Katrina Hadden oozes happiness. Her big smile and confidence lights up a room. When we first met her, we knew this was a woman as beautiful on the inside as the outside. We are thrilled to represent her and at a size 10-12 we are happy she has decided to help us push the boundaries of sizing in fashion – there are not many models represented between sizes 8-12 and together we aim to change this.
As we have got to know Katrina, we’ve learned more about what makes her so positive and vivacious. As a life coach, she helps instill these very qualities in others. We love this! Here she shares how she got to where she is now and how she gives back, helping others discover the positivity within.
What made you get into life coaching?
Helping people has always been a passion of mine. After graduating university, I started thinking that it would be great if people had a coach to help them with aspects of their lives, such as their professional, financial and personal goals. Life coaching is about bringing out the best in people, including their authentic selves so they are able to feel balanced, unstuck and confident to share their unique gifts with the world! After doing some research, I discovered that the most successful people in the world have life coaches, including top executives, celebrities and professional athletes. After speaking to a coach and realizing how effective one session was in clarifying my personal obstacles, I realized that I too wanted to work with others and have the ability to give them the same positive experience! For me, life coaching is about teaching people to step outside their comfort zone, just like one would in the gym, and guiding them every step of the way.
How does life coaching fulfill you?
It allows me to be a part of a person’s positive transformation! It means learning about one’s life story and background including where they came from, as well as teaching them ways to improve their lifestyle. Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with a wide variety of people, ranging from new mothers and brides, executives who have been able to achieve work life balance, young adults who have learned to budget and control their spending, athletes who have become stronger more focused players on and off the court, and business owners who have improved their overall health and eating habits. Seeing the progression, happiness and small changes that these people have made as a result of life coaching makes me truly honoured to be able to be a part of their journey. In life, the goal is not to be perfect, but for the longest time perfection was what I was striving for, such as having the perfect body, the perfect relationship, and the perfect job and home. However, I now realize that life is about balance and knowing how to get back up when you are down. I am happy that I am able to coach and can mentor others who need the support, however, what truly fulfills me is giving people the courage and strength to accept their unique individuality and share it with the rest of the world.
What brings you the most joy in dealing with teens and what advice can you offer them?
Teens are amazing to work with! They are imaginative, creative and open to new ideas and possibilities. They appreciate the small things in life and I feel that adults can learn a great deal from them. When I was a high school mentor, a common theme that came up amongst teenagers was their struggles of going through a life transition. Some of their recurring questions include: “What to do after high school?”, “What profession to choose?”, “What program to choose for university studies?” and “Should I take time off or travel abroad?”. Young athletes who enter competitive sports also struggle with transition. There are many situations where a young professional athlete who played a sport they have dedicated their entire life to since the age of three watched their dreams vanish because of an injury or not making the team. This can have a detrimental impact on their life and future as they feel that they are left without any other options. The most important piece of advice I can give them and other teenagers is to leave as many doors open as possible and let yourself be open to new opportunities. This way you are able to discover so much about what you did not know! There is nothing wrong with stepping outside the box and if you do not know where to find things out be sure to ask for help, this is why there are experts out there! Believe me, life can be extremely challenging at times, but surrounding yourself with positive support makes all the difference in the world. I am fortunate to have family and friends who believe in me and support me and in return, I coach teens so that with my help we get through their problems together!
You volunteer at a special place. Please tell us about it.
Hopewell has become a centre of excellence, providing information and support to those affected by eating disorders (including anorexia, bulimia or binge eating), currently being the most common chronic illness in the female adolescent population. More than that, nearly one in five young women suffering from a serious eating disorder does not survive.
When I decided to volunteer with Hopewell, I myself was recovering from an eating disorder. I had struggled with bulimia and yoyo dieting for several years, but in my case it was triggered by a hormone imbalance. I was an elite basketball player, swimmer, on the high school honour roll and avid volunteer. Hopewell impacted my life because I felt like I joined a group that understood what I have gone through. I am grateful to have worked with young women, as this has opened my eyes and taught me more than I could ever imagine. I also met many wonderful volunteers and girls who offered support, resources and friendship. I feel confident in my ability to work with young women and teens who were or are currently battling with self esteem and body image issues because I hold the ability to truly empathize with them. There are many reasons why women struggle with these issues and every story is different. Since working with Hopewell, I have worked on various other projects. I have written two books, co-author of Making it in High Heels, a book of inspiring stories by women of all ages and “The Hormone Diet Recharged”. As a nutrition and wellness expert I see the connection between sleep, food, hormones, well-being, and body image.
How does your role as a model fit into your beliefs around this organization and what do you hope to contribute to the modelling world?
I believe in celebrating and promoting the acceptance of all natural shapes and sizes and respecting all individuals, as well as encouraging healthy living. My role as a fashion model is to promote a healthy size 10-12 in the industry and to radiate positive energy, inner beauty, promote a balanced lifestyle, and be a mentor and role model for all women, but especially the younger generation. I have been a model and actress for over ten years and have always considered myself to be an “in between” size, neither a petite, nor a plus. While it was incredibly challenging in the modelling industry, over the years I knew if I continued pursuing my passion, I would fall into the right place.
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart”. I feel most beautiful when I am giving to others and helping them and I would like to use my role as a fashion model to spread this message so others can feed off of it and spread it back into the world! I encourage everybody to give back in some way, such as through their own personal experiences and other forms of generosity. Everyone is unique, authentic, generous, kind, balanced and healthy!
I came across Ben Barry Agency and finally felt like I “fit in” because I was ecstatic to be a part of yet another group where models are promoting the same positive beliefs as me! My ideas match the agency’s and I am honoured to be represented by such a powerful movement. Thank you very much, Ben and Liis!