“I Tied My Self-Worth To A Dress Size. Here’s What Set Me Free”

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Image: @dr_katherine

Dr Katherine Iscoe has her Bachelor, Masters and PhD in exercise physiology and biotechnology. She’s beautiful, kind and the picture of good health. But upon entering a room, it’s not her looks or wisdom that you first notice—it’s her humble self-assurance and infectious positivity.

As a body confidence expert, who spends her days helping women cultivate self-love, it’s unsurprising she’s so bubbly. But you’d never guess this wasn’t always the case. In fact, it was her personal experience with body image issues that got her into the profession in the first place.

“For years, I wanted the perfect body more than anything else…I obsessed about my diet. I counted every calorie and agonised over food choices. I felt unbearable guilt when I didn’t achieve my unrealistic goals,” Katherine recalls.

“I exercised for hours a day. I ran with blood-filled shoes. I trained when I had hip pain—later, finding out I had a fractured pelvis and, to top things off, a fractured coccyx too. Despite knowing exactly how my body worked, I still punished it daily with harder workouts and by yo-yo-ing my food intake.”

Can you be happy at any size? . ✨please read the full post before thinking this is a before/after picture!✨ . The photos on the left were taken mid-way through my doctorate. I was single and lonely, frustrated with everything in my life. Food was an enemy but oh such a comfort, especially on the weekends when there weren’t enough distractions. Sunday nights were ‘what the hell’ nights and Mondays were ‘fix the damage’ days. Training was no longer about achievement, it was about ‘fixing’ all the damage I’ve done. Days were either good (under calorie limit) or bad. The photo on the right was about 2 years later when I trained 13 times a week and thought having a great body was the only way to find a boyfriend, a good job and my happiness. . So was I happy at this size on the left? No I was not. . But was I happy on the right when I was 10kg lighter? No, I was not. Far from it. I actually had a complete meltdown and had to fly home to be with my mom. I was crumbling. . So how did I achieve body confidence? Most people think it’s because I’m petite and that’s what makes me happy and confident. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, being a specific size to obtain happiness just doesn’t work. I tried that for 20 years. I still have days that aren’t great (i.e. binge post from a few weeks ago). . I want to be very clear that the 2-day Body Confidence Retreat isn’t about weight loss, getting ripped, or what you ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ eat. It isn’t about nutrition or training programs. It isn’t about learning a new yoga pose or what nutrients are in a walnut. It’s something that unfortunately I still can’t describe or put into words. All I can say is that I was in a really, really bad place, and what I’ll be talking about over the weekend and teaching is the only reason why I’m still here and smiling. I know many of you are trying to be strong and smile on the outside, I did that too, for years. Eventually you’ll realise that exposing who you really are will be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. . Sending lots of love out especially to those who need a little boost tonight. Remember, you’re not alone. Love, Dr Kat ⬆️Early bird ends tonight!⬆️

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After two years of obsessive dieting, 10 kilograms of weight loss and achieving what many would call the “perfect body”, Katherine hit rock bottom. But it was here that she had her lightbulb moment.

“I always thought having a “perfect body” would result in guaranteed happiness and unconditional love from others. I now know how far from reality this was. Relying on my body’s appearance for my happiness lead me to have suicidal thoughts three times in my life.”

While Katherine’s experience is extreme, it’s not unique. Many women equate their happiness and self-worth to a dress size—and Katherine says this is our biggest mistake.

“My definition of body confidence has nothing to do with how we look. For me, body confidence means not relying on how you look for your happiness.”

Since healing her own relationship with food, weight and body image, Katherine has helped thousands of women to do the same.

Her unique holistic method, The Forever Approach, is built on the belief that a happy and healthy mind and body is determined by seven key pillars: nutrition, activity, sleep quality, stress levels, state of health, state of mind, and state of satisfaction. If one area is affected, it will inevitably affect another.

“Everything in our life will have a ripple effect into other areas. If you don’t sleep well, this will affect everything from your diet to your activity levels, to how you get along with your friends and family,” says Dr Katherine.

Through one-on-one consultations and group retreats, Katherine works with women all over the world to dissect their seven pillars and determine the root of poor self-esteem or diet habits. By doing so, her clients naturally shift weight, reduce stress, improve sleep and cultivate body positivity.

“Body confidence is more than just how you look. It’s about who you are, who you want to be, and how you’re going to get there.”

The sooner we realise this, the sooner we’ll be set free.

Double-tap for body positivity by following these 9 seriously inspiring body confidence Instagram accounts.

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