Friday, April 24, 2020

The Game Changer in my Fitness Routine

Dear Reader, 

As a chronic illness warrior, wellness is a top priority (and yet consistency is this unattainable trait).  I have A1AT, mild COPD, and moderate asthma - that limits things a bit.  And though there are days, even weeks, where I carve out workout routines and manage to keep up; there are also the days, weeks, or even months (especially in the winter) when my numbers tend to fluctuate down to my lowest, and I only get more frustrated with myself when I realize that I haven't been "keeping up".

I learned many years ago that gym memberships, app memberships, and competitive-anything were only going to leave me feeling inadequate and disappointed in myself.  BUT I also knew that I needed to get fit where I could, and when I could, to strengthen my overall health to help compensate for my lungs on bad days. 

And three years ago, I stumbled on a fit community on Instagram not to long after I first joined the platform (to raise awareness about A1AT and share how to live an adapted life with chronic illness).  This community was FREE, supportive, encouraging, empowering, creative, and quirky - and three YEARS later, I am still participating when I can.  It is by far the most consistent workout program I have ever done, and I love it!  
And a brand new 28 day cycle is starting THIS Sunday!
What's the name?  Read on:

bohemian catholic fitness routine game changer fitgirlsguide

So this amazing, fun, quirky, hard working community is called Fit Girls.  You can find them on all social media platforms, and here is there website.  I promise this is not an ad, or affiliate marketing thing, I'm not getting paid, or receiving a return, I just really love it that much that I wanted to write a review about it! 
The Basics & Community
Now how does this thing work?  Well you can buy their ebooks on their website (they run frequent sales, and you can buy sets, or individual ones).  I bought a bundle two years ago, and I love the encouragement, workout routines, schedule/planners, menu plans, recipes, and even coloring pages!  But it isn't a necessity to participate.

The main sense of community comes from their stellar fitgirlsguide instagram handle, and their almost 5 millionnnnn followers!  They share before/after's frequently, post great "getting to know you posts", and host 28 day "cycles" complete with a calendar where you can tag them, fellow "fitgirls", and use themed hashtags throughout.  You do not have to pay for any of this, and yet they still host giveaways!  How cool is that!?

fitgirlsguide instagram feed fitgirls

In between "cycles", they have "intercession week" with a posted fitness routine for the whole week (I keep them saved and use them for inspiration).  And the best part of this community is that I've managed to find amazing women who both encourage me, cheer me on, and aren't afraid to be just as quirky as I am - as in frequent, "YAAASS Mermaid gal!"  "Glorious unicorn!"  "Don't dull your sparkle!!" - kind of cheering ;)

Now how do you get the most out of it when you have a chronic illness?
Well when they share workout routines, I'm fortunate enough to know that I am able to do most of them, but if I can't - I simply look up the routine on a search engine and then type, "adapted" in front of it.  Turns out I'm not the only one who needs this!  It's a great way to break a sweat, without hurting yourself (like who needs that?!)

BUT this community is just as much about finding ways to encourage self care: muscle gain is as important as fat loss, and non-scale-victories are just as celebrated.  And for some of us chronic illness warriors that's a beautiful thing! To have that celebration, and encouragement, and out of the box, adapted, different-shifts-of-focus as we take a step by step to reach our goals.

So to sum it up: I hope you know that if you feel discouraged, or too different from the instagram models you see on your feed, or maybe think you're too weird to fit in with your local gym - well, there's a community for that, and like I said, a brand new cycle starts this Sunday (see you there!)

Links to dig deeper:
My personal/fit girls instagram account
the Fit Girls app
Adapted Workouts (hoping to make my own blog post about this soon!)

Much love,
Stock photo credit: Burst via


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