Trigger warning: This episode contains discussions about self-injury and disordered eating.

Ali Kearney is gorgeous, vibrant, healthy and entrenched in the world of running and fitness. When she smiles, it blinds everyone around her with love, light and positivity. Like so many of us, you would never guess the struggles she has endured to get here. That is, unless she’s wearing a bikini and you can see the actual scars she bears. Ali spent much of her formative teen years and early 20s battling depression and anxiety. Here’s how she coped; by cutting herself. And later, by adopting restrictive eating. It wasn’t until she found the power and freedom of running that she moved out of her self destructive patterns and into the positive life she leads today.

Ali is a Skirt Sports Ambassador – she’s been on our bandwagon so long that she is now considered a Legacy Ambassador, part of the community because she loves our message of encouragement and inclusiveness. As I have gotten to know her, I understand this more than ever. She felt so alone for so many years, that the power of a group of women supporting each other is exactly what she needs now.

I find it so inspiring to truly understand Ali’s path out of the dark and into the light. Today we talk about the following and so much more:

  • Depression and Anxiety: How it can manifest as a child – in her case due to a major move during a difficult age
  • Body image: At 11, she gained weight due to celiac diagnosis which while improved her health, added to her conflicted self image
  • How she found and used cutting as a release for her anxiety
  • Why and how she finally stopped cutting
  • Coping mechanism transfer: From cutting to restrictive eating
  • Positive relationships are critical to moving forward
  • Overcoming childhood perceptions of ourselves: Ali was diagnosed with asthma as a child so running wasn’t really an option
  • Running became her new outlet – in a very positive way: “I never used running to inflict harm on my body.”
  • Apps to help when the urge strikes: Calm Harm app
  • The catharsis of writing: Check out her blog!

For more Ali Kearney, check out the resources here:

  • Instagram @abk_runs
  • Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/akearney7
  • Blog: http://www.abkruns.com/