Molly Forsyth is the founder of 8 Point Wellness, a boutique acupuncture practice based in Flatiron. She is certified as a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine by the National Certification for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), as well as a licensed acupuncturist and a board certified herbalist. Her business offers acupuncture and Chinese medicine practices. Molly is also an athlete, a runner and a frequent FHIXer at our Flatiron studio. We recently got a chance to speak with her about her business, fitness and where the two intersect.
How long have you been coming to The Fhitting Room? How did you hear about us?
The Fhitting Room had been on my radar for a while. I was looking to shake up my routine from one-on-one sessions with a trainer, and I wanted to have a little (competitive) fun in a group setting. I had my first FHIX with Ben and Farouk in May of 2016 and I was immediately hooked! I have been attending class at least twice a week ever since.
What keeps you coming back?
I love that class is never the same, and I love the positive energy the FHITpros and fellow FHIXers bring; the environment encourages me to give it my all. I love to be challenged by something new each class.
You’re a runner. Have you noticed TFR has changed your performance as a runner? If so, how?
Yes! Well, as you know, a significant portion of power is in the stride, and proper posture comes from the core and upper body. The explosive and timed nature of many FHIXes helps to encourage strength and speed. Cross training is key for building muscle, and avoiding boredom from other repetitive strength workouts is an important factor for me; TFR is also a great counterweight for the sometimes lonely long runs.
Tell us about your practice and what services you provide.
I practice Chinese medicine, which encompasses acupuncture, Chinese herbal formulas, cupping, and gua sha. My clients are motivated, health conscious people just like those at Fhitting Room.
What got you into holistic/natural healing?
Chinese medicine literally and quickly changed my life. I moved to NYC for what I thought was to be a long-term career in fashion. I found my way to Converse during their apparel start-up phase and worked in the planning department (a whole lot of spreadsheets, systems and factory communication) for 6 years. Three years in, I started giving a lot of thought to finding a career that felt more meaningful and impactful. At the same time I was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, Crohn’s disease. Within a few months of starting weekly acupuncture and herbal treatments I was able to wean off steroids and immunosuppressants.
There was a silver lining. My illness allowed me to find my true calling; I love helping people maintain or regain wellness. I entered the 4-year graduate program and slowly exited the world of apparel. My only medication for the last 8 years has been Chinese herbs (and acupuncture).
Can you explain cupping and its benefits towards recovery?
Cupping is great; I use it on patients for chronic and acute pain, muscle soreness and muscle fatigue. It can help speed up muscle recovery by increasing circulation and blood flow and realigns fascia. It’s also great at the initial onset of a cold or when someone feels like they are coming down with something or to relieve congestion in the lungs. You can read more here.
What is your best or favorite natural remedy?
This time of year I’m talking a lot about bone broth. Winter is the time to nourish the kidneys, and in Chinese medicine the kidneys govern the bones. Bone broth is a great way to warm and nourish qi (also known as vital energy in our bodies) and blood, as well as to help prevent and promote healing of bones and connective tissue. It’s very collagen rich too, which means it’s also great for skin and for healing digestive irregularities.
Ginger tea is another favorite this time of year. Ginger (Sheng Jiang) is a Chinese herb that is incorporated into many digestive herbal formulas. It warms the middle and not only settles the stomach, but also nourishes sluggish digestion. In the cooler months it’s very important to keep your digestive fire stoked.
Many of our instructors visit your practice and take advantage of your services. Why do you recommend using holistic practices after your FHIX?
Think of it as part of your wellness recovery plan. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help speed up your recovery post workout, help your body build muscle, strengthen your immune system, balance hormones, and regulate sleep and digestion. Wait, there’s more! But seriously, acupuncture has numerous health benefits. Pregnant FHIXers can benefit from acupuncture, too.
How would you suggest adding this to your regimen in a consistent way? How do you feel about your practice as preventative? (Rehab vs. Prehab)
Maintaining wellness is an ongoing journey. In most cases, patients begin acupuncture for rehab reasons – they have an ailment or some type of imbalance they want me to remedy. At a certain point in treatment the focus will switch from rehab to prehab.
Effects of treatment are cumulative — like building muscle, so it’s most ideal for clients to come weekly for a short period of time. As the body learns to hold the healing, treatments are spaced further apart, and eventually clients come in periodically for maintenance or prehab type sessions. Sometimes the periodic prehab sessions correspond with the change of seasons to avoid that oh so common cold.
Learn more about about Molly’s services by visiting her practice.
Molly Forsyth, MS, L.Ac.
8 Point Wellness | 928 Broadway, Suite 1001, NY, NY 10010
646 480 2542 | www.8PointWellness.com
Kristen & Kyle Siebert are expecting their first future FHIXer in a few weeks and they have been HITing it hard together throughout Kristen’s pregnancy. We are a bit FHIXated on how amazingly strong the Siebert’s are. So, we had to ask them a few questions about this FHIT pregnancy and HITing it together.
How often do you both come to The Fhitting Room and do you make it a part of your weekly regimen to do it together? If so, why?
Kristen: I come to The Fhitting Room 6 days a week (Monday through Saturday). I actually used to come 5 and would go 1 day to the gym in my building, but since being pregnant I prefer all my workouts to be under the supervision of such great instructors at TFR. Since I go to the same class everyday, the instructors really know me and what I could do pre-pregnancy, and now while pregnant, they always check in to make sure I am feeling well. Kyle and I make it a priority to come together as often as our schedules allow, which at a minimum is Saturday morning. We love to see each other’s progress, from when we first started coming together to where we are now. We encourage each other and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, whether it’s increasing weight on kettlebell swings, getting more meters on the rower or SkiErg, or simply feeling like we kicked butt on the FHIX. When we aren’t in class, we find we are talking about TFR and what that day’s workout consisted of. It has become such a huge part of our lives.
Kyle: As often as I can. I work in Greenwich but spend a day or two in the city each week. If I’m working out in the city, I make sure to fit TFR into my schedule. Same thing on the weekends – if we’re in the city I’m always there Saturday mornings. Depending on the week’s schedule, Sunday usually serves as my rest day.
You both have been HITing it hard throughout Kristen’s pregnancy… FHITspirations! What is the best part about working out together while Kristen is working out for 2?
Kristen: For me I think it’s been surprising myself that I have been able to keep coming 6 days a week.
Kyle: Watching Kris kick butt. She got me back into working out after two years away and she continues to be a #FHITspiration for me. When we’re not working out together, we’re talking about the class and how each of us did, so it’s always fun for us to be there together. It’s such a positive community and the support she has gotten from everyone has been awesome.
You are both very frequent FHIXers, how did you find TFR and what keeps you coming back with a growing family?
Kristen: I first heard about TFR from Emily Cook Harris, who I personally trained with back in 2009. When she started teaching at TFR she kept encouraging me to try it out. She knew I would love the energy and class dynamic. I’ve always admired Emily and her philosophy on fitness and wellness and felt I had to see what the hype was all about. I was hooked from my very first class back in June of 2015 on a Monday night with Dennys and Farouk. I remember standing in the front and feeling nervous about what it would be like. When the class ended I couldn’t wait to sign up for my next one!
Kyle: Emily Cook Harris. We both started training with her back in ’09 so we have been following her around since. She’s a total rockstar like all of the instructors at TFR. Their dedication and commitment, along with their constant positivity is contagious. It doesn’t hurt that HIIT workouts also show meaningful results when you stick with it. There’s no question that an active/healthy lifestyle impacts the rest of your life in a very positive way.
Kristen, do you feel like you still get a full workout when you work out while pregnant? What’s changed for you now that you are pregnant?
Kristen: Definitely! Working out while pregnant has honestly been the best thing for me, both physically and mentally. During the first trimester it helped with the fatigue and nausea. The walks in the morning for the 6AM classes would sometimes be a bit rough, but as soon as we started the warm-up I would forget about being tired (and even pregnant) and feel so much better by the end of class. It has also helped with my overall energy. It can be difficult to lose control over your body, but knowing that I was staying in shape and doing everything I could for a healthy pregnancy helped with my overall state of mind. I’ve had to modify certain exercises since being pregnant, but because all the trainers are so attentive, they always make sure the movements are safe for both me and the baby, but still challenging.
Kristen- you like to take our FHIXtreme classes, can you tell us about that?
Kristen: Kyle hasn’t taken a FHIXtreme class yet but I go every Wednesday morning with Eric and Mat. I have loved that class since before being pregnant and wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep going while pregnant. It’s definitely gotten harder but I love the strength and competitive component of the class. It’s mainly the same group of people each week and we have all grown to really appreciate one another, encourage each other, and push each other to go faster, beat our last time, or get more reps in. Both Eric and Mat always check in with me and give me alternative options where needed, but I am still able to get through the class and feel a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of it. Also, everyone in the class has been so amazing to me and have made me feel great about still being able to come each week and push hard with them. TFR isn’t just a workout class; it’s a community of FHIT people who love pushing hard but also love seeing others accomplish their goals.
Kyle: Kris hits the FHIXtreme, but I am still working my way up to that.
Do you think that regularly getting your FHIX before and during your pregnancy has made a difference for you?
Kristen: For sure!! I had a rough go getting pregnant, but since being pregnant I feel very blessed with how I have felt. People always ask me how I’m feeling, did I have morning sickness, am I exhausted, etc. I can honestly say that I have felt great the whole time. Yes, a bit more tired here and there but never to the point where I didn’t feel like getting out of bed or couldn’t make it out to dinner with Kyle and friends on a Friday night. I attribute a lot of that to continuing to get my FHIX 6 days a week at TFR.
Are you competitive with each other while working out?
Kristen: I’d say yes! Not anymore, but when Kyle first got back into it, I was using the same or heavier weights than he was and was loving every second of it! He’s definitely gotten a lot stronger though from when he first started coming, but I love seeing him hit new PRs (personal records). I don’t think I’ll be swinging the pumpkin any time soon, but at least I still have him beat on the FHIXes
Kyle: She crushes me on the FHIXes – EMOMs, AMRAPs and chippers. I can keep up for maybe the first two rounds. Thankfully I’ve got her on the strength portion now. We both give it everything we’ve got every class so I would say we go in there as a team just looking to get after it; AKA we both know she’s got me beat.
What’s each of your favorite exercise movement and why?
Kristen: I have a love/hate relationship with man makers. When doing them I hate them but they are such a great workout as they work all parts of your body. I have also grown to love cleans and they are a big component in most FHIXtreme classes. I also love all of the FHIXes because they combine both strength and cardio and really get your heart rate up.
Kyle: Burpees, but it’s definitely a love/hate relationship. Once the music starts, it’s chest to deck. It’s an explosive movement that also requires lower half mobility, so it’s been fun to see the improvement over the last 16 months.
Kristen, what’s your advice to FHITmoms who want to HIT it while pregnant?
Kristen: You will learn very fast that everyone has an opinion about what pregnant women should and shouldn’t do, but if there is anything anyone can learn from my experience, it’s that if you have done it before being pregnant; you can definitely do it while being pregnant. It’s important to listen to your body and the amazing instructors, but overall my workouts at TFR are just as intense as they were prior to being pregnant. I said it already, but I truly believe that having stayed active throughout my entire pregnancy has helped with how smooth the whole experience has been.
Getting pregnant can also be an emotional roller coaster that will differ for everyone. I have met so many amazing people, made new friends, and found such phenomenal support through the TFR community. Having a positive outlet, separate from the rest of your life, where everyone is encouraging each other has been amazing for me. Everyone is fighting his/her own battle, but TFR is a place everyone comes to fight together.
We deliver hard HITting FHIXes to get you FHIT for life. While tightening your belt one more notch and looking killer in that bikini come summertime are positive benefits, our main motivation for working out is to live a more healthy life. So, if we workout and eat well in both summer and winter months, why is it then, that so many of us see weight gain in the colder times of the year?
There is no definitive answer, but research suggests several potential culprits. We’ve elaborated on a few possibilities below and suggested a FHIX for each.
THE CULPRIT: COMFORT FOODS – As the weather drops, we are likely to reach for something warm to eat to heat us up. Those fresh chopped salads you devoured for lunch all summer aren’t likely to deliver the warmth you crave and are traded for ooey-gooey cheesy sandwiches on ciabatta. Summer beverages like juice and coconut water are traded for things like hot chocolate and hot toddies.
THE FHIX: Create a winter salad. Fresh greens topped with nuts, roasted veggies and warm grains makes for a super satisfying and clean meal. There are plenty of nutritious – and satisfying – winter meals. Do a little meal prep and cook up a big batch of healthy meals. Divide into single-meal portions and voila – you’re saving time and money and not feeling guilty.
THE CULPRIT: HOLIDAYS – With holiday season come parties, and with parties come endless buffet tables and cocktails. Those tables unfortunately are not usually stacked with trays of clean eats; and over-indulging can be nearly inevitable – especially if you show up to parties hungry.
THE FHIX: We know we may sound like a wet rag, but eat a healthy meal at home before going out. You’ll fill up beforehand on nutritious eats, and if there’s anything you absolutely can’t resist, you’ll only have space for a treat or two instead of ten.
THE CULPRIT: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND – The winter seems like a much easier time to justify that extra sweet treat. After all it is cold outside and that hot chocolate is so warm and you’re wearing a puffy coat anyway, so no one can tell if a) you’ve unbuttoned your pants or b) you have an extra few pounds beyond what you had in the summer. That old “out of sight, out of mind” adage has never rang more true.
THE FHIX: Spend some time around the house in your skivvies. You’ll be more conscious of your body and less likely to keep abusing it with bad eats. Maybe you aren’t the type to wander around your apartment in your undies, that’s ok too. Instead of always wearing baggy sweats try to wear more fitted clothes to keep you warm. It will keep you in check over the winter months.
Even when the temperatures outside make you want to hibernate for weeks and only awaken to eat mashed potatoes or sip hot chocolate, it’s important to treat your body with the love it deserves. Nourish yourself with healthy eats and keep your muscles moving all year round for a fulfilling and FHIT life.
November 2016 left us with plenty to feel thankful for. Check out ten of our favorite health and fitness moments from this past month.
1. Do you go for a big or small breakfast in the morning? We have all heard the saying “it’s the most important meal of the day,” but there is a lot of debate around whether it should be a big hearty meal or a small snack like a piece of fruit. Well+Good asked some experts to weigh in.
2. The Sweethome writer, Amy Roberts, tested her FHIX with several different fitness trackers to see which is best. The jury is in and here are the results.
3. Journalist, fitness expert and total FHITspiration Jenna Wolfe shared her wellness secrets with Well + Good. Find out her sugary weakness, well-being mantra and favorite workouts here.
4. With the holidays in full swing, we know getting to the studio can be a challenge. Breaking Muscle provides practical options for staying FHIT when you only have a little bit of time and little to no equipment.
5. Just can’t get enough TFR in your life? We feel you. That’s why we’ve made our #goFHIX workouts so much more accessible. Check out the new #goFHIX section on our website for dozens of bodyweight challenges from all your favorite FHITpros.
6. Our FHIT Founder Kari Saitowitz hosted our first FHITfam Thanksgiving, and we are still so full and so thankful! Cheers to many more celebrations and good times with co-workers FHIT friends.
7. This election has been one for the books. While some things may feel out of your control, your wellness and FHITness shouldn’t be one of them! U.S. News presents a bipartisan strategy to achieve your health goals.
8. Cheese lovers – rejoice! A new study shows that aged cheeses (think blue) can lead to a longer life. That’s something worth cheesin’ over. (See what we did there!? Sorry.)
9. In part thanks to sidewalks, parks and public transportation, big cities are home to healthier residents. NBC news further explores why big cities are healthier.
10. New Yorkers know that sometimes you have to get your meals on the go, and with a Starbucks on every other corner there’s a chance that you may have to resort to grabbing a meal from the coffee chain every now and then. Here are the top choices for what to eat at Starbucks picked by a nutritionist.
Now that the New York City Marathoners have had time to rest and recover, several of our FHIXers who are marathon finishers, as well as a FHIXer who just completed her first Triathlon in Miami, shared how incorporating The Fhitting Room into their training helped them prepare for their races.
Alicia Lee: Love-letter from NYC. (If that counts as one word, then also celebratory and grateful!)
Shu Jin Rankin: Inspirational. Love. Journey.
Peter Lee: Really fun day.
Shirel: Challenging, fun and the single most REWARDING thing I’ve ever done
2. How important was cross training in your marathon/Olympic distance triathlon preparation?
Alicia Lee: Cross training at TFR was just as important as long training runs each week. Challenging leg workouts mimicked hill training, which gave me the strength and confidence to tackle all of the bridges that are part of the course. I often took class the day after a long run when my legs were already tired. While that added an extra degree of difficulty to that day’s program, I knew it’s exactly how my legs would feel 20+ miles in and those Sunday classes definitely helped to increase my endurance and stamina. I’m so much stronger and FHIT thanks to taking class a couple times a week, which isn’t just a benefit for marathon training but all aspects of everyday life. Not only did TFR prepare me for the race physically, but each class helped to strengthen the mental toughness needed to complete a marathon. Each week, I pushed myself FHIX after FHIX, and gave it my all until the clock hit zero. Building up that “you got this, you can do anything for 20 more seconds” muscle in my brain paid dividends come race day. I channeled that same grit, determination and confidence from each FHIX, every mile of the race, right down to the finish line. Cross-training at TFR also led me to my running squad! There’s no way I would have made it through marathon training and the race without them. The #FHITfam community is real and I’m so grateful for it.
Shu Jin Rankin: So important! I integrated TFR into my marathon training after getting PR’s in both half marathons I ran earlier this year. TFR has made me a better athlete and improved my overall stamina.
Peter Lee: I’ve used cross training a lot since the middle of 2015 which has really helped me strengthen my legs and core. I think cross training is a large part of what has enabled me to increase my mileage so that I can run a marathon – and actually enjoy it. The workouts at The Fhitting Room challenge my muscles differently than running which allows for areas that may be neglected from running alone to develop.
Shirel: It was incredible just in terms of my body strength and endurance. I utilized so many things I learned at TFR during my race. For example while swimming I started getting a bit tired so every 200 meters I did some Tabata-like drills. 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off for 200 meters then a 200 meter recovery swim. This allowed me to power through while also controlling my heart rate during the swim portion. As a general note, I believe that cross training allows you to really build serious muscles and improve your efficiency as you work certain muscle groups that don’t get as much attention when strictly running or biking.
3. What TFR movement was most helpful to your 26.2/ Olympic distance triathlon?
Alicia Lee: Most helpful physically – jumping lunges. As much as I hate them, it’s one of the best moves to build quad strength, which is so important for runners. And burpees – they really are a total body exercise that just makes you better at everything. Most helpful mentally: a 400m run. Especially when Farouk would sneak an extra run into the program. When I saw the “800m to the finish line” sign during the marathon, all I could think about were those 400m runs. I knew I crushed those runs in class and could do it one more time; that gave me the boost I needed to finish strong.
Shu Jin Rankin: I hate to admit it, but probably my least favorite move, the burpee!
Peter Lee: Toss up between several different leg exercises which require me to keep my core engaged. Goblet squats, kettlebell swings, suitcase lunges. The hundreds of burpees probably help too. 😉
Shirel: THE ROWER. This is by far the best cross training tool anyone could utilize when preparing for a race. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do some serious 60 minute rows with Ben at TFR. When using this machine correctly, you create a tremendous amount of strength and power from your legs and core. You are also able to learn proper breathing techniques and increase both endurance and efficiency. My life motto is “More rower, less everything else!”
4. We sure hope you indulged after crossing the finish line! What did you eat?
Alicia Lee: My dad and sister had a pretzel croissant from City Bakery and hot tea waiting for me after I got my poncho! Almost every one of my long training runs ended with a burger and I wasn’t about to break tradition. We celebrated with my favorite burger in NYC, a cheeseburger with cottage fries at JG Melon, then cupcakes from Two Little Red Hens.
Shu Jin Rankin: A double cheese from Five Guys and too many Cajun flavored fries.
Peter Lee: A large order of Panera mac and cheese.
Shirel: I had a glass of wine, blueberry pancakes and a veggie burger with fries. I literally wanted to eat everything and it was all amazing.
5. What was your marathon mantra or song that kept you going?
Alicia Lee: When it got tough, I just told myself to put one foot in front of the other and that my only goal in that moment was to just keep moving. The cheers from spectators were amazing! Hearing my name made me feel like such a rockstar and that was the best motivation to keep going. Also, part of the Sunday Funday 4pm Penthouse crew came out to cheer me on at the park so I told myself I better hurry up so they could see me and not be late for class!
Shu Jin Rankin: I like to repeat every single exercise and run that has lead me to that moment, so I am often saying, “every burpee, every KB deadlift, every Sunday long run…” to myself, and I match the rhythm of each thought with each foot strike. It helps!
Peter Lee: Since I was running it for fun, I didn’t experience as much discomfort as when racing a marathon, but my friend and I did often repeat “just keep running” since we were dressed as Dory and Nemo.
Shirel: Fun fact about triathlons that I didn’t know going into it was you cannot listen to music on the run. If you do, you get a time penalty. At first I was willing to take the penalty but after the bike ride when I realized I could finish the race sub 4 hours, I decided to forego music and just started running. The one thing I kept repeating to myself (out loud at one point when I hit a wall at mile 5 of the run) was “No one can do this for you, no one can finish this race for you. Do this for yourself.” This is something that had been said to me so many times so I pictured all the people who were rooting for me and I just kept repeating that to myself over and over until I crossed the finish line. It’s incredible how strong your mind needs to be when you hit the wall of exhaustion. And it is even more incredible how the people in your life can be the greatest drivers and motivators for your personal success. This one was definitely as much for all of them as it was for me.
Thanks to Alicia, Shu Jin, Peter and Shirel for sharing your FHITspiration stories with us. Congrats on your FHIT achievement; you have inspired us to HIT it hard in every single FHIX!
Want to share your FHIT story with us? HIT us up at firstname.lastname@example.org!