My Story. / by Katie Brown

Do you ever look at someone and think, “I wish I could do that” or ‘why can’t I do that”, "why cant i be like that". Im here to tell you, you can. I’m sure you look at some people think that it must just come easier to them or that you are just not strong enough. I'm here to tell you YOU CAN and YOU ARE. I used to say that all the time to myself but I'm here and believe me, it does not come easy to me.

Everyone in the world (undoubtably) says, “I want to be healthier”. But, REALLY, what does that even mean? Lets be real, “being healthy” doesn’t have 1 clear definition like most other things in our life. We all have a different version or definition but truthfully, I feel, it has become the most cliche term that exists. So, if thats the case, do I consider myself healthy? I mean, yes, i guess technically, but I try not to even use that word anymore. Question for you before you continue to read. What is YOUR definition of “healthy”? I’m going to quickly assume your first thought is, “eat more vegetables”. While that is partly true, try to think of something deeper and more meaningful. 

Have I always been this way? Had this mindset? Had this lifestyle? HELL NO! Was it hard to get here. HELL YES! I gain weight easily, I can lose motivation easily, i'm in love with pizza and i hate running. All of those things, even though they are true, held me back from being my REAL self .. because I thought I couldn't ever feel good if those things were the case. I thought, ugh i have to go on runs and stop eating pizza if i want to be skinny (which is all I cared about). But i'm here to say, I DONT run and I DO eat a lot of pizza. AND I feel better mentally and psychically better than I EVER have. Thats the beauty of it all.  No i'm not saying I stuff my fave whenever and with whatever I want and never work out.... i'm just staying straight facts. That being said, find a workout that you LOVE. If you hate the gym, don't go to the gym; find something else you like to do. If eating pizza makes you happy, don't restrict yourself because then you're going to want even when you don't want it. But, there will be more on this topic later.

A little about me; growing up with a bad ass chef as a mother, I had with family dinners almost every night and saw the amount of love and passion that went into my moms meals. We hardly ate out & I actually lived too far out in the country on a farm that nothing even delivered to us. It was a freaking TREAT when my mom and I would get Chinese take out. She never said the words healthy, unhealthy, etc to me so I didn't really think about what was or wasn't. I just ate, to fuel my body and mind. But, as I went to college and was feeding my body with LOTS of cafeteria food and LOTS of alcohol, late nights (and basically no veggies or nutrients).. the weight started to creep in, QUICKLY. And thats when the words healthy and unhealthy were all I thought about. By the end of my freshman year, I couldn’t fit into any pants I brought with me. My sophomore year I wore sweatpants & nike shorts, oversized t-shirts and dresses. While doing so, I was gaining more weight and I was so wrapped up into college and the lifestyle I had chosen at that point, it didn't matter. Do I regret that? Not realllllyyyyy….because college is COLLEGE and I will never get those years back. But, I did spend the second 2 years of college trying to be a little better in my choices and work out a little more but was kind of in denial and made a lot of excuses. I become obsessed with “trying to be healthy”. [keyword: trying. because I never actually was]

After college, that same obsession just continued where I would not eat carbs or anything I deemed "unsafe" during the week and then on the weekend would binge DRINK with friend, eat ANYTHING until the point of extreme uncomfort and then would wake up and have what we called “Fat Sunday”. aka, a day that I would eat whatever I wanted because basically it was my “last supper” before the week started and I knew wouldn't be eating much. I did this cycle for about 6 years. My body was constantly in shock and couldn’t keep up. I would basically gain 5-10 pounds over the weekend in water weight and junk and then spend my entire week “trying to lose that weight” just so I look a little better going into the weekend, just to do it all over again. Any of this sound familiar to you? If this is currently how you live, I can promise you, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you used to be that way, you know how freeing it is to get out of that cycle. During that time, yes I was having fun but deep down, I was unhappy, unhealthy and basically in jail in my own mind and body. 

2016 rolled around, 5 years after college and I was constantly sick. Strept throat, headache, stomach aches, tired (mind and body) from constantly “trying to be skinny” and "trying to be healthy". It was getting strept throat monthly, having to stay home from work and got it so often I ended up having to get my tonsils out. I honestly think my immune system was revolting against me because my health was consistently down. A little while after that, a doctor found a crazy big lump in my uterus. It was something called a fibroid; which is common for women that sometimes develop during ovulation and they can come and go. Mine stayed and continued to get bigger and bigger. I had to get it removed. I was basically on bedrest for . month. I couldn’t wait to get back to my routine. Then I thought about it and had extreme anxiety thinking about going back to that lifestyle. At that point, I new I needed to new routine because it dawned on me that I wasn’t truly happy in that life because my mind was CONSUMED with weight and food. At that moment, I decided to make a change.

During this time, it took some time to find myself. I went through periods of not drinking, obsessing over losing weight, went on weight watchers, went off WW, times where I got super “off track”, times where I thought my way was the only way, felt lonely, felt lost, but also felt a sense of freedom, passion, excitement and challenge. All of that brought me to TODAY. And through all of that trial and error, I finally found MYSELF, found who I am, found what makes me tick, what makes me truly feel ALIVE and what works for ME; what makes me happy and what I need in my life to THRIVE (which is actually practicing the art of living a balanced lifestyle). This looks a little different to everyone and something that takes a little time and trial and error but will happen if you let it. 

I type all this out not to be negative, not for pity or anything like that, but to allow you to remember that instagram shows the BEAUTY in people (which is great!!) but doesn’t show where they came from, what they’ve been through and why they are who they are. EVERYONE has a story and ANYONE can live the life they want to live. So next time you think, “I wish….”, remember everyone has or is going though something and that everything happens for a reason. Your experiences, your decisions, your regrets, the people who come in and out of your life, all of that, allows you to become the person you are today. You can do anything or be anyone you put your mind to. 

I will end this to say, I have made decisions in my life I am not proud of, I have said things, done things and reacted in a way I wish I hadn't. College was a time I made a lot of those decisions but it has led me to WHO I am today. What I learned from that was, its not about what happens TO YOU, its about how you REACT to it. We all have unfair things happen, get into shitty situations, etc but what matters is how you handle yourself. From here on out, do what makes YOU happy, feel good and allows you to live your best life. You have this one life to live, be happy and feel good doing it. 

 

If you are struggling with something similar, know that I was there once (and its always a work in process) but that Food Freedom is the most free I have ever felt, in my life. Even though food is such a HUGE part of my life (and now my work), I knew my mind and body deserves more than 95% of the time obsessing over what I was going to be eating next and if I was going to help me "be skinny". If you feel that you are far down this hole of restricting and obsessing and wanting and wishing, know that there is a way out. You just have to commit and figure out what works for YOU.