Most of my career has been devoted to nutrition. When I started studying it many years ago, I was always frustrated that most nutrition conversations are so one-dimensional. Most of it centers around the question “what should I eat?” and reduces the complexities of life and the body into a fuel-in-a-car mentality. Putting someone on a meal plan is something that makes me want to scream. Wtf….?!
Life is so fragile, complex, and beautiful.
Something like a meal plan seems to suck the joy out of life.
But now I want to help people with so much more than a meal plan. I want to help people feel the joy of life infused through food, and everything else life has to offer.
Which brings me to life coaching.
Let’s talk about that word, “coaching” for a hot second. First of all, I need to check my pride for a sec. As a “medical professional,” I have been guilty of dismissing those who don’t have requisite initials after their name. I’m not proud of this. For my entire career, I’ve been steeped in the principles of professionalism. Acting by-the-book, following evidence-based practices, and tightly constrained guidelines for something called “scope of practice.” This gives me rigid rules on what I can and can’t say, and how I can and cannot help people.
However, after studying and working in the field of nutrition for over 15 years, I realize that something is missing. The topic of nutrition opens up many corners of life:
- What are your favorite foods?
- Where do you usually eat your meals?
- How much money do you have to spend on food?
- How do you feel about your body?
- What stressors impact your eating experience?
- What was food like for you as a kid?
See how food takes us deeper? We started with a simple food question, “what foods do you like?” and now we’re talking about how you had to clean your plate as a kid. These issues still linger each day. Food takes you deep into your life and helps define who you are.
“It’s all about the food. It’s not about the food.”
Let’s go one step further: food and nutrition are intimately tied to the conversation about health and weight. Weight loss messaging from the medical field has done SO much harm. The number 1 cause of an eating disorder is weight loss advice in the form of dieting or even a “lifestyle change” approach, which, in some cases, may still carry messages of body shame, restriction, fear, and guilt.
I’ve been a specialist helping those battling eating disorders for 6+ years, and its heart-wrenching to think that something from the medical field which is meant to be “healthy” can play out in something as painful and destructive as an eating disorder.
Now I want to help people of all walks of life to reclaim what is rightfully yours: your inner wisdom, their intuition, your inner child, your *spark*. I want to hold space for those who wish to bring their whole self forward.
My values as a dietitian are the same values, I now carry with me forward to my work as a coach: compassion, inclusivity, embodiment, intuition, and joy.
Every person has wounds, and each of us is different. We all have that shadow companion, the inner critic. As a coach or dietitian, I want to hold space with compassion. This is the first step to healing, and being compassionate is more important than any other aspect of coaching. It’s not just about the compassion I can offer, but the self-compassion that each of us needs to develop.
I love the work of Brene Brown and the book Body Kindness, which speaks to these things.
My personal journey is one of privilege in ways, and in others, I know what it feels like to be the outsider. I’m the person who broke away from the family and religion I was raised in. I have empathy for the misfits, the marginalized and oppressed, and those who want to carve out a life for themselves. Many of those I’ve supported through my nutrition practice have a long history of abuse and trauma, whether emotional, physical, sexual, or spiritual. I want to empower and lift you up!
Trusting your body is something you’re born with. When a good-intentioned authority figure tells you to clean your plate, yet you know you’re not hungry, this undermines that trust. When you’re told, “you’re not hungry, you’re just bored,” again, we learn to disconnect with our body and deny the natural signals we have. What’s the long-term result of this?
It leaves us at war with the body, and at war with food. I love helping people along their journey to make peace and find their way back to embodiment.
Here’s what embodiment can look like for you:
- Feeling at home in your body
- Feeling connected
- The ability to be in your body at the present moment, and feel sensations
- Safe and healthy expression of your needs and wants
- The ability to calm yourself down, when you’re feeling anxious
- Identify your inner needs
- Acceptance of your body
- Connection to your sense of self
- Ability to recognize and correct thinking distortions1
Embodiment is seen in the connection formed as you become friends with your body. One client I spoke with shared his experience of ignoring hunger and “powering through” exercising through pain, which had triggered binges each night for years. In his journey to heal from his eating disorder, he started doing yoga and found it as a powerful tool to reconnect his mind and body.
Intuition and embodiment go hand-in-hand. Your inner compass is a combination of your own inner wisdom, intellect, values, and intuition. I often see people who struggle to tap into intuition and find that they are out of balance. I want to help you draw on all of these as you bring your “whole self” into each decision.
As someone who has left organized religion, I’ve had many, many conversations with clients and friends who have felt residual guilt from religious life that gets in the way of intuition. I would love to be part of your journey as you discover and tap deeper into a connection with yourself that isn’t shame-based.
We’re taught to work hard, earn money, find some fun, and make our way in the world. Sometimes we lose sight of the value of something more profound: joy. This isn’t the same as “happiness”. Happiness is a fleeting feeling that sends a smile to your face, and you relish the moment. Joy is something that nourishes your soul and connects you to yourself, others, and the world around you. How do you find joy?
Much of what I call “joy” comes from the field of positive psychology and the work of Martin Seligman. Sometimes it’s described as “thriving” not just surviving.
My passion as a life coach is to help take people within, identify the breadth and depth of themselves: their inner wisdom, their intuition, their passion, and gifts. These will be the foundation we’ll work from as you grow out of the old life and identify what you’re really wanting.