Women In Wellness: Michelle Borthwick of ‘Keto is Easy’ on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
Figure Out Where Your Passion Is. Now that you are ready to move your life forward decide what personal health commitments will give you a fresh start. I found for me, my health, my hormones, my weight, my mood, my food preferences… it’s Keto all the way. And this ignited a passion in me like no other. You must ask yourself… what is it for you? Is it resistance training, yoga, keto, paleo, or something else that will light your fire? If you make your commitment to something you are passionate about it will affirm your decision for wellbeing and you’ll be ready to take action. There is a direct link to finding happiness and health through our passions!
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Borthwick, Keto Customization Expert and Coach
Michelle Borthwick, known more widely as Michelle Keto, is the foremost expert in living the Keto lifestyle and the go to coach for Keto women. Splitting her time between Santa Fe, NM and Palm Springs, CA, her 1:1 coaching and DIY Keto programs have helped women from 25 states and 3 countries lose over 6,000 pounds while eating foods they love. This foodie’s motto, and business name, is “Keto is Easy” and she’s one of the only Keto leaders who promotes full customization for long term success.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Before I began my own Keto journey, I owned a successful marketing and branding agency, where the demands of my business life led to my being overweight and dealing with multiple health challenges. Every day left me depleted of energy, suffering with Gerd, plantar fasciitis, migraine headaches, severe brain fog and prediabetes. (This was all happening in a glamour focused business that required tireless hours, endless creativity, and spunk…of which I had none).
I honestly found Keto because I was desperate to save my life. My day-to-day life had become too difficult and if I was to live out the rest of my life feeling the way I did, I couldn’t bear it another day. I haven’t looked back since I found Keto over 3 years ago. At that point I thought…what have I got to lose, but in reality I had so much to gain. In nearly every way, keto gave me my life back. Fast forward to today… I’ve lost 40 pounds; reversed prediabetes and all my health problems are gone!
As a result, I’m confident, energetic, inspired and am now blessed to be living my passion as a full-time expert Keto coach (I still pinch myself sometimes) to serve and inspire other women to get their life and health back, find hope, and lose that last bit of stubborn weight. I tend to work with “women of a certain age:” women who have some life behind them, women who believe that giving up on how they look isn’t an option, women who know age is just a number, women who tend to live by their own set of rules. These are my people and I love keto-ing with them!
Keto is Easy Coach recently celebrated 2 ½ years in business. One of my top referral sources is doctors and health professionals and I’ve helped hundreds of women change their lives. I love this work and I’ve seen Keto heal bodies, repair family bonds, change lives and rekindle desire!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Absolutely. This story is not only interesting but one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had so far as a keto expert. Gloria, a 50 something Financial Planner, was looking to shed a few pounds and her daughter (Sophia, 19) had gained weight while she was away at college. Her physician, Dr. Gundry, gave Sophia a stern warning that she had to do something about her weight and health as she had become pre-diabetic. The topic of “weight” was something she refused to talk about with her parents and yet it was too important to ignore. Sophia agreed to give Keto a try after meeting me and knowing I’d be involved every step of the way to guide her, support her and be a buffer between her and her Mom. The results speak for themselves. Both Mom and daughter flourished (during the early stages of the pandemic)! A total of 75 pounds was lost between them and Sophia is no longer pre-diabetic with a clean bill of health. (Dr. Gundry is very happy as well).
In talking with Sophia recently she said, “I have kept the weight off for over a year and now I actually enjoy having full body pictures taken. I can go to stores I never dreamed of going where smaller girls’ shop. I love Keto and I’ve even inspired some of my friends to do it with me. I can’t find the words to describe how much better my life is and I have way more confidence than I ever had before.”
The heartfelt part of the story is that this was a journey way beyond Keto. It opened lines of communication and enhanced their relationship. There was a healing on every level — mental, emotional and physical. It all started as a diet but ended up vastly different than anyone anticipated. I couldn’t have imagined a happier outcome. The diet became a Keto lifestyle, which ultimately turned into a family healing :)
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My biggest mistake in my journey to wellness was that I waited too long. I waited until it became necessary to do something because I was suffering with prediabetes, chronic migraines, and multiple other health challenges. Up until that point, rather than being proactive and taking a “whole person” approach to health and weight, I segmented it and used a Band-Aid approach. For example, to deal with migraines, I’d find a pill or a supplement. I only looked at food as a source of pleasure (being a foodie) or pain (because I gained weight and was inflamed).
When I gained weight, I’d suffer through a strict diet with very few calories or up my exercise routine to try to manage it. I failed to see the link between my diet, overall health, and the healing power of food. I do now! I’ve been healthy for over 3 years, enjoying having the same size clothes in my closet and celebrating that all of my former health challenges are gone. My lab work, physicality and mental outlook demonstrate that I’m in the best health ever.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My income has increased 10-fold since I started working with Michelle Pippin as my business coach. Six figures are no longer way off in the future. I’m clear who my client is, and what’s important to them and why I’m passionate about serving them. My closing rate is between 50 and 75% because the women I guide with their Keto diet trust me, they know that I’m genuine, they feel understood because I’ve been there. They are confident in my ability to help them. This is HUGE!
Through diligence, trusted partner sites, Michelle’s guidance, and the grace of God I’m organically on the first page of Google for Keto Coaching. Michelle and my membership in her organization, Women who WOW, is exactly what I needed to see beyond my own limitations, ignite my passions and realize my dreams. I had a strong marketing background, I previously owned an advertising firm for many years prior to Keto coaching but found it difficult to translate it to my new business until I found Michelle.
Michelle isn’t just an average business coach who applies the same standard practices as everyone else. She is gifted with a strong intuition, understanding of people and operates at a higher level than most. She challenges me, holds me accountable, empowers me to dream big and believes in me sometimes more than I do myself. I will always be grateful to her because my life is forever changed with her guidance, support, and enthusiasm for my keto business!
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
As a woman in the wellness space, I’ve helped hundreds of women get off medications, lose — collectively — over 6,000 pounds and guided women across the United States to reach their goals for health and weight loss using a fully customized approach to Keto. Keto isn’t new. It’s been around for over 100 years, when it was first used therapeutically at the Mayo Clinic.
Unfortunately, today many people are misinformed and still feel like it’s a fad or a quick fix for weight loss or even consider it a dangerous diet. It’s none of these things! In my work as a keto customization expert and coach, I have been able to partner and be trained by respected doctors and industry experts. Building upon this training, I developed my own unique process and program, where I specialize in working with women to completely customize their Keto and transform their lives. Despite what google promotes, there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all Keto. Personalizing your ketogenic program to fit your food preferences, lifestyle, sociability, age, health status, mindset, activity level and even pandemic limitations is often the difference between “doing keto” and “living keto.”
In my work, I’ve discovered that the main reason women struggle with keto is not because it’s too hard. It’s because women are trying to fit into the “keto” they find online rather than making “keto fit for them”. That’s where my philosophy differs and has a bigger impact because it makes Keto truly sustainable.
Women are experiencing more challenges than normal right now and Keto can be a solution for many who may have given up hope to have the health and weight they desire. As they change, so does their sphere of influence, as they empower and heal themselves with their diet…so do others!
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
Know When You’re Done.
Your next move towards health and wellbeing can start NOW. It’s a simple shift in mindset and motivation. Let’s be honest. We all have a limit where we know we are done! Once you decide you are done, you’ve had a mindset shift and you’re ready to go to the next step. Often people delay or talk themselves out of it when this happens. They say, “I’ll start tomorrow.” I see this every day in the women I coach. Some are angry, some in tears, some frightened, some determined, some powerless and the one thing they have in common is they are ready to move on, but they aren’t sure how to do it. At this point, I find it’s important not to set aside this decision or keep it on a to do list. Don’t put this off; instead put the date on your calendar with “Getting healthy starts today” and create a “wellbeing” action plan detailing the steps you will take and accept full responsibility for your health.
Figure Out Where Your Passion Is.
Now that you are ready to move your life forward decide what personal health commitments will give you a fresh start. I found for me, my health, my hormones, my weight, my mood, my food preferences… it’s Keto all the way. And this ignited a passion in me like no other. You must ask yourself… what is it for you? Is it resistance training, yoga, keto, paleo, or something else that will light your fire? If you make your commitment to something you are passionate about it will affirm your decision for wellbeing and you’ll be ready to take action. There is a direct link to finding happiness and health through our passions!
Honestly, this is the foundation upon which you build your health and weight loss journey. It’s both where you start and the beginning of your action plan. Start with your why. Ask yourself why are you doing this? Why will you stay on this diet or exercise plan and convert it to a lifestyle? Why does this matter more than anything else right now? As a Keto Coach, I ask my clients to spend time with their why, to be honest, to open their hearts and to write down their deepest motivations for changing their approach to food and lifestyle. Knowing their core motivation will guide them through challenging times and keep them strong. My client, Nila, recently said to me “I remember when we started coaching you had me write down my WHY. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be honest with myself or write it down because I didn’t want it to be shallow or weak. I’ve since found that when I get stressed and want to eat everything in sight, especially good old-fashioned comfort food, it reminds me of why I don’t want to do it.”
Write down your WHY, live by it and your life will change!
Trust the Process.
You will drive yourself crazy if you compare yourself to others! Everyone has different results depending on age, genetics, overall health and more! I see this all the time with my clients. Somewhere along the line they developed unrealistic expectations of how the scale should be moving, or their health should be improving or what their progress should be by a certain date. Instead, it’s important to learn to relax and trust the process, be gentle with yourself, manage your expectations, be patient and let the body do the healing on its timeframe…not yours. When you trust the process none of these other things matter. As you stay the course you begin to see the positive impact food has on your health, wellbeing, and weight loss. One day you will look in the mirror and smile at the new version of yourself you’ve created by trusting the process.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I’d love to create a national movement that is a game-changer around the healing power of food, which would be a game changer for our country. The foods you eat determine your weight, blood pressure, medication use, immunity, mental health and so much more. This movement would help others to realize they no longer need to be tormented by food. When they change their relationship with food and realize it doesn’t have to control them or create painful emotions, low self-esteem, weight gain, insecurity or poor health they become empowered.
The goal would be to impact as many people as possible to see beyond their limitations (perceived as powerlessness). Food offers each of us guilt free-enjoyment, freedom, healing, and power over our wellbeing. My purpose isn’t just to be an inspiration to others, but to be a source of hope, vitality, resources, support and healing for others so that they can then share their own message with the world.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone told Me Before I Started” and why?
1) I wish someone had shared with me the incredible impact food has on our health and that I had more power over my health than I realized. I didn’t realize I could improve it by simply changing the foods that I ate. Little did I know that the foods I was eating (which I thought were healthy) were actually hurting my health. It took a downward spiral for me with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, gerd, plantar fasciitis, migraine headaches and debilitating fatigue before I took a serious look at my lifestyle. At that point, I took my health into my own hands and within three months of following a clean, ketogenic diet my health markers vastly improved. I was no longer prediabetic and my A1C dropped from 5.9 to 5.3. Additionally, all my other health challenges were gone. Was this a miracle? Yes and no. It seemed like it because it was the quickest reversal back to health that I’d ever seen without any medication, but the science behind Keto says this is simply what Keto does! The food you eat has the power to improve your health and can reverse certain health conditions. As a bonus, I also lost a total of 40 pounds, and have kept it off for more than three years. I’m currently in my best health ever and have labs to prove it!
2) I wish my doctor told me about Keto
I found Keto on my own, out of desperation to find a solution to my multi-faceted health challenges that didn’t involve a lifetime of medication. I was determined not to become a diabetic and/or insulin dependent. I quickly learned about the right foods I needed to eat and how to do Keto properly to sustain long term health. While I am now proud to partner with many physicians who support — and even prescribe — a ketogenic lifestyle for ideal health, even three years ago fewer physicians understood the power of going Keto. While I do wish a doctor had pointed me in this direction, having to discover it myself forced me to immerse myself in Keto education and became trained in the science and the proven impact Keto has on our bodies, which I’m still grateful to have done.
3) I wish someone had informed me that Keto is sustainable as a lifestyle, rather than just a diet.
There’s so much controversy and confusing information that says keto can’t be sustainable as a lifestyle. Since I was so passionate about Keto, I took matters into my own hands and I’ve proved it to myself that not only is it possible…it doesn’t have to be difficult. I’ve been successful at living the Keto life for over 3 years. I wish someone would have told me otherwise and that it’s possible to stay motivated especially if you keep your mind on the big picture and overall wellness. People too often look to Keto for quick weight loss and ignore the health benefit of living keto. If anyone asks me about Keto as a long-term solution to wellbeing I say yes! You’ll have to learn to shop differently and eat differently. You eat plenty of healthy nutrient dense foods and keep it simple. I have traveled, celebrated many special occasions, dined out regularly and haven’t looked back. This is my last diet ever. I’m often asked how do I “keep it Keto” with all of life’s temptations? When you feel better, look younger, lose weight, are healthy and eat delicious foods… what’s not to love? if you cheat, and you will, you simply get right back on the diet. One cheat meal may kick you out of ketosis, but you make a commitment to never let it kick you out of Keto!
4) I wish that someone had encouraged me to customize my own keto journey to fit my lifestyle and body type. This is now the work I do with women all over the country, but even three years ago, all public information about keto focused on recipes and macros: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the recipes, but it was only when I began to hack my metabolism and tweak my own keto journey that I began to see the biggest — and most sustainable — benefits beyond one-size-fits-all keto.
5) I wish someone had told me that You can eat a ketogenic diet and still be a foodie.
I’m a foodie all the way to my core. I work with people around food and changing their diet. Awesome memories are still made while traveling, dining out and bonding over food at the dinner table with friends and family. I love to cook, dine out and socialize around food, so a restrictive “diet” would never have worked for me. I wish someone had shown me how to live keto without feeling deprived. With my customized approach, I still have the immense amount of enjoyment that food provides while maintaining my goal weight and optimal health. I encourage others to give it a try as well!
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health is dearest to me because it’s such an issue in today’s world with depression and anxiety rates rising, in part due to the pandemic. While I advocate for medicinal and professional help for mental health issues, I’ve discovered — and science has proven — that a powerful way to change a person’s mood and outlook on life is through food. This applies directly to mental health because brain chemistry is influenced by nutrients in the food we eat, creating a direct connection to how we feel. A new understanding is emerging — in the exciting new field of nutritional psychology — of how diet affects our mood, thinking, and behavior. When we feed our brain properly, we can prevent and/or reverse symptoms of mental health problems.
As a society we tend to think of mental health problems (depression, anxiety, and ADHD, etc.) as chemical imbalances that require medication. These new discoveries are fantastic because when we investigate what’s causing the imbalances in our bodies and brains, we have the opportunity to find the perfect blend of using medicines and/or diet to heal ourselves.
I live the Keto lifestyle (avoiding refined carbs and eating nutrient dense whole foods) and have found that it balances my hormones and my mood simply by reducing my insulin, inflammation, and glucose. I’m confident of the healing power of Keto because it’s backed by decades of scientific research that show many of the imbalances in brain biochemistry are caused by neuroinflammation, excessive oxidative stress, neurotransmitter imbalances, and sluggish brain metabolism. With proper fuel, anyone’s mental health can improve.
One more time we are shown the healing power of food!
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ketoiseasycoach/As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Borthwick, Keto Customization Expert and Coach).
Thank you for these fantastic insights!