What’s My Story and Why Can I Help?

Hi, I’m Laura Jarrait, and I’m a weight-loss coach for women who adore good food. The women I work with don’t want to restrict, diet, or give up socializing, but they are tired of feeling “bleh” and guilty or anxious around food. I teach them how to drop unnecessary weight and feel great again, without ending thier love affair with food.

…This page contains my story about how I came to be so passionate about this.

If your story sounds anything like mine, and you want to feel great in and about your body and eat with peace and pleasure, I invite you to stick around!

My own love affair with good food started as a newly married woman more years ago than I will reveal! I grew up eating standard family dinners (my mom could fry some excellent chicken!) and lots of fast food and convenience store junk on the weekends during long hours of ballet rehearsal (Nerds in Slurpees, anyone?!). My mother-in-law was a very good cook and had subscriptions to Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Gourmet magazines. They were also a family of readers. So, sitting around on family visits, I’d pick up the magazines to browse. When I read the recipes I thought, “ooh, that sounds good, I think I’ll make it”. The math-y part of my brain paid off (before becoming a yoga teacher, I worked as a health insurance actuary, then high school math teacher)! From zero experience or training, my interest, skill, and love of cooking and eating good food began. I experimented with all kinds of dishes, and my absolute favorite thing to bring to any potluck style gathering was the dessert – definitely loved to bring the food that everyone would rave about!

Since then I’ve spent my adult life in two major food cities, New Orleans for 17 years and Charleston for the last five. Both cities are sensual, so much about place and entertainment through food, I am in my element. Between access to world-class restaurants, my sizeable cookbook collection, and the infinite resources of the internet, I spend A LOT of my time thinking about, preparing, and eating great food.

My dance days morphed into yoga practice with a few gym-style classes and a running stint in there. I never did love the running, but did it, you know, because I needed something to stay in shape with. I was always trying to exercise so that I could eat what I wanted. I dropped it like a hot potato the minute an Ayurvedic (Indian medicine) specialist said it was not the best form of exercise for my fiery constitution. I refused, however, to drop the red meat, wine, and cheese – which she also suggested!

I figured my yoga life would eventually lead me to become vegetarian (my husband’s biggest fear – and I had a resistance about turning something so pleasurable as eating into a thing, or any point of conflict). Then, a shift happened – my husband, who was an avid runner, got seriously injured and took about a year to recover. As a result, he instinctively quit “carb-loading”, and the belly that he had gained through the years, melted right off, even though he was exercising much less intensively. I started reading up on the Paleo diet which was newly popular at the time and our regular at-home meals became mainly meat and salad, quite naturally.

While my yogic studies didn’t shift my eating to vegetarianism, I did succumb to the cleanse fad. And if I’m truly honest about why, it was not about cleansing at all, but rather an effort to drop weight quickly and to reverse what I thought of as “bad habits”, to gain control. I was in a bit of denial about the way the pounds had creeped on and I did NOT want to change my eating habits or the frequency with which we went out. But, Lord knows, I had a hard time keeping my hands out of the chip bowl or going through the bread basket and asking for more. And the worst was those aforementioned potlucks and cocktail parties…feeling shy and awkward at social gatherings, you could find me hanging out by the food table.

In ending one relationship and starting another, any weight-loss I’d managed or habits I “shifted” through intensive “cleansing”, reversed and then some – duh. So much good food to celebrate our new love – and to explore a new (to me) city as well as show him my beloved New Orleans. We also traveled more than I had before and ate our way through many exciting cities.

And now well into my forties, I began to tell myself that the extra pounds were there to stay. That I was going to have to be ok to “let myself go” – what does that even mean?!

But truly, it was not OK, and I was increasingly obsessed with the number on the scale, as well as frustrated about how I felt in my body. I felt so much less energy and vitality and wanted to do something about it. But I also had a streak of the rebel in me and just wanted to eat what I wanted, without depriving myself in any way.

So, I began to take a closer look – both at what I was eating, but more importantly, how! I didn’t want to lose food as a source of pleasure, but I needed to learn a few things. This is how all those years of yoga and mindful observation paid off. Through really looking closely, I figured out how to make sustainable and easy changes and exactly what changes to make, so that my food tastes even better, and I feel and look younger than my years. No restrictions, no dieting, no deprivation.

I now know what my body wants to eat and how it wants to move, and I enjoy what some would label “bad” food without guilt, regret, or negative physical consequences. I enjoy the chips and beautiful bread but they don’t own me, and I now socialize at parties without feeling I need to hide behind the food table. Most happily, the stress and anxiety I feel around food, eating, and my weight is gone.

I know that soooo many women spend far too much of their precious energy, time, and creative powers stuck in this loop of frustration and obsession over a number on the scale. I want it to stop. I want you to spend your life in far more powerful and important endeavors and have the energy to do so.

The women I’ve worked with have been able to:

  • End stressful and obsessive thinking about food, weight, and diets
  • Feel confident about what to eat without adhering to a set of rules or rigid plan
  • Enjoy their food and their lives MORE not less
  • Lose pounds and inches in the process
  • Change their AND their family’s eatting patterns in a way that is easeful and enjoyable!

Food is a beautiful part of life, and I want you to be able to enjoy it again. I’d love to hear where you are on your journey. Drop me a note!

…And if you want to begin experience these changes for yourself, read more about workng with me.

May your days be truly delicious and satisfying!

Laura