Tag Archives: eating disorder

Wild Self-Love: A journey from Starvation to Soul

wolf woman

Dearest Wild Ones,

You remember a couple months ago when I created Shameless Self-Love, my 30-day video campaign to cultivate and encourage a deeper, healthier and more meaningful relationship with our bodies and souls?  Each day, for 30 days straight, I made a video with tips, quotes, tidbits of wisdom, stories and journaling prompts to begin softening our hearts toward ourselves, and to learn how to wildly LOVE our own souls (here’s one of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLwWnaSgjmo).

Of course those videos were a way to offer some of my work to you all, to get my voice out there in a big way, and to share the wisdom I’ve gleaned from my own mentors.  But another major part of my reason for creating those videos was for myself.  To get clearer on my message, my truth, what I wanted to share and teach with my clients, and to distill what was the essence of Wild Grace.  To get clear on what I feel my soul’s purpose and message is to the world.

And the response to those videos from you all was AH-MAZING!  I heard from people all over the world who had seen my videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest, and who wanted to reach out to say how badly we all need the reminder not only to love ourselves, but how to heal those wounds that prevent us from doing so.  I got such incredible feedback and so many equally inspiring questions, that I decided to write a program based on the video series, only now we’re diving much, much deeper.  I’ve been exploring how to use self-love coaching, energy work, animal totems, shamanic ritual, plant medicine, chakra work, visionary and craniosacral therapy in order to heal trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, and other stuck patterns of behavior and beliefs.  All of this work has effectively led to creating my own life coaching methodology that I CANNOT wait to share with you!

After months of writing, researching, rewriting, scrapping, and starting over, I’m officially (but unofficially) launching Wild Self-Love, a 3 month, one-on-one program to reconnect to your Wild Soul and fall madly in love with your Self with passion and grace.  I say “unofficially” because it’s not even on my website yet.  It is brand, spankin’ new.  And since you’re already on my list, I’m offering it to you, my incredible tribe, FIRST and at a special price…

What happens when you cultivate more self-love and connect with your Wild Soul?

  • You attract better, healthier, happier, and more whole relationships, both romantically and otherwise (i.e. you have amazing friends!!)
  • You manifest abundance in your life, whether it’s literal financial abundance, more satisfying life experiences, or more time to do the things you love – all wonderful, valid forms of abundance
  • You have the ability to create the life you crave, and the power to decide how you want to feel EVERY DAY
  • Your creativity EXPLODES and you become capable of designing your life and anything within it
  • Your body feels free, limitless, and light
  • You know how to make yourself JOYFUL, happy, and fulfilled without looking outside of yourself in order to feel a certain way
  • You feel free from past traumas, addictions, and stuck, recurring patterns that aren’t serving YOU

If you’re ready to fall WILDLY in love with yourself, reconnect with your SOUL and her purpose, now is your time!  I offer a complimentary Self-Love discovery session for any woman interested in working together so that we can chat and make sure we’re a good fit!  Remember, your wise soul contains all the answers within, this work provides the space and support to tap into your inner guides and learn to listen.

I am so passionate about this body of work I’ve put together for you!!  It’s truly an honor to share it, and I can’t wait to work with you…

All my love,
Katie XO

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And now for some serious truth-telling

A lot of people ask how I began my recovery from my eating disorder(s).  What was it that finally broke through the walls I had built up.  What was the thing that finally helped me to WANT to feed myself.  How did I recover?  People want to hear that it was one particular moment, that the light bulb went off, that I finally realized there was more to life than weight and food, blah blah blah…

Here’s the truth, and it may surprise some, anger a few, and make total sense to others.

I didn’t.  There was no light bulb.  There wasn’t a decisive moment when I had had enough.  There were many of those moments, and they would last anywhere from a few days to a couple years.  And then there would be a trigger, an event, a stressful couple months, a major (or minor) shift, and I would be sent spiraling back.  Only each time was a little worse because everyone expected me to be “better”, “recovered”, “over it”.   The shame and guilt over my behaviors, the fact that I was slowly ripping my body apart, was worse than I could bear, and so to alleviate that pain, I’d sink deeper.

story we will never tell

I did a pretty okay job of covering up this intense shame and self-loathing by soaking up all the knowledge I could about health, yoga, meditation, spirituality in general, healing work, bodywork, emotional holding, Ayurveda, herbalism from multiple traditions, Chinese Medicine, how to heal trauma, nutritional theory, shamanism, tarot, anything I could get my hands on.  I learned how to eat really healthy.  I’m now one of the most educated 27 year olds I know, and all that is simply a compensation, a distraction from dealing with the fact that I still had no idea how to nourish my Self.  I couldn’t bear the thought of sitting with myself long enough to hear the answers that my soul had for me.

And then for the greatest cover-up of them all, I decided to coach OTHER women with eating disorders, because if I couldn’t fix myself, maybe I could fix them and then my own struggle would be justified.  And that’s when it all started to crack and crumble.  My soul was speaking to me through the eating disorder, telling me it was time for transformation, for letting go.  My body was beginning to feel the (quite frankly) terrifying effects of years of starving and purging.  Before I could do anything I needed to heal my body and my heart.  To give myself the space, let myself be seen in the most vulnerable way.  Everything about it felt raw, exposed, torn open.  It was time to learn the lesson of asking for what I want and need.

And I did.  And my community has risen up more than I could have ever imagined to offer support, space, guidance, words, and witness.  And no judgment whatsoever.

circle

So here I am now, bearing all my scars, all my shame, my pain, anger, grief, everything I’d been working SO hard to conceal for fear of your judgment.  Now that I have nothing left to hide, I can begin the real work to connect with a deep love for myself not because of my imperfections and battles, but because I Am.  Because all of us have the right to love and be loved simply by being born into this world.  We don’t need to earn love.  We ARE love.  And so begins the heroine’s journey…

heroine's journey

Piece by Piece: Deconstructing an Eating Disorder

skeleton in the closetAfter announcing the creation of Wild Grace, my health coaching and bodywork practice specifically for women working with disordered eating, addiction, and trauma, the response was overwhelming. It made me realize something I already knew, but find difficult to put into practice: People love when you get real. Like, nitty-gritty real. Sure, nice stories about recovery from disordered eating and living happily ever sound good. Sometimes we even need them to give us hope and inspiration, but the truth is that the rest of us may have stories that don’t sound as nice. I’m making it my mission to give people the space, support, and deep love to be able to speak their truth, to tell their story without the fear that they’ll scare someone away.

I kept waiting for that a-ha moment.  The moment when I’d feel the vice grip release and I could breathe again.  When that internal monologue would finally shut off, and I’d be able to look at a plate of lovingly prepared food without thinking about whether or not I’d exercised enough, or restricted enough, or what I’d be doing the next day to deserve eating it now.  That moment never came. There were a few times when I thought I had it, when I felt the hard edges soften, my rules start to bend, and my heart begin to show her true self.  Inevitably, within a few days that light bulb would dim and I’d be back to where I was before, only now with the disappointment in myself because I couldn’t keep up the illusion.

It took a long time for me to realize that this approach is actually extremely passive.  I was waiting for the right time, the right conditions, the right situation with the right people to all come together in one moment and flip that switch for me. It was like I was sitting at the beginning of a path, waiting for the Universe to pick me up and set me on my feet at the end. Over time I realized that if I wanted something to change I couldn’t wait for it to happen to me.  It took me until halfway through my health coach certification program for me to begin to understand how to take those first excruciating steps.  After years of treatment, therapists, and dietitians I had only JUST started on this path of recovery.

At first this realization made me even angrier.  How could I have been working for so many years and gotten nowhere? What the f*ck had I been doing with myself? I had become jaded, pissed off, and untrusting. In a way it felt like a waste, and at times I wish I could go back to make my college years a little less painful.

But in my anger I learned.  I learned to honor the power of my anger, to know that it’s not ‘bad’, but rather something to listen to and feel.  Anger is a powerful teacher.  I was afraid to listen, afraid to feel, and afraid to go to that deep place within myself where anger lived. It was ugly, dark, and gnarly.  Mostly, though, I was afraid of letting anger out, because who knew what would come out along with her.  Would I ever be able to get her back under control?  To tighten the lid back on, apologize to whoever was in her path of destruction, and get on with my life?

The thing is, I wasn’t fooling anyone.  Maybe they weren’t seeing the full extent and depth of it, but anyone could see something was there, seething just beneath the surface.  So I decided to give up being ‘nice’:  It wasn’t really working for me.  I have a huge and beautiful heart.  I don’t need nice.  Being nice only served to make me small, from which place I wouldn’t be of any use to myself or anyone else.  Instead, I’d set boundaries while loving my family and friends unconditionally.  Because love isn’t nice.  Love is speaking your truth, listening, and creating space where it’s safe to open our hearts to each other.  Love is getting real, getting into the nitty-gritty, and trusting that whoever’s there with you is meant to be there.  Love is having faith that everything destined to happen will happen.

My full story will eventually make it out. I’m sure it gets easier to write, easier to take that next step and gain momentum.  Right now, each word, each tiny step is still a bit like giving birth to a piece of my soul.  But it’s real.  And with each word, the vice grip of anger, of control, of restriction loosens and I fall in love with myself that much more.

My point is this: no matter what your story is, stop waiting for the a-ha moment.  Recovery from addiction, an eating disorder, or trauma, is a series of conscious decisions to take that next step, a process of unraveling that thread a millimeter at a time.  The more gut-wrenching it is to unwind it all and take that step the more truth your story holds. Within that pain, that work, and that struggle is where your power lies.