Freedom Friday: Kate Van Horn

Welcome to another Freedom Friday Interview! To read more about Freedom Friday Interviews, please click here

Kate and I recently became friends on social media and she has a very powerful story to share! She has struggled with an eating disorder in her past, but has come out on the other side, stronger than ever! I can’t wait for you to read her story!

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1. I am so happy to have you on as a Freedom Friday guest! Give us a little background about yourself before we dive into the juiciness of freedom and how it applies to you and your life! 

Thank you for having me! I think this series is amazing and a wonderful topic to discuss! Okay, so a little background on me. I’m Kate, and I created my blog, kaleinit.com with the intention to spread awareness around living with mental illness, and creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle that allows you to thrive! I love yoga, green juice, and alllll that healthy stuff! I’m also just a modern every day girl, who is trying to incorporate more holistic approaches to my health. I create plant based recipes on my blog, discuss yoga, and try to be very up front and real about my past. I have had a fair share of struggles, and having conquered them, I want to reach out to others and be a positive influence to those who may be struggling with something similar. 

2. What does “freedom” mean to you?

Freedom to me is synonymous with confidence. The confidence to live the way that makes you feel your strongest and most whole. It means valuing and taking care of yourself, first. I think in our society we do so much for the approval of others and to please our friends and family. I think freedom is combining kindness for others, with an appreciation of self as well. Being happy with who you are is a true sign of freedom. 

3. Share about the time in your life when you lacked freedom. What was your struggle? 

A time in my life when I lacked freedom was definitely in the midst of my eating disorder. I believed that I had full control, but in reality I was completely consumed and controlled both body and mind. Living life by such rigid standards and expectations is not freedom at all. And looking back I wish I had embraced my life more at that time. I was in college in Arizona, on a beautiful campus with opportunity to meet new people, and involve myself in the university. I didn’t because I was fixated on the numbers, the calories, the trips to the gym, etc. 

I was very isolated by my eating disorder, and as much as it hurts to know I had to go through that, I also am grateful for the strength I gained and know that I wouldn’t be doing what I am today without that struggle. 

4. What was your turning point? When did you realize that you needed to embrace freedom?

I’d say my turning point was about two years ago- when I really wanted recovery. Before I had been going through the motions and doing the right things physically, but not really recovered mentally. I wouldn’t say there was a monumental ah-ha moment. More of a shift in attitude and thoughts over time. I believe that was due to the therapy and self reflection I went through to get to that point. I thank that process very much for allowing me to be ready to embrace freedom. 

5. How do you allow freedom into your life on a daily basis?

 

Great question! I think every day I embrace freedom in different ways. Sometimes it is listening to what food my body needs and going with it even if it wasn’t what I planned to have. It could be politely saying no thank you to an invite that I  just don’t have the energy for that week. It’s taking risks some days, and pushing myself with my blog and writing. As you make freedom a priority in your life, I feel it gets easier and more natural to live with freedom. 

6. I believe our journey towards freedom never truly ends, it just continues to progress to more and more freedom. How have you challenged yourself recently to embrace more freedom into your life? 

I feel like as I have embraced freedom more and more, my dreams and goals have become larger. I challenge myself to run toward them rather than brush them off. What used to be a huge accomplishment for me early in my recovery, now feels less daunting. That shows me that I have progressed and evolved, and it’s very exciting. What’s important for me is to not get stuck in that, and continue to push further to see what else I am capable of. Anyone who is in recovery or has gone through treatment for mental illness will learn so much about themselves that they start to be in awe of their own capabilities. That’s my hope for everyone, to feel they are not defined by their struggle, but rather defined by their strengths.

7. What is one golden nugget of wisdom you can provide to those who are currently struggling with embracing freedom today? 

No more excuses! And I don’t say that like a drill Sargent. I think everyone is afraid of change, and risk, and failure. We are human.  But that’s what creates freedom. Facing those fears and trying something that seems out of reach anyway.

One thing I continuously told myself throughout my recovery, for many years now, has been “inhale faith, exhale fear”. Fear used to drive what I did, but I had to replace that with faith in myself to be set free. 

8. And before we say good bye, how can we stay connect with you over social media? 

Yes, please connect! You can find me on instagram @she_be_kale_in_it! And of course my blog- www.kaleinit.com

2 comments on “Freedom Friday: Kate Van Horn

  1. “inhale faith, exhale fear” I love this little aspect of freedom. This is something that I also teach my yoga students and it’s funny how sometimes you don’t take your own advice. Thank you Kate and Meg for the inspiration! xo

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