The Project Healthy Body Team

Artwork by Marybel Martin

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holly-higgins-profileHolly Higgins, 
Evangelist & Senior Coach

Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) & Whole30 Certified Coach

I am Holly, and I am COMMITTED.

Today, I am a vibrantly healthy nutritionist and coach who helps other women step into their power, but let me tell you — it hasn’t always been this way.

My life came to a screeching halt in 2012, when I finally sought help for my severe depression and anxiety. Even though my life looked good on the outside (great husband, great career), I was falling apart at the seams. Over the course of my mental health treatment, I was diagnosed with 10 different mood disorders and tried 10 different psychiatric medications. I was told that I had extreme chemical imbalances and genetic issues, and that I would struggle with my mood for my entire life.

One of the main side effects of antidepressants is weight gain, and I gained a lot — 60 pounds in just a year and a half. While my mood had improved somewhat, I was now depressed because I was clinically obese. I was deeply ashamed of the woman I saw in the mirror, and no matter what I tried, the weight wouldn’t budge. I felt trapped in a body I didn’t recognize, taking medications that made me sick. I really felt like my life was over.

After trying countless diets, I finally discovered Whole30. At the end of 30 days, I not only lost weight, but my mood improved radically. Something shifted. At that point, I COMMITTED to changing my lifestyle for good. I kept eating a Whole30 template, I lost all the weight (I’m down 70 pounds total!), and my doctor helped me wean from all of my medications. I went back to school to become a nutritionist and study the connection between nutrition and mental health. I went from broken to thriving, and I knew I had to help other women do the same.

I met Jennifer on Instagram several years ago, and we have been massive cheerleaders for each other on this crazy journey. I know two things: you can’t do this alone, and you have to be COMMITTED. That’s why I’m so honored to join Project Healthy Body, which blends community and commitment. My favorite women to coach are those who have “drawn the line in the sand” and decided they are never looking back. I did it. So can you.

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Beth Hill, Connector & Senior Coach
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Certified Holistic Health Coach

I am Beth, and I AM GRATEFUL.

I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, mom, foodie & creative chef on an amazing journey to sustainable wellness, happiness, and peace of mind.

I AM GRATEFUL because the universe led me to stumble across Jennifer’s story online and it spoke to me as if she had lived my life and experienced everything I had as a fat girl in a thin world.

My story is simple: I was a fat kid, a fat college student, a fat adult, and at my heaviest, a really fat bride! In 2007, I finally had enough, so I made changes. It took me almost 10 years to explore the whys, hows, and reasons I gained so much weight. I tirelessly researched everything I could about healthy cooking and eating, and slowly shed 100 pounds. Then life, a child, and stress got the better of me, and during the past few years, the scale started going up instead of down — I felt stuck, afraid, and defeated!

Jennifer’s story came to me at the right time. I had just completed my certification at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and was myself a Certified Holistic Health Coach. I was really enjoying helping people get healthy, but I couldn’t seem to help myself! With trepidation and transparency, I reached out to Jennifer to see if Project Healthy Body was right for me, and it was! It was the BEST GIFT I could have given myself!

As a happy client of Project Healthy Body, I have lost weight and inches, and gained all the pieces I was missing previous to finding Jennifer. My journey to wellness has been a crazy, wonderful adventure — one that I will enjoy for the rest of my happy, healthy life! I am now living life as a healthy person daily. I AM GRATEFUL for the opportunity to share my knowledge and help other women live life as a healthy person, and really enjoy this amazing life!

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Chrissy McIntyre, Motivator & Coach

Certified Holistic Health Coach

I am Chrissy, and I AM RESILIENT.

My name is Chrissy, and I found Jennifer through Holly VonDemfange’s blogging about her own Project Healthy Body journey! At the time I was 271 pounds and my BMI was over a 40 (not good). I was sick of being sick. I wanted freedom and I was done making excuses. I started my own Project Healthy Body journey in May 2017, and as of November 2018, I am down more than 120 pounds. I have moved from a life of self-loathing to one of self-love and confidence. I can handle anything life throws at me and I have the support of this amazing group of ladies when I need an extra hand.

Since working with Jennifer, I have become a healthy person, putting self-care first and foremost on my agenda as it is my most important job. In addition to this, I have also started an interior design business. Jennifer taught me that any goal I have is achievable. If I can see it, I can make it happen. I just needed to start, so I did and my life has changed in so many ways.

I live in Squamish, British Columbia Canada with my Husband Aaron, and our two kids, Isla and Alex. I now get to take full advantage of my beautiful town as a healthy person, and have reconnected with many outdoor activities I once believed I would never do again. I now work on Jennifer’s team as a Motivator and Community Manager for the Project Healthy Body Network.

It’s never too late! Never stop showing up for yourself, and start being RESILIENT!

I hope to see you on your own Project Healthy Body journey!

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Holly VonDemfange, Influencer & Coach

Certified Holistic Health Coach

I am Holly, and I AM BEAUTIFUL.

I have lost 85 pounds. I like to lead with that, because I am so darned proud of myself. I found Jennifer when Sheryl Sandberg shared Jennifer’s journey from self-hate to self-love: I am Jennifer, a Compulsive Overeater. I began working with her in January 2017, when I joined Project Healthy Body. It has both saved and changed my life. It has saved my life, because at 325lbs and a BMI of 50.9, I was well on my way toward an early death. It has forever changed my life, because I have since become passionate about both my own health and vitality, and helping other women start their own journeys toward self-love and increased vitality.

The self-confidence I have gained through this program has led me to reconnect with my gift of storytelling, and I launched my blog, What a Girl Wants, which chronicles my weight loss adventures in my own unique, bold, and often hilarious style.

I live in San Jose, California with my husband Craig, daughters Quinn and Wrenn, and dog Walter. During the daylight hours Monday through Friday, I can be found at Facebook’s headquarters, where I have been a superstar executive assistant for over nine years.

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Sharla Vega, Controller Sharla& Coach in Training

Certified Holistic Health Coach in Training

I am Sharla, and I AM WORTH IT!

Today I know I’m worth it, but this hasn’t always been the case. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a nagging voice in my head telling me I didn’t deserve to be happy/loved/have nice things/anything. Whenever something good happened in my life, it was only a matter of time before the voice reminded me I was unworthy. Because of this, I built a wall around myself and didn’t participate in life. I let the negative voice control me.

I heard about Jennifer and Project Healthy Body in late 2016. I was inspired by her story, but I didn’t reach out to her until I hit my rock bottom in July 2017. At that point, I still had many excuses for why I didn’t deserve anything better, and of course why I’d fail, but I needed help. From my first group with Project Healthy Body, I knew it was different than anything I’d done before. PHB isn’t a diet, it’s a path to health and self-love. As a result, I’ve lost 66 lbs so far, and feel better than I have in decades! PHB also provided me the tools to kick that negative voice out of my head. By releasing that negativity, embracing all that I do have in my life, and believing in myself, I am living the life I deserve because I AM WORTH IT!

My experience finding my authentic self and improving my health inspired me to enroll at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a holistic health coach. I want to help others overcome doubts or feelings of unworthiness and become their authentic, healthy selves, because you are WORTH IT too!

I live in Oregon with my husband, two cats and a dog. I’m a CPA and work remotely. When I’m not doing tax returns, I love exploring the coast, hiking, and crafting.

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Quinn Waxman, CoachIMG_1739

Certified Holistic Health Coach

I am Quinn, and I am DETERMINED!

I am determined to live the life of my dreams, I am determined to never quit healthy, and I am determined to help others find the same freedom that I have found through Project Healthy Body.

A little about me: I have struggled with weight my entire life. I went on my first diet when I was 11. I have tried every weight loss trick out there.

Diets, pills, injections, shakes, you name it I did it, but I never had success. I would lose the weight and then put it back on. This cycle continued for years until finally I hit rock bottom! At 42 years old, I realized that I regretted more of my life than I cherished and knew something had to change. I was the heaviest weight I had ever been, I was depressed and anxious and I had gotten to the point that I didn’t even want to leave my house. I knew I couldn’t continue like this. I started reading books, watching videos, listening to podcasts — I was searching for anything that could help me change the way I felt about myself and help me learn how to be healthy. It just so happens one of the things I found was a segment on the Today show with Jennifer. After watching the show, I started following her on Instagram and looking into the Project Healthy Body program. I knew what Jennifer was doing was exactly what I needed and what I had been searching for.

I started to realize that my weight was about the food while at the same time NOT AT ALL about the food. It was about how I felt about myself. That was the missing piece, and that was what Jennifer’s program was all about. I have lost 53 pounds since I began this journey of self-love, and for the first time in my life I know that I will reach my goal, not of being skinny, but of being the healthy and happy woman I’ve always dreamed of! I have been a member of Project Healthy Body since January 2018 and I have finally found my tribe. The support, encouragement, and knowledge I have gained have been the spark I needed to finally put my health coaching training to use. Now that I know how true transformation happens, I want to shout it from the rooftops and help other women reach their goals and find the happiness and health that Project Healthy Body has given to me!

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Leili McMurrough, Coach

Leili Web 2

Certified Holistic Health Coach

I am Leili, and I AM EMPOWERED.

To say I am busy is an understatement: I have two girls, Audrey (6) and Clara (3). I am an attorney, a funeral director at my family’s funeral home, and I oversee a college. Getting healthy was always something on my to-do list, but always seemed out of reach. I put my family, career, education — anything I could — before taking care of myself. I have spent most of my life overweight pretending it didn’t matter because I was smart and successful. However, I was miserable. I was tired of my life passing me by and feeling out of control.

I started working with Jennifer and Project Healthy Body, and the chaos and fog I had been living in for 30 years was lifted, almost immediately. I learned that what was stopping me all these years has been fear — fear of failure, fear of change, and fear of challenge. I am now down 40+ pounds and on my way to a healthy BMI, and I am no longer obese. The cycle of dieting, failing, and constant disappointment is over. Realizing that I am in control of my life has been empowering. I AM EMPOWERED.

I decided to make changes, and part of that is being present in my life and taking an active role in my health. I enrolled at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and now coach my own Project Healthy Body groups. When you get healthy, you realize what a gift you have been given, and you can’t wait to share what you have learned.

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Francesca Maffei-Lazev, CoachFrancesca

Certified Holistic Health Coach

I am Francesca, and I AM CHANGE.

I am living the healthiest, best life I can and helping others to do the same.

2017 was a terrible year. My father became ill in January and I spent much of the next eight months taking care of him until he passed in August. I was devastated. I had lost both my parents in the past three years. I also lost my job of 14 years. Needless to say, taking care of myself and my health were the least of my priorities.

Fast forward to January 29th, 2018: I had just returned from a fun-filled getaway weekend with my closest friends. Lots of drinking, lots of eating, loads of fun. I had been feeling pretty down on myself even before the weekend; disgusted with my body, the weight I had gained, my poor eating choices, how much I had been drinking, and just feeling completely lost and really down. On the morning of January 29th, in my miserable state, I sat down to watch the Today show. In the health segment, there were these two women talking about their weight loss journey, eating healthy whole foods, supporting one another, and most importantly, practicing self-love. They were talking to me, cliché as it may sound. These two women were none only than Jennifer Joffe (PHB founder) and Holly Vondemfange (PHB coach) from Project Healthy Body. While there was certainly a focus on healthy eating, what drew me in was the opportunity to get to the more emotional side of things and explore self-image, self-care, and self-love. And to do all this with constant support. And they were starting a February group! So, I signed up!

I have learned so much from PHB! I have learned so much about food and have better understanding of what is in the food that I eat and the impacts it has on my body. I have learned how to tame that negative voice in my head. I have come to understand that though I may have been thinner in recent years, I was not healthier. I understand that previous diets were restrictive and always lead to cheat days, poor decisions, and the weight always came back, as did feeling miserable. I have learned about self-love. This goes beyond eating healthy food, exercise, and taking care of myself, but truly learning to appreciate myself, being grateful, and making the right decisions so that I can be the healthiest I can be. Oh, and I have lost 23 pounds to date.

To combine my desire to learn with my passion to share with others, I enrolled in nutrition school, and am excited to begin coaching with PHB in January 2019.

I live in New Hampshire, but I am moving to North Carolina. I have been married to my husband Scott for 24 years and have two children, Simon (21) and Samantha (18) and two crazy Jack Russell Terriers, Fenway and Teddy. I love to cook, eat out, go to the beach, and spend time with friends. I am a die-hard Red Sox fan!