My (Unexpected) Takeaways from Revitalize 2016

#Revitalize2016 RecapBack in August, I did a small work project with mindbodygreen and as it was wrapping up, my contact there surprised me by tossing an invitation to revitalize my way. I honestly hadn’t heard of it until that moment, but after looking into it knew this opportunity was too amazing to pass up. Revitalize is an invite-only weekend in Arizona that’s one part wellness retreat, one part conference. Attendees range from world renowned doctors and healers, to athletes, to VCs and investors, to Instagram-famous yogis, to health food entrepreneurs to … me. Not sure how I got thrown in the mix LOL. #Revitalize2016 Recap

Each day there were content sessions split into several talks and conversations covering a variety of wellness topics. The rest of the day was filled with activities: group hikes, yoga, mediation classes, one-on-one sessions with doctors and life coaches, cocktail hours (gluten-free beer only, of course ;)) and more. The meals were incredible, the gifting suite on another level, and the spa at the Ritz open to all guests at a discount. MBG thought of everything.

It goes without saying I enjoyed myself, but from a professional standpoint, my big takeaways from the weekend were actually a bit unexpected. I flew out West thinking, “Wow this is going to be an amazing networking opportunity–this could be huge for my blog!” and ended up realizing that my professional goals maybe aren’t what I thought. I’ll get to all that, but first: the talks.

My Favorite Revitalize 2016 Talks

#Revitalize2016 RecapMBG streamed all the content sessions and has uploaded them to their site. Here are a few to check out:

How to Change the Labels that Tear Us Apart – Adi Jaffe, PhD

Adi shared his powerful personal story but also talked about some fascinating research around the ways labeling affects performance. One of my favorite talks from the weekend!

How to Fix What’s Not Working in Your Life – Beth Weissenberger

Sometimes it’s not the message, but the way in which it’s delivered that resonates. I could have listened to Beth talk all night about pretty much anything. She’s a tell-it-like-it-is life coach, and drove home the message that we need to get out of our own way. Something holding you back from accomplishing what you want? Guess what, that “something” is probably you. #Revitalize2016 Recap

Why We All Need Sexual Healing – Psalm Isadora & The Ultimate Transformation – Natalie Egan

What resonated with me about these two speakers was the power of sharing your story. I was captivated and moved by Psalm and Natalie, both shining examples of overcoming difficulty and finding/creating/living your most authentic life.

Closing Remarks – Hill Harper

Hill Harper’s talk was the one that probably resonated with me the most. I honestly hadn’t heard of him before this weekend but I am now a huge fan of him and his work–the guy was amazing. As a blogger, I loved when he talked about creating and the importance of continuing to put your content out there–you never know who it’s reaching and affecting. I’ll talk more about his talk at the end of this blog post as well. If you click the above link, just fast-forward to Hill.

My Two Big Takeaways from the Weekend

#Revitalize2016 RecapI don’t want to work with Gwyneth.

My biggest takeaway from the trip was ironic. As I settled in for my second meditation of the day, belly full of superfoods, skin soothed with organic essential oils, wrists donning beaded strands of good energy, a crystal in my hemp-spun handbag, it hit me:

I am such a fucking cliche privileged white person right now.

I MEAN C’MON. Sitting crosslegged on an eco-friendly yoga mat sipping organic green juice in a meditation geodome decorated like the inside of an Anthropologie listening to Gwyneth Paltrow’s psychic consultant give a speech. Tell me that isn’t the most ridiculously stereotypical upper-middle-class chick shit you’ve ever heard. It’s almost comical! #Revitalize2016 Recap

There’s no need to apologize for having the privilege of being able to go to weekend retreats like this; to eat 100% organic, local produce from a farmer’s market; to hire private meditation coaches and herbalists; to spend $300+ a month on fancy boutique gyms and fitness studios–those things are all great! Appreciate them if you can do them! Your health is the best thing in which you can invest! But I think we (I) need to acknowledge that doing all those things is, at least to a certain extent, just that: a privilege. 

Being spoiled with a weekend of such “extreme health,” if you will, ironically made me realize that that’s not where I want to be professionally or what I want to focus on. I don’t want to be too caught up in health trends or extremes when there are so many people (I’m talking the majority of the country) who are still working at the basics of eating better and exercise. By the end of the weekend, I found myself thinking over and over: How can I be of service to those who don’t have such unrestricted and seemingly unlimited access to wellness? #Revitalize2016 Recap

And I don’t mean to imply that revitalize was about wellness for some snobbish elite–not at all. Everyone I had the pleasure of speaking with was so kind and genuine (the mbg community is amazing!) and the talks and information sessions were relatable and applicable to all. Speakers and presenters there don’t just cater to the Gwyneths of the world (although literally half of them are friends with her, no joke haha)–they work with a variety of communities and are truly inspiring. Revitalize wasn’t about “elite health,” the guests were just treated to it. Which I appreciate–are you kidding me?? I got to drink green juice, practice yoga in the sunshine, meditate and learn all weekend in a luxury resort. It was incredible. It was also the most unrealistic three days imaginable for the majority of this country and, for whatever reason, that struck me hard and has stayed with me. I’m grateful for the insight and it’s helping me refocus my professional and personal goals.

Dreaming big may mean something “smaller” to me than I thought.

#Revitalize2016 RecapIn his closing talk, Hill Harper had us take out a piece of paper and write down a goal or two we had–what do we want out of life? Without putting any thought to it, without the tiniest little moment of hesitation, I wrote down (to my surprise):

  • Have a family
  • Write more
  • Lead a community fitness/yoga program focusing on positive body image for young girls

Wait what? That’s it?? I could write down ANYTHING and there’s no mention of six-figure blog incomes, massive social media followings and influencing millions across the globe?! Nope. If this weekend taught me anything it’s that the stuff closest to home means the most to me. (Or maybe I’m just ridiculously unambitious haha).

I wrote my mom an email telling her about the weekend, my gained insights, and how it kinda had the opposite effect on me as I’d assumed it would. I think her response is a great way to end this post:

We are all here to find ourselves, who we are, which eventually leads us to God. Enjoy the journey!”

I’d say revitalize was a definite stepping stone on that journey–even if not in the way I’d expected. signature

4-Min Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 7): Sliding High Plank Exercises

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 7): Slider ExercisesThe final day hath cometh! Did anyone do all seven of these tabatas? Let me know in the comments which was your favorite/hardest/easiest. I’m excited because I finally invested in a pair of real sliders and I can stop using dish towels. I went with these because they’re double-sided and work on both hardwood and carpet. $16, free shipping with Amazon Prime, done. Totally worth it.

4-Min Plank Tabata: Sliding Exercises

A tabata interval structure is 20 seconds of work + 10 seconds of rest, 8 times. This tabata will be made up of four different plank exercises and you’ll go through them twice. During the 10 seconds of “rest” you can either rest OR hold a plank. If your wrists need a breather, feel free to hold the plank from your forearms.

You’ll need sliders for this workout. Dish towels work well, too, if you have hardwood floors.

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 7): Slider ExercisesBear | Start in a plank position with your feet on a towel. Keeping your hips level with your shoulders, back flat, slide your feet forward, bending your knees in towards your elbows. Slide feet back out, straightening your legs into plank position. Two most common errors while doing this are lifting the booty up as your feet slide in and letting the low back arch down towards the floor. Pull your abs in tight the whole time, maintaining a flat back.

Windshield Wiper Slides | From a high plank position, you’re going to slide (it may require a light hop) both feet up and over to the outside of your right hand. Staying as light on the feet as possible, slide/hop back to center plank. Repeat to the left.

Single-Leg Sliding Mountain Climbers (Isolate One Side)| Start in a high plank with your right foot on a slider and your left leg straight and hovering. Keeping the left leg hovering the entire time, do mountain climbers, driving or sliding one knee into your chest while the other is extended and then alternating. This isn’t just a core challenge, your slider leg will be fired up as well!

You’ll do just the right side the first 20-second interval. Do just the left side the next time you come to the exercise.

Sliding Kickthroughs | From high plank, slide your right foot across your body and over to the left, straightening out your leg and swiveling through the hips. Bring it back to center and repeat with the left.

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 7): Slider Exercises

WEARING | leggings & tank c/o Sweaty Betty (tank is old–shop current here)

I want to draw special attention to my leggings because Sweaty Betty is hosting a kickass giveaway to celebrate the launch of them. You can enter to win $1000 in activewear HERE–holler! These new Power leggings are meant to be versatile and fitting for a wide range of activities. As with all SB leggings I own, the waistband is high, wide and comfortable and the print is super fun. Love them! Check out the whole collection of Powers.

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4-Min Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 6): Forearm Slider Exercises

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 6): Sliding Forearm Plank ExercisesOh man was it overly ambitious of me to think I’d get up two plank challenge posts on the weekend while in Arizona at a wellness retreat (lolzzz nice try, Nicole). I have so much content for you guys from revitalize as well as new full-body workouts and other posts, but first I have to share the last two plank tabatas dammit!!

4-Minute Plank Tabata Workout: Forearm Slider Exercises


A tabata interval structure is 20 seconds of work + 10 seconds of rest, 8 times. This tabata will be made up of four different plank exercises and you’ll go through them twice. During the 10 seconds of “rest” you can either rest OR hold a plank. 

You’ll need sliders for this workout. Dish towels work well, too, if you have hardwood floors. 4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 6): Sliding Forearm Plank Exercises

Forearm Plank to Pike | Start in a forearm plank position with your feet on the sliders. Keeping your legs straight and heels lifted, pike your hips up into the air, bringing your body into an upside-down V shape. Slowly lower back down to plank. If you have tight hamstrings, you may not be able to get your hips up very high–that’s ok!

Army Crawl | Put your feet on a towel and get into a plank with your forearms at the end of an exercise mat. Army crawl your way up the length of the mat, one forearm in front of the other, maintaining the plank position as you slide forward. When you can no longer go any farther forward, reverse the motion, crawling your forearms backward towards the starting edge of the mat. As you move, try to keep your hips level in a plank. They’ll want to dip side to side with each step of the forearms; use your core strength to stabilize them.

Beginners: you can do these from your knees, just make sure to add an extra towel for padding.

Low Corkscrew | From a forearm plank, you’re going to bend your knees in towards your right arm, twisting through the waist. Extend back out to plank and then repeat, twisting your knees in towards the left arm. Your hips will be a few inches higher than your shoulders as you bend the knees, but try to get them back to a level height when you extend back out to plank.

Saw Jacks | From forearm plank, start by sliding your feet out wide to the sides and then back to center, keeping your hips level with the shoulders. From here, saw your body back and forth, hinging from the shoulders and maintaining your neutral spine. This part is hard! You may only be able to rock back an inch or two–that’s ok!

4-Minute Plank Tabata Challenge (Day 6): Sliding Forearm Plank Exercises

WEARING | Fabletics leggings (get your first outfit for $25) // Soybu tank (sold out but love this flowy tee from them) // Champion bra

Ok–one day to go! Then I’ll officially be all planked out and ready to switch up the workouts for you guys. 😉

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