I was already topping the weight charts by the time I was four years old.
At seven, I went to my first nutrition program where they explained portion sizes and gave us worksheets with Mr. Peanut on them to color. At that young age, I knew my issue had to do with more than just food, portion sizes and the “right” foods to eat, and I knew this program would not solve my problem. So my struggle continued and the weight continued to rise and rise and rise. I needed obesity help badly.
I was acutely aware that I was not being helped in the way I needed – I was being “helped” with the wrong information and the wrong motivation.
When I was thirteen years old, sitting at a weight loss camp, a little voice inside of me said, “You should help people. You should make a program that works.” And so my journey to creating The Beacon began.
In the following years, I went to nutritionists, weight loss camps, every diet program typical and atypical — you name it, I went to it – bright eyed and hopeful. Like so many of you, I would walk into each diet undertaking with every intention of it working. I drank the shakes, I tried mindfully eating raisins, I attempted to trust my body to tell me how much and what foods to eat (epic failure there). I would sit at the front of the room and get to my appointments early. I would empty my house of all of the “bad” foods, buy a new notebook, purchase the multi-pack sessions (because, you know, I was going to be the best lifetime member they’ve ever seen!) and, as you know,
I ALWAYS ended up failing, more miserable and heavier than when I had begun.
Diets failed me.
They focused only on the food and the end goal of weight loss, but failed to take me step-by-step, through each day, through each obstacle, to actually reach that end goal.
They told me what to eat and how much to eat, but failed to address the subtle thinking patterns and behaviors that interfered with my ability to “stick to the diet” for more than a week or two.
They failed to appreciate some of the specific food issues that I struggled with that were holding me captive.
They packaged their programs in bright shiny colors, but failed to provide the moment-by-moment, on-call support I needed during those hard moments when the initial hope and shiny new food packages and notebooks lost their luster.
All of those diets sounded easy and doable on Monday morning, but failed me by Thursday. I knew these people were trying to help me, but that they didn’t truly see me or hear me, that they didn’t understand why this wasn’t working.
My personal path of recovery was very crooked. It was bumpy, muddy, and filled with plenty of tragedy and then finally some success. I finally was able to piecemeal together a recovery and find my way, the obesity help that I needed. All along my crooked path, that little voice that said, “You should help people. You should make a program that works.” played on repeat in my brain.
Little did I know then that with each and every personal diet failure, my vision of what will help you find your path to recovery became bigger and brighter. I am known for saying that I make programs for my sickest self — and nothing could be more true. My passion for helping you to find the solution for your weight issue or food addiction comes from the deepest and most personal place: as someone who understands the plight of compulsive overeating and food addiction, and as someone who couldn’t get help because the right kind of help didn’t exist.
My professional path was as crooked as my personal recovery. There wasn’t any place that helped in a way I knew would work, so I sought out places I thought would be helpful in creating my vision. I worked at weight loss camps and drug treatment centers; I started a boarding school and camps for adolescent obesity and created outpatient programs with doctors that I respected. I read the research on obesity, diabetes, food addiction, and on the ways that people most successfully change. I studied addiction, Buddhism, behavioral therapy, Dialectical Therapy — things outside of the traditional framework of nutrition and weight loss that might help patients recover. I took on clients who were just like me — hopeless, ready to give up, and convinced they could not get better.
Above all, I listened to my clients, and I continue to listen to them today.
With all of my personal and professional training and experiences, I knew I had discovered a way to help people to successfully win their own Diet Wars. And finally, that little voice that said, “You should help people, You should make a program that works” was satisfied.
I assembled a group of clinicians that feel as passionately as I do about helping you to make a real difference in your life. Like me, they have been training in relevant areas and have dreamed of doing this work with you. We are ready to create a customized plan to get you where you want to be, and to be by your side through each step and each obstacle, long past Monday morning.
My team and I are able to look you in the eye, honestly “get” you, and let you know that we can help. And we will.
No one person is the same, so we will work with you — one on one — to make this work.
We will arm you with the tools.
With skill and compassion we will fight this battle with you.
We will BELIEVE in you wholly, especially when you don’t believe in yourself.
I know you want this more than anything. I know that every single attempt you make to diet or stop binging is an honest one. Being trapped in the jaws of compulsive overeating and food addiction is awful, shaming and hopeless. I named this program “The Beacon” to stand as a shining light in the dark and dingy Diet Wars you are fighting.
Let the Beacon’s light guide you to freedom and show you what is possible when you are in recovery from disordered eating or food addiction.
Let us hear your story and hear your fears.
Let us show you the TRUE YOU under all of this diet trauma.
Let us teach you how to STAY STOPPED.
I look forward to meeting you and to The Beacon’s light guiding your journey.