Today’s episode is a conversation with Kelli LaVita, an avid fitness guru with a passion for lifting others up! She and Dr. MC chat about the power of mindsets and language. Be careful of saying things like, “I should…” as it tends to make us feel unworthy and that our efforts are not enough. It is very important to examine our mindset and how we talk to ourselves and about ourselves.
As always we love to hear from our listeners! Reach out to email@example.com with any questions or topics you’d like to hear about on future episodes.
Speaker 2 00:00:35 Welcome to another podcast. Episode of Dr. MCs self-care cabaret. I’m Theresa Melito-Conners a PhD level self care expert in the greater Boston area with a passion for helping others recognize the importance of caring for themselves. Today’s episode is a conversation with Kelly Lavita. Kelly is an avid fitness guru with her business. Lavita loca fitness, and she recently added a clothing line to her existing fitness business called Lavita T’s. Yours truly had the honor of modeling for Lavita tees to get ready for their recent launch. Funny story about Kelly a few years back, she had a photo booth rental business with her friend, and I had booked another photo booth company for my wedding via a discount site, which I do not recommend because despite paying for it and confirming with the company, the company decided to bail just a couple of weeks before the big day, leaving me without a photo booth.
Speaker 2 00:01:32 About three weeks before my wedding, I was so disappointed. And if you’ve ever planned a wedding before, you know that a couple of weeks beforehand is not. When you have extra time or funds kicking around to book someone new. After I posted a plea on Facebook, someone connected me with Kelly and she was able to help. And the photo booth was amazing. I had previously known of Kelly through her Zumba classes, as I had taken some of her classes a handful of times, but this showed me a whole new side of her. Kelly is one of my favorite Zumba instructors of all time. Her virtual classes were a beacon of hope during the early COVID months and even pre COVID is I used to attend her class a weekly when I could, or you even have hired Kelly to come teach weekly aquafaba classes at my house and I would attend any live class she has going on. Her energy is infectious and being around her is seriously. So fun. Ready? I’m ready. All right. Thanks so much for joining me today, Kelly, on the Dr. MC self-care podcast, we’re going to get started. So first question right off the bat, as a fitness instructor, entrepreneur, former Patriots cheerleader, you have quite a story. Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started with Lavita fitness?
Speaker 3 00:02:58 So I think as a child, I was always super active. Um, my parents couldn’t keep me still. My teachers couldn’t keep me still. So I was always into dance, gymnastics, um, basically anything tap dancing down to the table, keeping moving when I did gymnastics in high school and then pretty much in college, I had a friend who made the team for the Patriots and I said, oh, that sounds something I’d be interested in. I loved performing. I did a little bit of theater and I did cheerleading for four years. Um, I made it when I was 21 and it just sparked my love for fitness. And I had a gym membership since I was 16. I was able to, as soon as I could drive to the gym, I was going to the gym. So I’ve always been super active. And when my son was born and he was little and I was divorced really young and I was looking for some way to get back into work.
Speaker 3 00:03:45 And again, I loved working out and a friend of mine said, you should get licensed to teach Zumba. And I’m like, what, what exactly is that? And then nobody was teaching it 13 years ago. It was a new program. And I was like, well, I’ll try anything. So I went to the training and completely fell in love and that kind of sparked my interest for like, I love to teach and I love fitness. So why not combine those two things put them together. So for the last 13 years I’ve been teaching fitness classes and I’ve expanded my palette with certifications bar and shred, and I’ve done Jillian Michaels and I teach a whole bunch of different formats and I think it keeps it interesting and fun. And I absolutely love helping people. It makes me so happy to see, you know, see people smiling or see people’s progress, whether it’s mentally or physically, that is so important for me to people that for people to say, you know, I came, I came to your class in such a bad mood and I didn’t think I was going to make it and I logged on or I show up to class and I’m still glad I did.
Speaker 3 00:04:40 And, um, and that just makes me so like, it gives me the chills just thinking about it. Cause it makes me so happy to think that like you took 45 minutes or an hour out of your day to spend with me. And however it changed you for the better. It makes me very happy.
Speaker 2 00:04:54 I love that people don’t realize how important even just a little bit of movement is. I’m always telling people in my sessions, you know, if you’ve got five minutes, like throwing your favorite Lizzo song or your favorite, whatever song you’re vibing on and just have a five minute dance party, I do it all the time.
Speaker 3 00:05:11 I mean anything to get your heart rate up because it just increases the endorphins and it just naturally puts you in a good mood.
Speaker 2 00:05:17 It really does. Sometimes even just loading the dishwasher, I’ll find myself dancing in the kitchen while I’m doing chores or whatever.
Speaker 3 00:05:24 That’s like my thing when I’m in the kitchen and I have to do dishes and stuff, I have to put music on. Like there has to be music playing because it just makes it go by so much faster. It makes it more fun. And I feel like I’m moving a little bit more, gets the tourist on that’s great
Speaker 2 00:05:37 Burn some calories. Well, and I love to, I just want to call this out with your last name being Lavita. I love that the business is actually Lavita loca fitness. Right? I love that. How did that name, did you just come up with that? Living LA Vida loca?
Speaker 3 00:05:54 I joked, um, when I was cheering for Patriots, we were at the American bowl in Mexico city and we performed with Ricky Martin, um, for the fall. And that was incredible. And it was, I don’t know if it was right around the time that song came out and I joked because you know, he’s adorable. And I joked back then I was like, oh, I think he, I think we made eye contact. I think he had a thing for me. Then he wrote, you know, the V2 loca came out and I’m like, that’s about me, but I’m Italian and that’s the Spanish version. And so I don’t sound that sound to you. I was like, this is my jam. Like, this is my song. You were joking. He wrote it for me. Um, he didn’t, he didn’t, we didn’t even make eye contact.
Speaker 2 00:06:30 I’m going to live in a world where it was written for you. I love that.
Speaker 3 00:06:36 So I said, let me to loca. That is my life. I live it to the fullest and it’s like the perfect tagline, but I tell people, you know, if I’m doing interviews or whatnot and they say, oh, what is your last name? And I say, Levita, what is your website? Let me look. And they look at me like, really it’s really your last name. I feel really as my last name.
Speaker 2 00:06:53 So I love it. It’s like it could not be more perfect.
Speaker 3 00:06:55 It really, I think it’s perfect.
Speaker 2 00:06:57 So let’s talk a little bit about with everything you have going on. Also being a mom and working full time as a teacher and whatnot. How do you find time to practice self care? And what does that look like for you?
Speaker 3 00:07:09 So self care for me, I think I’m very fortunate that my job is working out. I don’t get to the gym very often to do my own workouts where I go upstairs and get a good sweat on. So I’m very fortunate that my job is my workout. Um, a lot of times, and this happens with everybody. I’m, I’m so busy and I’m running around and, and I can feel my anxiety. And sometimes I’m like, I have to just, I have to take 30 minutes. I have to go lay in my room and I it’s really dark in my room. It’s like a cave. I’ve got the blackening shades and I have to shut my phone off and I’ll put like the calm app on or my fan. And sometimes I lay there and sometimes I fall asleep. It doesn’t happen often, but the times where I lay there, I have to like really just shut my mind off and just say like, I can’t think about like the grocery list. And I can’t think about the million things I have ahead of me, because if I don’t take this time to myself right now, I’m not going to be able to even function to get those things done. So it’s so important to just, you know, sit on the bean bag or, um, I have this thing where, you know, when you get a pedicure and you get to read those magazines, I never fly those magazines. And I love getting,
Speaker 2 00:08:09 They’re fun to look at.
Speaker 3 00:08:10 They’re fun. Like it just takes your mind off of your own reality. So like every once in a while from the grocery store, I’ll buy a magazine and I’ll say, you know what, for 30 minutes, I’m going to go out on the back porch and read this. And it’s like, no phone. I, you know, bring, bring, bring big water out there with me. And, and that’s like my kind of escape. Like I’m reading what all these other crazy reality stars are doing. And it’s just a way to just disconnect. And I think disconnecting from reality is just so important for your brain.
Speaker 2 00:08:37 It really is. And I feel like people don’t realize how important, even just like just a couple minutes, just turning the brain off and focusing on something else. That’s really good. Self-awareness though how you described, you know, being in those moments and recognizing that you have to stop yourself from racing through your to-do list and stressing about, and really practice that mindfulness in the moment, slowing down the traffic. That’s a really good skill to cultivate. And I’m sure there were times that you’ve done that better than other times, maybe
Speaker 3 00:09:11 Hello. Like I was at the gym a few years ago and one of the instructors said, oh, there’s a class at noon. You should come. And I said, oh, what is it? He said, it’s called B. And I’m like, what? He says, it’s called B. I said like B E. He said, yeah. I said, what are you doing? He goes, you just be, and I kept saying, I can’t do it. I can’t just being, and he’s laughing the whole time. He said, just do it. You can, you can just be. And I said, I don’t think I can do it. And the whole 45 minutes before the class by stress, I said, I don’t think I can do this. And I, you know, I sat down next to him. He’s a very, um, calming guy. And he said, just let everything go. And you know, the first 10 minutes I laid there and I was thinking like, I could be getting so much done right now.
Speaker 3 00:09:50 I could, you know, I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be doing that. I’m not being productive right now. And I think that’s my problem. I always feel like I need to be productive. And then it gets to the point where I’m burnt out and you get sick. It happens. And throughout COVID, I just kind of, it was a nice reality for me to step back. And obviously there wasn’t much to do, but when my body was tired, I would sit on the couch or I would lay down. And I think I’ve, I’ve stuck with that because I knock on wood. I haven’t been sick all year. I have more energy than I’ve ever had. And I think that yoga class was kind of like, Hmm, I know there’s something to it. I need to practice a little bit more.
Speaker 2 00:10:27 I really like that. It sounds like a good class. And does that reminds me that quote, it’s something like, um, oh, you should meditate, you know, half an hour a day, unless you’re really busy, then you should meditate for an hour a day because it’s really, when you actually take those moments and give yourself that pause, that mindfulness actually makes you more productive in the long run, because you’re not, you’re like refocusing and grounding yourself and not spiraling and in your head and kind of gets you out of your head. So it’s very powerful practice. And I will say, you’ve mentioned, you know, during COVID virtual classes and everything was virtual and whatnot. And I will say, as one of your students that your virtual classes were such a bright spot during the ongoing pandemic. And I love how quickly you were able to pivot and host your classes on zoom. And now you even have this robust online library of, is that still up? I assume that that’s,
Speaker 3 00:11:24 Oh, I have so many online classes and I have these amazing clients who do the monthly memberships to take the workshops. And, you know, they say I’m up at 5:00 AM. And I know I’m not teaching the 5:00 AM. And they say, it’s just great. You’re right there. And it’s like, they’re like, it’s like, you’re in my living room. And so many people have sent me such wonderful cards and wonderful texts and emails about how I’ve gotten them through some really hard times during COVID. And I, and I think to myself, it’s kind of reversed. Like you guys have gotten me through some hard times during COVID because you know where I am divorced. My son is dead sometimes and he’s here. So it’s the times I was alone where I was like, I’m going to just teach four classes today because I’m interacting with people. I’m getting my workout. I’m seeing people, I’m making people happy. And I just had to become addicted to teaching and seeing again, seeing people happy and knowing that I’m making some sort of difference in their life is just, it’s huge. It just like, it makes my heart like explode when people love on and they’ll go morning Kelly and got my hair in a bottle and I’m like, barely have my water in me. And they don’t need, they just, they don’t care. So that’s great.
Speaker 2 00:12:25 Well, they were awesome. And I will say that you definitely have a variety of classes that, you know, definitely caters to different age groups and fitness levels. So I’m wondering, what advice would you give someone who is not maybe consistently engaged in exercising or is hesitant to start? Like, what would you, what advice would you give them?
Speaker 3 00:12:45 It’s funny. You should ask that. I have a cousin who recently texted me with the same advice, never worked out and really needs to build some muscle and burn off some calories. And I just said, you know, honestly, you could pick any video. The great thing about working out at home is you could pick any video. And if something’s a little hard, you nobody’s judging you. I mean, all my classes like that, even a person nobody’s judging you. I always say what happens on your mat in your space is your thing you are working against your best use. So I say to people, grab a set of weights, and if you’re doing bicep curls, and you’re absolutely dying, put the weights down, continue the workout. If you’re still dying, take a break, like move on to the next exercise. Like you just have to start somewhere.
Speaker 3 00:13:24 Instead of having the mentality, like you look at the class, you say, oh, it’s strength. I can’t do that. I can’t do that. You know, I teach preschool and I say, you can’t even say that in my class. You’re not allowed to say that. That’s that’s, you know, I can’t that I always, that’s the first thing I look at them with the look and they’re like, oh yeah, she, she wants me to try. You just have to try. You know, you have to, you have to start somewhere. Everybody starts somewhere and you’re just going to get stronger. The more you go, you’re going to get better. It’s just natural. You’re going to get better at it. You’re going to get stronger. You’re going to be healthier. You’re just gonna be happier.
Speaker 2 00:13:55 And I think that the online options are a great place to start, because I always say this in my presentations, but you know, you can make a fool out of yourself at home, in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to because people, you know, it’s hard to put yourself out there. And there are environments where, you know, less welcoming and supportive than others. Certainly not your classes. I, I would say, you know, most Zumba classes I’ve done do have a, a more accepting, um, friendly vibe. It kind of goes with the programming, but not all. I mean, there’s always exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, you know, if you’re not getting a good vibe, then you find another teacher, or maybe you do some YouTube videos that you can find or something else online just to get familiar with it. And it’s okay. If you can only do five minutes, like that’s where you start. And then you build yourself up or maybe that’s where you stay. If that’s all you can do.
Speaker 3 00:14:46 And then if you do that same video over and over again, and one day you add the weights one day you take it up a notch, whatever works for you,
Speaker 2 00:14:53 Right. Or even modifications. I talk about yoga a lot and people are hesitant because they feel like, oh, if I use the props or I can only, I can’t get down on the floor and bend myself into a pretzel. So why bother? But really just allowing yourself to try and to modify as necessary. There’s no shame in that. I mean, I know in your classes and I have a really strong dance background and some days you’re just going a little too crazy and I’m like, you know what, I’m going to take this down like six notches right now. Yeah. And that’s fine. And sometimes you’ll say to me, come on, let’s go. And sometimes I listen and sometimes I don’t,
Speaker 3 00:15:29 That happens a lot. I know those people I can push. And I know those people who, you know, are just there for the mental health. It’s great getting to know people, you know, where you can push and where you can, you know, we’re gonna need you back off.
Speaker 2 00:15:40 Right. But still in a, coming from a place of love, certainly safe environment.
Speaker 3 00:15:44 Absolutely. I’m everybody’s biggest cheerleader. I really am.
Speaker 2 00:15:48 You really are like, I would, I would second that under present, which leads us great into the next question, which is you have such a beautiful knack or ability for staying positive and really helping to lift others up. And I’m wondering how you remain so positive and how you, you do that.
Speaker 3 00:16:09 Um, that’s a great question. I, I once had somebody say to me that there’s only like one or 2% of people in the world who were just like constantly positive. I don’t know he had done some research or something and I just choose to be positive. I have a lot going on in my life that people don’t even know about. I don’t write about it on Facebook. Um, there’s just some things that I just choose to, you know, deal with. And when I have to deal with them and just remain positive because, you know, for one positive people live longer, they’re healthier. And that’s a fact that’s, you know,
Speaker 2 00:16:39 A hundred percent,
Speaker 3 00:16:41 My family jokes, they call me perky mic per person. Because when I enter a room, I’m like, Hey, it, I don’t drink caffeine. I just have this natural energy. And it just, I just, there’s something about putting a smile on people’s faces or being able to brighten somebody’s day or help them in any way whatsoever. That just really, truly like makes me so happy. I’m just, I’m a giver. Like I want everyone around me to be happy. And I know that them being happy makes me really happy. So I don’t know what it is. I just say, I always say, like, I always have pom-poms in my back pocket. I would share anybody on everybody’s biggest that
Speaker 2 00:17:16 I love that. And I, I don’t know. I’m kind of enjoying perky Mick, so
Speaker 3 00:17:22 That’s what my sister, yeah. I like that.
Speaker 2 00:17:25 That might be the episode title either that, or we might just go Lavita loca fitness. I dunno. We’ll see. But a perky mic person definitely, um, is, is, is, uh, in the running for the episode title. That’s excellent. But you said something really important that I think is, um, worth reiterating in that you choose to be happy to be joyful. It’s not an, and sometimes people get lost in their mindsets and they get kind of bogged down in negativity. And when you act that way and you are negative and you actually attract more negative. So yeah, everybody’s got stuff that’s less than stellar that we’re dealing with. And it doesn’t have to all be posted on social media, contrary to popular belief. Not everything needs to be on social media, but you, you know, that’s a conscious choice. That’s a real growth mindset perspective to choose happiness.
Speaker 3 00:18:27 And you know what, I’ve, I’ve, it’s just become one of those things where, you know, you kill them with kindness or, you know, if I find somebody that’s like exceptionally cranky or, you know, somebody at the store, like I do whatever I can to get that person to smile, or, you know, whether it’s me like overly thanking them have a great day because sometimes I think, wow, like how could this person be so negative and so miserable? And again, you don’t know what’s going on in their life. And I, and I get that. I totally get that. I mean, you know, you see somebody crying, he seems like, oh my God, what are they? What are they going through? But just those people who are just cranky, you know, and you just know they’re just cranky. Every time you go into that same store and you think like, how bad is your life?
Speaker 3 00:19:06 You have a job, you probably have food. You know, it can’t be that bad. You, you look up, you look next door and there’s always somebody that has it worse than you. And I think things like that just put things into perspective for me. And I say, you know, no matter what I’m dealing with, somebody has it worse and it could be so much worse. And I have a great job, a great family and great friends, and I’m just very lucky to, to do what I do and be happy. You know, I definitely choose happy everybody. She’s awesome.
Speaker 2 00:19:35 Choose happy. I love it. Well, and it’s important though, too. And you also mentioned gratitude, gratitude. There’s research to support that when you practice gratitude, it actually helps rewire the neuropathways in your brain to promote more happiness, boost your mood, improve relationships. I mean, it’s a bit of a dying art, but we just need to practice gratitude. We can say thank you in lots of ways to practice gratitude, but we tend to take a lot for granted and we focus and we give our attention and our energy to the negative, which in turn actually just brings more of that to you. So we can all think of people in our lives that probably embodied that kind of perspective, where they just can’t get out of their own kind of negative spiral. And it’s tough, but there are some simple things you can, you can do to kind of shift that. I’ll share one in particular because we’re on a roll here. But one of my favorite mindfulness practices is like at the end of the day, or anytime of the day, ask yourself what went well, www what went well, Because what do we often do we worry about the negative? We replay things. We question what we said, what we didn’t say, this, that, and the other thing, no, stop what went well? Cause you can always, almost always shift a situation and think, you know what, okay. It didn’t go exactly as I planned, but X, Y, and Z happened, and those are really good. Right. And
Speaker 3 00:21:06 How can we learn from those experiences?
Speaker 2 00:21:08 Right. Absolutely. Excellent. I love it. So this next question is very exciting because I am dying to learn a little bit more about it. Um, even though I did model for Lavita teas, but, um, you also, you do so much charity work. I’ve seen you raising money all the time through your Zoomba events or through other events. I think you had a lemonade stand a few years ago that I crashed with my husband and donated to, and, and, um, I know that your latest venture Lavita teas, which I want you to talk about has a charitable charitable component also. And, um, so can you tell us more about it and why you started Lavita T
Speaker 3 00:21:50 Yes. Um, so my friends and family have been raising money for children’s hospital for the last, I want to say 14 years. And obviously throughout the years, we’ve met some amazing people through that charity and through other charities that, you know, whether they donate to St palaces or it’s a local family who needs help. And my sister and I are, you know, it’s instrumental in our lives. It’s just been driven into us that like to give back is just gives you so much. So we’ve always found ways to raise money, whether it’s my son had a lemonade stand for, I believe 10 years, we do a charity bar crawl every year. We, um, the Zumba events, the fitness events, and, you know, last year during COVID everybody’s, you know, buying stuff on Facebook and I kept buying two t-shirts and, you know, they come in and what is with the sizing? It’s absolutely
Speaker 2 00:22:38 No universal sizing whatsoever.
Speaker 3 00:22:40 Ridiculous. So I would get so angry. I said that to be sure to so cute, however, or that is so cute. However, so, you know, some nights I don’t sleep great and I late, you know, and I think like, oh, like, how can I raise money? There’s a local woman in Wilmington who does amazing things for, um, people in safe houses. And we did a lot for them over the holidays. And it just, it just made me think like, there’s gotta be something I can do to just donate whatever you give a little bit back. So I just started, I don’t know, one day I come up with the idea to just do Libby, to tease and make cute tank tops and sweatshirts, and be able to size them appropriately. You know, you hate, like my sister would buy me a shirt and she’d say, I’m really sorry.
Speaker 3 00:23:19 This is like a two X. And I say, I don’t care. Is it fit? But I don’t care what size it is, as long as it fits, but don’t, you know, don’t get me a large and it, it comes in and it’s this thing and it’s gonna fit my Barbie doll. I think I got super frustrated with that. So it was like having samples coming in and as we were doing it, I said to my sister, I, you know, every month, if I, you know, if I, whatever it is, if it’s a t-shirt or tank top, like a certain percentage will go back to the charity. Once I pay my costs and stuff, obviously the first month was a little tricky. Cause I had a lot more overhead costs than I anticipated, but it was just kind of a fun way. And I mean, who doesn’t, there’s so many people who want to give back, but just don’t know how to give back.
Speaker 3 00:23:57 You know, a lot of charities out there are ripping people off and you just don’t know like those envelopes in the mail or people call you. And my sister and I are really big on like really researching the charity and figuring out where the money goes and how much does the CEO of that company make? You know, if they’re making $200,000 a year, we’re like how much is going to the charity? You know? So we just thought like, oh, I was looking to give a little bit back to a certain charity every month and it’s been great. You know, it’s been a little bit slow. I think, you know, the world is starting to open up and took me a little bit longer to launch, but it was important to me to have the, again, the sizes that, you know, you knew you didn’t, you know, you didn’t look at the size.
Speaker 3 00:24:34 And I remember one of the models, I put a tank top on her and she said, what size is it? And I said, it doesn’t matter. This is the one that fits you. It doesn’t matter. She goes, well, what size is it? And I said to XL and she was like, ah, and she got all beat down. And then the next shirt I put on her, I said, this is a medium. And she was like, oh, this is amazing. Can I sit? So see, like you got all bent out of shape. You were wearing a two XL and this brand, but you’re wearing a medium in this brand. So does it really matter? You know, what the stupid little label inside said. So it would make me so mad that I would order shirts and then you can never return anything by, on Facebook. Cause who knows where that
Speaker 2 00:25:10 Oh yeah, forget it. Um, plus there’s going to be no charity there with,
Speaker 3 00:25:15 I’ve got to put money into my family’s pocket and somebody else, a local charity.
Speaker 2 00:25:20 So tell me a little bit about the sizing chart because I I’ve seen it. I know that, um, I think I’m sized. Wonderful. Maybe you’re amazing. I don’t know. I
Speaker 3 00:25:28 Forget
Speaker 2 00:25:31 Which thank you. I’d much rather see that than, than the little tag that the manufacturer puts on there. But so tell me a little bit about like the sizing. So how would someone like figure that out?
Speaker 3 00:25:41 So basically if you go to my website, which is the lovey to loca live in the beetle loca, um, there is a fitness page and again, we’re still kind of launching a separate website and a separate platform for selling t-shirts, but basically I have the models and all the sizes we were in all the different products. So, you know, somebody might be an amazing in the Razorback tank shop, but they might be sensational in the t-shirt, but you can at least look at that model and say, she looks like my size, my height, you know, you don’t get to see any clothes on any models when you order anything online. And you have no idea how long it is, how short it is. So, you know, I put their height and again, you can tell by looking at them, yes, she’s close to my weight or, or, oh, she’s my, she looks my size by like a bigger, so I’m going to go to them Marla size.
Speaker 3 00:26:23 Right. Um, so it’s kinda it’s I mean, it’s a little bit better than being able to just say, oh, I’m a medium because I have people call, oh, I want that shirt in the media. And I say, no, you don’t, you have no idea what size you want. And you have to look at the models and say, oh, you know, Theresa looks like she’s my size. So what is she bring? That’s the size I’m going to wear? So I’m hoping that’s something that takes off. Um, just with a lot of clothing companies, the sizing is just, it’s just all over the place and it’s not, there has to be, there has to be more standardized sizing. It’s, it’s absolutely absurd.
Speaker 2 00:26:58 I mean, I believe a hundred percent, I believe like European
Speaker 3 00:27:01 Sizes, they go by numbers. Right. And it just makes more sense. Like if your waist is 28 inch, you know, but here it’s like, oh, you’re a small, your medium, you’re an extra large year. You can’t fit into. Right.
Speaker 2 00:27:14 No, it’s kind of wild. And we do get really hung up on those numbers. And I know that especially, you know, when I was, and I talk about this pretty openly, but I’m in recovery for disordered eating and exercise bulemia and at like the height of my dis-ease, like you CA oh my God. Like I would lose my mind if I saw a particular size that I felt was not appropriate or acceptable, whatever that even means. And I can remember actually years. I mean, I’ve struggled with this for, for decades. Right. Um, I can remember one time being a kid. And, um, I was shopping in like Macy’s with my aunt and my mom and, and um, another family member. And I was really upset because the pair of pants, we were in the junior section, the pair of pants that I wanted in the size that should’ve fit, didn’t fit.
Speaker 2 00:28:02 And I got really upset. And I remember her looking at me and being like, it’s just the number you, why are you getting so upset? And I was like, yeah, but I shouldn’t be in that size. And she’s like, do you feel good? Do you feel good in the pants? Have you tried? Like, and like, and it kind of stuck with me and like, I’ve thought of that. And then of course, in my, in my healing, and now, now, like, I’ll look at something online, especially, you know, in a plus size, um, environment, they really like the models are like a 10, maybe a 12. They’re not showing you models even in larger bodies. So that’s super frustrating. So it’s like, how is this going to look like on someone who is actually a two X? Like, how is that going to work? But even still, like, what does that mean? Like my current wardrobe, current clothing that I wear to this day spans like Xcel to
Speaker 3 00:28:53 Three X.
Speaker 2 00:28:54 It says crazy, depending upon the brand. Right.
Speaker 3 00:28:58 It’s crazy for funny story. My sister, when my sister and I both lived at home, so we were in our early twenties, she had a lane Bryant catalog delivered to the house. And at the time I had no idea that lane Bryant was for technically plus size women. So I grabbed a magazine one day. I’m circling stuff I’m having of Walmart. This is adorable. This is adorable. This is adorable. And my sister comes home and says, what are you doing? I said, I’m going to order this and this, this plus size, this is what I was like, cheering for the Patriots. So I wasn’t my dad’s. She goes, this is the class size, too much. I contacted the company. I was so angry, not for my sake, but I said, you totally misled people to think that this is the size you’re selling.
Speaker 2 00:29:38 Oh, because the models oh,
Speaker 3 00:29:42 So wrong. So like, it made me, it made me angry that here, my sister is getting this magazine and thinking, nobody’s going to look like this anyway. Cause when their models, I was just so mad that they, um, it was false advertisement. I wasn’t offended for myself. I wasn’t finished for people who, who needed, just wanted to shop there. I needed to shop there. He said, what are you like? This is false advertising. This isn’t even right. My sister, she stills in the state says, remember when you contacted lane Bryan, like I get so excited when I see a, you know, a mannequin or a model. Like I, you know, I shop it out and let it a lot because I love what they stand for. And they’re all about like empowering women and make them real models. Everybody should be. I always say, he say, oh, people say, oh yeah, I can’t wear those pants. I can’t wear those pants. And I said, no, they really have sizes for every, you know, they have sizes for everybody. And yeah,
Speaker 2 00:30:32 I know they’re a great brand. I haven’t actually haven’t bought any of their pants. I just got a shirt today though from them. It’s like the super cute, like off the shoulder, a little thumb holes, um, little workout top. And I think, um, Nike too, they, one of the first ones I remember seeing all of a sudden, um, models in larger bodies I thought was so cool and mannequins in larger bodies also like, yeah, let’s go
Speaker 3 00:30:57 A little bit more. Like I was athletic yet. I want to be like this. Girl’s got it going on. You know what I mean? And I just think that’s how it should be for anything. You should be able to walk into the store and not see those ridiculous looking model, you know, the mannequins and stuff. I’m like who a, who looks like that anyway. So it’s like, it’s not even portraying what I’m going to look like in that outfit. So that doesn’t help me at all.
Speaker 2 00:31:16 Right. And it’s not, it’s not realistic. And like you said, they’re models. So God knows how much Photoshopping and whatever else has been done. That’s not even a real depiction. It’s why I started sharing like plus size fashion information and info and tips on the blog because it’s like, okay, this I’m not editing those photos. That’s me, my body in the clothes I purchased. Nobody’s given them to me. And here’s what I think looks good on my body. If your body happens to look like mine, maybe these tips are helpful. I mean, that was really the idea. It was like, why am I not sharing this? Like I get compliments,
Speaker 3 00:31:51 Right? I shared that with, um, a friend of mine. I started love this blog. And she was like, oh my goodness, who is this girl? And where did she come from? And yes, I need to follow her blonde because her style is amazing.
Speaker 2 00:32:01 Oh, that’s awesome. Thank you. Um, so back to Lavita teas for just a second. So we got the sizing and then your messaging on them is all very sweet, inspirational kind of quotes. That’s kind of the whole idea, right? So tell me about some of them.
Speaker 3 00:32:18 So, and that’s, what’s been time-consuming I cut out all the tags and all the clothing and I, um, I ironed in a little circle and it says, you are amazing. You are extraordinary. And so when people came the day I had my launch and people were like, this is confusing. You know, I had to sign up who said like, you know, size amazing is typically your extra small, but again, you have to just typically right, because the sizes are so off. So, you know, I think it was just fun to people like, oh, I’m going to take one of the amazing and I’m marvelousness sweatshirt and oh, look at me. I’m fabulous. And anyway, you can give people again that positive message and a little bit of power and just makes everybody feel great. When they, you know, I had somebody the other day, she goes, oh, like my change up. It’s amazing. I’m amazing. And I’m like, yeah, you are amazing.
Speaker 2 00:33:04 That’s really
Speaker 3 00:33:04 Fun. It’s all, you know, self-love people, don’t people think it’s, um, it, um, that I’m either cocky or conceited and they couldn’t be more wrong. I’m extremely confident. And I just get so annoyed when people nobody’s ever said it. But I think my people must think I’m really arrogant, but I’m not like I’m just really comfortable. I’m just confident. You know,
Speaker 2 00:33:25 I don’t can never once have thought you were arrogant, but I could see where somebody could maybe misinterpret that.
Speaker 3 00:33:31 I see like that, you know, I, I always hold my head up high and I always have something to say in a good way. And I try to get involved in a lot of things and they might think like, oh my goodness, that girl’s crazy with a smile
Speaker 2 00:33:41 With a big beautiful. I love it. I think. Um, so I have two Lavita teas. I have one with, um, one of my favorite songs references referenced on there. Uh, take your passion and make it happen. A flashy dance girl at heart. So love that.
Speaker 3 00:34:02 And that means a lot. It just means a lot to a lot of people. I think you can love what you do, which just makes her happier human right.
Speaker 2 00:34:10 100% and then be a kind human, which is definitely another, um, reminder that many people need it apparently. Um, but a nice, um, certainly a nice message to wear on a shirt. And I probably, I need to figure out which style I want, but we’ll be ordering a carpet DM one. That’s another one of my favorite quotes. So where can folks, why don’t you let us know? I know you did say the website briefly. Do you want to say it again? And any contact information, how we can find you?
Speaker 3 00:34:42 Absolutely. So my website for my fitness business and my t-shirts is currently living LA Vida loca.com and it’s Levita with a team. And if you live in just L I V I N and they can find a link to my online classes and my outdoor schedule, and then there’s a link for the t-shirts. And again, we’re going to be uploading to a site to be selling online. Eventually we’ll get there. Life got in the way when things started opening up and I was like, oh my goodness. Life is getting back to normal and I still have a million jobs.
Speaker 2 00:35:13 Yeah. That’s okay. And you do have a Facebook page, also an Instagram for the fitness as well as Alameda TCU.
Speaker 3 00:35:20 Yep. So you can find me in the meta teas or live in the vote, um, living LA Vida loca fitness.
Speaker 2 00:35:25 Perfect. Awesome. I’ll make sure all that information is also linked to the episode for our listeners so they can, um, they can follow up with that. But anything else you’d like to share with the cabaret on self care?
Speaker 3 00:35:38 No, I’m, I mean, I’ve enjoyed myself following you and you have been such an inspiration and we’re hoping to get you and I’m a teacher. So I hope I get you into a classroom in the fall to talk to the teachers because I would love that. Yeah. I think your message is so important in general overall. And I think, especially with what we have all been through the last year, I think self-care is just something that nobody does enough. I think it’s safe. You can never do enough. And so many people feel guilty doing it. And, and you can’t, you know, and some days when I say I’m going to my room for 30 minutes, and that’s what I’m doing,
Speaker 2 00:36:12 It becomes a bit of an act of resistance to put your needs first, because as a society, that’s not how we’re programmed. That’s not how, where we’re celebrated for burning the candle at both ends, right? Like we’re not, we’re not celebrated for it. Wow. You took a mental health day if only our employers were like that. Um, but they’re not generally. So you have to be willing to put your needs first and it is very important, but it can feel a little strange to do it. Um, but it is very, very important. Thank you so much, Kelly, for hanging out, hanging out with us today on the podcast. I very much appreciate it. And
Speaker 2 00:36:55 Kelly was so much fun to talk to. I just love her perspective on life. She emphasized the importance of knowing what you need and when, and having that awareness is very powerful. She reminded me also of the power of sheds. When we have those thoughts that I should be doing X or I should be doing, Y it makes us feel like our efforts are not enough and that we’re not doing enough, or we’re not good enough. And over time, this is destructive. If you catch yourself repeating those nagging sheds, try to reframe it, ask yourself if the should is really a need or want, if it is then own it, I want to do X or I need to do Y if not, if it’s really a should then ask yourself what it is that you want or need. Let’s try an example. I should go to the gym.
Speaker 2 00:37:56 Do I want or need to go to the gym? I don’t know, then what is it that I want or need, I want to move my body perfect own it and reframe it. And our mindset is so important. Kelly chooses to be happy. We should all have pom-poms in our back pocket. That is not to say that every moment is roses and sunshine, but we can choose to be happy or joyful or not. And start cultivating that attitude of gratitude to get started. Maybe write down two to three things you’re grateful for every day or just one thing. If that’s all you can think of and see what happens, I will link my blog in the episode notes that I’ve written on gratitude. Kelly also touched upon the spiritual domain of self care, where we can feel good about our work. When we see the larger purpose or goal, her teaching is a bright spot for many folks, which promotes her self-care as well.
Speaker 2 00:38:57 It is when that gets out of balance and you don’t take time to recharge that it can really become an issue. But of course, we want to do things that we know will make a difference in the world. Kelly’s charity work is so admirable and remember, no matter where you are in your journey, it’s so important to start somewhere. We all have to try. Just take that first step. Thanks for listening to this episode. Remember to subscribe and rate this podcast on your preferred player. These ratings help us grow and share the message of self-care. If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, please reach out directly by emailing podcasts at Dr. MC self care.com that’s D R M C self care and come join the cast party at Dr. MCs self care cabaret on Facebook and Instagram at Dr. MC self care or on my website, Dr. MC self care.com. Be sure to like subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self care. See you next time. Stay well and do good.