Sarah | Chicago, IL

The day I asked Hillary for help was a day my life changed immeasurably for the better.  In my 20s, I enjoyed a skinny body that I maintained with excessive cardio and ridiculous eating habits (pre-packaged, “low-fat,” low nutrition foods and intermittent starvation).  By the time I turned 30, I found myself in the middle of an Ob/Gyn residency.  I could not afford to be hungry or spend hours on the Stairmaster anymore.  I was often sleep-deprived, short on free time and personal support, and more stressed than I had known possible.  I turned to food to soothe myself.  4 pieces of pizza at 4am on Labor and Delivery?  Why not? 2 pieces of grocery store white cake for someone’s birthday?  Yes please.  After finishing my medical training at age 36, I was a solid 15 pounds heavier than I was when I started.

This insidious weight gain gradually demoralized me.  It took another year before I was really ready for a change.  I kept thinking, I am physician- shouldn’t I be able to figure this out on my own?  I know what’s good for me and what isn’t.  I don’t want to calorie-count or feel hungry… maybe this is just what 37 looks like on me!

Hillary has been one of my best friends for more than 15 years.  She has always been the kind of person who can listen without judging- that’s who she is.  Until becoming one of her clients, I didn’t realize how perfectly suited her personality is for her profession.  When I asked her for help, she didn’t bat an eye.  When I asked her if my goals were unrealistic, she didn’t hesitate.  Immediately after starting to work with her, I also realized that her professionalism and skill are a truly remarkable.  Her ideas seem simple, but they are backed by a thoughtfulness and knowledge base that make them the building blocks for effective, sustainable lifestyle change.   She creates a working environment that makes it easy to be honest about what is not working.  She makes it possible, even easy to direct effort in a new direction.  I lost that 15 pounds in 3 months, and it didn’t even feel hard!  I love the food I eat.  I feel better than I did in my 20s, and that demoralized feeling fell off of me along with the weight.  Hillary is a warm, friendly, simply beautiful mom, but don’t be fooled.  Behind the approachable front, she is fiercely knowledgeable and persistent.  She is the best of the best, and I’m so fortunate to have had her help as well as her friendship.

Christie VanderLaan