Julie Reisler knows all about January diets gone bad.
The 41-year-old Howard County mother of two once struggled with emotional eating and remembers the unkept promises to lose weight and “be good.”
“It was a typical yo-yo cycle — undereating, overeating,” says Reisler, who now teaches courses on fitness, meditation and nutrition.
After years of teaching a nationally acclaimed program on mindful eating, she’s currently developing her own personal development, mindfulness and nourishment program called “Hungry For More.”
“I would have a rough day, come home, eat the biggest bag of M&Ms, and then not eat dinner,” she says. “It’s a horrible cycle that I think a lot of people understand.”
Reisler, who spent more than a decade doing franchise recruiting for a national restaurant, says Overeaters Anonymous helped her change and inspired her to become a certified health and wellness coach.
“She’s really motivational,” says Dr. Betty Y. Wang, managing partner at BW Primary Care in Eldersburg, who was a fitness client of Reisler’s before they began collaborating. “It really is her life-calling.”
Wang now requires her Mind, Body Empowerment patients to attend at least one of Reisler’s sessions on exercise or topics such as “Goals and Vision.”
“I’m big into tapping into your natural resources,” says Reisler, who lives near Maple Lawn and recently remarried. “I’m guiding, but I don’t have all the answers. I’m helping pull it out.”
In addition to leading small group sessions at the Eldersburg office and for various nonprofits and workplaces, Reisler coaches clients over the phone and teaches at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in Laurel and at UMBC Training Centers in Columbia.
She is also writing a workbook and working on a series of video podcasts called “Happy, Healthy You” and a short film about emotional eating.
Reisler’s teaching focuses on helping clients tune into their emotions and motives and to slow down. She encourages clients to think of themselves as a research project, asking themselves how food is affecting them rather than banning certain foods or counting calories.
“Eating becomes autopilot,” she says. “I look at it more holistically.”