workouts that work for me

96ec185faf973c2cf1d317dda89d9792Being toned and fit and extremely hot is not strictly for people of the two-handed variety. But it does require tons of discipline and several hours of working out, the latter of which can be a bit of a challenge for those of us with a limb difference. Luckily, most exercises can be adapted to fit different levels of ability to yield the same results. And we all want flat abs and muscles, right?


Yes, this is a bathroom selfie.

I’ve tried out many types of workouts, from trampoline gym classes (yes, that’s actually a thing) to kickboxing (don’t try to punch people with a prosthetic fist, seriously) to a Brazilian “bum bum” butt-lifting program. And while I’m not very athletic, I’m definitely adventurous when it comes to trying new things. So I’ve had plenty of opportunities to figure out which workouts are best for me and my body. And this might come as a surprise, but my three favorite workouts are pretty cliche and normal. Also, they’re really easy for anyone, one-handed or not, to do. 

1) Swimming

When I was on the local swim team as a kid, I was hitting the pool three nights a week after school. Swimming laps over and over for two hours at a time was not always exciting, but I did gain a lot of energy and muscle tone. Swimming is easy on the joints and gives you a full-body workout, so it’s my number-one exercise pick. It also doesn’t require me to wear my prosthetic, which is always a plus. And no, in case you were wondering, I don’t sink to one side when I swim. (And yes, someone actually asked me that once.)

2) Running


I take gym selfies, too. Don’t judge me.

I NEVER ran as a kid. I didn’t think I was capable of running until very recently when I hired a trainer to help me get ready for a 5K. I’m awkward as it is when I walk, so I just assumed that awkwardness would be amplified if I tried to run. As it turns out, anyone can be a runner once they learn the proper techniques. So I started running and have been doing so almost five days a week for the past few months. With a good playlist and comfortable sneakers, I can run for hours. (Okay, maybe not hours. But definitely minutes. Lots of minutes.) And I still get my cardio in, with or without the fake arm.

3) Yoga

Confession: I’ve always wanted to be one of those cool yoga girls who eats a vegan diet and buys everything organic and leads a stress-free, super-zen life. But I’m way too anxious and fast-paced and New York to do that. So I think the second-best thing is making time for a yoga class every once in a while. (It’s also the only place in my life right now where it is culturally appropriate for me to wear yoga pants.) And aerial yoga’s my favorite because you get to hang from a trapeze and it almost feels like you’re doing ballet. The floor poses are a little more complicated because I like to do yoga without my prosthetic. I’ve struggled with a few of the poses that require you to balance on both hands. Jen from Born Just Right suggested I use yoga blocks to even out my body and make it easier. And that makes a world of difference. So if you find yourself at a new yoga studio, make sure you ask for extra blocks to use during the more challenging poses. Besides that, though, I’ve never run into any problems with yoga. It’s incredibly relaxing and stress-relieving, so I highly recommend it if you’re a nervous type like I am.

Be warned: this is what you'll find if you open my gym locker.

Be warned: this is what you’ll find if you open my gym locker.

I also feel the need to add a disclaimer here: I haven’t been working out as often as I should lately. Maybe this post will keep me honest and help me stay motivated? We’ll see about that. I’ve already promised myself a morning run tomorrow (if I remember not to press the snooze button eight times….)


Caitlin Michelle


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one-handed recipe – healthy chocolate shake

photoI’ve had a lot of new projects and hobbies on my plate recently, and I thought it’d be a cool idea to share some of those even if they’re not related to the topics I usually post about here. I love writing about my experiences living life with a limb difference, but one of my main goals when I started this blog was to not focus only on my disability. My life is still really full and awesome, and I wanted this to be a place where I could share some of my other interests in addition to personal experiences as a woman with a disability. I mean, I’d be a pretty boring person if I just talked about being one-armed all the time, right?

So with that said, I’d love to share a simple recipe I tried out the other day in my quest to find healthy foods that still taste delicious. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately, so this is one of many recipe experiments (most of which turned out to be inedible failures) I’ve tried recently. I have a major sweet tooth, so I need something sugary to wake me up in the mornings. Here are the ingredients I used:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa powder

3-4 packets of Truvia (or whichever artificial sweetener you prefer)

I blended them together with my Magic Bullet (I love my Magic Bullet blender), and voila! Sometimes I add a bit of instant coffee too, since I’m also admittedly a caffeine addict. The shake makes for a filling snack or an after-dinner treat on most nights. Whichever meal you drink it with, enjoy.


Don’t tell Daniel, but I stole his school travel mug.



Caitlin Michelle


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