Episode 088: Overcoming Orthorexia with Kate Markovitz

Episode 088: Overcoming Orthorexia, Kate Markovitz

In this episode, I’m joined by Kate Markovitz, a Nutritional Therapy Consultant, a 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach, creator of The Mindfull Makeover program, and an Executive Director with Beautycounter, as well as a holistic lifestyle & personal growth advocate for women who are over media dogma and want to be free and confident in their own skin.

One day a few months ago over on Instagram, she shared how she struggled and overcame Orthorexia (having an unhealthy obsession with being healthy, most commonly through diet and exercise).

I connected to it because in hindsight, Orthorexia was something that I lived through too. So, I invited Kate to join me for a real-people episode to have a deeper discussion on this topic.

You’ll hear us each share:

  • Our stories on what led us to develop Orthorexia

  • What life was like as we lived through it

  • What were the defining moments that pulled us on the other side

  • And what helped us most past it


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Naomi Nakamura: I'm your host Naomi Nakamura, and on today's show I am joined by Kate Markovitz. Kate is a holistic lifestyle and personal growth advocate for women who are over the Media Dogma and wants to be free and confident in their own skin. Now, professionally Kate is a nutritional therapy consultant and MTC, she's also a 21-day sugar detox coach like I am, she is the creator of The Mindful Makeover Program and she is an executive director with Beauty Counter.

Through her social media especially on Instagram and on her blog, Kate teaches women how to approach life feeling in control and empowered while also staying approachable and practical. In fact, it was over on her Instagram stories that led to this very episode because one day it was probably a couple of months ago, Kate shared in her stories a very personal experience on having author orthorexia. And if you aren't familiar or you haven't heard of what orthorexia is to put it very, very simply in Layman's term, it's essentially having an unhealthy obsession with being healthy whether that be through diet or exercise or something else.

And when I watched her stories that day and I watched her share her experience so vulnerably, I immediately connected with her and with that particular moment because in hindsight you know orthorexia was something that I had for a long time. It's something that I struggled with myself and I know that there are many of us out there who knowingly or even unknowingly struggle with this too. And so I thought, "You know what I'm going to invite Kate on this show and join me for a real people conversation."

You guys know I like to invite people who have gone through the things we talk about on this show just to share their own stories and this is precisely what this says is we're just sharing our stories, we're not experts in this field but we're just sharing what we went through because I really think it's helpful too to share our stories so that we can all hear that we are not alone in going through something like this. And so I invited Kate on to have a deeper discussion and that's exactly what this episode is.

So you will hear us share each of us will share our own stories of what we believe led us who develop orthorexia, and we share what life was like as we lived through it. We're going to share what were some of those defining moments that helped us move to the other side of it, and then what actual tactical things helped us and continue to help us today.

Now as always, you can find the show notes for this episode over on my website at www.livefablife.com/088 for episode 88. And there you will find links to everything mentioned in this episode. You'll also have links to how to connect with Kate through her website and also through her social media, and then also how you can submit a question or request a topic for an episode on the show.

So with that, let's get to the show. Hi Kate, welcome to the show.

Kate Markovitz: Hello. Thanks for having me.

Naomi Nakamura: I am so excited to have you join us today.

Kate Markovitz: I haven't been on a podcast in a while so this is really exciting for me.

Naomi Nakamura: Well you usually have your own podcast and I get so excited when I interview people who are podcasters because you know the drill.

Kate Markovitz: I know the drill. We got this.

Naomi Nakamura: So for those who aren't quite familiar with you, can you just share briefly just who you are and what you do.

Kate Markovitz: For sure. So my name is Kate Markovitz although I feel like I live under the alias holistic Kate's, because that's what I'll hear sometimes when I'm around people. And I'm really just a woman who feels called to help and educate other women, like I think that really boils down my mission. Most of the time it has been about issues that I have gone through myself and that changes over time I've had my business since I think it was 2015 I feel like I'd never talk about the same thing for more than a year at a time. I always think about that quote like, "You've been assigned this mountain to show others it can be milked," and that's just kind of like my motto of how I structure my business, which is totally appropriate but we're going to talk about today.

But professionally I was a high school math teacher for four years and then I moved on, I was like, "I like business stuff." So I got my master's in leadership and then I was like, "Well now I like nutrition." So then I became a nutritional therapy consultant. And so now I just run my own business, I stay at home with our daughter who's two, so it's very interesting but I try to work when I can as much as I can because I absolutely love it. And just learning things and sharing them that's my jam.

Naomi Nakamura: Well you share a lot of things very transparently and I appreciate that over on Instagram, and a few months ago you really shared your story on your battles with you talked about being a nutrition consultant, nutritional therapy consultant and you share a lot of information about that and you talked about experiencing orthorexia. And that's something that I in hindsight dealt with.

Kate Markovitz: Hindsight's always 20/20.

Naomi Nakamura: Yes, dealt with pretty severely. And now that I'm on the other side of it I can observe that it's a pretty common thing that happens with many people men and women-

Kate Markovitz: Yes, both.

Naomi Nakamura: ... who don't even realize it. And you shared your story so transparently that I thought, "You know what, you and I, we like to tell a share things and educate through our own personal experiences." And I like to do that a lot on this podcast is just to have real people come on the show and just share real people's stories as I like to call it.

So I just wanted you to come on and share your experience with it because I think when we hear from others and yes we can hear from experts and all of that but at the end of the day it's hearing from other people and what they went through that I think touches us the most.

Kate Markovitz: Totally. Totally.

Naomi Nakamura: Yes, which is why social media is such a huge thing, us getting glimpses into other people's lives. I just wanted us to have more of a deeper conversation about this topic. Why don't you, and I want to preface this with listeners neither Kate or I are experts on the topic of orthorexia.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, but not consider myself an expert about this specific.

Naomi Nakamura: No, and we are just here to share our stories but before we get into your story, for those who don't know what it is, I just did a little Google search and I'm not going to get into like clinical terms but basically it is a perceived eating disorder because it's not I guess officially recognized by many different I guess medical associations. But it is a condition where people have this excessive preoccupation with healthy eating and eating certain foods and it gets to the point where it affects other parts of their lives whether it be socially or it affects their moods with anxiety or other things like that, I don't know what's your definition of it.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, I think from me and my story and I think a lot of women who I would pinpoint is also having gone through orthorexia also includes fitness. So it's just like this this obsessiveness, it's almost like an OCD around like food and fitness and just that your work gets wrapped up into that. And it is something that goes beyond the point of being healthy although it looks healthy from the outside. So people who are looking at me during this time of my life would tell me like, "Oh I'm so jealous. I wish I could do what you did or I wish I had your discipline."

And so I think a lot of times from the outside it looks like something that is healthy and it's good and what people would perhaps admire but on the inside and what's actually happening for that person it is just turmoil, really.

Naomi Nakamura: I mean, I couldn't say it better, and I think a couple of things that you said there was your self-worth. It really impacts your self-worth and I know for me it was maybe about nine 10 years ago, I was in the place where I was doing long distance running endurance training, and the turmoil that you talked about because your self-worth is so wrapped up into that, and the internal turmoil that you feel... like if you were to look at pictures of me from back then I was probably like 30 pounds lighter, but in terms of like how my mindset my emotional and my mental well-being I'm in such a better place now than I was then.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, like if you did a side-by-side or comparison I think it almost like for me I almost don't even look physically that different, and that's what's kind of the wild part about it is because I was so in the place like a lot of mine was around fear and aesthetics and if I don't do this what's going to happen.

And that's almost one of the things which I know we'll talk about the kind of helped me get out of it because I realized like I don't have to live like this till like be this person or look this way or whatever it is that I thought at the time. But you do, like who I thought I was I was so wrapped up in you know the fact that I could restrict the fact that I could control my food the fact that I did wake up every day to go do the work out and all of those things. And it wasn't even necessarily comparison against somebody else.

It was like a comparison of like who I was and who I thought I was supposed to be, which I think we're both very similar personalities. So I wonder if certain personalities have a tendency towards us, and I have an inkling to think that they probably are.

Naomi Nakamura: I've had those thoughts myself and I definitely think that type A personality is prone to something like this.

Kate Markovitz: I am like the definition textbook of like type A. It's annoying but at the same time like I've now been able to like use that to my power instead of being afraid of it, or like seeing it as something bad. Now I'm like, "Okay, I know this about myself so how can I like protect myself, how can I protect myself from myself."

Naomi Nakamura: Let's back things up and let's get into what that time in your life looked like for you, what were your daily habits or what were your patterns and what kind of activities or your mindsets, your tendencies, like what did that whole time period look like?

Kate Markovitz: So I would say the word that comes to mind for me when I think about that period in my life is control, it started in college and so it's the first time I was out on my own. And I am very black and white perfectionistic, I see things as right or wrong. And so I think I naturally tend to lean towards like I do this or I do not do that, and it's just like I've put things into boxes and they stay in those boxes. And so I think in college I felt very anxious and nervous about like I had to get A's, I had to set my life up to be this picture of whatever it is I had in my mind, which felt a little bit like I couldn't control everything.

So I think what I did start to do is control the food, control the workouts, and a lot of the things that I did as I would like workout at least once maybe twice a day, I'd be like a bag lady carrying like bags of workout clothes because I had to get to the gym in between my two classes and it was just like a non-negotiable like there was no flexibility, it was very rigid, everything was kind of calculated and planned out and scheduled. And so it was the same thing with my food and I did find at the time that I would like figure out the foods that I would eat and they would be like at the certain thing, like Mondays and Wednesdays I would go to the hub and I would get my tomato soup or whatever, I can't even remember exactly what it was, I was not healthy I can't say that.

And I did almost become like a vegetarian at the same point because just seeing meat sit on like a cafeteria lawn kind of freaked me out, and cross to me out so I just ate a lot of salad. And I do also remember that compliments like fed my fire. So there were so many people who would be like, "Man, I wish I had your discipline, I wish I could wake up on Saturday after going out on Friday and go to the gym." And I was like, like it made me do that let self-worth again like it made me feel like that was the expectation at myself now.

Other people expected it and so I had to keep playing into that role because I fulfilled my expectations. And I would say I also became like an abstainer again putting things in boxes, so it's like I do not eat these things, I do not do this. And so it's like, "Okay, these foods are off my plate, I don't eat them and totally restricted 100 percent control." But I think at the time, so this might sound like weird to some people but it was like freeing in a lot of ways because it was like the decision was made, I go and I eat that thing, I go to the gym and this is what I do at the gym. So it was very predictable, it was very routine and just my mindset around it though was definitely fear-based like it was definitely like, "What's going to happen if I don't do this now?"

Like especially once I had done it for a couple months it was like, "Oh goodness I cannot do this, or I'll gain 50 pounds or freshman 15." Like all of those things that you typically here.

Naomi Nakamura: I'm flabbergasted right now because pretty much what you described was pretty close to my experience.

Kate Markovitz: Oh wow. Yeah, we did not talk about this.

Naomi Nakamura: No, just let people know we did that, like she probably sent me a message like 30 minutes before saying, "Hey, what are we talking about?" We did not prep any of this, we're just winging it because it's just real people stories. But I used to, so I had been very heavy and a new gym opened up in my neighborhood. So I joined and I worked with a personal trainer and he had said, "Oh you should start using this thing called Calorie King to start counting calories," and I was at the time because I started exercising more and I was starting to see changes from someone who paid no attention to what I eat and was totally sedentary. So when you start doing things, you start to weigh, you feel better about yourself and I really got into reading things like fitness magazine and shake.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, she was going to say magazines and I did forget to mention MyFitnessPal because it's like everything they go into MyFitnessPal.

Naomi Nakamura: Yes, and it's kind of funny because this was like in the early 2000s and back then there was no social media, so I really did rely on those magazines and a little things and I did all the calculators. So here I was thinking that, "Oh I could only eat 1300 calories a day."

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, I think my calculation would probably come in about 1200. And I mean I was like using it like I was like obsessive even about learning about it. It was something that like give me more, like tell me I'm supposed to eat the 1200 calories. And I actually wrote, I remember like some English papers we had a research stuff and I wrote about the glycemic index and I ate like a diabetic despite not having diabetes, but it was like I learned that. And that was the new expectation that was the new level of what I was supposed to do, and so that's what I was going to do.

Naomi Nakamura: Yeah, and the theme that I literally run my entire life and all aspects of my life during that time was you have to burn more calories than you eat. And because of that and knowing that and I literally I mean I'm a questioner but you give me rules, I will adhere to rules and saying that like I could not go above 1300 calories a day.

Kate Markovitz: That was your rule.

Naomi Nakamura: That was my rule. And like you said you were the bag lady with your workout clothes doing workouts at least once a day if not twice a day, that was me.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, those as many workouts as I could fit it. If I didn't have a test coming out that I was going to go study for then I might as well go to the gym like it was I go home and relax or take a break. It was, go, go, go like keep up with everything else.

Naomi Nakamura: Yeah, it's like the 6:00 AM Body Pump class and then oh lunchtime yoga, and then go for a run in the evening and pack your lunch because you're trying to control your calories during that period and it literally controlled my entire life where I would decline invitations with friends to go and do social things because I couldn't disrupt my routine.

Kate Markovitz: Yes, I totally feel that, I know that and being that I mean I'm talking about my college experience but it's definitely expanded beyond that, but it's like I just remember that period so well and like a couple other things happened that I didn't mention. Number one, I knew everybody's going out in college right, you know what I used to do? I would go get drinks and I would go dump them in the sink or down the toilet or if we were at a frat house I'd go dump it in a corner, those poor... why can't I think of the word? Pledges that would have to like clean my so-called beer up off the floor the next morning.

And like all of my friends would say like, "You hold your liquor so well." And I'm like, "Yeah, because I wasn't drinking it," because it was like...

Naomi Nakamura: It would put you over your calories.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, it was. So I just did not do it, or I would have like a set limit be like, "Okay, I can have this, I've allotted this much amount today so I can have like one drink tonight." And it wasn't something I anyway knew about, that was I could totally could keep it secret, but it was it was interfering with just my relationships and maybe who people thought I was and obviously the perception but I mean granted if my daughter went to college I would like a friend like me who was there to take care of all of them, all of them are out.

Naomi Nakamura: And it's interesting because I would get irrationally angry if there was like an event or work or something that took me out of that routine. And it would cause me anxiety if I had to miss a workout or if I had to eat something that wasn't on my plan for the week.

Kate Markovitz: And I guess I should mention this too, a couple of things. Number one, I lost my period.

Naomi Nakamura: I did too.

Kate Markovitz: So I was like...

Naomi Nakamura: For 10 years.

Kate Markovitz: It was my body telling me this is not okay, I actually enrolled in a study at Penn State because I was going to the bathroom and looked up and it said like, "No period?" And I was like, "Oh I might as well get paid for not having my period." They like tracked my food they told and they actually told me that everything was fine, I was eating like 800-900 calories because I was even below what the limit was thinking it was better.

And then my mom made me drop out, she was like, "You can't go back to college unless you put some more weight on, I see you eating more food," like she got like when I came home from break she was like, "This is not okay." And when I dropped out they told me I was in the control group, so they weren't allowed to tell me to change anything because they needed me to stay the same.

Naomi Nakamura: Wow.

Kate Markovitz: Which is looking back like my mom was like infuriated and she's like, "You had this ability for these people to help you," and they should have said you couldn't qualify basically.

Naomi Nakamura: It's interesting because I never told anybody this but during the peak of that time I mean this was even before I got into long distance running because this started like much before that, I had dropped all the way down to a size two which was like a good five or six sizes below what I had been at my biggest, and my mom had pulled me aside and said, "You need to stop losing weight." And I was like, "What are you talking about, there's no such thing as beating to stop."

Kate Markovitz: Right, yes. I couldn't be smaller like I could never get, I didn't have like this is when I'll be happy because it was like, "How do I keep?"

Naomi Nakamura: Because you're getting the compliments to that again in hindsight I didn't realize played that much of a role where people were saying, "Well you look great. I wish I had your discipline."

Kate Markovitz: Oh yeah, I was totally like feeding into everything I guess I wanted.

Naomi Nakamura: So was that your like catalyst that told study to like the start shifting?

Kate Markovitz: That was way at the beginning. I mean I did put on a little bit of weights like, then I was in a delicate balance of like making sure that I didn't lose too much, so anybody's like my mom would get on me but it was like not so much that I considered myself "fat" or whatever it was that I was thinking I was afraid of. And after college I ended up becoming a fitness instructor so then I was teaching and now I was allowed to be obsessed with working out and like I would teach five times a week, I would go to classes five times like there was...

Naomi Nakamura: I have a curiosity about that because I do know a bunch of fitness instructors in my area because I have gone to several different gyms and I see them teaching multiple classes a week within during their own workouts and top of that, and I've always wondered like how do you manage that?

Kate Markovitz: So here is even what I was kind of thought throughout this process was your teaching the class is not your workout, like you are there to be there for the people in the class and to be like monitoring them and making sure they're getting like their workout in and it's not your workout, that's like literally what I was taught. But the class that I taught I had to do the whole routine.

Naomi Nakamura: Yeah, like if you're a spin instructor you're on the bike.

Kate Markovitz: You're on the bike and you're doing it like maybe you're cranking it down lower or you could make it "easier" but you are going through the motions with the whole class. So yeah very similar to spin is like kind of what I thought, like I had to be doing it in order for people to follow along.

It wasn't like, "Okay, everybody grab 10 pounds let's do 10 reps and you could walk around," maybe perhaps then I could see it. So I had it in my head that I had to get like that wasn't my workout even though I'm drenched in sweat if I wore a heart rate monitor I'm sure you know it would have been a couple hundred calories. People who are in the class are leaving and going home. But yet here I am staying for the next class or it was exhausting. And I remember not being able to sleep well at night like I'd be really wired and then I'd have to wake up before because I taught the 6:00 AM class. So it was like a constant, I was like on the hamster wheel.

Naomi Nakamura: It's like a vicious circle.

Kate Markovitz: It was but that's what I saw other people doing so I thought it was okay. That's a big piece too is it was in a community where everybody was doing it or everybody was expected to do it, like I would even come home sometimes and do work out at home, like it was crazy the amount that I was like working out but then that allowed me to be able to eat a little bit more which I felt like it's what people saw or started to worry, like if anything I felt like they worried about what I was eating. So if I could eat more than just meant I worked out more.

Naomi Nakamura: Oh yeah, that was our total thing with my friends and I and it's like, "Well we're going to go out to dinner so let's get an actual workout in," or, "We're going to a birthday party tonight there's going to be cake. Let me starve myself all day to save calories for that."

Kate Markovitz: Like holidays like, "Oh I'm not going to eat until dinner because I want to eat so many calories there."

Naomi Nakamura: Oh yeah, I remember one Thanksgiving my friend and I stayed at the gym for almost four hours in the morning because we knew it was Thanksgiving and we were going to eat a ton and we just wanted to pig out.

Kate Markovitz: And I even got to the point where I wouldn't even pig out like I would go to Thanksgiving and I would have the turkey and the salad and maybe like another vegetable side, I got to the place where I didn't even enjoy the things that like we were meant to enjoy, I wouldn't eat birthday cake at the birthday parties, I wouldn't have dessert ever, I never had candy like it was just, it got to the place where I was literally eating like the fruits the vegetables and meat and that's it. So it was a long-term.

Naomi Nakamura: So what was your shift to kind of realize that like, "Wait this might not be the best or healthiest way?"

Kate Markovitz: So I think it's really interesting because I feel like I've almost had multiple and maybe perhaps because I am kind of extreme like I was so far that maybe getting me back took a little while. But I would say the biggest one, one that really helped is I did find a Balanced Bites Podcast because I was in the nutrition space and I had heard about podcasts and I started listening to them and Diane and Liz's approach was like, "Wait a second this isn't totally aligning with like the things that I've heard," and so it did prompts me to start questioning things.

Naomi Nakamura: That all the fitness and those magazines were saying.

Kate Markovitz: Yes, totally, because definitely I was like 100 percent every health women's health and fitness magazine like that. And so that was a big turning point but then probably the biggest one was really getting pregnant and mostly because I couldn't eat, like I was so sick and I was stuck to the couch for like I would like pray I could make it to 7:00 PM an acceptable time to go upstairs and go to sleep.

So I had a lot of time to just sit there and think on the couch and start to like appreciate food because I like could it eat it and I felt so sick. So it was almost like, "Man, I really wish I would have enjoyed like some of those things that I've missed out on because now I can." And I felt like it was never going to end.

So that was probably like the biggest shift where I started getting like... And this was beyond I mean like healthy nutrition, so I went to a nutrition school, I became an NTC before I got... Well before I got pregnant, so I feel like I almost took the orthorexia like to nutritional therapy where then I felt like, "You cannot eat grain, you cannot do these things," and it became very black and white within that space.

Naomi Nakamura: I wanted to tap into that with you because you are a nutritional therapy consultant and that is all about nutritional therapy and healing. And you talked about you had your list of Do Not Eat foods and restricted eating, and there's a lot of crossover between those two things. So how do you approach that?

Kate Markovitz: So at the beginning I'll say I didn't have the best mindset more so with myself, I feel like I could see it more clearly when I was helping others, and just understanding too that not everybody was like me like not everybody even though I was telling them like birthday cake isn't the best option and like don't eat X, Y, Z like they so one did it and I'm like, "Well wait a second. Do we talk about that?" And then I just started realizing like not everybody thinks like me I know it sounds crazy but it was eye opening for me.

And so I was like telling them like these are the nutrient dense foods, these are the foods you need to eat, but then I started kind of just paying attention to people around me mean like, "Well they don't necessarily eat like that and there "healthy" or they don't have health issues, they don't have digestive problems." And it just did get me starting to question and like think about all of the things. So then when I did get pregnant and I really was just starting to think about like what is food and why did I obsess about it so much.

And I realized like it really was just like a lot of control and it wasn't the food that was good or bad, it was like the way I was approaching it. And just kind of realizing that like there's a lot of factors I guess that play into that like I didn't trust myself, I thought I was going to ruin everything so I had to be super strict.

I didn't respect my body, so I think getting pregnant and carrying a childlike really truly taught me to respect my body and what it can do without me even thinking about it. Like I grow human without even thinking about it, like that's crazy. And then just also thinking about stress and how much stress plays a role in everything, because I do feel like I would argue that like what I eat or how I treat myself today is probably not always healthy, it's not always great.

I'm coming out of a period where like I had all the champagne when celebrating like my brother-in-law got engaged, and we had Memorial Day and I had some of the desserts and like I had gluten and things that like I know I can't really eat but sometimes I just do anyway. But I feel healthier than I did when I was like even in nutritional therapy school and I was eating as clean as you could possibly eat as healthy as you could possibly eat. And I think a lot of it has to do with stress like I've learned to just like let things go that life is worth living, it's not about five pounds it's not about the sugar one day.

And so I think kind of like learning to trust myself, respect myself and just like control the stress is really how I've been able to approach it now.

Naomi Nakamura: Well and going back to your, how you're known as Holistic Kate when you're talking about the stress part, that's where the whole holistic approach comes in, because like you said it's not just about the food but a couple of keywords you said there that I wrote down were your intention right?

Kate Markovitz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Naomi Nakamura: So if we think back to what how you shared your story of how things were when you were going through that period of orthorexia, your intention was aesthetics and your intention was to control but with nutritional therapy you're talking about being nutrient dense. And we talk about your 21-day sugar detox coach like I am, and we have that thing where what does 600 calories look like with sugar versus 600 calories look like with like a sweet potato and then what are the different nutrients in that. I used to eat lean cuisines all the time and I thought they were the best things.

Yeah, because they had low calorie and they were quick to make because I was spending all my time packing my bags for my next workout. But then if you look at that compared to you know another meal like whereas you can't compare nutrient density.

Kate Markovitz: Right. Totally.

Naomi Nakamura: And then I think just you said you spent a lot of time and reflection and with that comes self-awareness, and that's where the whole hindsight thing comes in.

Kate Markovitz: Right, and I think it's like almost I mean I've actually been in therapy now for my postpartum period it was really hard, and actually I can relate a lot of that I think to stress and food because I eat anything that people brought me because I was so overwhelmed. My daughter did not sleep, and so like I had sandwiches almost every day and I do know like I can't eat gluten like it really affects me mentally.

But at that point I didn't have energy to say anything or do anything I was just grateful that I had food in front of me, but that's kind of where I started to realize like you do have to zoom out and you have to look at the big picture and sometimes you do have to have boundaries like I do have to have a boundary like I cannot have gluten more than one meal in a row, if I want to go...

Naomi Nakamura: That's your non-negotiable.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah it is. That's like my nutrient and my 80/20 rule like what I know I can indulge in now and then but it cannot be my 80%.

Naomi Nakamura: Because it causes an illness in you or you have physical symptoms of not feeling well.

Kate Markovitz: Right, exactly. Now I can't even remember what it was.

Naomi Nakamura: Sorry.

Kate Markovitz: Well I feel like I started like going off on a tangent there, not even sure what I was like.

Naomi Nakamura: But it's the whole intention, and when you talk about having champagne when your brother got engaged, I think that's where you have to weigh between, this is a moment to be celebrated with my loved ones. Or it says, "Oh I can't have that."

Kate Markovitz: That's how you have the coaching.

Naomi Nakamura: Yeah, it's your intention.

Kate Markovitz: Yes. I've always loved the word intention, I do feel like that's like intentional living like just an intention behind anything that you're saying or you're doing, I feel like that is what matters, that's what matters the most.

Naomi Nakamura: And other people are not going to know your intentions and that's okay.

Kate Markovitz: Right, you're totally right about that, it's not their journey and I do almost feel like I had to hit some of those rock bottoms if I didn't, I would never have learned the things that I have learned, I would have 100% approach postpartum from a place of how do I get my body back? How do I lose the weight? Like I am so grateful I went through all of that before I had a daughter, I do not want her to like learn any of that, I will know the signs and symptoms in her.

Like when I was kind of in it and I felt when I started to realize like I was being controlled by all of that, it made me sad like I didn't know what to do, how was I going to get out of this. But then again here I am a decade later being able to say, "I have all these lessons in my back pocket to be able to raise a daughter who hopefully won't have to go through them or if she does I will be able to support her so much better."

Naomi Nakamura: And I love that thought process because I think it takes away the shame of anything you want to experience.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, there is definitely a lot of shame, I mean there's a lot of shame because it was a lot of just worrying about what other people thought. I think that, that was a big thing I had to overcome too and I'm like maybe 30 helped me with that I feel he gets it a little bit. Just being able to be like, "You know what it's not about you, you're not living my life, why am I living my life the way you expect me to or the way you want me to?" Because I'm the one that has to deal with it at the end of the day, I'm the one going to bed thinking the thoughts I'm thinking, so that also helped a lot.

Naomi Nakamura: I have been going to therapy for like 10 years and I love it and I think it's like something that everybody should do.

Kate Markovitz: I'm like it makes me sad we have the stigma we have.

Naomi Nakamura: Yes.

Kate Markovitz: And I think that die with like the generations, you know what I mean? Like I feel like most of the comments I've gotten that have been negative are more from my grandparents.

Naomi Nakamura: Oh interesting.

Kate Markovitz: And I can feel probably like my mom dad's generation being a little judgmental about it, but I also think they're more perceptive at seeing the difference in me like they're able to see like, yeah when she's going she's working through some of these things and coming out better.

Naomi Nakamura: I feel like there's so much freedom in working with a therapist because you're getting you're able to share all of these things that are bottled up with a person who has no other involvement in your life. So there's no prejudgment.

Kate Markovitz: Sometimes like, I mean my therapist tells me I'm dramatic I'm like, "Listen I feel like I'm dramatic because I have to like be dramatic for people to listen to me sometimes," and sometimes I'm like I will say something I'll be like, "Okay, I just need to say that to see how it felt and it didn't feel right," so like scratch that that's not really what I think. But sometimes until I get it out of my mouth which I'm also a huge proponent of journaling.

Naomi Nakamura: Yes, I am too.

Kate Markovitz: [crosstalk 00:35:01] has helped me. Just getting it out can even help you see like is that a fact, is that a true thing, is that like something that's just keep swirling in your head? Like and I think having the combination of both like the written and it's kind of like when I was teaching like I would always try to do visual audio and like kinesthetic. So all of us I feel like have those three components to how we process and think and live.

And so that's why I really like the journaling for the audio and writing and then going to a therapist to kind of, or I'm sorry, visual and then go into the therapist for the audio part, so you can kind of hear it and kind of combining all those three it's been the best way for me to get through a lot of that.

Naomi Nakamura: Yeah, because when you're with a therapist there is, you can say whatever you want and there's no prejudgment and they don't know anybody else in your life, so there is no fear of hurting anybody's feelings.

Kate Markovitz: Right, and I actually I don't know if feel like I said somebody there, I'm like, "Can you like me with my husband I think you can help?" She's like, "No I can't like help anybody now that like..."

Naomi Nakamura: She's so involved in you.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, I'm like, "Oh well, that's kind of special too."

Naomi Nakamura: It was my therapist that got me started on journaling because he was like, "Okay, we need some baseline to start with, so I want you to keep this journal for like the first month or so." And it's a habit I really kept up because we talked about self-awareness and hindsight and I think those two things really help you become cerebral and really start to build that self-awareness where then you can start seeing and identifying these other things that maybe you just...

Kate Markovitz: Look at clarity, see the patterns. And you kind of realize for me to a kind of help me realize that like this is me like not everybody is like that, not everybody has these thought patterns, like this is something that I am doing and I can also change. Like I have the ability to work on this, I think too many people accept, this is who I am and love me or hate me. And it's like, "Well you can work on that too."

Naomi Nakamura: Be involved as people.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, like there are a lot of things in my life where I look back and I'm like, if I would have had the help then like honestly this is a weird thing to say but I think if I would have had more help when I was teaching I would probably still be a teacher. I left the profession because there was like a lot of things I was struggling with which I now realize is me personally, it wasn't like teaching the profession which is what I thought it was. It's like I kept coming to head with a lot of the same issues. And so then I finally realized like, "Oh that's something I need to work on, that's something I need to fix, not fix but that's something I need to address with myself."

Naomi Nakamura: Yes, that's so true. So for anyone who might be listening to this, I'm starting to realize like, "Oh my gosh this is me." What are just some things you recommend they do just the first steps here, with the caveat again that we are not experts in this but these are the things that helped us.

Kate Markovitz: So first thing I would definitely say is to try to find a therapist or start journaling, that was an easy segue. I would say if you're surrounded by people or if you're in a community where you're looking around and you're all doing the same thing you're all controlling your food, you're all feeling like you have to work out all the time, all of your life is involved with just those things. Take a break. I'm not saying don't be friends with those people, I'm not saying to like break off relationships or they're toxic for you, I'm saying take a break and see if that gives you any clarity then just start to analyze what really is important.

Are those things really important to you? Or is this like kind of what you're caught up in at the moment? I would start building a loving or respecting relationship with your body which is a hard one because we've been so taught not to trust our body not to listen to our body, all of those types of things. I would recommend like getting some type... If you need help with that I would say get like a nutritional therapy consult like you said it's about healing. So get someone who can help you heal your relationship. It's hard like it's not something that a lot of people can do especially intuitively, I would say find podcasts or books or however you like to consume content maybe it is social media accounts.

First of all, do an audit, get rid of the ones that if you feel anything when you read it that if you feel any less than when you see a picture or you read a caption unfollow.

Naomi Nakamura: Or triggers anything or mute.

Kate Markovitz: I feel it sometimes like some people or body people like I can feel my body tightening or my shoulders raising sometimes if I'm like reading some things. So if you feel like that in your body or you feel any type of like anxious thoughts just I'm not saying you have to follow them forever but perhaps just unfollow and see if that thought is release. Again, take a break. And similarly follow accounts that make you feel better that do inspire you.

And so when you're going on social media you're feeling empowered and lifted and I think there's so much negative talk around social media because people are following the wrong things, they're following for that comparison or they're following for that like that negativity somehow.

Naomi Nakamura: But they control who they follow.

Kate Markovitz: Correct, yeah. To me totally I used to follow all the fitness motivation and the girls in the bikinis and like look at my six pack abs, like that was my whole account a couple years ago and I went through and I got rid of all of those. And I realized, "I don't need to follow anybody to tell me how I feel about my body, so I'm just not going to do that right now." But definitely stress management whatever that's going to look like for you. For me, the therapy has really helped me, I find that still moving like I still have to move like I'm still a very physical person I suppose, like I mean how do you go from working.

When I get in slumps I realize I'm not moving enough I'm not doing enough for my body and myself. So I really like just go into like hot yoga and I really like walks like it's not like I have to like go to try to control my body. It's just things to get out and move that energy through, maybe it's bubble bath for you, I love bubble bath too. There's lots of different things you could do for stress management. And I think for my husband his is like going to the gym and getting a hard workout in. And that is okay, but as long as you can also take that day off or if something pops up and it's not going to ruin your whole day or you're going to change what you eat later because of it.

That's where I think you can kind of tell the fine line if you're trending that orthorexia. I think those would be like my top tips without being way too overwhelming.

Naomi Nakamura: No, I think those are fantastic tips. And you know it does take a lot of deep work depending on where you are but it's totally worth it on the other side.

Kate Markovitz: It really is.

Naomi Nakamura: It's freedom.

Kate Markovitz: I would say for sure like make the effort. It's not going to take. I mean I think in 2014 is probably when I started this journey and maybe last year even the start of this year I would say I finally stepped through the whole where I do feel a huge release, like I don't feel like that control anymore, I feel like I appreciate my body I don't weigh myself, and like it's just like not even a thought like you know you meet some of those, I used to meet those people and like they would just order like the fries or like we would go shopping and they would enjoy it. And I didn't understand how they were there and now here I am, and it's like so much better.

Naomi Nakamura: It is.

Kate Markovitz: Yes, it is important.

Naomi Nakamura: Yeah, you find the joy because I think back then I was not finding joy in a lot of things.

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, I was not happy.

Naomi Nakamura: Yes, so when people ask me how I'm doing now I can genuinely say, "I'm in a good place and doing really well."

Kate Markovitz: Yeah I like that, that is a huge point.

Naomi Nakamura: How can people connect with you and follow you, you share so much of your stories like this and about motherhood and everything on Instagram, so where can people connect with you there and anywhere else that would be helpful for people to connect with you?

Kate Markovitz: Yeah, I would say Instagram is definitely my favorites, I'm most active over there so I'm @holistickate, and I do have a website/blog I've definitely been slower to blog lately but it's Holistic Kate, and I do actually have a lot of like I have a blog post called like Five Pounds Away from Happiness and I kind of talk about like how those last five pounds. Like people are just constantly not having the cake or not doing the things because of these, I don't know, magical five pounds that they want to lose all the time.

So I have a couple posts like about this topic on my blog and it's kind of a reminder to me that it's something worth sharing. I did make, it's called The Mindful Makeover, I haven't run a group in a really long time but I do still have it where you can purchase it and go through it on your own, and it combines like the food with the mindset piece a lot of what we're talking about. So that might just be something to go and check out and read and see if it would apply to you. But yeah other than that, I have some projects and works so I'm really excited about and I hope that they come out by the end of summer but you never know. I'd love to get a podcast up and going again because I do love this forum but I'm glad I have like yours to come on, but I still get to like pretend I'm doing it.

Naomi Nakamura: Oh you guys, this is just a testament where I didn't know this about Kate, and Kate and I are both 21-day sugar detox coaches we're both with beauty counter, our pets cross. I didn't know this about her story but she shared it on Instagram and her story. So don't be afraid to share what your story.

Kate Markovitz: I am not afraid to be vulnerable because I have realized I learned so much more and I am not the only person going through something and sharing my story can help somebody else, even if it helps them realize that they're going through it.

Naomi Nakamura: Yes.

Kate Markovitz: I don't need to provide the solution but maybe I just need to provide the awareness.

Naomi Nakamura: Exactly. So we will link your Instagram as well as your blog post and your program and anything else you would like us to over on the show notes. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your experience.

Kate Markovitz: Thanks. This was really fine. This is like a good way to spend nap time.

Naomi Nakamura: If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world to me if you would subscribe to the podcast, write a review, or even share it with someone who you know would enjoy it too.

In the meantime, you can find a show notes for this episode and all other episodes over on my website at www.livefablife.com. There, you can submit a question to be answered right here on the show, sign up for weekly updates, insider access, and get behind the scene spoofs, and learn how we can work together too. Most importantly thank you so much for being here and I can't wait to connect with you again on the next episode of the show. See you next week.



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Naomi Nakamura is a certified Holistic Health Coach who takes a holistic approach through functional nutrition. Through her weekly show, The Live FAB Live Podcast, coaching programs, and safer skincare solutions, she helps people with acne and other chronic skin issues clear up their skin by teaching them where food meets physiology and how food, gut health, stress, and toxins are intricately connected to the health and appearance of our skin. Naomi resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and can often be found romping around the city with her puppy girl, Coco Pop! Connect with Naomi at: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest.