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Happy people attract other happy people. 
Show the world your smile, and the world will smile back.

 
— Denise Austin
 WELCOME
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got HIIT circuits, the holistic health journey of a high-achieving influencer, and help with sticking to habits. Read on...

At Fit Girls Society, we have a ton of respect for the fitness influencers of the past—they were the trailblazers who built the modern industry. And in the galaxy of 90s fitness stars, Denise Austin shone brightest.

After graduating from the University of Arizona as a NCAA gymnast on a full athletic scholarship, Austin got her big break when she met fitness icon Jack LaLanne and pitched him: “Can I be on your TV show?” She went on to sell more than 24 million VHS workouts, and author more than 20 books.

Clips from her 90s workouts survive on YouTube, showcasing retro fitness fashion and bodyweight-only workouts where Austin exhorts you to “do what you can and work at your own pace!” 

While the hot pink leotards may be dated now, we appreciate that Austin encouraged women to make time for physical fitness—before self-care was a buzzword. How appropriate that now Austin’s daughter Katie is a fitness influencer with her own app—the 2020s version of her mom’s VHS workouts.

Encouraging you to work at your own pace this week, Katherine & Linda
 
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HOW SHE DOES IT
Britt LaThrece
Britt is the owner of a luxury vintage houseware boutique Lily and Ora, an influencer, and a branded entertainment expert. By the day she helps brands produce custom story-driven campaigns as a content supervisor at Spark Foundry; by night and weekends she creates for her own website, BrittLaThrece.com

Britt’s site is a destination for lifestyle, fashion and holistic wellness that empowers women to be themselves, love themselves, and accept themselves for who they are, where they are on their personal journeys.
 
She’s passionate about DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) and overall equality, and is a founding member of Spark Noir, a group at Spark for Black employees and allies. She’s a doer and a visionary who sees things through from start to finish.

We talked to Britt about how fitness helps her accomplish all that she does — and got the details on all her favorite fashion for the gym, too.
For someone like you who is a driven doer, what role does physical and mental health play in your success? 
Holistic wellness is extremely important to me. My mom is the type of that went to specialty doctors that most people don’t even think about and used natural deodorant before it was cool.

For me, it’s always been a part of my lifestyle and present in my home. As I’ve matured, and because I’m a curious person, I began to explore what wellness would look like for me. 

I’ve had a therapist for almost four years now. It’s not because I felt something was wrong with me or that she needed to fix something, it was so I could achieve more balance in my life.

When I leave each session, we come up with goals so I’m held accountable and can report back. I get actionable next steps so I can stay balanced and have the stamina that I need to do well in life, and feel well too. 
 
Working out keeps me disciplined. If I can do it in my workout practice, and stick to it here, then I can do it somewhere else. It gives you this reframing that you need, and takes stress away. 

I work out four to five times a week—I have a ton of energy, and I want to use it for something positive. Working out keeps me disciplined. If I can do it in my workout practice, and stick to it, then I can apply that same discipline to something else I’m passionate about. It gives you this reframing that you need to function through life, and takes stress away. 

Everyone wants to have a glam squad (i.e. hair, nails, brows, etc) —and you should think of doctors as part of your team. They are part of what makes you the best version of yourself, and help you show up for yourself and the others in your life.

As you look to build your personal what I like to call an A1 Money team, your doctors have to be people you really trust, like, and can lean on for advice. Honestly, my doctors and I have become friends—they become a part of my life, even if I don’t go to them anymore. I still root for them and they still root for me. 

What are the can’t-miss parts of your wellness routine? 
My wellness practice has gotten a lot simpler during COVID. My no-break commitments for the day are very simple: brush your teeth and do your skincare routine, twice a day, and make sure you take a shower.

That sounds silly, but during this time when there’s so much happening around us, people will neglect to do simple things because you’re stagnant. For me it’s also not about just doing those things, but making them a priority and not allowing anyone to interrupt or get in the way of what I consider personal self-care time. 

I listen to one or two motivational podcasts per week, like Pastor Furtick or Michelle Obama. It depends on what I want to hear, but something that will help me continue with learning and my spiritual growth. It’s important for me to make sure my spirit is uplifted, so I can continue to stay strong physically and mentally. 

For my workouts, I not only track what I did that day, but how I felt when I did it. What did I feel like? Some days I’ll be beat, some days I’ll feel strong. It’s just a colorful chart in Excel that logs my workouts and my post-workout mood. It’s a fun, punch card kind of reward system, and I’m excited to look back on it. It helps me understand, do I need to change my attitude or physical activity?

On what’s cool vs. what’s right for you
For me, Pilates, a little yoga, Barre and HIIT are my happy places. I could do spinning, I enjoy running from time to time—but when I get too far out of what I enjoy it creates a whole different mindset and mood.

Stick to what you know works for you. For me, Barre has genuinely changed my body and made me feel and look my best. I stick with it and I don’t care if it’s not the hottest workout of the season—it works for me. 

Be kind to yourself, especially during this time. Reimagine your approach and let your routines evolve as you move through life. The reason I’m able to work out so many times per week is because my workouts are now only thirty minutes (versus 60 minutes).

You don’t have to go for hours at the gym if a shorter workout will keep you consistent. It’s okay if it’s shorter, if today you only do 7-minute arms. Go with the flow and be proud that you moved your body. You can always pick things back up, and get to where you want to be.
Do you use any technology or wellness apps? 
I use Headspace. I love Andy’s voice—it’s so wonderful, especially when you’re stressed.
 
Tone It Up is awesome. It’s a fitness community founded by two women. I got it before COVID, and it helped me not be phased when we all had to transition to working out at home. You can get back into the game with them. The workouts are short but challenging. You won’t be there all day, but you are going to get in shape and feel the burn. 

Carbon38 also has great workouts on their Instagram page. There’s such a good variety of workouts—they are wonderful and free and you can workout with some dope women. I do the 30 Minute Barre Burn

If you had to give advice to your younger self about wellness, what would you tell her? 
I would tell her to go to the doctor and actually follow their instructions. For example, do your monthly breast exam and take their advice—they are sharing it for a reason. 

I would tell her to actually get some sleep! I’m not a huge sleeper, but I’m realizing more and more how important sleep is for my attitude and my ability to function well in life. 

I would tell my younger self to do fitness because I wanted you. Growing up, I’ve always had a curvier body type, and I worked out to try to look smaller to fit in.

My intentions were to avoid being different—but the truth is that I am different, and I realized that I can do this because I want to, not because I needed to mask something or “look” like everyone else. 

I would tell her she is an athlete. I think it took me a long time to think of myself as an athlete, because I was never one in the traditional sense. Working with Nike allowed me to believe I was an athlete. An athlete’s mindset will give you the freedom and confidence you need to approach all workouts, and that positive energy transfers to life. My athlete mindset allowed me to be “I can do that” and accomplish it.

Looking back, if I’d embraced that I too was an athlete, I would have started running, spinning and trying tougher things sooner with the mental capacity I needed to get it done. I wish I knew truly that there was space in fitness and wellness as an athlete for me a little bit sooner than I realized it. However, what’s important is that I know now, and truly believe that the sky's the limit.

Make sure to keep up with Britt on her Instagram and her blog, and shop Lily and Ora to bring Britt's beautiful sense of style to your home. 
 WORKOUT OF THE WEEK
TyAnn Clark, Healthy Fit with Ty

Ever tried a workout that involves hanging from monkey bars, or climbing an inverted wall? Fitness trainer TyAnn Clark has—she was a top athlete in the sport of obstacle course racing

Clark’s philosophy is that rather than rewarding ourselves for exercising, we should have a goal of making exercise fun, so working out feels like a reward—she writes on her blog: “An exercise that is FUN and fulfilling is going to help us establish a habit we can actually stick with and WANT to do.”
Clark’s videos include a countdown timer and a convenient indication of what the next exercise will be, which lets you move smoothly with no breaks.

Try this: For a low-impact heart-pumping workout, try Clark’s Lower Impact Cardio HIIT 45 minute workout; for a strength and HIIT cardio full-body burn only one or two sets of weights, try her Strength & HIIT Cardio circuit. If you enjoy Clark’s content, check out this playlist of 20-minute workouts.
 
Low impact, high heart rate. 
 WELLNESS
Self-improvement: How to make habits stick
 
Have you read the rule of thumb “it takes 21 days to form a new habit”? Turns out that’s a serious underestimation: According to studies, it takes on average 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic.

The upshot is, whatever behaviour you’re trying to make part of your life—whether it’s working out, keeping a food journal, or writing down five things every day you’re thankful for—you’ll need to create a plan to keep it up for a couple of months before it really becomes part of your routine.

We liked these free printable habit trackers created by The Petite Planner to help you stick to the positive habits you’re trying to form, whether that’s working out on a regular schedule, remembering to take a supplement, or even going to bed at the same time every night.
 SHOP
We asked Britt—who has seriously impeccable style—to share some of her favorite activewear and athleisure brands. Check out her favorites below.
  • Carbon38 has the cutest stuff. I can’t bring myself to buy it all, but it’s so cute.
     
  • Nike keeps it really stylish, but it doesn’t fit the best for me as someone who is pretty curvy. I think their clothes look best on an athletic body type.
     
  • Luluemon, the way that their fabrics are, makes everyone look good. 
     
  • I’ve been big into ASOS—they show you a little bit of everything, so you don’t have to just wear one brand. They do a great job of curating a bunch of fitness brands. 
     
  • Free People’s fitness brand, Free People Movement is so good. It’s super cute. 
     
  • My favorite pair of leggings that are lower priced but equally comparable to Lululemon are Everlane’s Perform Legging. They suck you in, they fit perfectly. You can wear them out and work out in them. 
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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