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Why I Gave Up Running

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I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while…

Although it’s completely unrelated to healthy desserts or recipes, I wanted to publish in case it can help someone out there who might feel like I did a few months ago.

If you were to stumble upon my blog without knowing anything else about me, you might get a picture of this crazy-enthusiastic girl who is always happy, completely carefree, and whose life revolves around food and chocolate and dessert 24/7. In reality, “blog Katie” is only a very small portion of who I am outside of the computer world. You might be surprised by how much of my life is entirely unrelated to food and cooking, and I’m definitely not completely carefree.

Because I choose not to talk about my friends, relationships, or personal life on the blog, most people would’ve had no idea I was anything less than my usual upbeat self early this year…

Yet even as I continued with the cheery chocolate posts, I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted thanks to moving twice, going through a breakup with my boyfriend of over a year, sorting out issues with the cookbook, and worrying extensively about the future.

In the past, I would have leaned on running to get me through: It was in college that I first fell in love with the sport, waking up each day excited to get out in the fresh Pennsylvania air before classes. Running provided an outlet for the pent-up energy I was no longer expending on soccer and tennis (sports I’d played almost from birth all the way through high school), and I could think about everything while I ran: school, friends, guys, the past, the future… or sometimes nothing at all. Running’s meaning in my life would change over the years; when I moved back to Texas it became a comforting source of stability in my crazy and uncertain post-high-school life. Four or five times a week, sun or rain or snow, I’d be out there running, 7 to 10 miles each time. I loved it.

But somehow this past summer, I lost energy and motivation for something that used to bring such joy and excitement. For the first time in eight years, I found myself dreading the idea of going out for a run. I would drag myself through the miles and arrive home feeling completely drained. Running had never been something I wanted to force myself to do, so one day in early July when I was “supposed” to go out, I just didn’t.


That one day turned into a week.

The week turned into a month.

Then two months.

And I was surprised to find I didn’t miss it. I had much more energy throughout the day, felt happier and less stressed, and even my hair—no longer breaking off from much-too-tight ponytails—looked healthier. As people have pointed out in a few of my recent posts, I’ve also gained weight, which I’d been trying to do for awhile (I always wanted curves). Not going to lie, I am pretty excited about this.

(To ease your worries if you want to give up running but do not wish to gain weight: I don’t think quitting running directly caused me to gain weight. My personality is such that I naturally tend to lose weight when I’m stressed and overwhelmed, so the change is a physical manifestation of feeling happier and more relaxed. It’s also easier to eat more when you’re not worrying about running right afterwards. My new routine is to eat a third of a jar of peanut or almond butter mixed with coconut oil and sometimes blackstrap molasses as soon as I wake up. If you thought regular peanut butter was good, just try mixing it with coconut oil. One spoonful and you’ll understand how easy it is to eat most of the jar without coming up for air! But anyway… sorry for the tangent. I do that sometimes.)

Will I ever go back to running?

Maybe someday in the future, but much more recreationally. If running works for you, that’s great. Keep doing it! But if you’re feeling burned out by running—or any exercise—it might be a good idea to take a step back for awhile. You can always pick it up again if the desire strikes. That’s not to say I’m advocating giving up exercise completely: I still walk every morning to get out in the fresh air, and lately I’ve been going with a friend to the gym a few times a week (basically he lifts all the heavy weights and I stand there with my 10-lb dumbbells and exercise my mouth!).

When I first gave up running, I feared losing a part of my identity. But the truth is I now have so much more.


2014 EDIT: Part Two: Going Back To Running Again

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amanda 4
Peanut Butter Breakfast Pudding

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Kaitlyn says:

    Wow. I have been going through this exact thing here lately. Down to the breakup. Did me wonders to read this – I think fitness in life is definitely something that is cyclical and once you know HOW to do it, it’s always something you can get back into! …now if I could just get my nutrition in check on the days I don’t work out – in my mind they seem to be mutually exclusive! (Day off = “cheat day”!)

    Thanks for the post – good to know I’m not the only one struggling with burnout. You look happy and beautiful!

  2. miriam says:

    Ah, I love this post…I recently had to stop running due to a stress fracture, and a big part of my fear was “who was I going to be when I couldn’t run?” As my friend best put it “you are so much more than just a runner” and it’s taken me three weeks to fully embrace that.
    And just doing weights/the bike/elliptical means that I’m way stronger and have noticed, ahem, improvements in the chest area now I’m not running. This is totally a bonus :)

    1. T says:

      Hello fellow stress fracture injured lady!

      I had my stress fracture two summers ago. I am basically healed physically, but mentally I just don’t want to do those long runs anymore. I am getting into boot camp and HIIT fit classes and they kick my butt every time. Running is easy compared to those classes!

    2. Letitia says:

      I had a pretty bad calf tear that I had to rest. That was such a hard time. I also had to love myself as I rested and not beat myself up. I’ve since been walking and watching my calorie intake. I also took your blog as a metaphor cause sometimes I need to hang up my “shoes” and stop trying to do everything and be ok with it. I love your blog, girl!

  3. Alli says:

    Hey Katie!
    I’m a crazy runner myself, but I’ve always believed in listening to my body above all else, whether this involved food, exercise, anything. The best thing to do for yourself is what you need. So good for you! And keep up the amazing blog!

  4. Becca says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love to hear about the blogger behind the recipes. :) We (your readers) support you and encourage you to do what makes you happy and healthy!

  5. Annabelle says:

    CCK, vegans/vegetarians can harm their bodies by running too much, losing iron is common with runners and if don’t have a diet rich in iron ur body just can’t keep up;) I would love to talk u into eating meat but that’s prob not going to happen….so I’ll just say “u look terrific” and healthy!

    1. Thanks! I am actually good on iron… got my levels tested last year and everything was normal. Must be all the blackstrap molasses ;). You’re definitely right that it’s something women (and especially vegetarians) need to pay attention to!

      1. Rebekah says:

        I’d also add that iron is not best sourced in meat. Plants are awesome for it.
        Having been vegan for a year now, I have more energy and am actually enjoying a short run now and then. It’s a big deal for me.
        But my dear (I love reading your blog so I’m saying “dear”), I know you want to gain weight, but that’s a lot of peanut butter, and I definitely don’t recommend oil. I know you’ve been doing this longer than I, and that you use oil frequently. Anyhow, I’d just recommend eating more plants.

        1. Steph says:

          No offense but fat is NOT bad for you. PUFA’s are a different story but vegans can’t do much about that.

          1. Jenny says:

            I agree with Steph. I think what Katie’s doing is absolutely fine. Makes me wonder if that’s why both her skin and hair look even more incredible than usual in the photo she posted.

            Iron from plants (non-heme) actually isn’t as bioavailable as iron from animal sources (heme), but eat enough non-heme iron and you will almost certainly manage to absorb enough to keep yourself healthy. Katie’s right – she’s probably fine thanks to the molasses (and because she consumes a balanced vegan diet).

            Katie, I haven’t commented in a long time, but am writing now to say: great post. And you look radiant. Glad that you are feeling happy and healthy. : )

        2. Chelsea says:

          Fats and oils are certainly NOT bad for you. In fact, they help with healthy skin, hair, and even brain function. They are a necessary part of the diet. The only ones that are rather bad are trans fats. But coconut oil and the oil in peanut butter are both perfectly fine.

          Katie, I’m really glad you’re making decisions on what your needs are and not on something that you once found your identity in! It can be tough, but it’s best to do what’s good for you! I really liked this post a lot!

      2. kari says:

        Make sure to insist on feritin levels being tested also. Feritin is the iron stores in the body. Your hemaglobin can actually be in the normal range (iron levl that ideally hovers around 12), with a feritin level that is severely depleted. Most people don’t know this until they live it (talking about myself). My hemoglobin tested at 11, and 2 weeks later i was admitted to the hosital with feritin <2 (usually between 60-120) and my hemoglobinhad dropped to 5!!! I didn't have any internal bleeding, but had just completely exausted my feritin supply, so my hemoglobin had nothing left to draw from. I ended up being diagnosed with anemia of unknown causes, and recieved 7 blood transfusions!!! I was hospitalized for 5 days. I drove mysf to the hospital, and when they got my levels back they slapped a "fall risk" bracelet on my arm and told me I couldn't walk on my own because it was too dangerous. They asked me how I was still standing. I told them That except for being a little tired (and who wouldn't be with a job, husband, and 4 kids?), I felt fine. I realize this story sounds a little dramatic and over-the-top, but I swear it really was this night and day. Now in all my follow-up appointments I always ask my doctors why feritin isn't an automatic test. Easy answer: because it costs more than a hemoglobin test. But you can request it. If you find yourself in a situation again where you are concerned about your iton level, I would suggest requesting a feritin test also. Thanks so much for your blog. I find lots of sweet treats for my family!

        1. Heidi says:

          Thank you so much for bringing this info! I worry about my levels as I always have negative side effects when I donate blood. I do eat meat, but I don’t eat red meat. My iron levels tested fine, but now I’m curious about this. Thanks again!

  6. I can completely relate to this post! I gave up running for about a year after I had an injury. I didn’t miss it. I have since started running again but I believe I could stop altogether and I wouldn’t miss is this time either. My mom runs and we do the Women’s Half Marathon every year. So every September, I begin that dreaded training ritual. I have found other exercise routines I prefer so I can still keep my girly figure and eat all the desserts you post :) Thank you for your honesty and you look amazing!

  7. Bree says:

    Thank you for writing this. I went through the same deal with running, last year when I discovered running and did it 3x a week, then almost everyday, then I got injured, went back at it when I healed, and got burnt out after my last 5k race. I tried doing it again this year, got injured again, tried one more time and I finally came to realize that running is not okay with my body, at least right now. It doesn’t bring me as much joy anymore, it felt more like a chore, so I agreed that it’d probably be better finding a different way to get my exercise and be happy. As you did, I gained weight but that was because I stopped running and was stress eating at the same time. So I feel you, girl! I really appreciate this post and I’m happy that you are happier now. <3

  8. becauseHeloves! says:

    Good for you! I used to love running, but every time I did it, I would think, “why do I do this to myself?”
    So I stopped too. Now I go through a bipolar relationship with swimming. Sometimes I love it (most of the time), and sometimes, when I’m exhausted, I don’t like it. But anyways, be happy! I’m single too, and a lot of my friends aren’t. Sometimes it’s like, gah! When is it myyyy turn? But I guess I’ll just wait. If I’m single forever, then that’s the best for me. God has a plan.
    And being single also means I get to keep the whole jar of peanut butter and pan of brownies to MYSELF! 😀

    1. teetop says:


  9. Jaime says:

    Good for you Katie! It takes a strong-centered person to learn to listen to their body and know when it is time to just “lay low”.

  10. E says:

    Well, I think I speak for all of us here when I say that I’m glad you’re feeling better!

  11. I’m so happy to hear that, I’m glad you listened to your body! I stopped running a few years ago for the same reason and am also much happier.
    Also, you look great and how is your hair so gorgeous? Jealous.

    1. Thank you so much!
      In the photo I used something called a MiraCurl curling iron… it’s amazing, but it probably fries your hair so I try not to use it very often.

  12. Meesh says:

    Thanks for writing this post, Katie. I know you’re sometimes hesitant to share personal information on the blog (which is totally understandable!), but I think it’s almost comforting to read more personal posts occasionally and be reminded that you’re a human being too. Also, I think a lot of your regular readers actually have detected a change in your posts where you seemed more distant, so I’m glad to hear that you’re doing okay because I was actually kind of worried :-/

  13. Denise Batalha says:

    Over-training without breaks can do that. Over-training AND over-dieting will definitely do that (if others are feeling this way, make certain you are taking in enough calories to lose/maintain/gain… this is a process you have to learn… there are calculators, but some aren’t very accurate). I’m a former physique competitor… well, former for now, until I figure out what’s wrong with my body (according to my homepathics specialist, my body isn’t metabolizing one of the amino acids it makes properly, so it’s causing all sorts of issues, even emotional ones, but it seems we may have found a treatment that works), so I have some experience with this.

    If working out is making things worse, definitely look into taking a breather from it. Keep calories the same in the meantime, and assess from there. Could also be added stress… meaning, putting more stress on the body. Dieting, exercising, emotional issues can all cause stress. Just some food for thought.

    Sweaty Betties is a great place to learn more about these issues. To learn more about macronutrients, etc, I love For the record, I’m not affiliated with either and am definitely not being paid by either… don’t I freakin wish.

    Thanks for the post, Katie. I know I have gone through something similar myself. Things I used to enjoy I found myself dreading. Taking a break after awhile, helped me find I missed at least one of the activities. I love to hike and I barely did that this year, so I miss it. Muay thai I LOVE and hated it for awhile… I’m back to going now, but if I feel like not going, I’ll do something else, like walk. No biggie. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with being naturally thin, so I have to continue to workout, regardless, but I do give my body breaks. Just listen to your body, girls. :)

  14. Tamu says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! It’s always nice to hear that someone can come up with such great healthy recipes, and still be human. 😀 I’m sorry that you had been having a rough time, but so happy to hear that you’ve found some comfort in your new routine.

  15. Amy in Toronto says:

    I really appreciate how candid you are and I thoroughly understand why you would keep certain things private. I also love what you share, both recipe-wise and personally.

    I was never a runner. I only got into it after I started college and my roommate in the dorm was a cross-country runner and asked me to go jogging with her. I was amazed that I could actually do it, and she’s the reason I started including running to my physical activity repertoire. That said, I am not a runner. I am not at all fast and I do not do long distances. 10k is about as much as I like to do. And, I just like to do it sometimes, especially when the weather is particularly crisp and sunny and perfect for a run, or if my playlist is new. :-)

    I do compete in triathlons, however, with the swim being my favourite event. In the last year though, I’ve experienced the worst bout of plantar fasciitis I’ve ever had, and despite months of physiotherapy, getting “shockwave” treatments, and stretching my crazy-tight calves on a daily basis, I still have daily chronic pain in my right foot that keeps me from running.

    I miss it, but I realize that I need to evolve as my body ages and changes, and it’s consoling to hear that others go through similar shifts in activity and mood and life circumstances (makes me feel like I’m not the only one…).

    Thank you for inviting us in!

  16. LoveBeingMommy says:

    Thank you for this post. I have always been about intense workouts (lifting weights and plyometric type stuff) the way you were about running. This has caused me serious fertility issues. The fertility specialist diagnosed me with hypothalamic amenhorrea. My husband and I conceived our first child with the help of fertility treatments, but now that we are looking forward to conceiving a second one, I am no more fertile than I was and I wish to conceive naturally. I am actually probably less fertile because I am leaner than I have ever been. Actually where I was just ultra lean in the past, now I am more along the lines of skinny. I am eating a lot to try to gain, but I am struggling with the cutting back on exercising (which apparently is necessary to recover from HA). I fear losing my identity as you said you did. Working out is such a huge part of me, what will people think if I don’t work out at my max heart rate this week? What will I become if I just walk and do yoga or if I just read a book tomorrow morning instead? That seems so silly reading it back, but it is truly a fear. Since I have been more personal in this comment than maybe I should have been, I will stop here. The main point I need to make is that I am seeking encouragement right now so this post is very timely. Thanks!

    1. Catta says:

      Thank your for posting this! I have similar problems, and I understand your thoughts. Thank you again for posting it. I wish you all the best and hope that you will welcome another child to your family soon! :)
      To Katie: THANK YOU for your personal post! Your hair is beautiful. Hugs! :)

  17. wow love this post! Thank you for your honesty! While I still love running it isn’t for everyone and each person needs to find what makes them happy. This is what my husband constantly tells me! I am injured so have had to take a break from running, but I can’t wait to get back out there. Each person is different and I think that is what is important to remember – you have to do what is best for you!

  18. Great post…As a runner, I do understand. A few months ago I lost the race itch, not the running itch but the itch to register, prepare, drive to and run actually races. I couldn’t understand why but since I had the lack of desire to participate, I pulled out of a bunch that I had scheduled. My desire to run was still there but as I said on my own blog, when something you love becomes a chore, it is time to re-evaluate. You may wake up and want to run tomorrow or you may not – just do what comes natural.

  19. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I ran competitively from middle school through my sophomore year of college, but the summer between my sophomore and junior year, I started hating it. I literally wanted to cry every time I laced up my shoes.

    For me, it took about 4 months of no running at all and a good year of running just for fun (no races, only going out when and for how long I felt like) to really remember why I loved running again. But I also think it’s fine to give it up for good. Running should never be a source of stress. There are too many of those in everyday life to begin with :) Good for you for being honest with your body and your heart!

    Looking forward to checking out more of your blog posts in the future :)

  20. Anonymus says:

    I am so happy that you made this big decision…. life is short and being happy is extremely important. Sorry you had a rough year….here’s to the best yet!
    ps: your sugar cookie oatmeal is to die for… I can hardly wait to buy your cookbook!

  21. Melissa says:

    Such a beautiful post and I think it was so brave, courageous and honest of you to share something private and telling. Thank you for this!

  22. Cassie says:

    I’m happy to read that you are listening to your body and doing what’s right for you. And I love that you include that we all just have to find our own way in exercise and in life. No one else can tell us the way that will make us happy.

  23. Pipsa says:

    Thank you so much Katie for opening up about this! I truly wish all the best for you, as you are such a sweetheart and an amazing person. I also think that you look more healthier and beautiful ever, though you were a completely stunner even earlier! I’ve always admired your hair, so it must be looking and feeling so heavenly right now being that gorgeuos to begin with!

    Great to hear you’re also finding a new form of exercise (gym), maybe you can form a passion out of it…? Really it has happened to a loads of gym-haters, so why not you? 😉

  24. Tayler says:

    Thanks so much for sharing such a personal story with us, and for listening to yourself and stopping a stressful activity when you needed to. All of us have heartbreak, and issues ahead, but past that remember there is always a silver lining. You are so strong through all of this, and kept really cheery which is something a lot of us wouldn’t do. In my case, you can find me in the closet sobbing while eating homemade nutella. :) It is fantastic that you feel a lot better about yourself, and you are feeling better. Your hair looks fabulous and i am so glad you are on this blog. Keep it up!

  25. Katie, I’m so PROUD of you!:) I know what it’s like to gain weight after overdoing exercise for years. You just FEEL better! And gosh, do you look gorgeous!!!! I’ve learned to stop my obsession with overdoing it running too. The beauty of it is, I never do it, and mostly just enjoy daily walks and some strength training, but when a burst of energy hits me, I’ll go for a 20 minute run and feel incredible. Then I won’t do it again for weeks or months:) I’ve decided to taking running just for that- as it’s needed and inspired, not when it’s forced.
    We don’t care about only hearing about your yummy recipes and as a freelance writer and health blogger, I completely understand what it’s like to fear the future, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. You’re amazing at what you do. Don’t have fear, just keep working with passion and forget the rest. You’re a gem who most of us have loved since day one of your blog, and that won’t ever change! STAY REAL and stay lovely as always!!!! ):):):):):)

  26. Gail says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your personal story with us. It’s great to get to know more about the woman behind the chocolate. I was wondering if you are doing anything else to gain weight. I am really struggling to gain weight on a vegan diet.

    1. Hi Gail,
      Do try the peanut butter mixed with coconut oil and molasses (or any sweetener). It’s much smoother than regular pb so you can eat it more quickly and in larger quantities. Try eating it first thing in the morning and taking in a good portion of calories early so you can just go about your day the rest of the day… it’s no fun to count calories or worry about consuming enough food when you’d rather just be hanging out with friends or living life.
      More ideas:

    2. Nina says:

      Full fat coconut milk will also help you gain weight. You can add it to smoothies, make whipped cream with the thick part and add it to curries. Add nuts, seeds, avocado & healthy oils into your meals. Try a fourth meal or add a smoothie in. Coconut butter is delicious and you can eat that on whole grain crackers, try the chocolate coconut butter with fruit or just off the spoon. (and it’s really good with sunflower seed butter).

  27. Laura says:

    Good for you, Katie! Thanks for sharing…I know you’ve touched people who might be going through similar things with this post.

  28. Lynn says:

    Go Katie! I’m really proud of you! You’ve always motivated me to do what I like AND to do what’s healthy. I’ve also had a period in my life where I needed to gain weight, and I also found out that being more relaxed just makes you healthier. Besides, they say running is really bad for your knees, especially if you run so often. Anyway; stay strong!

  29. Tracy says:

    I ran for 10 years & did 6 marathons in that time. A few years ago I wanted something different & found a gym that I love. I was still running & training for NYC marathon last year. This was going to be my last marathon. Well, the hurricane hit & I didn’t get to run it. It was probably a good thing. I hadn’t trained like I should have. (I was having more fun at the gym.) I ran the day of the marathon & was in pain. I don’t think I could have finished a marathon that day. I decided that I was done running. I didn’t enjoy it anymore & now when someone wants to go run, I just dread it. I don’t think I’ve run in almost a year & I don’t miss it either. Like you said, if I do start to miss it I can always start again.

  30. yuki says:

    I really love this post!!!
    It’s really funny because I have just experienced the exactly thing as you.
    I started running 2 hours each day right after high school as well (which is like 4 years ago).
    However, I just completely stopped this routine about a month ago and I am enjoying my life more than ever!!
    It’s really strange though because I used to be so passionate about running…
    Now i just hit the gym a couple times per week! :)

  31. Abby says:

    Katie, I’m so thrilled that you shared this part of your story. I have been there for so long, but praise the Lord those days are past. Personally, my compulsive exercise was a part of my eating disorder, which for many years ran my life. I have found freedom now and it’s amazing how much fun exercise is now. But, like you, I don’t run anymore. I once ran marathons and pushed for more and more mileage every week. Now, I walk my dog at the lake, love Yoga and workout in my home gym a few days a week for however long I want. I do have my life back. And yes, giving up running was like splitting off a part of myself, or so I thought. But, I too have discovered a much fuller, happier, expansive, life-filled me!
    I wrote a few posts about my journey here:

  32. Hey Katie, dear! I did the same thing with my fitness routine. After years of teaching 10-15 fitness classes a week for a living, I pretty much stopped cold turkey once my life shifted & I no longer needed to teach to sustain my family.

    Now my exercise are leasurely walks with my kids to school or to the park. I’m actually pregnant right now, so that’s part of the reason why I’m not as crazy gung-ho, but I plan to continue with a more laid back approach after I have this baby. I think it’s important to move, but I absolutely believe that ultra-fitness regimines are not healthy, or sustainable for most people. I say, do what you love–for me that’s being in water (swimming), yoga, walking/hiking, & biking.

    Hang in there sweetie–speaking from experience, the 20’s are a tumultuous time–so many decisions, so much uncertainty, especially post-college. You’re awesome, with a good head on your shoulders though. You’ll figure things out. (And for the record, having just entered my 30’s, I can say I’m so glad I’m here!).

  33. Aimee says:

    I loved this post because I can relate. I too have given up running. I found it made me more tired than energized. I did not love it like I used to and I some days I had anxiety about waking up and running. I recently got a dog and now I take her on walks every morning instead of doing my run. I look forward to it and no longer feel deathly tired. I am not saying I have given up running forever….a nice 3 mile run now and them may happen. However, for right now I am listening to my body and doing what is best. I am glad to hear you are doing the same.

  34. So proud of you for listening to your body, Katie! And for talking about it, as well – exercise isn’t ALWAYS the healthy outlet it’s made out to be; it can run already-ragged bodies (often of type-A personalities – me!) into the ground. I’m happy to hear you’ve found balance. :)

  35. Katie- thank you so much for sharing this post. It’s such a beautiful reminder that we should never feel like we HAVE to do something just because we once loved it and because its supposed to be good for us. The much more important thing is to listen to our bodies and pay attention to how they evolve. I so needed to hear this right now!!! Thanks lovely :)

  36. Maddie says:

    This is a really inspiring post. Thank you for sharing so honestly. <3

  37. Allison says:

    Sweet Katie,
    I laughed reading this because after 12 years of faithfully running, I just took a year off. It was so incredibly liberating. I found I had so much more time in my day. I’ve tell my friends, I’m not suggesting you all quit exercising because it’s good for you, but allowing your body a break when it needs it is FABULOUS and should be done with NO guilt. You go girl. Loved this.

  38. Tami Vigil says:

    :) you go! I did the same a year ago. I still workout like a crazy person. Many ways to exercise and get that inner glow. Changing up your routine helps and gives new life to your body. Loved the post and love the recipes thanks and hugs.

  39. Agnes says:

    What a brilliant post. Thanks for being so honest and open with your readers. I was forced to give up intense exercise for exactly the same reason – too many emotional stress factors, plus running and long-distance cycling (and gym sessions) adding physical stress to my body (and mind). After nearly two years without regular high-intensity exercise (only yoga and walking) I’m finally able to do some random recreational stuff again, mostly going on bike rides or for swims. But anyway, good on you for making this change and congratulations on feeling happier and healthier – that’s what really matters at the end of the day.

  40. Susan says:

    Katie, I think you’ve learned some very valuable lessons here. I’ve found that if I let myself get really burned out on something, it’s difficult to get back to doing it at all. Sometimes that’s okay, sometimes I have to persuade myself to go back. I think we all handle life better when we don’t increase stress by forcing ourselves to do things we really don’t need to do. And all of us are complex people – there is way more to us than our work or a hobby, even if we are not aware of it. :-)

  41. Cassandra says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I pretty much gave up running a year ago (aside from the occasional the-weather’s-too-perfect-not-to jog!) & I was so scared to lose some of my identity too. But the choice has helped me be so much healthier mentally and physically. I’ve actually lost weight focusing on lower impact exercise like walking and yoga. It’s amazing how our bodies seem to know just where they’d like to be! So glad you’re feeling better!

  42. Talia says:

    When I was trying to lose weight I would do Pilates or run about 4-5 times a day and I felt really energetic and slowly I plateaued and felt burnt out by the exercise and really dreaded doing it. But I forced myself and it seemed like a chore. And when I finally listened to my body and stopped I actually started losing weight again! It’s amazing how well you can do if you just listen to your body!

  43. Kenzie says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been experiencing the same thing with my running the past few months and have been feeling extreme guilt over it. It’s so glad to know that I’m not the only one! I’m confident I will get back into it…but right now I feel no rush. Thanks again!

  44. kaceyjt says:

    Such a great post! I, too, have struggled with where running fits in my life. When I was injured about a year ago from over-training, I thought that I would die without being able to run 5 times a week. However, I think my body was telling me I needed to slow down. I still run, but instead of 5 times a week doing a high mileage, I run when I feel like it and for as far as I feel like it! No more obligatory running!

  45. Joelle Gilmore says:

    Well said. I enjoy all of your posts, and this one is particularly timely. I thought Running and strenuous exercise in general were central to my being when multiple sclerosis dropped me on my butt, and made me realize I was so much more. I still swim and do Pilates reformer when it is right, but I feel free somehow knowing I don’t HAVE to run.

    Thanks for sharing

  46. Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing this Katie. I’ve had a similar experience. I used to run every day for long distances. It started out as a way of relieving stress and I really enjoyed it but then I started to fixate on the amount of food I was eating and whether or not I was running long enough to “burn it all off”. I got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying running and would nearly have panic attacks if I didn’t go for my daily run.

    I’ve stopped running now, initially due to an injury, and am working on finding a balance between not over exercising and having a more healthy mindset towards food.

  47. Jenny says:

    I have searched your website, can you please tell me more about the peanut or almond butter and coconut oil mixture? :)

    1. becauseHeloves! says:


    2. Makayla says:

      I am interested in hearing more about the coconut oil/nut butter mixture as well! :)

      1. I never actually measure it… I will measure it the next time I make it, and I promise to post it by February at the latest! :)

        1. Jenny says:

          Yay!! Thanks!!

  48. Valerie says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been missing running so much since the weather has cooled down too much to get out. But I’ve been lifting weights and hating it. I hope to follow your example and do what makes me feel best, not just because I “need” to do it. :) Thank you.

  49. Jen Leppert says:

    Good for you Katie! Sometimes the added stress of feeling like we “have”to do something, just makes it worse. You need to enjoy your “Me” time, change it up, take a break, whatever you need.
    I’m so glad that you have found your Zen again! You’re blog is one of my favorites! I always share your posts!
    Thanks for your honesty!

  50. Douglas Anderson says:

    Katie, You have my sympathies. I am probably one of the worst readers of your blogs despite being a passionate vegan and always looking for new ideas, but time is always of the essence.

    Know that you have people in this group who will support you no matter what happens. Take strength in knowing that their are people out here who admire all that you do and will always offer you the proverbial shoulder should you need one.

  51. Jill says:

    Thank You for sharing this with all of us, even tho you normally dont want to share much of your personal life. I am glad you listened to your body (and soul) and did the right thing for yourself, and were not afraid to let everyone know! Women so often fear not being “perfect” (which there IS no perfection) when it comes to food, body, and exercise. We need to give ourselves a break – the stress and anxiety of trying to do it all will make people just as sick as unhealthy diets. I know this!

    You look amazing, and i hope you continue to be well. People need to not worry about gaining weight if they stop running – if they eat healthy their body will find the right weight for them, and they can find other exercises if need be. Be healthy, everyone!

  52. Alanna says:

    So sorry to hear about the breakup and other life stressors! I’ve been dealing with a number of them myself the last few months and gave up calorie counting back in August when it started to feel like just another thing stressing me out. I plan to get back on track with healthier eating after the holidays, but sometimes your brain and/or body just needs a rest. I hope things start to look up for you soon!

  53. SparkleDust says:

    Wow thank you for sharing this Katie! That was very brave of you, I never would have guessed it. I completely understand the running thing, I had to take a (quick) break from it too. I was running like 6-8 miles and it was getting really boring without someone to run with (i recently moved too!) so I decided to do Crossfit instead.

    Best. Choice. Ever.

    Seriously! You should totally try Crossfit, I bet you’d love it! Anyway, now I’m back to running, but only 2-2.5 miles once or twice a week. I still have a goal to run a half and full marathon, but not until I take a longer break and find a running group! :)

    Anyway, once again thank you so much for sharing this, I’m so glad you’re taking a breather from running and not just miserably forcing yourself out there! So sorry about your break up too, i hope you feel better, love. <3

  54. Michelle says:

    What an awesome post! I love this and I did notice is a recent picture that I thought you looked even prettier! I couldn’t tell what the change was. :)

  55. Fran says:

    Hi Katie,
    What a brave and thoughtful post. It can’t have been easy to write but I hope that it has helped you to put it down on “paper”, and I’m sure it will strike a chord with others. In fact, I found it surprising that it made me start thinking along the same lines about my driving commute- ok not the same (for one, I’ve never enjoyed it) but maybe elements are-I know when I’ve had a break I have felt happier, calmer, had a lot more energy and looked better and less tired. I have been pondering giving it up for months now..Maybe it’s about time I bit the bullet and be brave enough to make the decision that I can longer continue doing it.

  56. Megan L. says:

    Thank you for posting this. I had a similar experience only I started out playing softball and running cross country (to keep me in shape for softball and help my speed). After running for what seemed like my whole life, I stopped enjoying it when I got to high school. I found other outlets for my energy that make me as happy as running did. When I quit, that was all people would talk to me about when my next race was or how training was going. I felt like maybe I should still run. I kind of had the mindset of once a runner, always a runner. Mindsets, like societal molds, are made to be broken. So I just let my foot off the gas until I simply stopped. I still do the occasional 5K with friends or for a good cause. Now running has become social to me and not an everyday need. Glad to know I’m not the only one! Thank you.

  57. Kate says:

    I’m a longtime reader and wanted to say thank you for this post! I actually went through the same thing – after years of running 6-10 miles everyday, I had to quit because of plantar fasciitis in my feet. This was at the same time as graduating college (and freaking out about the future), a breakup, and moving back in with my parents – horrible timing. Running always helped me with anxiety so having to stop because of an injury was hard. I worried that not running would cause me to gain weight, and I did gain a few pounds at first from stress-eating (about not being able to run!) but soon I went back to normal, and overall I do feel better now even without running. And now almost two years later my feet are finally better (for the most part) and I am slowly starting to run again, and it’s something I look forward to! I think hurting my feet was my body’s way of telling me I was burnt out, and although it was stressful at the time, I think it made me realize I’m not “just” a runner. I wouldn’t wish plantar fasciitis (or a breakup, or any other stressful events) on anyone but sometimes it works out for the best in the long run. Anyways thank you for sharing!

  58. Livi says:

    you are so courageous for sharing so much of yourself! I think that our lives and our routines go through different phases and it’s really important to listen to what our body is telling us. good job listening !

  59. michelle says:

    That is so awesome. After being a competitive runner in cross country in college and playing sports my whole life, I twisted my ankle and wore out the disc’s in my back. I can relate to your post and hope that one day I can run like I have in the past.

  60. Angie Dye says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story. You are a wonderful example to so many young women and what a fantastic message to share about the importance of listening to your body!

  61. Rebekah says:

    I think it’s great that you weren’t afraid to give up something that you thought was apart of your identity. Well said & well done:-)

  62. I’m going through something similar right night, but I actually need to stop running for my health…it’s relieving to hear from someone who is happier and feeling a little healthier with a little added weight. You look gorgeous and I’m grateful you shared this with us!

  63. Emily says:

    Hey Katie,
    I just want to say I am also very proud of you. I know how hard it must have been to listen to your body and let go. I know you must have felt out of control and scared, but I am certain it was the right thing to do. You needed to gain weight and your body will be so much better off. Exercise is always a fine balance between not over or under doing it. I hope you never beat yourself up for not working out. I hope you continue to eat and not over-exercise and let your body go to where it wants to be. As long as you eat a balanced diet and just go for a walk every day, your body will stay in a healthy range. I hope you continue to trust your body and get to a healthy weight that will make you feel so much stronger. I know you can do it. And as others have said, try not to worry too much about the future. I am in the same boat as you, but I try to remember to just take it a day at a time. You don’t have to have everything figured out right now. Just go where your heart leads you. I have no doubt that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to! Trust your body, trust yourself, and trust the process of your life! Sending encouragement and support!

    1. Thanks, Emily :).
      Just to clarify so no one reads this and gets the wrong idea, I wanted—not needed—to gain weight. I was healthy before (despite what the mostly-untrue internet rumors say about me), but am much happier now!

  64. Marilyn says:

    I’m so glad you’re getting the rest you need. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  65. Lauren says:

    Katie, thank you so much for posting this. I have gone back and forth having this issue my whole life.

    Sometimes running is the BEST stress reliever for me… so a few weeks at a time, but then I go back to just honestly feeling best with a brisk walk or yoga each day. It’s nothing super long or intense, but it keeps me feeling great and not pressured to kill myself at the gym each day. And I actually end up being MORE happy with my body and how it looks when I’m doing exercise I enjoy.

    You’re the best, Katie! :)

  66. Kathryn says:

    Thank you for your wonderful blog! And thank you for your post on running. It is encouraging. You are great and you look wonderful!

  67. Tammela says:

    It sounds like you definitely got burnt out with running. I know that I have to mix up my running routine quite a lot in order not to get bored or burn out — incorporating speedwork, varying distances, and training for races keeps me motivated. That said, I’ve burned out in a sport before (volleyball) and know that with real burnout, nothing you do to shake things up helps. Sometimes you just need time away to gain perspective. Good for you for making that decision, and keep exercising in other fun ways!

  68. Rachel says:

    you look a lot healthier honestly!! I am proud of you! sometimes you gotta change up your routine. GOOD JOB! :)

  69. Jill says:

    Thanks for writing this – I can completely relate. I gave up running due to injuries for months, so it really wasn’t a choice, but at first it was very tough. Then I realized how much of my life I got back not being tied to the running schedule. I missed my running friends and the social aspect the most, quite honestly. Also, I was in the process of recovering from my eating disorder, so along with that, running has not remained the center of my life. I would run a lot to be thin, among the other good benefits. Now, I am back running a bit but only when I want to – when my ankles feel ok, or when the weather is beautiful, or I have a friend to hang out with. It’s so freeing to not have exercise control your life, but rather enhance it – as it should! Thanks for being brave and open.

  70. Laura says:

    Katie, good for you. I say this because we (as women especially) feel this tendency to live up to all the “shoulds” we put on ourselves. Life is so full of enrichment and there are so many ways to exercise your mind, body, soul. Not to sound cheesy, but doing less of what you “should” do and more of what you “want” to do is something I am striving for. Don’t get me wrong, exercise makes me feel better, so I want to do it. But if it’s a day where I am exhausted and need that extra relaxation time … it is OK for me to take it. (perhaps some time off even more of a “should” in reality??)

    I’m trying to seek that balance of doing what I need to do, but letting more fall through. Saying no more often. Doing what makes me feel the best, trying new things, and constantly reevaluating how I spend my precious few spare minutes a day.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your personal world with us.

  71. asheisele says:

    Thank you for sharing this – love it. I’ve never been a runner and actually keep telling myself to just try it, so I laughed when I saw your post. But I get it, I totally get it. You do something because it brings you joy and takes stress away and you stop when it no longer does that. And if I could share some of my curves with you, I would (but just that little extra bit that I’m too lazy to get rid of on my own.)

  72. Kate Mior says:

    Good advice!
    I went through a weight up/down (having always had a stable weight my entire life, this was bizarre at the time, and made sense given my whole life situation, in retrospect). As a result, I hit training HARD, and because it had helped me re-centre myself, I continued it just as heavily throughout my touring season (I’m a full-time circus performer) for TWO years. I arrived home after my European tour this autumn feeling completely drained and dreading the gym. While I do need to maintain a *certain* level of fitness to do my job, I realized I was over-training and injuring myself (and what’s worse, making myself miserable in the process) I’ve decided to take this winter off and I couldn’t be happier! (and subsequently, lost the 2.5kg I put on during the summer!) It’s amazing how taking time to breathe
    Sounds like you had a year similar to me with the two moves. It’s stressful. Be kind to yourself and you’ll bounce back to wherever you want to be!

  73. Lorin says:

    Great post! I used to read your blog a few years ago when you would run a lot. I always admired it but couldn’t imagine running as much as you. I have taken a break but I still bike about 8 miles total going to and from college and my house. I havent read your blog in awhile but i saw it on Facebook and I’m glad i did.

  74. Jamie says:

    Katie, I’ve followed your blog for YEARS now, and I have always been a huge fan of your recipes. But I must say, it is absolutely WONDERFUL to hear about your life! Seriously, you rock for listening to your body and mind and just going with what feels right. I know this is your blog and I love it exactly the way it is, but I would love to see posts like this more often!

    As a side note, yoga is wonderful for developing toned, curvy, sexy muscles. Sometimes I like to make my apartment completely dark at night, lights a few candles, and pop in a yoga DVD. It’s so relaxing, too.

  75. Emilylovesraisins says:

    I totally know how you feel.
    I used to run nearly every day of the week. And I totally loved it. But at one point, I too realized I was dreading my morning run. At about this time, my right knee starting hurting badly. I couldn’t run for at least 2 months.
    I recently started running again, just a few days a week. I love it so much more now that I took a break. Sometimes, you just need to stop. Either way, do what makes you happy because that matters more.

  76. Am says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am sorry that you have had a rough year. Thanks for sharing about how you decided not to run when you didn’t feel like it was helping you. I have been struggling with this and thinking about this recently. Very helpful, thank you! :)

  77. Ryan Gelinas says:

    After logging over 1000km and running a couple of marathons last year, I kind of ended up in the same boat earlier this year. It almost felt like work and wasn’t fun. Couple that with the fact that I started dating a non-runner right after new year’s, I went down to pretty much nothing for most of the year. Then, when I got dumped around labor day, I found my way back to running, and it felt awesome again. It was like being re-united with an old friend! I decided to be a bit more sane this time around though… no more marathons in the near future (though I am running the Dallas Half in a couple of weeks) and less junk miles, so I can have more fun at it (and isn’t that really the point anyway?!?). I’ve always been a firm believer in that everyone needs to do what’s right for them, so you’ve found a change that’s working for you, then it’s the right thing to do!

  78. Jen says:

    I feel your pain; I like to run as well, but it’s a lot harder when one’s real life isn’t going so well. But I hope you feel better, and your blog has been extra-fabulous lately if I must say so myself (so much cake! and pie! and pumpkin pancakes!). Your fans will always be here for you!
    BTW eating a bowl of peanut butter straight with molasses sounds awesome. And why not?

  79. Laura says:

    First off I want to thank you for such an honest post. I went through a similar phase where I was just running because I was supposed to, but not actually enjoying it and was completely destroying my body from overexercising and excess cortisol. I now go for long walks with bursts of running (pseudo-interval training) and feel much better afterwards. I also found a LOVE for cycling. It’s great because you can set the pace or desired resistance you want and go out and enjoy yourself without having to worry about clocking kilometres (I’m a canuck) or timing yourself. Plus strength training is KEY for women, lifting weights at the gym and doing more body weight exercises is always encouraged. Even though you keep your personal life away from your blog, which I respect, I would tell something was ‘up’ and glad you have opened up instead of pretending to be a super happy bubbly person 24/7. P.s. I also mentioned your special diet parties post in a recent comment on my blog, thanks for all the great tips!

    you can check it out here

  80. I definitely have my spurts of loving to run and times when I dread it! I think it’s normal? Should be enjoyable! :)

  81. Amoreena says:

    In time, you may want to run again, you may not. But, I have found that when I am going through extreme stress, that is enough of a workout for me. Right now, your body needs deep nourishment, not more expenditure. Enjoy pampering yourself, you deserve it! :)

  82. caren says:

    LOL….I just wrote a post about how your sport makes you feel. I’ve broken up with running a few times, and now it seems it’s breaking up with me! I often find moving toward something far less jarring like yoga after a long period of running can be really therapeutic.

    Anyway, don’t give away your runners just yet. The love you’ve lost might bite you again when you least expect it.

    BTW, sorry to hear you’ve had a tough year. I can certainly relate. I’m calling 2013 the year of the shit-sandwich :)

  83. Laura says:

    Good for you. Running killed my knees and resulted in nerve damage at the age of 21. Find something else physical to do, and I am sorry to hear all of your recent stress you have gone through. Keep faith; everything will get better.

  84. Pat Amsden says:

    I love this blog. But I must say while I tend to eat when I’m happy, sadly I also eat when stressed. So I do yoga!

    We’ve each got to learn what works for us.

  85. Bridget says:

    Very insightful! I am one of those crazy runners who gets out there nearly every day and doesn’t stop until my body tells me to. I can’t imagine feeling exhausted after a run; I usually feel the exact opposite at the end of a run, so I fully understand why you would discontinue something that was totally depleting. Listening to your body is the only way to take care of it! You know when you feel your best and it is great that you found your body’s “happy place.” Wonderful post and man do I wish there was a way to keep your hair in place and out of your face while running without doing any damage!

  86. Jen says:

    What a wonderful post, Katie! I have actually recently quit running myself, and like you, I feel less stressed and happier for it! I’ve started doing cycling and elliptical workouts at the gym (and Zumba!) to stay focused and fit, but my joints will forever thank me for this.

    I have also struggled with body image and felt the need to run/work out compulsively to stay “skinny”. Still working on that one, but reading your thoughts on healthy weight gain is a breath of fresh air. Thank you! :)

  87. Wow good for you! I mean it’s much better to stop running than to force yourself to do it. I’ve never been a runner–I’ve tried and tried but I don’t think it’s for me. I read a tonnnn of running blogs and think, why can’t I run? I tire quickly and feel exhausted instead of energized (like you said). Walking is THE BEST and I will never tire of it :)

  88. Sheree says:

    You are beautiful and honest, Katie. Life is all about evolving and changing and no one ever said you have to remain the same person the rest of your life.

    I just recently took up yoga at the age of 53 and I feel like I have found my calling~~at least for now! Who knows what will be around the corner, but just go with the flow and be happy *now*!

  89. Elena says:

    Thank you for writing this! I love reading your posts, whether I have time to make one of your recipes or not. But it’s easy to believe that your life–or any other blogger’s life, for that matter–is perfect. Remembering that we’re all human and we all struggle with stress and identity is important. I started running recently, and for me it’s the opposite. I feel stressed and unhappy when I don’t run or exercise. I think it’s important that we all find what works best for us in order to be healthy physically and emotionally, because it is different for everyone.

  90. DeeAnn Shutt says:

    running is not healthy on your joints. It is better to walk anyway.

    1. Ellie says:

      I’m sorry, but that’s just untrue. Running improperly (poor form) or in bad shoes can lead to weakened joints. Running too many hard days, or without rest, can also cause a breakdown of tissue in joints, but MOST runners know not to do that.
      I’m a kinesiology major and it makes me sad when people claim that a heart healthy, bone-strengthening exercise is “bad for your joints”, or will ruin your knees, or any other false claim.
      Our bodies were built to be moved, specifically built to run. No one says, “thinking is bad for your brain, just watch TV instead, it’s less taxing” so why do they claim “running is bad for your joints, don’t try the highest-calorie burning and endorphin-releasing exercise out there”

      1. R Zhao says:

        Admittedly, I don’t know much about it. But running must be hard on the body for most people, as everyone I know or read about who does it for any length of time suffers from some sort of injury or health issue. Surely walking is easier on the body.

  91. Wendy says:

    Thanks for your post! As I have had an ambivalent relationship with running I appreciate it! What was missing for me is are you still doing physical activity on a regular basis? Part of not wanting to give up running for me is the question of what will take its place so I’m wondering how you think about this question! Congratulations and I’m happy you’re happy!

  92. Tara says:

    Hi Katie– I admire your ability to listen to your body’s cues. It’s easy to ignore them when we’re focusing on what needs to be done and trying so hard just to finish.

    My 2-mile jogs every other day started to feel like a chore. Now I take my dog with me, and she helps slow the pace and her smiles make me feel happy. I also snack on a spoonful of almond butter and drink a sip of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (not together) early in the morning which I think helps ease me into the day. Even the smallest shifts in routine can make such a difference.

  93. Anna says:

    I know everyone has their own opinions about weight gain, but nut butters are my personal favorite method. :) They taste delicious and don’t leave me feeling overly full.

    Life should be more about living in moderation doing what makes you happy. :)

  94. Kristen says:

    Hey Katie i love your blog and i think you are awesome i love reading your posts :) Although i have never been a runner i have always been pretty active and extremely thin and in my search to get healthier and loose my pregnancy weight i came across a website it is called they have awesome workouts and they only usually take about 12 to 20 mins a day :) i have been doing it for 2 years now and i have gained a good bit of muscle i am the heaviest i have been outside of being pregnant of course :) they also have another website called and they also have a youtube channel :)

  95. Rebecca says:

    Life throws us so many twists and turns doesn’t it?! Wish you all the best, everyone is different, glad you are focusing on what feels good for you.

  96. Kira says:

    Thank you so much for posting. Exercising stresses me out alot, and i had the same experience as you where I just stopped going. I feel so much calmer and happier, but I also have been feeling very guilty. This makes me feel alot better. I know i still need to exercise, but running has proved more stressful than other methods

  97. Steph says:

    I’m so happy for you! Running so much daily takes a huge toll on one’s body no matter how fit it is!

  98. Anna Banana says:

    Sorry to hear about your personal issues, but really glad you posted this. Beyond just knowing that you’re turning a corner and feeling happier (which I’m sure we all love to hear), it’s great when you use your blog as a platform for good advice. I hope things continue to improve/go well, and you really look lovely in that photo.

  99. anon says:

    Hey Katie, it sounds like you might have been over training, which totally leads to more body (and mind) stress than less of it. Anyway, cheers to listening to your body. If it dreads running, it doesn’t want to go. Take care and hope your stressful year brightens up.

  100. May says:

    Katie, you might wanna consider doing weight trainning!
    its the best way to maintain your physique!

  101. Kayla Marie says:

    Katie, do you have any suggestions on how to get over a fat phobia?

    When I first because vegan I was attracted to the high-carb vegan lifestyle, but now that I want to have a more varied vegan diet, I have found that I have developed a sort of fat phobia. I admire that you eat large amounts of fats and don’t feel guilty at all (and look great as a result!) Any help from others would be appreciated as well.

    1. Hmmm… I’m not sure. Maybe talk with a nutritionist if you can? And be reassured by looking at me and maybe other people (maybe in your real life?) who eat a lot of fat and are still in good shape. Eating a diet high in healthy fats does not, in and of itself, make you fat. I eat much more than the RDA for fat and have never felt better. (But please remember I’m not a nutritionist and can only give you my observations based on experience not medical advice.) Good luck!

      1. Kayla Marie says:

        Thanks so much for your reply! I’ll keep working on it :)

        1. laura says:

          check out my blog spot

          carbohydrates do nothing but cause your blood sugar to spike and all that excess carbohydrates are quickly digested, metabolized and then stored as fat in the body. after a spike comes a fall leaving you hungry and irritable. Fat release hormones in your digestive tract that signal a full feeling, keeping you satiated for much longer. I use to be a fat phobic and lived by a high carb fat free life style. Now i’m basically the opposite, on a ‘paleo’ style diet and most of my calories are from fat and protein and very little carbohydrates. I’m at my lowest weight and highest muscle mass I have ever been and feel great. do NOT be afraid of the fat, instead i would fear the white (i.e. white flour, sugar, potatoes, rice) as those are what will leave you hungry, bloated, cranky, let alone wreck havoc on your digestive and immune system.

    2. Audrey says:

      I would recommend a dietician (not nutritionist, as there is no required certification to call yourself a nutritionist. I studied nutrition for years and did an internship at a sports medicine center and I learned that fact along the way) and therapy. I have dealt with similar issues and those both have really helped.

  102. Tara says:

    I am so proud of you, Katie! I am proud of you for being so candid; I can only imagine the vulnerability you must have felt hitting submit to make this post public but just know that I found your words to be very inspiring due to a similar circumstance I have been through. This is the real you, this is genuine, and this post made me have nothing but overwhelming respect and support for you. Thank you.

  103. Katy says:

    GREAT post Katie, thank you for writing this! I had been feeling much the same earlier and it’s amazing to find out that you as a person are not defined by the type of exercise you do! Good on you!

  104. Lauren says:

    Thank you for sharing this Katie :) I had a very similar experience, but stopped right when I started college (did it my whole life before) and it’s been 5 years since then. Might start it sometime later in life again, but I took up surfing and hiking instead and love them. Glad to know someone else can relate and I enjoyed reading your story.

  105. Hallie Jo says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I love running, but finally came to the point where I was able to let go of it–a much-needed change, due to health issues that caused running to drain me of energy, give me terrible headaches and sicknesses, and make me GAIN weight instead of losing it. I wish I could run, but I know it’s better for me to walk.

  106. Katie – thank you for sharing! I love hearing your journey and I appreciate your authenticity! I hope that as you continue on this journey you will continue to find more ways to truly love yourself and enjoy WHO you are! Chocolate and running don’t define a girl – your sunshine heart and openness to the world around are what make you so special! Be blessed! Xjess

  107. Ashton says:

    This is so timely for me! I recently (as in last week) gave up my obsessive cardio (elliptical for me, because I have a foot injury). I realized that my motivation for doing it came from an unhealthy place (insecurity– skinny people run all the time!, comparison– everyone in my family runs!, desperatation to change my body quickly– cardio is the fastest way to burn calories!), and it just wasn’t making me a happier person. I’m trying a new fitness route– weights, pilates, kickboxing! Things I love! I don’t have as many “extra” calories to eat in a day, but I can already tell that I’ve dropped a lot of my emotional eating habits!

  108. Georgie says:

    I can totally relate! I almost always dread running, but your experience has shown me that if it’s not fun, then stop! Thanks so much for your post. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  109. katie says:

    I loved this post. Thank you for being so real. I also lose weight when I am stressed. And I hate when people say, oh you look so great, when deep down I am screaming for help or comfort. Thank you again! Hope things get better for you

  110. jenni says:


    Thank you for this. I love how honest you are and how you are willing to share these parts of your life with readers to give them hope and help. This post especially helped me as I am a running addict who had to give up running for over a year now due to a ligament injury in my ankle. This past summer, I had reconstructive ankle surgery and am recovering (and finally walking again!), but of course still haunted by that nagging question..”Will I ever run again…? Will I be able to run like I did in the past…?” Your post reminded me of something I am slowly learning… to go easier on myself, be patient, and be more intuitive about how I treat my body. Sometimes I would force myself to exercise when I just didn’t feel like it, and that can increase the likelihood of injuries. I’m going to be following my instincts a lot more as I continue to get back on my feet. You are a great example of how to live a healthy life of “balance” and not go to extremes.* Thanks for keeping our heads screwed on straight! :)

    *with the exception of chocolate :)

  111. Lauren says:

    Thank you Katie! I appreciate this post more than you’ll ever know. I have suffered from anorexia and exercise addiction in the past. In today’s society (work out more! If it hurts, push harder! You can be thinner!) it becomes to difficult to gage when you are being healthy, and when you are so obsessed with health you’re actually sick. It takes courage to rest- to tell yourself it is okay to stop when your body needs to, and for that I commend you.

    Recovering from my illness, eating healthy and a balanced diet has been incredibly important. I looked to your blog for recipes that would make me feel okay with allowing myself treats and enjoying food again. Everything was great, however my only concern was when I saw your picture. It seemed that you were too thin yourself- beautiful, but very, very slim. I almost commented a few times, wanting to reach out and see if you needed someone to talk to – but felt it was not my place being a stranger and all. I just want to say that you look absolutely gorgeous and happy in your photo above, and that I breathed a giant sigh of relief! Best of luck to you miss :) Stay strong, and know we all support you whether you run a marathon or just hang out in the kitchen thinking up more wonderful ways for us to enjoy chocolate 😀

  112. Michelle says:

    I have enjoyed your blog over the past years… This is my first comment and I hope this isn’t completely in the wrong place or out of protocol…but I have a holiday recipe I would love to see have a makeover… it is gingersnaps dipped in this dip…but i’d love a vegan alternative with alot less sugar and with the same great pumpkin spice flavor…any ideas? Thank you so much for the great recipes you share!
    8 ozs cream cheese (softened)
    1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
    8 ozs frozen whipped topping (carton frozen whipped topping thawed)
    16 ozs gingersnaps

  113. Ann D. says:

    Oh I never liked running much, just shorter spurts are fun. I wasn’t able to gain much weight at all until I was in my 30’s. Like you I tend to lose weight and appetite with stress. Love reading your blog for the recipes, I haven’t eaten dairy in about 14 years and it’s been helpful. Glad you’re enjoying your walks now; always good for clearing the mind. Be Well :0)

  114. Katie, wow, just wow. As someone who’d been afraid to step back from running because it feels like such a big part of my identity (I’m “that skinny girl who bakes and runs”), it is empowering to here from someone who wasn’t afraid to take a break for however long she needs. Thank you for sharing this post! Also, can I just say how much I’d love to talk about this with you over PB mixed with coconut oil? And maybe chocolate 😉

  115. sgnyk says:

    Thank you for your honesty, and exposing yourself in transparency. It’s one of the qualities of this blog I think. I believe that as far as working out goes, there is no “one size fit all” type of work-out. It’s really about discerning what fits you and I too praise your decision to listen to your body. I believe it was truly sending you a signal.
    I too used to run and I really loved it but had to stop, because of a joint inflammation on one of my knees. Since then, I also realized it had taken its toll on my back, that was already weak. I have made my peace that it’s really an exercise that does me more damage than good, and therefore is for others.
    I’d also like to share an information from a Dr, back in France, where I am from: according to her, running for women is actually a factor contributing to pelvic organs prolapse. Made sense to me, and gave me another good reason for me to not have regrets. Again saying that it’s a matter of personal choice/conviction and what fits one.

  116. Thanks for posting this Katie! It is so important to listen to our bodies! I am happy you are in such a better place now :) All the best!

  117. Sammy says:

    If you like coconut oil in your PB, this will be your new addiction! Im obsessed!

  118. alloyjane says:

    Thank you for this. I can understand why you feel the need to keep your private life out of your blogging life, but I have been missing that extra bit of *you* that you would occasionally share. I’m glad you still trust your readers to be honest about something as momentous as self-identity. I hope you always trust your gut and only do things because you love them, not because the outside world expects you to. Thank you for a site full of sinless deliciousness. Your black bean brownie recipe is my favorite brownie recipe ever.

    Oh, and the coconut oil peanut butter combo is even BETTER when you add cocoa powder. I’ll have to actually use blackstrap instead of agave next time and see how I like that. It’s a shame I don’t need to gain weight though…

  119. Sina says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of yourself with us! It takes a lot to write about something so very personal. I just wanted to say, that it makes you appear so much more human (in a good way). So I am very glad you posted this.
    Be lovely in everything you do!

  120. Eleanor D says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love running as stress relief, but when I get really stressed out I turn it into an obsession…sometimes you just have to take a break I guess!

  121. I hated training for my half marathon and since then… I haven’t stepped outside with those running shoes on! I don’t miss it at all. I’m sure I will again… just not now! (:

  122. A says:

    Posts like this are why your blog is the only food or “healthy-living” blog that I read. I get so sick of other blogs that are basically just mechanisms for the authors to brag about how they ate 1/3 cup of oats (rolled! always rolled oats!) after running 12 miles that morning, with photos of the same damn bowl of oats seven days a week. To me, that’s not healthy living. I am aware that I’m hypersensitive to these issues because of my history with anorexia, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s really refreshing to have someone who is both focused on making food with healthy ingredients *and* talking about real-life self care. For you to share that you gave up an exercise routine that was becoming oppressive, that life is not always so perfect behind the scenes, and that are happy about your awesome new curves–I already had respect for you, but it just doubled. We need more voices like yours.

  123. Vanessa says:

    I recently did the very same thing and it has really helped to refocus me. Good luck! And thanks for sharing.

  124. Suz says:

    Kinda quick story. Me – crazy runner 20 years. Trashed my hip. Surgery. Worse now than ever. Can’t run. Shoot, can’t walk w/out a limp! Switched to cycling. Diagnosed w/overtraining about 6 years ago. Still struggle a tiny bit but much better. I know this man in his 80’s. He has ridden bikes all his life…all over the world. He rides no matter the weather (except snow). He’s SLOW & he doesn’t care. Now he rides a recumbent b/c it’s more comfortable. He LOVES LOVES LOVES to ride. You can see it on his face. He has never spent a day of his life in a hospital (not even when he was born!). He’s never injured. He’s always happy. He looks amazing & nothing near his age. He shares his love of bikes with others. We should all embrace “exercise” like this…as though it’s not exercise. Good for you for listening to your body Katie!

  125. T says:


    Thank you so much for sharing this! I am happy to know that YOU are happy. It seems that blog Katie is always smiling, pretty, skinny, and still able to eat yummy desserts all the time. I am glad to know you are a real person too!

    I was a committed runner for many years. I developed a stress fracture in my foot two summers ago, and even after the injury healed, I lost my motivation to run as intensely as I used to. I still struggle to get out and go run. If it is a nice day, I may go, but my hips and foot hurt. So now I am going to boot camp and HIIT fit classes (plus I play tennis several times a week). A friend asked me to do a 1/2 marathon with her in spring 2014…and I kind of just said “eeehhhh” because I know in my heart that I don’t want to do it! I just don’t have the desire. Even my husband, who is a sub 3 hour marathoner, is starting to lose his motivation. It’s just hard to keep doing something over and over and over again. We need to keep ourselves challenged with new things I guess! Anyway, thank you for your blog and your recipes! Enjoy your life!

  126. Brittany A says:

    It is probably a good thing you gave up running when you did, especially if it was making you feel bad. I have read many articles and research on the dangers of long, slow distance cardio. Here are 2 good ones that summarize:
    Man was not designed for movement at a chronically sustained high intensity aerobic pace – See more at:

    Exercising with short bursts of high intensity is actually better for your heart. If I run, it is in short bursts of energy (for example- run as fast as I can for 1 minute, then walk 20 seconds, then repeat etc.)

  127. Katie, I’m so glad you decided to share this with us! I know it’s hard to open up about personal subjects like this especially if people have been considering you to be all happy-go-lucky at all times. Trust me, though, you’re an inspiration for many by posting this and I’m including myself here.
    In the past I’ve been forced to give up running due to injuries several times – sometimes for a few months at a time. At first it seemed unbearable but just like you I noticed it got easier. I wasn’t stressing about workouts anymore and no, I didn’t immediately become an overweight lazy couch potato. Just like you, though, I actually need to gain a little – and have recently – so congrats on that :)! Manifestation of feeling more relaxed and happier? That’s an awesome idea of viewing it and one I might steal to feel comfortable with my additional pounds, too.
    You really look beautiful, girl!

  128. Julie says:

    Such a brave post! Thank you for sharing! I’m happy that you’re feeling better now.

  129. Veg4Ever says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I am going through something similar. I have always loved running. The last few years, however, it has drained my energy and lowered my immunity. This has been rather puzzling, as I am a very health-conscious vegan, and I eat mostly whole plant foods rather than processed food. Today, my doctor told me that my thyroid gland is not functioning properly (hyperthyroidism), so I will need to see an endocrinologist for further testing. I have also asked to be tested for celiac disease, which can develop later in life, even though I tested negative for it in my early thirties. (Patients with hyperthyroidism often have celiac disease. Once gluten is removed from the diet, thyroid function may improve.) Anyway, I think this issue with my thyroid may explain why running has been too much for me. I am sharing my story in the hope that it may help you or others. Take care, sister! And I loved your pumpkin pancake recipe–delish!

  130. Alyssa says:

    As a much older person, I know of many young people who have gone through, or are going through the same soul-searching and life changes as you are. Actually, it is quite normal to find that, what made you excited and happy when younger, is no longer adequate. It’s part of an examined life and a is positive thing.

    I don’t want to sound like an old granny (which I am) but I’m glad to see that you are gaining a bit of weight. I had seen a picture of you getting pumpkins and was surprised at how very slim you looked. And curves are fun! :-)

    I enjoy your blog and recipes immensely and think you have a very inventive, original, and quick mind. Your “redos” of old favorites is a wonderful way to introduce family and friends to healthier eating. If a dessert can be made healthier AND tastes great, then half of the battle of getting people to like healthier foods is won!

    Keep examining your life and you will never grow to be a dull person! And, keep up the good work!

  131. Ashley-Marie says:

    Hey Katie,
    I’ve been a long time reader of your blog but never commented. I just wanted to let you know that your words were exactly what I need to read today and thank you so much for writing this. =) I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling better and happier now!

    All the best,

  132. Kirsten says:

    SO many of your blog posts and recipes have been exactly what I’m looking for. Today, I woke up and did not go running, a choice I’ve been tending to make since graduating six months ago. I learned to love running in college–nothing felt better after a stressful day than putting in 8 miles. But, I have not been able to pin point exactly why the running has stopped; then I read this post and it made me smile. Once again, you’ve expressed your experiences in a way that parallels my own. Thank you for giving unexpressed thoughts a voice!

  133. I have yet to comment on your blog, but I just had to today. I love this post for so many reasons, but what stuck out to me most was when you described your love for “peanut butter and coconut oil.” I always had the same love, so much so that I developed my own nut butter line and all of my flavors use – you guessed it – coconut oil:) I think you’d like the “honey vanilla-bourbon peanut butter” best:) Check it out ( I must get you some when I launch nationwide:)

  134. Leigh says:

    I needed this, thank you Katie <3 While I still feel passionate about running, due to everything else in my life I simply don't have time to run outside anymore (plus it's -20C or lower every day in the winter!) and so you've reassured me that not running won't kill me 😉 Congratulations on realizing this Katie – I definitely noticed how happy and glowing you look since around the time you said you stopped running ! :)

  135. Lisa says:

    Hi Katie, Love your recipes!!

    It sounds like you are saying that you “eat 1/3 of a jar of the oil/nut butter mixture each morning”. But I’m thinking, you make that recipe, and eat a spoonful in the AM?

    I don’t want to go off and start eating 2-3 jars a week, lol, if I am messing up your blog! Your Chocolates thrill us all.

  136. colleen says:

    Katie, I commend you for your honesty in this post. The Internet is such a vicious world filled with both snarky and disordered people; the normalcy of this post was refreshing. Good for you–living your life in a way that makes you healthy and happy and sharing that with your readers. I truly hope that your lifestyle change will have a positive impact on someone else.

  137. Gemma says:

    Kudos to you Katie! I love your website and now gotta say I love your attitude!! My latest personal mantra is “challenge is opportunity… WELCOME CHANGE!”

    Props to you. Your resilience and flexibility are a real inspiration.

  138. Danielle says:

    Hi Katie,

    I wanted to thank you for sharing your story – it made me feel better about making the same decision really recently. I’ve always been an avid runner and exerciser, I love to be physically active. But after starting medical school last year, running went from something that was a de-stressor to one of a myriad of tasks I had to complete or risk feeling the guilt of “letting myself down”. After a really difficult year of 14 hour school days spent running around the hospital, studying well into the night, and fielding concerns about my relationships falling to the wayside, I realized that I deserved to spend my free time recuperating and enjoying the company of my loved ones, not punishing myself in the gym.

    Since I stopped running I have had more energy to be a better student, partner and friend. I’ve also been able to regain some of the weight that I stressed off (not intentionally – I’m small-framed to begin with)

    I’m all for exercise; I still do some strength training and I am constantly on my feet otherwise. But you’re right – there comes a point where mental health and balance is more important. Its taken me a while to rectify the guilt of giving up my regime, but this is definitely helping.

    Thank you again,

  139. Catie says:

    exercise should reduce stress, not create it! if a routine is no longer enjoyable, it’s better to do something else instead. no one says you have to stick to one thing forever, everyone gets burned out!

    that’s why i love this post!

  140. I read your blog regularly but don’t generally comment (mostly because I figure you have so many comments you don’t need more!). However, I am really grateful to you for sharing this post. I think it’s important people don’t run themselves to death (figuratively, but in some cases also literally) when they rely on the activity for stress management. Sometimes, enough is enough!

  141. Tammy Nel says:

    I love your posts but I mainly lurk.

    I am about 4 months out of a traumatic breakup after 6 years – exercise isn’t something I am leaning on but I am using it to improve my self image (he cheated, it took quite a knock). I am not doing it to lose weight. I am doing it to be healthy and strong.

    You don’t always need to be happy, but on the flip side, do what makes you happy.
    Love your blog, I hope things get better!

  142. Halpen says:

    It’s really important to change your exercise routine periodically so you don’t get bored or burned out. Plus, your body will get used to it, so you have to change it up. AND for those ladies looking for curves, lift weights. Seriously. You can’t be afraid of weights, get that body builder image out of your mind. Weights are how you get those toned curves. I look to this website to satisfy my sweet tooth without sabotaging my results.

  143. Julia says:

    Proud of you! Thanks so much for sharing this story. It may not have to do with your cooking, which is why all of us read your blog in the first place, but it’s really refreshing to see that you truly do advocate self-care in this way. I, too, had to give up running, and dealt with some overwhelming feelings of guilt, especially when my friends all kept talking about it. This makes me feel proud that I did what was right for my body, and I know that I’m not in these sort of circumstances alone!

  144. Kate says:

    I really appreciate your honest post, I know it rang true with me. I’ve done a lot of social dancing for years, salsa and swing, and recently it’s been less appealing for some reason. I go occasionally, but I used to dance 3-4 times a week. Recently I’ve been getting into running actually, as a new alternative.

    Keep your chin up, and good for you for trying new things!

  145. What a great post Katie! Thank you for sharing it and giving us a better idea of who you are! Being a blogger is a paradox…you want people to “know” you so they can relate but at the same time you want to keep some of your “real” identity private!!! I feel that way every time I post something on my Blog 😉

  146. Crash Course Cardiologist says:

    I gave up running recently, too … and I’m much, much happier. Instead of my running intervals on the treadmill, I replaced them with inclines. Still a great workout and no joint pain. Almost everyone I know who’s any kind of serious runner has had knee or hip issues later in life … to me, it’s not worth it. Lots of my friends train for the Diva Dash, or do Couch-to-5K or even run marathons — and that’s fine for them, but you certainly don’t need to run to be fit, active and healthy. Keep up the great work!

  147. Gabby M says:

    Good for you katie, exercise should be enjoyed and not be a burden, i injured myself after overdoing it running a year ago and now enjoy mainly lifting weights and 1-2 times per week. surprisingly, i can still run almost as far as weights do still keep your cardiovascular fitness up!! im still little however have a bit more of a booty!you are looking great 😀

    1. Gabby M says:

      *run 1-2 times p/w

  148. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, Katie! It’s tough to talk about yourself sometimes and I really appreciate your honesty!

  149. I ran competively in high school and on the side through college, haven’t ran really ran now for 20 Years, no biggie, its hard on the body. Now just regular fast walking , some Nordic skiing; you don’t have to run to “be” it’s not a definition it’s just an activity you do what you can do. Great blog, btw just “found” it.

  150. Carolina says:

    I loved this post. You’re so real, and I love getting to know the blogger behind the posts and recipes! It’s really great that you were able to stop something that you once considered a part of your identity; listening to your body is so important and something people don’t do enough because of conventional ideas of what’s healthy (like running!)

    Also love that you eat a third of a jar of peanut butter every morning! As a gluten-intolerant and extremely health-conscious college student, peanut butter is a dorm staple! I eat it by the spoonful straight out of the jar, usually going through a jar a week, and I can imagine coconut oil would be amazing mixed in…

  151. Niki says:

    So glad someone else feels the same way I do about running! I seem to go through phases of craving it and then resenting it. I used to feel guilty when I didn’t run but I realised that as long as I’m still moving, eating well and being active then there’s no compulsion to push myself even harder. Maybe one day I’ll get back to it, but for now Im just glad there’s others experiencing the same thing! x

  152. Katja says:

    I started running last year and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! I’m up to over 10 km now per day and I run every morning, 7 days per week. Interestingly, I gained a bit of weight when I started to run, but I was underweight before and I think that I have gained only muscle weight. I’m totally addicted to running now and It makes me feel so much better. :-)

  153. April says:

    Omigosh! I thought I was the only one who mixed coconut oil with peanut butter!!!! I’m so glad I’m not alone! :) It’s just soooo good, huh?

    Thanks for sharing. I work out daily, but am not a runner! Have tried couch 2 5k so many times, but nope, still hate hate hate running!

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but your post just really “spoke to me”.

    And made me want peanut butter w/ coconut oil….and a sprinkle of salt. :)

  154. Stephanie says:

    i was relieved when i made it clear that you are just stop running, not stopping running this blog! it will be my heart to stop running if you close the blog!
    you’ve been to China so you know that how stressful high school life is in the East…Failing the public exams will ruin your life, bring down your family name…This is exactly how people in the Eastern societies think. life is full of pressure; it is totally unnecessary to pile any more on oneself. I always smear my textbooks and notes with chocolate. :)
    Love and support from Hong Kong!

  155. Ally says:

    Oh my gosh, this speaks to be soooo much!! I had been battling an eating disorder for about 3 years, running, like you anywhere from 8-10 miles, every day, rain or shine. My grades were going down hill, as well as my social life, and my organs. This was not all related to running, it was partly due to how little I would actually eat. Finally, one day, I snapped! I hateddd my life, I loathed exercise, everything. I just quit. Slowly, slowly, slowly I gained back about 25 pounds (and have curves…woohoo!!) over the last year. I know it sounds like a lot, but my body was happy to eat again, as was I (: Anyway, I am having a hard time, STILL, getting back into any sort of exercise, even though I know I need it, especially after all of this holiday stuff coming up 😉 I am positive, that once all of the negative parts of exercise leave my brain, I will SEE all of the wonderful, uplifting parts of exercise . The part that you’re supposed to feel, what exercise is meant for, happiness(: (oh, and same with healthy eating…still not on top of that either ;).

  156. Kait says:

    Your story is so inspirational.

  157. Judith says:

    do you have more gluten free recipes?

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Here is a link to all of her recipes that can be gluten-free:

  158. Rina Larson says:

    I can completely relate to this post. I, too, have been struggling with my relationship with running. I’ve always said that it’s a love-hate relationship when it comes to running, but, lately, it seems as though there’s been more love than hate. However, the thought of skipping a day of running just consumes me with unbearable guilt. Hopefully I’ll be able to reach a healthy place where I can just say “no” like you did! You’re really an inspiration for me!

    I’d also just like to say that I love your website (your five-minute chocolate mug cake is what first got me started on your site!), and I really enjoy reading personal posts such as this. Congrats on the success thus far, and I look forward to reading more from you in the future!

  159. Great post – It’s always interesting to hear a healthy person explain changes in their routines. Sometimes you just need a change, sometimes your body tells you it needs a change. I believe that exercising should bring you joy – So you need to do what makes you happy.

  160. Nora says:

    I love that you were able to write this post! A lot of “healthy” bloggers probably would never share something like this, it’s nice that you are so real.

    I was always a terrible athlete as a kid, and last year I had to be pulled out of sports due to a low weight and over-dieting. Now, I try to manage weight gain with yoga and strength training, I can’t say I ever loved running that much at all. This really helped me in my confidence that I can be healthy and athletic and not have to run 5K’s or play three seasons of sports! Thank you! Love your blog so much (especially lots of GF recipes, I suffer from Celiac)

  161. Hungry Heather says:

    Hey Katie, I admire you for sharing from your personal life on the Internet. I would be hesitant to be so open in front of so much scrutiny. Thank you for your courage. You touch the lives of so many who read your blog.

    Your story helped me personally. I have been fighting an infection for over six weeks now. I already have chronic fatigue, so with this infection i have been absolutely exhausted. You have reminded me to not beat myself up for not sticking to my exercise routine! There is a time to push through and a time to hold back. Thank you for reminding me of that. Your timing was perfect.

  162. Nina says:

    Thanks for sharing Katie. I think you’re perfectly normal to feel a need to change up your fitness routine in life. Likes and dislikes and habits in fitness change. As life’s ups and downs occur, and as life gets busier it’s normal to have that mental and physical shift. Sometimes it’s too easy to just put fitness on hold when you’re mentally feeling down or just too busy in life, atleast you’re going to the gym and doing something..Be proud of yourself for that! And I think having this creative outlet and have this as your job, something you love to do is a real blessing and things can only go up from here! You’re young and on the right track, keep it up girl!

  163. Audrey says:

    Thank you for being so open and honest with your post. While I love you usual posting style, this one was even more amazing and relatable. I hope you consider doing more posts like this one :)

  164. Laura says:

    Great post, Katie! I also need to gain weight, but somehow I feel guilty if I do, so I run not to feel guilty for me eating a lot (which I know I need, but still makes me think about calories too much). I love sweets too much! Haha! Well, now I run mainly because in the countryside I just moved to there are no gyms with funny studio programs :( But, running also makes me feel alive… mixed with a feeling of obligation…

    Mmmm, I have to get rid to the guilty feeling and really get happy if I gain any weight! Great post to think :) Thank you!!

  165. pipa says:

    how much have you gained and how much are you trying to gain?

  166. Van says:

    Hi Katie (it’s weird for me to call you by your first name as I don’t really know you, but I don’t know what else to call you)-
    Good for you for doing what feels right. Sometimes we do what feels right to other people or because we feel we should, and life is too short to not be authentic and true to ourselves. I hope you continue with all your success and to find what works for you.
    BY THE WAY–I thought of you this weekend when I (our family is currently posted in Vilnius, Lithuania) went with my son to a local CHOCOLATE RESTAURANT in Vilnius. A friend showed it to me last weekend, and because I am a bit crazy for chocolate and coffee, it is my kind of place. I thought you might like it too.
    Also, every time my children’s school has a bake sale or meeting I have to make something for, the recipe is always off your website and when people ask, I keep telling them about your website. Our family loves it. Thanks. Van

  167. A says:

    Love your blog, Katie! If you want to try something different, I suggest weightlifting. I started a training program two years ago and it’s absolutely the most empowering thing I’ve ever done!! The book New Rules of Lifting for Women is a great place to start.

  168. kristine says:

    Proud of you. It can be difficult to give up something that we so strongly identify ourselves with and as you said, you are so much more. Wishing you so many blessings and days of joy!

  169. MC says:

    Hey Katie! Mark Sisson (of the primal/ paleo diet) talks repeatedly about how long cardio exercises do nothing but wear you out in case you’re looking for further reading on the subject.

  170. Amanda S. says:

    You really do look a lot healthier/prettier since you put back on a little bit of weight. Glad it’s working for ya!

  171. Barbara Gabbe-Harris says:

    Hi Katie – just wanted to say ….I find life is always shifting & ebbing…although I am older than you, I can totally relate to your running story…I was going regularly to an early morning Zumba class…I decided that although I felt good once there, I didn’t really want to go anymore. I now get to enjoy my mornings without the stress of having to be somewhere…soo loving it! I will take a walk when the weather is good and when the spirit moves me…I feel so relaxed and happy with my decision and new routine. And…just to point out how we go through changes all the time…I’ve just switched over to wanting to carry small purses as opposed to large ones …..really funny…it used to be the more compact the pocketbook, the better…now I am loving having a big bag to comfortably carry all my stuff, including my iPad and can even carry around healthy snacks too! Embrace change! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. One of your loyal followers from Florida, Barbara

  172. Caitlyn says:

    Wow, what a powerful and brave post, Katie! This popped into my email inbox (I subscribe to your posts) on the perfect day, one where I was struggling with the same problem: I’ve been feeling pretty burned out on running lately, despite having really enjoyed it in the past. I could totally identify with your feeling of “what will I be when I’m not a runner?”; I had allowed it to become too much a defining aspect of my character! Lately, I’ve made a commitment to back down from “forced” runs, and I’ve found myself much happier. I still exercise daily, but I look forward to it more now when I don’t create imperatives about the type of activity I “should” be doing. I’ve been able to dive back into and deepen my yoga practice, a form of movement that nourishes me inside and out, and I’m so grateful for that!

    It was so wonderful to see my thoughts and feelings affirmed by your post: it was like you were talking directly to me! Thank you again for your courage, and for reminding us all of the importance of listening to our bodies and spirits just as much as we listen to the stories of the mind :)

  173. Chezsylvia says:

    Thanks for sharing! As an avid runner myself, I have been recently sidelined by an injury. I am a little surprised of how well I seem to be handling it. I always thought if one day I found that I couldn’t run, it would tear me apart. It was such a large part of my identity. But I’ve been surprisingly okay with it (I might have been on the cusp of a burnout). It has definitely given me a chance to get a little fresh air and mix up my routine a bit. It’s a good opportunity to explore new things :-)

  174. Stephanie says:

    This is such a great post! I was a 10 plus year runner and ran every other day without fail. I also have Fibromyalgia, which obviously made everything a trillion times harder. I used running a way to control (as my health strangely deteriorated) and ironically it ended up controlling me. Running is very hard on the body – take a look at avid runners as they age. My chiro says a lot of his clients are runners. Anyway, I discovered barre exercises and I do the “Insanity” cardio workouts (yes, it’s insane, but it is a lot shorter with quicker results than running!) My body had plateaued with running. Now, my weight seems to have shifted. (Slimmer limbs, leaner muscle and yet bigger breasts. Crazy! Who knew?) I’m not complaining and I can’t say I won’t ever go back to running on occasion, but for right now, I am enjoying the break. It was a hard decision for me to change, but I had to remind myself that it wasn’t “world-changing” if I stopped for a few days. I am so glad I did!! Sorry for rambling…thank you for posting this for all it may help!

  175. Samantha Nelmes says:

    I just finished my first half marathon and I was so happy but now I feel kind of lost. Thank you for pointing out to yourself and making me realize that I am more than just a runner.

  176. listening to your body is one of the biggest tools we need to better ourselves! without rest or proper fuel it will run us literally into the ground, so props to you for listening to yourself <3

  177. Jess says:

    So glad you posted this.

  178. Samantha says:

    Katie – I can completely relate to what you’re saying about getting burnt out from exercise, especially something you used to love and look forward to. I run into the same thing with weight lifting from time to time, which I consider to be my passion. It’s nice to take a step back and actually let yourself MISS it! Good for you.

    And I think you look absolutely gorgeous with the little bit of weight that you’ve put on. You look much healthier and you have that happy glow!


  179. Fannie says:

    Good for you, you look healthy and happy! It’s interesting how something that is known to be “healthy” behaviour can actually make us feel stressed/tired .. I guess it’s all about finding that balance. BTW it is amazing that you can keep such a slender frame if you are eating 1/3 a jar of peanut butter (probably 3x the average person’s daily calorie needs given a tbsp has 100 cals) plus coconut oil!! Lucky you … Or maybe I missed something (do you have hyperthyroid?) previously posted. I follow your blog for the recipes but haven’t noted any comment on that. Also, I have tried that combination several times, with a spoon, while standing in the kitchen. It reminds me of these Icy squares (chocolate squares made with coconut oil, I now realize – that is what made them so addictive as a child). Glad to know I’m not the only one :)

    1. cck says:

      It’s not helping me to “keep” my slender frame; it is helping me to gain weight. I’ve gained pretty quickly by doing this, and I couldn’t be happier :). Although soon I will probably have to cut back!

  180. Michelle says:

    I’ve never commented on your website before, but I wanted to make sure to say that I am very proud of you for this. I am currently recovering from (various forms of) an eating disorder and learning to take a step back from exercise has taken me a very long time to accomplish. I am very proud of you for realizing that you don’t need to force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do, and have the bravery to be so honest and open on your blog. Take care of yourself, Katie. (:

  181. Em says:

    You look so wonderful, honey! Do your thang girl, run or don’t run, we love you (and your recipes) either way :)

  182. Maggie says:

    I was training for running, and I had targeted a 5k. I’d be done with the running program by the time the 5k came. I was good at running for the first few weeks, until I became de-hydrated and got side aches from running. On running days, I’d forget to drink water until I’m about to run, then I gulp down bottles of water and start to feel sick. I don’t know why that, though. Recently, I got really far on the weeks, and I was able to run 8 minutes in a somewhat cold weather and it was fine and perfect. Note: this was a night run. I was running, and out of the blue I tripped. My knee began bleeding and I had to walk to the car. I waited for my knee to heal before running again- but I didn’t actually go running again. I kept putting it off. Then it started getting cold and I didn’t know what to do. This has helped me SO much. I’m going to take a break from running. Thank you Chocolate Covered Katie!

    1. Christine says:

      When I read this two weeks ago, I was struggling with trying to exercise despite worsening leg pain. It was a routine I had followed since I was a cross country runner in middle school. The pain became unbearable and I went to the doctor’s office, where I was diagnosed with a stress fracture and received a walking boot. Most of my running friends would be devastated with such news, but I was relieved. It gave me a much needed wake-up call: why was I continuing to exercise at such excessive levels in the face of fatigue and pain when there was absolutely no reason to do so (I’m not in college competing for a team, and I am not a professional athlete)? I feel like a burden was lifted from my shoulders. I have more time during the day to study (medical school can be demanding) and relax (cooking tasty vegan foods or going to bed early). When I am allowed to walk without the boot, I won’t worry about resuming running any time soon. Like you said, it will always be there.

  183. Ilana says:

    girl, I do the same thing with my almond butter…and seriously at least a third of a jar. I just discovered this insanely good date syrup they sell at a few places here in the city and my latest routine is almond butter (or tahini) mixed w/ date syrup and cacao powder.

    I’m glad to hear you’re doing well, my love.

  184. so i’ve adored ur blog for a few years but life’s been kinda crazy on my end so i’m just reading this post and wanted to leave a comment. as u can tell from my name/website/blog i do have a passion for running and think it’s awesome, when i first read u were a runner i thought, “cool beans.” but u know what? i STILL think you’re amazing and incredibly creative and talented at wat u do. and even though for ME running remains a passion i’m the FIRST person to say you should never force it on yourself or anyone else.
    if you passions change, you should be flexible enough to follow that change. just wat u explained, mentally with exercising and such people can start to feel like they ‘have’ to do things and feel ‘guilty’ for ‘cheating’ or skipping the run. but u force something on yourself long enough and it will only cause you mental torture.
    so i just wanted to commend you for listening to your passions and personal instincts and giving up something that turned into more of a burden to you than a passion.
    keep up the wonderful baking, blogging, cooking…i SUCK in the kitchen and seriously have so much awe over what you’re able to create. annnnd u always make me drool. :)

  185. longtimelurker says:

    I’m really proud of you, Katie! It can be so hard to change things that play a big role in your life but you did just that! Not many people are able to change those energy sucking parts of their lives like you did! I hope you keep feeling great and I hope you stay healthy and strong through the hard times. I wish you the best girl! x

  186. Carrie Lonsdale says:

    I just stumbled on your site. I am trying to go gluten free and experimenting with everything love your recipes just made the nutella with almond butter my 13 year old made. Does this need to be refrigerated or room temperature like the original. Thank you any good rolls or bread recipes?

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:


  187. Ana says:

    I understand exactly what you’re talking about! I found that I was much more energetic, happy and peaceful when I stopped stressing about exercise. The best piece of advice I got from my doctor was: do what makes you happy! If you want to dance, dance. If you want to go for a run, run. Eat to feel good, because healthy choices make you feel good, but also don’t skip the chocolate cake if you really want to have some! Doing what feels good is what’s best for you. I really love your blog and your recipes, thanks for taking the time to create healthy alternatives so I can eat to feel good :)

  188. Pamela says:

    Just saw this. After many years of loving it, I just came face to face with “I don’t enjoy running anymore!”, too. First, I panicked. Then, I actually allowed myself to relax and let new motivation/inspiration come. That’s where I am now. This post feels great on my brain. Thank you.

  189. Pamela Haley says:

    I’m sorry about all of the stress you’ve experienced. We all have to go through that from time to time to grow. I’m actually happy for you that you got to dump the chump. Honestly, I would read a blog about a recipe… the simple fact that he refused to try things or refused to share in your passion for foods just by giving them a taste, that you had to pander to him by making 2 meals… told me it needed to end sooner than later. Little things like that say a lot about the overall person and, I was reminded of someone I blew too much time on as well. Hoping it would get better and, some people are so settled in their ways (or psychotic) they are unable to grow. NOW YOU CAN! :)

    As for running, maybe a nice mile or 3 will be enough if you ever want to get back into it. 7-8 is impressive but, it’s too much for many people. I think my max was 4.5… it’s good but, maybe too much exertion and stress in the long term.

    You’re a strong woman and I know you will get through whatever ails you… even if it sucks for a little while. The best thing we can do is just keep doing… but take a nice break once in awhile!

  190. sherri says:

    I’m glad you posted this. I have read some rather ‘unkind’ and I believe inaccurate things regarding ‘you’ on Calorie Count and on MyFitnessPlan. Some people on the forums forums DID peg you as a young, food obsessed individual with a massive ED – someone who ran and was far too skinny and is anorexic and/or bulimic!
    Anyways, keep the faith! I think you’re awesome and love your site.
    p.s. your peanut butter/coconut butter mix would be too dangerous for me…I’d most likely eat the entire jar…not just a 1/3!

    1. Thank you so much, Sherri. I think I’ve unfortunately seen a few of those posts (although I’m sure there are many others I haven’t seen… and don’t care to see!). Negative people will always exist, especially on the internet where it’s so easy to be anonymous and say disgusting things you’d never dream of saying to someone’s face. At the end of the day, I just had to learn to live my life and ignore it. By now, I’ve heard so many crazy conspiracy theories about myself that I just roll my eyes at mean comments and move on.

  191. Christina says:

    Hi Katie,
    I was wondering with all the peanut butter you eat, have you considered organic peanut butter? Do you know anything about the differences. I’m always debating whether to buy organic. Not sure if it’s worth almost double the price. Just wondering.

    1. Sorry, I don’t really. I usually buy Whole Foods brand but it’s not organic.

  192. shannon says:

    hey there. just playing catch up on your blogs bc i haven’t been reading them as regularly. sending out a hug to you! I know the blog game of really wanting to seem like this healthy writer who’s got it together and posts tons of positive stuff, and it’s easy for readers to think that’s all there is. i feel for you katie! tough times suck, but writing about them is good and you’re just giving your readers a more honest understanding of who you are. and that’s great :)

  193. Leah says:

    Hey Katie, I thought you might be interested in this blog post my friend wrote called “Does Your Workout Care?”
    It’s completely changed my frame of mind when working out. Thanks for sharing!

  194. Kirsten says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I quit running a year ago–I had loved running, putting in 10 miles every weekend. It helped de-clutter my mind, and made me feel like I could accomplish at least SOMETHING when there were so many never-ending tasks. But running started becoming a chore, I went through a break-up, and a few other disappoints… so I just stopped. Thank you for articulating your own experience. It helped me understand mine!
    What you do here on your blog is important.

  195. luce says:

    This is a really thoughtful and beautiful post. I certainly know what it’s like to get into a pattern where suddenly keeping something up (even a seemingly healthy habit) can become limiting, even imprisoning. It’s inspiring and moving to read about your decision to listen to intuition, be gentle with yourself, and let go of old fears. It’s scary to let oneself change, to release oneself from an idea of “identity” when that identity’s boundaries don’t fit anymore. Bravo girl — thanks for writing this!

  196. Halle says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been forcing myself to run ever since I started, and though I do enjoy it, I don’t like feeling as though I HAVE to run. It’s nice to hear someone saying it’s not the only convenient way to stay fit.

  197. Heidi says:

    Was glad to read this post. I had to give up running completely about 18 months ago because of major problems with my knees and hips… am still working on finding a good, low-impact exercise that I like that helps me stay on top of things. It’s a work in progress. But it’s nice to know that others have gone through the process, too.

  198. Susan says:

    Hey, I know this is an older post but I just found your blog :) This is an awesome post and I have found other sports besides running, too! I love riding my bike, swimming and lifting weights. I still run/walk but not very much. I think moving your body every is key and as you get older (I am 42) it really is important to be gentle (which running too much is not, IMO). Also, I love how you embrace eating fats. I have a degree in Nutrition and it drives me crazy how people are fat (and carb) phobic! I go through a jar of nut butter about every 4 days. My hair, skin and nails love it and it won’t make you gain weight. I can’t wait to sign up for regular updates and to try some yummy recipes!

    P.S. I think you look wonderful with some extra weight. Your skin glows!

  199. andrea says:

    hahaha! yess!!! i always thought you were a crazy enthusiastic girl obsessed with making everything healthy

  200. Kara says:

    Hi Katie, this post is completely relating to my life right now. I’m not sure where you are at mentally, but I know for me, running was a method of control. My life has been so completely out of control for the past 3 years (finishing up high school, being let down by friends and a boyfriend, having my mother pass away, my father drinking, financial problems causing us to lose our vehicles, our house, twice, and many of our friends) and running was the one thing I could control – or more so I could control my body. I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa June of last year, and I was utterly terrified.
    I have been to hospital, treatment and therapy and I would definitely say that i have had a lot of freedom come back into my life. Running is still something I struggle with from time to time: when I have a difficult day (or week) I will turn to running to numb everything out. I do have a good relationship with running too though. On really good days, I can listen to my body and what it wants and what its limits are.
    I guess I’m telling you all this because I understand where you’re coming from. And it is really reassuring to me to know of someone else that has had the same struggle. So thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. xx

  201. Cecilia says:

    I strained my back about 6 months ago, and had to give up all my usual forms of exercise. Running, spinning, weightlifting. All of it, gone! After 10 years of constant workouts! I panicked at first, but have come to realuze that I do fine without logging all those hours in the gym and out on the trail. I eat better now, since I’m not constantly starving due to long and tedious workouts, and my bodyweight has actually stayed the same! My back is still in recovery, and I’m in pain most of the time, so I’ve actually quit the gym (!)… That alone will save me 700 dollars (4000kr) a year:) So it’s win-win fir me too!

  202. Ashlie says:

    I’m going through this right now. I ran 7-10 miles everyday for the last year…not missing a day even when the wind chill was -20. I knew it my head it was crazy and I am so happy I didn’t injure myself. I’ve cut back to 3-4 times a week, with shorter runs. I however am starting to feel anxious about the weight gain…really anxious. I am also vegan and feel though I eat not refined sugar or grains I do eat too many fruit based carbs and too little protein. I really struggle with figuring out how to get in more protein…my main sources are nuts, beans, and seeds. Where do you get most of your protein?

  203. A says:

    Katie, I so appreciate this post and absolutely identify with all that you wrote. I love(d) running too until I realized it was something I “had” to do. It was a trap and so far removed from the reasons why I loved it in the first place! I appreciate your transparency and pray that you will continue to find freedom and peace in your decision to run or not to run.