Hello! I am Susan Moreschi, a happily married woman in my mid-fifties, and I live in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma, California. I’m grateful to be in excellent health, and I have an ever-growing passion for helping others to love themselves enough to make their health a top priority in their lives. Here is a bit of my story:
I was a child of the sixties, and that was the time when all the new-fangled “convenience foods” were coming quite into vogue. Of course I loved all that stuff, from orange push-ups and fudge cicles, those delectable frozen treats in the summer, to Dairy Queen and MacDonald’s and Arby’s all year long.
Very fortunately for me, my mother was much more health-conscious than most moms of her day. We never had sodas in our house, or chips, or fried foods, or white bread. We rarely went to those fast-food places. Somehow my wise mother knew, even without any nutritional training, that those foods just weren’t good for her family. And though I was rebellious in other ways, I never rebelled against her proclivity to offer us kids vegetables, wheat bread, broiled chicken or fish, and fruit for dessert and snacks rather than junk.
At age fifteen, I became a vegetarian and read quite a lot about health food and vegetarian diets. Frances Moore Lappe was my inspiration. Even with our family’s healthy eating by those standards in those days, and plenty of exercise (I was an intrepid year-round hiker through the miles of woods that surrounded my home), I was still a chubby young teenager.
It was embarrassing. I was ashamed of my body. I wanted to hide my pudgy self. Other girls my age seemed so slender and they looked so good in their clothes, and I just felt dumpy. What was wrong with me?
So one summer I decided to take matters in my own hands. I put myself on a low-calorie diet. I don’t even know where I got the idea to do that—nobody told me that was how to lose weight. I bought myself a little pocket calorie-counter booklet and I took that book everywhere. I wrote down everything I ate and added up my caloric intake. I was shocked at how quickly those calories added up.
After just a few days of this practice and being amazed at the caloric totals staring me in the face at the end of each day, I decided to limit myself to 1000 calories a day. Thus began a long and, as I look back, extremely punishing relationship with my body and food.
I quickly lost weight and the triumph of that was so seductive that I just kept on being on that diet indefinitely. I went from probably 125 pounds down to 98, and if the scale ever tipped 100 (I weighted myself obsessively every day), then I would just not eat for the entire day until I went back down to 98. I even imagined that I was practicing to be a concentration camp survivor, in case that ever happened to me. I did have a pretty vivid adolescent imagination.
I would later come to find out that this was an eating disorder called anorexia. But at the time, it seemed to me like a normal way to live.
Inevitably, though, it couldn’t last. When I went off to college, I just couldn’t sustain my now several-year practice of starving myself.
That, coupled with my rudimentary understanding of how to eat a balanced diet without my mother’s guidance and cooking, led to a huge over-indulgence in dairy products, breads and other carbs, and sweets. I really was like a kid in a candy store, and ate whatever I felt like whenever I felt like it.
My weight spiked back up again and for all of my twenties, I was overweight, even though I worked at health food stores and in health food restaurants. I just ate lots of healthy dairy and sweet treats and way too few vegetables. But even more than that, I just felt so lost and so unworthy.
Finally, I went to see a therapist. I thought surely a therapist would help me get rid of all this unwanted weight. When I told him that this was why I was there to see him, he told me that we wouldn’t be focusing on weight loss or food, and that by working on my deeper family-based issues, the weight issue would resolve itself on its own. I was pretty mad at him for telling me this, but since he was awfully cute, I decided to continue. He was right.
Within a year of working with him, without making any real effort to lose weight, my weight normalized and it has been relatively effortless to maintain my normal weight since. This ease has come about because I finally began the process of healing my deep self-hate and learning to love myself.
Learning to love my body was a huge part of discovering what it was to love me. I was, and still am, so moved by what a profound difference it makes to live my life loving myself that I am committed to holding a torch so others who choose to can find their way to loving themselves.
Twenty years ago I earned a MS in Clinical Psychology, but instead of finishing my training to become a therapist, I entered into the profession of life coaching, which I still do to this day.
Thanks to my dear friend, Fay Epps, I enrolled in the holistic health coach training program offered through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I now combine my years of experience with life coaching with my personal passion for health and nutrition to provide my clients with tools and skills to open their hearts to evermore loving of themselves and their lives.