THE POWER OF SHE!
Our bodies are truly capable of more than we realize. As women I think as women we don’t spend enough time loving ourselves and recognizing the power we have within. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, but I can now say I am proud of my body and all it can do. I am inspired every day by the women around me taking care of their bodies both mentally and physically and I am even more inspired by the women who take the time to support and empower one another. Athleta is committed to building a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls who empower each other and I am excited to partner with them on this post.
The Power of She
Athleta’s Power of She campaign is all about the power of women and the potential of our bodies. You all know I am passionate about wellness, and even more passionate about the power of women, so this was the perfect fit. Working with Athleta inspired me to reexamine the role exercise plays in my life and reengage in my fitness routines.
Exercise is more than just fitness for me. It serves as an outlet and brightens even the toughest days. Exercise reminds me that I am strong even when I feel weak or unmotivated. Moving my body also connects me to the bigger picture. It reminds me that I am alive and capable of movement. Not everyone has that luxury, including many I know who cannot exercise without pain. I embrace these days pain-free movement, because it was not too long ago that chemo coursed through my veins and I had days filled with fatigue and weakness.
Women & Fitness: Why Exercise?
Exercise can seem daunting at times. Weight lifting, marathons, crossfire… it can seem like everyone is an expert. We can fall into the trap of comparison and start thinking we’re not good enough. Exercise should be unique to you though and it’s just another means of taking care of your body. Instead of worrying about being the best, focus on starting. Start with something that you enjoy. Maybe a long walk with your family, a hike with your dog, swimming at the gym, or yoga at home. Pick something attainable and make it a part of your routine. With time, your skill level will improve and you may become inspired to push yourself further physically. Working out with a friend is another way to build your motivation. Encourage one another and soon you’ll both be making strides.
Finding beautiful comfortable workout clothes inspires me to move my body more. Life can always get in the way, but with the perfect outfit and an upbeat soundtrack, anything is achievable.
Athleta has an amazing selection of workout items, loungewear and swimwear (which I can’t wait to try). When I went to the Crabtree store, the employees took their time to learn about my breast cancer story and help me pick items that would meet my needs. The Power of She bra is literally the most comfortable sports bra I have ever worn. It feels like I’m not wearing anything at all and that means a lot coming from someone who doesn’t even have to wear a bra anymore. It even has prosthetic pockets for women who have gone through a mastectomy. The thick strap on the bust line also ensures there is no scratching or chaffing, super important for anyone with surgical scars or radiated skin in that area.
It’s More Than the Clothes
I absolutely love that Athleta‘s Power of She campaign is about more than just the clothes. It’s about the women and empowering each other to go further than we imagined. It’s so easy to lose ourselves in self-doubt and step back from opportunities for fear of failing. With strong women surrounding and encouraging us, we discover the talents and strengths we may have never exercised before. Not only do we learn about ourselves, but we gain new appreciation for the power of the female community. I love supporting a brand that is so aligned with my mission for health, beauty and empowerment in the face of adversity.
Finding Compassion for Your Body
I have written many times about my struggles with self-doubt and negative body image. Going through breast cancer has helped me reconnect with my body and rebuild my strength. It has taken time, but I value my body more now than ever before. I am proud of the woman I have become. My perseverance and resilience has given me a new sense of empowerment. I now feel I have a responsibility to honor my body and take care of it not because I want to lose weight, but because my body is truly of value. My body is capable of so much more than I ever knew. Through exercise I am able to build strength mentally and physically and create habits of wellness that will last a lifetime. For more on my eating habits check out this post I wrote for I Had Cancer.
Thank you to Athleta for creating beautiful, comfortable clothes that make me feel strong, confident and beautiful as I define my life after cancer and the role that exercise plays in it. You two can join the Power of She campaign. Share your story of female empowerment and how exercise impacts your life on social media and use the hashtag #PowerofShe.