We had the good fortune of connecting with Katina Kontarakis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katina, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
To help others find the way to a holistic lifestyle through nutrition and guidance. And to break away from disordered eating or an eating disorder. To help others the way I helped myself!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I grew up in a suburban town on long island, my with my greek father and el Salvadorian mother……two immigrant parents trying to live the “American Dream”. Realistically they were just trying to stay afloat. Abuse and trauma, led me to live in a state of constant fear, constantly in fight or flight mode and just trying to survive. On the outside you would think of me as strong, independent and resilient but on the inside, I was insecure and scared. At the age of 16 I developed an eating disorder that would last almost 17 years to help process my fears and emotions.
The thing was, I never thought I had a problem. I thought I had it under control and that it was a phase I was going to grow out of. While my disordered eating grew, I developed body dysmorphia, unhealthy over exercising habits and restricted eating consumed my life and took over who I really was.
At the age of 29, I moved to Los Angeles for a career opportunity in media. The following 5 years, I would have multiple lay-offs that always led to me landing a larger job title, bigger salary, more responsibility and putting more stress on myself to be successful and “perfect”. Instead of feeling accomplished, I was burnt-out. I was depressed and miserable and unhappy with my life, and my eating disorder hit an ultimate peak. I felt so alone and scared. I knew I couldn’t keep living that way and needed help. I found a support group to help me find a sense of community, to let me know I am not alone. But I still felt lost and needed to get a better understanding of my body and how to heal it from all the damage I put it through all these years.
I decided to take control of my life and to make a change. I left the old me, or the idea of who I thought I was, behind.
with the intention to heal and become the whole me.
At the age of 35 I enrolled back into school to the Nutritional Therapy Association to learn about human anatomy and physiology and how I could help heal myself. During the year of learning and healing, I was amazed on how the body could recover from trauma. I learned how to eat foods that worked for me, heal my leaky gut, malnutrition symptoms and learn how to intuitively eat, love myself and body all over again! After all, it’s progress not perfection.
Becoming a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner has taught me that the body has an innate ability to heal itself, and that every human body is different.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite hike in LA is the paseo mirar hike that oversees the pacific ocean and then to hit up my two favorite restaurants, Kreation and Sugarfish!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Overeaters Anonymous, my sponsor, my therapist, the classmates from the NTA program! #healthnerds