Kateri Anderson Heymans is a woman from Minnesota who works remotely and lives her dream of traveling the world. After years of struggling with anorexia and binge eating disorder, she has found freedom from the illnesses that once consumed her life. Since Kateri was 17, she has practiced a type of meditation called the Isha Judd System, taught by the Isha Educating for Peace Foundation. She now teaches this method of meditation and supports others on their journey, taking whatever opportunity she can to share with others the tools and insight that transformed her life.
In this episode of Peace Meal, Kateri discusses her history of anorexia and binge eating disorder, including the isolation and misery these eating disorders caused. She tells us about her journey to finding a meditation practice that positively changed her recovery and life. Through meditation, Kateri was able to gain the self-love and compassion that she so desperately needed, as well as overcome anxiety, depression, and grief from the loss of her mother. Kateri encourages everyone to give themselves the love and grace they deserve and ends the episode with a powerful meditation.
- How isolating and miserable it can be to suffer with an eating disorder
- How eating disorder behaviors might function as a maladaptive coping mechanism to deal with uncomfortable emotions
- How meditation can aid in eating disorder recovery, as well as help to manage co-occurring conditions like anxiety and depression
- How meditation can be challenging for those with an eating disorder, who often feel disconnected from their bodies
- The power of self-compassion and self-love, especially during recovery
In Kateri’s words:
- On the role of meditation in eating disorder recovery: “It helped me to live as fully as I possibly could within the recovery process.”
- On the importance of giving yourself grace: “When we, in our mind, punish ourselves or judge ourselves for doing something, the behavior will continue. But when we’re loving and compassionate and kind and treat ourselves like a kid who is learning how to walk… the process will not only be a little bit less miserable, but I found in my experience that symptoms actually, little by little, started to lose their power.”
- On self-love during recovery: “Be loving with yourself where you are in this moment. No matter where you are in your life, in this moment, you deserve love… No matter if you’ve recovered, if you’re just starting… your worthiness of love does not change. So be kind and gentle with yourself as you are in this moment.”
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