Why I Began This Health Journey…

Good afternoon, friends!

I wanted to share a little bit about my recent past to hopefully motivate you into taking the next steps in eating healthier and living a more natural life in general!


My weight loss journey started around 2009.  I was following a strict vegetarian diet that left me feeling sick and fatigued.  Prior to my wedding in September 2009, I had gone from weighing over 180 pounds to 137 pounds! To my surprise, it was because I was suffering from mono (the wonderful “kissing” virus).  However, a few short months later, I was experiencing back pain like never before, and had difficulty breathing.

Fast forward to 2011, when I had an open lung biopsy done at Hamot Hospital in Erie, Pa. They discovered I had a life-threatening lung disease called PVOD (pulmonary veno-occlusive disease).  It is a form of idiopathic hemosiderosis and pulmonary fibrosis.  The damage was irreversible.  HOWEVER…I was not willing to let myself be a victim.  So I started to get really serious about my health! I knew that I couldn’t reverse the damage, but I could prevent it from getting worse.

I started out slow by incorporating dance videos and light weight lifting.  Then, I overhauled my diet to eliminate wheat products. I instantly started to drop the little bit of weight that I had gained in 2011/2012. I had ballooned up to 150 from my previous 137.

In 2014, my husband and I had a lot of life changing events happening! We had moved from Warren, PA to Triadelphia, WV for Jason’s job.  I quit my job where I had been working for four years and took some time to myself.  I worked out every day, ate a clean diet and took our dogs on nice, long walks.  I was killing it in the health department!


Looking hot! 117 pounds of lean muscle

However in May of that year, I was diagnosed after a lumpectomy on my leg with stage 3 Hodgkin’s B-Cell Lymphoma.  Talk about a shock! I had been working out, eating right, and living a very healthy lifestyle.  I was angry for what was happening to me, but knew that I couldn’t lose focus.  I did six rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, had one long hospital stay due to getting an upper respiratory infection, and was deemed in remission in October. YAY! My lowest weight before getting sick was 117 pounds. During chemo, I dropped down to a scary 110 pounds.

Regardless of all that had happened, I was still dedicated to living a healthy life.  I ate my grain-free diet (more to come in the next post) and worked out 2-4 times per week.

In March of this past year, I developed a severe staph infection in my lungs and went into respiratory distress (a.k.a. I wasn’t breathing and my body was quickly deteriorating).  I was air-lifted to the Cleveland Clinic where I spent two long weeks in the ICU, and for five of those days was put into a medically-induced coma.

After three longs months of recovery, I am finally starting to get back to my old self.  The one thing that was always constant for me was the love from my husband, family and friends.  Their support was what kept me going and made me want to get out of that hospital even faster! I also maintained my healthy eating habits and slowly started incorporating exercise back into my life.  I am maintaining my weight at around 123 pounds.


Feeling normal again!

So there it is!  I’m excited to share all of my healthy eating, exercise, and general well-being with all of you.  If I can do it, you can do it! I promise 🙂



5 thoughts on “Why I Began This Health Journey…

  1. Kristen I am so very proud of you! I know a lot of what you have been thru when we both worked at the bank. Please let me know how you are doing and how you maintain this lifestyle.


  2. Hey Kristen,
    Your old babysitter, Michelle, again. I’m very proud of the way you are handling what’s been given to you, and when I say “You’re beautiful,” I mean inside and out! Praying for you!


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