To learn more about STROKE AWARENESS MONTH, Ashlee White, founder of Styletto Life & Cast Member of Bravo TV’s LI Princesses, shares her personal survivor story and how fitness still plays a role in her life.
We at Lucille Roberts are completely moved by your story. May is Lupus and Stroke Awareness Month – how do you think your story helps people dealing with similar struggles?
Learning you have a serious health condition isn’t easy. Luckily I have had tremendous support from family and friends but not everyone is that fortunate. Sometimes, all it takes is hearing someone else’s story to motivate you to fight better and harder. If my story helps one person feel less alone and allows them to relate to someone else dealing with a similar issue, my job is done!
How much does fitness play a role in your daily routine today?
In all honesty, not enough. I am on the go a lot so I am always moving around but I fell off the wagon in the past year. My main priority has been my health – which of course ties back to fitness – but the scheduling has just been difficult. I need to get back in the gym with a trainer and reset!
What is your favorite work out?
Hot/Bikram Yoga! Makes me feel like all the toxins have been flushed out!
Was there any concern or hesitation about working out since your stroke?
Actually, yes. It was difficult learning that I had Lupus – that was ultimately what was causing the strokes. And although Lupus is thankfully manageable, there are days that I just don’t feel good. I’ve wanted to get back to fitness for quite some time but I admit, there has been hesitation due to the sporadic nature of my condition. I don’t want to do anything that might further hurt my body or spark an episode of sorts – but at the same time, I know how important it is for both body and mind. I get scared if my heart rate speeds up because of my history of strokes. I know I have to stretch outside of my comfort zone and fight the fear!
I have always been a believer that fitness is a great mood stimulator and stress reliever so I desperately want to get back to it!
Have you had to change your diet at all since these diagnoses?
Not really. I have always been cautious about what I eat. My sister is a health nut so being around her has been a good influence! She’s a great cook and so I am always eating her food. But I’ll let you in on a little secret – I love chicken fingers.
Do you feel pressure to be in shape since you are often getting noticed and photographed?
Sometimes, yes. Only because the camera adds ten pounds! I am really petite, a whopping 4’9 so a few extra pounds can be really noticeable on me. At the same time, being healthy is the most important thing to me. So, if it means a few extra pounds here and there, I am ok with it. Inside beauty matters the most to me – so I mostly try to focus on growing there.
Do you think living your best life means being fit?
That is a tough one! I think living your best life means being happy. If a brownie or slice of pizza is going to do that for you, then by all means, enjoy. As long as you are regularly checking blood pressure, cholesterol and getting yearly checks ups, I think your best life is one that makes you smile.
You have a new brand website launching soon called Styletto Life. Can you tell us more about it?
I am launching a media property called Styletto Life shortly – which coincidently is about living your best life! It has a lifestyle meets luxury flare and will highlight the best in beauty, wellness and style – both written and via a collection of videos. I will also be spotlighting women who are involved in charitable causes because these days that is really important to me. I have been working with the American Heart Association to help raise money for their programs and will be speaking at the SLE Lupus event on June 10th in NYC. Since I’ve been more involved with charitable causes, I have met so many inspiring people who are starting their own foundations and I want to help them spread their message.
Ashlee, recently diagnosed with Lupus experienced her first stroke at 29 years old which resulted in loss of mobility, short term memory and speech. Through intensive physical and restorative speech therapy along with support from loved ones, Ashlee made a full recovery. Unfortunately, over the next three years, Ashlee suffered additional strokes but was able to restore all mobility as well. Her work with the American Heart Association and S.L.E Lupas Foundation helps raise money for continued research and prevention. Ashlee is soon launching an editorial media property called Styletto Life that will feature trends in luxury living, beauty, wellness and fashion. Ashlee is also known for her role in Bravo TV’’s Princesses: Long Island.