Who do I work with?

While my clients are actually diverse in many ways, they have a few things in common:

  • They know they want their lives to be different, but can’t always see the forest for the trees.
  • They want to eat better and move more but think they lack the willpower to do so.
  • They’re skeptical of “hippie crap” and want pragmatic advice they can put to use NOW.
  • They’re organized and motivated, and can’t figure out why they don’t feel in control of their health and life.

I have to give credit where credit is due: my clients are amazing and I am honored to accompany them on their journeys. They make remarkable progress with weight loss, stress management, eating habits, exercise, and overall happiness.

In their own words:

I affectionately refer to Stacy as “my personal cheerleader.” The entire time I’ve been working with her, I’ve suffered from an unknown digestive malady, and Stacy has provided as much medical insight and much more emotional support that any doctor I’ve seen during this time.

I know she says she’s not supposed to provide medical advice, but when it comes to elimination diets and detoxing, in my experience, health coaches give much better advice than MDs. As I’ve struggled with my digestion and my weight, Stacy has encouraged me to cultivate a balanced lifestyle and focus on making positive changes, leading me to have a much higher quality of life than I could have imagined, given the circumstances.

I might be gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free (I miss you, pizza!), but I have amazing friendships, am heavily involved in my community, am building a small business from the ground up, and my endurance is higher than ever. All because I’m working with Stacy to create goals and am reporting back to her every week about what I’ve been up to. She’ll motivate and encourage you like you wouldn’t believe.

Plus, I’m pretty sure that participating in her 2012 January Jumpstart directly led to me meeting my fiancee. Thanks for making my life awesome, Stacy! :)

Anni M., non-profit wizard
Chicago, Illinois
Email coaching client

I received this email after a local client session.

Hi Stacy,

Thank you so much for helping me so much yesterday. You are a gem! So much was accomplished in a small amount of time. I felt worry free last night and actually slept through the night, only getting up once…now that doesn’t happen. Maybe it was the combination of yoga and you!

You are a great listener and problem solver, organized, focused, and insightful. You get things done with ease and have fun while working to accomplish a goal.

With gratitude,


Kim and Stacy, November 2011Before we starting working together, I was overworked and stressed out. I wasn’t eating right and I wasn’t taking care of myself. As a result, I was incredibly unhappy.

Now, I feel great! While I admit that I’m not perfect, I’ve been given the tools I need to “keep at it,” and I feel that the “keep at it” part is what keeps me feeling good. Specifically, I now make regular appointments with myself to keep myself feeling great. I schedule in time for bubble baths, massages, or “do nothing.” I’m able to find a balance that works for me.

What I liked most about the program was the accountability. Every two weeks, I had a list of things I had to work on, and I did it because there was someone on the other end of the line that I had to report to. And every two weeks, it felt great to do a recap of things I’ve accomplished… and we always ended on a high note.

The benefit of doing a program like this is the development of consistent habits. We all know what we’re supposed to be doing, but unless someone will hold us accountable to doing these things (see above), we won’t get into the habit of making it happen for ourselves. Six months is a good length of time to establish and hone better habits.

Stacy, you are a wonderful coach. Insightful, thoughtful and encouraging. You have the ability to simplify my “problems” and help me discover solutions – solutions that are simple and practical so they’re achievable. I don’t think enough of us realize that having a coach is like having a partner, someone in your corner ready to cheer you on… and it’s amazing what you can do once you realize you have that person!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR OUR TIME TOGETHER!!!!! I ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF IT… AND IN THE END, I RAN A 5K!!!!!!! This, coming from someone who said “do anything else, but don’t make me go to the gym.” HA!

[Note from Stacy: Kim didn’t even mention that during her program she lost 30 pounds, started working with a personal trainer, and finally got rid of debilitating daily tension headaches that multiple doctors couldn’t figure out.]

Kim Tran Burnell, urban planner
Orange County, California
Individual coaching client

Kim, RockstarWhen we first started working together I felt really blocked about food. I felt like I wasn’t able to get past things like guilt or regret or I had this very all or nothing approachto eating. Either I was eating everything healthy and I was an awesome person or I ate a piece of cheese and then I was a terrible person and didn’t deserve love. I didn’t have a good mind place for healthy habits.

What surprised me most is that you don’t have to live with anything that sucks in your life. That there’s always a solution and that it’s not necessarily what you’re looking at that once you take a step back and look at the entire picture. Or I feel like just working with you helped me take a step back because you can’t really focus, you can’t fix things in your own life when you can’t see the forest for the trees. I felt like it really surprised me that some of the solutions to my issues were a lot more simple. But the food wasn’t about the food, and the exercise wasn’t about the exercise, it was all about how I was treating myself and how taking care of myself and showing myself love made me want to be healthier.

[People say] “I don’t have the money to spend on myself, I don’t have the time to commit to something really strenuous.” And I tell people that it’s really important to be able to talk to somebody about your whole life and get a different perspective on the things that you’re doing. Because for me it was so important to take myself out of the equation and just let myself roll with my feelings with you there to guide me through. And if you’re stuck, you have some basic problems, not even just health or nutrition or fitness, but I think that just unlocking the road blocks in terms of your career, in terms of your relationships, these are all things you discuss in health coaching.

You can’t turn back time, you can only go forward. If you’re living in the past in all that garbage that you’ve built up around yourself in the past, it’s really hard to push through and go through with your future. I felt like the health coaching really helped me push through. And I think it could work for a lot of other people, too.

It’s hard to put into words because I feel like you really pushed me to improve but not at a pace that wasn’t right for me. I just feel like there’s such a personalization to what I needed in this, and I can’t say that’s it’s even something I thought was going to be able to happen before. I felt like, “Oh, it’s health coaching, maybe I’ll learn something about nutrition,” but I’m so appreciative that I was able to feel comfortable enough to share really intimate details of my life and that I felt like I could trust you and that you were always there supporting me and my decisions. I don’t think there are other venues to receive the support to change than there is with this. Just because of how it encompasses your entire life.

Kimberly Gunderson, singer
Chicago, Illinois
Individual coaching client

Paige, Coach and Client ExtraordinaireBeing a health coach myself, I know the value of coaching and how transformational the experience can be. Even so, I wasn’t prepared for what I experienced working with Stacy.

It’s relatively easy for me to invest money in things that can further my career or help me grow my business, but it’s more challenging for me to invest in things that feel entirely self-serving or that aren’t directly income-producing. Even so, I realized that I was slacking on some aspects of self-care that would directly impact my ability to be a better coach, and I was using the “I’m too busy…” excuse so much that I knew I had to bring in a pro to help me make some changes that I wasn’t making happen on my own.

I entered the program thinking I needed a push to help me exercise more often and to get me back into the green smoothie routine that I’d been slacking on. I’d been juggling a lot lately, and those foundational things had fallen through the cracks. I’d also been feeling a bit stressed and thought it would be helpful to have someone who could regularly talk me down from my figurative crazy-ledge.

In my time with Stacy, what I learned about myself through her guidance went far beyond healthy breakfasts and a regular workout video routine (though giving those more attention was great, too!). I came to understand that I’d been putting myself on a constant guilt trip, not only for not doing those foundational things, but also in how I was approaching my relationship with my finances (specifically, in how I was contributing financially in my household). Stacy helped me have a huge breakthrough that impacted not only my relationship with money, but also my relationship with my long-term boyfriend.

Realizing that the guilt I was experiencing was 100% my own doing (and not pressure from him at all), and understanding that I had been treating the symptoms (trying to make more money to make things “even”) instead of the root of the issue (fear that I just wasn’t a great girlfriend all-around because I spent so much time being stressed out and focused on work) allowed me to make a mental shift that was transformational. I am no longer stressing about whether I am contributing exactly as much financially in our home, but instead thinking about what else I can bring to our home and our relationship. Though it seems simple on the surface, I would have never realized just how much in my life was being impacted by this one factor.

Though I know it will take work for me to continue on this path, I feel that Stacy gave me the tools to continue moving forward powerfully. Without her insightful questions and clear, helpful feedback, I would have never have had this pivotal realization that opened my eyes to what I really needed to be working on. When you work with Stacy, you’re getting a support figure who is entirely dedicated to helping you make the changes you want. Stacy doesn’t mess around–she shows up completely for every session prepared to help you take yourself to the next level. She’s patient as you work through resistance and fear, and you know she has your back no matter what comes up. And even though I have a similar coaching background, I learned so much working with Stacy that I wouldn’t hesitate to hire her again. My experience with her was priceless.

Paige Lysaght, health coach
Stafford, Virginia
Group program participant

Evangeline, Rockstar ClientWhat prompted you to join my program?
An unfavorable test result as a “wake up call” to healthier living. I wanted to be holistically healthy, not just healthy in exercise but terrible in my eating habits. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own (as I’ve tried many times before!) so wanted someone to be accountable to.

Had you worked with a coach before, or was this new for you?
Not with a health coach – I’ve had figure skating coaches my whole life though! So I figured, I have a coach to help me get better with my sport, why not a coach to help me get better with my life??

What were you feeling stuck on when you first started in the program?
Ummm…nothing really….I feel like we set up the program so that wouldn’t happen – like in the first week it was sort of like, getting to know where I was at and so there wasn’t anything that I was like, “oh I can’t do this, I’ve failed!” because you didn’t set it up that way.

What was the most transformative part of your experience with me?
I think having people at work tell me that I looked healthier and better, and having people at work be jealous of the dinners I had brought. 😉 For a start. Like that solidified the thought, “Oh, okay, I CAN do this!”

Tell me about three shifts that you recognized in your life during our time together.

  1. Better skin
  2. Feeling GREAT during tech week – able to get up and have energy because of eating healthy lunches and dinners the day before, and also healthy breakfast.
  3. Drinking more WATER.

What are you most proud of in the last month?
Making all my own food during a tech and preview week!

As our work came to a close, did you feel clear & complete? Or were there any topics we could’ve explored more deeply?
Pretty clear and complete. I mean I felt sort of empty the next week that we didn’t meet, I was like, “Oh, now who do I talk to about my menu plans for the week?” But there was nothing that I’m like, “Oh, I really wish we could have covered THAT.” I feel like what is more important is that you gave me the TOOLS, the resources, and the empowering language and affirmations to instill within me the confidence to do it myself!

What’s next? What are you striding towards?
Hmm…happiness….contentment…fulfillment spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally.

Do you have everything you need to achieve that goal?

If a friend, family member or colleague said to you, “So, how’d it go with Stacy, anyway? Should I reach out to her?” — what would you tell them?

I have already done this; I talked to a set of friends (husband and wife) who were looking to start work with a nutritionist, and I gave them your card and said to absolutely call you. I have a phone date set up with my friend tonight who specifically called me yesterday to ask about you and your work.

I tell people that you are very tuned in to the reality of people’s schedules, lives, and general habits and likes, so that you don’t give people unrealistic goals or ideas of what they can or can’t accomplish, which is something that I had a sort of a stereotype about health coaches/nutritionists. I think that’s the key thing about you, is that you GET IT, and you don’t make people feel badly about having one too many glasses of wine because rehearsal sucked that day. =)

Evangeline Whitlock, stage manager
San Diego, California
Individual coaching client

Greer, Rockstar ClientWhen we first started working together I had just moved to New York and had a lot of career questions. I felt bad about things, I didn’t know what I was doing, was I doing too much, was I doing not enough… and it was very overwhelming and I didn’t know how to sort things out.

The biggest change for me was getting clear on what I actually wanted and how I could get there in the way I wanted. That helped me take a big leap and do something I’d been thinking about for a few years but hadn’t actually done: register for yoga teacher training. I’d had doubts – I’m an opera singer, how can I do both? – and it forced to me ask for financial help, which is something I’m still working on. But the program helped my perspective change so I could see that the job I disliked wasn’t helping me get where I wanted to go, and taking this step was the right direction, even if it was scary.

Having the group there and the other people supporting you where it’s safe and not feeling like you’re whining or bothering anybody is huge, too.

Three shifts I made during the program:
Scheduling. Instead of meandering through the internet avoiding work I didn’t really want to do, I was able to stick to a schedule and get things done. It’s not hard, but going through the program helped me understand what I was going through and why I wasn’t doing what I said I wanted to. Sticking to a schedule helped me feel less pressure and stress, and actually scheduling in lunch made me feel and eat better!

Planning and executing an exit strategy for my job. I wasn’t liking my job, but I felt stuck because I needed the money. Developing the confidence to realize that I didn’t need it made me feel so empowered. I’m always worried about people arguing or not listening to me, so I was scared to talk to my boss. After we talked it through I organized my thoughts and wrote them out, then I visualized the whole conversation. Getting clear really helped me feel confident in the outcome, and when I talked to him, it went really well and wasn’t a big deal.

Asking for help. Swallowing my pride isn’t the right term, but I used to always feel like a mooch when I asked for help. Working with you helped me realize that I can be vulnerable without being needy. I still don’t LIKE asking for help, but we really worked on my money mindset and it helped me realize that I do contribute a lot to my household and relationship that is valuable even if it’s not financial. It was really helpful to re-frame my perspective on that.

Most people understand that therapy is good, but coaching makes you understand why you are the way you are, then gives you the steps to own that and makes changes in a sustainable way. Not to change who you are, but to change your behaviors and reactions. I’ve been noticing my own reactions lately, and learning that when people say something critical it’s not a reflection on me, it’s a reflection on them was a huge realization! Deeply profound, if I can use a redundant phrase.

Coaching is cheaper than therapy, and has been more effective for me. Coaching carries through – you can go back and look at the homework assignments and see your growth. It gives you tools that therapy may not. Therapy is more clinical and less personal. Coaching is more personalized for my life which makes more sense to me.

The experience was concrete but philosophical — I don’t know how you make those go together, but they do! The work seems so simple, but revelatory.

Greer Davis, opera singer
New York, New York
Group program participant