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All you need is one person in a group to be honest,
and then slowly, very slowly,
everyone else starts telling the truth.

— Jean Nidetch, founder of Weight Watchers
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got peppy Pilates, a warm-up that prevents injuries, and the key to beating FOMO. Read on... 

With the support of our female friends, we can achieve any goal. Example: in the early 1960s, Jean Nidetch tried and failed to lose weight using diets, amphetamines, fasting, even hypnosis. What finally worked?

Getting together with six friends who met in her apartment to encourage and support each other. 
Nidetch gave up her job to host more meetings, and set a $2 admission charge. A husband-and-wife couple who participated (and lost 100 pounds between them) suggested licensing franchisees. Nidetch formed a partnership with them, and soon their business—Weight Watchers—became a household name.

Nidetch promoted journaling, goal-setting, and mindful eating far before they became social trends. And she became a self-made millionaire in an era when a woman still needed her husband’s signature to get a credit card. In 1978, the brand was sold to Heinz, but Nidetch remained Weight Watchers’ public face during the 1990s, and now lives on in the memory of those whose lives she changed. 

Who knows which gathering of friends could turn into your next life-changing project? Until next week, Katherine & Linda
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Cassie Ho, Blogilates

Cassie Ho has been a Pilates instructor, bikini-competition competitor, and most famously founder of the Blogilates fitness brand. Ho’s innovation was using peppy music behind Pilates moves rather than calming tunes. Fans loved it, giving Ho an audience of 5 million YouTube subscribers today.

Asked by Teen Vogue how she deals with cyberbullies and body-shamers, Ho says: “I don't allow them to get to me. I focus on the positivity that I am sharing with the world and the amazing community that surrounds it. If the bullies can't contribute to that, they have no place in my heart or mind.”

Ho’s book Hot Body Year Round shares her personal journey, plus workouts, recipes, and useful advice.
Try this: Ho fills every workout with the enthusiasm and happy vibes that make her a magnetic personality. Check out this 30-minute at-home no-equipment full-body Pilates workout, or this 14-minute full-body, no-equipment Pilates dance-party workout to current pop hits. Prefer to stretch? Try Ho’s step-by-step video to get you into a splits.
Pop & pilates!
Explainer: What warm-up is best for preventing injuries?
Remember in your fifth-grade gym class, your teacher would make you touch your toes or do side bends, holding contorted positions for twenty seconds? As the New York Times reports, research shows warming up with static stretching actually reduces athletic performance and increases risk of injury (your PE teacher had no idea!)

Dynamic stretches—controlled movements such as torso twists, walking lunges, side lunges, high leg kicks, and leg swings—are preferred for warming up (view some examples of dynamic stretches). Static stretching is best kept for your cool-down.

And beware: more flexibility isn’t always better! When workouts focus too much on stretching and not enough on strength, muscles can become too loose—leading to a greater risk of injury. Make sure stretching is balanced with resistance training.

This video by personal trainer Cori Lefkowith leads you through 21 Dynamic Stretching Warm-Up Exercises that are safe and effective to use before any workout or athletic activity.
Feeling time-stressed? How to beat time anxiety & relax
Time anxiety is the fear of wasting your time, or a sense that time is slipping away. Whether it surfaces as a feeling of overwhelm, a preoccupation with lateness, or chronic FOMO (fear of missing out), time anxiety can be a source of stress. 

Productivity expert Anne-Laure Le Cunff advises in her blog: “Beating time anxiety means shifting our focus from outcomes to output so we can spend our energy on things we can actually control.” Le Cunff recommends sitting down and reflecting on what activities actually make you happy and what you enjoy most, focusing on your emotions while doing the activity rather than fixating on the final product. 

Then, cut out distractions so you can allocate more attention to “output mode” rather than “input mode”. By overcoming time anxiety, you can relax and live in the now.

 Wine without the hangover: the best-tasting alcohol-free wines to try in 2021 (TheHealthy)

 “Maintenance as a mindset”: a podcast interview with a woman who lost 170 pounds and kept it off for eight years (Biceps After Babies)

 Vegan deliciousness! How to make Mujaddara, a Lebanese pilaf with rice, lentils, caramelized onions, and aromatic spices (Budget Bytes)

 A psychologist shares coping skills to deal with pandemic stress, including how to set goals effectively, jump-start motivation, and exit negative thought spirals (MindBodyGreen)

 Some fun home workout goals, to progress your fitness, including strongman-style carries, practicing your resting squat, and getting your split (Vice)
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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