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body love. let’s make it a thing (giveaway)

September. When the heck did that happen? It's back to school, back to campus, back to work, back to routine. Don’t you find September is like a mini New Year’s? Personally, this time of year gets me focused, motivated. Gets me thinking about the future and what I want.

One of the things I want is to continue my fitness journey. Any journey has twists, turns, and detours, and over the years my road to fitness has had plenty of those. We build habits, life happens, and some habits stick while others don’t. Totally okay -- because life ain’t an Instagram feed.

That said, I’m actually pretty happy with the fitness I’ve maintained over the summer despite plenty of wine at the cottage and ALL THE FOOD in New York City. But now that September’s got me pondering goals and such, I want to kick it up a notch.

For most of my life I viewed fitness as a way to chase an elusive number: goal weight, goal pant size, restricting calories. And after nearly 35 years on this planet, I can confidently say that method simply doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t keep me motivated, doesn’t make me feel empowered, and doesn’t make me feel strong. Quite the opposite actually.

So about a year ago I scrapped that idea completely. I decided I’d eat pizza again (my fave from Tennessy Willems below), wear what made me happy (including crop tops), quit with the daily weigh-ins (because ugh), and generally chill the eff out about my body.

I have to say, it’s funny what can happen when you decide let go. A year later, many of the numbers I once obsessed over have changed -- in ways the old me would be pumped about. I got some new pants, got rid of some old pants.

But more importantly: I got my first bikini since the 4th grade. The 4th grade is when a pack of girls at swimming lessons made fun of me for my belly, and I swore I'd never wear a two-piece again. And I didn't for nearly 30 years. But this year I said the heck with it and wore my bikini all summer, squishy bits and all.

Even at my skinniest (and also my unhealthiest), the old me would never have dreamt of putting on a two piece -- let alone taking a selfie and sharing it on the internet. But screw it, this is the year.

This year I logged more KMs on my sneakers than in my previous 34 years combined. I did push-ups and lifted heavy things. I feel great. I feel strong. And I’m still eating pizza, drinking wine, and devouring Suzy Q doughnuts.

Now my goals aren’t a desired weight or pant size, they’re things I want to do. For me. A few items on this year's list: running the Ottawa Race Weekend 10k. Did that. Trying a spin class for the first time. Did that. Trying frigging box jumps (ugh). I did it. Next up: I wanna do a handstand.

I’ve been practicing yoga since 2002 or so, and headstands have been part of my practice the whole time. They can be quite peaceful and calming actually. Amazing the things you think about when you look at the world upside down. But handstands seem like a whole other thing. Super hard, super scary. But dammit, I’m gonna do it this year.

Doesn't @beachyogagirl make it look easy? She's inspiring, follow her.

I've learned a key factor in handstands isn’t super buff arms, it’s core strength. To keep my spine safe in a handstand, my core needs to be strong enough to hold me up with a straight back. No arching! And when it comes to building core strength there’s one place to go: The Dailey Method Ottawa in the Glebe.

I first discovered this cheery barre studio early in the new year, and I immediately feel in love with the capable teachers, the welcoming students, and the beautiful space. And good grief, do they ever work your core.

Classes at The Dailey Method are a blend of pilates, yoga, and ballet training with repeated tiny movements followed by holds that exhaust your muscles. That’s when the good stuff happens. But please don’t be intimidated: every teacher offers oodles of modifications and options to make each class accessible for anyone and everyone.

Starting on September 10, I’m joining The Dailey Method 30-day challenge to see how many classes I can squeeze into 30 days. I set what I think is a realistic goal of 3 classes a week, so a minimum of 12 over the course of the month. I’m gonna build my core, build my handstand, and I'll share pics along the way. Hold me to it!

For anyone looking to overhaul their eating too (I salute you!), The Dailey Method is bringing in registered holistic nutritionist Stephanie Kay of Stephanie Kay Nutrition. She’ll be presenting her Real Food Reset program, which can be combined with the 30-day challenge.

meet me at the dailey method

Here’s what’s in it for you: I want one of you to join me at The Dailey Method! I’m giving away an unlimited one-month pass plus a pair of sticky barre socks.

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below (all entry actions are optional) and I’ll announce a winner on Thursday September 8! Not feeling lucky? Grab an unlimited intro month pass for just $79 and meet me at the barre.

Let’s scrap our obsession with weight, pant size, and calories, and focus on getting strong. You with me?

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