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More Than: Katie of Legally Fit

September 14, 2010

Not familiar with the More Than Series?  It all started when I realized that while nutrition and fitness are an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, there was a void in the healthy living blogger community focusing on other parts of healthy living.  Healthy Living is MORE THAN nutrition & fitness.  To learn more, check out the More Than Series tab and the several posts written by other guest bloggers. –Heather

Hi THS peeps!  I am really honored to be posting on Heather’s blog; I love her healthy living philosophy and adore her as a person.  My name is Katie and I write the blog Legally Fit, where I talk about running 24/7 balancing a career, relationships and healthy living without driving myself nutty.  Because that’s easy to do, right?  To me it seems that society places this pressure on young women to do it all, have it all and make it look effortless.  How realistic is that?  It is enough to make even the most laid-back of personalities freak out. 

Then comes the million dollar question: what, exactly, constitutes “all?”  Is it having a successful career, being married by a certain age, owning a home and having 2.2 children?  I believe this to be the stereotype that society dictates.  Some women are currently living this life and are incredibly happy.  I think that is fantastic.  My only issue with this “having it all” stereotype is that it causes those who choose to follow a different path to question themselves. 

This is where my more than philosophy comes in: To me, healthy living is more than eating well and being active.  Healthy living entails knowing yourself and what makes you happy and cultivating strong and positive relationships with those you interact with.  Do not question what makes you happy (well, unless, of course, it is illegal or something).  There is no mold that one has to follow in order to be happy and live a healthy life.

First and foremost is knowing yourself and what makes you happy.  I just turned 28 and I reached a point within the last few years where I am completely comfortable with myself.  I touch upon this a bit in my “twenty-eight” post but the main thrust of it is that I do what makes me happy, even if it isn’t the “cool” or “hip” thing to do.   Do what makes you happy.  If this involves staying home after finishing a major test to read the latest Harry Potter book while your friends are out celebrating at the bar, so be it.  Some may interpret this as anti-social or selfish, but I would respectfully disagree. I believe that if you partake in activities that you truly enjoy, you will be a happier person which, in turn, will radiate to those around you and result in more fulfilling relationships. 

How do you know what makes you happy?  For me, it has been a trial and error process.  I love running (most of the time).  I love to read.  I love hot yoga.  I love spending time playing in the yard with my pup.

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I love sitting with good friends discussing life over a glass (or two) of wine.

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I love starting my day with a hot cup of coffee and then emailing my husband, who is stationed overseas.  I love hiking and camping.

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Apparently I love a lot of things.  If you had asked me two years ago that one of my passions would be running, I would have told you that you were on crack crazy. However, I’d always admired and been a little jealous of the runners I would drive past on a daily basis.  That little twinge turned into something bigger and last year I embarked on the Couch to 5k program.  I had NEVER ever been a runner and got winded after 30 seconds of running when I tried for the first time.  You know those tracks at the gym where 13 laps around equals one mile (talk about repetition)?  I couldn’t even do two laps when I first started.  Less than a year and a half later and I’ve run a 14k, a 15k and am training for my first half-marathon this October. 

My point is that to find what makes you happy, think about something that you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the courage or inclination to begin.  You have nothing to lose!  Always dreamed of playing an instrument?  Sign up for music lessons.  Want to be a runner?  Start a beginner’s program.  If you like it, then you’ve found something that you can be passionate about.  If not, keep pursuing different areas of interest until you find something that suits you.  I recently realized that I have an affinity for birds and have been itching to get a birding book.  Dorky?  Maybe.  Do I care?  Nope 😀

Once you find activities that you actually enjoy, you will start to grow as a person.  It is difficult not to when you are engaging in pursuits that evoke passion, joy and intensity.  This happiness and joy is only magnified when you surround yourself with caring, loving people.  This could be your family, either the one you were born to or one self-created.  It could be your friends and co-workers.  It could be fellow bloggers.  You can’t always choose your family or your co-workers, but you CAN choose those persons that you dedicate your energy to.  Although it is incredibly important to know who you are as a person, it is also imperative to have that backbone of support from those close to you.  Don’t waste energy on those people in your life that are negative and try to cut you down.  When one strives to live healthily, others that are insecure or jealous may make snide remarks.  Don’t focus on that.  Focus on those relationships that bring you happiness.  Because to me, healthy living means having those strong relationships that can get you through trying times or periods of difficulty.  Being able to vent to my girlfriends provides a much-needed dose of mental health therapy on those days when I am frustrated for one reason or another.  Chatting with my dad about my latest race or running achievement always puts a smile on my face. 

 

To boil it down:

  • Know yourself and find what makes you happy.
  • Engage in those activities that make you happy. 
  • Surround yourself with friends and family that support you, and work on those relationships.

Because healthy living isn’t just eating well and exercising. It is having that network of support from yourself and those close to you that fulfills you in a way that no exercise can.

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You can get to know the wonderful Katie by reading her blog, Legally Fit.  I especially suggest being inspired by Katie’s discussion on adapting goals, take her suggestion of an embrace of sweat, and allowing your heart to be moved by her waiting and holding on to saving graces.

You can also keep up with Katie’s thoughts of 140-characters or less by following her twitter feed.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2010 9:30 am

    Love this post! Very inspiring, Katie! I love to see pictures of Bailey, too 🙂 And you were definitely not the only person reading Harry Potter after that major test… Ed had it waiting for me when I got home 🙂

  2. September 14, 2010 12:24 pm

    Love this post! Love this series! I particularly like the part about not wasting energy on negative people. I’m in the process of learning about that and putting it into practice. It’s crazy how refreshing it can be.

  3. September 14, 2010 1:34 pm

    Katie you are amazing! I loved this post so much. It’s true that healthy living is more than just eating and exercising. It’s about all the choices you make. You said it so well! 🙂

  4. September 14, 2010 2:35 pm

    Katie, this was one of my favorite posts ever!! Wow, you did such an amazing job and really said it perfectly. I have to share this on my GLCH Facebook page to spread the love on this incredible post. Heather, you and Katie are two inspiring women with a great philosophy on life and healthy living! Thanks for sharing. Have a great day! 🙂

  5. September 14, 2010 6:17 pm

    Yay, Katie! Well said. I am all for doing what makes me happy! (As long as it doesn’t hurt others). I totally would’ve chosen Harry Potter over the bar scene.

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