About

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Hi there! I am a health educator, health advocate and all-around health nerd. Five years ago I was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition. On my health journey, I’ve learned the power of self-care skills to improve my health and well-being. As a health coach I am excited to educate and inspire others to be skillfully well, even if they have a chronic condition!

Before my diagnosis of fibromyalgia, I was a graduate student planning a career in public health and international development.Β Β I love to travel and I spent a lot of time working, studying and volunteering abroad. I was hoping to have a career that would take me around the world. Over the course of two years, these dreams were cut short because of my chronic condition. It started with back pain, several infections, shoulder pain, insomnia and finally a referral to a pain clinic where I was told I had a chronic, incurable illness. I left school. I spent the next year in a state of shock.

Gradually I started learning self-care skills that improved my health and wellbeing. First I took a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course at the pain clinic. I began to move more using gentle exercise routines. I started learning to cook easy but healthy recipes. I moved from the passive role of patient to the empowered role of patient advocate.

I learned that living skillfully improved my wellness in all dimensions (mind, body and spirit). It also increased my agency in my life again – my capacity to achieve change. I had to change the narrative of my life from the career-focused humanitarian to a self-care advocate in my own life and the lives of others.

I obtained my health coach certification from the Sears Wellness Institute as a way to channel my passion to Β work with others who are interested in improving their health and well-being by learning healthy living skills.

I live with my husband and our 17 year old cat Lily in a flat in an old house. I love learning, nutrition, reading, being outside, Netflix, cooking and coffee!

 

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Kelley Woods says:

    Your blog about reading the mindfulness solution book is excellent! As a hypnotist who helps people reduce their suffering from chronic pain using mindful hypnosis, it is a delight to see the light bulb turning on. Stick with the mind body connection approach, even as you seek other treatments: my clients have found that using brief, self-guided exercises regularly are extremely beneficial toward helping them self regulate their symptoms and in some cases, heal. Hypnosis has a long history of being helpful for IBS, BTW! Best wishes, to you, Kelley

    • Katarina says:

      Thank you for your comment! I find regularly using guided meditation helps me cope with the stress of living with chronic pain. I find that I actually feel more in control when I let go, work on acceptance and living in the present. I notice my family sometimes confuses this approach with giving up – but it’s actually very empowering! I’m enrolling in a meditation course my pain clinic runs in the fall to learn more, and to make sure I keep up with my practice. I’m sure your clients benefit from your help. Let me know if you have any recommendations for at home practice (tapes or tools).

  2. Jumping_Jenny_444 says:

    Thank you for stopping by and following my blog! πŸ™‚ I enjoy engaging in mindfulness as well. It takes practice, but it works wonders! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog! πŸ™‚
    Jenn

    • Katarina says:

      I’ve been enjoying reading yout blog! I really like ‘sir eggo’ the personified ego, amd can really relate! I’m about to start a mindfulness class and I’m really looking forward to it. I have a lot to learn still!

      • Jumping_Jenny_444 says:

        I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading my blog! πŸ™‚ life is one big and crazy adventure, so it’s good to make the best of it and see the humor in the seemingly bad things. I’ve been working on mindfulness as well–not always easy, but the more you practice, the better you get at it. Thank you for reading, Katarina! πŸ™‚

    • Katarina says:

      Thank you so much! I’m really grateful you thought of nominating my blog! I’ve only been blogging for about 6 months and it’s become my favorite hobby and cathartic for dealing with fibro. The best part is reading the fabulous blogs by other women living with chronic pain/ fms/cfs (like yours!). I feel like I have so much to learn!

    • Katarina says:

      Thanks so much Jenny! I’m glad you’ve been stopping by and reading my blog! I really like following your posts – always optimistic and relatable! I’m a little short of energy at the moment to go through the Liebster process but I really appreciate the nomination πŸ™‚

      • Jumping_Jenny_444 says:

        That’s okay, you can take your time. I’m taking a break at this time as well in order to recharge my batteries. πŸ˜‰

    • Katarina says:

      Thanks so much! I’m really honoured! Feeling a little low on energy at the moment but hope to post a response soon! Looking forward to following your blog πŸ™‚

  3. Alex Granados says:

    Hi,

    I work with a doctor named Bill Rawls in North Carolina who has recently written a book about his struggle with fibromyalgia/CFS called “Suffered Long Enough.” He is a traditionally trained physician, but found the medical community’s treatments for his illness lacking, so he developed his own. Would you possibly be interested in writing something about the book on your blog? I’d love to give you an advanced copy if you’re interested. It’s out November 10.

    Thanks so much for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Alex Granados

  4. Melissa says:

    Hi Katerina I’m loving your blog. The research you include, as well as your journey is great!
    Has your naturopath intimated that you will eventually be pain and fatigue free by following the protocols? Or will any benefits only remain while you take the medicines?
    I only ask because I’ve just seen a naturopath for the first time and she has said I should be pain free and reduce the fatigue by taking three supplements for six weeks and removing any allergens from my diet…although the whole session didn’t start so well as she began by saying “if” it’s fibro, therefore discounting the last seven years of my experience, she thought it was infection, but the tests showed me to be strong and healthy….!

    • Katarina says:

      Thanks for stopping by and reading! My naturopath hasn’t really made any guarantees about the outcomes, other than to say she thinks we can improve my quality of life. It may be very individualized and up to the doctor. Can I ask what supplements s/he has prescribed you? Hope it goes well!

      • Melissa says:

        She’s started with three: s.p.m.p sodium phosphate, magnesium phosphate; s.c.f silicon dioxide, calcium fluoride; p.c.i.p potassium chloride, iron phosphate.

  5. peeringthroughthefog says:

    I love your blog! It is well-written, encouraging and informative. I too am trying to make a better life for myself in spite of fibromyalgia, CFS and a traumatic brain injury. I will be following your blog.
    Thank you for following my blog!

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