My Life as an Eating Psychology Coach: Cynthia Lehew-Nehrbass

What made you want to become an Eating Psychology Coach in the first place?

After over three decades in professional dance education, and many additional years of experience dealing with my own body image and eating issues – as well as those of other dancers I’ve worked with – I felt called to expand my knowledge and teaching into a different arena. I was looking into Master’s programs for holistic nutrition, dance therapy, and even health psychology, when I discovered the online Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training with Marc David. After learning about the program, the premise behind the work, the number of lives changed, the sound nutritional Training, and counseling techniques, I just knew it was the right fit. This was exactly what I wanted to do: help others regain their lives by creating a better relationship with food and their bodies.

What do you love about being an Eating Psychology Coach?

I’m blessed to work with so many different kinds of people, all with their own unique gifts, concerns and stories, and help them discover more about themselves in their journey toward better health. Nourishment is a fundamental need in life, whether it is for the body, mind or soul. We all have this in common. Whether it be helping a fearful woman who blames her being overweight for a miscarriage to find a more nourishing relationship with food and body so she can joyfully enter into motherhood, or assisting a teenager who desperately restricts calories learn to accept her natural curves and enjoy eating again, or encouraging a middle-aged man to discover the wisdom behind his nightly binges — this work is both powerful and fulfilling.

What does your practice look like?

My coaching style is a creative one that balances sound education and individualized “discovery” work. Together with my client, we design (or I say “choreograph”) their own unique program. Because of my background as a dance teacher, a mom with a special needs child, and someone with my own disordered eating and health issues with IBD and Celiac disease, I have real life experience in many different areas. I don’t specialize but instead tend to work with women who have body image or weight concerns, people with food allergies and aversions, those with disordered, restrictive or binge eating habits, as well as those with digestive illnesses or concerns. I prefer to work with clients in person, but I will consult via email/phone combination, and even Skype if so desired. I offer group workshops for women on Nourishing the Body, Mind, and Soul, Nutrition for the Dancer, and Fighting the Fear of Food.

How did your education at the Institute prepare you to work successfully with clients?

The Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training took me from point A to Z by providing extensive information on relevant nutritional and counseling topics, offering the most current nutritional Training in holistic nutrition, advanced coaching tips and troubleshooting, information on developing my business, and concrete examples of how to work with many different types of clients. The staff at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating was very invested in my success as a coach, going even as far as testing my knowledge, checking in on my progress and being available for any questions or concerns along the way. By the time I graduated, I felt fully prepared to begin my career as a Certified Eating Psychology Coach.

What was your favorite aspect of the Training?

I would have to say the synthesis and availability of all of the modes of Training made the whole experience enjoyable and unique. Whether it was the option to listen to the audios whenever and wherever, be able to talk to Marc David directly via the teleclasses, use the handouts as study guides and coaching outlines, participate with other class members and the Institute staff in curriculum discussions (via Facebook and the online platforms), and the live event and graduation – all were truly memorable! If I had to choose, the epitome was the opportunity to witness Marc teach and coach, meet the Institute staff, and share experiences (and hugs) with all my “tribe” cohorts at the live conference. It was a fabulous time!

How has being an Eating Psychology Coach impacted your professional life/financial well-being?

The whole experience has re-charged my professional life by making me a more invested and creative dance teacher while affording me a coaching career that is equally rewarding. The Training has given me greater insight into how to guide others (whether in dance or health) to not just achieve goals, but to enjoy the process and let go of perfection. Since I’ve done a lot of pro-bono work to jumpstart my coaching business, I haven’t yet reaped the financial rewards. The greater impact is what I’ve received from knowing that I have a life-long, satisfying career ahead of me – helping others.

How has being an Eating Psychology Coach impacted your personal life?

Not surprisingly, going through the Training significantly impacted how I understand myself including my gifts, fears, insecurities, strengths, and so much more! There is no way to escape the transformation that comes from studying and practicing this work. And now, every time I work with a client, and hear their story, I find myself learning even more. With each session, in addition to honing my skills, I often gain greater clarity about who I am and the purpose of my own journey. You pay it forward, but you receive far more in return. The struggles and joys of my own life story have come full circle in my coaching practice and through it I have become a more complete person.

What do you see for yourself in your future as an Eating Psychology Coach – where is your work evolving towards?

I want to continue to coach as many clients as I can (both dancers and non-dancers) and see myself doing more work within the areas of body image and disordered eating. I’d like to focus on educating women of all ages on how to love and nourish their bodies. I would also like to broaden their understanding of how fear of food, body-hate, and dieting affect the digestive and immune systems. Someday, I have great hopes of publishing on these or other eating psychology topics in order to help as many people as possible find joy, peace, and balance in their health and eating.

Why would you recommend the Training to others?

I would highly recommend this Training to anyone who wants to help others and/or themselves transform their relationship with food, their bodies, and the act of nourishing oneself in general. It is a unique, multi-faceted approach that stimulates and challenges the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and creative parts of your learning brain. To get the most of it requires engaging fully, personally digging deep and being open for change and possibilities. Just like you ask your clients to do certain thing, you will be asked to do the work yourself – so you should ready to go all in! The outcome is rewarding and prepares you to become a more generous and well-informed coach.

Anything else you’d like to share about being an Eating Psychology Coach?

Being a Certified Eating Psychology Coach is a great mix of hard work and fulfillment. It is a blessing when you watch your clients transform before your eyes as they discover things about themselves that they did not know before and embark on a new journey toward a more healthy and satisfying life. You will want to laugh and cry with them as they ride the waves of uncertainty toward success; and you will be richly rewarded, simply by being a witness, and guide for their journey.

NAME: Cynthia Lehew-Nehrbass, (CEPC) Certified Eating Psychology Coach, and Health Choreographer
BUSINESS: Choreograph Your Health

BIO: Cynthia is a certified Eating Psychology, Mind-Body Nutrition and Life Coach, degreed dance teacher/choreographer, published author, special needs advocate and mom of two with nearly 30 years experience educating others in movement, body awareness, nutrition and self-care. Her creative and individualized coaching approach educates and supports the whole person: mind, body, spirit and soul.

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About The Author
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating is an educational organization unlike any other. We’re on a mission to forever change the way the world understands food, body and health. We offer trainings for professionals, programs for the public, online events, live workshops and conferences, as well as plenty of free online content and inspiration. The Institute is the world’s first and only teaching organization dedicated to a forward thinking, positive, holistic approach to eating psychology. Our students, friends and tribe come from all walks of life and many different countries with this one common goal – to learn a better way to heal our relationship with food, body, planet, and soul. It’s time for a fresh, new approach. It’s time to find real and lasting relief from our eating challenges, and to finally discover a relationship with food and body that’s truly nourishing and empowering. Please join us in a new movement that’s making a real difference in the world!