Welcome to A New Leaf Blog!
I’m Rachel and that handsome guy is Cash (also known as Cash Money, C Money, the ATM, Cashew, and Monster). You’ll see a lot of him on this blog.
There isn’t one moment where I can say that I became healthy. It was a very gradual process. Growing up, I was always overweight and I struggled with low self-esteem. I was the girl who read at recess and I couldn’t even run a lap around the soccer field in gym class. I was jealous of my classmates who seemed to have a natural athletic ability while I was keeping the bench warm during 6th grade basketball. My problem was more than poor nutrition and a very sedentary lifestyle. I had a very obvious lack of self-confidence.
Things started to change for me when I transferred from the small private school I had attended for six years to the public high school in my town. A new start is just what I needed. I made friends right away and was even talked into joining the indoor track team. That turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. I went on to join outdoor track in the spring and even signed up to run cross country the next Fall. I didn’t think I could run a 5K and I wanted to prove myself wrong. I wasn’t exceptionally fast but I loved running and I loved being on a team. This lifestyle change led to better eating habits as well. I still ate entire bags of goldfish crackers after track meets, but I also eating more vegetables and less processed foods.
I went to college to be a history teacher, but took a health class as an elective my sophomore year and decided to change my major. I graduated in December of 2011 with a degree in Community Health Education and a concentration in teaching school health. Health has become something I am very passionate about. In health education, students learn about ways to improve physical, mental, and social health. I like thinking about health this way. For me, being healthy doesn’t just mean that I’m eating well and being physically active. It also means that I surround myself with positive people, practice ways to avoid stress, and avoid negative self-talk.
I never joined the cross country team in college, but I kept running. I never very far and I wasn’t always consistent, but I enjoyed it. I ran a few 5Ks while I was in college and in September of 2011 I ran my first 10K. On Thanksgiving of the same year, I ran the Portland Turkey Day 4-Miler. And now, thanks to inspiration from other bloggers and a friend, I’m training for my first half marathon.
I’ve continued to educate myself about nutrition throughout this journey. If I had to choose a food mantra that I try to follow, I’d pick Michael Pollan‘s manifesto from In Defense of Food: Eat food, not much, mostly plants. I’m a big veggie fan (I even have an Eat More Kale bumper sticker on my car) and a supporter of local food. My problem is that I LOVE food. I have struggled with portion control and binging for years and I’m currently practicing being mindful when I eat.
This blog isn’t just about running or workouts or the random stuff I eat. It’s about what I do in my own life that makes me happy. Thanks for visiting!