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Body Confidence Tips from Olympic Weight Lifter Sarah Robles

Written on August 1, 2012 at 10:27 am , by

Sarah Robles Olympic Weightlifter

Photo by Mitchell Haaseth / NBC Olympics.

“Faster, Higher, Stronger.” “Faster, Higher, Sarah Robles.” Because if you want a synonym for “stronger,” look no farther than the 23 year-old U.S. weightlifter.

It’s not just that she’s technically the strongest woman in our country—Robles will compete for her place on the international podium on August 5th—but it’s the other challenges that have shown the world just how mentally tough this girl is. In the weeks leading up the Games, many of us learned about her financial struggles…and were thrilled to see the online community cheer her on.

But no amount of money, medals, or media attention changes the fact that the 5’10”, 275-pound, 23 year-old has had to overcome a few body issues. On behalf of every woman in America, I’m just gonna go ahead and say that’s where I think her most enduring, admirable strength truly lies. Here, a few questions and answers with the Olympian.

FITNESS: How did your life change when you began accepting your shape and body type?

SARAH ROBLES: My life changed for the better when I decided to be okay with who I am. I knew I wasn’t going to change, nor really could do much about it anyway. I cared more about being the best athlete. It didn’t matter what my body looked like, it mattered more to me how it performed.

FITNESS: What are your best confidence-boosting tips for other women?

SARAH ROBLES: First, stop caring about what other people think. They probably aren’t thinking what you think they are, and most likely, you’ll never see them again.

Next, surround yourself with positive people. Negativity is sticky. It sticks to you and is hard to get rid of. Once you do (find those positive people), you will feel clean, happy, and free!

Lastly, do things you really love or try new things. You never know what you can be good at unless you try. When you learn new skills or further develop the ones you have, you will be more confident.

FITNESS: Which athletes or celebrities do you relate to the most? On a related note, who are your role models? Read more

Embrace Your Belly! S.E.A.K. Can Help With That

Written on April 19, 2012 at 11:41 am , by

Jenny Gaither, founder of S.E.A.K. and the Sports Bra Challenge. (Photo courtesy of S.E.A.K.)

Are you that girl that wants to rip off your tank during a grueling Tabata class or during an extra hot and sweaty indoor cycling class, or maybe the heat in Bikram yoga just makes you feel so free that you want to…? Are you thinking how great it would be to lose the shirt and sport that pretty Lululemon sports bra, but you’re wondering is everyone else OK with me being OK with this? Wonder no more. Embrace this feeling, love your body, feel the sweat and let it all out!

Sometimes there is one moment that has more of an impact than you even thought it could—that’s what happened when SoulCycle instructor Jenny Gaither expanded a one-time sports bra challenge class into an entire movement. She wanted to empower more than a single classroom to push past their insecurities and really love their lady curves—and show the world they can rock it in a sports bra. So next month on May 17, Jenny’s nonprofit organization, the S.E.A.K. (Strive Embrace Achieve Know) Foundation will host it’s debut event in Union Square Park. This can’t-miss movement called the Sports Bra Challenge will be an outdoor workout, packed with back-to-back turbo-charged 100 seat SoulCycle cycling classes and a group yoga session led by popular yogi Halle Becker. All proceeds raised on this day will go to the S.E.A.K. Foundation, which will initiate and support after-school programs to help young girls face body image issues and promote positive self-esteem when it’s needed most; and the City of Hope, an organization which supports women going through chemotherapy and rehabilitation during medial treatments.

Love yours! (Photo courtesy of S.E.A.K.)

The Sports Bra Challenge asks you to take a look at yourself and be proud of where you are with your body—so pull out that best sports bra and hop on a bike or hit a mat this May during Women’s Health Week. You don’t have to be there on May 17th to participate—ask your favorite gym class to host a sports bra only day and raise money to donate to these charities.

I scored a coveted seat at last week’s kickoff event at SoulCycle Union Square and a sampler of instructors brought out their best tunes and tricks—a little taste of what I know is to come! Registration for seats are open now and although prices aren’t cheap—get your charity sites up (set up your own and create a PayPal account)—you’re sure to feel good about being part of this day.

Bonus: Hosted by the girls who got their groove back, Biggest Loser winner and runner-up Olivia Ward and her sister Hannah Curlee, and a surprise guest (Lady Gaga is that you!?) who will be motivating you to move!

Check out this movement that’s sure to touch anybody who’s ever thought about rocking it in a sports bra! (Need some inspiration? Check out our favorites!)

SPORTS BRA CHALLENGE REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW!

#140Wednesdays: What Do You Love About Yourself? #ilove

Written on February 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm , by

Move over, Superwoman. We've got serious confidence this month. (Photo courtesy of Lynda Churilla)

In our February issue of FITNESS (on newsstands now!) we wanted to start the Valentine’s Day love fest a little early by celebrating a very important person – you! We’ve been asking you all month to tweet something you heart about your mind, body or spirit. Read a few below and give yourself an e-pat on the back by tweeting @FitnessMagazine with the hashtag #ilove and what you’re swooning over lately.

@FitnessMarianne: #ilove that I can still run a 10-minute mile even after taking a year+ off because of injury. #crosstrainingworks

@halfofjess: #ilove that I always stand back up after falling down.

@Jen_Vern: #ilove my hair color! I hope I never have to dye it, because I don’t think I could find the color I would want!

@lindametzger: The fact that I recently completed my first fitness goal ever… a 5K! #ilove

@Livin4Laffs: #ilove my determination to work out no matter how tired I may be!

More from FITNESS: What We Love About Our Bodies

Make 2012 Your Most Stylish Year Yet

Written on January 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm , by

Rock bright heels to add some personality to any outfit. (Photo by Anna Wolf)

Written by Lauren Cardarelli, editorial intern

If your style could use some freshening up—the confidence that comes with it translates to every place in your life!—look no further than these tips from fashion editor, style expert and TV personality Jacqui Stafford. Get the skinny about slimming clothes, and since we are FITNESS, we had to ask about her stay-fit secrets.

What is your favorite current fashion trend?

My favorite trend of the moment is a bold cuff. Really great accessories make you stand out when you walk into the room.

What are five essential items or accessories we need in our wardrobes?

  1. To slim over those areas that you are less confident about and get the perfect feminine silhouette, try a dress with draping or ruching.
  2. A waist-cinching belt, creates an hourglass figure for any body type.
  3. Opaque tights are an essential wardrobe item for any woman who wants to appear slimmer. They open up your entire wardrobe, so you feel comfortable to wear shorts, short dresses and skirts.
  4. If you have great legs, boldly-colored heels will draw attention to shapely calves and slender ankles.
  5. For a great accessory that shows off your neckline and shoulders, try a bib necklace. It will create a visual illusion that makes you look longer and leaner.

Read more