By Katherine Greiner, KGBody
In an attempt to achieve a fit body, we often forget that fitness should physically and mentally leave us feeling GOOD!
When I first started my career in the fitness and wellness space, I was inspired by how good I felt mentally and physically after a workout or a healthy, nourishing meal. I was empowered by the love and happiness that filled me when I took the time to make my personal wellness a priority each day.
But, as my private practice grew, and I got to know members of my community more intimately, I found myself shocked and deeply saddened by how many beautiful, smart, and successful women were turning to fitness and extreme diets as a form of self-punishment rather than self care. Self punishment for what they perceived was them not being good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, this enough, or that enough.
I had countless conversations with women, seeking to understand what motivated them to work out and eat more healthfully, and more often than not the driving motivation was a negative one of self-loathing, punishment, and FEAR. I was devastated to discover how many outwardly vibrant, thriving, loving women were secretly destroying themselves inside. This was, and still is, a secret epidemic.
It’s also worth mentioning that at this stage in my life I was still young enough to be, not only extremely green and inquisitive to the ways of the world, but also highly impressionable. After a while I got swept up in the chaos that is often synonymous with New York City, and eventually I caved to the little devil on my shoulder whispering the age old adage, "if you can't beat them, might as well join them." I too gave in to the spiral of constant body shaming and critiquing. I tried every extreme diet there was (all under the guise of "research"), and became highly dependent on caffeine for appetite suppressant and mental productivity, and juicing as a crash diet to “banish bloat.” (Sound familiar?)
Things finally reached a tipping point one morning when the now daily sleep deprivation met with a 4:30am Redbull consumption and extremely meager breakfast failed to keep me coherent enough to teach my 6am fitness class. I blacked out mid class, and ultimately spent the next several days sleeping, crying, and ashamed that I had become the very person I had set out to help. I called my mom, a psychologist by trade, and my boyfriend and admitted everything – all of the unhealthy habits, and body shaming I had engaged in and asked for their help and support as I vowed to find myself, my light, my JOY again.
I left my job where the culture was one obsessed with becoming skinnier and smaller, with little regard to the destruction it may be inflicting mentally. (When you think of the psychological implications of a focus on “smallness” of self… wow!) Instead, I set out on a mission to utilize fitness and wellness as a way to educate and empower women. In an attempt to achieve a fit body, we often forget that fitness should physically and mentally leave us feeling GOOD!
True wellness is a lifestyle! One that I believe is best achieved by participating in attainable and sustainable daily practices. There is no greater joy in life than that of connecting with another soul and together igniting, nourishing, and building our collective inner light.
To learn to love oneself again: To take back personal power, and thrive from a place of fun, of love — and of joy.
Katherine Greiner, NASM, RYT, is a Fitness Expert, Wellness Coach, and Green Living advocate. She struggled with ADHD and addictive tendencies in her adolescent and early adult years to the point where a loved one finally gave her an ultimatum to clean up her act or be cut loose. Fitness, meditation, and a diet focused on eating clean, REAL food literally saved Katherine from herself. While many people may know Katherine from her public classes, they are sometimes pleasantly surprised to learn that her fitness and wellness studies are specialized in the mind-body connection — how we can alter our brain chemistry and mood, simply by altering the movement patterns we perform, the thoughts we think, and the substances we put into and on our bodies.
Katherine has had the great fortune to work with and shape the physiques of influencers such as Gisele Bundchen, Taylor Schilling, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Natasha Oakley & Devin Brugman. Katherine has been featured in Elle Magazine, the NY Daily News, and Conde Nast Traveler for her fitness ingenuity, and hailed as a "dance cardio diva" by the New York Times and Well and Good. In addition to NASM and Yoga (200 RYT), Katherine also holds certifications in Nutrition, Pilates, TRX, SPX fitness (SLT), and pre/post natal fitness & nutrition. Fitness enthusiasts enjoy dancing and sweating with Katherine in NYC in her popular fitness class MOVE by KGBody.