Hi, I'm Hope, the face behind (and occasionally in front of) the camera! I'm an Exercise & Sport Science student going into my senior year at UNC Chapel Hill, and I hope to become both a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Personal Trainer.
I honestly can't remember a day when I didn't love food, but it took on a greater meaning in my teenage years. During my freshman year of high school, I got sick with a MRSA infection, and my body spiraled out of control. Only by seeing an integrative physician and a dietitian did my side effects improve, and eventually my body returned to normal. By that point, I had stopped swimming year round, and because I was scared of gaining weight, I began starving myself. I struggled with various patterns of disordered eating throughout high school and the beginning of college.
The summer before my first year of college, I started having extreme pain in my right foot. After seven months of misdiagnoses and failed treatments, I was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder that caused one of the bones in my foot to decay. The bone healed naturally, but after a few months of normal functioning, it decayed again. This time, I needed surgery and a more intense recovery, but strangely enough, not being able to exercise ushered in the healthiest view with food I had ever had. I learned that my body needed food to live, even if I wasn't working out. Through this time of physical healing, I began eating intuitively and felt energized and rejuvenated, all because of my diet (or lack thereof).
As a Christian, God was my rock during these times, and he continues to be, whatever I may face everyday. Through my health struggles, he taught me that all I need is him. Also, the goal of living a healthy lifestyle is to glorify God with my body, and he would never allow a temporary situation that would disqualify me from glorifying him. So, in every season, I will move my body to the best of my ability and feed it to promote both short- and long-term health. God created my body and knows exactly how it works, so I choose to trust him with it.
I believe that food is a gift from God for our sustenance and our enjoyment. Given this, I don't rule any foods out of my diet, but I generally choose fresh and nutrient-dense foods, since my body feels nourished when I eat them. Seriously, though, if you want a brownie, eat a brownie.
My fitness philosophy resolves around moving my body how it wants to be moved. If I'm tired, I might choose yoga over kickboxing. If my legs are sore, I'll work upper body, or if I'm craving a run, I'll go on a run. I'm in for anything that gets the endorphins flowing, so get ready for it all.