Katie Whipple is a Certified Public Accountant who co-led a $7 billion business deal as the youngest and only female on her team. After moving from New York to Indiana, she now participates in community involvement through Junior Achievement, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and her own podcast “Cup of Common Grounds.” Five years into her recovery, and after a seven-year hiatus, Katie decided to return to pageantry and will be competing for Miss Indiana USA in April.
In this episode of Peace Meal, Katie explores the factors that led to the development and worsening of her eating disorder, as well as those that now keep her strong in recovery. As a home-schooled Christian who grew up in purity culture, she says she was unaccustomed to the cultural and social pressures she encountered at college. The dramatic transition triggered her eating concerns, as well as a feeling that she was living a double life: a high achiever confidently facing business partners and pageantry judges in public but struggling in private. In recovery, Katie has learned to find worth beyond her appearance and better name her emotions, a skill that has deepened her relationships with family and friends. She has also been able to reignite a passion that provided self-confidence and self-development when she was younger, pageantry. Acknowledging that pageantry can be a significant trigger for those with eating disorders, Katie shares how she protects her recovery while doing what she loves.
- How naming emotions can be therapeutic
- How pageantry can contribute to an obsession with appearances in those susceptible
- How loss can bring a family closer together
- How being open about your eating disorder can you bring you closer to others
- How to do what you love while putting your recovery first
In Katie’s words:
- On the fear of giving up her eating disorder: “‘If I give up control of my eating disorder, I’m not worthy enough, I’m not going to be enough’…And that was a scary thought that went through my brain.”
- On not letting her eating disorder win: “I realized that I was fearing the fear that I was not enough and I realized I was holding myself back from life. I was putting my life on pause because I was afraid of triggering something.”
- On worth beyond appearances: “My worth is not defined by how my body looks, it’s on how I feel about me.”
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