This is me.
I’m Katie. I’m 22 years old.
I’m a personal trainer, a runner, and a food enthusiast extraordinaire.
I love running to stay fit and I love eating to stay healthy. Hence, I am a “Hungry Runner.” The funny thing is, I haven’t always been a runner. In fact, I used to hate running. And until very recently, I never gave so much as a second thought to any of the foods that I ate.
For most of my life, I’ve been an athlete. When I was younger, I dabbled in just about everything from cheer leading and horseback riding to softball and ice skating before I tried out for the swim team when I was 11 years old. I don’t know what it was about swimming that hooked me so quickly, but I ended up sticking with it for seven years until I went away to college. (Above, the middle picture is of me at a swim meet.)
As you can imagine, swimming competitively for two hours a day, six days a week, for seven years straight had a profound effect on my body. I was burning up to 2,000 calories or more per workout and in in turn, I had quite an enormous appetite. I was able to eat Poptarts as dessert after breakfast, french fries with lunch, and have three servings at dinner without ever gaining so much as a pound. I was effortlessly able to maintain a healthy weight of about 115 pounds, plus some pretty nice muscle definition, without ever having to give a second thought to diet or exercise. Oh, those were the days.
Then came college. After much debate, I chose not to swim competitively because I knew how big of a time commitment it would be. I was interested in pursuing other things (like writing and editing for the school newspaper) that I knew I wouldn’t have time for if I had chosen to join the swim team. So, my high-intensity, two-hour-a-day workouts were suddenly taken completely out of the equation, and at the same time, I was introduced to the tempting and not-so-healthy world of college campus food. For someone who was used to being able to eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted with absolutely no consequences, this was basically a fool proof recipe for gaining weight in a matter of no time at all. And that’s what happened. I began to gain weight for the first time in my life and suddenly discovered what it felt like to feel uncomfortable in my own skin.
I never became unhealthily overweight. I only ever gained about 10 to 15 pounds. I was still at a relatively normal weight for my height, but I just wasn’t used to the extra few pounds (mostly in my stomach), and I desperately missed the feeling of being in peak physical shape. I had managed to remain active, frequenting the gym 3 or more times a week and my diet wasn’t atrocious, but it could have been a lot better and I definitely could have been working out a lot smarter.
When I look back at that time now, I see that my two major obstacles were that I didn’t know how to work out to lose weight, and despite what I thought, I had no idea what it actually meant to eat healthily. So, for the most part of the three years I spent at school, I held onto the extra weight I had gained and I couldn’t figure out why- no matter what I did- I couldn’t uncover my previously slender and toned swimmer’s physique.
Fast forward to now. I’ve slimmed back down to my “swimmer status” physique and I feel stronger than ever. I still love to eat, but in a much healthier way than I ever have before. The two biggest changes that I’ve made are that I run more (much more!) and I’ve learned how to really eat healthily. It’s not easy, but if you’re interested in a healthier lifestyle you can read my blog to find out how I eat and workout on a daily basis to make sure my fit and healthy physique is here to stay.
I owe a lot of credit for my success to help from others, but I’ve also learned a lot on my own along the way and I’ve found that the real changes came when I decided to stop trying to lose weight and made the all-in decision to just do it.
So, if you really want it and you’re willing to make changes there’s no reason at all why anybody can’t lose weight, get in shape, and stay fit!