Chasing Demons and Passions

How one woman motivates professional women to stop their preoccupation with weight. 

by Kathryn Sollmann • More.com Member { View Profile }

Work is truly fun only if you’re following a passion. Making money is great, but if you have alternate resources, you’ll stall the work. Don’t work decision until a potential job ignites a current passion —or chases a long-held demon. Life coach Susie Bedsow Horgan’s passion meter surged when she realized a slightly different career path could banish a demon in herself and others. For Susie, the demon was potato chips and other high-calorie food that led to weight gain, yo-yo dieting and bouts of low self-image.  

Dieting was always a way of life for Susie, who was put on her first restricted eating plan at age six.  After tasting potato chips only once they were then off limits except in her fantasies of never ending bowls. Despite her early education on the need for women to be thin, Susie lost and gained large amounts of weight through her entire adult years.

Then the day came when her only child left for college. She plowed her way through an entire jumbo size bag of forbidden potato chips, and decided at the last crunch that enough was enough.  She had to figure out why she was unhappy at both the high and low ends of her bathroom scale. She set out to understand the deeper psychological issues that caused her weight roller coaster, and as she faced and resolved each one, she saw pounds fall away.

Susie’s life coaching practice now helps women get to the root of their own eating and self-image issues. Her goal is to motivate otherwise successful professional women to get on with their lives and stop their preoccupation with weight issues.   She knows well that when weight issues are not resolved no amount of success will erase an undercurrent of misery. In her previous life as the executive producer of the soap opera One Life to Live, she won an Emmy and could think of nothing at the celebratory party than her tight, size-10 Tahari suit.

Though Susie’s early role models thought that model thin was the goal, she has no such one-size-fits-all aspirations for her clients. Her company name, Making Peace with Potato Chips, was carefully chosen to help women get to the place where they personally feel healthy and comfortable—and at peace.

When Susie described her new business to me, I saw how genuinely she wants to help women, and how passionately she feels about her new business direction. As I listened, I thought of how often people talk about following your passions with work—but how seldom you hear about chasing demons.

That silly movie, Maybe He’s Just Not That Into You, might have a not so silly parallel for women deliberating about a return to work. Maybe you’re just not into the work you’re considering.  Maybe marketing has always been your passion, but for whatever reason, a marketing job just isn’t appealing now. So forget about following that passion.  Consider chasing a demon—and solving a problem through your work—instead.  

What’s your reaction?