Laura Folkes

Certified Holistic
Health Coach
My Story

“I’ll start tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the day I get motivated to make the changes I know I need to make.” Sound familiar? When I was at my heaviest weight, that was the mantra that went through my head for months at a time.


The Situation

The age of 12 is when my weight struggle began. Between incessant bullying, comments from family members, and ultimately attending my first weight loss meeting at 13, I quickly became pretty self-conscious of my body and my weight.

Through the years I would yo-yo diet, lose 40-pounds and then gain it all back. I hit a point where I was burnt out from dieting, yet really wanted my weight and body to change. I was frustrated because with everything else in life, when I put my mind to something I could make it happen. But, why wasn’t that happening with my weight?

The Shift

My doctor encouraged me to take a medicine to stop overeating. Looking back, I now know it was not the healthiest option, but it did kick-start my weight loss journey by helping me lose 30 pounds*. At the age of 25, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and could either go on medicine for the rest of my life or change my diet. I chose the latter option and lost another 15 pounds*.

In 2006, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, had my thyroid removed and lost my grandmother all within the first 5 months of the year. Needless to say, it was a stressful time in my life and afterwards I found myself a few pounds heavier again. But I decided I wasn’t going back to where I started. So, in January 2007, my friend encouraged me to sign up for a leading weight loss program. Originally, I was skeptical, but I went in ready for a lifestyle change instead of another diet.


The Rollercoaster

To my surprise, I quickly lost 10 pounds and was so close to my goal weight.* Suddenly I was energized! I never thought it would be possible to get into a single digit jean size, but I was wrong! I hit my goal weight in 2008 after losing about 60-pounds and have kept it off since.*

Even though I was maintaining my weight, I continuously found myself eating healthy for a while, followed by eating whatever I wanted for a week or two. I would gain a couple pounds and then I’d work to lose them again. It turned into a vicious cycle where I felt I was constantly consumed by thoughts around food and needing to control my weight.

I could never figure out why I would eat when I wasn’t hungry, or why I couldn’t stop after one bowl of ice cream. One bowl would turn into two, followed by some chips and then a cookie. I would mindlessly graze - moving from one food to the next and would tell myself I would get back on track again tomorrow.

I would get frustrated with my inability to stay focused and in control. Somehow, I would pull it together and get back on track. I thought this was the way things were supposed to be. If I put in more effort, I would continue to get results. I was STUCK in a cycle I couldn’t break.

The Breakthrough

After going through my weight loss journey, I knew I wanted to help others on theirs, so I went back to school to become a certified health coach. At this time, I had more information than ever, yet I was still caught in the gain/loss cycle and felt stuck. I was confused because I figured learning more would help motivate me to be more consistent and finally get me to stop sabotaging my efforts. It wasn’t until I started working with my own health coach that I had my breakthrough.

I learned there was nothing wrong with my self-discipline! I realized food is so much more for many of us than a way to nourish our bodies. There is a lot of meaning, safety, and protection behind the foods we love and eat. As soon as I started realizing my eating was a symptom when I was feeling misunderstood, or at risk of being misunderstood, things really shifted! The day I craved carrots as I walked by dozens of donuts, I knew something had changed! I didn’t need to resist the donuts, deprive myself of them, or white knuckle my way through. I literally didn’t want one!

After this process, I was more convinced than ever that health coaching was my mission. I knew that I had to help others who were stuck on the same rollercoaster and self-sabotaging cycle that I was in for so many years. In 2014, I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach, and in 2019 I got certified as a facilitator of the research-based Truce with Food process. Since then, I have worked with hundreds of clients just like you.

I want to help YOU break the cycle and experience freedom from food. But, it’s important to understand this process is NOT A QUICK FIX and there is no magic shortcut. To truly transform your relationship with food, we will need to go deep through self-examination and rely on honest conversations. Are you ready?

*Results may vary from person to person

Ready to get back on track for good?

Schedule a 50-minute Curiosity Call free from shame, guilt and judgment.
You'll fill me in on your challenges with your relationship with food, gain some insight, and will have a safe space to talk about what's been swirling around in your mind. You'll walk away knowing the steps to create sustainable change (no willpower required)!

There's absolutely no charge for our first chat.
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1821 W. Belmont Ave.

Chicago, IL 60657

(Doing business in Tribe)

[email protected]

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