Category Archives: Exercise

Stand Up, Be Strong

“Don’t let your young life get you down” 

   Brand New Heavies, Brother Sister

Tonight I was driving to exercise class and one of my favorite songs, Brother Sister, by the Brand New Heavies came on. I started listening to the lyrics and was struck by how blessed I am and how far I have come over the years.

I remember so clearly how when I was a child I tripped and fell all the time. I wonder now if that imbalance problem was an early sign of the lupus to come. In my preteens I started getting terrible pain in my legs. By high school my legs would swell like a sausage sometimes and in college I went through a lupus flare in which I couldn’t really walk. I literally could not lift myself up from a seated position without help. Once up, my legs would shake and it felt like a puff of air would knock me over.

Fast forward to today, I am not only standing and walking, I am going to a dance-based exercise class three times a week. If that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.

Stand up
Be strong go out there
Hold on
To the real things that matter
‘Cause no one’s gonna hand’ em to you
On a silver platter

Brother Sister, Brand New Heavies

So my Butterfly Lesson for today is borrowed directly from the Brand New Heavies: Don’t let lupus keep you down. Stand Up and Be Strong!

Take Care,

Katina Rae Stapleton

P.S. Check out BNH performing this live.

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Does Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? Lupus, Exercise, and Clutter (#HAWMC 18)

“Fat, thin, cluttered, clean-I want you to find the life that makes you happy.” Peter Walsh

I am a huge reader and often find inspiration and practical advice in books. So when I read today’s HAWMC challenge, I headed to my bookshelf and pulled down Does this Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? by organizer Peter Walsh.

Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today.


Peter’s book inspired me to think about my personal relationship with lupus, exercise, and clutter:

When I am tired or hurting, I tend to put things down and just leave them. And if taking a nap, exercising, and doing my laundry are in direct competition, napping wins most of the time.

Lupus flares make me tired,
Being tired leads to clutter,
Seeing my clutter makes me tired,
Being tired leads to lupus flares.
Lupus flares make it hard to exercise,
Lack of exercise leads to weight gain,
Weight gain makes my lupus flare,
Lupus flares make me tired.

I found this passage from Does this Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? when I turned to a random page. I think it is very powerful.

The only person who can create the life you want is you. Like it or not, no knight in shining armor is coming to make the situation better for you. Your destiny is firmly in your own hands. If you are unhappy with the life you have or unsatisfied with the body you have, then you should change it. . .

The Butterfly Lesson is: while I can’t cure my lupus, I can exercise and get rid of clutter.

Take care,

Katina Rae Stapleton

Best Conversation I Had This Week (#HAWMC Day 8)

The Day 8 prompt for the Health Activist Writers Month Challenge is called “Best conversation I had this week.” Our charge was to “Try writing script-style (or with dialogue) today to recap an awesome conversation you had this week.”

Here goes mine . . . .

The Background:

Over the 20+ years I have had lupus, I’ve gone through periods of disease-related weight-loss and weight-gain. Like many people with lupus, when I am having flares it is often hard for me to get the energy (or motivation for that matter) to exercise. A few months back, I decided to buckle down and slowly reintroduce exercise into my routine in a way that I could keep up over time and wouldn’t trigger a flare. I had two motivations for my determination to exercise:

  1. My doctors made some not very gentle suggestions that I needed to lose weight.
  2. I am going to the 2012 Star Trek Convention this summer in Vegas as Uhura and need to fit into her costume (except with not quite so much leg showing!)

The Best Conversation I Had This Week:

Katina’s Doctor: You’ve lost 16 pounds since I saw you last. You’ve done a great job.

Katina: Thanks!

Take Care,

Katina Rae Stapleton