From Unsatisfied With My Health & Life…
…To Enjoying Every Bite, Loving My Life & Teaching Groups All Over the World How They Can Make Their Complex Health Journey FUN!
My Long & Winding Road To A Healthy, Happy Life
Meat and potatoes. Bagels and challah. Keep it kosher, and finish what’s on your plate. Growing up in a Jewish home in Queens, NY, these were the most important lessons my family taught me about food.
Like many families, my parents didn’t talk much about what it meant to “eat healthy.” My dad was a Depression-era baby with a serious scarcity mindset. My mom didn’t like to cook. When good things happened, we celebrated with pizza and ice cream. When bad things happened, we mourned with our favorite comfort foods.
This was all fine and well as a child… But in college, these behaviors caught up with me. I didn’t really give a second thought to what I was putting in my mouth—and as a result, I packed on far more than the standard “Freshman 15”.
When I came home for the holidays, my mom took one look at me and immediately put me on “The Stewardess Diet” (anyone else remember that??). So began my long and arduous cycle of yo-yo dieting.
As a young adult, I had deeply internalized the idea that “thinner was better.” Unfortunately, keeping my weight low and my waistline tiny wasn’t something that came easily.
I’d never really been active as a kid, but I started exercising furiously in an attempt to control my weight. I didn’t have a clue about proper nutrition or how I could use food as fuel for my body… But at least I could outrun my fork. (Which had consequences years later when I had to replace both of my hips!)
I went along this way successfully for a few years. Then, in my senior year of college, I severely injured my knee in a skiing accident. Though I was only 20 at the time, my inability to “burn off” the extra calories I was consuming sent me right back to square one. Now, I was not only extremely conscious of my weight—I was also perpetually frustrated that I had no idea how to control it in a way that felt sustainable, reasonable, or enjoyable.
Through my 20s, I did what a lot of women do—I diet-hopped, yo-yo’d when I couldn’t take the deprivation anymore, and exercised as much as possible while working through my injury.
“From low carb, to calorie counting, to crazy fad diets…
I thought I’d tried EVERYTHING!”
I even got decent results through Weight Watchers for a while… But the idea of having to count points and regulate every single bite I took for the rest of my life?? I knew there was no way I could keep that up.
And I was right. At 38—after almost two decades of fighting with my body and struggling to stay slim—I had a baby. My son, Spencer, brought new light into my life… But his birth sent the few “damage control” methods I’d picked up right out the window.
I struggled to lose the baby weight. I had no self-care regimen. I didn’t have the energy to workout... The more weight I gained, the worse I felt. The worse I felt, the more I ate. The more I ate, the more pressure I felt to “diet.” And the more I dieted, the more I failed.
I went on this way for several years… Miserable, frustrated, eating my feelings and taking care of everyone but myself. Then one day, while commiserating with a friend about my baby-weight frustrations, I got a heaping helping of brutal honesty:
“Dawn, your baby is six! It’s not baby weight anymore.”
The truth hurts! But truth like that can set you free. That was the moment when I knew—if I ever wanted to feel like myself again, love my body, participate in life fully, be there for my kiddo as he grew up… I needed to get my act together, fast.
From there, I took the initiative to start learning about nutrition—not dieting, but real, scientifically-backed strategies for eating in a way that supported my body, boosted my energy, and gave me back my confidence!
I couldn’t believe how misinformed I’d been. Even more than that, I realized that MOST of us aren’t really taught how we’re supposed to eat to feel our best. No wonder so many of us spend our whole lives struggling! Most of the information I’d been fed around “healthy eating” was complete nonsense!
Over the next few years, I started changing not just what I ate—but how I ate, how I treated myself, and how I thought about food. My body, my energy levels, and my entire mindset around wellness were completely transformed.
Friends started asking me—what diet had gotten me these results?? I was elated to tell them—there was NO diet. Even with my health challenges, I was able to make daily, smart choices that added up 1% at a time.
Eventually, I got certified and opened up my nutrition business… And the rest is history!
My story has a happy ending—but my path to better health was anything but easy or linear...
So if you found yourself nodding along throughout this story, please know… You’re not alone, and this isn’t your fault! Like me, you likely were never taught how to balance your eating or make consistently healthy choices.
And as we age, our poor nutritional choices start to catch up with us. We may notice that we can’t participate in life like we used to...
- We’re suddenly out of breath from a flight of stairs
- We slow down
- We don’t have the energy to kick a ball around the backyard or go for that weekend hike
...So we start sitting out and living life from the sidelines.
We smile and cheer on everyone else, but inside, we find
ourselves asking: Is this all there is, for the rest of my life??
If you’re feeling sluggish, lacking confidence, frustrated because your health challenges may prevent you from showing up the way you want to, and you’re ready to get control of your health once and for all—I completely understand, because I’ve been there.
You CAN learn to love food again, have fun making healthy choices, and show up fully and authentically for your life and your family.
Abundant energy, and a full, meaningful life are within your grasp… NO dieting required. Let’s do this together!