I’m so excited to bring you this conversation this week. The way she talks about food is so enlightening and this conversation alone made me want to completely redefine my relationship with food and be just like her. And I’m pretty sure all of you will probably feel the same by the end of this episode.
Join me this week for a conversation with Katie Miller. Katie does some truly life-changing work with her clients, and this conversation is packed with brilliant tips for changing your relationship with food. It’s also packed with advice for anyone looking for their place in the coaching industry and honing their coaching skills while doing things their own way.
Hi, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills episode 51.
To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.
Hello coaches. I cannot even wait for you to hear the conversation that’s about to happen. I don’t even know how to describe it. Honestly, I am at a loss for words.
Katie is like joy personified. The way she talks about food is so fun, it makes me want to completely redefine my relationship with food and really be just like her. And I think all of you will probably feel the same after listening. Just wait till you hear how she talks about blueberries. Just listening to her brings me joy.
We dive into how she got into coaching. Really, she just tells a lot of her story. And I let her talk because her story is incredible. The way she got into coaching is incredible. The power that coaching has played in her life is amazing. And she’s just on a mission to share it with everyone. So I hope you enjoy. I hope you get a lot out of this episode. Let her joy be contagious. I’ll see you on the other side.
Lindsay: Hello, hello, welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited you’re here today. Let’s take a second and have you introduce yourself.
Katie: My name is Katie Miller and I am a weight loss coach. And I help women develop really solid, happy relationships with food.
Lindsay: I love that. And I also think as you were– So just a side note to people listening, we were having this little conversation before we started recording. And the whole time I was just thinking, “I don’t know if you’re a weight loss coach. We need to come up with a different word.”
I mean, I think you are. I think that is a side effect of your work, if people want to lose weight, they lose weight. But it goes a lot deeper than that. And we’re going to talk about it.
Katie: Yeah, and it is, it’s exactly what you said, it’s a side effect. And I really focus on your relationship with food. But a lot of women will come to me wanting weight loss, but not wanting to do it in the way that they’ve done it before. Not wanting to be in diet culture, not wanting to hate themselves there.
So weight loss maybe might be the reason that they come to me in the first place. But it really is about developing a really solid, good relationship with food.
Lindsay: Yeah. When you think about yourself in comparison to other weight loss coaches, not that they’re doing it wrong or you’re doing it right, but just what do you see as being kind of the thing that stands out as like this is different?
Katie: Well, I’ve never worked with a weight loss coach, so I’m not sure of their approaches. I feel like I’m kind of a blend of intuitive eating, but I also believe in boundaries. I believe in the power of food.
And, yeah, I think a lot of weight loss coaches that I’m familiar with, I love their work and I love their approach, is all food is available and we just want to get you in a slight calorie deficit, and you’ll lose weight. And just pay attention to your hunger cues and everything’s available. And that’s really wonderful and beautiful.
I think most of my clients also really care about the food that they’re eating. About nutrition, about feeling really good and feeling energy, and wanting to not ever struggle again with it. But not just in terms of weight loss, but they want a good relationship with food. They want to feel like I’m eating in a way that is in service to my body and that feels really good.
So I think that’s one of the ways I’m, I guess, a little bit different. So it’s not just about the weight loss. It’s not just about kind of like understanding hunger and urges. It’s also this component of food is amazing and let’s eat lots of the really good stuff. And how do we do that?
Lindsay: I have to say, for anybody listening, you have to find Katie on Instagram because you are one of my favorite people to follow. And I think probably because I have similar aspirational thoughts about food that you have.
So for me, it’s aspirational, because it’s like I love the way she thinks about food. I would love to think about food like that. I’m very like I’d rather just avoid the food. I don’t overeat, I don’t binge, I just don’t think about food. I don’t think about it in a way that you do.
And something you said before we started recording really blew my mind. Which was the way you were describing food and talking about what I eat is working for me in my body, and my body is always working for me. I was like, “Hold on. What? Those are not thoughts that I have.” So let’s just dig into that a little bit. Where did you develop those thoughts?
Katie: Oh, I love that. Okay, so those are two separate ones, right?
Katie: The food is working for me and my body is working for me. And oh, I love learning about food. And when you said, “I don’t really think about food.” I think about food and I intentionally practice love for my beans and my blueberries.
Lindsay: Well, the way you describe it, that’s why I’m like you have to follow her on Instagram. Because the way you talk about a salad, which by the way always looks amazing to me. I’m like I would eat that. I love healthy food, I just don’t spend time thinking about it and very intentionally put it together like you do.
Even the way you describe it, I’m like, “Yeah, I need that. Can Katie just come live with me and make my food?”
Katie: That’s so great. I’ve actually been told the opposite like, “Your food is so gross, Katie.” It’s really funny.
Lindsay: Oh no, I love it.
Katie: I appreciate those thoughts. But yeah, so really thinking about– Like when I’m cooking a batch of lentils, lentils are amazing. They can have this ability to blunt your blood sugar and to make it so that the sugars that you are more slowly kind of released in your body.
Not only do they do that at the meal you eat but also four hours later, which is amazing. How do they know how to do that? So the lentils you ate at lunch will also be affecting your dinner, that’s so cool. So I’m cooking a batch of lentils and I’m like, “You guys are so cool. I love what you’re about to do in my body.”
I think these thoughts. I think about blueberries, I think about blueberries and their anti-inflammatory effects and the antioxidants and all of these vitamins. And they just are packaged this way. They do so many cool things in our body and they just come this way.
So when I’m eating my breakfast and my beans and my grains and my blueberries I’m just like, “I freaking love you. Thank you so much for what you’re doing in my body.” So yeah, I’m a little cuckoo, I think.
Lindsay: That’s so good though. I love these thoughts. I am going to start practicing them, I love them.
Katie: Well, and it’s one of the ways that you can really– It’s like I don’t wake up and think like, “I love lentils more than cupcakes.” If I were just going on pleasure, cupcakes would always win out.
But when I really think and really consider scientifically, what are these foods doing in my body? They are like little miracles. Like whole foods, mangoes, and potatoes, and blueberries, and greens, they’re lowering our blood pressure and cholesterol and mitigating effects of diabetes. And food is amazing.
I mean food is neutral. Food is a neutral circumstance, but the things that I choose to think about it, based in science, really give me a lot of satisfaction and joy in my eating and I love it. I love it.
Lindsay: That is so fun.
Lindsay: Okay, what I really love about that, this is just coming to me, is that I’ve heard other weight loss coaches– And again, no one’s ever doing it, I mean, some people are probably doing it the wrong way but we’re not saying anyone’s doing it the wrong way.
What I love about this and what I connect with is we could have those similar thoughts about cupcakes, about cake, about whatever. But what you’re saying that I really like isn’t just like okay, we need to just not have those thoughts about the other foods or just resist the urge to give into the thoughts, but actually create thoughts that are totally opposite.
Not opposite, but the same thoughts about foods that actually help your body instead of just, my opinion always is for sure eat the cupcake, who cares, whatever. And I think you and I have talked about this, I think that’s your opinion too.
Katie: Yeah, there’s a time and a place for it. Absolutely yeah.
Lindsay: But just the way you’re describing it, literally I’m like, “I wish I had blueberries. Jeez, better go get some.”
Katie: They’re amazing.
Lindsay: I haven’t cooked lentils in a while, better get some of those.
Katie: Lentils are amazing, I love blueberries. And yes, absolutely, and there’s a place for the cupcake. And are you eating it out of intention or are you eating it just because it’s pleasurable? Because a cupcake does a very different thing in your body which is fine. All the food that comes in us does a certain reaction in our body and then gets excreted.
So it just feels so good and I feel like all my cells just kind of light up and my brain lights up when I think about the compounds and the things that the food is doing for me. And hand in hand with that is my body. My body is always working for me just in the same way that I have all of these like really amazing thoughts about whole foods and foods derived from plants and foods that do amazing things in my body.
I can unequivocally say that I love my body and not based on the way that it looks, based on its functioning for me. Like I was telling you before this, I’ve done some amount of work around body image and really about trying to see myself in a more neutral way to see my body for what it is and really see past societal conditioning.
See past the most important thing about women is the way you look. That’s a lie, that’s just a message that we all get, that’s like in the air that we breathe. And really kind of trying to deconstruct some of those ideas has been really helpful for me. And it’s led me to more kindness and more neutrality.
I had this experience, that I was telling you about, with insomnia a couple of years ago. About two and a half years ago– Was it two and a half years ago? Yeah. And I’ve dealt with insomnia for the past decade. But two and a half years ago I took a trip to Australia, which is like other side of the world.
And when I came back, which is normal, a lot of people kind of struggle with their sleep as they’re readjusting into life. But this was so drastic, like my body lost the ability to fall asleep. So I got home and I was up for like– I just I couldn’t fall asleep, I couldn’t nap, I just stayed awake until I crashed about three days later.
I just started the cycle of just kind of not being able to fall asleep for a couple of nights, and then crashing, and then not being able to fall asleep. So this lasted for several months. In the meantime I saw several doctors, I saw nature paths, I saw healers, I saw energy workers. I saw all sorts of different doctors. I just did everything, I tried the gamut of medication. Nothing worked, nothing could actually get me to fall asleep.
And it was in this time that I really started to focus. In order to not go crazy, like in order to not literally go crazy I learned how to speak to myself. Each morning, that was actually just like the continuation of the day before, it would be like, “Okay, Katie, we’re going to let go of all of the expectations for today. What you have to do today, the thing that you have to do today is exist. That’s what you have to do, is exist.”
And I would just start talking to my body like, “Hey, I know you wanted sleep just as badly as my brain or my consciousness. I know you need it to repair, I know you didn’t get to do what you needed to do. And I just want to thank you, first of all, for still circulating my blood. For still making my heartbeat, for still digesting.” It’s not like my cycle stopped, everything kept going the way that it normally did, just slower.
And I just was in profound gratitude for it, recognizing all that it was doing on so little. Like without its gas tank filled up it just was still chugging along, still chugging along. So I would check in with myself during the day and just say, “Hey, thank you. I know you’re still running, you’re walking, you’re making meals, you’re picking up kids from school. Thank you so much.”
It became so locked in that my body was working nonstop for me. Although there was some wiring, something was confused, something was going on with my sleep. In the past and at the beginning of this insomnia it was so common for me to be like, “Oh, why can’t my body sleep? I hate this. I hate that I feel like I’m at war with my body. It’s so stupid. Why doesn’t it know what to do? Why doesn’t it know how to just sleep? Kids know how to do this and my body has forgotten to do this.”
Lindsay: I have one night of bad sleep and I’m like, “This is not what’s supposed to be happening.” My first thought to my body is like, “I’m going to need you to get on board, I have stuff to do tomorrow.”
Katie: Totally. Exactly, like come on, get it together.
Lindsay: Get it together, yeah, that’s my favorite thing. Get it together.
Katie: Yes, like we have this and this and this to do. There was just some threshold that I passed where I was like, “Nope, I can’t talk to it anymore.” Also because this deep need for it to be on board. Like I need you to cooperate and so I need to be friends with you.
Katie: That experience, like when clients come to me and they’re like, “Oh, I just feel like I’m at war with my body, I feel like my body is at war and it’s carrying this extra weight.” And it’s just like, “Oh man, it is doing so many things for you. Like right now, when you just said that sentence how many thousands of operations are happening right now in your body that we’re not even– Like we just totally take for granted.
They’re just all going on, blood is still being circulated, I mean, I’ve said this, your endocrine system is still working, your hormones are still being released, you’re still on time for your cycle, all of these things.
I mean, I gave this example just on Instagram recently, I ran a big, long race back in March and my toenail fell off and I lost both my toenails. And my body just knows to grow them back. It knows how, it knows the timetable, it just knows what to do.
How does it know? That is constant. How does it know? How does it know my cycle? How does it know? It’s amazing. How does it know how to digest? How does it know where to go? And I am so in awe of it.
And that all raised, I guess, to my consciousness during this insomnia experience. So it was like no more, my body is my friend. It’s my best friend. I will be unconditionally supportive and speak to it in a way that is full of awe and gratitude because, I mean, really like 40 or 50 trillion cells are just doing– Your skin regenerates. Sorry, I get super passionate about this.
Lindsay: Keep going. Are you kidding me? I’m going to get off here and just– You know what this feels like? Have you ever seen the YouTube video with the little girl in the mirror who is like, “You are amazing and your hair is beautiful. And you can do anything today”? Like whatever she says. That’s what this feels like right now. I’m like, yes, just keep telling me. Keep telling me all the things.
Katie: That is really quite literally scientifically, rationally what is going on. You have trillions of cells that are working constantly for your benefit. And if you have a weird thing pop up, if you can’t sleep, if you have a chronic illness, my gosh, if you have an injury, your body immediately, it’ll send signals to you. It’ll present symptoms. It is constantly messaging and trying because it is trying to heal itself. How does it know to do that?
I’m just constantly in awe of my body. And when I think of what my body actually is, that is my body, it’s this miraculous machine. And then to come back to these societal overlays, like, “Oh yeah, the most important thing about women is the way they look.” It’s like, what? No, that’s so ridiculous. And you can’t tell me that.
The most important thing is actually the way my body functions and that I have one. And that I get to feel the sun on my face, and I get to sleep, and I get to ride a bike, and I get to walk. All of those things, it puts it into a different perspective. It really changes the way that I see those messages as ridiculous. They’re just messages and they’re born out of some very specific constructs. But I don’t buy them anymore, I don’t.
Because there was this moment where it was like my body is doing all of these things. And when I thought back to the last thing I talked about my body, it was like, “Boo-hoo I can’t see my abs.” Or like this little bit of whatever this is is kind of bugging me today. Or like, “My neck is a little saggy,” or whatever. It’s so easy to fall back into nitpicking our appearance or the way that we appear to other people rather than what it’s like first person to experience our body.
We go to the pool or to the beach and what we, my default, what a lot of the women I work with, our default is how are other people going to view me? What is the experience they’re going to have of the way that they see me? What are they going to think about me? What are their thoughts about me?
Rather than like, “Can I do a back flip? How’s the water going to feel on my skin? Who am I going to see there? What is my experience? What is my first person experience going to be there?”
Instead, what so many of us are practiced at is this self-objectification where we come outside of ourselves and view ourselves as what everybody else will think and looks are just kind of the most important thing.
And for me, at this point, it’s like, “No, I want that first person experience. I want to experience what it’s like to just be in my body as the first person.” Does that make sense? Or the primary experiencer.
Lindsay: Yeah, guaranteed every, for sure woman, and some men too probably that are listening right now are just nodding their head like, “Oh my gosh, yes, I’ve been there, for sure.”
I think part of me is like, well because I’m getting older, but I think also just because I’ve done so much work on just seeing my thoughts and seeing how silly they are. I’ve recently noticed over the last couple years where we go on family vacation or something like that.
And to me the most important thing, for example, at the beach isn’t if my stomach is flat. It’s like what are these experiences I’m having with my kids right now? How amazing is this? I can build sandcastles. I can swim in the whatever. I can run around and be silly with them. I can do whatever. And to me it’s like that has become the most important thing.
Lindsay: Not that the other things aren’t still there, because I notice them and then I’m like, “Yep, that’s fine. Who cares?”
Katie: Yeah. And I don’t have to love the way that it looks for me to love my body. I can be in complete awe and appreciation and still be like I wish this or that, or whatever. But I don’t know, I don’t even go there because it just feels like nitpicking the absolute least important thing. Like why give any attention to it? It matters as much as you think it does. You know?
Lindsay: Yeah. Well, the analogy I just thought of is it would be like looking at a baby. And instead of being like, “Oh my gosh, is this the cutest baby you’ve ever seen? Like look at these rolls, I just want to eat it.” Like whatever, right? All the things.
And looking at a baby and saying like, “Oh, but look at that little mark on its cheek.” Or whatever, like something that we would never notice. But then as adults we learn, “Oh, this thing about my body is not right because it’s out of the ordinary.
Lindsay: Okay, so this got me really curious about something. First of all, this feels like my coaching session. Thank you for this, it’s exactly what I needed to hear. We’re just going to unpack all my things.
But it did get me curious because I know that you run. And I used to run a lot. I used to run half marathons, did one or two marathons. I preferred half, that’s fine. But you do long distance running. How long have you been doing that? Is that a newer thing or have you always been a runner?
Katie: So I became a runner after my third son was born. So he’s 15, so about 15 years ago. And it’s funny because I’ve always been athletic, I’ve always played sports and done things like that. And I just always hated running. I hated running forever. I would lose my breath and it hurt it. I just did not get it. I hated it.
After my third son was born, I was talking to my husband and we had to cancel my gym membership because of money and finances were tight, and it was winter. And I was like, “Well, I can’t run and I can’t walk.” First of all, I hate it and it’s cold. And my husband was like, “What if you just tried going slow? What if you just really didn’t judge yourself for how slow you were?”
And I went out and I ran something like two or three miles, and it was like a 13 minute pace. You could probably walk and pass me. I was so slow. And I came back and I was like, “I did it, I ran!” And then it was like, “I am a runner. I don’t care how slow I go, I am a runner.”
So from then on, I’ve always been slow, no shame. And then I love being in the mountains. And so I’m really into trail running. So trail running has been a recent phenomenon. And I would do half marathons and little 5Ks here and there.
And when I really got into trail running, it was actually the insomnia. This experience with insomnia where I had to endure so long where it’s just like the seed got planted, like, “You know, if you can do this, you could probably run longer.” So that’s where the seed got planted of just kind of doing a longer endurance event. So, yeah, back in March I did a 50K.
And trail running is different than regular running. Trail running, there’s very much a culture of like, it’s not about the times, it’s very collaborative, it’s very cooperative. And I really love that culture, it really speaks to me. So I would say I have always been a runner. I’ve always been a very slow runner, running very short distances.
I’ve also on and off used exercise, and in particular running, to kind of deal with my emotions. And when I’ve been injured, that along my journey is usually when I’ve experienced the most difficulty because I did not know how to handle my emotions without running or without some form of gym or lifting weights or something.
Some of my injuries are where I put on the most weight, because that’s how I coped because I stopped being able to do the thing that helped me to cope. And I’ll get to that in a second. So, running a long time is something that’s fairly new to me and is more about just like can I do it? Rather than trying to get a certain time.
I love the mountains, if I could just spend all day in the mountains– That’s what sounds fun to me. It’s like, “Oh yeah, let’s go spend eight hours in the mountains, that’s cool.” That sounds fun to me. like that. And trail running is also running, and hiking, and walking, and climbing. And it’s very much a different experience than what I found in road running and has a different environment and kind of culture to it.
So yeah, but the emotional part of like when I had a hip injury, and for two years I was in physical therapy. And, yeah, I turned to food quite a bit during that. I used it because it because A, I didn’t know even what I was feeling and why. And I had very little awareness.
So it was a combination of not moving, not being able to move in the ways that brought me joy and helped me deal with the emotion. And then eating to kind of cope. To kind of calm myself and to deal with the stress and deal with life.
So it was at the tail end of one of those experiences. I had a hip injury, I couldn’t run, I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t lift weights. And during that period of two years, I think I gained about 40 pounds. And I think that was in about 2013.
And in 2013 my husband, in April, was taking a trip to Ghana, Africa. And he was bringing students, he’s a professor, he’s bringing students and he had been taking these students every year and this was the year I was going to get to go with him.
And in April of that year, my son who has asthma had a really severe asthma exacerbation and I ran him to the ER. And instead of just the normal– What usually happened was steroids or treatment or something and come home. He was admitted and was not stabilizing. He was not kind of coming to normal, he was still struggling to breathe.
And they made the decision to actually life flight him to a larger hospital an hour away. So I hopped in my car and got someone to be with my other three kids at home. And my mom who was coming in to be with me so I could go to Africa, then ended up watching the kids while I was going to the hospital. So I got in the car and ran and he was in the pediatric intensive Care Unit.
And it was like the most stressful 72 hours of my life. It was really, really difficult. And I had this trip looming and I also had this like, you know, he was four at the time. Is my child okay? Is he going to live? Is he going to be able to breathe? Why isn’t this going the way it usually does? And the nurses and doctors were working very hard. And I was so afraid and so desperate and so just at my wit’s end during this time at the hospital.
And there was a moment that, for me, as I look back on my life this is just one of those pivotal moments. There’s this moment where the nurses– So I had been praying, just praying and talking to the nurses, talking to the doctors, asking 100 million questions. I was talking about this trip with my husband that I was supposed to be on, but now I’m not sure if I’m even going to go on. And why isn’t he getting better? What is happening? Is he going to have to be intubated? My brain was going 100 miles a minute.
Katie: There was this moment where it was a shift change. And the nurse walked out, and there are sliding glass doors on the rooms. And so she closed the glass door, and it kind of popped open a little bit. So there was this little gap. And she was talking to the other nurse, who was then going to come in and be our nurse.
And so I heard everything she said. And it was this moment– So she was talking to the other nurse. And God bless those NICU nurses, they’re saints. There’s nothing bad about them. But as she was describing me it was like, “Hey, here’s the son, here’s this little four year old, this is what’s going on with him. And here’s the mom. The mom is so stressed out. The mom is this, the mom is this, you’re going to have to manage this mom just as much as this little by.”
Lindsay: Oh no.
Katie: And she probably said it with care. As I heard it, it was like, “Oh.” But she just was trying to prepare this other nurse for a mom who’s going to ask 100 million questions, who’s going to be stressed out about this trip. And it was this moment, my cheeks started burning. I came to this, I was angry, I was embarrassed, I was flood of emotions. I called my husband, I was in tears.
But through there, through the following minutes, there was this beautiful moment of realization, of awareness, if you will, of how I am showing up is out of fear and desperation and panic. That is really the energy that I’m coming from. And that energy is producing, asking the doctors a million questions, kind of being mad at the situation, all of the things.
And there was just this moment where I said, “What would it feel like, what would it look like if I just completely showed up in trust and in faith? And in trust in the doctors, trust in my son and his body, trust in myself that I’ll know when to make decisions, trust in God that he knows us, trust in all of these moving parts, trust in the nurses. How would that change everything for me, for my experience?” And so I did it.
And it was funny, it was like this little game that I played in my head where when the other nurse walked in, when the other nurse came in, I was just like, “Oh, hey.” It was a totally different experience, which is funny. I mean, I bet she was confused because I just was like, “Oh, okay, yeah.” I completely shifted my experience. And I just trusted her and I thanked her. I was like, “Oh my gosh, NICU nurses are amazing. Thank you so much. I’m so happy you’re here serving my son.”
And when I would look at my son, it was just like, “Man, you’ve got this incredible little body that’s working so hard for you. I want to trust it. And I want to trust myself. And I want to trust God that he’s aware of these moving parts.”
And just this trust and this faith, it was this experience of like, I think I’m being vigilant or I think I’m being helpful. I think I’m being faithful, I’m praying or I’m asking questions. All I’m doing is this. But it was really born from this fear and desperation.
And when I decided to show up just fully in trust, and fully in love and gratitude I could take a nap. I mean, I could calm down and just actively decide to show up differently.
So, the reason I share this experience is because that in 2013, was this pivotal moment of awareness and decision making. There was an awareness that I wasn’t even aware that I was crazy. Not crazy, but behaving in a way that I didn’t feel like the way that I wanted to, but I couldn’t see it until I heard that conversation.
And then I saw it and then I was like, “I don’t want to be showing up this way.” That was pivotal for me. That started this journey of like– And that was at my highest weight. That was when I couldn’t exercise and I put on probably several, I don’t know, 40 or 50 pounds.
And it just started this chain reaction of events of like, “Where else am I not aware? What other areas of my life, how am I showing up that I say that I am, but I’m not actually? Like I’m not actually in alignment with how I really want to be showing up.”
And so that was pivotal, that was really important. And from that point to the insomnia, the insomnia, which was like 2018, I like got everything that I could get my hands on with dealing with emotions, with emotions and eating, with like neuroscience of disordered eating, of nutrition. Of just really, really having this deep desire to understand what is actually going on.
I always felt for so many years, I am a smart person, why can I not figure this out? And that is also something I feel like my clients have too. Like I am intelligent, I know I am, why is this still a mystery to me?
And so I just, I really dove deep into intuitive eating, into the Life Coach School Podcast whenever it came out. There were lots of books like Byron Katie, lots of things that just really helped me to start to piece together kind of messages, and my subconscious. And the way that I talk to myself, and thought work, and really, really understanding what emotions are and how to deal with them.
And having more tools to deal with them than just exercise or than just running. Being able to sit with them. That was so powerful, and so transformative to me. In there, in that experience I came across this diet, bright line eating. It’s a very strict regimented diet. You weigh and measure all your food, and it’s no flour, no sugar.
And I watched my best friend at the time do this diet, and I watched some family members do this diet, and I watched them all have success. And I just thought, “I’m going to try this, I’m going to do this.” And I did and what happened is we all kind of lost weight. And then I watched so many people around me gain it back.
I just watched them kind of come down and come back up. And I stayed down. I went down and I just stayed down. Because it was built on all of these, being able to deal with emotions. It was built on thought work. It was built on intuitive eating. It was built on my body is working for me.
It was built on all of these principles so that when I put this framework over that, yeah, my body kind of adjusted accordingly. But I was able to stay because I had the bedrock of tools, of skills, of the emotional work, if that makes sense.
Yeah. So then when I experienced the insomnia, in 2000, I don’t know what it was 2018 or 19, I had been at my goal weight for a couple years. I was happy, I was kind of just doing my thing. And just living a very purposeful, happy life, I really loved it.
And when I experienced the insomnia, it was like it gave me this perspective of life is kind of not as long as you think it is like. And you see other women suffering and why are you not doing something here? And not in a judgmental, harsh way. Not like, “You should be doing this.” But more like, “Hey, you have this gift and these tools. Why not get them in the hands of as many women as possible before you die? Because you might die of like not sleeping.”
Lindsay: Oh my gosh. Not to get dark at all, but it might be coming.
Katie: I really thought, I was just like people die of not sleeping, I’m going to be the next one. Yeah, lots of thoughts about that. But it just was like, what’s the worst that can happen?
Really, what’s the worst that can happen? You help some people, potentially. Or you’re really bad at it and you go back to living this really joyful, purposeful life. So win win, right? Or no losing there, it’s just like, just give it a try.
It also kind of changed the bar of what hard meant. It’s just like, so you put yourself out there and nobody takes you up on it. Or you put yourself out there and it flops. Is that really worse than not sleeping for four nights? No, you can totally handle this. This is completely within your wheelhouse of resiliency. And so then it made it like, “Okay, so let’s just do it. Let’s just try it.”
That was a really long answer.
Lindsay: No, it’s so amazing. And here’s what I wanted to tell you, but I want to say it on the podcast because I think it’ll be useful for other people to hear this. I’m just curious if you’ve ever thought about it like this. Because when I used to run, that is the only time I can remember having similar thoughts to what you were sharing about what I was eating.
I was much more intentional about it. I was so grateful that it would make my times faster, that it would make my body stronger. It was like the thoughts were similar, but it was in order to do this thing. In order to accomplish this thing.
And I think as women, especially, we are very conditioned, like we learn through our lives that we have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of other people. We have to put on our masks first so that we can help all the other people.
And it was a very similar kind of thing. I wasn’t helping other people but it’s like I was doing it for the purpose of achieving this bigger thing. So that’s the only reason it was important. And what I hear you saying is that you learned those thoughts. But you’ve learned to apply them to just the normal days, but also to the really bad days.
Which is so opposite of how I think most people think about it. Because I know when I have a bad day, when I don’t sleep well for one night, when I– I’ve shared this with you, I’ve been having some health things and I just feel so frustrated with my body right? It’s like, “Get on board. This is ridiculous. What is happening?”
And it really has been kind of a slap in the face for me of like, “No, maybe part of what’s happening is that you’re talking to your body like this. Let’s examine that.”
But I just think that’s really interesting that it’s just shifting the way we even think about why we take care of ourselves. Even when you talk about weight loss, it’s not so that you can look good in the bathing suit or whatever. It’s because you want to feel good in your body, you want to be so grateful for all the things you can do, the memories you can make, the trails you can run. And I just think it’s so powerful.
Katie: And I really think outside of dangerously low, I think that women should be able to pick whatever weight they want to be. That’s probably controversial, but I just think for whatever reason.
Lindsay: Not here, I love that.
Katie: We’re taught not to trust ourselves. We’re taught that you should be okay at this higher weight. You should just learn to love yourself here. You shouldn’t want to be here. Or you shouldn’t want to lose weight. Either side of the coin, we should get to decide.
And to your point about the thoughts that you have with the running, I have completely shifted movement in my body, whether it’s trail running or in the mountains, is for my joy. And things that bring my joy fuel my body. And that’s not to say, like you can have a short term goal to run a race or to, I don’t know, lift a certain number, get stronger. That’s fine.
But on a day to day basis, which is what I work with women, it’s the day to day eating, it’s the day to day everyday life. Movement, for me, its purpose is bring me joy in my body, bring me more energy, which is actually completely separate. I completely have divested food, there’s so much joy over here and there’s so much joy over here.
Lindsay: I love this.
Katie: And fueling your body can affect your running and of course those things are interconnected. I just think about them like two separate opportunities for energy and fueling and helping and serving your body and like giving it what it actually needs. If I’m taking care of this machine, it needs some movement, the more joyful the better. It needs some good food and if I feed it with these things, it’s just going to feel so good. It’s just going to feel really good.
Lindsay: I just love that. Okay, so real quick before we move on a little bit from talking specifically about food, about eating. This might be a little controversial, and I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. But there is one food that you don’t feel this way about. And we really disagree about. I feel like we could argue about this.
Katie: I hate celery.
Lindsay: I love it so much.
Katie: You need to go Google all of the beautiful, amazing things that celery does, it is awesome. And I do drink celery juice occasionally. It’s the texture for me.
Katie: It’s the stringiness, I can’t.
Lindsay: But it’s so crunchy though.
Katie: There are other things that are crunchy, like bell peppers.
Lindsay: That’s so great.
Katie: I can’t with the celery. It’s like kind of similar to coaching masters, you’re helping coaches find their coaching style, their coaching philosophies, their practices. When I’m working with women on eating, it is their eating. You are allowed you eat celery, you are allowed to not love lentils. We find what you like, what you’re naturally drawn toward.
Lindsay: So if I came to work with you, you’d be like, “Okay, you can eat celery.” I love that you even said you should Google it. You should really see what it’s doing for your body.
Katie: Totally, probably so many amazing things, yeah.
Lindsay: So good. Oh my goodness. Okay, I just had to joke about that because I just think it’s so funny.
So I love that you like set it up, you told this whole story because I think this is probably connected to one of the things I wanted to ask you about. Which is, when you came into my mastermind and I didn’t know you beforehand, I hadn’t worked with you before. You just showed up magically, there you were.
And one thing you said that really struck me is you were talking about what you do and you were talking about, I don’t know, I don’t even know exactly how you said it, but something like, “Yeah, I just don’t charge very much and I love it.” It was like the way you described it was like, “My coaching is so inexpensive and I love that so much.”
Which is just the opposite of what I experience a lot. A lot of people come into my mastermind, they’re like, “I’m doing this because,” it’s almost like the food thing, right? “I’m doing this because I want to be a better coach. Because I want to raise my prices. Because I want to make more money. Because I want to whatever.”
That’s not a bad thing. And I’m not saying you haven’t raised your prices or shouldn’t or whatever. I just thought that your take on it was so refreshing to me in that moment. And I’m just curious, is that linked to kind of your transition into coaching and the reason you were doing it from the beginning? Are those two things linked?
Katie: For sure. I mean, if your primary motivation is to get these tools in the hands of as many women as possible, I just am so drawn to the impact. I want to impact, I want to have women come out of working with me feeling like they have a really solid relationship with food, and they are in unconditional friendship with themselves.
And that they really have a hand on the dial of their weight loss. They can set it here, they can set it here, they can kind of turn it. But they’re the ones in control because they understand all of the components to it. Once you understand it, then you get to kind of like decide and drive the car.
So yes, pricing has never really been– I started coaching for free. And then I started charging $12 a week and I loved it. I loved that I was getting paid $12 a week. I think in my head it’s like I’m in school. And so I’m going to start with the free. And if I’m taking this experiential course, if I’m doing a lab, I’m paying $12 a week. I’m getting all of this experience, I’m impacting, I’m seeing women change their lives. I’m seeing their cholesterol get lowered, I’m seeing them lose weight. I’m seeing all of these things through this lab.
And then okay, you’ve graduated from this part of the lab and now you’re going to go into this next course so we’re going to raise your prices a little bit because you have all this experience.
So that’s kind of how I’ve just looked at it is like I’m in school, I’m learning. And so with each kind of phase and stage, I’ve raised my prices. But I’ve never felt bad about not charging a ton or what other coaches are charging. It just doesn’t come on my radar very often. I have kind of set timelines of like, “Okay, and when I get here and when I have this, then I’ll go to here.”
But I guess my thoughts about my pricing are mine, and several coaches have said, “You could charge more, and you should be charging more.” And I’m just like, “This is what feels so good to me right now. This just feels really great.” And then the next price level, that’ll feel so good. And it works for me, it works for me. Because then I can just concentrate on the work that I do rather than on– Yeah.
Lindsay: I just love it so much. And here’s what I want to point out for coaches that are listening that are like, “Wait, what? What are you talking about right now? Do I need to charge $12 a week?”
Katie: I don’t charge that anymore.
Lindsay: Listen, $12, I am pretty sure I almost started throwing stuff at the screen when you told me that. And then I realized you weren’t actually charging that when we were coaching. But I just never heard anything like it.
But one thing, like some of the questions I asked you I remember, I don’t remember exact details. But I remember exploring in that moment because I was so shocked when you told me, I don’t remember what it was at the time, but you told me what you were charging. And I was so shocked that I just started, I just wanted to explore it.
And one of the questions I asked is, “Well, do you think you could charge more?” Because I’m used to coaches setting very low prices, maybe sometimes under charging, because they’re so scared to raise their prices. And I asked you, “Do you think you could charge more?” And you were like, “Yeah.” And you said something like, “I think I could charge double and people would still pay it.”
Katie: Yeah, for sure
Lindsay: And I was like, “Okay, we’re good here.” It was like, just checking. Where is this thought? And this is so important always. It’s like, where is the thought coming from? Is it working for you or is it working against you? Is it coming from, it’s like what you were talking about being in the ICU with your son, right?
Katie: Fear and desperation.
Lindsay: Similar thoughts created totally different actions because you just tweaked it a little bit where it’s like over here, this worry, anxiety, freaking out, panic isn’t working. I can have very similar but a little different thoughts over here and it can create a totally different experience.
Katie: Right, yeah.
Lindsay: And I really saw that with you when you came in and you were like, “Yeah, I mean, I could.” And you were so calm and so confident. I was like, “Okay, we’re good. Then carry on, charge whatever you like.”
Lindsay: So I just wanted to point that out because I just love it so much. And one thing we skipped over maybe a little bit is like at what point in all of that story that you just said, what point did you find coaching for you? Before the day you were like, “I’m going to be a coach,” where did you discover coaching? How did that happen?
Katie: So somewhere along way between– In this process of losing my weight I started reading a ton and started really, now looking back, it was self-coaching. That’s really what was happening. But I would say it was like, effusive journaling. I read this book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron where you just write, write, write, write, write.
So when I work with my clients and I say, “If you were to see what my mental and emotional health looks like, it really is a stack of notebooks. That really is how I could start to see my thoughts.” That’s my first experience, really, with just getting that separation from my thoughts. And then having compassion, like seeing them, normalizing them, and then making the decisions about them.
I did not have a coach before I started coaching. But I just had this feeling, I had been answering so many people’s questions just for free. Just like, “Hey, how did you lose your weight? What are you eating? Can you tell me? Why didn’t you gain your weight back?” I felt like I was fielding constantly. That’s why I started my Instagram account. It’s just like, “Look, this is what I’m eating. These are the foods, go do it.”
Lindsay: But more importantly, I am talking to my blueberries and telling them how amazing they are.
Katie: Totally, totally.
Lindsay: So good.
Katie: That’s really where the magic is. And so I didn’t have a coach, I didn’t get coach training or nutrition training before I started coaching, I just started coaching.
So when I finished with my $12 a week clients, I hired a coach to see really what it was like. I wanted to see what it was like so I hired a coach for four months. And it was amazing. It was wonderful and transformative. And that’s where I really was like, “Oh yeah, this is awesome.” It gave me so much insight into what it’s like to be coached. It was so helpful for me.
And then from there, yeah, I did masters and am looking for ways to constantly kind of like refine my coaching and get better at training and learn more about nutrition. And all of those things are so appealing to me, I love getting better at coaching. So it was like coaching was a good fit.
Katie: Yeah, so it was that first coach, probably. But I jumped in thinking people want the tools, people want my help, people need help. And so I’m just going to jump in and help in my own messy, imperfect way, and just keep going, and keep learning, and keep trying. And so yeah, it was free, and then it was this stage, and then it was this stage.
Lindsay: Then it was $12. But what I love about that is it really mirrors, I understand why you were kind of drawn to Coaching Masters, because it really does mirror what I teach. Which is you don’t need lots of complicated tools to be a great coach. You need a few simple tools. And of course, you could add more in.
So I don’t know where you are on this now, but you could go get special nutrition certifications. You could go learn things that you incorporate in your coaching. But really, the most powerful coaching, you don’t have to have all of the things. And I love that you had an awareness around that, probably because of that really powerful experience you had where you saw, “Wait a minute.”
This is one of the first things I teach in Coaching Masters, where it’s like the awareness. Half of what we’re doing with our clients is just really helping them be aware of their thoughts in a way that they never have before. And not even their thoughts, their thoughts, their bodies, how they’re experiencing a moment, how that is affecting everything that they’re doing and the results that they’re getting.
Katie: Yeah, absolutely. That’s why that sticks out in my head, that 2013. Because that was like crystal clear awareness that I’d never experienced up until that point. And that is something that as a coach, that’s what we want to start with, is just that awareness. Like what’s that programming playing in the back of your head?
Lindsay: I think what’s so powerful about that is sometimes then when you become aware of something, then it’s like you’re aware of it every time it happens. Every time you think, I don’t know, trying to think of a thought that I used to have that it was like once I saw it was like every time I saw it, there was. It just was like you can’t reverse it.
And it doesn’t mean it just goes away instantly, automatically. You were probably still feeling a little panicky with your son being sick.
Katie: Right, absolutely.
Lindsay: But just being aware of it is like, “Oh, I really see how I’m affecting everything around me right now. How can I just shift my thinking just enough to show up a little differently?” That’s so powerful, I love it.
Okay, so when you think about that, when you think about all your journey up until then, you then joined my mastermind, Coaching Masters. This is where we met. What would you say, it’s like how can you even top the things that you’ve already said? I’m like why did you even join? I don’t know, you had it all.
What would you say have been kind of your takeaways? Like how did it affect your business? Whatever you want to share about it that you think would be useful.
Katie: It’s a funny thing, I love to be good at things. Coaching Masters was just a no brainer for me. And it’s an interesting thing, because I feel like my time in Coaching Masters, I came in with a lot of pressure. Which I imagine you see a lot of, of I have to.
Lindsay: It’s my specialty.
Katie: Yeah, I have to get better at this. I have to learn from all of my mistakes. I have to learn how to do evaluations really well. I have to, like I have to, I have to, I have to. I came in with quite a bit of excitement but also this, I would say, pressure that I have to do this. Which as I’m saying this, I’m like, “Ooh, it’s all my clients coming in. Like I have to lose the weight. I have to do this.”
Lindsay: Yeah, of course.
Katie: But I think one of my biggest takeaways was that I am a really good coach when I’m relaxed. And I don’t have to learn, it’s almost like taking away the message that I have to learn from every call, or from every client experience, or from everything that went wrong. Like I have to learn from this.
No, you don’t have to. You can actually just be a human being who occasionally makes mistakes. But if you do want to learn, you can. That’s also available. You can’t force the timing, it will come. But trust in the process. trust that you’ll see what you need to see, and it’ll come. And also understanding that I’m already a good coach.
When I was in masters, I really took your podcasts like you and I were just having a conversation. Like you were my coach, you’re sitting here with me, you’re hiking with me in the mountains. Yeah, like when you would say like, “Okay, let’s list the reasons. What natural gifts do you already have that already make you a good coach?” I really took that to heart, I really did that. It helped me come into my calls with just a little more confidence and a little bit more ease.
When I’m more confident, when I’m in that, I’m just relaxed. Well, when I’m relaxed, I can see things a little bit clearer. I can help the client to slow down, I can help them see things. It’s just easier for me to use my coaching skills when I don’t have the pressure.
So that was one thing is, ironically, you’re allowed to make mistakes, Katie, you really are. And good coaches make mistakes and it’s fine. And you’ll learn from them when you’re going to learn from him. But taking off the pressure of “I have to” was really quite essential for me.
And then I would say just the container of Masters. I found the peer coaching so helpful. So let’s say there was something I wanted to work on, I could take it to one of the other women. Well, it happened to be all women in our group.
And I’ll give you an example, I was really at one point working on just being really comfortable with silence because I’d notice myself jumping in if there’s a silence. I kind of noticed myself getting a little uncomfortable or I just want to kind of fill that space. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes. And I just wanted to play with that. I wanted to be like, “What would it be like to really just go way past the threshold of what my brain thought was comfortable for silence?”
And so, yeah, I got coached on it. And I just needed to see my thoughts about it and I needed some help with it. And I love that space to like, “Hey, I want to work on this. Let me go get some help with it.” And actually I got coached by Anna, one of the things she said has stuck with me and really helped me.
She said, “Katie, what if you saw silence as that is where the magic is happening? That is where the wheels are turning, that is where the breakthroughs are coming, is always in the silence. Because if you’re talking, you’re not actually going to that next level of thinking.” And it has forever changed, I’m like, “Oh, I love silence now.” I love it, it’s so wonderful.
Lindsay: Yes, that Anna, she is a genius.
Katie: She is a genius. So I think there were several things along the way that, A, I got better at my coaching and I got all of the help that I needed. And also the way I see myself as a coach was completely just boosted, it changed. I saw more of the truth of my coaching, if that makes sense.
And that was really helpful to me and helps me to be more relaxed. And if I’m more relaxed, it’s easier to be a good coach. So does that answer the question?
Lindsay: 100%, A plus. Good answer.
Katie: Thanks, thank you.
Lindsay: Yeah, I love that. Okay, we’re just going to wrap it up. I feel like we could literally record four podcast episodes about all the different things. And you’re just like so much joy, I just want to keep going. But I know people are listening and they’re like, “Okay, I love this and it’s getting long. Let’s do it.”
So tell them, where can they find you? And everybody needs to go look at your– At least even if someone doesn’t want to hire you for whatever it is that you do, they have to go look at your branding. It’s my favorite thing.
They will literally look at it and be like, “Of course, it’s like happy eating.” Because it is you, I understand that even so much better now than I did. I mean, I did understand it, but now knowing all of the story, your brand, it’s very simple. But it’s so cute and it’s perfect for everything you just said.
Katie: That’s so funny.
Lindsay: So, just a little plug, everybody needs to go look at it.
Katie: I’m saying that’s funny because it was like on my bedroom floor. I’m like, “I like yellow, like mangoes.” Like eight minutes, yeah. So, I’m Katie Miller and so Instagram is K-T-S_meals, Katie’s Meals. And my website is katieomiller.com. And if you go to my website, you can also find my Instagram there.
And Instagram is where I post a bunch of my meals and a bunch of pictures of the mountains and my face.
Lindsay: And toenails.
Katie: Yes, and my missing toenails, so be excited for that. But my next group is in January. My next openings for one on one are in January, so you can find out. That’s the easiest, that’s where I hang out the most is Instagram. So you can message me and tell me how much you love celery and blueberries.
Lindsay: I love it. And tell them, like what is your group? What is that look like if somebody wants to work with you?
Katie: Yeah, it’s called Happy Eating. So right now my first group just started in September. It runs September through April, like a school year. It’s an eight month process and we really walk through step by step, deconstructing eating, and thoughts about eating, thoughts about your body, thoughts about just your relationship with food.
Deconstructing, reconstructing something that feels really affirming and nourishing and happy to you. And you can walk away with a great relationship with food, the weight you want to lose, at least knowing how, like really having the skills to be like, “Okay, this week, this month, I’m going to focus on this. I think this month I’m not going to. Maybe it’s Christmas or a holiday, I’m going to not focus on losing weight.”
But you have the skills to, again, have your hand on the dial. So it’s an eight month program, and I find that tool delivery is amazing and awesome. But really helping my clients with the real life, when the real life stress hits, when the holidays hit, when their default thinking kind of slips back in, that’s really where the magic happens. And so I love having a luxurious amount of space for that. It feels really fun and really like–
Well, I’ve never done it before. This is my third week, but that’s what I think about it. I think it’s amazing.
Lindsay: So good. I am so grateful you’re here. I think that we’re just going to rename you, you’re not a weight loss coach. You’re just like a happy eating coach.
Katie: Happy eating.
Lindsay: Weight loss does it a disservice almost because the way you talk about it, of course you’re a weight loss coach. Who cares if you call yourself that? But the way you talk about it is just so fun. I’ve never smiled so much, I don’t think, on a podcast interview. I’ve had so much fun, I could listen to you talk all day.
Katie: Well thank you so much. I have to say, I love being here. I love this podcast and I love Coaching Masters. And really, I love you as a coach. I just feel like you’re my coach, you’re my person, you’re my mentor. And I think part of the magic too, of Coaching Masters was just it really felt like this alchemy of your brain and your coaching, and then my brain and all of the other brains. It was just this really magical, I don’t know, chemistry experiment.
And I really choose very carefully, and I think I love the way you coach. I love your demeanor. I love everything about you. I’m drawn to you for a reason and I really appreciated having this container of just getting access to you and having you coach. And watching you coach was so helpful. And getting coached by you.
There’s so many things, I said maybe one or two things about Coaching Masters, but really, the whole experience was really incredible. Like it was really transformative for me. And there were so many, I can’t even enumerate all of the bits.
Yes, peer coaching was helpful. And yes, the group coaching was helpful. And yes, I love the workbook. But really, it’s just being together with you and seeing the way your brain works, seeing how you think about things. Seeing how you coach, it was so instructive for me. It was so helpful.
Lindsay: Well, this is getting awkward. I don’t know that you know this about me, but listen, I have a limit of compliments I can handle. And so I’m like, “Okay, Katie, this is great. Stop. Stop.” I’m just kidding.
Thank you so much.
Katie: Receive it, receive it. You’re welcome.
Lindsay: I’m working on receiving, I will just receive all of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And seriously, thank you for doing this. We will chat more later, I’m sure. And I’m just so grateful you’re here and that you were open and shared all of that. It’s such an amazing story.
Katie: Thanks, I appreciate it. It’s fun to be here.
Lindsay: All right, bye.
I really hope you enjoyed that episode. I told you Katie is so fun. This is how I knew I had to have her on. Everybody needs Katie in their life, all of the joy. And I was right about the blueberries. Right? I just have to go buy some right now. And lentils, of course. I hope you loved it and I will see you next week. Bye.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. see you next week.