Are you tired of going from one sugar coma to the next? Feeling worried that your eating is putting your health in jeopardy but don’t have a clue of where to start or what to do? Susan L. Holmberg is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a dear friend who can help you get healthier at your pace. I think Susan’s work is freakin’ fabulous and I want you to know about it. – Imagine a non-diet option to weight control where you are in control. Gotta love it.
I confess. I had a preconceived notion that a nutritionist was someone who would tell you what to eat, how much and when. Being a hard core junk food junkie, I avoided nutrition like the plague, thinking of it as being too much deprivation. I was wrong. I didn’t realize how the foods I was eating when I was stressed out were affecting my body and making me ill.
Back in 2013 I was facing a lot of chaos in my personal life and my eating habits had gone totally off the rails. My body was showing signs of becoming ill and once I started having chest pains, I knew it was time to deal with my fear and resistance around changing my eating habits and living a healthier lifestyle.
I enrolled in a local program designed to Prevent Diabetes. When I was confronted with the task of tracking my food intake, I could feel the anger rising in my body.
After being a serial dieter for nearly 34 years, I felt cocky and certain that there was nothing any health program could teach me that I didn’t already know. I was infuriated and dug in my heels demonstrating my resistance. As soon as class ended, I went out and bought a 6 pack of candy bars and ate them in the car. I felt miserable after, but still I wasn’t ready to change. I got really angry at myself that night for eating the chocolate.
As a self-esteem coach, I know that food issues are tied up with feelings of self-worth and safety, so I knew that I had to use EFT, also known as tapping to confront all the stress in my life and clear the conflicts I had around getting healthier. But aside of all my years as a dieter, I knew next to nothing about how to care for my body.
At 51, I realized I had no energy. It hurt to tie my shoelaces. Every step going downstairs in the morning was agony and the leg cramps and pain in my feet were unbearable. I was tired of moving from one sugar coma to the next. At 234 pounds and 5’1″, I was morbidly obese and I knew without a doubt that my health was in jeopardy.
Non-Judgmental Nutrition: The Missing Piece Found
When I found out that I was Prediabetic, I knew that I could no longer eat with a ‘screw it’ mindset, because I would only hurt myself. That’s when I realized that the greatest show of love that I could offer myself would be to change the eating habits that were causing havoc with my health.
I had to make changes, but after 5 years of eating whatever I wanted, I was mad resistant to start depriving myself again. Over the course of a year I began to take baby steps on my own to increase the amount of vegetables I was consuming, but I still had a tremendous sweet tooth and when I was under stress, I felt completely enslaved by my sugar cravings.
In March I attended a networking meeting and met a local Certified Nutritionist named Susan L. Holmberg. Because she was so relatable and easy to talk to, we hit it off immediately. I decided that I wanted to work with her as my nutrition coach.
nutritionist coach friend of mine named Susan Holmberg. Susan is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and she has her office in Westwood, New Jersey. – See more at: http://www.typepad.com/site/blogs/6a00d83453976769e200d8341f89db53ef/compose/preview/post#sthash.WMLXpnbp.dpuf
On May 31st we began working together and that was the first day that I had exercised in over 5 years. It was hard getting back in the move groove, but I didn’t push myself. I insisted on taking the smallest of baby steps just looking for the tiniest bit of progress. I knew that moving slowly at my own pace would be the best way to avoid facing my own resistance.
As of June of 2014, with Susan’s help, I’ve made huge changes in my eating and activity habits and let go of 22 pounds of excess weight. In addition to using tapping to deal with managing my stress level.
What I love about working with Susan is that there is no judgment around what you eat or how much. She educates you and encourages you to make your own decisions.
Staging Your Environment for Success
Susan’s philosophy around weight control is completely fresh and new. It’s the cutting edge because she puts the power of your choices back in your hands. She teaches people how to translate the skills they already use to create success in their lives and how to apply them to weight control. She calls it pre-paving your path to success.
She teaches what I call ‘staging your environment for success. By analyzing your food patterns, Susan can help you to see how to structure your surroundings to work for you, rather than against you. Susan says, ” Having no plan is a plan to fail.” Do you get all twisted up in knots when you’re under stress and reach for food to calm you down? You’re not alone. I tend to do it too.
When Susan started coaching me, she began by teachng me how the food I was eating was affecting my body. Until I started to work with her, I had no idea that the fun-to-eat pastries and pancakes at breakfast were causing havoc with my body. Because I am Prediabetic, we talked about blood sugar and how I could eat in a way that I would keep my blood sugar balanced and perhaps prevent diabetes.
Susan explained to me that my craving for carbs throughout the day was a consequence of my hormones being out of balance. Although I had eaten some form of starch, my body was not getting adequate nutrition and was sending constant signals of hunger triggering my urge to consume even more starch based foods. Now I eat to satisfy my hunger and feed my body by eating protein and some veggies with every meal.
But the biggest bang I get from working with Susan is her support in helping me deal with individual personal food roadblocks by making great strategic suggestions.
Early on one of my challenges was a disagreement with my son, PT, over cleaning out the garage. When he made it clear that he couldn’t help me, I felt angry and resentful, and I stomped out of the kitchen preparing to do the work by myself.
After I finished several hours later, and I saw him relaxing, watching TV, I made a furious beeline into the kitchen, looking for the first thing that would assuage my hangry hunger.
Opening and closing the refrigerator, I saw that there was nothing that I was willing to cook or already prepared. Glancing at the counter, a box of chocolates caught my eye. I grabbed 5 or 6 and stuffed them in my mouth, one after the other as I turned, walked out of the kitchen and confronted my son. It wasn’t my best moment and I knew that emotional eating had a hold on me. To calm myself down, I tapped to take the edge off of my anger. After a few minutes of tapping, I relaxed and was able to think clearly again.
After sharing this with Susan, she asked me if I was surprised that I had the disagreement. I told her ‘No.’ I fully expected that PT would not help me clear the garage because he told me earlier that morning that he was not feeling well and had taken a sick day off from work.
She suggested that in the future I could avoid other hangry moments by moving the chocolates or any other craving foods to a more distant place in the house, making them less accessible. I’ve since moved many of my trigger foods to the downstairs pantry or freezer and I find that I rarely am willing to make the trip in order to eat them. It’s enough to know that they are around without being under my nose, where they can have the power to push my buttons on a tough day.
Among a few of the other challenges Susan has helped me to navigate are a double road-trip with the fam to Florida, a week-long extra stressful trip to visit my mom, becoming an empty nester, and relocating and down-sizing my home.
Working with Susan has made me so aware of the old habits that I used to fall into with food that kept me feeling frustrated and hungry. As a writer, I can get lost and write for hours without a single thought of food, but then once I stop, I want to ravage the kitchen and eat everything.
Susan reminded me to think ahead and recognize that my hunger won’t rage out of control if I prepare meals ahead of time and have them waiting for me when I’m ready to eat them. This is a lifesaver for me. Now I cook a week in advance and use my Food Saver to wrap everything and put it in the freezer. It’s great to never have to worry about having tasty and nutritious foods on hand.
Susan’s coaching has taught me so much about how I can better nurture myself and the specific things I can do to really take better care of my body by putting just a little extra bit of thought into planning.
Here are some of the benefits that I’ve had since coaching with Susan:
Since I no longer push myself to the point of getting hangry, I’ve been enjoying a happier home life with much less family stress. I’ve also changed my eating habits and I’m losing weight effortlessly because I know that I can choose to eat whatever I want and there is no judgment.
By using her philosophy, Susan has helped me to calculate what I want to weigh, and to set a weekly calorie budget to achieve that. Now that I know more about food, I can make healthier choices. Using Susan’s diet free approach and strategy system to weight control, I don’t feel any leanings towards giving into my rebellious side. I either decide to eat a certain food or I don’t. There’s nothing to rebel against. I choose better health, so it’s up to me what foods I want to get me there. It’s so nice to know that I have the power to choose and I choose to be good to myself. I used to think that meant eating all my favorite comfort foods like mashed potatoes and pasta and pastries. Now I know that those foods don’t make me feel good anymore. Because I tend to get aches and pains in my joints after eating processed carbs, I rarely choose those foods and don’t feel deprived anymore.
So taking care of myself now looks like prepping veggies beforehand, making a big pot of a favorite soup or two, taking time to make flavorful rich sauces and braising meats, always ensuring that I have great food available. This is the first time that I’ve ever experienced such a powerful sense of participating in my own wellness.
I simply adore Susan and I’m tickled to pieces to have the opportunity to coach with her. I love that she’s so honest in sharing her own learning experiences and she’s not jaded and out of touch like so many other nutritionists who just say, “Why can’t you just eat what I tell you?”
That’s why I want to share her work and wisdom with you. Soon she will be my guest on my “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” radio show and I’ll also be sharing some videos of our coaching together. I think Susan’s work is freakin’ fabulous and I want you to know about it. – Imagine a non-diet option to weight control where you are in control. Gotta love it.
Here are some of her tips on how to make journalling and healthy changes that work for you:
No judge Journalling – By taking a no-judgment approach to writing down what you eat, you can pinpoint your challenges and discover your triggers. Awareness is the first key to change.
Make it easy – In terms of food journalling, choose which method works for you. Deciding if you want to use a free or paid software, create an excel spreadsheet, or take the basic approach and just use a pen and paper.
Make it convenient – Decide how often you want to do your tracking. If you track each meal either before you eat or soon after, then you won’t have to rely on your memory to remember what you’ve eaten over the past 24 hours. It’s easiest to make a quick note of what you eat after each meal and then reconcile the numbers another time when it is best for you.
Forgive yourself for lapses – There will be times when you won’t track everything. They could be short periods or long. It doesn’t matter. If you think that this type of non-judgmental tracking system could work for you, just forgive yourself and start over again. What really matters is not so much what you are tracking, but having an awareness of the times you tend to overeat and use food as a way of dealing with upsets in your life.
To learn more about Susan, read her blog and find out about hiring her, visit her website at
Andrea Amador, The Juicy Woman, Susan L. Holmberg, fat, shame, emotional eating, addiction, food, nutritionist, hormones,