Health knowledge made personal

Rachel Wilkerson Healthy Living Professional

Grand Blanc, Michigan
I've always been a sucker for trying new things. (Late night infomercials are my kryptonite!) And, being the kind of person who can gain five pounds just smelling pizza and lose five pounds by dropping cheese for a week, I often apply this "What can I try next?" mentality to diet and... Full Bio
› Share page:
Personal info:
Birthday: August 7


I've always been a sucker for trying new things. (Late night infomercials are my kryptonite!) And, being the kind of person who can gain five pounds just smelling pizza and lose five pounds by dropping cheese for a week, I often apply this "What can I try next?" mentality to diet and exercise. My weight has fluctuated over the years. I played sports but I ate a good amount of McDonalds. I knew nothing about good nutrition. Junior and senior year of high school, I stopped playing sports (softball and cheerleading) and started doing theater. Being a theater kid made me 100 times more emo and there were no straight guys to impress, so I just packed on the pounds. I spent senior year eating French fries and feelings, washed down with a lot of cherry cokes. I told myself that given my, ahem, ample chest, I couldnâ??t exercise and that I was never going to be a thin girl. By my high school graduation, I weighed over 200 pounds. Not a thin girl, indeed. Right after my eighteenth birthday I had an awesome breast reduction surgery. Besides giving me normal and fabulous breasts, I dropped 10 pounds while I recovered. Hmmmm... A few weeks later, I moved into my own apartment in Chicago. I had to learn to cook! I joined a gym, and because I was only taking college classes two days a week, I had a lot of extra time on my hands. Without a lot of fanfare, I just decided to keep losing weight. At first I could only do 15 minutes on the elliptical, but, given the fact that I had no life, I started spending more time at the gym and built up to 45 minutes. In terms of eating, I just started collecting tips from my favorite magazines like Self and Shape and started to understand nutrition: you know...fiber, fat grams, whole grains, etc. I was down about 20 pounds by the time I went home for Christmas. From there on, weight loss was slow and steady. I hit a couple plateaus but was able to keep on and I finally lost it and hit my goal weight (which was still slightly more than healthy for my height "according to the experts"). Then I transferred to a Big Ten school and started doing the dorm cafeteria and college drinking thing. Then I went abroad and drank and ate my way across the UK. THEN I got dumped and spent a semester drinking, crying, and eating (and watching hours of Grey's Anatomy in bed). Awesome. By second semester, I felt awful! So I decided to drastically lose weight, following no healthy methods. Seriously. I was like a bad article in Seventeen Magazine. This continued through the summer, and by August I was thinner than Iâ??d ever been, but totally unhealthy. I felt like a rotten appleâ?¦you think itâ??s good and then you bite into it and it's mushy and disgusting. I decided it was time to build a strong body, and started running, lifting weights, and doing Pilates. And that's how I got my best body ever! Unfortunately, I went back to school that fall, and a few more drinks, tears, and bad boys, and I slowly gained weight again. Sheesh. I was clearly becoming Oprah. I graduated and moved to New York to work at a fashion magazine (and yes, it is like the movie "Devil Wears Prada"). I started to take the weight off, and the good news was that boys and tears were no longer getting in the way. Of course, life still was. It was a slow process. Some losses. Some gains. My 2009 resolution was to join a running club and train for a half marathon. My workouts were becoming boring and felt like work. I needed a purpose. So my roommate and I started to train for a Memorial Day half marathon in Boston. I felt great! I just followed the schedule and I started to get in great shape; losing weight was just a bonus. Except then I went and got injured! After many doctors' appointments and MRIs, I was tossed into physical therapy and banned from all exercise. It was horrible. I had to miss work and I started living like a character in Valley of the Dolls, hopped up on lots of painkillers. Since I couldn't work out, I just partied. So by the time my hip healed, I was not only out of shape, I was rocking an awesome spare tire. Which brings us up to the present! I am losing my injury weight and rebuilding my body so that doesn't happen again, and I definitely still have work to do. Meanwhile, I left my job because it wasn't what I wanted to do. The only reason I ended up at a magazine was because I wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately, Working in fashion had its perks, don't get me wrong, but it sucked the life out of me because it just wasn't my passion. I've wanted to write about health, fitness, and beauty all along. And the fact is, I've learned through a lot of trial and error what works and what doesn't, and after giving lots of informal advice to friends and strangers (you'd be surprised how many total strangers will just ask you to tell them how to lose weight, often at inopportune times, like in a cab, or when you're getting your hair done), I'm ready to go public. I know and have tried more things than I should probably even admit. And I am all about building a community of motivation, sharing ideas and tips, and having a good laugh. I LOVE working out. I like a workout to be like sex...when I get off, I want to be drenched, red in the face, and unable to form vowels. And I love healthy food too! I just love all food! And I love a cocktail (or six)! Seriously, if it weren't for tequila, I'd surely have Kelly Ripa's bod by now. Right now I am not a registered dietitian or personal trainer, so you have to take my advice with a grain of salt. (I'll--fingers crossed-be ACE certified Sept. 28, 2009!!) It's important to listen to your body and your doctor. You can just really think of me as a good friend who talks too much. Even after I'm certified, I'll still be a good friend who talks too much, but then people will have to pay me to do it.