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How Katie Podralski Overcame Orthorexia, an Obsession Over Healthy Eating

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Katie Podralski likes sharing her health journey on social media. But some followers say that although they like her content, they’re irritated that she doesn’t really know what it’s like to be overweight.

She has an answer for her critics. “I don’t know what it’s like to be overweight, but I do know what it’s like to weigh myself multiple times a day and do whatever I can to lose weight.”

As an avid volleyball player in high school, Podralski says staying fit was never an issue. But once she graduated, her clothes started fitting tighter, and she says she stopped liking how she looked in photos. With super skinny friends, Podralski hired a personal trainer and became “super obsessive” at the gym, watching what she was eating, or hardly eating anything.

She says she developed orthorexia, an obsession over proper eating. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, individuals like Katie “…become so fixated on so-called ‘healthy eating’ that they actually damage their own well-being.” Simply put, she was afraid of consuming anything that could possible derail her diet. Social media didn’t help.

“There were lots of comparisons,” she says. “The picture thing is social media and I can definitely say that played a big role. I didn’t know much about nutrition—I knew the concept of calories in, calories out. I would spend hours at the gym trying to find that number. I was trying to eat super small portions then I would have a late-night eating binge and cry in my car.”

Finally, she met someone at work who opened the door to thinking differently. She started counting macros instead, and paid close attention to her energy level, while also working out at a Crossfit gym.

Today’s, she’s the CEO of Functional Nutrition Fitness, with a mission to “repair the way society views nutrition and fitness.” Through individualized coaching and fitness programs, Podralski says she aims to reboot the mind and body, just like she did for herself.

It’s just like I tell my clients, ‘You can’t fix what’s on your plate until you fix what’s in your head.’” 

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