Hi there! I am Michelle Bailen, Health and Wellness Coach and busy mom of two boys. I support women in creating a healthy relationship with food and their bodies. If you are tired of struggling with yo-yo dieting, emotional eating, or out of control sugar cravings, it is time to “Befriend Your Body”.

I have a confession to make….

Healthy eating didn’t come easily to me. I struggled for many years with a secret dysfunctional relationship with food and body image. It started in my teen years when I became obsessed with my weight and started dieting. I would proudly starve myself at school, play sports, and go home ravenous.

By the time I came home, my hunger took over and I would eat out of control. Feeling guilty from my lack of willpower, I would run downstairs and exercise for hours in attempts to burn off the excess calories I consumed. Many nights I would sneak into the kitchen and eat ice cream or cookies after my family was asleep.

I hated myself for my out of control emotional eating and inability to stick to any diet. As my binge eating continued, I started to use laxatives as well as obsessive exercise to control my weight. Although I stopped abusing the pills after a few years, it took me almost two decades to move past yo-yo dieting and emotional eating.

My personal pain became my passion….

I never thought my history with dysfunctional eating and poor body image could serve as a blessing. It has led me on a journey to find the true definition of health and wellness.

I started to learn to appreciate my body more when I became pregnant with my first child. After many years as an elementary school teacher and seeing firsthand the importance of a healthy lifestyle (it always starts with the mom) I knew I had to treat myself better since it was no longer just about me. I learned to love exercise for the way it made me feel, rather than a means to keep off the pounds.

Becoming a Mom created many new challenges….

Even though I knew I was on the path to better health, being a new mom was often exhausting and overwhelming. My lack of energy from sleepless nights led me back to sugar, café mochas, and crappy carbs. I was very uncomfortable with my cooking skills and my family lived on a three-meal rotation of pizza, pasta, and frozen nuggets. I started to feel like a failure and knew I needed to step it up and learn how to feed my family well.

Leaving my old habits behind, I knew I could empower others to do the same….

I decided to become a fitness instructor and ACE certified Personal Trainer. I started to motivate others to improve their health, which was very exciting to me. The fitness field is fun and rewarding, but not enough to help people discover their healthiest self. My clients were still struggling with weight issues, low energy, and general confusion about what to eat. I understood their confusion; after all, I had dozens of diet books on my bookshelves and had no idea where to start giving advice.

Putting it all together…

My passion to feed my family well and provide my personal training clients with the best opportunity to thrive led me to pursue nutrition education. I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods. By combining my expertise in the fitness industry with health counseling, I am able to provide my clients with a complete path to wellness.

It doesn’t have to be a struggle…

My clients are not the only ones who have benefitted from my career as a health counselor. My husband and two young sons have been enjoying healthier, delicious meals. Shockingly- they even ask for kale chips, green smoothies, oatmeal and butternut squash. I am no longer confused in the kitchen and I cook almost all of our meals at home. This change has greatly reduced our food expenses. What I have learned to do and teach others to do is make gradual easy lifestyle changes without focusing on calorie counting or list of good and bad foods. My clients are constantly surprised and relieved about how easy it is…. With all of the diets and weight loss gimmicks constantly bombarding us with distorted information, I am honored to be able to share real advice to promote true health and wellness.

Michelle and JustinMy vision as a health and wellness coach…

To empower women all over the world to Befriend Their Bodies by letting go of dieting, guilt, and shame and falling in love with true nourishment and self-care.

I believe we all deserve to be our best, most vibrant healthiest selves.  I am grateful every day for the opportunity to share my passion for health with my family, friends, and clients.