Hi Beauties,

I really wish this wasn't coming to an end! I have so many wonderful summer ideas and recipes that I want to share but we're running out of time. You'll just have to keep coming back after this week so that I can share the rest of the summer-inspired tips with you. :)

To make sure I give you what YOU want before the end of the program I'm answering questions directly from you today.

I also thought it would be fun to get to know each other a little bit more. After all, I have been in your living room every day for the past 3 weeks, we're practically family. :)

I sent out the request on social media to ask me anything and received quite a few responses.

I don't have time to answer all of them but here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions...

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Where exactly was this series filmed?

On East Beach in Santa Barbara, California. I lived there for 8 years and we go back and visit often because it feels like home. You can probably expect more beach videos in the future. :)

How many takes does it take you to film each workout? Do you get tired??

I do each video in one take! That's why you get to enjoy my awkward banter and wind-blown hair issues. :) I don't try to be perfect, it's too much work. I just do me. If I tried to perfect each exercise and each word I said I would never get anything out to you because it would be too hard! I film them once and don't watch them again until I upload and edit them.

If you had to pick ONE outfit that you wore from Athleta to purchase which would it be?

Oh this is hard! I loved them all so much. But if I HAD to choose:

For comfort/mixed use: Aspire Ankle Pant, Intertwine Tank and Inner Twist Hoodie.

For a hard Pilates workout: X's and O's Capri (similar), Double Dare Bra and the Shiva Tank (similar).


What do you typically eat in a day?

This varies day-to-day. Some days I eat more than others and some days I eat healthier than others. It's all about balance right? :)

But an example would be a fruit smoothie with almond butter for breakfast, coffee with almond milk and a little bit of coconut sugar during my daughter's morning nap, a Larabar as I'm heading out the door for errands, salad with protein and roasted veggies for lunch, nuts/tortilla chips and guac/fruit with nut butter for an afternoon snack and a dinner that's a balance of lean protein, loads of veggies and healthy fats. I snack regularly and eat until I'm satisfied. I focus more on what types of food I eat vs how much (especially because I'm breastfeeding).

Do you have a favorite weekly meal that is on repeat in your house?

So many! I repeat recipes all the time. I'd say my 3 favorites are turkey tacos (I use lettuce wraps or make a Chipotle-style bowl, roasted balsamic veggie bowls and Sausage and White Bean Casserole from one of my meal plans. It may not sound amazing but it's SO good! Hits the spot every time. :)


When did you become a Pilates instructor and why?

I became a Pilates instructor 5 years ago. I was working in commercial real estate prior to making the leap to do Pilates full-time. While I had a wonderful job with GREAT people, I just wasn't super passionate about managing commercial real estate properties. I knew that I wanted to use my gifts but was struggling to figure out how do that in my career.

I dove deeper into Pilates during a time in my life that was full of stress and anxiety. Between a demanding job, wedding planning and some unresolved health issues, stress was beginning to take over my life. I credit a little bit of counseling and A LOT of Pilates to a complete turn-around in my life. While I am still prone to anxiety, I don't struggle with it on a daily basis anymore. I am free! (those of you who deal with anxiety know what an amazing feeling that is). My body feels healthy. My mind is at peace and I am passionate about what I do. The online side of my business was born out of the desire to "make my mess my message." You can read more about my background here and it should be fairly obvious that I've turned my own struggles with my body and self-image into a vehicle for change. I write about my experiences in hopes that someone out there might say, "me too, I'm glad I'm not alone."

For me, Pilates is more than exercise. It's a lifestyle that I love sharing with people and feel honored to do on a daily basis.

(This is the short answer, I could go on and on. :)

If you had to pick one ab exercise for max effectiveness what would it be?

Great question! It's hard to choose but I think I'd go with planks. Planks of all kinds. :) They are the most effective in engaging the entire body and make it easier for many people to access their deep core muscles. That's why you see them so often in my videos.


What do you think the best ration for cardio/strength for weight loss is?

Well, to be honest, I don't think my answer would be very popular among the personal trainers of the world. All I know is what works for me. And what works for me is first and foremost, doing what I love. I used to FORCE myself to do "cardio" on the elliptical, treadmill or stair climber and really didn't enjoy it. So it was a constant battle and I never lost any weight or made changes in my health/body.

I now do a combination of Pilates, clean eating and light cardio (running or walking) whenever I feel like it. Sometimes I train for half-marathons, sometimes I just jog a few times per week. It depends on the season.

The truth is, weight loss is 80% what you eat. So the two most important things are your emotional/mental relationship with food and how you care for your body through nutrition and exercise that you enjoy. You can read more about my take on Pilates and weight loss HERE. I'll also be sharing more of my journey with weight and exercise next week so stay tuned. :) Oh and for the record, in this season of life, I don't lift weights. I just do Pilates.



Let's workout...

It's all about the upper body today and I'm introducing you to a classic...the Pilates push-up! I think you'll love it. Let me know how it goes!

Today's Check-In: tell me about me a woman who inspires you.

There's a trend on Instagram called Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW). Rather than posting a photo of a person you admire for their looks, beauty or body, post a photo (or status/tweet) highlighting a woman who you respect, admire and appreciate for the way they live or the role they play in your life.

Let's spread positivity and lift each other up. :)



PS - I received a lot of questions that I didn't get to answer so I'll do an Ask Anything part 2 next week. :)





Shiva Tank (similar)

Aspire Ankle Pants in Flint Grey

disclaimer: these videos were created for individuals in good health. Robin recommends that you speak with your doctor prior to beginning a new exercise routine. By doing this video you do so at your own risk and agree to release Robin Long and The Balanced Life of any and all liability. Clothing generously provided by Athleta.