Join me on a journey through my life, where I’ll unveil the pivotal moments and experiences that have shaped the person I am today. This is your chance to get to know the real me, learn about the struggles I’ve faced, and understand the origins of my platform, Coffee Talks Therapy. So, let’s dive in.
I was always an active child and what parents might call a “good eater.” But everything changed when I entered middle school, with a new school district and newfound body image pressures. These were the first signs that I began to notice and pay attention to my looks, and the impact on my life slowly began to take shape.
My family’s decision to move to Hawaii in seventh grade provided a fresh start, a place where the emphasis on looks and appearance was different. My focus remained on competitive swimming, which helped me stay grounded amidst the body image pressures.
As I entered high school, things took a different turn. Boys, makeup, and midriff-baring outfits suddenly became the norm, and I became more aware of my body. While I continued swimming, the pressure to conform to these new beauty ideals began to take hold.
During my freshman year of high school, a single photo taken at a swim meet changed everything. This image served as a trigger, opening the gates to my struggles with body image and an eating disorder that would dominate my life for years to come.
The photo led to an obsession with my body. I started to believe that I needed to change and that restricting my food intake was the way to do it. I began meticulously journaling my food and aimed to eat less each day, even though I had a limited understanding of calories.
Rapid weight loss brought praise and positive comments from people around me. I was motivated to keep going, even though it affected my swimming, academics, and overall well-being. But after a few months, concern started to replace compliments, and my secret struggle intensified.
A family vacation in San Diego marked a turning point. My father’s concern and the realization of how underweight I had become prompted my first binge. The more I ate, the more praise and positive reinforcement I received, but my body weight increased quickly.
From restrictive eating to binge eating, my life became a rollercoaster of weight loss and gain, all while my self-esteem plummeted. Every decision revolved around food and body image, putting my life on hold for seven long years.
After hitting rock bottom, feeling miserable, and realizing something needed to change, I decided to seek help. I started therapy and eventually began to heal my relationship with food.
I came to understand that my self-worth and happiness weren’t solely determined by external factors like the perfect job, relationship, or appearance. I had to address the internal beliefs that were holding me back.
Working at a coffee shop, I noticed how many women struggled with self-criticism and self-doubt. This realization led to the creation of Coffee Talks Therapy, a platform that provides a safe space to discuss life’s challenges and offers accessible therapeutic insights.
Many women put their lives on hold due to societal pressures and self-criticism. If this sounds familiar, you’re in the right place. You’ve just finished another episode of the Coffee Talks Therapy podcast, and I’m thrilled to have you here. Remember, you are enough, and together, we can navigate the journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Thanks for joining me, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next episode.
Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach
Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.
I understand—it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Let's simplify things and have you start right here:
Why Am I Overeating?
First Steps To Stop Binge Eating
The Food Freedom Lab Podcast
the food freedom lab podcast