Shanelle Gabriel

Battling Lupus with Weights and Words

Placed 40th

in her group

Ms. Health and Fitness and Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors would like to thank Shanelle Gabriel and her voters for helping us donate to our injured United States military veterans!

What would you recommend to others who want to be fit and healthy?

You have to define what “fit & healthy” is for you. So many of us chase definitions set by other people based on stereotypes and photoshopped images. Fit might be being able to walk up the stairs without being winded or being able to eat a vegetable-based diet most of the week. Those smaller goals lead to bigger ones and overall wellness.

How does fitness positively influence your life?

I was diagnosed with lupus in 2004 and was told a list of things lupus wouldn’t allow me to do. I decided that I would find a way. Fitness is my way of managing my illness, countering the side effects of medications, helping improve my mood, and allowing me to feel like I have taken back control of my body. I run half marathons to raise money for lupus research, even after nearly dying from 2 pulmonary embolisms. I aim to show others that lupus is not a death sentence. I’m still Shan

If you were the next Ms Health and Fitness, what would you do with $20,000?

I would invest in a wellness tour for youth to be able to learn yoga, meditation, how to stay healthy and more.