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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Weight Loss Coach Takes Compassionate, Can-do Approach Toward Wellness

by Sheila Julson

Personal wellness coach Sheryl Quesnel has walked a mile in her clients’ shoes and knows first-hand how difficult it can be to achieve lasting weight loss. Through an assertive, yet compassionate, coaching style, Quesnel works with others via telephone to educate, guide, trouble-shoot and equip them for transformational results. “This isn’t another diet. My approach deals with the underlying cause of stubborn weight,” she affirms.

Quesnel had struggled with her weight for many years, despite following all the typical weight loss protocols such as calorie restriction, working out, cardio exercises, fad diets and more. Diabetes runs in her family; her grandfather, father and brother are all diabetic. She was going down the same road. “I felt horrible and had crippling blood sugar problems. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch for the rest of the day after I ate,” she recalls. “I thought ‘this isn’t right. This isn’t the way our bodies were designed to be.’”

Quesnel decided to fight back against her health challenges and began researching her ailments. “I learned more about insulin resistance, the body’s protective measure against spiking toxic levels of insulin through eating too much of certain types of food or too frequently,” explains this passionate coach, who adds that too much insulin causes cell receptors to close and prevent insulin from bringing in glucose. “Now, you’ve got all this sugar floating around in the body, and insulin begins to tuck it away into organs, as toxic, inflammatory fat. This leads to weight gain and eventually a pre-diabetes diagnosis.”

To kick off her journey back to health, Quesnel began eating a low-carbohydrate diet and altered her eating patterns. She also addressed her mental-emotional relationship with food. “The weight just melted right off,” she says. “I felt better, I didn’t struggle with my adrenals, and I didn’t feel bad every time I ate. Bonus: I’m now a 57-year-old woman who sleeps well at night.”

While many people point toward processed foods in the Standard American Diet (SAD) as the main culprit in weight gain and poor health, Quesnel has a different theory. “The Food Pyramid is where it all began going wrong,” she says. “At one point in time, most people weren’t overweight. Now, most people have weight problems. We’ve been told how to eat using the Food Pyramid, which guides us to eat large amounts of grains. How do we fatten up cattle? We feed them grains.”

Quesnel notes that Americans also have been advised to eat often—three meals a day plus snacks, which spikes insulin frequently and results in the same issues of insulin resistance. “My two-pronged approach hits two things; it hits what we eat or don’t eat, and the frequency that we eat. That’s the way I attack insulin resistance and get results.”

One of the tools in Quesnel’s kit is her certification in the Berg Method, developed by Dr. Eric Berg, a chiropractor who set out on a journey to solve his own health problems and discovered that eating a low-carb diet, while adjusting the frequency in which one eats, addresses both weight issues and insulin resistance. While low-carb diets such as ketogenic is popular, Quesnel emphasizes that she teaches a more approachable model. “I teach healthy keto, which is crucial to good nutrition. SAD doesn’t feed our cells the way they need to be fed. My approach is to support nutrition, which can alleviate cravings and hunger. People see success and actually report wanting to eat this way for the rest of their lives because they don’t feel deprived.”

Quesnel’s approach also incorporates healthy fats. “Every cell in our body needs good fats to absorb nutrition and protect the cells,” she explains. “The brain also needs fats, and fat keeps us satisfied between meals.” She cites examples such as olive oil; grass-fed butter, which contains choline, a substance that helps detoxify the liver; avocados; and nuts in moderation. She notes that a common belief is that grains are necessary for fiber, but vegetables are full of fiber and are nutritionally dense.

Quesnel always encourages her clients to work in conjunction with their medical practitioners. She emphasizes that while coaching is not a substitute for medical advice, it can offer the guidance and nonjudgmental support and inspiration people need to get started and keep going on their weight loss and wellness journeys.

“I’ve been there,” she concludes. “Having struggled, I naturally can encourage and come from a place of compassion, because I know what that journey is like. When you feel good, you can find joy in almost everything. I want to help people realize that.”

For more information about consults and packages, contact Sheryl Quesnel at 208-267-1990 or visit
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