"After" Pictures {Piloting Paper Airplanes}

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What inspired me to begin my fitness journey?

My fit story probably begins very similarly to yours. I’d been active as a kid and all through high school. Soccer teams, competitive swimming, and finally dancing. In my junior year of high school, I was taking 6 dance classes plus a couple extra rehearsals every week. That, and walking to work four days. I’ve always been curvy, but I was in shape and never thought much about what I ate.

The result was that I never learned to be responsible for my health. When I went off to college, a maxed-out class load and working 2 or 3 jobs meant I didn’t make time to workout. Heck, I didn’t even have time to learn how to be healthy on my own.

"Before" Pictures {Piloting Paper Airplanes} fit story

Photos from my junior and senior year of college.

After I graduated, I decided it was finally time to take control of my health. It started with a short jog around my neighborhood. The first time I ran a full mile was so exciting! I ran nearly every day those first few months. The next step was incorporating strength training and yoga. Then I realized I needed to change my eating habits. I lost nearly 30 pounds that first year! I was finally starting to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My fit story was becoming mine.

Fast forward to graduate school, and I was able to maintain a good level of fitness. I gained back some, but nothing unmanageable. These days I’m married without classes or kids, so I have more time to focus on health. I spend a lot of time reading and researching different eating styles; I meal plan for Jon and myself; I workout 4–6 days a week.

I’m not the fittest I could be, and that’s OK! Sure, I’d love to lose 5 more pounds – honestly, who wouldn’t? – but a big part of this journey is accepting and truly loving where I’m at. I have to remind myself every. single. day. that I am a beautiful person of value with plenty of talent to offer the world. As I learn to appreciate that about myself, I am learning to better recognize and appreciate that about others.

"After" Pictures {Piloting Paper Airplanes} fit story

Photos from grad school and our honeymoon.

Finish this sentence: I workout because ________.

When I started running, I ran to lose weight. During the last few years, I ran to be fit. Now I run because I really enjoy it. Sure, staying healthy is still a major reason, but it’s no longer the only reason. It’s about the challenge of running longer or going faster. It’s about measurable improvement. It’s about getting outside in the fresh air and having time to myself.

Yoga is my peaceful place. I do it to work through any tension in my body, calm my racing mind and enjoy some quite time. I also love the challenge of more advanced poses and I’m working hard on headstands this year!

My favorite mantras:

“This is about the journey, not just the destination.”

“Moving forward is easier than starting over.”


Accomplishment am I most proud of:

Half marathon! I’ve never been very interested in races, but I try to run a couple each year. So far 10k’s and half marathon. A full marathon is in my future, I’m just not sure when.


The hardest fitness challenge I have overcome:

I have ongoing circulation problems in my legs, particularly below my knees. My feet and legs literally go numb. After many days in medical offices and various tests, my doctor finally sent to a physical therapist as a last resort. In 10 minutes the PT figured out it was a back problem that was pinching a nerve down to my feet. Several months and simple exercises later, the problem was nearly gone.

It resurfaces occasionally, as these things do. I now understand what is happening and have tools to stop and prevent the sensation.

I also want to mention that regular chiropractic visits did wonders for my migraines. Regular yoga now helps alleviate migraines and support my back. Holistic health first! Medication or surgeries as a last resort.

Wedding Pictures {Piloting Paper Airplanes} fit story

Just because I can, here are a few wedding photos.

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8 replies
    • Larissa
      Larissa says:

      Awe, thanks Katie! College is definitely tough on the health… in so many ways. 🙂

      I think the toughest part is realizing what is healthy for your body shape… and understanding that may be pretty different from trainers or fitness models we see. The next step that I’ve worked through is finding my healthy weight both physically *and* mentally/emotionally. I could work harder and lose more, but I also know the stress and pressure that puts on me emotionally. Not worth it. My healthy weight must be healthy for my full “being.”

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  1. […] also committed to living as healthy as possible. Much of this answer can be found on my blog page My Fit Story. What are your favorite ways to stay fit? Running is first and foremost. I love that I can […]

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