With over 10 years experience in corporate wellness structures and strategies, Barb has personally coached more than 1,000 individuals at multiple industry worksites.
Realistic Lifestyle Solutions incorporates her successful solution-driven moderation & balance approaches to realistic lifestyle change through holistic well-being coaching, personal training and worksite initiatives.
Authentic, relatable and Barb "gets it." Read her backstory to find out why.
After over a decade as a Benefits Consultant (CEBS), Barb turned her interests to Wellness Programming and Coaching after overcoming her own unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Barbara is a Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Motivational Speaker and Author. In 2002 she wrote the book, The Pizza and Ice Cream Diet, revealing the myths, lies and deceptions of the food and diet industry. She then wrote two more books, Find Your Balance in an Out of Balance World and Drive-Thru Kitchen (a healthy cooking guide).
Barb joined Innovative Wellness Solutions in 2008 where she designed and implemented "best in class" workplace wellness program initiatives. As Director of Lifestyle Coaching, Barbara developed a lifestyle coaching initiative geared towards helping at-risk employees with a holistic philosophy to overcome mental, emotional and environmental barriers to changing behavior. She co-wrote a formal Corporate Coach Training Program that was certified by the International Coaching Federation to train coaches in the unique environment of workplace coaching and culture change.
Over the last four years Barb continued to nurture her passion to inspire and motivate people to achieve their realistic goals by managing a worksite in the Charlotte area. She achieved an 80% return rate on incentivized initial coaching visits and 80% of employees coached reduced their risk factors. She created, designed and successfully implemented programs and challenges that exceeded expectations of engagement and change.
Barb is passionate about her message of simple, solution-driven moderation & balanced approach to lifestyle change. She is a fun, relatable speaker and educator with an emphasis on real-life practical solutions. Her list of workshops includes entertaining cooking shows geared towards busy people with little time to cook, sustainable weight loss challenges and stress workshops.
She enjoys being "present" with her three grandchildren and observing her three sons create their own individual place in life. Her life is full of more thorns than roses (!), but with her husband/best friend by her side, together they strive to maintain a welcoming home of peace, humor and gratitude.
I can honestly say I've been preparing for this "role" I have in life since the age of 10. That’s when I went on my first diet. My mother was a dieter, my sister was a dieter. I think it may run in our genes. I became an expert at dieting and had a shelf of books, products, pills and the next one “at the ready” until I was almost 40. It’s not that they didn’t work, it’s just it didn’t last. With each new "way" I tried, the more dysfunctional my thinking and the worse my “off the diet” eating habits became. It was an obsession. How disciplined I was with food and exercise became a barometer for who I was as a human being. It’s hard to say those words, but it was true.
I think "my moment” that started the mental and physical transformation in me came while following a diet and fitness book called “Body for Life.” One of the inspiring analogies made a point that “making and keeping a promise to yourself is as important as one you make to your child.” It really inspired me to believe I could achieve my “body for life.” Well, one day, I wandered off track and mindlessly ate a box of Captain Crunch one handful at a time. When I snapped out of it and realized what I had done, I felt horrible about myself in a deeper way than any other binge loathing aftermath I’d ever experienced. I had betrayed my children! Once I picked my broken self up off the floor and returned to “reality,” I vowed to never, ever diet again. And I didn’t.
It wasn’t easy though. How could I possibly trust myself without a diet to follow or a guru to guide me? Would I have to give up the calorie torching exercise regime I forced myself to do to pay penance for the binge I had the night before? After all, I could never just eat normally like those skinny girls do. They are so lucky they are not like me As if I had some defect that doomed me to be a weak, donut-eating slug.
Well, something unexpected happened. During my gradual free-fall from listening to everyone and everything else, I found a voice inside of me. And when I listened to it, it generally told me the right thing to do. I started to make decisions based on what I wanted – for myself. I realized that while I was allowing myself to binge eat and lay on the couch all night after sitting all day, it wasn’t making me happy and it certainly didn’t feel good! I never realized I was capable and I didn’t have to listen to anyone except my own body and my own self. I had gained control over my decisions and I became “ one of those people” who didn’t have an issue with food and the scale. I've been this way for the last 18 years.
Finding my inner voice with my personal food issues gave me the foundation to find my inner voice and perspective with other issues that controlled my life like how I managed stress, anxiety, conflict, fears, guilt, etc. What I found to be really profound is how all of those thoughts and feelings circle around and impact how we treat and take care of ourselves.
It’s all interrelated. It’s very complex, yet, the solutions can be so simple. And the challenge/solutions are unique to everyone. My story is different than your story, so your solutions may be different. Supporting others to find their inner voice, their connections to their thoughts and feelings and watching them discover their own "way" to a better "self" is what I do. Celebrating with them is a reward that is priceless. :)