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Merging the Spiritual & Physical: Spirituality AND Nutrition? Yes.

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

If you take a look around my website, my Instagram, my podcast, my blog...you know I talk a lot about spirituality and living the best lives we possibly can. And, now, I'm throwing in... nutrition! Nutrition coaching, to be more specific. Does that make sense? Does that even blend with the rest of what I'm doing? (Well, I believe it would be 100% okay, even if it didn't fully blend haha. We don't have to do things that "make sense!") BUT, I do believe it blends. I do believe it all goes hand in hand. I'm going to tell you how. I'll start by telling you how I came to the realization that our spiritual health and physical health are intricately tied. Then, I will go into how I believe caring for ourselves through proper nutrition, along with other aspects of physical wellness, are key for being the true souls that we are.


Long story short, nutrition (along with fitness) has been an interest of mine since high school (for reference, as I type this, I'm less than a month away from turning 27). I've already earned certificates in both personal training and health and wellness coaching. The major part of this journey (getting to pursuing nutrition coaching, that is), however, is my eating disorder experience.


A Little More Background


I recovered from an eating disorder in the summer of 2022; that is when true healing took place. The disorder was something that I experienced from my sophomore year of high school (2013) until 2022. Now, it wasn't always severe and it wasn't always what would be clinically diagnosed as an eating disorder. But during those times (when it wasn't "diagnosable"), I certainly didn't have a healthy relationship with food and exercise. However, denied that fact. Heck, I denied it all the way until my health condition was so severe I had to change! Fear of my health deteriorating even more, perhaps leading to hospitalization or worse, is what really kicked my butt into admitting something wasn't right and pursuing recovery. That, as well as realizing what it was doing to my friends and family and how it was holding me back from living and pursuing my dreams.


The reason the eating disorder is so significant for my nutrition coaching journey is because, 1) it was a big reason (unbeknownst to me at the time) that I never went anywhere with my personal training nor health and wellness coaching certifications, and 2) it reignited a passion in me for true health and healing, nutrition, and fitness.


Let's talk about how I didn't do a darn thing with my personal training and health and wellness coaching certifications, first.


Back in 2020, I tried to start my own health and wellness coaching practice. But, I was also starting to get deeper into the eating disorder at this time. Yet, I still wasn't admitting it! I look back at the pictures I had taken during this time, to put on my coaching website, and it's blatantly clear something was wrong. I won't go into too much more here, as to why it held me back from going full force with the coaching practice creation, because that's going to come later in the post! Just know this was a significant realization, looking back.


I also, after abandoning the coaching practice creation, tried to get a job as a personal trainer (I got my certification in the spring of 2020) in a local gym. I went through the whole hiring process and was about to start when some little voice inside told me, "You are not in any position to help others with their health and fitness right now. You know you are unhealthy. You know you are exercising too much. You know you are not eating enough. You know you're going down a dangerous road." I ended up giving up that position, telling the manager exactly that - I was not in a position, with my own health, to be helping others with theirs. Yet...you know what's bananas? I still didn't change! I didn't ask for help, I didn't embark on my own healing journey. Largely, I was still denying. Sometimes I was admitting that something needed to change, but then kept keeping on with what I was doing. Even though I was miserable, strangely I was comfortable at the same time. Anyway, that's a story for another day! But let me touch on the other piece of why the eating disorder was so significant in how I came to nutrition coaching, before we jump into talking about merging the spiritual and physical.


Like I mentioned, nutrition and fitness have always been interests of mine. Well, since high school anyway! And, at the beginning, it was pure curiosity and interest - nothing disordered. Now, during the disorder, the way I interacted with food and exercise definitely changed. In an unhealthy way, of course. But the key here is the healing time - that is when my passion was truly reignited for nutrition and fitness. Nutrition and fitness for actual health. And not just health, but more specifically healing. I learned intimately about how to utilize food and movement to heal my body, heal my mind, and get me back to ME! To recover from the eating disorder and leave it behind for good.


I am happy to say I AM recovered. My body is on the road to healing - leaps and bounds better from just a little over a year ago, still on its own journey. I know health is an ever-evolving journey, perhaps never done? There are always new ways to support and love the body. We need the body. No matter how spiritual we are, we will always need the body. Yes, the truth of who we are (my belief) lies in the spiritual. I believe we are souls. But, we have these human bodies. They are how we exist here on this earth and do life! We must take care of them. Just like we have to take care of our cars and our homes.


Well, I'm starting to get into the spiritual side of things already, aren't I? In that case, let's jump into our soul nature and the fact that the body is the home/vehicle.


Who Are We?


As I already started to mention, it is my belief that we are souls. That is the truth of who we are.


I believe we are eternal souls who simply live different lives, in physical or other forms, throughout, well...eternity!


I do believe there is more to the universe than just this planet, and there are more realms than just this physical realm. And our souls get to explore them all.


I believe we are all a part of the one truth source of everything - God. We were made by God, for God, and we exist within God. A connection to God is where we find the truth of who we are and the true life we're meant to live.


I believe our true nature is pure love as we are a part of God who is pure love. Yet we also have an ability to forget this truth. This leads to what we call "human nature!" All of the ways humans act that seem totally counter to the nature of God. Yet, we are also all able to wake up and remember. Wake up and remember our true nature, and spend our human lives tapping back into that and expressing that into this world. Reconnecting to God. Being our soul truth. That is who we came here to be. That is how we have the most magical human experiences possible, all the while lighting up this world in ways that only we can.


So, how the heck does this relate to the body?


We Need a Body to Be Here


Oh, let's bring in another piece to this whole "being a soul, being a part of God" thing.


I believe we chose to come here. Yes, I believe we all, as souls, chose to come here. To experience being on earth, being a human. We came here to create, have adventures, form human relationships, experience the beauty of the earth, awaken to our truth, help others awaken, grow, and evolve.


This decision was a partnership with God. The decision to come here does not run counter to saying that we were sent here by God. It was all a beautiful agreement.


In coming here, you know...we have to have a way to be here! And that is where the body comes in.


It's like choosing a car or choosing a home.


Yes, I believe we chose these bodies, too.


Now, you may think it's absolutely bananas that you would have chosen your body! You may be listing off all the things that are "wrong" with your body, all the things you want to change...


But, guess what? Everything CAN change! All the things that would need to change to allow you to fully align with this body, as a soul? All of it is possible. If it's NOT yet physically possible to change something about your body? Then it doesn't matter for alignment. Everything that is needed to allow you to have the most magical human experience your soul can have IS possible. I do NOT believe anyone came here for suffering. No. Way.


Why some are not healed of conditions/disorders? I do not have all the answers. I do believe that so much of it comes down to belief, but I would never place the blame onto anyone for continuing to experience any condition or disorder. I can only share what I believe and what I have heard from others. We learn as we journey through life. Every person's journey is unique. I do wish I had all the answers, but then that wouldn't allow you to come upon them for yourself, now would it? That's where powerful transformation lies.


Anyway...


Yes, indeed, we chose these bodies. To me, that's a pretty darn amazing realization! It gives me...a sense of even greater ownership of this body. Also, a sense of stewardship.


I chose this body, and I get to take care of it.


It is how I exist on this planet.


It is my soul's home.


It allows me to experience life to the absolute fullest.


It allows me to pursue my dreams, to fully be who I am.


A Lesson from Being Far from Health


When I was deep in the eating disorder experience, I felt the greatest spiritual disconnect I have ever felt.


Not only did I feel far from God, I felt far from myself.


I still knew who I am. I still knew who I want to be. (Yep, I'm mixing the past and present tenses here - because my truth and who I want to be have not changed!)


But it all felt so far away and impossible.


This was a key driver in my decision to pursue recovery. Not only was I terrified for my health, but I could not deny the pull I was feeling to MORE. There was more to life, there was more that I was missing out on.


The MORE that I was feeling pulled toward were my dreams. Dreams for speaking, writing, teaching, coaching...things I'm pursuing now. Things I am doing now. Why couldn't I do them then? No energy.


I physically could not. I was depleted. I barely had the energy to dream! I just felt that constant pull, and the simultaneous disconnect.


It was almost like looking through a glass - I could see but I couldn't touch.


This all started to shift when I finally began restoring my physical health.


Recovery & Reconnection


As I began to finally eat again, nourish my body, properly rest...I felt a renewed sense of vitality.


Makes sense, you know? I was choosing life, so, I felt more alive! But I also felt more than just alive.


I felt inspired. I felt a since of zest. I felt enthusiastic. I felt excited.


I felt filled with purpose again. Like I was living true to me. Like I was finally aligning with my soul. Aligning with God.


The reconnection was happening.


I felt my dreams even stronger. I was making plans, taking action.


Things felt possible again. I felt hope.


My spiritual connection was returning.


And I know without a shadow of a doubt that this would not have been possible had I not chosen my physical health.


*Okay, hold on. Does this mean that people who are...shall we say...less than healthy (as this encompasses a whole gamut of conditions!) cannot be spiritually healthy?


Ahh...not at all. See, CHOICE is a big, big key here.


When we can CHOOSE health, I believe we must. That is the only way to truly, fully, 100% align with the truth of who we can be. And here in the eating disorder? I had a choice. I had a choice to choose the path I was going down OR choose health. That's not to say that I chose to develop the disorder in the first place. Not on a cognitive level, at least. I honestly do not understand the development of disorders/conditions/diseases. I can only share my current perspective.


And I believe that we always have access to what we need to get to our best level of health at any particular moment. Yeah, all of those conditions are necessary, because guess what? Our best level of health will always be changing! As life changes, what is best will always change. As will what we need. As will what we get to do to pursue that health.


And if we don't know what we have? Well, we just have to ask God. I do believe it's that simple. We will be led to exactly what we need when we need it. When we trust. When we surrender. But we have to listen. And we have to act. And if we don't see a way just then? It's just not the time.


Of course I don't have all the answers to speak for all conditions. I am just speaking to what we truly have control over, what we can truly choose each moment.*


Okay! So...with that caveat out of the way...


Let's go back to the car/home analogy for the body, for me to highlight in another way why taking care of the physical body is so important.


Your Vehicle/Dwelling Place


Tell me...how do you feel when you haven't taken care of your car? When you haven't done the regular maintenance, when things are falling off, when it's dirty or damaged...when you could definitely do something about it, but you haven't? Not so good, huh?


Not only is your car falling apart, but you know it's up to you to fix it and you haven't! You know you could.


Now, think about the same with your home. How do you feel when you let clutter and dirt build up? When you leave things broken that you easily could fix (i.e., you have the skills and the means, the resources). Not so good, huh?


They become places you don't want to be!


They. Don't. Feel. Good.


You're not making the most of them. You're not helping them be all they can be.


Now, of course the analogies between body and house are not going to be exactly one-to-one!


For example, I referenced your car and house being clean. But, I'm not talking about your body being clean...I mean, is showering important? Of course! But I'm talking nutrition, here.


The point is care.


Now, if you don't care for your car, your home, and/or your body? Ain't no shame around here! (Yes, horrible grammar, but that was on purpose! That just kind of comes out of me when I want to emphasize something...I guess it's my old southern/redneck/hick side coming out [and I label past self lovingly with those!]...)


Seriously, no shame. I just want you to think.


AND I want to encourage/push you TO care - these places (car, home, body) are where you spend a heck of a lot of your time!


But let's just talk about the body now.


The body is a bit more serious than the car or the home. You spend, well, 100% of your time in your body.


Honestly, ask yourself this: If you can care for it better, why wouldn't you?


Why would you settle for less when you could have so much more? And having so much more is within your control?


Is it change? Perhaps changing feels uncomfortable or unsafe?


I understand that. Completely. I really do.


Change used to be something I felt terrified of! I avoided it at all costs, no matter how miserable I was.


At least I was familiar with the miserable!


But this, caring for your body to help it be the best home for your soul imaginable, is not just change - it's POSITIVE change, guaranteed. An upgrade.


Not that you're not already perfect - you ARE and now your actions are going to match that perfection.


And I'm not talking about the perfection standards that the world has created. Those change all the time!


I'm talking about the perfection that you are as a SOUL. And when you TRULY care for your body? Your outer matches your inner - your perfection is expressed.


And you feel it. Even if you do not match those worldly perfection standards, you know you are perfectly you.


Coming Home to Yourself


You are worthy and deserving of the best soul home you can have. You are worthy and deserving of the healthiest body you can have.


Each person's version of health is going to be different, both from others and between different stages of life.


But all we have to focus on is what we have control over. What we CAN do.


As we take those steps, more open up.


And we always have God on our side. If we don't know what the heck to do? Where to even start? Ask God! Tune in to your soul. Listen to your soul speak. Go where it guides.


Forget about other people. Just forget about 'em! In terms of what they think, I mean.


Your health is #1.


That is the only way you are going to be YOU. That is the only way you are going to be able to share your magical, wonderful, beautiful gifts with this world. That is the only way you are going to be able to experience this life for all it can be.


The health you can control. And there is so much within your control.


So, what can you begin doing?


Start with the Basics


I'm going to list a few starting places for you in where you can start to care for your wonderful body. Maybe you've heard these, maybe not. If you have, repetition is how we learn! And if you've heard something a number of times? Must mean it's important!


  • Get outside in the fresh air and sunshine (Especially in the morning! Morning sun helps us sleep at night.)


  • Set a regular eating schedule for yourself, making sure you don't get too hungry throughout the day/have your blood sugar levels dip too low


  • Have several relaxation practices to choose from when it's time to chill


  • Get plenty of sleep


  • Exercise - walk, strength train, dance, bike, hike, do pilates, etc. Find what works for you to get your body moving!


  • Dial in that nutrition. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Eat plenty of protein. Get in those healthy fats. Play around with what works best for you, your lifestyle, your body, your goals! Don't be afraid to experiment and change as life goes on.


These are things you can begin doing for your body RIGHT NOW.


We can take it all a step further and talk about having a spiritual practice and connection with God and your soul - I hope you've now seen how connected our spiritual and physical health are!


We can also throw in the mental health part. And I don't say "throw it in" like it's an afterthought! I only say that because I have been strictly addressing the physical body in this post. But, just as the spiritual and physical are connected, the mental is connected to both of those as well! No area of health exists in isolation.


To take care of mental health, you can...


  • Do things simply for the joy of them! No matter what other people say or think

  • Get outside in the fresh air and sunshine

  • Get plenty of sleep

  • Eat brain health-supporting foods

  • Connect with people - genuinely connect

  • Journal

  • Read books that help you grow

  • Make time for genuine relaxation

  • Have a gratitude practice


And those are just a few ideas.


Again, just to get you started!


You get to decide where you go. You get to decide what health looks like for you.


Isn't that amazing?!


Sure, we have some core principles and foundations for health. But you really get to take those and make them your own.


It truly is an adventure, and one that no one else can tell you how to navigate.


People can guide you, yes! I mean, that's what I can do with nutrition coaching! But I can't make the best decisions for you - that's YOU! I get to offer information, guidance, and accountability. Yes, those are all wonderful! But the process will ALWAYS be yours.


And that is what I would love to help you find.


Find your own path to health. In order to ultimately find who you truly are. And live as who you truly are.


So you get to live a dream life, completely aligned with your soul.


In this human body that you get to take care of for just a short while.


I hope you can see the connection between physical and spiritual health now! How the physical supports your sweet soul.


If you are interested in nutrition coaching, check out this page and let's do it!


If not, no worries at all - I love you just the same no matter what!


Thank you SO much for being here!


XOXO Katie Anne (The Joy Babe)



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