Welcome to another Freedom Friday Interview! To read more about Freedom Friday Interviews, please click here.
Katie is a long time friend of mine. I met her several years ago at a blogging conference and we’ve remained friends ever since. She’s truly one of the sweetest and most thoughtful ladies I know and I am so happy to welcome her on today to share her story of freedom!
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!
I am a Self-Esteem, Body-Love, & Wellness coach that is passionate about helping women feel confident and radiant in their own skin through treating their bodies well and shedding their need for appearing “perfect.” I love to coach women who have an inner desire to live a life of joy and are willing to push outside their comfort zones to get there. I’m 28 years old and after an incredible period of overcoming an eating disorder and self-esteem issues while living in Chicago, I recently moved to Denver in search of a more soulful and active lifestyle with the special bonus of being close to my new little niece. I love cereal, dogs, reading, writing, and just about anything outdoors!
2. What does “freedom” mean to you?
To me freedom means loving who you are exactly as God made you, without worrying what anyone else thinks. We are all gifts to this earth and community and once we are able to embrace our unique selves, we are free to share our love and gifts with others and find joy in simply being ourselves.
3. Share about the time in your life when you lacked freedom. What was your struggle?
I’m pretty sure I lacked freedom from about middle school on, once the world started telling me who I should be, rather than allowing myself to just express my awkward, funny, loving self. My own inner became considerably worse when I moved to Chicago for law school. It was as if the real me was finally done with this path of perfect appearances and needed to come out! The number one issue I dealt with was feeling like I wasn’t good enough as I was – that I had to be someone else in order to make everyone happy. I put on a show of what I thought everyone expected me to be, but it wasn’t who I really was and, of course, I became depressed, had very low self-worth, and it all manifested in an obsession with calorie counting and exercise. I thought if I could just look perfect on the outside, the rest would follow.
4. What was your turning point? When did you realize that you needed to embrace freedom?
The biggest turning point for me was accepting God and Jesus into my life. I know, it sounds super corny, but I was missing something big and He kept pulling me towards him. I knew how I was treating my body was hurting me, so I started to seek out other bloggers who had been through similar struggles and I saw a very common theme: they were saved through their faith. Once I realized that God created me exactly as I was for a reason and that I am a unique and beautiful person in this world, things I really turned around. Slowly but surely, I’m focusing on listening to my heart and leading the life that I want to live, without worrying about what other people think of me.
5. How do you allow freedom into your life on a daily basis?
I feel like freedom is a part of most everything I do these days. I’m very open about who I am and sharing my story on social media and my blog and I believe the freedom I have in expressing myself allows others to feel comfortable doing the same. I also have great freedom when it comes to eating and exercise. For me this means moving my body in a way I love and that feels good to me and eating food that I want to eat and that makes me feel good with no guilt or rules about what food is good vs. bad.
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’m really pushing the boundaries these days by working to create my own health and life coaching business. Some people think I’m completely insane, but others see both the happiness my path has given me and all the gifts and love that I’ve been able to share with others. I know that creating my own life, rather than following one of the prescribed paths I thought I had to follow, will be a huge challenge, but I refuse to let fear drive my life. Instead, I’m following my heart because life is too short to do anything else.
7. What is one golden nugget of wisdom you can provide to those who are currently struggling with embracing freedom today?
You have to truly believe that embracing freedom is possible, and if you aren’t there yet – fake it till you make it! It’s a cliche for a reason 😉
8. And before we say goodbye, how can we stay connect with you over social media?