Healthy Living: Jenna's Story

>> Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jenna writes:

I've been reading everyone's healthy living stories and wanted to share my own. I read your blog every day (Thanks, Jenna!), and lots of the posts are inspirational. I'm hoping to provide a little inspiration too!

Throughout high school, I was very active. Cheer, dance, and cross country took over my life. I had zero time. I was skinny and felt amazing. After high school passed and college started, so did my problem with weight. Since I was no longer participating in sports (I had to quit my cheer career due to injury), I started gaining weight like crazy. I'm not talking a hundred pounds, I'm just talking about that extra weight that everyone tends to carry around. I definitely was part of that "freshmen 15" category. I'm only 5 feet tall, and anyone who is short knows what a change 15 pounds can make.

Fast forward a bit: I got married, then gained 15 more, and it's at this point where my story truly begins.

After getting married I "let myself go," in a sense. I stopped running completely, got a second job to pay for school, and stopped doing the things I loved. One day, my husband found a Collie/Lab mix on Craigslist. We were about to buy a house, so we eagerly went to get her because we knew we'd have space. She was the runt, but being a Lab mix, had tons of energy. Everything changed when we got our dog. I started walking her (Zoey) every day to get rid of that energy she had balled up. All that walking helped her a lot . . . and guess what!

I even lost some weight!

Walking Zoey made me feel good. I was toning up, and she was getting tired. As she grew, so did our routine. We now run instead of walk, and I'm at a comfortable weight (not my high school weight -- that would be impossible -- but I'm healthy and eat much more healthfully too!). I thought I'd get sick of running her every day, but it turns out that we need each other. She needs to get out and go, and I need to take a moment for myself.

Since I started running again, my whole world has changed. I have more energy, my marriage is better than ever, and my dogs (we have a Great Dane as well, who gets walked right after Z's runs) are healthy as can be. For a while I forgot about the power of exercise, but when you have a dog that waits for you at the door for that nightly walk or run, it's impossible to forget.

For a while I felt discouraged, like I'd never be able to feel healthy again without cheering or dancing (which is a thing of the past) and the moment I started running again I felt myself come back to life. I'm happier overall, and that's what counts. It's not your weight or how far you can go that matters, it's how you feel.

Thanks for reading my story!

Jenna Scott (from Running Wild)

In need of some healthy fitspiration? While you're here, you can read more great stories like Jenna's -- as well as submit your own healthy living story to be featured on our site!

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