Hi guys! I’m Gina from Running to the Kitchen. Despite the name, running really isn’t the focus. It’s food. I’m obsessed with it, I like to eat it, take pictures of it and share it with the world. So that’s most of what you’ll find there. Although, it didn’t really start out that way a year and a half ago when I began blogging. I actually set out to start more of a healthy living type blog after being inspired by many others a few years back and going through what I call as a “wake up call to health”. It’s no “I lost 100 pounds” story or anything like that, just a slow migration to a healthier lifestyle.
I was always an active kid. I grew up playing soccer since before elementary school and my entire identity up until age 19 was as an athlete. Of course, back then, I ate whatever I wanted, in whatever quantities I wanted (I actually won the award at the end of basketball season for fastest kid off the bus to McDonalds after games. Back then it was a #2, supersized with 2 apple pies, please) and none of it mattered. I got to college, gained a few pounds sophomore year, but then low-carbed myself all summer with my mom to lose it and finished out college as a normal weight, occasional gym goer. Then I started working.
It was a slow creep and my “disgusted” point didn’t happen for a good 5 years and 20 pounds later when I saw pictures of a family beach vacation. I remember feeling completely gross in every outfit I had that trip and hating every single picture. Something registered and I finally just decided to get my act together.
I came home and cleaned out my entire pantry. Out went the cardboard boxes and slowly, nutritionally devoid foods started getting replaced with lots more vegetables, whole grains and fruits. I honestly didn’t eat that poorly before (I’ve always loved all foods, and am about the least picky person you’ll meet when it comes to eating) but the occasional treats had gotten a bit out of hand and I hadn’t truly exercised consistently in a long time. It’s funny, when people have asked me over the past couple of years “how’d you lose the weight?” My response is always simple & boring: Eating better & exercise. They look at me blankly like they’d have preferred an answer of “x diet pill” or something. I’m always amused by that.
When I got the first 10 pounds off through food, I plateaued and had to face the inevitable: exercise. That’s when healthy living blogs and running kicked in for me. I was reading a handful of blogs consistently of people who ran. A lot. I figured there was no reason I couldn’t do that too so I started the Couch 2 5k program in the middle of winter in NY. In January, the sun sets around 5pm in NY so I’d run around my flat office complex since it was the only lit place (I despise conventional gyms), bundled up like a snowman with my husband’s old school Garmin. I got more than a few awkward glances. I signed up for my first 5k on St. Patrick’s Day and I was hooked. And that last 10 pounds? It took about 3 more months, but it all came off. Running became my thing then for the next 2 years and I ended up racing in a bunch more 5k’s, 5 milers and even 3 half marathons through this time last year.
After my last half, I needed a running break, it was just becoming more of a chore then something I enjoyed. I toyed around with some other programs like Bodyrock workouts at home (we have a huge unfinished basement that we converted into a home gym), New Rules of Lifting for Women and even LiveFit Trainer. Some lasted longer than others but none were really my thing for one reason or another.
Then I found Crossfit. And omg, am I obsessed! Since July, CrossFit has been my exercise drug of choice and I couldn’t be happier. It’s the perfect balance of cardio, weights and competition for me. I strive in a competitive environment and CrossFit is exactly that except somehow it’s supportive at the same time. It’s hard not to look forward to your workout every day when you get to blast music, throw weights around and push yourself to the absolute max for an hour straight all while cheering your gym-mates on.
Between CrossFit, a slight turn towards a (mostly) paleo diet and the occasional run, I feel like my absolute best self right now. It took 3+ years to get here but I’ve finally learned how my body responds best when it comes to food & fitness.
Thanks so much to Jessica for letting me share my story and if you guys want to follow along with my kitchen experiments, CrossFit ramblings, some sarcasm and the occasional picture of my weimaraner, Ginger, come say hi!
Thanks so much Gina...you're very inspiring and yes, your body looks amazing! I love your blog and I know all you readers out there will to, so check out Running To The Kitchen.