Social media can paint a pretty picture of someone’s life, can’t it? It’s soo easy to compare (hey, we’re all a little guilty of it 🤷). So, I can understand if you look at my social media now and think my career as a Binge Eating Therapist seems pretty put together (or so I hope 😉). However, I can tell you that this life of mine didn’t always look so tidy. I can also tell you that the path to getting here was not a smooth road. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t 100% worth it, but I always want you to know that I have been there, done that, and come out the other side. So when I say, “I get you,” I mean it.
How I Became A Binge Eating Therapist
Okay, storytime. Let me tell you a little about what it looked like going from “college Ryann” to the Ryann Nicole you all know now!
Part 1: College Ryann
When I went to college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. At that time, I was already binge eating, and all I knew was that I wanted to lose weight. I figured if I could lose weight and have that dream body. Then my life would be perfect. Sound familiar…?
I finished my freshman year undecided, still binging my face off, and had to decide on a major. At this point, I knew my binge eating was about more than just food, and I was desperate to “fix” myself. I thought I knew how I was “supposed” to eat, so I figured I didn’t need to major in nutrition. Therefore, the next logical solution was psychology! Yes! If I could figure out what was “wrong” with me, I could fix my binge eating brain. Honest to goodness, my thought pattern went something like this: Fixed brain → able to stick to a diet → lose weight = perfect life. 🤦
Let’s just say it didn’t quite work like that. Deep into my psychology classes at the end of my sophomore year, I was still binge eating, and absolutely nothing had changed. Talk about a rock-bottom moment. (If you want to hear more about that, you can listen to my detailed story here).
Part II: Eating Disorder Treatment
Shortly after that realization, I entered eating disorder treatment. There, I met my binge eating therapist: a woman who would change the trajectory of my career path forever. She was also in recovery, and I quickly recognized that she was everything I wanted to be. From that moment on, I changed my outlook on my binge eating and recovery journey. I decided to make my eating disorder something that happened to me rather than something that happened to me. I made a pact that I would do whatever it took to become a binge eating therapist and help others the way my therapist helped me.
Part III: Binge Eating Therapist Education
I proudly kept my promise to myself and worked tirelessly to become a binge eating therapist. My first stop was finishing my Bachelor’s Degree, graduating with a BA in Psychology.
From there, I knew I needed a Master’s Degree to become a therapist, so I enrolled in a Professional Counseling Graduate Program. I graduated in two years with a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling.
With my Master’s Degree complete, I was eligible to apply for my provisional license for professional counseling (PLPC). I applied, got the license, and worked as a full-time therapist at an addiction treatment center while fulfilling the requirements to become a licensed therapist (3000 clinical hours, 48 continuing education hours, 100 supervision hours, and passing the National Counselor Examination).
Part IV: The Virtual Binge Eating Therapist
Now keep in mind, at this point, it’s 2020, so COVID is in full force. Like many of you, I spent a lot more time on social media. I noticed a heap of people (some educated, some not) speaking about health and wellness. And I thought, ‘If they could do that, why can’t I?’ I had so much to say and wanted to share it all in a fun and easy-to-understand way! So, I started the Instagram @coffeetalkswellness (what you now know as @itsryannnicole).
I spent two years creating content and continuing education on my own, hoping that when I received my LPC license, I would be ready to open a private practice.
In my graduate program, I had one SMALL class on eating disorders and maybe a 10-minute discussion on binge eating. Everything else I learned on my own and from my own experience. (click here for specific training I did)
When I finally completed all my requirements to be eligible for my license as a professional counselor, I quit my job as an addiction therapist and took @itsryannnicole full-time.
Part V: Today
I now operate Ryann Nicole Wellness as a private practice so I can be the binge eating therapist I set out to become.
So why tell you my whole story? Why share the gritty details of life before Ryann Nicole Wellness? Because this is the kind of story, I needed to hear when I felt lost and hopeless in my binge-eating journey. This is why I am passionate about my work and the information I share. And I want to provide the hope and support my binge eating therapist gave me.
If you are an aspiring therapist, please know you always have me as a resource. If you have any questions about my career, email me, and let’s talk about it!