Little Things (Stephanie Kaloi)
Something happened around the time I turned 36 years old. Actually, to be honest, a lot of things happened: I finalized the divorce that I had initiated, I moved to another country with the man I love, I worked out a brand-new custody schedule that is equal parts terrifying and enthralling, and I really started thinking about...me.
Numerous Will Smith Projects Are Suspended As Fallout From Oscars Slap Continues Stephanie Kaloi (she/her/hers)
More specifically, I began taking stock of both my mental and physical fitness. After years of being the type of person who believed (a) I could take care of everything myself without anyone professional involved and (b) the fitness industry is inherently shame-based and therefore not something I was interested in, I realized that I really (really, really) wanted to be able to understand myself and harness my power in a new way.
It turns out that fitness and life coach Andrea Marcellus had a similar revelation around the same time in her life, and she turned around and wrote a book and launched a global wellness platform to address it.
Speaking with Andrea is an actual dream. From the beginning of the phone call, it was clear that she knows what she's talking about and that her motivations are pure. After sharing that she's known quite a few women who hit their mid-30s and realize it's time to take stock of things, Andrea began telling me how she ended up launching her wellness app AND/life. In a lot of ways, it makes sense that our mid-30s are, well, an interesting time for women. A lot of us are raising kids or thinking about doing so while we're also navigating relationships, marriages, partnerships, and dating apps. We're launching businesses and we're moving up career ladders, we're going back to school and we're opening up our own hair salons. In short, there's a lot going on right now.
When it comes to my own fitness journey, I have been increasingly focused on gaining strength purely to feel strong; I have (mostly) freed myself from external expectations about what my body should or shouldn't look like at this stage, and I am curious about growing my physical and mental prowess just because. With that kind of motivation, an app like AND/life makes perfect sense.
For busy moms and just flat-out busy everyones, AND/life makes your own fitness goals easily attainable. As Andrea explains, the goal isn't to push everyone to work out for an hour a day and to limit the food they eat; even something like choosing to fold laundry standing up at the kitchen table while you watch a show (versus sitting down on the sofa) can do wonders for calming your mind and rearranging your energy.
Andrea is also heavily involved in the app, and her unique brand of encouragement and experience being someone who really gets it makes using the program like working out with a good friend who will keep you on point. There's a really good reason for that: Andrea gave birth to both of her children after she created the platform, and she used her very own teachings to get through childbirth each time. Another insight Andrea offered during our conversation is that for all the attention mindfulness and meditation receive, they aren't exactly for everyone. One way Andrea herself likes to begin her day is by carefully watering each of her plants, focusing on how they've grown and changed since the day before. It only takes a few minutes, but skipping the act could have a negative impact on the rest of the day.
AND/life is also focused on physical wellness, including what we eat. But unlike programs that require limitation and regulation, Andrea says that no food you enjoy should be off the table, literally. Gone are the days of counting calories; instead, Andrea's app focuses on appropriate portions of everything you already like to eat. While it can be tough for busy moms and parents to feel like they can do anything that's just for themselves, the program Andrea Marcellus offers makes it easy to do just that without feeling like you're taking anything away from the people who love you the most.