Jill Catherine Tells Moving Story of Body Consciousness Journey in Kern Auditorium
This evening, February 23rd, 2017, Jill Catherine, creator of 44Hearts.org, gave a very inspirational, motivational, and uplifting talk about how she acquired and defeated her eating disorder in 112 Kern at 8:00 p.m as the last event for Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
Born in Liverpool, New York, Catherine told those listening of her upbringing. From an Irish and Italian background, the only way she knew how to deal with her negative emotions was through food.
In high school and at Ithaca College, she played multiple sports. While she was often voted ‘Most Valuable Player’ and helped take her basketball team to the NCAA Championships, her coaches we always in her ear. They congratulated her on her successes but often suggested she lose some weight. Catherine said,”I lived in a place full of mixed messages”. She never understood why she was performing above and beyond to the coaches standards but she was still not good enough.
She continued her story, telling how she experienced heartbreak during the summer of her freshman year. Catherine stated she was never good at dealing with negative emotions and thus decided to lose weight. This was the starting point in her battle with her eating disorder.
After going in and out of inpatient treatment, by her junior year of college, she was finally feeling better and decided to take a leave from school and travel the country. She said, “There’s so much more to life than rules I had been taught. I knew the best thing for me was to explore and see new environments”. This excursion allowed Catherine to heal and opened her up to many experiences.
While in her inpatient treatment, she learned that she loved playing the African drum. Fast forward a few years later while running a 5K marathon in Hawaii, she came across a band and was captivated by the drummers and ended up taking classes with them. One thing led to another, and she ended up becoming skilled at not only the African drum, but many cultural dances as well.
She ended her talk by explaining that “anytime you get distracted and fall off path in life, you can always get back on track by listening to your heart beat”. By doing this, she was able to not only open her own non-profit, she was able to travel the world dancing, and continue to talk to people.
Before offering those in attendance stickers, she explained that she had a book titled, A New Body Consciousness, and showed a few pages from the book. She finally ended with an expressive dance that showcased the many styles she had learned.
Sponsored by University Health Services and other student organizations, Jill Catherine’s talk was the last of three events hosted in honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week.