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Petite Portrait: Meet Joanna Salem

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Joanna Salem (5’3”) is a fitness and wellness lifestyle blogger focused on empowering women to be stronger. Her writing focuses on her fitness journey while at the same time exploring new and interesting workouts in San Francisco. Throughout her journey, she has learned the values of independence, self-love, and body confidence. Joanna has already lost 27 lbs. since October 2017 (42 lbs. total since 2007). Her ultimate goal is to reach a normal BMI (a marker for low risk of diseases) and to gain strength, rather than to be “skinny.”

Often, the biggest hurdle to start a fitness journey is the belief that it’s too hard or too much trouble. Joanna strives to prove that anybody can gain strength, endurance, and agility with proper and consistent training.

Joanna also encourages a fit mind through mental wellness practices, including self-care, nature exploration and immersion, and supporting strong friendships. Fitness starts with the mind and the body will follow. Let’s get to know this inspiring, #PowerfullyPetite fitness aficionado!

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Current location: San Francisco, CA (Total California Girl!)

Birth sign: Capricorn--pragmatic, ambitious, and determined

The inspiration behind Get Fit Joanna is: 2017 was not my year. I completed graduate school the year before, only to feel stuck in an unfulfilling job. I was unhappy with my romantic relationship, too. All the stress and fears caused me to overeat. I remember sitting at my work desk thinking about how unhappy I felt. I stepped out of the office to sob in the hallway. I did not recognize myself anymore.

I sought help in small ways at first--Google searching tips to fix my relationships and how to communicate with project managers. I started riding my bike to work, eating more salads, and trying to be more social. But it was all overwhelming, so I decided to go to therapy. I needed a fresh start. I knew I needed to make two tough decisions. Soon after, I broke up with my boyfriend and got a new job.

At the same time I started my new job, I planned a rigorous exercise and healthy eating plan. I started Get Fit Joanna to hold myself accountable. I planned to take a photo every time I worked out. I hate weighing myself, but I knew that if I took progress photos after every workout, I’d see noticeable changes after time. After positive responses from friends, I decided to start a blog to share my story with more people.

One of my goals this year: Reach a normal BMI

Someone I look up to: Mindy Kaling. I love her confidence and sense of humor!

Three words that describe my personal style: Simple, functional, and fun

My day-to-day style is: You would think I always wear workout leggings, but most of the time my look is clean-cut with an edgy twist. I usually wear a tucked in blouse with fitted dark pants and dark ankle boots. I pair it with a moto or fuzzy jacket.

My weekday uniform: Dark pants with belt and fitted top

Outfit that makes me feel most confident: Red hot pants, a tied tank, and Wayfarer Ray Bans.

My favorite workout right now: Boxing

One of my favorite studios: Form Boxing at Empower Gym in North Beach (San Francisco). Form Boxing features a 30-min HIIT-style boxing class with no breaks. It emphasizes pure power and speed. It makes me feel strong, capable, and able to defend myself.

My go-to meal when I cook: Rosemary salmon with garlic potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts. Salmon is protein-rich with omega-3 fatty acids--very good for building muscle and maintaining healthy skin. Everything is cooked with extra virgin olive oil, which is also incredibly good for the skin!

Self-care tip I live by: Make preparing for bed a nightly ritual. I spend 30 minutes getting ready for bed. First, I put my phone away. I fill up my air diffuser. Play soft Indie music using my Amazon Echo. (Sometimes do a little dance.) Dim the lights. Remove my make-up. Wash my face. Spray on toner. Apply my night cream; sometimes add facial oil if my face is dry. Drink a glass of water. Turn down my bed, which I also make every single morning.

My typical weekend: Catching up on sleep, 1-2 workouts, and getting outside to enjoy the sunshine.

Where you’ll find me next: Camping by the beach in Mendocino

If there’s a petite lady in your life who is doing inspiring work that makes a big difference, email us at hello@s64petite.com so we can feature her! xo