Finding Food Peace Led Suz Carpenter on a Mission to Pay It Forward


Suz Carpenter had a secret. She had struggled with an eating disorder since she was a teenager. But it wasn’t until someone asked her a very serious question that she knew she had to change her relationship with food. Still, that was easier said than done. The over saturated world of diets and nutrition advice was overwhelming and confusing. But when she eventually figured out what worked for her and was at peace, she felt the need to pay it forward and share what she learned with others who were struggling. And so, she founded CarpenterOne80, to help people cut through the confusion, figure out what works for them, feel satisfied and not deprived and finally find food peace. Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Suz.

Passionistas: What's the one thing you're most passionate about?

Suz: Without a doubt, food peace. And I'm going to tease that out for you a little bit more. Once upon a time, I was asked this question where somebody said, "You say you would die for your kids, but would you change for them?" And that question kept me up at night and hit me square between the eyes because I didn't have food peace. In fact, I had an eating disorder that I had struggled with since I was a teenager. So that question meant that I was going to need to get help and face what was really my greatest shame. And in walking that out, what I discovered was food peace and it's changed my life. And it's the thing that I'm passionate about spreading to others, because I know it's what people are suffering with.

Passionistas: So how does that translate into what you do for a living?

Suz: I seek to educate people on what foods to eat and why, so that they are not influenced, but so they understand. Because from there I can empower somebody to do this on their own, to lose the weight and maintain the weight, and then be inspired to share it with their families and beyond. Because what I've been able to do my whole life and is when I understand science, I can explain it in a way that a first grader can get it. And I did used to teach first grade once upon a time. So when I stumbled into the beginning of my healing, I started to see patterns in nutrition. And I kept thinking, why was I not taught this when I was in high school? How come these basic things were so covered up and made so confusing that I couldn't find the answers that I was looking for because I was struggling for so many years? So my life's work now is really just to educate on what all of us should have been taught when we were a lot younger, because it's not so complicated, it just needs to be spelled out.

Passionistas: Tell us what CarpenterOne80 is and what inspired you to create it?

Suz: So it came from me getting the help with my eating disorder and tackling that ugly voice in my head and understanding the basics of protein, fat and fiber in every meal to make maintaining or losing weight, no big deal. And the exercise was a part of the healthy living equation, but not necessarily part of the weight loss equation. And so with working with people, I started to notice that we wanted things fast, more like a microwave than an oven. And my clients were struggling with wanting to work and get results, but not having the time or the finances to invest in a one-on-one program. They also felt very, very overwhelmed by all the information available.

I think about the days when we had to study for our final exams or board tests, and we had all the books on our desk and we were so overwhelmed by all the material that you, you kind of felt that pressure going into the test, that you don't know that you studied the right thing. And then when you walk out of the test, you could feel the information leaking out of your ears. That's how people feel about pursuing a healthy lifestyle. They don't know really what to listen to. It feels very overwhelming. And a lot of times they stop before they ever make traction. Okay. So what started out as me just getting help for myself with no intention of building out CarpenterOne80 suddenly became this mission to pay forward. It's almost like I'm talking to myself, my younger 20- to 37-year-old self.

So CarpenterOne80 means — Carpenter's my last name, but carpenters build things. 180 is a direction, 180 degree turn. But you have to make one intentional decision for 80 days in a row because it takes about 66 days to make a habit so that we can make a lifestyle no longer a fad diet, but it's going to take time of failing forward and doing it bad perfect. So that was kind of how I birthed out the idea of the company name. But with working with people, I saw that I absolutely still want the one-on-one platform so that my heart stays attached to people and I stay relevant and connected and sharp.

But I know that there's a lot of people who are more interested in self-learning meaning that's where you insert the video courses and they want to learn from somebody that's not scary. That's a teacher. That's a little bit fun. That's based in science and is like a girlfriend that's approachable. So that's why I'm going to do I teach the video courses. And then the one that I'm the most excited about is the one that I just custom catered to all the concerns that I heard from people. I don't have enough time. I'm overwhelmed. I don't have enough money.

So S.O.S. stands for Susan on your Shoulder. And it's like that angel on your shoulder whispering in your ear because I made them into three and four minute soundbites that come right to somebody's text message. So they don't even have to go find it. It comes right to them. It's every day. And it's teaching people what they need to know in the right sequence to begin to learn and apply and get results and feel better and create a lifestyle. But as they start to get results out of those initial first soundbites, those first couple of weeks of me teaching, then the learning starts to happen where instead of following safe food rules, which we don't want to do instead, because you understand what protein, fat and fiber can do for turning off hungry hormones and balancing cravings and turning your body where it'll burn fat for fuel, rather than store fat, it begins to make so much sense that eating any other way becomes illogical. And you learn how to incorporate in the foods you love rather than take them out. And in doing that, in that consistency, in that repetition learning happens. Because you begin to attach cues or words to things that mean something in a way that you can apply it to make lifelong change. So this is my way of really giving back in an inexpensive way so that people can find, like I said, the food peace that mattered so much to me.

Listen to Suz’s complete episode here.

Learn more about CarpenterOne80.

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