My feed has recently been flooded with a ton of “old face” photos. Have you seen them? They’re pretty fun to look at! But I quickly noticed that nearly all of them being uploaded were being done so by only one sex…males.
Why? Well, the answer is simple. Our society has groomed us to desire younger looking women. Females are OBSESSED with all kinds of skin treatments and makeup tricks to make us look younger. Old women are considered expired and not sexy. Men on the other hand can still be desirable and hot when they’re older.
So I went ahead and downloaded Face App so I could post an old face pic in retaliation. I uploaded some photos of myself and played around with the filters. And…to my dismay – I reacted like society wanted me to. My honest initial reactions to my older self photos were “EEEEWWW!!! I look so ugly!” And “AHHHH my skin!” And “I CAN’T POST THAT!!!”
On the other hand, @samlivits did it to his pic and he thought it was really cool. The white hair. The extra wrinkles. The sagging skin.
How interesting is it that women can view aging as ugly, while men view every year they gain as another badge of honor?
Time to reshape the way we look at getting older. With every birthday, we gain more wisdom and more experience, therefore we should get more and more comfortable in our own skin. Let’s stop thinking that aging is ugly. I’m starting that convo by posting this old face transformation on my feed. Will you?
PS – On the topic of looking young though…eating whole, natural foods and exercising keeps you youthful and healthy from the inside out…so don’t ever stop that! Wear sun block. Drink water. Wash your face. Floss. And stay away from drugs, kids!
Happy Father’s Day to my dad who has persevered through so much in order help our family SURVIVE, and eventually THRIVE in America. Let’s backtrack.
My grandfather ran a pretty successful rice mill in Vietnam but when the communists arrived, they knew it would all be destroyed. So my grandparents prepared my dad and his brother to escape Vietnam first. My grandma sewed some money into the lining of my uncle’s pants and silently cried as she let go of her 2 young boys.
Before my grandparents could figure out their next step, the communists threw my grandpa in jail (just for being a businessman) and then literally tossed my grandma in the jungle to starve and get eaten alive by the animals.
Because no letters were allowed into or out of Vietnam during the war, my dad and uncle had NO IDEA that their father had been captured and that their mother had suffered a stroke from the stress of not knowing if her husband was dead or alive…and not knowing if her young sons were dead or alive.
Meanwhile, my dad found himself bussing tables for $2/hr in California while pushing himself through community college without even knowing the language. Imagine reading a textbook but having to look up every single word in the dictionary. However, he didn’t let his broken English or the racism he faced stop him from pursuing an education. My dad ended up earning a Masters in Engineering and got a real job that could support his new wife and then eventually, my sister and I.
2 years later, my grandparents escaped Vietnam. They came here with absolutely NOTHING, but it didn’t matter, because the family was reunited.
After they settled in, my dad and his father built a little house that eventually I’d grow up in. When I say “built”, I mean, literally – by hand. Every nail, every wood panel, every shingle. It was a tiny box about the size of a small 1 bedroom apartment, but that’s where everything began again. The Ho Family REBUILT themselves.
I know I’ve spoken harshly about my father before, but as I get older, I now understand that every time he pushed me to study harder or yelled at me to run faster, it was to teach me how to become EXACTLY the person I am today.
I am grateful for my father, for my grandfather, for my grandmother, for all the generations before me that suffered to get me to where I am today. Happy Father’s Day dad. Thank you for teaching me how to never give up.
Thank you so much for signing up for the 28 Day #SummerSculpt! Are you ready for 4 weeks of sweaty summer bliss?
Every day you will be completing 1 video. Each video is a COMPLETE workout, around 40 minutes long! It includes your warmup, your workout, and your cool down. So all you need to do is focus on 1 check mark per day.
Here is how I’m breaking down your muscle groups for the week:
The influencer culture really forces people to put-on-display their every action in the cutest, funniest, sexiest, most motivational, and most entertaining way…or else…did it even happen?
The obvious answer is YES DUH OF COURSE IT HAPPENED. However, if I chose to NOT make “it” content, that sort of makes me a “bad influencer” or content creator. I don’t upload as many IG stories as other influencers and I surely am not in the world of daily vlogging! (I tried. Couldn’t handle.)
In contrast though, it makes me a human who just wants to breathe. I like doing things for the joy of simply doing them.
There’s a lot I do off camera that I don’t share with you because I just want to live. To be. To do. TO GET TO WORK.
The decision to create a personal silence around certain parts of my life has been great for my fitness, my diet, my body, and my mental/emotional health. It has allowed me non-judgmental time to experiment and groove into things…To make my health truly mine, and not the subject of a debate between camps of people who don’t know my past, my present, or where I want to be in the future.
PUBLIC VERSUS PRIVATE GOALS
I used to say that when making goals, you should SHOUT IT TO THE WORLD! YELL IT TO THE UNIVERSE! Public goals are highly effective! Whether it’s an Instagram post, Facebook post, or you told your family over dinner, the act of sharing your goals with others holds you accountable, because you know your people will be watching.
However, it’s not wrong to set private goals. In fact, it creates a very safe space that allows you to fail without judgement. And guess what? You’re going to fail on any journey towards success. There will be setbacks and things that just don’t turn out as you would have hoped. And for many of us, we need that private, non-judgemental space as we heal, and bounce back up to try again. With private goal setting, I highly suggest:
Writing your goal down somewhere so it’s not just a floating thought in your head.
Hanging your goal in an intimate place like by your bed or on the bathroom mirror so you feel like it’s a secret between you and you.
Starting a private Instagram page that no one knows about to document your journey in an UNFILTERED, HONEST, and almost UNCOMFORTABLY RAW way.
Finally, you don’t have to be a 100% public goal or 100% private goal person, you can do both! (The world is not black and white afterall!) Go public with the things you feel like you need the cheerleaders for, and go private with the things you’re not as confident about. The only thing I ask, is that you promise to be a DOER not a SAYER.
For me, I will continue to share with you my struggles, my real emotions, and raw thoughts as much as I can while still being able to function as a human, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a mother to Sir George, an instructor, and an entrepreneur. You know I love you, but sometimes Cassey needs her me-time, kay?! :P
I will lead you through a 28 day program designed to get you stronger, leaner, and happier! For the first time ever, I am releasing a series of FULL LENGTH WORKOUT VIDEOS complete with a warm up, the workout itself (intense), and a cool down. I want you warn you. These workouts will make you incredibly sore.
Also! On the first 7 days of the program, I’ll be hosting 7 straight days of giveaways on @popflex_active’s Instagram! So if you want cute activewear, workout goodies, rompers with pockets, gift cards, yoga mats, water bottles, fit journals, and pretty much anything a fit girl like you can dream of, then you need to go follow POPFLEX now!
I’ve been debating whether I should post this photo or not because 1) I’m really proud of how strong my back and arms have gotten but 2) I know there will still be judgment against my small butt. After a sleep, I’ve woken up and decided WHO CARES.
I don’t want to just post things for likes. I don’t want to base my worth on other people’s approval. I don’t want to feed into the big butt obsession (but also can’t 😂).
My body is a result of hard work and genetics. People often forget that genetics play a huge role in the way you look – just like how I have brown hair, small boobs, and almond shaped eyes – I ALSO HAVE A SMALL BUTT. How about some #bootypositivity huh!??? 🍑
Oh and you you know what?? This photo isn’t even posed to make my butt look bigger. It’s just me walking down a slope like a normal human being, not an Instagram model. But I like it. It’s so real. There is absolutely NO photoshop on this body I work so hard for.
Have you ever compared yourself to old photos of yourself and wished you were as “fat” as when you thought you were fat when you really weren’t fat at all!?
Listened to a Hidden Brain podcast about comparison, and it blew my mind. We all know that “comparison is the thief of joy.” But, did you know that there are types of comparisons – and that they can be used to our advantage?
There’s “upward comparison” and “downward comparison”. To better understand this, imagine you’re trying to lose weight. If you compare up, you compare yourself to a person who’s lost more weight than you in a shorter amount of time. This might make you feel bad about yourself. If you compare down, you compare yourself to someone who is having a really hard time sticking to her diet and actually gaining weight. This might make you feel better about yourself.
Instead of trying to avoid comparison all together (because we’re humans and we’re going to do it anyway) COMPARE STRATEGICALLY for your advantage! It’s all mindset.
When you want to accomplish more, compare up. You don’t have to feel bad when you compare up to people who are “better than you.” I want you to compare up and use them as your driving force to reach your goals!
When you feel you’ve failed, go ahead and compare down. (Yes, others do actually have it worse than you!) This downward comparison can help you find gratefulness, which honestly, we all need more of.
In this age of ultimate outward comparison (thanks social media), when you can’t avoid it, USE IT.
So what about me and the photos? Honestly, I used to feel really bad about not being as lean as I was in 2012. But then I remember back to how mean I was to the people that loved me because I was always hangry! So, I’m grateful to have a little extra weight on me and carry on as a full functional person who is happy.
Are you engaged? 💍 Getting married? 👰🤵YOU NEED TO READ THIS.
I’m calling all brides (and bridesmaids)! 👰🏻👰🏼👰🏽👰🏾👰🏿 I’m looking for bride squads to outfit entirely in the POPFLEX Active bridal inspired “Dream Collection” FOR FREE.
Yes. As in, I’ll take care of your bridesmaid gifts. Save that money for something else! I know weddings are expensive and stressful, so it’d be my honor to help my fellow brides live #HappilyEverFitter!!!
How do you enter!?
1️⃣ Post a photo of you and at least one of your bridesmaids on Instagram or Facebook doing some type of a fitness pose! (It could be as simple as a selfie flex, or as intense as a handstand!) In the caption, explain why fitness and mental health are important to you as you prepare for your big day!
The catch? There isn’t one really! I just want you to send us a photo of you and your bridesmaids wearing the gifted outfits (maybe from your bachelorette party or from wedding weekend) so we can post you guys on @popflex_active! The contest ends Sept 22, 2019 and multiple bride squads will be chosen! It’s open worldwide.
If you’re not getting married, then could you send this blog post to someone who is? Thanks :)
Also whether you’re engaged/married/single/divorced/whatever – you should try out my Bridal Bootcamp! Here’s “Happily Ever After Abs” to get you started:
PS: Ahhhhhh I wish I could get married to Sam over and over again! I LOVE WEDDINGS!!!!!! 🤪💐👰🏻🤵🏼💍🙃 Good luck!!!
My heart and soul are soaring. I took this entire week to let that feeling truly soak in.
Leading up to Puppies & Planks, we were battling the rain, vendors who canceled on us last minute, the sheer lack of time, and also I ended up in Urgent Care just days before. I really didn’t know what was going to happen.
But this weekend Puppies & Planks exceeded every single one of my expectations. WE RAISED OVER $20,000 for LA Animal Services, Much Love Animal Rescue, Karma Rescue, and The Dove Project!!! Huge thanks to every single person or doggy involved in making P&P a reality. Whether you physically were there or shared it on social media or bought a festival shirt to support…THANK YOU.
A huge thank you to PETCO for being my official partner for the inaugural Puppies & Planks fest! Below is the PETCO “Life’s a Ball!” installation, which included a pool FULL OF tennis balls for the takin’!
I’m so happy. I don’t even know what to say. I’m lost in these feels. The day was filled with so many dogs, so many friends, so many POSITIVE VIBES. I could not have asked for anything more.
So, I’d love to take you on a journey through the day! Ready?
7:50 AM: Here’s everyone entering the main stage under the official Puppies & Planks balloon arch!
8:00 AM: Anna Victoria led a huge warm up for everyone getting ready to do the 3K!
Doggies who signed up for the 3K got an official Puppies & Planks bandana!
Look at all the people and the doggies!
Humans were lining up all day to take plank pics at the official Puppies & Planks paradise installation!
And check out this art installation for humans and pups! It’s called “Dogs Can Fly and So Can I!” by Daniel Kordek.
9:30 AM: The first official class of the day was led by my good friend Joseph Corella of 567Broadway! I love his dance class so much. He always makes me laugh and he’s such a fantastic instructor.
10:30 AM: Next, my sister Jackelyn introduced me on stage as my heart was pounding! So many feelings were swirling in my body!
Starting off POP Pilates with some plié squats of course!
I can’t get over how cool that downtown LA skyline looks behind the stage!
After every class, we ended with a 1 minute plank challenge. I chose the opposite arm, opposite leg plank. Then my sister decided to put George on me. It was hard. REALLY HARD.
Then!!! We presented a GIANT check to the local animal rescues! Wed raised over $20,000 for them through the sale of the fitness class tickets! The check here says $17,700 because that was BEFORE we counted how much we made from on site ticket sales! Ahhh!!!
12:30 PM: After lunch, CRUNCH Fitness took the stage and leg “Ruff Yoga” – a yoga class made especially for you and your dog!
The dogs really loved it.
The dogs also really loved the Toy Distraction Field! Basically, any toy the dog would touch first it would be their’s to take home for free! We kept hearing owners say “NOT THE BALL!!! DO NOT PICK THE BALL!!!”
2:30 PM: My sister ended the day with “Yoga for Tight Everything.”
People getting their flexy on.
That day we got sooooo many applications for people interested in adopting! And good news, 4 dogs from LA Animal Services were taken to their forever home that day! Yay!
I hope you enjoyed the Puppies & Planks photo story! I could not have done this without your enthusiastic support; without my incredible #Blogifam for spending countless late nights at the office putting this together; without our instructors Anna Victoria, The Fitness Marshall, Joseph Corella of 567Broadway, my lil sis Jackelyn Ho, and Luke Milton of Training Mate who donated their time and their talent to lead the classes; without my amazing event planner Linda and our incredibly creative event production team at Lurline; without Petco’s confident belief in us as our title sponsor; without the rescue organizations; without my husband Sam who at first thought I was totally insane for doing this (you promised in your vows you would support me no matter how crazy) but then was the one who drove me to the hospital when things got too much, and of course…I could not have done it without my baby, my love, my entire inspiration for Puppies & Planks Sir George.
I can’t tell you how excited I am for Puppies and Planks!!! It’s been a lot of intense work to put on an outdoor festival (hmm why didn’t I realize that obvious fact!!??) and the journey has been full of obstacles telling me to quit, but I’m finally seeing it come together.
This all started last summer when I got the idea to put on a charity festival to raise awareness for dog adoption. Bringing my lil baby angel Sir George into my life has changed it in ways I never expected. Sir taught me to be more compassionate, to forgive more readily, and to honestly be WAY more chill! After all, it’s hard to dwell on the bad stuff when you have an adorable pup looking up at you with his irresistible puppy dog eyes!!
It’s really weird, but as my life gets more intense and I have less and less time, Sir knows how to slow it down. I don’t know how he does it, but when I pet him, hug him, and love him – time expands. I can’t quite explain it.
So umm, simply put, Sir’s love inspired me to put on a whole festival for him all the doggies in the land.
I’m looking at the statement now, shaking my head, (as we are only 15 days away from show time and I’m dying on the daily) and I’m asking myself some serious questions about the extremity of my love language.
Anyway you guys, it took A LOT to get to this point. So I am grateful I am even able to announce Puppies & Planks is happening on National Puppy Day, March 23…because just about 1 month ago, there was NO WAY it was going to happen.
The goal was to create this unforgettable experience for fitness lovers, dog lovers, and dogs in the community – all with the purpose of raising awareness for dog adoption. I was thinking we could kick off the day with a 3K Dog Walk, then immerse ourselves in top-notch fitness classes taught by my favorite LA instructors and some of my amazing YouTube fitness friends! Then afterwards we could cuddle adoptable pups, walk the shopping village with some of the coolest health, wellness, and doggy brands, have our dogs play in the pup carnival area, we could take pics at aesthetic Instagram stations, and then picnic on the grass after getting lunch at the healthy food trucks!!!
Doesn’t that sounds like the best time ever!?
So immediately, I started researching brands that loved animals. Then I researched local LA dog shelters. I asked my fitness instructor friends if they would want to teach. My friends were like YASSSSSS! So I put together a deck, thinking this would be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
I was SO WRONG.
After sending out hundreds of emails, getting on numerous phone calls, and pitching so many people, several months went by and NOT ONE organization was had signed on. It was most heartbreaking when even the dog shelters didn’t want to be a part of it! It was really weird and almost backwards at points. There was a particular shelter that did not want to bring their dogs out to the event to get adopted unless we paid them thousands of dollars. I had tried to explain that we’d be donating 100% of our ticket proceeds to them, but they still wanted the money up front. So after that phone call – I really felt heartbroken, and like this wasn’t something I should be involved in.
At this point, I had given myself the deadline of Dec 2018 as our we-need-to-stop-trying deadline. After Christmas had passed, I told my event planner Linda that we needed to seriously stop. But she told me no. She told me to not give up just yet. She said “Give it one more month Cassey.”
To be 100% honest with you, I had completely lost hope at the end of December. I didn’t want to invest more time, energy, or money into this thing that clearly no one wanted to be a part of.
It’s the very moment when you’re about to give up, but don’t, that the magic happens.
The VERY last week of January, we secured our incredible title sponsor – PETCO!!! WHHAAAAAA!!!????? I CRIED.
You guys. Petco was my dream sponsor. They were on my vision board for the event from day 1. After numerous phone calls and emails with their marketing team, serendipitously meeting their CMO in person at a conference (and trying to casually pitch him the idea), and then just praying to the universe…they came on board. And they SAVED US! I feel so lucky, because had Petco not partnered with Puppies & Planks, I don’t think I would EVER attempt to put on this festival again. They saved Puppies & Planks, and now together, we’re going FULL SPEED.
Above are just some of my amazing friends that will be teaching at Puppies & Planks! From left to right, it’s Anna Victoria who will be leading the warm-up before the 3K Dog Walk, The Fitness Marshall who’s gonna teach you how to dance like you’re in a music video, me who will POP Pilates your abs to death, my lil sis Jackelyn who will stretch your body with her cool yoga class, and Joseph C0rella who will teach you how to dance like a Broadway star with 567Broadway! Not pictured, but you’ll also get to take Ruff Yoga with CRUNCH (aka yoga with your dog) and also Luke Milton’s HIIT class from Training Mate!
AHHH!!!!! You guys I CANNOT BELIEVE that it is FINALLY happening!!! General Admission is FREE! So, if you live in the Southern CA area, please please please can you come out to support!!?? Invite all your friends and fam. I’d love to see you.
I’ll be teaching POP Pilates at 10:30am that day at Los Angeles State Historic Park, but will be hanging out afterwards so lots of time to meet and chill! If you want to take any of the fitness classes, it is a $25 donation for an all-access pass and 100% of the ticket sales will be donated to LA Animal Services and other local rescues! (Yes, some finally came on board!) The rescues will be bringing their doggies to the event so you can meet them and maybe even adopt them on site!
If you’re not able to come…there are 2 other ways you can help out!
#1. Purchase a charity festival shirt!
100% of the profits from this sales of these 4 shirts will be used to pay for the hardworking staff and the hard production costs of putting on the festival. The sponsorships unfortunately don’t cover all the costs, so we are fundraising! The navy shirt and the coral shirt are unisex, so feel free to grab one for the boyfriends or hubs too! You can find these on popflexactive.com.
If you have a small dog, big dog, old dog or even a stuffed animal dog toy, take the #puppiesandplankschallenge to raise awareness for the Puppies & Planks Festival and to raise awareness for dog adoption! Then tag 5 friends who either love dogs or have a dog to join in. Let’s spread this and make it a movement! Please tag @blogilates and @puppiesnplanksfest so I can see your posts :)
I can’t believe this is happening!!! Here are the deets:
The #100AbChallenge is the biggest challenge we’ve EVER done! 100 reps of an ab exercise every single day, for 30 days! Thousands of POPsters jumped in and you guys totally killed it. Whether it was all 100 reps in one go, or 10 sets of 10 reps – it didn’t matter. YOU DID IT. Huge congrats. I made a playlist of all the videos HERE.
Remember that physical achievements are only part of the equation! I saw a teeny bit of new definition in my abs, but for me, that wasn’t the point of the challenge. I know my mid section is a zone that likes to stay soft no matter what I do :) For me, my strength gains have been sooooooo significant. After completing the challenge, I feel a lot more confident, soooooo proud of my body that I have, and so impressed with the incredible things it can do!
I see a bunch of you guys are doing the #100abchallenge again, so I wanted to do something to make it EASIER for you to track your progress. I’m gonna make doing 100 reps a day like a little game. I’ve created a super cool interactive doc that will allow you to see all the videos and track your progress. PLUS it is a great hub to invite all your friends to for a lil challenge – to keep each other accountable!
I used a tool called Coda.io! It’s kinda like an app, but on desktop? And free? Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Play around with this one to get a feel for it! But if you want a copy of the doc to start filling in, just sign up with your email and boom, that’s it! Sam and I are actually starting to use Coda in place of Excel because it’s so much more visually appealing, and honestly, you can do so much and it looks so professional!
Give it a try HERE! I’m thinking of making a Coda for the monthly calendar. What do you think? Is the current calendar ok or kinda clunky? It is ok to be honest!
WOW!!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT 30 days have passed and we have OFFICIALLY conquered the #100AbChallenge! Absolutely insane. I am so so soooooooooo proud of you guys!
AN IMPORTANT LESSON LEARNED…
And you know what? I taught myself an important lesson along the way.
I’ve never been proud of my abs because of the layer of fat that sits on top of it. I’ve directed so much anger and hatred at my abs for not being slim, flat, and “perfect”. I hated the fact that my ab strength did not reflect in my ab physique. I felt weak for not having the CONTROL to lose the fat on my stomach.
But after completing the 100 Ab Challenge, I realized that I’m not weak at all. Turns out my abs are crazy HARD CORE and it’s absolutely incredible what they can do!! So what if I’ve got some fat laying on top of my abs? Does that mean my strength and my skill should be completely discounted?
NO!!! That’s stupid.
So, I am making a choice to respect myself and to stop directing negativity onto a part of my body that truly is magnificent. I am GRATEFUL to have this body, and I welcome it, and love it in whatever form it wants to come in :)
Have you applied yet? It’s been so incredible reading through your #iamapowergirl entries. The Blogifam has been tearing up at some of your posts. Whether or not you plan on applying, have a read. The stories have been SO empowering.
YOUR NEW WORKOUT CALENDAR!
Next up, here is your February Workout Calendar! I’ve got a fun LIVE workout planned for you on Sunday, Feb 10th at 10 AM PST! I’ll be leading a Total Body Sculpt class with my sister on my YouTube channel. Make sure you are subscribed so you get an alert when I go live! All you will need is a yoga mat. Invite your friends to work out with us! It’s going to be a super fun full length class.