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Minnesotan To Meet: Food Blogger Lee Hersch

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Sometimes our greatest failures lead to our greatest accomplishments, something to remember as we enter the second week of our new year's resolutions.

For inspiration, check out Lee Hersch, who has faced setbacks in her college career and diet and exercise plans. But the challenges have only led her to take on bigger goals.

Her blog Fit Foodie Finds now reaches thousands around the world, and that makes her this week's Minnesotan to Meet.

Yoga instructor, recipe creator, photographer, and brand ambassador for Propel water. How exactly does Lee Hersh describe her overall career?

"Fitness is my chance to be around people since I work from home," Hersh said. "I run a food and fitness blog, which leads people confused because they're like, 'How do you make money off of that?'"

Four years ago, when Hersch first started the blog, she didn't know she could make money off of it either. She's an expert now, but while at the University of Minnesota, the blog was just a hobby; graphic design was her major.

"I went through my program, the prereq program the first year and a half, and I got all A's," Hersh said. "It turns out I didn't pass my portfolio review."

She started plugging away at the blog and pulling away from family and friends.

"I became very restrictive with my food," Hersh said.

She went from a healthy size 6 or 8 to a size 0. Her family informed her it wasn't healthy. Hersch re-surrounded herself with family and entered individualized studies to create her own major.

"I pulled in three categories: design, Spanish and public health," Hersh said, "all things I really liked."

Journalism, social media and public health classes helped her find new content for the blog and left her looking for a better relationship with food.

"I got a little too comfortable (with food) and that's when the binge eating started," Hersh said.

The binging lead to restricting, then came bloating, and feelings of guilt and embarrassment. Once she wrote about it, emails flooded into Fit Foodie Finds. Others went through what she wrote about.

"American culture, we do everything through food, parties," says Hersh. "Even workouts are, 'What do I get after I work out?'"

She then surrounded herself with people she calls "normal eaters" like her boyfriend and sister. Hersch also knew she needed new hobbies.

"We travel a lot so often times there's not a gym, and we're eating out all the time, so it's about finding a balance," Hersh said.

She now feels radiant and healthy, and allows herself to eat everything out there, in moderation.

"I can't put a title on what kind of eater I am," she said.

Evening out also meant quitting her full time job at Anytime Fitness. Now all her attention is on her blog and helping others find their place.

"This year I doubled my income from my first job out of school," Hersh said.

It's proof that sometimes following your passions and embracing imperfects can lead to a rich, happy, healthy life.

Hersch says meal plans will always make dieting easier. You have to think about what you're going to buy for the week before heading into the grocery store. Otherwise, you'll end up with too much and over eat or too little and want to binge.


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