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Body Trust Insights with Catherine Gillespie

It is a true honor to share our next Body Trust Insights. For some time, this blog series has been dedicated to helping professionals who embody Body Trust in their life and professional practice. Recently, we decided to shift the focus to showcase some of our beloved community members as they so bravely walk this path every single day, one foot in front of the other, surrendering to the mystery and to this transformative process.

Our first offering in this new foray comes from a dear and dedicated community member, Catherine Gillespie. Catherine has participated in our No More Weighting e-course and is a devoted member of our Body Trust Network. Our profound gratitude to you, Catherine, for sharing your process here so openly for others to read and hopefully be inspired!

“I am inherently worthy. I do not need to change in any way in order to be worthy. I can’t change in any way to be more or less worthy than I already am.”

  • What brought you to Be Nourished?

I came to Be Nourished to re-focus on eating disorder recovery. After many years of intense work on recovery, over the past couple of years I shifted away from dealing directly with eating and food issues in favor of an emphasis on spiritual growth and development. My spiritual journey led me back to the awareness that for me, eating disorder recovery deserves a primary focus in my life, both for my own wellbeing as well as for the possible positive impact I might have on others.

  • What has surprised you the most as you have practiced Body Trust Wellness?

There aren’t as many people involved as I would like. To me, is seems very logical and obvious. I am surprised at the low number of people in the world who are willing to step up and see this type of approach as something worth embracing. It shouldn’t be revolutionary; it should be commonplace.

  • What are three things you feel are most important to remember when moving towards body-acceptance?

1. Never give up. Perseverance is invaluable.

2. Mindfulness, or attentive awareness, is huge. Just paying attention is very powerful. Snapping back into the present moment relieves a lot of my angst.

3. I am inherently worthy. I do not need to change in any way in order to be worthy. I can’t change in any way to be more or less worthy than I already am.

  • How has your body, just as it is, helped you survive in the world?

My body sustains me in uncountable ways. Just by continuing to breathe, by conceiving and birthing my two children, by helping me get from one place to another. I could go on for days.

  • What is your favorite way to celebrate the body you are in today?

I started Tae Kwon Do with my then-10-year-old a little over 2 years ago. I am getting stronger and learning completely new and complicated physical things, even at the ripe age of 52. It is helping me with the mind-body integration that I desire, but it’s also a blast to break boards and do sit ups (never could do that before!) and push ups on my knuckles (!!). I am strong. I never could have said that before. At the same time, I love to wear high heels. I dress up most days for work and enjoy being somewhat fashionable and put together. I love the sound that my heels make when they click down the hallway at work.

  • What is your favorite food and how do you like to enjoy it?

Lately I’ve been enjoying foods from my German heritage, in particular dark German bread.

  • What brings you back to the practice of Body Trust when you get away from it?

Great question. I used to think that my problem was binge eating, but over the years I have learned that my binges were always preceded by a period of restriction. When I get tempted to restrict now, or if I start to fall into any restrictive behavior like not letting myself have a food that I want, or wanting to not eat even though I’m hungry, that’s the time for me to get back on track. I’m not sure what actually brings me back. Mainly a consistent practice, I guess. As long as I attend to recovery on a regular basis, I’m not likely to stray for long.

  • Self-compassion means…

Acceptance of whatever is. Feeling my feelings, embracing all of it, not fighting it.

  • What is inspiring you right now? (book, music, blog, etc)

I love reading. I used to read teen fantasy fiction, but I burned out on it. I’ve recently discovered historical fiction. I just finished the book “Euphoria”, which I loved, and am now reading Susanna Kearsley’s historical fiction books, which are also great.

  • Any words of wisdom for someone who is just getting started? What would you have liked to know when you were new to the practice?

What I need has changed over the years, and it took me a long time to accept that. I thought I had to make a commitment to a particular way of eating, a particular way of doing recovery, and stick with it. I had a therapist once who asked why I couldn’t just make a commitment to myself. Honestly, at the time my unspoken answer was “because I’m not worth it.” Now I know that I was worth it and I am worth it, but it’s hard to feel that at first. I think I would have done well to make a commitment to recovery, and to understand that how that looks might change over time. I would recommend making a commitment to recovery, and letting the details sort themselves out without stressing over them.