Rockford, IL

Woman starts family after giving up over-exercise and disordered eating: "Focus on nourishment, rest, and fun"

Amy Christie

A woman who lives in Illinois tried to start a family with her husband for several years. Unfortunately, exercising too much and restricting her diet prevented her from getting pregnant.

By changing her workout routine and creating a natural and nutritious menu, she managed to have kids and plan a happy future for her family.

What are the details?

Joelle Kurczodyna, 35, lives on a 5-acre homestead close to Rockford, Illinois, with her husband, Jim. The couple is expecting their fourth child in March, and they're both excited about the healthy change that helped them become parents.

Joelle was always very active in her childhood and rarely sick. However, everything changed when she began restricting her daily menu and exercising more.

"Early in our journey, it was tempting to try a pill. But in my gut, I knew that was not the best option for us. I could have bypassed our hard journey, the weight gain, and the waiting. But we would have missed out on the health and growth Jim, and I experienced," she shared with The Epoch Times.

The woman was once a marathon runner, and she watched her calorie intake as a teenager to make sure she wasn't overweight. Before long, the limits she imposed on her lifestyle increased.

"I began restricting my eating and increased exercise, specifically long-distance running. I could drop a few pounds easily, so I kept going. I began to be so conscious counting calories, choosing low-fat items, and I ran almost every day," Joelle said.

In her early 20s, she was irritable and withdrawn, had hot flashes at night, and weighed about 100 pounds.

"I was 22 when I got married to Jim. I became wrapped up in an image of being a 'thin runner,' and the idea of making changes was simply terrifying. My desire to have children was greater, though," she shared.

Joelle had plenty of support from her family as she tried to reclaim her health.

"Overnight, I cleared the processed foods from the fridge and pantry and began shopping for whole foods like meat, fruits, eggs, dairy, and vegetables. I stopped running and switched to walking," she explained.

Joelle also sourced her food locally and began to go often to her town's farmer's market. She wanted to feel better and nourish herself with the right foods.

In the first year after switching to the real food menu, she gained 40 pounds. It wasn't easy for her to accept how her body had changed, but her hair got thicker, and the hot flashes were gone. She also laughed more and was happier than she'd been in a long time.

"It was very exciting to know my body finally felt better after years of stress. I knew I had a road ahead of me, and there were clear indications there was more healing to do," she added.

Another year passed before she got pregnant, and, unfortunately, she had a miscarriage.

"It took another year before we got pregnant and had a miscarriage. At that point, we took the next several months to focus on nourishment, rest, and fun," Joelle said.

One year after that, Joelle was pregnant again with the couple's first child.

"It seemed so long at the time, but I'm grateful. My body had the time to do the healing it needed. I came from a place of nourishment and could give my daughter everything she needed to be a strong baby," Joelle said.

After they had their first daughter, Eloise, the couple sat down and wrote their "family mission statement."

"We knew the right move for us and our values; we needed to have some land and freedom to live the homesteading life we were after."

The couple now has the plot of land they've always wanted, cows, chickens, and pigs. Joelle is a home-school mom, and Jim left construction work to focus on agriculture.

"This process opened my eyes to individual health and wellness. I was turned off early on by the one-size-fits-all treatment options. My body needed to go through some drastic changes to support another life. This was a tiring and lonely path, but it was empowering to be in tune with my body," Joelle concluded.


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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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