gets me every time.
Bravery is not the absence of fear. Quite the opposite actually. It is feeling the fear and doing the thing you’re scared of anyways. Let me say that again because it’s really important. Being brave is feeling the fear and doing the thing you’re scared of anyways. If you’re about to do something really brave it means you’re probably about to do some pretty scary shit. Fear is your challenge to be brave.

Taking it back to this weeks mantra, “I have everything I need to start” has never rang more true. We had everything we needed to start this company, we just needed to be brave and face all the ugly fears that came with daring to take a bold step towards our desires.

So here we are, doing the damn thing.

There’s always room to grow, become more educated and more seasoned. We’re going to do just that. We want you right next to us. Right now we have everything we need to start to give you, our fellow Brave Body Project friends, a home to come to and feel brave. To feel empowered. To feel scared. To feel good about your body. To stand up and say: “No bitches, I don’t love kale. I love pizza because it’s delicious. Who’s with me? How can I love pizza AND look good in my bikini?” To say: “I want a life worth living. I want to be in a community that will inspire me to do that.”

Being brave is feeling the fear and doing what you’re scared of anyways.

You have everything you need to start to feel brave today. And we will to do this together.

Be Brave,

Lindsey

Show comments

Join Our Newsletter: