Hi! My name is Katie. You can read more about me here, but first, read below to find out what Hungry Runner is all about and how it can help you!
What Hungry Runner Is All About
When I first started Hungry Runner on Tumblr, it was the beginning of a journey. I’m still on that journey. In fact, I always will be because health and fitness is a continually ongoing process. But over the course of 2012 — in starting this blog, becoming a certified personal trainer and running further and faster than I ever thought possible — I’ve learned a few extremely important things about health and fitness and they’ve become an integral part of Hungry Runner.
Running and Exercise
This is a blog about running, because running is what I personally love to do. My goal is to help as many women as possible feel good about running … but only if that’s what you really want!
Running won’t be that “magical unicorn” for everyone, and that’s OK! What I mean by that is, you might give it a try and learn that it’s just not your jam. If that turns out to be the case, no biggie! If you give it some trial and error, you will eventually find an exercise activity (or maybe even a few!) that you fall head over heels in love with. I’m sure of it. But you have to explore!
If running isn’t your thing, I hope I can help inspire you to find that one sport you really do enjoy. An activity that will keep you coming back for more. Something that feels less like a chore and more like something that you just can’t wait to do.
One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is that being active is an important part of leading a healthy life, but it shouldn’t have to feel forced. It just needs to be something that’s a consistent part of your day-to-day routine.
All that said, I’d argue that anyone who gives running a fair try would fall in love — and one of my main focuses here will be to teach beginner runner’s how to get started and all of the things I wish I’d known when I first started running, because if I remember correctly, and I know I do, it was QUITE tough!
One more side note: Since the majority of you here are women and we’re talking about exercise, I do want to take one quick second to point out the importance of strength training as part of a truly healthy and balanced workout routine. Women especially need to include weight bearingexercises in their fitness routine in order to maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. For the best results, weight bearing exercises should be incorporated into your fitness routine two to three times per week. This includes activities such as running, weight lifting, resistance training and bodyweight exercises.
And finally, if you’re new to running and think you’d like to give it a try, check out my ultimate guide to running for beginners!
Healthy Eating Habits
Oh my. This topic is such a beast and pretty much the whole world (myself included) still has so many unanswered questions about food and nutrition and how it relates to good health.
Should you eat gluten? Are carbs the devil? What are “healthy fats”? Should we all be eating a plant-based diet? Should I try the Whole30 program?
All of these questions and more can send you into the deep corners of the internet where people will probably be arguing over the answers until the end of time. In other words, trying to figure it all out will probably make your head spin off. Well, at least that’s how it makes me feel. And personally, now that I’ve had a few years of trial and error learning about what works best for me to fuel my running while maintaining a healthy weight, I don’t want to spend hours and hours reading a bunch of different nutrition arguments online.
If that’s your jam, more power to you. I’d rather stick to eating mostly whole foods (i.e., fruits, veggies, legumes and lean protein) strewn in with a few of my favorite treats occasionally and then call it a day.
Based on my own experience, if you’re interested in eating better (for whatever reason), I recommend focusing on forming a healthy relationship with food, rather than worrying about counting calories or one specific type of diet. Everybody’s goals are different and nobody’s diet is going to be perfect 100 percent of the time. And that’s OK. You’ll be fine if you eat cupcakes and pizza and Pop Tarts sometimes if you want to. But along with those lovely treats every now and then, I’ve found that focusing on eating nutrient-dense, whole foods for the majority of the time has positively affected my entire well-being more than any other factor.
Also, it’s helpful to read and learn about basic nutrition. For me, there’s been no better way to positively influence my eating habits than to understand how the foods I eat might affect my body. For example, why protein is important for your muscles, how carbohydrates affect your blood sugar, or what types of food are the best fuel for long endurance workouts.
Learning basic nutrition, how to read food labels and checking ingredient lists for the packaged foods that I buy are all things that have helped me greatly on my own journey to forming smart, healthy eating habits. However, I caution against getting super-meticulous about scouring food labels and calorie counts.
I’ll share a little secret with you: When I began this blog after I graduated college and I was actively trying to lose weight, I followed a pretty strict diet and counted my calories meticulously every day for almost a year while working out almost every day. Did I lose about 20 pounds? Yes. Was I the healthiest I’d ever been? No.
Why? Because I wasn’t allowing myself to enjoy ALL of the foods I loved. My best piece of advice: Yes, pay attention to what you’re eating and learn to eat intuitively, but don’t drive yourself crazy over it!
See Also: Hungry Runner’s Healthy Eating Guidelines.
Hungry Runner actually, isn’t about weight loss anymore. But as I just mentioned above, when I started Hungry Runner, weight loss was a goal of mine, and so I did talk a lot about it. Weight loss is a totally respectable goal, but after nearly five years of experimenting with diets, experimenting with different workouts, struggling with my body image, and also writing and learning about health and fitness (both as a reporter and a personal trainer), my number one piece of advice would be to shift your focus elsewhere.
Your weight is this futile thing and life is too short to count calories or pass up your favorite dessert. If you want to get healthy and fit and feel strong, that’s GREAT! But I would highly recommend that you leave the number on the scale out of it.
Instead of thinking about “losing weight” focus more on getting healthy, feeling strong and learning to love your body no matter what size or weight you are. The number on the scale or the size of your jeans does not define your worth or who you are. Your health is the most important thing, and that includes having a positive body image. Thin does not necessarily equal healthy and it is not the end all be all. So, focus on your health. Focus on feeling fit and strong. Focus on loving your body.
At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the balance between what’s good for your body and what’s good for your soul 😉