Welcome back to another Woman Crush Wednesday! I had intended to do these each month, but life got busy in the fall, so…I’m starting fresh this spring. 🙂 This series is all about sharing some amazingly creative and inspiring women I think you need to meet!
Today’s #WCW is the lovely Robin Long of The Balanced Life. I wish I could remember how I stumbled upon Robin’s site a year ago, but I’m just so thankful that I did. She’s a Pilates instructor with a heart for encouraging others to lead healthy lives, thanks to exercise as well as finding – you guessed it! – balance in our busy days. She offers many free videos on her YouTube channel, and often leads month-long challenges, such as her 30-Day Pilates Body program, which just began yesterday! I just joined the Sisterhood, an online community Robin created to help her followers stay accountable and motivated. I love it! You receive all kinds of goodies and inspiration each month – I hope you’ll check it out.
The reason I keep coming back to Robin’s videos and blog is her joyful nature. She’s a cheerleader who feels like a friend! Her workouts are challenging, but you can’t help but trust her through them – you know that once you’re done, you’ll feel stronger, healthier, and proud of the work you put in.
Can’t wait for you to meet this inspiring gal!
Tell us all about you! Who you are, what you do, what you love.
My name is Robin. I’m a wife, mom to 2 little ones, Pilates instructor, business owner and encourager of women who are trying to take care of themselves and improve their health.
I love bringing people together, inspiring people to think differently, sharing my struggles, Pilates, running, decaf coffee, dark chocolate and watching blooper reels (there’s nothing funnier to me!).
What does a regular day look like for you?
As a work-at-home mom, every day is different. Most days I’m up at 6:00, attempting to shower & check email before the little ones wake up (although that rarely works). I nurse the baby while my 2-year-old eats breakfast and then we either play, go to the park, go to MOPS, grocery shop or meet up with friends. I continually breastfeed throughout the day (it’s like a part-time job) and attempt to keep my toddler from ruining the house or hurting the baby until I get them both down for naps. J During naptime I open my lap top and get to work. When naptime is over I change gears – cook dinner, connect with my husband and dive into the bedtime routine.
2 days per week I have help with my daughter so I can focus on work (with the baby by my side).
Some days include teaching Pilates classes and some include filming workouts for upcoming projects or The Sisterhood.
It’s a constant juggle but I am grateful for the opportunity to run a business AND be home with my kids.
What led you to begin The Balanced Life?
From a young age I was focused on weight loss even though I was never really overweight. I now know this was due to the messaging we receive as women about our worth being found in looking a certain way or wearing a certain size. I always exercised, but my relationship with diet and exercise was never peaceful. I exercised (in ways I didn’t enjoy) to make up for poor food choices and then rewarded exercise with poor food choices. It was a vicious cycle that kept me stagnant and unhappy in my body. Eventually I found Pilates and my relationship with my body changed. I began honoring and listening to my body and the benefits of the method spilled out into other areas of my life. Not only did I become more confident, peaceful and healthy, I also saw better physical results than ever.
This journey is what inspires me every day and led me to start The Balanced Life. I want to teach women what I know now so they can break free of dreaded, ineffective exercise cycles and see real results while learning to love and appreciate their bodies in new ways.
The Balanced Life is a place for women to escape from the pressure to be perfect or to have it all together. It’s a place that’s free of competition and comparison. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m so grateful for all that it has become.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am podcast junkie. I love listening to podcasts of all kinds, but mostly business-related. I love learning about what other people are doing in other fields and thinking about how I can use what I learn to better serve The Balanced Life community.
Interestingly enough, I stay inspired more by what I DON’T do than what I do.
I am very careful about who I follow online, what I read and what I subscribe to. Many people find it interesting that I don’t read health and fitness blogs or follow many fitness accounts on social media. I find that doing so hinders my creativity. I prefer to listen to my heart and my clients and lead my community that way rather than getting distracted by what everyone else is doing.
Also – when I’m feeling stuck, a long run usually leads to fresh ideas.
Best part of what you do? Hardest part?
The best part of what I do is providing tools for women to change their own lives. I don’t view myself as a guru. Instead, I try to provide the best tools possible so that women are able to take ownership of their health, make progress on their own unique journey, and see results. I am an encourager by nature and consider it a privilege to walk alongside women as they make positive changes in their lives.
On that same note, the hardest part of my job is not being able to individually help every single person. As The Balanced Life has grown it’s become harder to respond to all of the emails and comments even though that’s what I really want to do!
Another hard thing is making sure to prioritize MY self-care in the midst of caring for my family and building a business.
Favorite way to ‘treat yo’self’?
Massages! A morning at the spa can do wonders for my mental health. And I’ve been known to treat myself with a decaf Americano on a daily basis. 😉
Favorite workout video you’ve created?
Oh this is so hard! I don’t have a favorite video but I do have a favorite series – I just finished creating the 30 Day Pilates Body Challenge and it’s been my favorite project thus far.
Dance party time! What song do you put on?
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Hands down.
Who would you choose for your ‘Woman Crush Wednesday’?
What’s the biggest message you want to share through The Balanced Life?
“Grace over guilt” has become our motto.
Grace over guilt means that we don’t have to be perfect; that it’s better to be kind to ourselves than to beat ourselves up. And the truth is, if we’re kind to ourselves we’ll be more likely to stick with our wellness routine and in turn, see better results.
Guilt does not work as a motivator even though so many of us think that it does. We beat ourselves up for not exercising as much as we should or for eating too many sweets, but at the end of the day that just makes us feel terrible and damages our relationships with exercise, food and our bodies.
When we offer ourselves grace and allow imperfection, we’re much more likely to stay the course and continue moving forward.
Thank you again, Robin! 🙂