Friday, January 16, 2015

My Fitness Journey

Today I'm sharing my personal fitness story and how it has changed drastically for me over the last year.  Prior to my diagnosis in January, I would run about 15-20 miles a week and do several other strength-training & toning workouts as well.  There was a time when it wasn't uncommon for me to put in two solid hours of exercise each day and it was something I truly enjoyed - pushing my body to the limit & feeling strong.  But, after I recovered from a severe Lupus flare last winter, I noticed a significant change.  Every time I tried to go to the gym and log my usual miles on the treadmill, I would spend the rest of the day feeling overly fatigued and would sometimes even get sick afterwards.  My body was clearly telling me that it was not yet strong enough to handle such high-intensity workouts.  

Because my health is now something that I have to fight for every day, I've had to re-learn how to properly care for my body - through the foods I eat, getting a full night's sleep & doing exercises that won't exhaust me to the point of triggering another flare.  As frustrating as this realization was for me, I finally was able to let it go & embrace lower-impact workouts that were still effective, but would be gentler on my immune system.  

It's so important for each of us to understand that everyone's path to health is going to look different.  I have friends who run marathons and do Cross Fit competitions...but I have to accept that isn't what my body is capable of (for now) and that's okay.  Comparing ourselves to others will only make us feel defeated and less motivated to continue. The best thing to do is stay focused on your own journey, make an effort to get a little stronger each day & listen to what your body is telling you.  Finding the joy in your workout, whatever it may be, is the key to consistency.

Earlier this week, Old Navy invited me to head into the city to meet up with Mackenzie of Design Darling & try out an SLT fitness class.  Neither one of us had attempted this workout before so it was nice to be novices together.  If you haven't heard of SLT before (it was new to me too!), it's basically a combination of Yoga & Pilates, but all of the moves are done on the Megaformer machine.  It was probably one of the most challenging workouts I have ever done - even though the moves were more controlled & low-impact, we were definitely feeling the burn!  But it was so fun to try something new and, by the end, I left feeling not only stronger, but also relaxed & recharged.  I loved it so much that I've already begun searching to see if I can find a class near me to take again.

I've been wearing Old Navy workout gear religiously for the past few years because the price point is ideal for something you're going to regularly sweat in & they do such a good job of constructing the pieces to be durable.  I have gotten more friends (and even my daughter!) hooked on these compression capris for their flattering & comfortable fit - I own 3 pairs in different colors/prints and just rotate them during the week.  But, be warned: you may not want to take them off after your workout is over!

Maybe you are, like me, adjusting to a "new normal" and trying to learn what workouts will be best for your health. Maybe you are in the middle of intense training for a big challenge ahead.  Maybe you are just beginning & simply trying to keep a New Year's resolution.  Wherever you're at in your fitness journey, I would encourage you to remember that we are all different and that your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. 

What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy Sports Bra, c/o Old Navy Compression Capris

All photos: Anabella V. Photography

Special thank you to Amanda, our instructor, for so graciously teaching us the ropes & pushing us to do our best.  
If you live in the city, I highly recommend checking out her SLT class!
This post was sponsored by Old Navy
Check out Old Navy's latest fashion lineup in store or online at


No comments :