Hi, I'm Emily
I’m 37-years old & I live in Kankakee, IL with my husband Dave and our retired drug K9 Athos. I love walking our dog, practicing hot yoga, trying all the delicious foods at the local farmers' market, getting dressed up, trying new restaurants, and relaxing beach vacations. In the summer you can find me: on our boat, paddle boarding, or playing catch with Athos in the river in our backyard. In the winter, I’m probably hibernating under a blanket on the couch while simultaneously browsing Pinterest and watching Netflix, or cooking comfort foods.
I help people make peace with food and silence the voice in their heads that is always telling them they’re not good enough. I love to eat delicious food. The more interesting and intense the flavors are - the better! Some of my favorite foods are: soft, doughy bread, chips & salsa, pasta covered in garlicky pesto sauce, all the CHEESE (especially when it’s melted), any combination of chocolate & peanut butter, and my favorite ice cream Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough. I also enjoy having a glass of pinot noir from time to time.
However, this wasn’t always the case. For decades, I feared food and allowed my day to either be “good” or “bad," depending on what I ate and the number on the scale. I struggled with severe disordered eating thoughts and behaviors. Whenever I ate something that I perceived as “bad," I would feel an incredible amount of guilt; I would try to make up for it by restricting food, exercising like a maniac, or both. I would put a ton of pressure on myself to eat “perfect” all the time, but I constantly felt like a failure. Oh, and I HATED my body!
Nearly, every minute of my free time was spent obsessively studying nutrition & researching weight loss like it was my job, and ironically, it was. I worked as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and led individual & group nutrition courses at a medically based fitness center. I was constantly searching for the missing “piece of the puzzle,” and trying to find the “secret," so I could finally have the “perfect” body & help all my clients who were struggling as well.
The secret is: there is no secret!
It seemed like the more fitness & nutrition knowledge I gathered, the more confused I became. It was impossible to put all the information into practice. I obsessively thought about food, which only led to feelings of guilt & shame, and further dislike for my body. I noticed that many of the hundreds of fitness & nutrition clients I’d worked with over the past decade were also struggling with similar challenges and saying, “I know what I should be doing/eating … but I’m not.”
One day everything changed. I was scrolling through Facebook, and I saw an advertisement for the Institute for the Psychology of Eating that said, “Become an Eating Psychology Coach, and help people transform their relationship with food”. The moment I saw the words Eating & Psychology smooshed together, it was literally like the clouds parted & angels came playing trumpets. This was the moment I realized that we all have a RELATIONSHIP with food (and mine was bad).
Transforming my relationship with food is what I, and everyone else I knew who was struggling, needed.
I graduated as a Certified Eating Psychology Coach in 2017, and ever since then it’s been full speed ahead – educating & spreading awareness on social media, public speaking & presentations; and working with clients one-on-one - first in person, then in 2020, #BecauseOfCovid, launching my own virtual, private practice.
I use an anti-diet approach to help people transform their relationship with food and improve body image. This work also brings awareness to eating mindfully & the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating. My philosophy is rooted in Health at Every Size (HAES®) and gentle nutrition.
Besides being a certified Eating Psychology Coach (Institute for the Psychology of Eating, 2017), I also hold the following degrees & certifications:
Bachelor’s of Science Degrees in Psychology & Communications from Illinois State University, 2005
Personal Trainer, certified by the American Council on Exercise, 2011
Indoor Cycling Instructor, certified by Mad Dogg Spinning, 2012
Aquatic Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis, certified by Aqua MS, 2013
Post-Cancer Exercise Specialist, certified by Cancer Exercise Training Institute ,2014
200-hour Registered Yoga Instructor, Licensed through Yoga Alliance, 2015
Functional Medicine Certified Wellness Coach, Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, 2016