Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed with the amount of growth and healing I still have to do, as I am today, I think about how far I’ve come and how much I’ve transformed over the past two decades.
That gives me hope and courage for the journey ahead.
You see, dear Reader, I know that transformation is possible, because I have lived it, in so many ways and in so many areas of my life.
So of course I can continue to transform.
And the same goes for you.
There is always hope.
Change is at our fingertips.
Transformation is within reach.
To illustrate these truths, I’d like to share some photos with you, photos I’m nervous about sharing, photos I’ve sat on for many months, photos I’ve almost shared previously but held back, photos that cause me pain and sadness.
Photos of me in my early twenties, when I was several stone heavier than I am now, when I was binge eating and binge drinking and harming myself in other ways, when I hated my body and the way I looked, when I wore my pain on the outside. (We don’t have to be slim to be happy but my weight was an external manifestation of my inner turmoil).
I’m so sad that I spent those wonderful years of my life (my twenties), hiding my body behind denim baggy shirts. I’m sad that from my late teens and up to my late twenties, I wasn’t able to walk across a beach in a bikini feeling relaxed and confident in my body, as I can now at 50.
I’m sad that I numbed my pain and my hurt with excess booze, food and cigarettes.
When I look at this picture, I barely recognise myself. But this is me. They are my eyes. I was 20. Living and working in Spain. Having, in many ways, the time of my life but harming myself every day and feeling ashamed.
Food was my comforter and my friend. My crutch. Alcohol gave me confidence and, momentarily, boosted my self-esteem. Both substances helped me to disconnect from my feelings.
It’s been a long journey, a long road. I have recovered from a painful cycle of binge eating, starving and compulsive exercising (although food will always be my comforter of choice when I’m feeling down).
I have recovered from food and body obsession – for years, I couldn’t think about anything else – and from body shame.
I have learned to eat healthy meals and I barely touch alcohol these days because it doesn’t make me feel good.
I have transformed in so many other ways, of which you’ll be aware if you’re a regular on this blog.
I have formed a healthy and loving relationship with myself, although of course I remain a work in progress and I have so much more work to do, something I’m painfully aware of today, whilst also trying to practice self-acceptance, self-love and gratitude.
I have changed unhealthy relationship patterns – I have stopped a self-sabotaging cycle of being attracted to unavailable men or running away from available men.
I have opened my heart to love and married a wonderful man.
I have left a high-adrenaline career that had me stuck in a cycle of workaholism and perfectionism that led to burnout.
I have found the courage to write my first book, How to Fall in Love, to write half of the first draft of a novel and to build a coaching practice that supports other people to love themselves, love their lives and find love.
I have hosted seven or eight (or nine – I’ve lost count!) transformational women’s retreats in the UK and abroad and I’m planning another retreat for next month.
I have moved my life from a tiny London flat to a house with a garden by the sea so that I can walk on the sand and swim as often as I like.
And there is so much more to do.
So much more growth and healing.
So many obstacles to overcome.
So many unhealthy patterns to continue to undo.
But these pictures remind me that transformation is absolutely possible.
They show me how far I’ve come and what I am capable of.
Transformation has happened for me.
Transformation can happen for you.
Keep the faith.
How I Can Support You
If you’d like my support to heal, grow and transform, please explore the following:
- My book, How to Fall in Love
- My transformational online courses, How to Fall in Love – Laying the Foundations and Date with Courage, Clarity & Confidence
- My Dorset Love Retreat, October 28-31.
- My website for one-to-one coaching and free discovery calls
With love, Katherine x
Hi Katherine, I love this blog post. It’s so courageous and inspiring. I’m so glad you wrote it. It’s raw and honest. So much resonates with me. I wore baggy men’s clothes for most of my 20s. Yes, transformation is possible, and I need to remember how far I’ve come. Thank you for writing this.