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    SPARK Blog

    Guest Post: Always believe!

    Every Motivate Wrap or Foot Note we create is made to inspire and empower. We hope that our products give you that extra push...that little bit of power you need to get through something difficult. Maybe they keep you moving through an adventure with strength and perseverance. We absolutely love hearing your stories about our products. Today, we'll share one with you. It's from Bridget of Fitness With Bridget. The word "believe" is her mantra, and this is her journey:

    Bridget Hammond

    Two years ago, I signed up to run my second marathon. I completed my first one at the age of 28, and I had no plans to do another one. Doing a marathon was a bucket-list item. I started running when I was 21. It was a form of therapy after I lost my mom to ovarian cancer. Running helped me combat anxiety and depression, but it also made me think I could eat whatever I wanted to, and I gained over 30 pounds.

    So after I crossed the marathon off my bucket list, I started off on a weight-loss journey.

    I began taking group fitness classes for more cross-training, and to have support from like-minded people. This helped me to lose 30 pounds. I felt confident, and I became passionate about health and fitness—so I became a certified fitness instructor to keep myself accountable and to pay it forward. I wanted to help other people on their own fitness journey.

    Fast forward a few years. I got married, had two kiddos, and added "personal trainer" and "online health motivator" to my list of jobs. This allowed me to leave corporate America, after which I began my clean eating lifestyle. I changed my workouts, too. I felt strong, and I was ready for another challenge.

    The Spring before I turned 40, I made a quick decision to sign up for Marathon #2. My goal was to be better at 40 (weighing 40 pounds less) than I was at 28. 

    I trained for five months. Race day came, and I felt ready. I was running a good pace, following the 3-hour/45-minute pacer until I reached mile 18. My IT bands locked up. I let the pacer go by, knowing I needed to just let myself breathe and run slower.

    I listened to my body.

    I struggled big time, but pushed through the pain the best that I could. I thought I lost an hour, it felt like forever. At mile 25, I saw the 4-hour pacer and was so relieved—my goal was to finish between 4:00 and 4:15. I could make it...and I did, in 4:01. I shaved almost an hour off my original time! Despite the pain, quitting was not  an option. And throughout it all, my “Believe” and “26.2” footnotes were a constant reminder that I could keep going...that I could finish, and that stopping was not an option.

    Momentum Footnotes

    My experience in both marathons, and my entire health journey have taught me so much. Most of all, these experiences have taught me to believe in myself. To believe that I can do hard things. That it takes work, but that pushing myself means that I am working on me.

    We all deserve to feel good in our skin. I am no longer training for races, but I am training for life. I will always believe in me—and no matter where you're at in your journey, you should believe that you can do anything.

    It just takes one step at a time.

    Our Foot Notes come in a wide variety of inspirational sayings. Get one, or one for each foot. We can also customize them with your personal mantra. Believe in yourself, and believe in the power of a personal mantra! Bridget is proof of that.

    Guest Post: Mommy strong.

    We firmly believe that you were designed to lead an inspired life. This is what drives each piece of jewelry we create. We want Momentum to inspire and empower anyone that wears it. And we love celebrating the people that do. Our customers inspire us, and we think they'll inspire you, too. That's why we choose to share their stories on our blog. Today, a post from Alyssa of Home Field Fitness on the importance of being "mommy strong":

    I had no idea what it meant to be "mommy strong" until I personally discovered the struggle of staying active throughout pregnancy, the physical toll of childbirth, and the challenge to stay motivated, energized and active as a busy mother. This is why moms band together, bonding over their struggles and their strengths.

    As a fitness instructor that specializes in classes for moms, I see all of the struggles...not feeling like yourself anymore, beating yourself up about your new body, always putting your family first, and being too humble to be proud of how far you’ve come..it's always my goal to remind you that you are so strong.

    As mothers, we do amazing things every single day and it’s so important that we take pride in and celebrate that! 

    A group of my clients recently took the word “strength” to a whole new level. We focused on the mental block of not being enough. I gave everyone Sparklets that said “Stay Strong." Having that daily reminder on their wrists helped motivate them, and ultimately changed their mindset! 

    I think it's really important to take a break from your children. Especially when you're working out. Make it about you! My "Mommy Strong" clients often refer to our kid-free workouts as their happy hour, and I feel the same way.

    Moms, you should never feel selfish about taking time for a workout.

    That said, if motherhood has taught me anything, it's that me-time is limited. We have to be realistic, and that often means your kids are going to be around for your workout. This doesn't have to be a bad thing!

    It fact, it can be fun! Look for kid-friendly classes for moms, or put together your own workout that incorporates your child. Think about it: It's incredibly convenient to exercise with your child! You won't need to secure childcare, and they get to have fun with you. 

    It will also influence your little ones. They are watching you! Letting them see you having fun while you are working out is one of the best things you can show them. My daughters love racing me, "helping me" with planks and getting on a yoga mat next to me.

    We can raise the next generation of healthy adults, and it can start when they're brand-new to the world. The more they are exposed to your healthy habits, the more they'll want to join in.

    Toss them in a stroller for a daily walk or run, wear them in a baby carrier for an added-weight workout, or let them join you if they are old enough.

    Remember, they are watching you. And if there's anything we know about children, it's that they love to move. 

    To learn more about working out with your children, visit Alyssa at Home Field Fitness. Now tell us: How will you be mommy strong today?

    BE YOUtiful on National Love Your Body Day

    It's here. It's finally here! Today is National Love Your Body Day and we couldn't be more excited to partner with Handful Activewear on a campaign that truly highlights what it means to love your body: Join us as we launch BE YOUtiful!

    It's time to reclaim the beauty and power within you. To push back against a world that compares you, judges you and measures you against an "ideal" standard. It's time for us all to work together to create a supportive community that encourages everyone to recognize their value and their own unique beauty. 

    We need to educate each other on what healthy is and how it can look different from person to person. We need to support, empower and embrace each other. We need to lift each other up in a world that wants to push people down. 

    These past few weeks, we've been featuring inspiring women who discovered what it means to BE YOUtiful. If you missed their stories, we encourage you to revisit them. In their own words:

    "There is no secret to loving yourself and your flaws. There is no magic formula. There's just kindness. Wherever you are right now, your body is good enough. Your body can do amazing things. Use positive energy to build yourself up, rather than tear yourself down." — Carleeh, @healthysocialite

    "Remember, your inner dialogue controls what you believe. Don't let it pick a negative path. Instead, let it provide the grace of body acceptance. Be you, and be happy." — Jennifer, @jumpin_jen

    "Stop tearing yourself down. Constantly remind yourself how amazing you are! You are a powerful human being, and you need to envelope yourself with as much EPIC self love as you can. Because then, you will BE YOUtiful." — Genevieve, @fittyfoodlicious

    "I have learned to be kinder to my body. I have also learned patience because the fitness journey is a long one. Results take time—but they don't mean anything if the process doesn't make you happy." Oneisha, @shapingmybliss

    "Many call me brave for letting my 'disability' show, but I don't think of it that way. I am allowing my true beauty to show because it's all BE YOUtiful. Embrace what makes you different, don't hide it. You never know who you are giving strength to." — Gelcys, @runner_unleashed

    "You are the first and loudest voice you hear. Make that voice a positive one." — Staci

    Now, friends. You must go...go out into the world and BE YOUtiful. Get on Instagram with your free BE YOUtiful poster and show us how much you love your body. Use #beyoutiful, #handfulactivewear and #momentumjewelry.

    We can't wait to see your pictures!

    Guest Post: Bent, not broken...and totally #beyoutiful.

    On Wednesday, October 18th, Momentum will join forces with Handful Activewear to celebrate National Love Your Body Day in a unique and visually powerful way. Our BE YOUtiful campaign will encourage everyone everywhere to reclaim the beauty and power within. We continue our series of inspirational blog posts with a BE YOUtiful message from Gelcys at Runner Unleashed.

    One of the hardest things you can do is love yourself, but it's also one of the easiest. I haven't had it easy. Ever since I was small, I've had problems with my spine. It hurt a lot and caused a lot of issues, but I never knew why because it wasn't visible. When I was 13, right at the peak of being a teenager, the problems started to show and that's when my insecurities began. When I was 15, I had my first operation. I was diagnosed with Scoliosis.

    My spine was so crooked, it looked like a snake had crawled in there and petrified itself in an "S" shape. I was embarrassed and was already shy, and my spine just made me feel worse. Spending 14 hours in the operating room, and the resulting stitches that started at the base of my neck and went all the way down to my bottom didn't help. Add to it the pain of recovery and the whole walking (and moving) like a robot thing.

    During my recovery, I was rear-ended and one of the metal pieces that was put into my spine to stabilize it from further curving had come out of place. So back to the operating room I went to remove that one piece. But, it was left on top of a nerve that went to my leg so it caused a hair-raising amount of pain. I made another trip to the operating room to repair that, but it didn't help.

    I said, "take all the hardware out of my spine! I've had it." It wasn't doing me any good.

    All through high school and college, I hid my scar because they cut into it so many times that it got bigger and darker. I felt like it just showed what I was going through. I was born in Venezuela and lived in Florida, minutes from Miami, surrounded by bathing suits and beaches.  It fueled my insecurities.

    But as I grew older, and to this day, I realized that it's not about how you look on the outside. Society is at it's worst right now when it comes to being a negative influence. It's time to look in the mirror and put all of that aside and look at yourself.

    My spine is still curving and I have a hump that sticks out. My scar is crooked and hasn't gone away. You know what? I show all of it. I no longer hide it. Yes, people stare and people point—but I don't care. I will gladly educate them on Scoliosis, why I look the way I do, and how they can prevent their child from developing it. And if that child is afraid of it, I can help them not be. 

    No one should be afraid to beYOUtiful.

    It is something all woman of all shapes, colors, sizes, and disabilities should be. Smile because it looks good on you. Be that brave woman inside you. Don't be afraid to show the world the true beauty within you. Don't hide it inside like I did for so long. Many call me brave for letting my "disability" show, but I don't think of it that way. I am allowing my true beauty to show because it's all beYOUtiful.

    Embrace what makes you different, don't hide it. You never know who you are giving strength to by being beYOUtiful and open. Never be ashamed of who you are and who you've become. You shouldn't be comparing yourself to others anyway. Everyone is on a different journey. So shine bright, and whenever you need a hero—look in the mirror because that hero is you. 

    And you are #beyoutiful. Show it to the world by downloading your free beYOUtiful poster. Snap a selfie with it, then post it to Instagram on Wednesday, October 18th—National Love Your Body Day. 

    Guest Post: Epic Self-Love Makes You #beyoutiful

    On Wednesday, October 18th, Momentum will be joining forces with Handful Activewear to celebrate National Love Your Body Day in a unique and visually powerful way. Our BE YOUtiful campaign will encourage everyone everywhere to reclaim the beauty and power within. We continue our series of inspirational blog posts with a BE YOUtiful story from Genevieve Jerome of Fitty Foodlicious.

    Growing up, I never knew the concept of self-love. I was surrounded by people who constantly checked themselves out and were always worried about what other people thought of them. "She obviously takes care of herself, look at her makeup and clothes," they would say of others. Needless to say, I went to a high school that was very image conscious. In college, I was image conscious and hated my looks and every roll on my body. It wasn't until I turned 30 that I truly knew the meaning of EPIC self-love. 

    I realized how much energy I was wasting agonizing over my looks in the mirror, picking apart my every flaw instead of celebrating the things my body could do. I also realized that my habit of hiding food under my bed and eating until I felt "satisfied" wasn't doing it for me, either.  I needed to find my love from the inside, not from someone or something else.

    One day, someone told me what a light I was to others and it hit me—I am a light! A powerful, strong, bright light. Instead of staring at myself in the mirror all day or eating crappy food, I decided to take care of my body. I began telling myself daily mantras about how grateful I was for my strong body

    Now, the first thing I do every single morning is look in the mirror and say to myself: "I am a strong, capable woman." Then, throughout the day, I'll repeat other mantras out loud, like: "I am so loved" and "gosh, beautiful, you've got this."  Saying these mantras out loud gets me out of my own head and works to solidify my belief system. 

    It'll work for you, too. Repeat any mantras that speak to you. Do it in the car, waiting in line at the grocery store, or while you are running. Whatever you are doing, repeat your mantras, especially in times of self-doubt.

    Something else to try: Do something every day that you love! I go running nearly every day. It keeps me sane and helps keep my anxiety levels down. It helps me feel beYOUtiful. I put on my motivate wraps and run, enjoying every twist of the trail, the sun on my neck and the leaves under my feet. I love every second of it. 

    It's epic self-love, the 3-5 miles I do nearly every day. 

    To find epic self-love, you have to stop the comparison game. Don't look at other people with self-doubt. Don't wish you looked like them. Look at other people and find the motivation you need to do and be better. I played the comparison game a lot, but now I honor other powerful people and find inspiration from them. If we all did this, if we all worked together to empower each other, we would all be successful and feel much better about ourselves, too. 

    In addition to the mantras, I thank my body every day for what it does for me. I lost 155 pounds when I learned that food was fuel and not a coping mechanism. Eating healthy and being active is important, and I can love myself no matter what size I am. My body does amazing things. My legs let me run, and my lungs help me breathe and my arms pull me up to higher places. 

    I learned EPIC self love. 

    So stop tearing yourself down. Constantly remind yourself how amazing you are! You are a powerful human being, and you need to envelope yourself with as much EPIC self love as you can. Because then, you will be BE YOUtiful.

    Join Genevieve and women everywhere on Wednesday, October 18th for National Love Your Body Day. Download your free BE YOUtiful poster and help us show the world what it means to live a positive life full of epic self-love.