Often we set intentions to fix things that we think are “wrong” with ourselves (i.e. “I’m fat so I wanna lose weight” or “I don’t like my job so I want a new one”). However, I’m big believer in the Power of Positive Thinking. This means our intentions should focus on what motivates us, not on what frustrates us. In doing so we generate natural energy and positive thinking to support our desired outcome. “We are authentically inspired by [our] goals [and] empowered to make them happen.” (Source: Oprah.com)
As you start the week answer the question, “What Motivates You?” Use your response to set your intention for the week – I can’t wait to hear your success stories!
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of PUMA.
Hello friends! I hope you enjoyed a lovely Mother’s Day weekend. My 6′ 6″ “little” brother came home to Dallas after completing his Sophomore year of college! We enjoyed a nice family brunch and church service with our Mom – it was really nice.
Due to the high volume of requests for “tips to tone my arms,” I’ve put together a new workout which combines my 5 go-to arm exercises. It’s an exercise combination that’s both dynamic (big movements) and isometric (tiny movements like Pilates). This means you simultaneously build muscle endurance and strength which helps expedite muscle tone! You need 2 light dumbbells to complete the workout. I recommend anything from 3-7 pounds. I’m using 5 pounds in the photos below. You must complete 50 reps of each exercise. So 50 reps X 5 exercises = 250 reps of arm sculpting sexiness – yeah buddy! Rest for 1-2 minutes between each exercise. For best results, complete the workout 3 times per week for 3 weeks.
Also, I wanna give a shout out to #PUMAfitness for hooking me up with the fabulous workout gear I’m rockin’. The coral Gym Graphic All Eyes On Me Tank is bright, sleek and supportive. I especially appreciate the built-in sports bra, and I love the criss-cross design in the back that shows off sculpted shoulders. The Graphic ¾ Tights have the matching Ombre coral color down the side and come in a ton of different colors and prints. They’re made of “Drycell” highly functional materials that draw sweat away from your skin and helps keep you dry and comfortable during exercise. Personally, they fit nice and snug around my waist and give my booty pleasant little lift 😉 To complete your outfit, I also recommend grabbing the Formlite XT Ultra Sneakers. They’re lightweight with an aerodynamic design. If you enjoy group fitness classes like me, this a great sneaker because of the snug fit, flexibility and mesh top which allows airflow. Most importantly, they look great!
Alright guys, that’s all from me for now. I hope you enjoy your arm workout. Also be sure to get you some #PUMA swag! Post a comment if you have questions! xoxo, Brit
#1: Dumbbell Alternating Punches
#2: Diagonal Shoulder Press
#3: Bicep Curl Extensions w/ Shoulder Isolation
#4: Front Dumbbell Taps w/Shoulder Isolation
#5: Incline Tricep Push Ups
Last but not least, go for a sweaty 20-30 minute run in your #PUMA sneakers to blast some calories and burn fat. Remember, fat reduction will speed up your journey to sexy sculpted arms!
Hooray – it’s that time of year again! I’ll start teaching PiYo classes at the W Dallas – Victory hotel on Saturday May 31, 2014. Classes are held on the beautiful 16th floor beside the infnity pool of the W hotel. We start at 9:00am sharp each and every Saturday throughout the Summer. BREAKING NEWS: Classes have been extended through September 20th!
PiYo is one of my all time favorite fitness formats. It’s a fun, effective fusion of Pilates and Yoga set to upbeat music. If traditional yoga classes bore you, this is the class for you! And the best part is that we can enjoy the best view in Dallas while getting our tummy toning and bun burning on.
Thanks to the W Hotel, PiYo on the #wetdeck is completely FREE and open to everybody – no sign up needed. You must bring your own yoga mat to participate. We also recommend you bring water and a towel.
I’ve been getting over a cold the past few weeks which had me feeling pretty groggy. Thank God I don’t sick very often, but when I do I recognize a pattern of lifestyle changes that largely contribute to my lack of health. For instance, I get sick when I overindulge, get stressed out or spend minimal time doing activities that energize me (like teaching fitness classes). I saw this quote and loved it because it rings so true to my personal health. Of course I added some “GRIT by Brit flare” and elaborated on each point with my colorful commentary. I hope these words of wisdom keep you healthy today, tomorrow and forevermore! xoxo, Brit
1. Eat Lightly
Eating well and eating lightly are two different things. I have several friends, including me, who overeat because we are eating “healthy” foods. This is not a good look. Hopefully you read the guest post I featured on Intuitive Eating. If not, go check it out. Bottom line is that overeating may cause temporary satisfaction but it ultimately leads to sickness, obesity and even depression.
2. Breathe Deeply
Breathing deeply requires to us to tap in to our diaphragm and “fill up our bellies” with air. I learned the technique and value of breathing deeply through my yoga practice. I find that deep breaths calm my nerves and help me process my thoughts. “Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.” (Source: Harvard Medical School)
3. Live Moderately
It is possible to have too much of a good thing. As much as I love to travel and socialize, I have to be mindful of getting burnt out. The same goes for sipping wine, shopping, investing in relationships, etc. Every few weeks it’s a good idea for me stay in, not make any plans for the weekend and just chill on my couch with a few good books. To ensure good health, we must be mindful of aiming for moderation in all aspects of life – even the good stuff.
4. Cultivate Cheerfulness
Nothing brings about sickness more than sadness. Go out of your way to be cheerful. For me, the trick is to never allow myself to get really down in the dumps. I mean, obviously life brings about some serious challenges and it’s healthy to grieve. However, I believe in the laws of Physics. A body in motion, stays in motion. A mind that starts cultivating negative thoughts continues to cultivate negative thoughts. It takes a TON of energy to perform a 180 degree turn. It’s a lot easier to move forward in the direction you are already headed. So make a conscious effort to cultivate cheerfulness even during tough times – Fake it till you make it!
5. Maintain An Interest In Life
I find that my interest in life diminishes when I’m feeling hopeless. To me, being hopeful about life and being interested in life go hand in hand. Life is crazy complex but it always works out for the good. So stay hopeful. Be interested in helping others, observing beauty and seeking the happy ending. This curiosity will initiate a personal vitality and internal energy to help ensure good health.
Hey gang, sorry for my sporadic posting lately. Fortunately, I enjoyed some much-needed time away in Mexico for my dear friend’s wedding. The calming effects of the sea are amazing – much like the high after a good workout or relief after a good cry. Here’s few pics from my weekend. I’ll be back to posting workouts, recipes and “fitspiration” over the next few days. In the meanwhile, check out my Extreme Bikini Body Workout – it’s that time of year. Love you lots!
The cure for anything is Saltwater: Sweat, Tears & the Sea
Hope your week is off a to a great start – mine certainly is. Last week was quite hectic for me. I had to travel to both Memphis and Salt Lake City for work. When the weekend came I was completely exhausted. Needless to say, I did not feel like the hitting the gym on Saturday nor doing anything that required even the slightest bit of energy. Fortunately, the thought of hanging out with my “fit friends” was enough motivation to keep me from skipping my Saturday morning workout. Afterwards not only did my body feel better, but I was less stressed and had a more positive attitude overall. It was like magic – lots of good vibes and positive energy. That’s the beauty of exercise, it’s great for the mind, body and soul. Activity generates the energy that brings about good vibes. Good things come to those who sweat!
On that note, here’s some fitspiration to get your sweat on – 20 Minute Calorie Blaster treadmill workout from the GRIT by Brit archives. You can check out the original blog post for detailed instructions. I highly encourage you to give this bad boy a whirl some time this week. I am.
And finally, check out these 13 Mental Health Benefits of exercise. On the list, Stress Relief ranks #1. I can attest to the accuracy of this claim. Just for fun, here’s a pic of me and my girlfriends on Saturday night enjoying the residual good vibes from my morning workout.
Wishing you a wonderful week with lots of sweat and good things! xoxo, Brit
Hey Gang! So in case you’ve noticed I haven’t been posting many gym #selfies lately. It’s not because I’m being lazy and skipping the gym, rather I recently had fibroid removal surgery (myomectomy) and have been out of commission. I had no intention of writing a blog post about this experience, but I’ve encountered so many women that struggle with fibroids that I feel compelled to share my story. Now don’t fret, this is a story of a success and hope, not of negatively and fear. So let me start from the beginning…
I’m very active young woman, 29 years old with no history of any medical problems. However, like a year and a half ago my periods started getting really heavy to the point that they were inconveniencing me at work and making it difficult to get through the day. I thought it was just due to my body changing with age and because I had stopped taking birth control. A few months later I mentioned my symptoms to my OBGYN during my annual exam and she responded that my heavy menstruation could be due to fibroids. I was like, huh? Surely enough during my exam she did feel some lumps on my uterus so she instructed me to a have an ultrasound, during which my fibroids were confirmed. At this point, I totally freaked out. A million questions ran through my mind like – “Can I still get pregnant?” “Do I have cancer?” “Is this because of my diet or lifestyle?” “Do I need surgery?” “If so, what kind of surgery?”
Fortunately, my doctor was very thorough and walked me through the severity (or lack of severity) of the situation and explained that fibroids are benign tumors very common among women of child-bearing age and in most cases can go left untreated if they are not causing symptoms. However, mine were causing symptoms and were fairly large (ranged from 2cm to 7cm) so she highly recommended that I have them removed if I planned to become pregnant in the future.
“Okay,” I thought to my self, “So I know I need to have surgery, the questions now are: When? And how I will have the operation?” This is where my GRIT by Brit hardcore research mode kicked in. During my investigation, I learned 3 key facts that changed my world for the better:
You are NOT alone – up to 80% of women experience fibroids before the age of 50. So don’t freakout. You’re not critically ill or cursed. As long as you treat your fibroids appropriately, you are likely to be well. Also, the presence of uterine fibroids is mostly genetic. So if you your mom had them (mine did) you will likely have them too. Also, some studies show that high consumption of alcohol and red meat are likely to lead to fibroids, but this hasn’t been scientifically proven.
You do NOT need a hysterectomy – If you have several fibroids and ovarian cysts you may think that a complete hysterectomy (removal of your entire uterus and ovaries) is your only option. This is not true! For many older women in their later 40’s and 50’s this is the best option because they are not likely to bear children. But if you are in your 20’s or 30’s, you can opt for a myomectomy to remove your fibroids and preserve your fertility. For some women who have really small fibroids that are not growing rapidly, birth control is an effective treatment to mitigate heavy bleeding and no surgery at all is needed.
You do NOT need to get a giant C-section scar – So many of you, like me, are very active wellness-minded young adults who cringe at the thought of being cut open and laid up on the couch in agonizing recovery for several weeks. Fortunately, there are several non-surgery options and minimally invasive surgery options (e.g. laparoscopic myomectomy, DaVinci Robot myomectomy, high intensity focused ultrasound- HIFU)
Personally, I decided to go with the laparoscopic myomectomy to treat my fibroids. I really wanted to do HIFU, but it’s still in the clinical trial phase and radiologists will not let women who wish to become pregnant undergo the procedure – so HIFU got ruled out.
I had surgery on Jan. 22, 2014 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital with Dr. Jon Einarsson. It was a day surgery and the procedure itself took about 3 hours. I checked in the hospital at 8:30am and went home around 3pm. Here’s a pic of me leaving the hospital (in some pain but still cracking a smile for the camera).
Below is a photo of my uterus before and after my surgery. As you can see up top, the fibroids were making my uterus much larger than needed and taking up way too much space in my belly. I also had an ovarian cyst which you can see on the bottom left corner of the top photo. On the bottom you can see my uterus now, without the fibroids and without the cyst. So much more space! There’s some stitches and internal gauze that will dissolve over time.
Here’s a photo of my incisions. I’ve gotta be honest, I was really concerned about having a giant scar on my belly – who wants that? I was so relieved to learn that I could have my myomectomy surgery done laparoscopically (even though lots of gynecologists told me I couldn’t…hmmmm). As you can see, there are just 2 small incisions on the left side of my abdomen (each only 1 centimeter) and then there’s an incision in my belly button. So, 3 incisions altogether. Each incision is covered with a dermaglue that peels off in like 2-3 weeks. Not bad huh?
Today, I’m grateful to report that I am 3 and a half weeks post surgery, have ZERO fibroids or ovarian cysts, a fully functioning uterus and ovaries and I feel AWESOME! The laparsocipic surgery has significantly less recovery time and uterine scarring than the open myometocty, which is puts me in better shape for when I get pregnant in the future. I’ll return to work full-time this week with zero restrictions. Last week I’ve even starting working out again! Also, my scars are tiny and healing very well. I have minimal swelling in my abdomen but my pelvis region is still a bit tender. I also have some bruising around my groin and on my upper thighs which will last for another month – that’s the worst of it. Overall, I feel so blessed for the abilities of modern surgery and for my amazing surgeon, Dr. Einarsson.
I just wanted to share my experience with you guys so that hopefully it can be a story of encouragement for anyone going through the same thing. If you have ANY questions at all feel free to post a comment below. Also, if you have had experience with fibroids, please share your story with us! Let’s support each other 🙂
Last week I approached by New Balance to be one of the first to review their newest running shoe, Fresh Foam 980. Now most of my reviews on GRIT by Brit are unsolicited – I just review places and products that generally intrigue me. However, since New Balance is a legit brand, I was quite flattered that they valued my opinion so I happily agreed to test these bad boys.
I know I should start off by providing feedback on the shoe’s comfort, foot support, design quality, etc., but in true GRIT by Brit fashion, I must first comment on the style. When my sneakers arrived in the mail, I was pumped to discover their boldness and brightness. I LOVE NEON and there’s lots of neon! Also, the soles are colored. I hate white soles on sneakers because they always get dirty which isn’t cute.
After receiving the sneakers, I co-hosting a #FreshFaom launch party and 5K Fun Run at Luke’s Locker sporting goods store in Dallas along with some local running coaches and representatives from New Balance corporate headquarters. Everyone was super nice, fun and had lots of GRIT!
So now let me shed some light on the running experience… While I am a self-proclaimed “group fitness junkie” I’m not really a “runner.” I mean, I enjoy 2-4 miles every now and then when the weather is nice but I don’t have excellent running form nor do I own real running shoes.
The run was AWESOME. First, I was personally proud to keep up with all of these hardcore runners. Second, I was shocked by the comfort of my running experience. I usually run in my Nike cross training shoes that I wear to teach kickboxing. Let me tell you, running in shoes specifically designed for running makes a HUGE difference. My run was bouncy and felt like it was minimizing the impact on the knees. After tearing my ACL in college and having reconstructive surgery, I’m really careful about putting to much impact on my knees. Overall, I’m not 100% sure if my pleasant running experience should be completely credited to New Balance Fresh Foam or to just having real running shoes. Either way, it was a good experience and definitely enticed me to run more frequently (in running shoes that is).
After our run, we celebrated with ice cold beers, yummy snacks and laughs. As icing on the cake, I met a fellow Dallas food/fitness Blogger! Be sure to follow Stephanie at Food and Fitness 4 Real.
Overall, I can’t honestly say whether or not the New Balance Fresh Foam sneakers are a superior running shoe. But I can say that they are, in fact, designed for running and if you aren’t use to wearing running shoes these are great first pair to purchase for yourself.
Hello lovely guys and gals! I personally wanted to wish you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day and week full of love and joy. Hopefully you have a special someone in your life, but if not, know that I LOVE YOU exceedingly and abundantly!
To show my love, I’ve partnered with Socialite Pink Jewelry for a special V-Day necklace give away. Just copy the picture BELOW, post to your Facebook page, and tag Socialite Pink + 4 friends. After doing so, you’ll be entered to win the lovely necklace below.
But that’s not all. I’ve also been intrigued (yet kinda grossed out) by all of the #Belfies I’ve been seeing on Insta which has motivated me to make a Love Yourself Legs and Booty Workout just in time for Valentine’s Day 😉 The workout is a great warm up or finale to 30 minutes of cardio training. It goes like this…
Plie’ Squats – 25
Regular Squats – 25
Squat Jumps – 12
Wall Sit – 45 seconds
Single Leg Step Back Lunges – 20 Right, 20 Left
Single Leg Side Step Lunges – 20 Right, 20 Left
Regular Squats – 50
Have a wonderful week with filled hugs and kisses.
Wow! The New Year is upon us and I have so much so much grateful for. Most importantly, I’m so thankful for all of you who follow my blog and send me encouraging messages. There’s nothing more rewarding than connecting with you. Thank you so very much – be blessed exceedingly and abundantly!
This blog started out as a simple channel for me to share my hotel workouts and transformed into my passion-filled prized possession and platform to help us all live healthier, happier and more positive lives. Only a year and half since my first post, GRIT by Brit doubled in size to over 3,000 followers. The 2nd blogiversary is coming up in March. I have even greater expectations for 2014!
So now without further or do I present to you, 2013’s Top 10 Most Memorable moments:
Teaching my 1st Indoor Cycling Class – I got certified in Schwinn indoor cycling in 2012 but didn’t teach my first class until May of this year. It’s so crazy how teaching a new fitness format challenges me, takes me out of my comfort zone and feels exhilarating at the same time. Making playlists full of Jay-Z, Britney and Eminem is also really fun!
Turbo NYC – While I was living in NYC for 7 months, I started a pop up Turbo Kick class in Flatiron. It quickly gained traction and my friends (old and new) joined me every Sunday to sweat and bring some heat to the bone-chilling NYC cold. This was a short stint, but boy was it sweet. Here you can read my reflections from my first Turbo NYC class: https://gritbybrit.com/2013/01/27/the-world-is-yours/
PiYo on the Deck – When I was asked to teach weekly PiYo classes on the W Dallas Hotel Wet Deck I was like, “ah yea…I’m officially on the map!” This was huge personal accomplishment. Better yet, it was fun, free way that I could share mind-body training with my friends and other members of the Dallas community. Free. Fierce. Fitness = GRIT by Brit core values!
GRIT by Brit Tank Tops – We have tanks now finally – yay! Not much to say on this one except that I’m glad I can now “reprezent my clique” in public. And you can too! Buy yours at my eStore: http://gritbybrit-shop.com/
New workout video with BOOYA Fitness – So in 2012 I released GRIT by Brit Ultimate Body Burn, which I hope you already rocked out. On New Year’s day 2014 I will release my new and improved 30 minute, high intensity, music blasting, cardio workout. Booya Fitness, an online fitness video subscription start-up company, was the driving force behind this collaboration. I’m so honored to be one of their featured instructors. You all must go sign up for your subscription today!http://www.booyafitness.com/
Dr. OZ Cleanses –Holy Moly! I don’t know if I should be excited or concerned, but when I started posting reviews of the Dr. Oz cleanses, I got over 2,000 hits per day! Now I love a good cleanse, but I was amazed at our intense interest in cleanse regimens. Just remember, cleanses are a great one-off solution, but living a healthy lifestyle consistently (not only for a 3-day cleanse) is where the real work and the real rewards come.
Blog makeover – So when I started GRIT by Brit I knew nothing about blogging (I think that’s still the case to be quite honest). However, this year I met an amazingly talented photographer/graphic designer who has become my creative director and my friend. Alivia Duran – thank you! GRIT by Brit is looking better than ever. You are a God-send! You can guys can check Alivia’s website: http://www.aliviaduran.com/
Sharing my Lean In Story – I heard Sheryl Sandberg speak at a women’s conference in April and I immediately felt a sense of duty to take more risks in my life and to also share my story with other women. On my way home from that conference, I wrote my Lean In story and submitted it to be published. If you haven’t read it, you can check it out here: http://leanin.org/stories/brittani-rettig/ (P.S. I wrote this with a great sense of urgency so there are a few typos – please read with a forgiving spirit).
Being on TV (Good Morning Texas) – Huge thanks to Sporty Afros for being my fit friends and partners in crime on this. Alex and Whitney, co-founders of http://sportyafros.com/ have been my blog mentors and ongoing sources of inspiration. Thanks to both of you for sharing the limelight with me as you tackled the critical topics of natural hair and health. Together, we are going to win the war on obesity among women of color! Health OVER Hair!
Well, that’s the end gang. 2013 has flown by, but it sure was good to me. I’m humbled and grateful for all of the blessings I’ve experienced. I wish you an amazing 2014 that exceeds your expectations – the best is ALWAYS yet to come!