eating disorder

To Eat or Not to Eat…That Used To Be The Question

I was the girl who was never afraid of food till high school hit. Till it hit me so hard in the face, if I wanted to be like everyone else, I must look like everyone else. By everyone else I mean the popular girls. You know the blonde, 110 pounds (or under), wearing several coats of mascara, type of gal. In order to fit in to this genre, I began to learn my first diet, started to grow out my bangs, get rid of my spare tire around the middle, and learn to put on some Cover Girl. High school is where my eating disorder and negative body image began….

Grab the calculator, grab the scale, grab the fat free cheese, make sure it’s fat free. Grab the frozen veggies, only measure out 1 serving. No butter. No seasoning. Just steam them. It’s WAY better this way. Let’s see…there’s 30 calories in 1 piece of fat free cheese, 30 calories in my broccoli, this chicken breast says 180. Is that accurate? Gosh I hope so. My meal adds up to be…240 calories. Perfect! No more. No less. Now time to exercise. Let’s go downstairs and walk on the treadmill and AT LEAST burn my calories off from dinner.

These are some of the things that would go through my head when I would start to eat. It’s a tid-bit of my 10-year battle of dealing with an eating disorder. Constantly crunching numbers, weighing out my portions, and being obsessive about exercise. Always worrying about my food, often times not eating for a couple days, weighing myself constantly, and feeling angry/exhausted with the world. I’d even hide food under the bed, at least till my parents went to sleep to make them think I’d ate dinner. I scrape it out in the garbage, cover it up, and go back to bed. Wearing a size zero was all that was on my mind.

Do you know anyone like this? Eating disorders are not joke. They cause you to fear food, have low self-esteem, become obsessive, just to name a few side-effects…For this post, I wanted to share with you a bit of my own experience dealing with an eating disorder because I know what those lonely nights, dark days, constantly exercising, and compulsive thoughts feel like. But overcoming an eating disorder is possible. I’ve been recovered for 4 years going strong, and know it’s totally possible for you to recover too!



Kayla Douthitt




Kayla Douthitt, health coach and owner of Wisdom ‘N Wellness, is a 4-year recovered anorexia and binge eating survivor. She now helps women suffering from negative body image/self-esteem find their way through intuitive eating and holistic health practices. Her health coaching style is private, one on one phone calls, and full of gratitude. She believes strongly in healing from the inside out.

Kayla offers a FREE 1-hour Self-Love Discovery Call for those interested in starting their journey and #ForRealzFriday newsletter to get a weekly dose of inspiration.  

For more info on Kayla’s health coaching services check out her website here, and give her a like on Facebook and Instagram.


4 Practical Tips for Improving Your Mental Health Through Self-Care


The importance of self-care is becoming known to more and more people. However, it is still misunderstood by many as being an excuse for self-indulgence. It seems that the more popular lifestyle is to work relentlessly and continue one’s ceaseless climb up the ladder to success.


However, this often leads to a life of constantly feeling overwhelmed, and it can eventually lead to anxiety and depression. For your mind’s sake, you have to prioritize self-care. Here are four practical ways to take care of yourself that will benefit your mental health.


Eat Healthy


Nothing is more important than nutrition when it comes to physical health, and the same goes for mental health. Our bodies and minds depend on nutrients, so when we eat junk with all kinds of fillers, we’re not doing ourselves any favors. One of the leading causes of obesity and other food-related health problems is the lack of portion control. Just being conscious of how much you eat can make a world of difference in how you feel.


Also, there are now more healthy options than ever before, so it’s realistic to say that you can eat a variety of interesting foods and still get plenty of nutrition. This comes in handy and will help you maintain healthy eating habits if you easily get bored with the things you eat.


Do Stress-Reducing Activities


No matter who you are, you probably deal with stress in a variety of ways as part of your everyday life. It’s well-documented that stress is often a major factor in anxiety, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, sleep deprivation, depression, and many other health issues. It’s important for all of us to take initiative in keeping our stress under control. Activities such as exercise (e.g., yoga, tai-chi, running), meditation, playing/listening to music, and breathing exercises can all help with reducing stress.


Another stress-reducing activity is to go through all your belongings at home and get rid of the things you haven’t used in years or will likely never use. When you declutter your home, you declutter your mind. Everyone has certain items that mean something to them. When you declutter, it’s likely that some items won’t make the cut. If that’s the case, you can always rent an inexpensive self-storage unit to keep those things safe and out of your way for a little while. It’s a worthwhile expenditure in the short-term to give you some breathing room and doesn’t have to cost a lot.


Get Some Sleep


Too many people are not getting enough sleep. In fact, 40.6 million American adults get six or less hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation hinders you from living at full potential. So, if you want to be more productive and less stressed, as well as have a higher overall quality of life, rest is paramount. Try to set a bedtime, cut back on stimulants (i.e. alcohol, nicotine, caffeine), dim the lights a couple hours before bedtime, and avoid electronic devices while you’re lying in bed. And if it’s been over five years since you replaced your mattress, it might be time to do so (keep in that a queen-size mattress runs between $250 and $5,000). For more helpful tips on how to get better sleep, check out this article.


Just Relax


One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to take moments for relaxation. For instance, have some Play-Doh, Silly Putty, or a stress ball nearby to squeeze when you start to feel tense at work. Go for a stroll on your lunch break or when you get home in the evening. Say “no” to going out for drinks and take a nice, hot bath with Epsom salt to relax your muscles. If you want to go the extra mile, add essential oils to the water or light an aromatherapy candle.


Although you want to do what is necessary to succeed in life, it’s essential that you take a step back every now and then to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Be sure to eat healthy portions of nutritious foods, and take advantage of the variety available today. Do stress-reducing activities like exercise, meditation, and listening to music. Evaluate your sleep routine and change it if you need to. Finally, take moments each day to relax.


Photo Credit: Pexels



Thanks to Brad Krause for his guest blog post! Get to know him and his work better at his website Self Caring


3 Tips for Anxious People New to Outdoor Group Exercise

With the weather improving in much of the U.S. many Americans will find themselves wanting to get outside and be more active. During Spring and Summer it is easy to find fun events like 5K runs, group biking, or outdoor sports leagues. This can definitely be a great way to get active and meet new people. The problem is it can be difficult getting yourself to participate in these events when not having participated in one before. Some people may struggle with interacting with people they may not know or may be self-conscious they will look foolish if they try something new in front of others. Let’s go over a few ways to get over these barriers.


Bring A Friend

Going to an event alone can be somewhat nerve wracking when you may not know anyone else there. A great way to ease this stress is to bring a friend or family member along with you. There very well could be someone close to you that wants to get more active who would be willing to go with you. Let others know your interest in going to an outdoor event and ask them if they would be interested in coming with you. This also allows you to have accountability with your friend. Building accountability with others helps both of you to follow through with actually going to the events and to push each other to do your best.


Be Humble

If you have to go it alone make sure to keep an attitude of humility at these events. You may not know what to expect the first time at a 5K run, maybe you will not be able to run the entire time, which is OK. It is not necessary to do everything perfectly. Often we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves and fear the worst will happen. No one is going to stop and laugh at you. If you meet other people at the event, let them know you have never done this before and this is a brand new experience for you. Often others will help you and give you advice. Take it as a learning experience, be humble, and enjoy yourself.


Just Do It

Overthinking any situation can be detrimental to your success. There will be reasons you tell yourself why you should not go and justify it in your mind. You might feel you are not ready to be physically active around other people or you do have the best equipment, so why bother going. The key is to just get out there and do it. Make sure you understand what you are signing up for and be generally prepared, but do not make it any bigger than that. I understand how it feels to try new activities and feeling nervous about how others may judge or what they might think about me. We often make things much worse in our minds than they are in reality. So just get out there, sign up for that 5K or team sport, and give it a try.


Whatever the outdoor events that you are interested in, get out there and try it. You may find something that you want to continue long term or may encounter a new workout friend. There is a lot to benefit from and little to lose.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant