Monday, June 2, 2014

Three Questions - About Me

Recently, I published a post asking for feedback on what you (my readers) like to see on this blog.  Although I didn't get much response, I did get an interesting request to do more "about me" kinds of posts.  Which lead me to wonder... what about me IS interesting?  And why DO I blog?

(1) Why do I blog?

I started this blog in May of 2013 as a way to share my weight loss story.  I felt VERY strongly at the time that anyone can get healthy and lose weight regardless of how much you have to lose, and still feel that way.  In addition to telling that story, I wanted to prove how much fun you can have while trying to lose weight - I didn't know anyone at that time who talked about how much FUN weight loss can be, and I was seriously having a good time doing it.

So, after getting my blog groove going, I added race recaps.  Within the first two months of my blog, I recapped 8 different races.  Wow, 8!  And, in addition to race recaps, I started adding any of my personal thoughts on things that can make working out more fun or enjoyable ... which meant anything from talking about my wacky fitness fashion choices to product reviews to interesting health articles.

Eventually, the blog evolved into what it is today.

(2) OK, ok - we get it.  What about you?!

Me?  Well ... I was born the eldest of 4 children and grew up in the Macalester/Groveland area of St. Paul, Minnesota.  I was always a chubby kid growing up, and remember listening to my pediatrician tell my mom I needed to snack less and play outside more. 

My family, with everyone's spouses and my Grandma - 2007.
Can you find me in the crowd?  It's prior to losing weight.

But, I hated being outside.  I was always kind of a neat freak as a kid, never wanting to get too dirty or let the bugs bite me.  I would do whatever I could to avoid being dirty, and far preferred reading my "Baby Sitters Club" and "Goosebump" books in the safety of my bedroom.  (Even now as an adult, I'm still a little on that end of the neat freak spectrum, although I enjoy being outdoors MUCH more than I used to as a kid).

I went to Highland Park Elementary, Ramsey Junior High and Highland Park High School.  It was at Ramsey where I started my life long passion of studying Mandarin Chinese and engaging in advanced education classes.  In fact, I graduated senior year at Highland in the top 3% of my class... and to this day, I still rue that they didn't re-rank us prior to graduation!  If they had, I would have taken one of the spots in the top 10 students overall (a few got a little lazy 2nd semester - senior slide at it's finest).  Ah, the things that can stick in your gills after so many years...

Chinese became an even larger part of my life the summer between my Junior and Senior year of high school thanks to a scholarship I earned to study abroad.  I spent about 3 months living on campus at Nankai University - studying language, Chinese calligraphy and opera, and yes ... even riding my bike all around town.  Who would have thought back then that bike commuting would become a part of my normal American life, too?!

Me, dressed as Yang GuiFei - contemplating suicide via opera singing.

After studying in China for the summer, which was a program lead by the University of Minnesota, I realized my fall back choice for college was not the right fit for me.  I reviewed my possibilities at the University of Hawaii and University of Chicago (as well as their hefty tuition bill, which I was paying for myself), and  settled on the much more affordable University of Wisconsin - Madison.  Go Bucky!

There I met my husband, received my degree in Chinese, and also learned my first true appreciation for working out.  I even took Step Aerobics for credit, and had to teach a (portion) of a class in order to pass.  I never dreamed at the time that I would actually become a group fitness instructor.

Somewhere after college, though, I really lost sight of how important working out and eating healthy was.  From age 23/24 until 30, I gained A LOT of weight.

Being a good German girl who graduated from UW and
loves beer has nothing to do with that, does it?

And that more or less takes me to where my Diet-Schmiet post picks up.  In a nutshell, I realized I was about to turn 30 and I needed to change my life.  So I did.

(3) So, why do you KEEP blogging?

Overall, honestly, I've found blogging to be somewhat therapeutic for me. Here's why:

First, it keeps me honest in my own health goals.  I DEFINATELY can't come back here next week saying "Welp, I hate two double bacon cheeseburgers last week, along with a supersized fry and 15 beers - that extra 5 pounds is sure nice to carry around".  And, knowing that I can hop on here and tell another fun story about some sort of workout I did means I look forward to doing it even more.

Second, I get tons of positive feedback from people who read my blog and feel encouraged to start their own healthy habits - which is ultimately why I write, and makes me absolutely thrilled when I hear it. 

But most importantly, third... this has become a way for me to start processing my own thoughts.  Not only in the moment, but for days prior and days after.  I find myself being much more introspective, and somehow that brings me peace.  Which I'm immensely thankful for, because having my miscarriage and posting about the race after it really helped me deal with my grief, and find purpose in my pain.  I felt like in sharing it with others, I could make someone else's life better, rather than sit around asking "why me".  I don't think I would have gotten over that as quickly had I not already been blogging my thoughts for the last year.

And now, I open the floor to you.  What else do you want to know about me?  Write your questions below... maybe I'll incorporate them into a future Three Questions post!

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