I’m a warrior and a survivor. (Ruth’s story)- Story #5

You are in for a treat today as my very good friend from England has shared her story and created this beautiful YouTube video just for us!  She is an artist, a writer, a musician, and all around beautiful person. Her story represents all of us women.  We are warriors and we are survivors.  Do you believe that?  Do you live as if you are?  Perhaps you are struggling with an eating disorder.  There is hope!  Perhaps you are struggling with accepting your body just as it is today.  Do not let society get you down. We can fight society’s messages that  tell us we have to be stick thin to be happy.  YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Her story is shared below but I really hope you will also watch her lovely video.  Enjoy!!!  Thank you so much, Ruth Calder Murphy! And don’t forget to check out her Facebook page, Paradoxologies!

(Miss the other stories?  Here is Story #1, #2, #3 and #4).

Ruth's Collage


 Ruth Marathon

I’m a warrior and a survivor. I’ve wrestled with and fought against the voices – the ones that come out of a crazy culture that’s determined to convince us all that we need more than nourishment, warmth and love to be alive happy. The voices that tell us that, in fact, we need first to feel utterly dissatisfied with ourselves and our lives,  then we need to plaster over that dissatisfaction by striving to align ourselves with their ideas of “perfection”, thus locking the dissatisfaction, anxiety and – ultimately – despair underneath the layers… I’ve fought those voices – the ones that are made to sound increasingly like my own; the imposter voices in my head – and, nowadays, I can finally – after many years – look them full in the face and see that I’ve beaten them. They still shout the same things, but I can see through their words to their hollow, empty heart.

During my adolescence – from the age of 9 – I developed eating disorders. These grew out of a sense of deep-seated unhappiness and a desire, essentially, to disappear. By the time I left secondary (high) school at sixteen, and went on to sixth form college, these had become full-blown anorexia. My weight dropped to five stone (70lbs) and I began to self-harm in order to pinpoint a feeling in the swirling confusion of starvation.

Throughout my twenties, I battled the demons. Writing poetry helped to bring focus and shape into the chaos, and later on, so did painting. I also found enormous freedom and release in running. Running was never a part of my disorder; it was an escape from it. Whilst I was running, I didn’t have to think about food (or lack of it) or my size or shape. I didn’t have to think about self-harm, because I was fully present in my body, able to focus on all the exertions of it, whilst simultaneously being able to free my mind to be, in a sense, “out of body”. Running and the creative arts saved my life and not only that, they helped to make my life something I wanted to keep.

Photo on 09-07-2015 at 13.26 #3

On the threshold of 30, I got married and over the following five years, gave birth to three children. Life got more complicated – and more precious. During this time, Gradually, I began to become aware that the voice I’d heard in my poetry and art and through my “out of body” running was – and is – my true voice. That it’s the articulation of my true self and that it’s vibrant and real and authentic. That, in fact, it is – and I am – beautiful. I realised that it’s a manifestation of the real me, and that all the other voices – the ones that sound like me but aren’t really, the ones that come from the crazy culture – are lying. Alongside this was, and is, the deep desire to unmask and emasculate those lies to my children so that they can tune in to their own true voices and know their own minds and strength, however often society tells them that they are not enough.


Now I’m a year into my forties and I’ll finish where I began:  I’m a warrior and a survivor. As such, whatever our crazy culture tries to sell me (literally or metaphorically) and however much it tries to make its voice sound like my own, I’m not buying. I am who I am, whether running or painting or writing or sleeping. I am who I am and I am enough.



Facebook Page


6 views that will change your life. My philosophy …..and *New* Website.

It dawned on me that I didn’t announce here on my Blog, that I have a NEW Website!  The other website was provided by my school, and truthfully, it was time for me to have something to call my own. 

I am also excited to announce that the site is a partnership with my husband, Charles McGarry, who is a Reiki Practitioner and Certified Holistic Life Coach who supports those who are going through transitions in their life.  Check out his Facebook page.

We both still have our OWN business, yet together we call ourselves McGarry Wellness.  You can choose to see either one of us, according to your needs, and I even offer a combined package of Body Image Coaching and Three Reiki Sessions for a great deal!

So check out our website at  http://www.mcgarrywellness.org and be sure to sign up for our newsletter as well as contact us if you are interested in learning more!

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Some of you may be wondering just what exactly is a Body Image Coach and how I stand out as a Coach.  I wanted to share a page from my website. 

Here is my Philosophy:



1. I believe in body acceptance.  Every body is beautiful and we need to actively work to eliminate fat shaming (or even skinny shaming!)

2. I believe that just because someone is labeled as “overweight” does not mean that they are unhealthy and likewise, just because someone is skinny does not mean we can assume they are healthy.  Size is not necessarily a factor in health.

3. Dieting does not work. Studies say that around 90% of those who go on diets gain their weight back within 3-5 years.

4. Calories in/calories out is outdated.  Calories are not created equal. I practice a mindful eating approach to food.  Mindful eating is a lifestyle, not a diet.  It’s a way of eating that honors our body’s inner messages and enables us to enjoy our food without guilt.

5.  I believe that learning to love our body is a lifetime journey.  However, there are tools we can learn to get us into the habit of thinking more positively about ourselves.

6.  We are our own best expert.  I am a body image coach, but that means that I guide you toward your own inner wisdom.  I do not give advice or tell you what to do, other than letting  you know what has worked for me in my own journey.  Change takes time and it does take trusting in ourselves and being willing to get out of our comfort zone.  If you are ready and willing to make that step, I am totally committed to helping you make this life-changing transformation!

Much of what I believe stems from a philosophy called Health At Every Size®. I am also a member of ASDAH (Association for Size Diversity and Health)


Ditch the Diet

(shared from HAES)

The Health At Every Size® Principles are:


  1. Weight Inclusivity: Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
  2. Health Enhancement: Support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
  3. Respectful Care: Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
  4. Eating for Well-being: Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control.
  5. Life-Enhancing Movement: Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.

(copied with permission)

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P.S.– if you struggle with accepting your body, please consider joining Beautiful Freedom: The Body Love Group!  It is a 4 week, online group for only $60!  Register and learn more here: http://www.mcgarrywellness.org/events

Deadline to register for this price is October 6th!


I Have A Dream (Video format)

Wow, I have been posting lots of videos lately! I promise I will write a regular blog again soon! But I am on a roll here.  I have actually been wanting to turn my Blog Post called “I Have A Dream” into a video. (note: a few words were changed since then)   I want to share my passion even deeper. I know some of what I say (such as the part about wondering what a bathroom scale is for) is unrealistic…. but my main message is that women (and men) will feel empowered and not be reduced to sex objects.  That we can all celebrate our diversity. And that we can learn that happiness is not based on looking like a super model.   We can all learn to tell ourselves that we are beautiful, no matter what.  🙂






P.S.– Check out my New Workbook!  Beautiful Freedom: a 4 week journey toward radical body-love and passionate living

Click HERE to find it on Amazon.

I have a dream….


that we will look at a bathroom scale and stare at it with a funny look  wondering what the heck it is used for

that we will graciously accept a compliment about what we look like with a sincere “thank you”…. and BELIEVE it

that we will enjoy ___(insert your favorite dessert- mine would be chocolate) without worrying that it will make us fat

that we will look past size and into a person’s soul, without judgement, comparison and envy

that women will find their round tummy sexy, and even flaunt it (maybe even be photographed nude!)

that we will feel sensual in front of our spouse/partner, even with loose skin and saggy boobs

that men will feel no shame in expressing their emotions and that they will also own how they look without feeling like they have to be the next Chuck Morris

that we will not seek happiness and fulfillment in elective, cosmetic surgery…. better yet that tummy tucks will go out of style

that we can wear a swim suit on the beach without obsessing about how we look the whole time

that instead of worrying about calories, we will choose our food based on how it tastes, and what our body is telling us in that moment

that our size will no longer be seen as a “problem” and that others will realize that our health and happiness is what is important

that “FUNspiration” will replace “FITspiration”

that healthy eating will be seen as a lifelong journey, not as a one time, restrictive fad

that we will realize that “no one diet works for everyone”.  Labels will be meaningless.

that women will no longer be used as sex objects to sell things such as cars and website hosts

that women , and men, of all ages, shapes, sizes, races and sexual orientation will be celebrated without shame, in the workforce, in the home, in Hollywood, and everywhere around the world

I have a dream that we will ALL be able to say without ANY hesitation: “I AM BEAUTIFUL”!!!

….Yes, I have a Dream…. do you? I have a dream photo

photo courtesty of http://www.freedigitialphotos.net/naypong

Kellie McGarry, Certified Holistic Health Coach

Waking up from the dead

Have you ever seen  the show LOST?  If you are a LOSTIE like I am, you are my new BFF. 🙂  I LOVE that show.

For those of you who watched the show, you will remember the episodes where different “survivors” had to continually push a button every 180 minutes because they thought they were “saving the Island” (thus, saving their life).   Some thought it was their destiny. Others could care less but did it because they felt obligated.  But were they really “living”?

I don’t know about you but in real life, pushing a button every 180 minutes would get old really fast. I”m sure I would fall asleep on the job, although maybe not, if my life depended on it.

How many of us though, when we think about it, are just going through the motions of life?  Maybe we are stuck on accomplishing one thing because we feel that our life depends on it?   And has this one thing become your identity?  For example, do you have a label such as  Chauffer Mom , or the Smart Student, or the Fun Loving Geek?  (my husband fits this category 😉   Labels are neither good nor bad.  They just are.  It’s how they effect our life that make a difference.

For example, growing up I felt like I was The Shy One , and I hated it. I later became The Goody Two-Shoes or The Pastors’ Kid. In college I was The Anorexic (and then Bulimic).  Before my kids entered school, I was The Half-Asleep Zombie (aka Stay At Home Mom).  I am now a Certified Holistic Health Coach and while I love the title, I do not want a label to define who I am.

I realized that I  get so caught up in having a certain persona that if I feel like I am not meeting that expectation, that I am a failure.  If I have not found the one thing that makes me really feel alive, then I am just going through the motions like a robot.  I love how Mark Nepo puts it:  (I am paraphrasing) “Don’t be a noun- be a verb. ”  In other words, define yourself not by a label but  by your passions- and it does not have to be anything earth shattering.  Sometimes what makes us come alive is just a peace or stillness in our heart.

Sadly, for many years, I feel like I missed out on LIVING because I was stuck on something I was trying to accomplish or trying to fix. 

I have hated my body for as long as I can remember, which resulted in an eating disorder in college.  Yet, after having kids, my body image worsened. 

I was missing out on life because all I could think about was getting a flat stomach.  I was obsessed with exercise (though not as bad as during college).  I missed out on social functions for fear that someone would think I was too fat, I missed out on intimate times with my husband because I didn’t feel sexy enough.   I missed out on pool parties because I was afraid to wear a swim suit.

All I could think about was how I hated my stomach and how I wanted a Tummy Tuck.

focusonlivingPicMonkey Collage

Until one day, I woke up from the “dead”.  I found my passion. 

But what is interesting to me now looking back, is that if someone asks me what makes me come alive, I”m not sure if simply saying “health coach”  is the right answer.  Of course, I love my job- but that’s a noun- not a verb, as Mark Nepo puts it.

What makes me come alive is:

seeing a woman’s eyes light up when she has an “aha” moment

encouraging women to love their body even when they are feeling fat

inspiring others to find their passion in life

discovering the creative part in me that I feel like I had lost

trying to dance with my kids, or listening to music, or singing with my family

spending time near the water, or the mountains, or at least gazing at the sunset or the stars

spending time in stillness and finding clarity

Spending my days exercising or eating healthy for the sake of looking a certain way for me, is not really LIVING.  Yes, it’s taking care of myself, but to what extent?  If all I can think about is how I hate my body,  then my life is shrinking instead of growing with passion.  If I say to myself, “If only I will be skinnier then I will enjoy my life”, then I am not fully living in the HERE and NOW and enjoying each moment.

I want to wake up to a life full of possibilities and awakenings.  I want to be open to change and to grow in my love for other people.  I do not want to spend my days fixated on having the figure of a size zero model.

Life slips by sooo fast. I cannot believe that my kids are already in 3rd and 4th grade.  I want to spend each waking moment with the attitude that life is a CELEBRATION –we  all need to WAKE UP TO THE PARTY and gift ourselves with the best possible gift—-a gift that I know FOR SURE is our duty to open each and every day and that which truly makes us feel alive– that is the gift of SELF-ACCEPTANCE.

What is it that makes YOU feel alive?  Share in the comments! 🙂



Peeling back the layers

Recently I have been pondering over a statement that a client said to me.

She said, “Every time I talk with you, I feel like a new person.” 

A GREAT thing to hear, but it makes me think…what does it really mean to feel like a NEW person? It is not like we work on our health goals, weather it be weight loss, eliminating gluten, or simply eating more whole foods…. and then become a whole new person.  We are still the same person inside… we have the same passions, the same talents, the same skills.  What happens, is that a lot of times, these things get buried deep down inside of us.  We no longer trust ourselves so we focus solely on surviving.  We focus on how to get through the day without obsessing too much over food.  How to avoid as many hurtful comments as possible.  How to keep plugging away with a job that we hate.  How to be the best mom we can be and still not go crazy.

As I was thinking more about this, it dawned on me…. working through our struggles and obstacles with the goal of reaching the other side… of finally finding that other version of ourselves that we have dreamed of…..is actually more like peeling an onion.  We all have layers to us.  Some of us prefer to keep that hard exterior of the onion and others wear our emotions on our sleeve and may have an easier time “peeling back the layers.”   So, in essence, at the core of our being… that core to the onion, so to speak… was always there.

The other day, I was taking a shower and experienced what I call, “The Writing in the Shower Phenomenon. ”  No, of course, I didn’t literally write in the shower. 😉  But I know many of  us seem to be the most creative in the shower.  Or maybe it has to do with the fact that it’s summer time and it’s the only time I have to think!!

Anyway… the words to the following poem just sort of came to me.  I’m not sure if this is really a typical poem.  But the natural progression of this poem reminds me of peeling back layers.  It’s the typical story of the emotions of the clients who come to me.  See if any of these words resonate with you.  It also reminds me that a lot of times , we base our identity on what we look like, or on our negative emotions.

Most importantly, I hope this helps you realize, that there IS hope on the other side.   You are loved!


(photo courtesty of freedigitalphotos.net/Grant Cochrane)

The progression of I AM……(story of a client)

I AM hate

I AM shame

I AM fat

I AM a number

I AM worthless

I AM desperate

I AM the new diet.

I AM controlled

I AM rigid

I AM overwhelmed

I AM a failure

I AM searching

I AM hoping

I AM learning

I AM  a client

I AM supported

I AM open

I AM exposed

I AM aware

I AM accepting

I AM positive energy

I AM peace

I AM passion

I AM free

I AM beautiful

I AM me


What does “feeling like a new person” mean to you? If this post resonates with you, I would LOVE to hear from you in the comments!

Much love,

Kellie McGarry

Certified Holistic Health Coach


Career: Recipe for Burnout?

We have been talking about Primary Foods- career, physical activity, relationships and spirituality… those areas that feed us that are not food. 
Today’s Primary Food Topic is on “career”. 

How do you feel about your career?  Is it just a J.O.B that you dread going to?  Do you feel stuck… bored…stressed?

You are not alone. Check out some of these statistics:

  • The American worker has the least vacation time of any modern, developed society.


  • One-half of workers reported they feel a great deal of stress on the job.


  • Thirty-seven percent of all working dads said they would consider the option of taking a new job with less pay if it offered a better work/life balance.


  • Nineteen percent of working moms reported they often or always work weekends. *
As a mom, combine this with having to balance a family and a social life and it could be a recipe for burn out!
As a result of the stress, many women may resort to food to cope with the stress.  Over eating out of stress, boredom or burn out is very common.  The result is a busy mom who is stressed, over weight, lacking energy and has lost her passion and purpose for life. 
My story is a bit different…. I graduated with an Elementary Education degree, but I had an intuition early on that I would be too burnt out from teaching.  I did not want it to become my life.  So instead I worked odd jobs here and there before I had my first child.  Since then, I had the privilege of staying home with my kids and now LOVE  my job of supporting women towards having a peaceful relationship with food and with the bodies.  It brings me so much joy and I really feel like I am using my passion.  I did not want to go back to a 9-5 job.  
I know many of you need to work outside of the home.  The important thing is to either find a way to love the job you have, or to get out of your comfort zone and finally step into the job you have been dreaming about.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. What is my passion? (what really lights me up and gets me going in the morning?)
2. Is my job creating so much stress that it negatively effects how I function as a wife and mother? Is it negatively effecting my health?
3. What is one positive thing that I can appreciate about my job?  If there is one, then focus on that.  If there is none at all, either find a way to change it, or think of a job that you can work towards envisioning in your life.  
For example, I know of many health coaches who were used to the corporate world but really wanted to focus on health coaching.  It can be hard to step out of your comfort zone, and especially when there would be a drop in income at first.  So what is the compromise?  Maybe work a part time job while working on your dream business on the side?  Maybe find a way to attend some kind of online training to help you toward fulfilling your passion? 
Maybe you really would like to stay in your current job and  you know you are where you are meant to be.  However, you do have other passions and talents as well.  Find a way to make that happen!  Perhaps it is quilting, or maybe photography.  Even if you don’t plan on using it as a career, it is important to find something that really lights you up!!  This, in  turn, can help you toward improving your health and wellness and you naturally find your confidence and the willingness to take care of your body to the best of  your ability.  
So, in the comments below, don’t be shy… I would love to find out..w hat is YOUR passion?  share below!

The Missing Puzzle: Ways To Feed Our Soul

Dear friends…What if I were to tell you that the food you are eating isn’t your true source of nourishment?  What if I were to sit down with you and your plate of beans and broccoli and say “I see  your food is healthy, but let me ask you something….are YOU healthy?”

You see, we can eat all the healthy foods in the world…. we can pay close attention to getting the right kinds of nutrients and in the right amounts.  We can choose to purchase only organic and nothing with artificial flavors.  We can avoid fast food and choose to eat home ade black brean brownies for our birthday.  These are all well and good;  we can do all these things, AND STILL NOT BE FEEDING OUR SOUL.

Now you might be asking me, “But you are a health coach, don’t you only talk about food?”  If I only talked about food, it would be like having puzzle pieces and only putting together the frame.  Food alone isn’t the whole picture.  There are other things in life that drive us and make us into the healthy, confident, sexy people we long to be.

Imagine you watch every bite you eat and are always trying out the latest diet, yet you hate your life.  Your marriage is on the rocks, you have no close friends, you dread going to work every day, and you are stressed out because you have no money.  Do you think you would be happy?  How much happiness would your plate of beans and broccoli bring you?  I”m guessing not that much.

Good health is not just about the food!  To me, health means being balanced in ALL areas of life.  The Institute For Integrative Nutrition talks about what is called “Primary Foods”… which are the areas of our life that feed us that are not food, such as Relationships, Career, Physical Activity and Spirituality.

How are you doing with these areas in your life?  Are you out of  balance?

Over the next 4 blog posts, I will be talking briefly about these different areas, and sharing tidbits from my journey as well.  

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my blog! I only send blogs out about twice a week (maybe 3 on occasion).  If you have any questions on how to subscribe, then please let me know.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly, NEWSLETTER!  If you do, you will have a chance to download my free E-booklet, titled “Top 3 Ways To Prevent A Sugar Binge Now!”

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Shakin’ my Boo-tay!

“What? Me- shake my booty?? “
 (My Adventure with Zumba!)
I seem to have a re-occurring theme of getting out of my comfort zone lately.  My most recent example is from this past Sunday.  Along with 100 plus people, I participated in a Zumba fundraiser for an instructor who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.   So how was this getting out of my comfort zone?  That was my very first time trying Zumba!  Plus… I am not a natural dancer.  I do like to move to the beat and have pretty good rhythm (stemming from my music background); however, give me kickboxing any day instead!
I had a LOT of fun though and it was a really great exercise!  I was there for two hours but took a few breaks in between so I think I exercised for an hour total.  This was a HUGE milestone for me as currently all I do for exercise is ride my exercise bike at home 3 times as week.  I don’t even break a sweat with that!
It’s funny looking back at my journey.  I remember when my kids were really young- I started a great program called “Stroller Strides” when my youngest was just six WEEKS old… it was a harder work out than the title leads you to believe.  It was like boot camp for new moms.  I remember making a comment to a fellow mom that went something like this: ” If I had to choose I would much rather just exercise over eat super healthy.”  She agreed with me as did most of the moms there.  Exercise was something we really enjoyed and it seemed like a lot of hard work at the time to eat healthy when all we cared about was getting our kids to eat anything at all, and a good day would be going to the bathroom in peace!
Today, I have found that I really enjoy eating healthy because I have found what foods work best for me, and I eat simple healthy meals that also taste GOOD!  Yet, since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, my exercise had fallen by the way-side.  Now that I am feeling so much better, I am slowly getting reacquainted with my old friend.  I am finding I don’t have to do the same things I used to do, such as sprinting on the tread mill and lifting weights.  I am finding other forms of exercise that I really enjoy even if I may be making a fool out of myself in the process! lol
What form of exercise do YOU enjoy the most?  Is there a type of exercise you have always wanted to try but haven’t had the courage to go for it yet?
p.s.- if you live in the Phoenix area, check out Bambi’s Fitness Studio ( http://www.bambisfitness.com)  She has GREAT  deals on Zumba classes and child care! (only 50 cents per child!)