Brave Questions and Nourishing Answers

You’ve got brave questions
I’ve got nourishing answers

Q. How much weight will I lose working with you?

A. Honestly, I don’t know if you’ll lose weight. The size or shape of your body may or may not change during our work together. But your relationship with food and with your body will certainly change as you learn new ways of relating to your hunger for food and life, in and away from the kitchen.

I am not a garden-variety weight loss coach. I am a passionate and experienced psychology of weight coach with multi-disciplinary training and education as well as my personal journey to glean from. And it gives me the greatest pleasure to share this hard-won knowledge and experience with women on their journeys. I help women heal their deep pain and suffering that causes over-eating, compulsive eating, binge eating, yo-yo weight cycling, perpetual (and failed) diets, body dissatisfaction, and the rest. A healthy weight will follow.

I’ve helped hundreds of women learn to leave deprivation and self-loathing behind and make peace with food and their bodies. Rest assured, reaching their natural weight is part of that journey.

I choose well-being over weight, health over hype, and love over hate. I am body-positive and weight neutral. My whole-hearted intention is to help you free yourself from the burdens holding you down related to food, weight and body image, so that you can live a truly luscious, right-for-you sized life.

Q. How long will this take?

A. Often this question is another way of saying, “I have been struggling with my weight and body hatred for as long as I can remember and I’ve tried absolutely everything to stop the pain. Can you really help me?!”

Your decision to get support and help is a brave one, and brave hearts do brave work, so you have already made good progress on your journey.

There is a dominant cultural appetite for overnight success stories (“Drop 2 dress sizes in less than 2 weeks!”) and biggest loser claims (“She lost 100 pounds in 100 days without breaking a sweat!”) But these are empty promises of quick fixes. Real and lasting change is a lifelong practice – this is true in every area of life.

This work – the work I do – is different. No quick fixes here. I use evidence based Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size (HAES®), and the Satter Eating Competence Model to normalize the food and eating dynamic, along with the therapeutic brilliance of Internal Family Systems (IFS) to transform emotional and/or compulsive behaviors associated with distorted eating and body disconnection – it heals the internal system which affects the external symtoms. This practical and pshycho-spiritual mix is the perfect recipe to restore internal balance that brings about physical change. It works from the inside out.

As my mentor Geneen Roth says, “if you are willing to see your eating patterns as a portal to the inner universe of You… then there is no end to what you can learn, be, understand, become.”

Q. If I don’t use the scale to measure success, how will I know I’m making progress?

A. The scale holds an allure. I get it. We all like results – especially quick and visible results. Results we can measure. That’s one of the reasons that women turn to trending diets and diet programs again and again, even when they know it’s a short term fix with repeated weight gain almost always guaranteed.

Putting weight loss on the back burner does not mean that you are giving up on reaching the right weight for you. It means that you will no longer need to use the scale to measure your worthiness, your health, or your happiness.

Outward, physical signs of progress (body size and shape) are often the last to show. Most likely, you will feel different and act different before you look different. You will see yourself differently, in a fresh new light. You may first notice that you are asking for what you want, getting a deep need met, or taking a stand. Maybe you’ll find yourself making a healthy choice because you want to not because you feel like you have to.

Change and progress will come in many scrumptious ways, so be on the lookout!

Q. Will I have to follow a specified diet plan and exercise regimen?

A. Heck no!

We will talk about (and eat) yummy food together and we will talk about the ways that you enjoy moving and using your body. But why and how you nourish yourself and exercise is your choice.

Your body knows what it needs far better than anyone else does. My role is helping you learn how to listen to the innate wisdom of your body so that you know how to best take care of it. Then, you decide what, when, how much, and if you eat and exercise – you decide.

You are, by nature, an intuitive eater and by learning (relearning, really) to listen to your own body again you will learn to trust your appetite – only you know when you are physically hungry and when you are sated – only you know when you need to move and when you need to rest. Shifting the authority from the outside to the inside is our goal.

Q. Isn’t Intuitive Eating just another diet and Health at Every Size (HAES®) an excuse for staying fat?

A. Heavens no, she gasped!

The unacquainted may describe Intuitive Eating as the anti-dieters’ diet – a food eating free for all – and HAES as indulgent on obesity and ignorant on science. But, neither Intuitive Eating nor HAES are proponents of diets, reckless eating, or of poor health. They are evidence based practices that guide people into natural eating and natural exercise patterns to reach and maintain an effortlessly healthy weight by healing relationships with food, eating, exercise, and body image.

These practices show you how to reach inner balance and peace through self-acceptance and self-regulation in lieu of self-denial and self-harming from kowtowing to cultural standards and pressures.

Being true to yourself? That is what I call a truly luscious life.

Q. Loving my body as it is right now feels impossible. “Fab abs, a tight butt and sexier, leaner legs!” really seems like the only route to happiness and success.

A. Of course it feels like the only route! Dieting to “stay small” is the social norm for women and girls. We’ve been traveling this route for ages! And it may be the only thing we know…

We’ve been taught that smallness is feminine: don’t take up too much space, don’t interrupt or speak up, don’t be an inconvenience, etc. And feeling dissatisfied with our bodies goes hand in hand with this social norm. Body shaming and personal dissatisfaction is experienced by women of all ages, shapes and sizes, and so we hustle for external validation of our worthiness through body perfecting.

We don’t even think to question the societal dictate to be dissatisfied with our bodies until the pain of this dissatisfaction forces us to reexamine.

It’s time to change that.

The way to stop hustling for external validation is to befriend the body we’re in and listen to its needs and desires. This move may feel odd, scary or even wrong at first, but it is the only route to peace and freedom, satisfaction, confidence and health.

Q. Should I continue therapy while I’m working with you?

A. I heartily endorse anything that supports your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. I use IFS, an evidence-based therapeutic model that is holistic in nature (a complete therapeutic healing model), so many of my clients forgo their current therapy and turn instead to complimentary practices and therapies such as yoga, meditation, massage, breath-work, tai chi, acupuncture and the like to support them while working with me.

I pick up where nutritionists, dietitians and therapists leave off.

Women who have not been diagnosed with an eating disorder but suffer with food, weight and body image issues, from troubled to toxic, respond well to my particular therapeutic combination of Intuitive Eating, HAES, Satter Eating Competence Model and IFS therapy because it helps restore inner balance and optimal health from the inside out – it meets you where you are and goes at a pace that is right for you.

While I do not work with women with untreated bulimia or anorexia, I do work with women who are in recovery from those particular eating disorders. I will work with your treatment team, including your primary care physician, to ensure that your physical health is stable and that you are ready to journey further with your recovery.