Ladies. Today’s interview is a must-read. Because you and I both know that finding love for our bodies, and learning to have a healthy relationship with ourselves is a challenge (amiright?). Kyla Sokoll-Ward is here to change that.
Kyla is doing work that she knows, intimately well. She is an integrative nutrition coach who helps women find peace with their eating habits and their bodies. And as she says, it’s an inside job.
I’m beyond grateful to share Kyla’s insights on self-love, where to hang if you find yourself in Israel (honestly, can’t wait to go now) and of course why cute dogs are pretty much a requirement for…everything in life. Agreed? Read on…
I’m so grateful to have your unique voice on the site, Kyla – thanks for chatting with me today. Let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself – what do you do, create and love?
I was born and raised in Maryland but have lived all over since going to college. North Carolina, San Diego, and Argentina are all places I’ve called home at one point or another. Right now, I’m living in Israel, which is the most beautiful place in the world (for real!).
I’m an integrative nutrition health coach, and I help women get out of the diet-binge cycle. This includes finding freedom with food, showing love to their bodies, and living intuitively…which means eating both kale and doughnuts – WITHOUT bingeing. I’m super passionate about empowering other women to fiercely love themselves and the women around them.
This is such powerful and needed work you’re doing Kyla, truly! I’m curious, why did you decide to pursue being a health coach?
For years, starting in college, I was going through the restrict-binge cycle, feeling crazy around food, and beating myself up because I thought that my willpower sucked and I couldn’t understand why I didn’t have my dream body already.
On the outside, I had the perfect ‘healthy, fit girl’ persona, but on the inside I was miserable in my own body and secretly binge eating every night to cope with the emotions that I couldn’t handle. Years later, I started working with a coach who helped me turn my life around. Once I got a glimpse of intuitive eating, body trust, and self-acceptance, there was no turning back.
It’s so great that you turned your own experiences into work that not only helps heal others, but I’m guessing even deeper parts of yourself as well. What do you feel is most important about the work you’re doing? Why does body love matter?
I see too many women judging themselves and others and it’s heartbreaking. Women deserve to live gorgeous, sexy, intuitive lives because that’s part of being feminine creatures. What most women don’t realize is that we’re all walking around judging the bodies of other women based on an impossible-to-reach standard that was created for us by the diet & fitness industries. So many women are trying to hate themselves into a size 2 and judging any other woman who isn’t doing the same. I’m not trying to be critical – I was totally there!! But I now know the importance of sisterhood and how vital female connection is.
Bottom line: I want women to create a healthy relationship with themselves.
Amen to that! You’ve been doing this work for a minute, and I’m sure you’ve learned that as a business owner, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Tell me about the biggest obstacle you’ve faced and how you got over that hurdle?
Damn, that’s the truth. It’s funny because when I first started my business, I thought, “Okay! Once I have my site up & running…the people will just come to me! Everyone who needs me will just find me!” HA! I had to get serious about branding, business strategies, how to use Google Analytics (still working on this one), etc. It’s tough. So yeah, I definitely need my recharging time!
I’ve learned that I need to take consistent breaks while I’m working and be really conscientious about when I feel overworked. I tend to try to “power through” and I always feel 100 times more burned out afterward. I recharge daily with yoga, journaling, walks, meditation, and lots of manifestation that keeps me on track to what I’m truly seeking – especially in those burnout moments.
I’m also continually working through the feelings of being “not enough”. Not smart enough to have a business, not savvy enough to make it work, not good enough to attract clients. All kinds of fears come up all the time. This is something that I know SO many women struggle with (especially entrepreneurs) so I always remind myself of how damn HUMAN I am! And that is okay.
I meditate a lot and visualize my life as a successful coach. I thank the universe for giving me all of those things – ya gotta act ‘as if’! It helps me to really deeply believe in my power to create change and live up to the person I was put on this earth to be – and I’ve seen real results from this.
Yes!! I love that and totally agree. Reminding yourself that you’re human and doing the best you can is so key. Speaking of being a woman in business, who do you look up to? Who inspires you?
Oh my gosh, there are so many badass females out there that inspire me! Jamie Mendell was the coach who helped me begin my food & body love journey, so she’s always been a big influence in my personal and professional life. Her message has changed a bit since I was working with her – she now focuses really deeply on teaching self-care, which is so all-encompassing. It’s also been interesting to see her doing more videos and live events now, which she has shared makes her nervous and uncomfortable…which means she knows she must do it! I really love that. It inspires me to reach beyond what I *think* I’m good at and do the things that make me nervous.
So true, I say that all the time. If it makes me nervous or a little fearful – I’m in! The common thread that I’ve noticed about you in the brief time I’ve known you is that you do everything with a lot of soul. So what does it mean to you, to live a life and have a business – with SOUL?
I love this question! I’m ALL about making things soulful. At first business & soul didn’t seem congruent to me because I thought making money wasn’t a spiritual thing to do. I’m still working really deeply on my relationship to money, but I’ve learned that whatever energy we put out into the world, we receive back. And sometimes that’s in the form of money. I’m working on being OKAY with receiving this energy (because it previously made me feel gross to ask people for money for coaching).
Beyond just money, soulful coaching is about changing lives from the inside out. I can teach anyone how to stop binge eating, but what’s actually important is teaching them the WHY behind it all. The women I work with end up understanding the lies they tell themselves that are keeping them stuck in the diet-binge cycle, and how to separate themselves from that so they can live in freedom not just with food but in every aspect of their lives.
That’s so beautiful Kyla – the why is so integral to lasting change, I’m so glad you work with your clients around that. Ok, switching gears just a bit – if you didn’t know, we’re big birthday fans around here, so what’s your dream way to spend a birthday?
I LOVE BIRTHDAYS! I’m an October baby (Libra love!), so I always want to spend some time outdoors on my birthday because the weather is usually really gorgeous during that time of the year.
An ideal day for me would be eating good food outdoors with people I love. Those are the three essentials for any good day, isn’t it?
100%. That should be everyone’s birthday mantra – food + nature + connection. So good! A few more rapid-fire questions for you: what are the 5 things you can’t live without (like ever)?
- Peanut butter (yes, this is #1)
- My journal
- My pillow
- Cute dogs (the world would just be so much dimmer.. ya know?)
Seriously waaaay dimmer. Cute dogs are just…necessary. What are the top three places you’d send someone if they were visiting your ‘hood (Tel Aviv, Israel)?
Oooooh, yes! Israel is so wildly misunderstood, so this is a deep question for me. All we see on the news is war, violence, and desert. But that is so not Israel. It’s a gorgeous oasis of palpable energy and positivity – anyone who has been here will tell you that – though, of course, it is not without it’s struggles.I’d send you to some of the
- I’d send you to some of the amaaaazing restaurants in Tel Aviv. There are so many to choose from! A lot of the food in Tel Aviv is plant-based, so veggie lovers are all welcome here.
- I think everyone who goes to Israel should spend some time in the Negev desert. It’s incredibly vast and isolated and magical.
- I live in Haifa, in the north, which is home to the Baha’i Gardens. Baha’i is a beautiful religion and they have a multi-tiered garden and temple here in Haifa. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
Tell us what you’re working on right now that feels like a celebration?
I’m working on busting through lots of limiting beliefs these days in terms of my relationship to money, lack, and abundance.
If you knew then, what you know now, what message would you have for your younger self?
Your whole life is just a game of “who can love the biggest?”. Have fun.
Also – your body knows exactly what it’s doing, so please trust it.
And finally — what is one thing you know to be true?
I know that all women deserve to live like queens in their bodies.
. . . . . .
Kyla, we may not have met in person (yet), but I quite simply adore you and love the way you are using your gifts to make the world better for women. Thank you from the bottom of my heart (and no doubt from the hearts of all of those reading).
Head over to Kyla’s website to learn more about this beauty, and if you’ve been thinking about working with a health coach, be sure to peek around and find out how you can work with her. Also be sure to say hi and follow her adventures over on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Thanks for getting to know Kyla today, if you want to take a peek at the posts she’s written for TGWK, head on over to her contributor page.
See you soon!
Photos courtesy of Kyla Sokoll-Ward