Shattering the Ice Princess: Gracie Gold Reveals Her Real Self

Continuing in our series of Embracing Change, Jen talks with an elite athlete who found their life caving in, leaving themselves with no other choice than to flow with the transitions. In this candid conversation, Jen and Olympic figure skater Gracie Gold delve into Gracie’s battles with mental health, disordered eating, and the intense pressures of elite athletics.

Gracie’s story speaks to immense strength – navigating the insidious grip of an eating disorder that spanned longer than many of her close relationships. Gracie recounts how the illusion of control through restrictive eating eventually triggered a “nuclear meltdown” forcing her to confront the compounding traumas.

Jen and Gracie explore:

  • The toxic underbelly of perfectionism glorified in figure skating and its ties to disordered eating
  • Society’s tendency to stigmatize mental illness that doesn’t fit a textbook definition
  • The arduous, perpetual work of managing an eating disorder
  •  Reclaiming authenticity after realizing her projected “ice princess” persona was unsustainable

With refreshing candor, Gracie shares how curiosity and embracing life’s small joys enabled her to begin reconstructing an integrated identity beyond skating’s rigid
expectations. Her courage to openly discuss such profound struggles is a beacon of hope for anyone confronting their inner critic.

Flinging Ourselves Into Fresh Starts ft. Joy Sullivan

Our new series of Embracing Change is a deep examination of all the different ways change shows up in our lives and all the ways we can respond to it. As Jen says in this interview, our guest today went through a “chosen change.” Hers was a transformation that felt inevitable after all the small, incremental posture changes made her ready for the leap to follow — a leap toward more sanity, more love, and more joy. 

Joy Sullivan is a poet and community builder. Her new book “Instructions for Traveling West” is “for anyone flinging themselves into fresh starts.” She received a Masters in poetry from Miami University and has served as the poet-in-residence for the Wexner Center for the Arts. She joins the podcast today sharing her story of walking into the unknown. Through her unique viewpoint as a poet, she unlocks potent ways for us to trust our intuition and stay curious about what is scaring us.

Jen and Joy touch on:

  • The importance of embracing loneliness and stillness as opportunities for self-discovery and hearing one’s true inner voice and callings.
  • stories from Joy’s life that served as lessons for her to love herself more deeply
  • Reclaiming selfhood by rupturing constrictive cultural and religious narratives, especially around womanhood and female identity

For anyone feeling the tug to upend the inertia of their life and lean into evolution, this conversation is an inspiring guide for following one’s deepest callings into new horizons.