Welcome to First Ourselves

“I will not make war against my own heart.” – Karly Randolph Pitman

Karly Pitman (left) and Bronwyn Marmo
Karly Randolph Pitman (left) and Bronwyn Marmo, friend and fellow author

Welcome to Growing Human(kind)ness; formerly known as First Ourselves. I’m Karly, the founder and primary blogger, and I feel glad we’ve found each other. If you’re struggling with eating disorders, weight/body obsession, anxiety, or depression – or the shame of struggling with any of the above – there’s hope.

Underneath all of this pain was confusion, self doubt, and insecurity about my being a highly sensitive, intuitive, empathic woman. For years, I cared for these feelings by trying to be perfect – spiritually perfect, physically perfect, and emotionally perfect.

Fortunately, that quest for self perfection failed. (You can read more about my personal journey here.)

First Ourselves was a blog I created in 2006 to share my journey of healing 20 years of eating disorders – including bulimia, binge eating disorder, sugar addiction, compulsive overeating, orthorexia, and body hatred – and my lifelong challenges with depression, anxiety and ADD. Today, my blog and website is called Growing Human(kind)ness – which I feel encompasses my evolving writing and work.

Growing Human(kind)ness is a chronicle of this journey – and of the practices that have helped me find healing. These practices include self compassion, unconditional self love, self acceptance, befriending needs and feelings, and caring for my sensitivity rather than shaming myself for it.

Growing human(kind)ness, a way out of suffering

I synthesized these tools into an approach I call growing human(kind)ness. Growing human(kind)ness is a map for healing the emotional roots of eating disorders and addiction. It helps you create a compassionate, loving relationship with every part of you – your emotions, thoughts, needs, feelings and your pain itself.

This relationship – an inner change – is the foundation for behavior change – how you change on the outside. A self loving relationship is also what brings your heart to the deepest rest – the rest of knowing your own worthiness, loveability and “enoughness.” I believe that this “enoughness” is what we most deeply crave, and most need.

To use Brene Brown’s words, I’m both a mapmaker and a fellow traveler. I share these tools with you because I want you to feel their healing power in your own life. And I share them because they’re absolutely what I need to learn and practice in my own life.

What the logo means

The hand on heart symbolizes the mercy and compassion of unconditional self love – for only as we love ourselves can we fully love others, and love life.

How my approach can help you

There are many experts who talk about the physiological, biological, and neurological components of addiction and eating disorders. You can also find doctors and nutritionists who specialize in the “how to” of nutrition – what to eat, how to eat, how to heal and nourish the body, and more.

I love learning from these experts and have gobbled up their knowledge. I’ve incorporated many of their teachings into my own life – everything from fermented foods, to bone broths, to amino acid supplementation, to healing the gut, to yoga, to meditation, to proper fat and protein intake, to reducing sugar, to 5 element nutrition, and more.

But this is not my focus. What I offer – and what I see as a missing piece of the puzzle – is healing how you relate to your body, food, your addictions, compulsions, and your very imperfect, tender human self. In my experience, this loving relatedness is what heals the emotional, relational roots of our suffering.

By changing how we relate, we can change how we respond. Emotional healing is the scaffolding for physiological healing – it’s how we shift out of painful habits, change our ways of living, and change our behavior to be more empowered and self loving.

Many people find healing and “success” by pairing my inside out, emotionally focused approach with a structured, physiological approach – like Julia Ross’ or Kathleen des Maison’s work – or a structured weight loss plan like Weight Watchers. Think of my work as a complement to physiological healing, one tool on your healing path. This is how I serve and support you best.

What you can find on Growinghumankindness.com

Here’s where you can get started and learn more about what I offer:

Where my work has been featured

My work has been featured on Yahoo!, Yahoo! Shine, MSN, Beliefnet, The Huffington Post, ABC, KGO, Inspire Me Today, Life by Me, the Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show, top blogs like The Happiness Project and Zen Habits, and more. First Ourselves has been visited by over 1 million women in over 190 countries.