Healthy Living: Karen's Story

>> Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Karen writes:

I'd like to start by saying that I love your blog! I check it everyday and it is always filled with relevant interesting posts. (Thanks, Karen!)I've especially enjoyed the new healthy living entries. It's always inspiring to read about the quests others take towards healthy habits and a healthy self image. My story is not particularly remarkable, but it has changed the way I live and eat.

When I was young I was always a thin, bouncy, and hyper kid. I was quirky and a perfectionist when it came to my studies. It was only a matter of time before my high standards were applied to my self image. After gaining a few pounds in high school, I became very aware and self conscience of my figure. (I was still fairly thin and in a healthy weight range, but I was not used to the change. Hence, I was scared to death of gaining more weight.) Over the next couple of years, I lost close to fifteen pounds. This weight loss, of course, was accomplished through restricting what I ate and being really busy with several high school activities.

Thankfully, I was spared from truly starving myself, but I was clearly not eating enough. I can really relate to your story, Ashley, when you talk about getting lightheaded and feeling weak. I was also hungry and, therefore, always thinking about the one thing I didn't want to think about, food. My thoughts led to binge eating, a habit which is very hard to get rid of once it enters your life.

It was somewhere in this vicious cycle where my focus shifted from too little food to healthy whole food. I consider this shift truly a blessing, as I began reading books on healthful eating -- books all about whole grains, local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. I also began reading about vegetarianism. My then-fiance (now husband) was skeptical about adopting a diet without meat, but now he is just as convinced as I am (perhaps even more, he has always found chicken a little gross).

Slowly I came out of my self image disillusion. I began running (which I had always thought sounded like some cruel form of self-inflicted punishment). I've now adopted a system where I walk-run, since running straight left my knees and joints sore. I feel awesome after getting my heart-rate up and the most I've done so far at once is seven miles. Healthy eating and exercise has really changed to way I live and feel. I have a passion for feeding people healthy, delicious food and I'm now considering going to school for dietetics so I can become a registered dietician.

Thanks for reading =)

Karen (from A Healthy Endeavor)

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