Raw Snacks: A series asking experts to share a personal story of self-discovery. Responses are edited for space and clarity.
“I’ve used exercise as medicine since I was 14, when I started jogging.”
That’s Beth Frates, lifestyle medicine specialist and teacher at Harvard Medical School.
Granted, Frates’ petite, slim frame, perfect posture and a youthful energy make her easily pass for a teenager. Her Twitter header depicts her doing a backbend. Running, it seems, has served her well.
But social media accounts, even Frates’, tell only a fraction of the story.
In a time of the year where most of us set lofty fitness resolutions with an eye towards social media, wellness experts like Frates are the first to point out: Be ready to fall off — and get back on — the exercise bandwagon.
That runner’s high fueled Frates’ medical school years in California. “It was in medical school that I run my first marathon,” she recalls. Running was effortless then.
How about a couple years down the road couple of year down the road, when working on a book while tending to two little boys?
Not so much.
“It’s hard to say this, because my job is to help people adopt and sustain healthy habits,” says Frates, who owns a health and wellness coaching company, Wellness Synergy. “Sure, pants fit a little bit differently, but mostly it was the lack of concentration that bothered me.”
And that wasn’t the only time when this wellness expert had to pull herself up by her bootstraps and get moving again.