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I have always loved walking. Growing up in Astoria, Queens, just outside of Manhattan, made walking a way of life. My best friend and I would run rampant all over Astoria after school. Walking 10 to 15 blocks was a common occurrence after school, going from one friends house to another and then taking a detour to Astoria Park on our way home.

When I got older I started to view walking as an important part of exercise, I went out of my way to use my two feet instead of the subway or a taxi. During my nineteenth year, I went on a diet because during my freshman year of college at S.U.N.Y at Albany I had gained at least ten pounds, so not only was I miserable being away from home my freshman year of college but I felt fat as well. I planned to remedy both problems, I applied to N.Y.U for my sophomore year and luckily I had done very well at S.U.N.Y and I was accepted. I was so happy to be back home. That was one problem taken care of, now it was time to lose those extra pounds.

I went about losing weight the old-fashioned way through calorie restriction and exercise. I became an avid reader of Shape magazine and started to figure out various strategies to maximize my weight loss. I adopted the no fat weight loss regime and high cardio exercise on a daily basis. I was biking around Astoria early in the morning using my sister’s ten speed for 50 minutes at full speed every other day. I figured out that alternating different exercises would keep me from boredom so I began walking farther and farther. My strategy was working, the pounds were being lost at a steady rate. I gradually got to walking from my house on 27th Street and Ditmars Blvd all the way to the Queens borough Bridge, over the bridge and all the way down to Soho, way down in the village and then I would turn around and walk back home. I saved this walkathon for the weekend and it would take me about 4 hours. During the week what I did was get off the subway at 59th Street and 3rd Avenue and walk down 3rd avenue to N.Y.U at Washington Square Park. I was also taking advantage of the stairs at school and my job at Conran’s-Habitat, on my feet all day long walking up and down the stairs selling furniture after school and hauling merchandise up the stairs.

There are so many other instances of me walking crazy long distances, all in the interest of burning off calories and keeping my weight down. This gung-ho attitude towards walking is a by-product of my eating disorder, of which I am in recovery, and I am doing pretty well with managing my eating and how I feel about it. Whatever my struggles with my eating disorder, I have never regretted my love of walking, it is the best form of exercise aside from swimming that I can think of, you are outside in the “fresh” air, seeing whatever might be out there to be seen and getting your blood pumping, it is all good stuff.