Photo: Aaron Courtland
By La Tasha Taylor
As a young girl growing up in Houston, Joy Sewing always dreamed of becoming a journalist. Today, she is the Houston Chronicle’s fashion and beauty editor, covering fashion, beauty, fitness and other lifestyle topics. She writes the ShopGirl blog on Chron.com and her FitGirl column run in the Chronicle’s HealthZone section. A former competitive ice skater, Joy became Houston’s first professional African-American figure skating coach while still in college. She speaks with BSM about fitness.
A day in the ‘fitness life’ of Joy Sewing usually involves what?
I’m not a morning person, so with my crazy work schedule, I have to work out in the morning because I might not get a chance to do it later. I usually walk or run 2-3 miles in the park about four times a week. I’m so not a runner, but I have started running because I have a Boxer puppy who really needs the exercise. Running also adds variety to my workouts and helps me increase my endurance. For strength training and core work, I go to HardCore Pilates, a studio that offers a fast-paced Pilates workout using a Reformer. I’ve never had arms with such definition before. I’ve also started jumping rope 15-20 minutes a day to increase my cardio and because it’s so easy to do. On days when I have time, I go to the gym and push myself through the intervals on the StairMaster and the TRX suspension training.
You are the Fashion & Beauty editor for the Houston Chronicle. How do fashion, beauty and fitness intertwine for you?
Fitness is such an important part of feeling good and looking good. I know when I am fit, healthy and strong, I feel more beautiful and make better fashion choices. I’m more apt to wear color and focus on the fit of my clothes, rather than throw on something black or dark to hide because I don’t like the way my body looks. Fitness has been a part of my life since I was very young. I grew up playing tennis and was a competitive figure skater. As I’ve gotten older I realized fitness is less about competing and more about feeling strong and empowered. We smile brighter and stand taller when we are fit and healthy. I have this theory that people dress better when they are in love, so maybe we also dress better when we’re fit.
You recently launched FitGirl. Please explain what that is to our readers?
Last fall, I started writing a monthly column called FitGirl for the Chronicle’s HealthZone section in which I try out new fitness classes and studios in the Houston area. I like having variety in my workouts. I saw the column as an opportunity to test the waters with something new. I didn’t expect how many people would respond to the column. It just proves we all are looking for variety and fun in our fitness efforts. Many times when we plateau in our workouts it’s because we’re bored, don’t feel challenged or don’t have time. FitGirl gives people information so they can explore the many fitness options that are out there. My new FitGirl Facebook page is an extension of the column and will offer information, tips and even inspirational stories of people getting fit. I just posted how my colleague Joey Guerra, who is the Chronicle’s music critic, lost 70 pounds in the last year. He said he didn’t want his baby son to see him so unfit and out of shape. Those are the stories that make us all inspired.
FitGirl Joy Sewing channels her love for fitness into her monthly FitGirl column in the Houston Chronicle’s HealthZone tab and on chron.com. She embodies everyday lifestyle living with such a zest for fitness diversity. To connect with her about fashion and fitness visit: