Kari Owens has coached over 2,000 women to better health. She teaches women how to put themselves first and how to reconnect with their body. Women learn to create a deeper relationship with themselves and their purpose. Kari’s experience comes from not only being a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach and a Certified Yoga Teacher, but over a decade of experience healing her mind and body from chronic illnesses. Her mission is to help as many women as possible live their healthiest life. You can connect more with her through her online program Soul Power, or on Instagram and Facebook.
Kari Owens opens up about her experience overcoming cripplingly negative self-talk when she was diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis at 15. You’re going to want to read this guest post all the way to the end! Kari shares lessons learned and how you and I can improve our self-talk to make it easier to eat better and, bonus, enjoy life more. She also shares her new platform Soul Power where she’s applying what she’s learned from coaching over two thousand women on living their healthiest lives. I love Kari’s work because she is so authentic and has been through the hard work of making life changes. She knows what it takes to get to healthy self-talk during chronic illness. Here’s Kari!
Do these sound familiar? Have you said them yourself, or heard another woman say them?
“I hate myself”
“I wish I were thinner.”
“You can’t hike that mountain.”
“There’s something wrong with me, I have to fix myself.”
“I can’t do yoga because I am not flexible enough.”
Kind Vs Negative Self-Talk
When was the last time you said something kind to yourself? It may be that it’s hard to come up with the last moment you said something genuinely nice to yourself.
Can you think of the last time you said something negative to yourself? If it’s easier to think of the latter, you’re not alone.
Most people struggle with this internal battle. In fact, it’s a part of the human condition. Negative thoughts are a practice of our judgment, which can serve us in dangerous situations. Our brains are wired for survival and we are primal in nature. This is why we are bound to negative emotions, past mistakes, and worries about the future. It’s actually what helps keep us motivated to stay alive.
Negative thoughts can keep us safe from danger but at a cost.
Now that we’re in modern times, we can get stuck in repetitive cycles of self-criticism, worry, loathing, and fear. This perpetuates emotional pain and keeps us from being truly present. Most of the time, self-talk that’s negative is hurting us, emotionally, physically and mentally.
My Negative Self-Talk Journey
When I was diagnosed at 15 with Ankylosing Spondylitis (a rare form or Rheumatoid Arthritis), you wouldn’t believe the conversations going on in my head. Now, with over a decade of experience, training, and healing of my relationship, I have been able to transform my whole life. It’s through this experience, and knowing it so well myself that I have been able to help hundreds of other women in their journey’s to deeper self-love, self-care, and ending the war with negative self-talk.
When talking about healing, one thing that’s often overlooked is the emotional, relational healing that has to occur on the inside, for things to transform on the outside. It wasn’t until my 20’s that I started connecting the dots on the intersection between food and physical healing. I focused on food for years. I improved a lot in my health by changing my lifestyle habits around food, and I credit so much of Sarah’s knowledge including the Autoimmune Protocol with literally changing my life.
But it wasn’t just the food. It wasn’t just yoga. It was everything underneath those choices. It was the loving myself enough to take action in those areas that I needed for myself. It was working through the negative self-talk that told me it wasn’t possible, that I was wasting my time, that told me I deserved to be in pain, etc. It was understanding, acknowledging and sitting with all parts of myself that actually got me to the place where I was making those healthy choices and really truly benefiting from them.
I made my emotional health my number one priority.
When it comes to understanding ourselves, but especially in understanding why we make the choices we do, we have to look at our psychology. Like, for example, why and when we make choices around what we eat. There are plenty of social factors that cause us to eat, and we no longer eat for survival. Instead, we have all kinds of reasons to eat other than to as an energy source. Which is why it can be so hard to do an elimination diet because eating isn’t just to fuel your body or make us feel good. It’s used to quell emotions, to charge boredom, and serve as a distraction from your feelings.
If you have negative or poor self-talk it’s likely that what you’re saying in regard to your food choices isn’t positive, empowering, or health promoting.
Instead, you’re much more likely to “fall off” the prescribed food plan and berate yourself for not being good enough, or worse, what I’ve heard before, “not loving yourself enough.”
So let me bust a myth. Your negative self-talk has to do with your relationship with yourself, yes. Your choices around food CAN reflect you taking care of yourself, but there are so many factors involved in what you choose to eat.
What actually matters here, is that you understand yourself first, that you do have positive self-talk first. Positive self-talk can redirect you, self-soothe and allow you to explore why you’re making certain choices around food, and to feel really grounded in them. Rather than doing or following something because someone said: “this is what you should eat.” You have the power to know yourself, to love yourself to fully make those decisions for you. And truly you’re the only one who should be making that decision.
When we start to look at our psychological patterns, it’s clearer that the habits that keep us generally unhealthy are not only the choices we make but the negative thoughts around the relationship with ourselves as they translates into our relationship with food, drugs, alcohol, movement, etc. The way we think perpetuates the negative patterns or habits we have. Getting rid of negative thought patterns is in some ways like losing weight.
You release blocked energy when you finally free yourself from a negative intrapersonal relationship.
If we filled ourselves with more light thoughts, words of encouragement support and ultimately find ourselves self-nourished from within, it’s a no-brainer to choose to do that on the outside too. Not because you “should” love yourself, but because you wholeheartedly do.
Think of it this way; imagine you’re with a friend out to lunch and she says to you, “I’m really focused on fixing my body. I am so fat, I feel awful and it’s my fault because all I do is eat junk. I am going on this restrictive diet to help me reset my body and restrict my eating habits because I have to get control.”
Now imagine that same scenario, but she says this, “I am deeply committed to supporting my body in all the ways I can right now. I realize I’ve not been taking great care of myself, and I deserve more than that. I deserve my own care and love.”
Of these two scenarios, which of these women do you want to be having lunch with?
The (Surprisingly Powerful) Emotional Aspect Of Healing
In my work with clients, they are often surprised at first by how much I focus on the emotional connection to healing. And here’s the thing I always tell them; when I first started out working with women specifically on things like gut health and managing chronic illness, the conversation nearly always revolved around two things; their relationship with themselves (why they were holding themselves back aka negative self-talk) and what emotional stress was happening in their lives. That direction for the conversations came up without prompting.
The core issues these women truly needed my help with wasn’t food.
Fundamentally, they already knew what would help them feel well when it came to food. Of course, I can tell you the best things to eat depending on where you’re at in your life, if you’re regaining your health from illness, or if you’re a star athlete. I could tell you that. But that’s why we have women like Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, whose experience and education is steeped in bringing you the most cutting-edge information and science to back up why and WHAT you should be eating for optimal nutrition.
My experience and my expertise is supporting you in loving yourself in the same way you receive love and give love to others.
This is where the big magic happens. It’s what will be the driving force with all those healthy food and movement choices.
It is why I created Soul Power, my project for women focusing on moving better, eating better, and connecting better. Because truthfully, you all have it in you to move better and eat better, and there are a TON of resources on both of these. It’s that last one (connecting better) that we’re lacking practice in.
I am building what I wished I’d had on my own journey. As women, we thrive off of communities, which is why this community-oriented platform is such a rich experience.
The Two Things Women Need
You already have the knowledge to eat better.
This Documentary Needs Your Support
Filmmaker Caroleen Moise is making a documentary sharing the compelling story of how Dr. Terry Wahls’ recovered from secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis. Defying All Odds combines interviews, animations, and re-enactments with the actress Chiara Gizzi cast as young Dr. Wahls.
This documentary is an opportunity to both inspire and educate an entirely new group of people needlessly suffering from chronic disease, while giving all of us who are already in this space an poignant resource to share with our friends and family. Please consider donating in any amount to support this amazing project.
In coaching over two thousand women, I’ve found we need two more things to support making great food choices and living our healthiest lives.
Besides expert knowledge (like Sarah’s blog!), you need:
- A guide
- A community
You need the Guide so you can get specific eating advice for your situation. A personal nutrition coach is a great investment in yourself if it is in your budget. Is my going rate of $175/hour not in your cards right now? No problem- this is why I created Soul Power. I want to reach women like you and provide that accountability and expert advice in an affordable way and help you keep on the path of self-love leading into good eating. And because I focus more on self-love than just on nutrition, you know you’ll be getting a deeper look into the why’s of your habits.
Alongside the right Guide, you need a Community of women to support you in being your best. People who will celebrate with you as you get better at nourishing self-talk and share their strategies for moving away from the negative self-talk we all face every day.
Soul Power combines me as your Guide alongside women like you as your Community to help you live your healthiest life. Enrollment is open only through Valentine’s Day, February 14th. It’s affordable, it’s fun, and we’re going to have a great time helping each other live our healthiest lives. Join us here.