A few weeks ago I had mentioned that a close friend of mine is getting herself back into the fashion industry. Not only that, but she took it upon herself to seek my attention for functional fitness training to one day depict feats of strength through art. Her mission is to begin showing the world that women can be strong and healthy, and to do so in a way that DOES NOT overemphasize obsessive dieting, obsessive thoughts over body fat percentages, or just plain obsessing.
Guys, Kat Wolfgang has made an appearance on the blog for a second time! Trust me, you really want to follow this fellow Burgher up until she hits the stage!
I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Kat and ask her about why she chose functional fitness as a way to exercise. Not only that, Kat was nie enough and open enough to hone in on WHY functional fitness was important for her career in terms of depicting a healthy female body image. Without further adieu, here’s the interview.
Janelle Pica, RKC: So tell me, you chose to seek my attention for fitness instruction to help “get the word out” about healthy female body image. I think it’s really unique how someone in your niche, the fashion industry, is using feats of strength in their portfolio to enlighten women on what is and is not healthy. Did you ever personally struggle with an unhealthy body image?
Kat Wolfgang: For starters, I was never a “thin” girl growing up. In my family, there are no “rail thin” people, and I was often teased for being bigger than most all throughout high school. It’s sounds stupid, but things like that can destroy you as you are growing up. I wasn’t even drastically overweight. Hell, was never larger than a size 7 as a teenager, but I guess in the age of cheerleaders and popularity, anything less than “thin” is seen as some sort of anomaly. I was called “whale”, “fatty”, you name it. By the time i left school, I had a terrible self esteem and horrible self image.
Janelle Pica, RKC: It’s really unsettling to me how, looking at your photos you showed me from you highschool years, to even imagine why people would be that cruel. Bullying is no joke, and you’re right. You looked HEALTHY, yet still received social back lash. Did things accumulate from there on out? Did your body image issue get worse?
Kat Wolfgang: You know, say what you want but honestly, there really is some psychology behind being made fun of early on and ending up a mess as an adult later in life. After years of being bullied for how I looked, I started to seriously believe the lies people were telling me. I began to internalize everything, and started wrecking myself because of it. I spent two years of my life battling bulimia, and eventually I ended up abusing drugs and alcohol to numb myself from all the negative emotions I felt. It sounds stupid, but when you are so isolated growing up with no one to turn to, you feel helpless, worthless, even lifeless. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.
Janelle Pica, RKC: Wow! So what snapped you out of that mind set? When did you decide to change? What made you change?
Kat Wolfgang: What I am about to say here is pretty extreme, but I just want you and the rest of your readers to understand how terrible life can get when you feel you aren’t worth a damn. To be perfectly honest, I found myself in a treatment facility after having abused drugs and alcohol for far too long. It was while I was in rehab, when that substance driven haze started to lift, that I realized that life was worth living. You can get so distracted, so sick, and so deranged from trying to destroy yourself that you end up staring death in the face. I was lucky. I survived. I had a new sense of strength knowing I came out of rehab successfully. I don’t know…something within me then made me realize I could love myself after I left treatment.
Janelle Pica, RKC: That’s amazing! So…how did you find the body positive modeling movement post rehab? And how did you end up getting into modeling because of that?
Kat Wolfgang: It’s funny how social medial works in this day and age. Truthfully, I just spent some time following posts on instagram and twitter that came from women putting themselves out there. I was totally blown away by how some of the models I followed in my fashion niche were talking about healthy female body images. Some of these women were plus sized models and LOVED themselves for it. I began to really believe that..hey..if they can love themselves for who they are, then I can too! I got adventurous, started taking some photos of myself, started really creating my Pin Up portfolio, and the rest is history. I’ll never be a barbie doll looking female like the ones on TV. But I WILL be a STRONG female now. I’m willing to put myself out there to show women how healthy and strong they can be if they just love themselves.
Janelle Pica, RKC: This is seriously the most amazing conversation of my life! I have one last question for you. What would you say to someone struggling with body image issues? What would you say to someone who wants to exercise to enhance their own body image?
Kat Wolfgang: I would tell that person “if you are worried about what you look like now,
DON’T BE!” Your body is not a prison, it’s a temple. Temples are sacred ground. You are perfect how you are right now and today. I exercise for health and because I love getting stronger. I don’t do it to achieve some arbitrary body fat percentage. I have done that before and know it only results in self harm. You can drive yourself crazy if you obsess over your weight like that. You can end up mutilating yourself over concerns like that. Love yourself! And as you always tell people, enjoy your life! You only have one!
I couldn’t agree more!
Please be sure to follow Kat Wolfgang on katwolfgang.com and be on the look out for this woman’s public debut in the near future. That wraps it up for our first blog of this series on strength training from a females perspective. Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
Janelle Pica, RKC