With so many complicated regimens and fad diets that can be miserable - and even dangerous - Shirley Billigmeier helps her clients reclaim joy in their relationship with food. A health industry expert for more than four decades, she knows a thing or two about bringing food and eating back down to earth. “Eating was never meant to be complex!” she says. “A baby knows instinctively when it’s hungry and when it’s not. But as we grow, those boundaries are often interfered with, and we wind up in a relationship with food that’s way more complicated than it needs to be.”
The notion that eating can be a simple, natural, and pleasurable experience for all is precisely what inspired her to start Innergetics, a teaching platform that shares the concept of intuitive eating. Together with certified coaches from around the world, Shirley helps guide people back to themselves, reclaiming their innate boundaries around hunger and food, and, in doing so, relearn how to love food, eating, and their bodies. “It’s all about accessing your own internal wisdom and learning to feel the natural start and stop of hunger,” she explains.
Shirley’s focus on intuitive eating started back in 1991 with the publishing of her first book, Inner Eating. In the beginning, she thought just a few tools would be needed to help readers listen to and understand their own hunger signals. However, because many of her clients needed more tools to help them stay on their path to hunger – and refrain from seeing eating when not hungry as a failure – she developed a moment-to-moment process so they could look at each occasion, when they had that desire to eat when not hungry, as a learning opportunity. Though the years, Shirley has painstakingly developed and refined tools to help clients understand and uncover the various ways they used eating beyond its original purpose: to satisfy hunger. She has taken these tools and developed an online course.
Right now, the online course is self-guided, but Shirley is excited to launch a more hands-on option that will feature more accountability, coaching, and group work. Her interactive online course will be available in just a few months.
A teacher at heart, Shirley’s work has earned her the 2021 and 2022 Food and Drink Awards for Best Food Relationship. For Shirley, the true end goal is to watch people recapture the joy of eating and the delight of being in one’s own body. “Once they’re on the path of hunger, they realize there’s no other way but their way,” she says. “Reconnecting to your own boundaries is always the answer.”
Owner — Innergetics