Empowered By What You Love: Feed Your Soul with Katie Dalebout
Everyone loves reading blogs these days. Health blogs, food blogs, fashion blogs, travel blogs...all of the above. They seem to be the ultimate way of discovering new and innovative ways to change up one’s life. We can all admit we have a lot of love for those pretty, eye-catching pages we so often refer to, and so can Katie Dalebout, creator of The Wellness Wonderland! Katie Dalebout is a blogger, speaker, and podcast host that started out in college with a tech-savvy boyfriend and a love of reading blogs, who realized that, hey, she’s good at reading blogs, she could probably be good at having a blog too. “He figured out the technology and a few weeks later…I had a blog and it was the wellness wonderland. All I had was this little blog that no one was reading but I was having so much fun updating it,” the wellness blogger explains. Not only did Dalebout want to create a blog for others to read, but she also wanted to create her own wellness wonderland. What is a wellness wonderland, you ask? Katie’s wellness wonderland is centered on a “beautifully holistic spectrum view of health.” This wonderful idea of a holistic view of wellness stemmed from Dalebout’s struggles with her own body image and her previous unhealthy obsession with health and fitness. The writer, now coming out with her own book, titled Let it Out: A Journey Through Journaling (available for pre-order now!), transformed her body image issues into body image solutions by creating this blog and by extension creating an entirely new and refreshed perspective of herself as whole. “The Wellness Wonderland has had many iterations because I’ve had many iterations; it’s grown and expanded and changed right along with me, which has been really fun to witness. I’m so grateful for it.”
As Katie was dealing with trying to remove the sword in her spine that was her body image, she was thrown into this wellness movement that we all know and have come to love. “I hit this bottom, I was at a tough spot, I was really young…so that kind of propelled me into self-help. I had this health coach and she introduced me to my now mentor Gabby Bernstein, who taught me about personal growth and spirituality and self development and wellness – and wellness not from the physical but really your mental wellness: your relationships, your relationship with yourself, your creativity, your career and making your life as a whole really beautiful and awesome and not just making your body really aesthetically or conventionally beautiful. That’s what has been really awakening for me and that’s what got me on the path that I’m on today.” And Katie has done nothing but awaken her own soul and other’s through the Wellness Wonderland. Although she has made major strides, her same issues as before still creep up on her time from time. How does she bring herself out of these ruts when they do come? She explains, “I try to make it so it’s a bad body image moment, not a bad body image day or week. I try to shift as quickly as I can.” And picking up her journal is the blogger’s sure-fire way of shifting out of the bad.
Finding one’s creative groove is requisite when blogging and journaling. Whether it’s writing the article or book, making a video, recording a podcast, one must start with some sort of creative direction. If Katie becomes inspired by an idea, she may not jump directly into it. Her first action on the idea could simply be telling a friend about it or writing an outline for it or taking a picture for the idea – just doing something creative to start moving in that direction. But in the moment, Katie is a big believer in that the early bird gets the worm. There is this concept in psychology called The Spoon Theory. If you are not familiar with it, the Spoon Theory explains that one only has so many spoons – one only has so much to give each day – and if you give all of your spoons away to one person or one task, there won’t be anything left to give. Katie, driven by this idea, is an early riser. “I try to make my first task of the day a creative one. If I have to give all my will power to other tasks, I won’t have anything left for my creative processes. So I have to streamline my life.” For Katie this includes having a capsule wardrobe and being very minimalistic about it, signing up for early workout classes with cancellation fees to get herself up in the morning, never checking her email first thing in the morning and just making as much time to focus on her ideas as possible. The key is to save the mindless tasks for later in the day. “Doing it first thing in the morning is key for my creative projects.” To keep her spirits up, there are a number of things that feed Katie’s soul. Including her favorite movie, Happythankyoumoreplease, written by Josh Radner who wrote, directed, and stars in the movie, which includes an inspiring monologue about gratitude. Josh Radner is also a TM meditator and a very spiritual person who inspires Katie. Tig Nataro is a favorite comedian of Katie’s, and also the writer of the anti-dieting column on Refinery 29, Kelsey Miller, and author of Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got A Life has been entertaining to read recently.
Journaling is Katie’s most sought-after practice to keep her inner peace and cleanse the mind, to shift out of those bad moments. She compares journaling to “taking a shower for her thoughts.” Genius! Get out the gunk, repeat thoughts, negative thoughts and put them on paper. Then from there, decide what feels true, what lingering thoughts maybe are not serving a purpose anymore and should be moved on from…this is how Katie describes her journaling routine. As mentioned above, Katie wrote her first book titled Let it Out: A Journey Through Journaling, and throughout the process of writing this book she explains: “I realized that I don’t know how I am feeling and what my emotions are unless I’m writing.” Man, don’t we all wish we had a go-to way to write ourselves out of a rut…a magical map to our emotions. Note to self: order Let it Out now!! Besides journaling, Katie practices transcendental meditation introduced to her through the trial and errors of overcoming an eating disorder. “It’s a really great practice for me; it’s a 20-minute in the morning 20-minutes in the evening before breakfast before dinner practice. It’s the one that sticks.” This combination of journaling and doing the meditation is a way to connect with herself so she is able to see what’s happening inside herself – to either go down one path or shift to another. “It’s all about having the awareness to change.”
Written by Katie Girouard.