All About U: Lisa

We learned this week that we have a published author and Revolutions enthusiast! We’re so happy we got to catch up with Lisa Himmel. Not only does Lisa write books in her spare time, she is also a teacher and you’ll hear more from Lisa as a uforia guest blogger!

When you’re not Embracing the Sweat at uforia, what are you doing?

I work as a preschool teacher, specifically with toddlers, so that keeps me quite busy and requires a great deal of energy. uforia and working out in general serve as both stress relief and a refuge from constantly being “on” at work. When I’m not at uforia or at work, there’s a high chance I’m sleeping! However, aside from wonderful slumber, I am a huge fan of grocery shopping and am working my way to a first name basis at Whole Foods. I love to to cook and bake, dine out, go wine tasting, shop, run the hills near my house (Edgewood park), adventure around San Francisco, just hangout with friends, book club etc. I’m a very active person so anything that gets me out and moving, especially if it involves meeting new people, is right up my alley.

Tell us more about this book you’re written (we loved this book, if you haven’t read it, you need to)

My mom and I co-wrote a book together in 2009 called Hungry,  chronicling my struggle with eating disorders and how that clashed with her job as an award-winning food critic. It’s a memoir detailing the irony of our situation and is written in alternating voices, to parallel her view and mine. I was ten when she transferred from an editor for the San Jose Mercury News to their food critic and genuinely relished in the perks of her job. This lasted through the end of my junior year, then I started dieting, stopped going on reviews with her and her job became a source of fear for me.  I wanted desperately to form an identity amongst the highly competitive student body of a Palo Alto high school (I went to Gunn). I didn’t feel academically on par, so I thought if I could just be  skinny, then at least I had something. What began as a genuine desire to exercise and eat right, spiraled out of control and continued to for years following. I have flip flopped between anorexia, bulimia, exercise bulimia and combinations of both. I had periods of health followed by terrible relapses, the worst being a lengthy hospital stay and after care program in 2007 where I became so weak I had to use a wheel chair to get around. When the book came out, I was certainly on a good path but by no means recovered. Bulimia has been my greatest struggle to overcome and I’ve been quite candid about this, especially since the disease is so easy to mask. I am happy to say, with confidence, that I am in recovery and it’s incredibly hard work, but so very worth it! It has taken over ten years to get to this point and the dark times and painful memories can get to me, but I tap into that strength that has kept me going. Through writing and exercise I truly believe I’ve found myself.

Wow, thanks for sharing so openly about your struggles with eating disorders. How did you discover uforia?

A good friend and uforia enthusiast referred me, as she knew I loved to exercise and bike outdoors. I was skeptical of the whole spin culture in general, but she promised I’d love it and described it as “unconventional.” Plus, she added that you get blueberries after class and how could I pass that up?! After my first Revolutions class, I was hooked! I can’t get on a bike or any machine without doing a little “tap and press” move.  I’m also finally trying other the other amazing classes at uforia andexpanding my fitness comfort zone!

 What does uforia mean to you?

uforia has become my “happy place.” there’s an immediate welcoming and non-judgmental environment when you walk in the doors here. Everyone greets you with a smile and seems to genuinely care about your well being. I’ve made friends through the “rockstars” and clients and feel like real me is always shining through. I’m always excited to come here, especially after a hard day; I know that I can just sweat my worries away and will probably work even harder! Furthermore, I truly believe uforia has guided me tremendously in my recovery.  I view my body and exercise in a whole different way; rather than focusing on calories burned and t my weight, I focus on strength and challenging myself in new ways with each class.

What would you tell someone who is new to uforia?

I like to be a positive motivator for someone who may be getting into exercise for the first time or trying a new class.  I tell people to be patient and open minded and think about the wonderful benefits of exercise, including stress-relief, alleviating anxiety and improving overall health!  The most important component is finding an activity that you enjoy and can stick to.  Give yourself at least thirty minutes and I’m sure by the end of that you will feel a positive difference.

What’s your go-to post class treat?

My after-class treats depend on the time of day.  If it’s a morning class, I have a set routine: first go to Philz  (we won’t judge) then Whole Foods for kombucha, a banana and the salad bar.  I also often keep a gluten-free energy bar in my bag, my favorite being the “Kit’s Organic” fruit and nut bar in cashew. After an evening class, I’m in complete carnivore mode, thus I opt for a grilled chicken, steak or fish typically.

Thanks for sharing with us Lisa and we look forward to your blog posts in the future! If you have any questions for Lisa, please send them to