Femmze life


Eating Disorders & Menstrual Cycles

My name is Kate Kendall and I have a story to share - the kind about an illness that does not get shared often enough because of shame and fear of being judged (both of which are a big part of this illness).

So I guess the more I say it out loud, the less chance shame has to make a home inside of me. At the age of 14 I developed anorexia nervosa. It started off as something I decided I would do to be more ‘special’ (because thinness makes you special - or so I thought) and when people started noticing and commenting on how good I looked I decided to keep going. And before too long, I was hooked on controlling my body weight and shape. There were plenty of nights I said to myself, starving and lifeless in bed, “Tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I will eat."


Before I knew it I’d been diagnosed and all eyes were on me. I was at boarding school and so 100 prying and legitimately concerned eyes were watching my every meal. And because I was hooked on this control and couldn’t bare the idea of getting ‘fat’ I tried bingeing and purging. Initially this felt too good to be true. I could literally have my cake and eat it too. But after a while, it felt like hell.


And so began 27 years of either being in a state of anorexia or bulimia. It felt especially complex as I felt the added pressure of being in the yoga and wellness industry, and I was “supposed” to be more enlightened, and a role model for health. 

"Now it’s also to feel better for myself and go out there and live a life I was always destined to live without the crazy thoughts that controlled me."


NEEDLESS TO SAY, all of this screwed up my reproductive system. I rarely got my period. But this wasn’t enough to stop my addiction. “I’ll sort it later in life”, I’d think. And then ‘later in life’ happened and I was ready to start a family with my now partner.  I turned to my talented, smart, loving friend and Traditional Chinese Medicine woman, Megan @serapistcm who is incredible with all things ‘women’. She would see me every month and, after our session, make me a blend of herbs. And I can honestly say she’s the reason I have a healthy, fiery, happy little girl who is now four. My periods became regular again, and now I really listen to my body and honour my menstrual cycle. 


I've been in recovery now for almost a year and a half - which is a slow but fulfilling journey that’s had it’s ups and downs and set backs.  My daughter was initially my inspiration for recovery. Now it’s also to feel better for myself and go out there and live a life I was always destined to live without the crazy thoughts that controlled me. What this whole journey has taught me is just how incredibly forgiving our bodies are but to never, for a second, take them for granted.  


Other things that helped me on my ED recovery, for those that are also dealing with one or know someone who is:


A 12 Step Program called ‘ABA’ Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous.

An Eating Disorder coach called, Olivia @uncovery.ed.coaching

I also had help from plant medicines and truly believe in the shifts they can create if we are willing to do the work and integrate. 


I’m forever grateful.  

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