Motivational Speaker, Barbie Paget is coming to ARC


Life coach Barbie Paget lead her audience in a breathing exercise during her stress management workshop on April 27. (File photo)

Justina Sharp

For Barbie Paget, becoming a holistic nutritional expert was just as much for herself as it was for anyone else.

She attended the Southwestern Institute of Holistic Learning (SIHL) after having a doctor tell her that she was overweight.

(He said) Youre too fat to hold yourself up’” said Paget. That wasnt very nice, it was hard to hear.

Paget, who grew up primarily in the agricultural centers of San Jose and Gilroy, California before moving to Milwaukee, believes the weight gain was a side effect of a drastically changed environment.

I grew up playing outside all day, eating whatever off the bushes.said Paget of her childhood in California. Then we moved, and Missouri is hot and humid, and you dont want to go outside.

Beginning to eat to feel better,” Paget soon gained weight that she wouldnt lose until that fateful doctor’s appointment.

At that point, she knew she had to make a change, quickly.

Starting the Weight Watchers program, Paget soon started tracking everything, making sure I did the math, that it all added up perfectly,” and lost over 100 pounds.

She also began reading studies that told her it was likely she would gain it back.

Follow the logic: if you lose your keys, youll look for them, if you lose your dog, youll look for it. If youre losing weight, are you gonna look for it? Probably not, but youre gonna find it. said Paget.

She became focused on keeping the weight off through extreme fitness, teaching 8-10 spin classes a week and running half-marathons at every opportunity.

A sudden family tragedy sent her across the country, from Milwaukee to Seattle.

Going from her rigorous fitness routine to a relatively slow-paced life, Paget gained back almost half of the weight shed lost.

Realizing that if she was having this problem, other probably had as well, she made the decision to attend SIHL remotely.

I went and studied not only food, but how the mind and body can work together for nutritional success.

Today, Paget works as a nutritional consultant, life coach, and motivational speaker.

For some, Pagets real-world approach to topics that can traditionally fall into a more metaphysical category is an attractive quality.

Im the kind of person, where if you start telling me my vibe is off, or swinging a million crystals, Im turned off,said Heather Parker, who formerly worked with Paget. The way she talks about it (mindfulness) works for a normal person you dont need to light 700 candles.

Pagets ability to be normaland willingness to share her story, even the more personal aspects, allows those she shares it with to gain a new perspective.

She just put it all out there,said Mauricea Vale, a Human Services major at American River College, where Paget spoke recently. She didnt try to pretend it (her life) was better than it was.

Not pretending things are what they arent is something Paget also focuses on with clients.

For those focusing on food, she approaches with a love what you lovementality, encouraging people to not deprive themselves, but to instead enjoy mindfully.

In the end, Paget says its about asking yourself Who do I want to be? What kind of person?and using that to springboard yourself into healthier, happier habits.