Are you married?
I’ve been divorced for 13 years, but was married for 30. We married too young and the marriage, which had many cracks, just crumbled when our oldest son died in 1998.
I have two, one 33 and the other 36. My oldest would have been 38.
Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?
I grew up all over the US until I was 11, since my dad was in the Air Force. Then we settled in Bethesda, MD and my dad became VP of Marketing for Hughes Aircraft Co. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and loved to help my father’s career by entertaining beautifully.
What did you do before becoming a coach?
My first career was as a stay-at-home mom, which I was fortunate to be able to do. When my children were in high school, I went to work part-time and then full-time as a surgical coordinator for four surgeons and three hospitals. When I turned 50, after my son died, I decided to go to George Washington University and get my masters in counseling. I became a grief counselor, but found I couldn’t support myself. A friend suggested a great part-time job, which became full-time, with the United States Investigative Service, where I got my clearance and was a profiler and analyst training students to go abroad. I loved the uniqueness of the job, but had a number of surgeries, which prevented me from fulfilling the physical requirements.
For far too long, we’ve been inundated by negative messages about food, weight and diet.
We’ve been told that we are willpower weaklings or that we need more control. The majority of nutrition experts promote conflicting advice.
Why a coach?
I became a coach after hearing my mother continually tell me that I was heavy, starting when I was very young. She actually took me to an illegal diet doctor where I was put on ‘speed’ at the age of seven. Interestingly enough, I have picture of me at that time and I wasn’t heavy at all, just a tomboy, but my mother wanted a princess! Thus started the life-long battle with my body and the weight-loss roller coaster.
After losing my job with USIS, I attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and then earned certification from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I changed my entire business and wanted to help women. Working with mind-body nutrition and the psychology of eating leads to not only sustainable weight loss, but also to a love of your body in the present and the ability to delete toxic dietary beliefs.
My clients become truly embodied and can address the stress that is affecting their weight, their lives and their health. It has changed my life and my thoughts about my body and I want to help others to obtain the same truth, because I’ve been there!
What makes the Psychology of Eating approach different from other Weight Loss coaching?
For far too long, we’ve been inundated by negative messages about food, weight and diet. We’ve been told that we are willpower weaklings or that we need more control. The majority of nutrition experts promote conflicting advice. This results in confusion about what to eat, and how to have a happy relationship with food, as well as a healthy metabolism. I combine many of the best strategies from nutrition science and eating psychology in my professional practice. By eliminating all the “shoulds and should nots,” I focus on what’s right for your body and your personal style. As I work with women in this way, eating and health issues become a place of exploration. Instead of seeing such challenges as the enemy, they become opportunities for growth and self-improvement. I’ve learned to help women reach their highest goals through strategies that nourish, not punish.
What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?
All women from the ages of 40 to 50! This is a sacred time in a woman’s life, after peri-menopause and menopause, when she is truly coming into her strength. Many women still believe they are inadequate, ‘not good enough’, and often are not happy with their bodies. They are suffering from stress and self-hatred and do not realize that this prevents weight loss and true happiness. Self-love and acceptance are far more rewarding than calorie counting and crazy exercise and it helps you lose weight!
What is your mission?
I want women to stand tall in their glorious strength, which they all possess. Women tend to feel that there is something wrong with them, whether it’s their weight, their relationships, or their work, and it’s time to stop the madness. I want to be a mentor for all women about self-embodiment and self-love. The truth comes from within, not without. It’s time that all women got the message that they’re beautiful.
Tell us about a typical client.
Most of my clients are women over 40 who want to lose weight, which is usually the 20 pounds + that they’ve been trying to lose for years. They have tried every diet in the book, exercised themselves to the point of pain and haven’t lost the weight. They don’t realize that this frantic need to lose weight throws them into the ‘stress response’ that is preventing them from losing anything. Their obsession with weight is ruining and limiting their lives since they are waiting to live until they achieve their goal, which never comes. I help them learn to live in the present and relax into weight loss.
What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?
Your journey in this life is your own; it’s not anyone else’s. Make the journey going full tilt, learning from the messy as well as the great and love your uniqueness and yourself completely! Celebrate, don’t denigrate!
How do women most sabotage themselves?
They believe everything they hear in the media. They live in their minds and not their bodies. Their best friend should be the sacred Feminine, but instead it’s the scale, which determines how they’ll fell each day—happy or depressed!
What famous women do you most admire?
Rosa Parks is a woman that sat for her rights. Most said she stayed in her seat because she was tired, but instead she was tired of ‘giving in’ to what society told her she should or shouldn’t do. I think she’s a mentor for all women to stop this artificial feeling to ‘give in’ to a world that is trying to dictate what the perfect woman looks like.
Maya Angelou, a fighter from the start, has been able to provide a positive message of humanity and hope. She said: ‘The honorary duty of a human being is to love.’ And every women should apply this to herself.
Do you have a mentor?
I have a number of mentors in my life for which I feel blessed. My spiritual mentor, Liz, enables wonderful conversations on our connection to nature and all that there is on and off this earth. Another mentor, Marc, has helped me to realize the joy of embodiment and loving yourself. A third, Sharon, taught me that one doesn’t need to live her life in fear and that I can trust. Finally, Christine, who has taught me about the sacred Feminine and using intuition to understand and not judge.