I found Katie Winnen in TSC Bloggers and Business Babes on Facebook, a group dedicated solely to female entrepreneurs who celebrates each other’s successes. Katie is a self-love advocate from the San Francisco Bay Area who works with women to work past insecurity, poor body image, doubt and shame. Her ultimate goal is to allow these women gain self-confidence and self-love.
When Katie was only eight-years-old, she struggled with body image. She even made it her new year’s resolution to lose weight.
“That just goes to show that from a young age I thought being thinner was the main goal.
For most of my life, I just remember being so frustrated with my body. I was told by doctors, friends, family, the media and others that I was too big to be beautiful, healthy, successful and/or valuable,” said Katie.
Katie said those words affected her in a negative way, made her insecure and shy.
“I just took on the identity of being an insecure person, like I had no control over it,” she said.
Throughout middle school, high school and college, Katie’s relationship with food and her body were really poor. Katie tried everything to change the way she saw herself.
She went through starvation, excessive exercise, pills, diets and a lot of other things.
“I would lose weight but never was actually happy,” said Katie.
She added, “Looking back, it is so clear that nothing I could have changed physically would have made me happy. It was never the answer. It all had to start with my mindset.”
Katie On Changing Her Mindset About Body Image
“I began to change my mindset about my body,” said Katie. “I began to change how I felt about it (my body), my mood, how I moved and exercised. I then realized that health is unique to everyone.”
Katie said there is no physical depiction of what healthy looks like.
“Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean that they live a healthy life, and just because someone is big doesn’t mean they live an unhealthy life,” Katie said.
Katie decided a few years ago to no longer allow others to live her life for her.
“I was tired of people telling me I was too big, that I was unhealthy and that I was unvaluable, all of which were untrue,” says Katie.
On Katie’s transition from self-hate to self-love, she started to incorporate affirmations into her day.
She also began to adjust the people she followed on social media, watched how she spoke about herself and how she spoke to herself.
“I also started to plan out how I could love and accept myself,” said Katie.
Katie’s Online Community, Take Care
Katie launched an online community called Take Care while on her journey to self-love.
Take Care is all about intersecting body love and well-being. In the online community, Katie discusses topics such as self-love, self-acceptance, body positivity, having a healthy relationship with food, overcoming negative self-talk and managing anxiety.
Katie said, “It is a space for people to support each other, share their experiences and get inspiration. It is all about body love and well-being.
“When I first created it I felt like I really needed a space like this, but come to find out, so did so many other people.”
She added, “I wanted a space where I could talk about health and wellness and accepting my body and have none of it have to do with weight. Therefore, the space is weight-neutral. We don’t discuss weight, weight gain, weight loss, measurements or clothing sizes.”
Alongside Katie’s Take Care community, she is also a Body Love Coach and a licensed Body Positive Facilitator.
Shortly after she started Take Care, she realized she wanted what she was doing to be a full time job but had no idea how to do it.
Katie stated, “I started to search for ways to be able to make Take Care and the work I was doing there my full time focus.
“I started to come across people who were coaches, or I would hear about coaching programs, and I got curious about what being a coach meant.”
Once Katie began investigating into the career she wanted, she realized it was the perfect choice for her.
Katie said she remembers coming across a Body Positive and Wellness Coach in a Facebook group, who she is now close friends with, and immediately emailed her.
“We met for coffee, and she told me about a training she attended through The Body Positive, a nonprofit in the Bay Area, that gave her the license and she thought I would love it,” says Katie.
Katie signed up for the Body Love Coach training and attended classes that spring.
Katie says, “Utilizing my training from The Body Positive, my work with Take Care and my personal experiences, I deemed myself a Body Love Coach because I truly want to help women love their bodies and understand their value.”
Pink Hair Equals Girl Power
Katie’s drive and perseverance to change the mindset of young girls and women to love themselves is the first thing that gravitated me towards her. Another was her luscious pink hair.
Katie told me that for a very long time, dying her hair pink was something she always wanted to do.
“For a long time, I thought it would be fun to do, but never found myself ready for it. Then a girlfriend of mine said she wanted to add some color to my hair and I immediately thought, ‘Pink,'” Katie said, adding, “She made it happen and I’ve kept it since.”
Katie said, “I don’t see it going anywhere because I absolutely love it.”
She admitted that negative things have been said about her hair but “more people have said awesome things about it.”
“Plus, at the end of the day, it only matters if I like it,” said Katie.
What Katie Said About Self-Love and Overcoming Self-Hate
Katie said, “Self-love has given me freedom. I no longer feel like I am trapped or I am being punished. Instead, I see my worth.
“I see my unique beauty and I can see it in others as well. I know I can do anything in the world as long as I believe in myself and have grace with myself.”
Katie said she is so thankful she made the decision to step out of her “self-deprecating negativity” and love and appreciate herself.
“What makes it even better is now I get to help other women do it too,” said Katie.
Part 2 with Katie Winnen is coming soon! Stay tuned!