i am not a designer

Ask me anything   the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson

advice i need to take today. i keep randomly feeling like it’s better to tip toe around and shrink myself as tiny as possible like my mere presence is an inconvenience to the world.  wherever this feeling stems from i need to squash it and move on.

— 2 weeks ago
#inspiring quotes  #marianne williamson  #shine 
interview

i just did my interview with a writer from Prevention Magazine.  

they reached out to Soulcycle after reading my SC community blog post and wanted to feature me a column they do called “Better Than Ever”

i had to do the interview walking around the financial district while it drizzled since my office is too quiet and i hate having phone conversations there because everyone can hear your business.

in talking about my experiences, growing up the chunky un-athletic surly girl who ate a lot of canned meats because we didn’t know any better to living in Hollywood and dressing in baggy men’s clothes to realizing exercise was more than 30 lackluster minutes on the eliptical to my breast reduction surgery that unearthed the belly that had been hiding under my boobs my entire life to discovering soulcycle and hiking and a different kind of life that included taking care of myself both physically and mentally…par for the course, I got completely teary-eyed.

nothing like cowering in a doorway trying to avoid the rain telling your life story to a stranger via cell phone.

it felt good and cathartic though to see where i started and where i am now.

i’ve come so far and there are only good things that lie ahead for me.

i’m predicting a weepy session in Ian’s class tonight. 

tears of joy of course.  

— 3 weeks ago with 5 notes
#fitspo  #healthyliving  #soulcycle 
with having a more open schedule these days I realized that what i naturally want to do is have all my workouts happen monday-friday and take the weekend off.  having two real days where i can relax and not have such a tight reign on diet or exercise feels more sustainable than pushing it hard 6 days a week.  
i took the dr. out for a surprise birthday massage last night and afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking about how much i DID NOT want to go to my BurnSF (cardio/pilates/weights) the next day.  the massage was helpful in reminding me of all these nooks and crannies where aches hide and i went to bed feeling relaxed but a bit raw, afraid to tighten up and undo what was just undone by doing burpees and plank jacks 13 hours later.
so i cancelled class.
i felt better after i did and i think that i realized that part of self care and self maintenance includes not bullying your body into working out.
there’s motivation and there’s overtraining.
some things i need to keep my eye on during workouts, notes to self:
right leg dominance, putting too much on the glute medius and tfl?  tight outerhip  and vastus lateralis.  MORE FOAM ROLLER.  (ugh)
adductor attachments to left knee, sensitivity, remember to stretch inner thighs.
left foot fallen arch, figure out support during sc without too much compression. 

with having a more open schedule these days I realized that what i naturally want to do is have all my workouts happen monday-friday and take the weekend off.  having two real days where i can relax and not have such a tight reign on diet or exercise feels more sustainable than pushing it hard 6 days a week.  

i took the dr. out for a surprise birthday massage last night and afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking about how much i DID NOT want to go to my BurnSF (cardio/pilates/weights) the next day.  the massage was helpful in reminding me of all these nooks and crannies where aches hide and i went to bed feeling relaxed but a bit raw, afraid to tighten up and undo what was just undone by doing burpees and plank jacks 13 hours later.

so i cancelled class.

i felt better after i did and i think that i realized that part of self care and self maintenance includes not bullying your body into working out.

there’s motivation and there’s overtraining.

some things i need to keep my eye on during workouts, notes to self:

right leg dominance, putting too much on the glute medius and tfl?  tight outerhip  and vastus lateralis.  MORE FOAM ROLLER.  (ugh)

adductor attachments to left knee, sensitivity, remember to stretch inner thighs.

left foot fallen arch, figure out support during sc without too much compression. 

— 1 month ago with 1 note

What the weekend looked like for the most part. I start my new job tomorrow. What the what.

— 1 month ago with 2 notes
Right back at it despite the fact that I keep falling in the toilet because my thighs are sore. At least after Chris’ 7AM class I get to take it easy. Looking forward to movie night with Miss. Chi and the ability to sleep in tomorrow.

Right back at it despite the fact that I keep falling in the toilet because my thighs are sore. At least after Chris’ 7AM class I get to take it easy. Looking forward to movie night with Miss. Chi and the ability to sleep in tomorrow.

— 1 month ago with 2 notes
#soulcycle  #fitness 


the lady on the mat in front of me at burn sf today saw my ugly face.


just this past weekend i was talking to sadia after a super sweaty soulcycle class with lauren mchale, one of our favorite teachers and admitted that i was grateful that the room is dark and i’m usually not in the front row because i was completely certain i make ugly face all the time in class.  whether it’s the out of the saddle sprinting where i feel like a tiny pup treading water during a tsunami trying to keep my head up and chest forward or if i’m pushing against several turns too many on the resistance knob while sitting unable to use my body weight to push through the pedal stroke i know my face is doing things outside of my control as my body is too busy focusing on not giving up.

burn sf is only my third foray into group fitness in my life if you count yoga as one (i sorta don’t since my main reason for going to yoga isn’t necessarily fitness related).  burn is about an hour of cardio, weights and pilates (springboard).  you move from high impact cardio moves (jumping jacks, burpees, side runs, to cardio with dumbbells, to floor core work, to spring board work for legs and arms.  the spring work is usually more towards the later half of class but everything else is fair game as you move from burpees and mountain climbers to bicep curl lunges to bicycle crunches at what feels like lightening speed.

i’m usually dripping sweat within 5 minutes of class and by the end i’m using hand towels so i don’t slip all over my now drenched mat.  how i have not yet completely face planted during plank-ups is a miracle. 

with all this soulcycle i’ve been doing i’ve gotten comfortable sweating and screaming and grimacing in a safe dark space.

not well lit open studios with music at a normal decibel where everyone can hear you…dying…slowly.

several times i was off during side planks and found myself facing the lady in front of me.  every time we made eye contact she smiled and i couldn’t help but nervously laugh though various parts of my body were doing the opposite. 

i was off the entire class so we found each other face to face a lot this morning.  i was typically making ugly face, trying to not slip on my own sweat with various body parts quivering. each time she would smile encouragingly i started trying to smile back but my brain was too busy trying to figure out how to get my body to do whatever shape was supposed to be happening at the moment so my face stuck in the ugly position for the most part.  i had the best intentions.  

the worst place for me to make friends is in the middle of a side plank hip lift.

after class as we were frantically wiping down our mats for the next class which was already strolling in she asked me how i liked class.

"it was hard," I answered honestly. "but i loved it!"

"yeah, she builds class in a way that when you think you can’t do anything harder,  you’re asked to and you have to do it."

"i know!  what is this ‘have to’? and why do we all do it?"

"i don’t know,"  she said as she wiped down the last edge of her mat and handed me the spray bottle of multi-purpose cleaner. "i think we all have our own reasons but for the most part we do it because we want to get stronger. you know, get better."

she wished me a good morning and bounded up the steps to the waiting room in what looked like 2 long strides.  i thought about what my slow hobble up the stairs to fetch my shoes and hoodie would look like.

there are times when i see women after a workout and they’re glistening and glowing, their baby hairs matted to the napes of their necks, their top knot messy bun perfectly un-perfect, their tiny little barefoot feet pit-pit-pitting around a fitness studio like nimble little fairies as they giggle and talk to their other glistening friends after class and i wonder if that will ever be me.

and will i ever get over wanting that to be me.

will i ever get over it because my flat hobbit feet and chunky cankles aren’t going anywhere.  my short torso and wide ribcage are set in place by ossified bones that dictated my shape a long time ago. a long time ago when i had no idea that i was still growing and malleable and if i had just discovered pilates and yoga during puberty maybe i’d be at least 5’ tall.  if i had only known earlier.  if i had started caring earlier. if i had known better.  if i hadn’t scarfed one too many peanut butter kandy kakes for breakfast.  if i had…

if i had, who knows who i would end up looking like or being today?

sometimes i can’t help but think about this alternate universe me and if she would have used her powers for good or evil? this bizzaro world me is always some sort of hybrid ballerina/ninja who has never in her life experienced thigh chafing in the summer time or coming to terms with ugly face in a well lit group fitness studio.

she doesn’t exist and she’s in my way.

i get so bogged down with these ideas and it’s ridiculous because it’s all so intangible and change is possible. the idea of these women who glisten.  the idea of my alterna-me non-chaffing ninja. i made these things up.  i gave them weight and power.  

i can change my mind.  i can let it go.

i can’t change my body to be this impossible thing.  the past couple of months of losing weight has been great but at times misleading.  i can lose fat. i can build muscle, i can get stronger but i can’t wake up tomorrow with someone else’s bone structure and genetics.

but i can change my mind. 

and i can choose to get out of my own way and trust that i’m exactly where i need to be.

the lady on the mat in front of me at burn sf today saw my ugly face.

just this past weekend i was talking to sadia after a super sweaty soulcycle class with lauren mchale, one of our favorite teachers and admitted that i was grateful that the room is dark and i’m usually not in the front row because i was completely certain i make ugly face all the time in class.  whether it’s the out of the saddle sprinting where i feel like a tiny pup treading water during a tsunami trying to keep my head up and chest forward or if i’m pushing against several turns too many on the resistance knob while sitting unable to use my body weight to push through the pedal stroke i know my face is doing things outside of my control as my body is too busy focusing on not giving up.

burn sf is only my third foray into group fitness in my life if you count yoga as one (i sorta don’t since my main reason for going to yoga isn’t necessarily fitness related).  burn is about an hour of cardio, weights and pilates (springboard).  you move from high impact cardio moves (jumping jacks, burpees, side runs, to cardio with dumbbells, to floor core work, to spring board work for legs and arms.  the spring work is usually more towards the later half of class but everything else is fair game as you move from burpees and mountain climbers to bicep curl lunges to bicycle crunches at what feels like lightening speed.

i’m usually dripping sweat within 5 minutes of class and by the end i’m using hand towels so i don’t slip all over my now drenched mat.  how i have not yet completely face planted during plank-ups is a miracle. 

with all this soulcycle i’ve been doing i’ve gotten comfortable sweating and screaming and grimacing in a safe dark space.

not well lit open studios with music at a normal decibel where everyone can hear you…dying…slowly.

several times i was off during side planks and found myself facing the lady in front of me.  every time we made eye contact she smiled and i couldn’t help but nervously laugh though various parts of my body were doing the opposite. 

i was off the entire class so we found each other face to face a lot this morning.  i was typically making ugly face, trying to not slip on my own sweat with various body parts quivering. each time she would smile encouragingly i started trying to smile back but my brain was too busy trying to figure out how to get my body to do whatever shape was supposed to be happening at the moment so my face stuck in the ugly position for the most part.  i had the best intentions.  

the worst place for me to make friends is in the middle of a side plank hip lift.

after class as we were frantically wiping down our mats for the next class which was already strolling in she asked me how i liked class.

"it was hard," I answered honestly. "but i loved it!"

"yeah, she builds class in a way that when you think you can’t do anything harder,  you’re asked to and you have to do it."

"i know!  what is this ‘have to’? and why do we all do it?"

"i don’t know,"  she said as she wiped down the last edge of her mat and handed me the spray bottle of multi-purpose cleaner. "i think we all have our own reasons but for the most part we do it because we want to get stronger. you know, get better."

she wished me a good morning and bounded up the steps to the waiting room in what looked like 2 long strides.  i thought about what my slow hobble up the stairs to fetch my shoes and hoodie would look like.

there are times when i see women after a workout and they’re glistening and glowing, their baby hairs matted to the napes of their necks, their top knot messy bun perfectly un-perfect, their tiny little barefoot feet pit-pit-pitting around a fitness studio like nimble little fairies as they giggle and talk to their other glistening friends after class and i wonder if that will ever be me.

and will i ever get over wanting that to be me.

will i ever get over it because my flat hobbit feet and chunky cankles aren’t going anywhere.  my short torso and wide ribcage are set in place by ossified bones that dictated my shape a long time ago. a long time ago when i had no idea that i was still growing and malleable and if i had just discovered pilates and yoga during puberty maybe i’d be at least 5’ tall.  if i had only known earlier.  if i had started caring earlier. if i had known better.  if i hadn’t scarfed one too many peanut butter kandy kakes for breakfast.  if i had…

if i had, who knows who i would end up looking like or being today?

sometimes i can’t help but think about this alternate universe me and if she would have used her powers for good or evil? this bizzaro world me is always some sort of hybrid ballerina/ninja who has never in her life experienced thigh chafing in the summer time or coming to terms with ugly face in a well lit group fitness studio.

she doesn’t exist and she’s in my way.

i get so bogged down with these ideas and it’s ridiculous because it’s all so intangible and change is possible. the idea of these women who glisten.  the idea of my alterna-me non-chaffing ninja. i made these things up.  i gave them weight and power.  

i can change my mind.  i can let it go.

i can’t change my body to be this impossible thing.  the past couple of months of losing weight has been great but at times misleading.  i can lose fat. i can build muscle, i can get stronger but i can’t wake up tomorrow with someone else’s bone structure and genetics.

but i can change my mind. 

and i can choose to get out of my own way and trust that i’m exactly where i need to be.

— 1 month ago with 1 note
#burnsf  #soulcycle  #healthy living  #fitness  #fitspo 
And sometimes you try on a sample size wedding dress that makes you look like you’re wearing a weird diaper. I’m so glad I snagged a last minute appointment at the BHLDN Trunk Show but sad that the Cypress dress didn’t quite work for me.

And sometimes you try on a sample size wedding dress that makes you look like you’re wearing a weird diaper. I’m so glad I snagged a last minute appointment at the BHLDN Trunk Show but sad that the Cypress dress didn’t quite work for me.

— 2 months ago
Back on track today. 7AM. Here we go. 10 lbs left.

Back on track today. 7AM. Here we go. 10 lbs left.

— 2 months ago with 1 note
#soulcycle  #rooster  #fitspo 
it’s not just a spin class.
the SC blog about me is up!  :)
"SoulCycle taught me that I have a choice," says San Francisco rider JEN INALDO, who has transformed her life during the five months she’s been tapping it back at Soul. With a new career path, a more confident mindset and a strong body that’s 30 pounds lighter, Jen shares her story…

I started on my fitness journey about seven years ago, finally realizing I don’t need to be at the mercy of my family genetics and staring down the barrel of a lifetime of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, type II diabetes and all the great things that come with being overweight.

I discovered yoga and it helped with back problems but I was never elevating my heart rate enough to burn any real fat. I started running but hip pain and the general impact of running took its toll on my lower body. I got my certification in Massage Therapy to learn more about anatomy, stress and the mind- body connection. My body, however, was still struggling to lose weight. 

All this time, I worked a desk job, spending hours sitting down in front of a computer all day feeling restless and irritated and trapped. 

Then a friend introduced me to SoulCycle September 2013 and took me too my first class in Marin. She had gone to Soul in NYC before and was ecstatic that there was one now relatively close by. It was a Soul Survivor Class taught by Allie Fell. We were a bit late. I had to have the great staff at SC Marin put my feet into the pedals for me because I had never in my life clipped into anything, much less a bike. 

I was glad it was dark. For 60 minutes I worked as hard as I could, I danced, I struggled, I almost dropped my weights several times and during the last song I cried. Something about the mixture of all these emotions, struggle, accomplishment and release…  I walked out of that room a changed person. A sweaty, covered in my own filth, exhausted but excited person.  

I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it is but in the middle of that class I realized that there is a different kind of life I can live. I actually have a choice. I can choose something else.

From that point on, I went to Marin when I could catch a ride from friends who were going too and had actually started to lose weight. I found even my sporadic attendance at SC improved my running and inspired me to do weight training on my own at the gym just so I could improve my performance in class.

When the SC Union St opened, I knew I would be spending a lot of time in the Marina.

I’ve always been a lifelong fan of hiding in dark corners or in the back row and continued to have my mini journeys in the back row at class until I failed to book a bike in time for one of my favorite classes (Saturday morning with Ian at 7:30 a.m.) and ended up in the front row.

It was terrifying for the first few beats of the song but once I found the rhythm, it didn’t matter anymore and I let the music take over. It wasn’t perfect. I still have issues keeping up with the pace or running out of the saddle during sprints but I know that I have the support of the room to back me up.

After five months of riding at Soul, I’ve lost 30 pounds and gave my notice at my job so I can go back to school for Physical Therapy. In class with the great Lauren McHale, I decided to adopt her motto (no B.S. 2014) and put it to work for me. 

SoulCycle taught me that I have a choice. We all have a choice. We don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do. You can choose to be happy. You can also choose to work. Struggle isn’t a bad thing if the thing you’re working at is a better you. And a better you is a more loving you. And a more loving you is a win-win situation for the entire world, really.

I am so grateful and I am so indebted to the SC teachers (Ian, Lauren and Chris at SC Union street are lifesavers, who have no idea how much they’ve changed me) who remind me every class that we are all capable of great things. 

it’s not just a spin class.

the SC blog about me is up!  :)

"SoulCycle taught me that I have a choice," says San Francisco rider JEN INALDO, who has transformed her life during the five months she’s been tapping it back at Soul. With a new career path, a more confident mindset and a strong body that’s 30 pounds lighter, Jen shares her story…
I started on my fitness journey about seven years ago, finally realizing I don’t need to be at the mercy of my family genetics and staring down the barrel of a lifetime of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, type II diabetes and all the great things that come with being overweight.
I discovered yoga and it helped with back problems but I was never elevating my heart rate enough to burn any real fat. I started running but hip pain and the general impact of running took its toll on my lower body. I got my certification in Massage Therapy to learn more about anatomy, stress and the mind- body connection. My body, however, was still struggling to lose weight. 
All this time, I worked a desk job, spending hours sitting down in front of a computer all day feeling restless and irritated and trapped. 
Then a friend introduced me to SoulCycle September 2013 and took me too my first class in Marin. She had gone to Soul in NYC before and was ecstatic that there was one now relatively close by. It was a Soul Survivor Class taught by Allie Fell. We were a bit late. I had to have the great staff at SC Marin put my feet into the pedals for me because I had never in my life clipped into anything, much less a bike. 
I was glad it was dark. For 60 minutes I worked as hard as I could, I danced, I struggled, I almost dropped my weights several times and during the last song I cried. Something about the mixture of all these emotions, struggle, accomplishment and release…  I walked out of that room a changed person. A sweaty, covered in my own filth, exhausted but excited person.  
I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it is but in the middle of that class I realized that there is a different kind of life I can live. I actually have a choice. I can choose something else.
From that point on, I went to Marin when I could catch a ride from friends who were going too and had actually started to lose weight. I found even my sporadic attendance at SC improved my running and inspired me to do weight training on my own at the gym just so I could improve my performance in class.
When the SC Union St opened, I knew I would be spending a lot of time in the Marina.
I’ve always been a lifelong fan of hiding in dark corners or in the back row and continued to have my mini journeys in the back row at class until I failed to book a bike in time for one of my favorite classes (Saturday morning with Ian at 7:30 a.m.) and ended up in the front row.
It was terrifying for the first few beats of the song but once I found the rhythm, it didn’t matter anymore and I let the music take over. It wasn’t perfect. I still have issues keeping up with the pace or running out of the saddle during sprints but I know that I have the support of the room to back me up.
After five months of riding at Soul, I’ve lost 30 pounds and gave my notice at my job so I can go back to school for Physical Therapy. In class with the great Lauren McHale, I decided to adopt her motto (no B.S. 2014) and put it to work for me. 
SoulCycle taught me that I have a choice. We all have a choice. We don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do. You can choose to be happy. You can also choose to work. Struggle isn’t a bad thing if the thing you’re working at is a better you. And a better you is a more loving you. And a more loving you is a win-win situation for the entire world, really.
I am so grateful and I am so indebted to the SC teachers (Ian, Lauren and Chris at SC Union street are lifesavers, who have no idea how much they’ve changed me) who remind me every class that we are all capable of great things. 
— 2 months ago with 3 notes
#soulcycle  #chrislayda  #fitspo  #life changes  #better than therapy