At the age of 15, I came home from school to find all of my belongings on the front porch with a note that said, “You no longer live here.” That was when my weight struggle began. I shuffled around from friend’s house to friend’s house until their parents started asking questions.
“Doesn’t she have a family?” “Where are her parents?” “How long does she plan on staying with us?”
That last one would be my signal to hit the road again. I didn’t want to impose, and my family life was too complicated to explain.
Being on your own at a young age does something to you…it forces you to grow up quickly, develop serious survival instincts, and learn to be “emotionally independent.” Lacking a consistent pillow to lay my head on at night, I knew I had to do something fast…so I put on my game face and figured out how to survive on my own. I found an apartment, a job and enrolled myself in home study.
Despite my warrior façade, at night the pain would hit me. I felt rejected, unloved, abandoned, and lonely. I was just a little girl and had no one to depend on. So, in order to cope with the emptiness, I tried to “fill myself” with love—and began to overeat.
Of course I didn’t want to be overweight, but I couldn’t control myself. So I started working out obsessively. I binged at night, trying to fill the void that was my broken heart. Then I would wake up in the morning, disgusted with myself, and hit the gym.
I established a routine: Wake up guilt-ridden from the previous night’s binge and vow that today would be different, the start of a new, healthy me. I would dive head-first into the big new diet, a new workout program, any and every quick solution du jour that promised to make me look like a supermodel and make all my problems disappear.
Of course, nothing worked. Diet after diet, binge after binge…none offered permanent results. There were fleeting moments of success—after all, you can’t eat just cabbage soup for three weeks and not lose weight. But the emotional urges that tortured me at night would always return, along with the weight.
Geneen Roth’s book “When Food is Love” was the first thing I discovered that helped me understand why I couldn’t control myself around food, but it didn’t offer a solution. There were a myriad workbooks and questions to reflect on, but regardless of how introspective I got and how hard I applied myself, when that craving hit I just couldn’t walk away from the only thing that made me feel safe.
Five years ago, my therapist (who is the only reason I am not holed up in a halfway house in East Los Angeles, bless his soul) attended a seminar where he was introduced to a cutting-edge technique called EFT. He thought it might be immediately effective in addressing my emotional eating disorder.
He said, “This stuff may seem a bit woo-woo but it’s proven to have tremendous efficacy. I’d like to try it on you.” Of course I was game—I’d try anything to heal ten years of eating disorder hell.
So we tried it, and it worked. We tested it on my recollection of arriving home to my belongings on the front porch, and five minutes later, I was laughing about a memory that would typically unfailingly bring me to tears.
I learned the process so I could apply it to myself, in any situation that conjured up anxiety—when I was feeling lonely at night, when I was anxious about a test, when I got a craving for chocolate…
My life started to change. Issues I had been struggling with in therapy for years resolved within a few days. My nightly emotional binges became rare occurrences, and when they did come, I could used EFT to immediately neutralize them. Soon I realized my clothes were falling off of me—I was losing weight without consciously making an effort!
Beginning to Bloom
I also started making huge advances in my career. I became one of the highest-paid executives at a large, national bank. I bought myself a fancy car and a big house with a view overlooking a golf course (actually, I bought three houses…but who’s counting?). I was 24 years old, rolling in dough, loving life, skinny and happy. I felt like I had the world at my fingertips.
Then the real estate bubble burst—and so did my ego…and my inflated bank account. I decided I wanted to do something to make a difference in the world. I no longer wanted to sell something just for the sake of a paycheck. I wanted to do something that came from a place of love that I had discovered within myself.
In 2007, I resigned from my corporate career and immersed myself into the exploration of weight loss and psychotherapy. I studied any “alternative solution” to the status quo diet techniques I could get my hands on. I took courses and got accreditation in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Quick REMap, Rapid Eye Therapy and Reiki.
A Science-Based Solution
From 15 years of research on self-sabotage, emotional eating, modern psychology and neuroscience emerged the foundational philosophies and science that I use in my programs. Yes, there is real science to back this stuff up, and now there are credible resources and studies showing the efficacy of these methods (check out my blog for details!).
My “secret sauce” is an East-meets-West approach based on leading edge psychology, neuroscience and Eastern philosophy.
My mission is clear and my passion is unbridled: to offer my students a simple, science-based solution that eliminates food cravings and emotional eating issues in minutes, not years. The fact that this little passion brings peace, happiness and self-love to so many other people, as it did for me, constantly encourages me to spread the love farther and wider.