Lisa Prince is a nutrition expert and weight loss coach, who I met a year ago in a business networking group. It was only in the course of interviewing her for my blog that I learned that she is from my home state of Michigan. In fact, she grew up in East Grand Rapids, where my dad was born and raised. She moved to Maine in 1987 with her husband, Roger, who was attending the University of Maine School of Law. After 10 years they settled in Scarborough and have raised two children, Nick and Kaitlin.
“I love Scarborough,” says Lisa. “It has a great sense of community and a wonderful school system. We love being close to the beach. And there are things the town offers that you can’t find anywhere else, like Gym Dandies.” Gym Dandies is a unicycle group that Lisa’s daughter belongs to. She juggled and rode a 6-foot unicycle last month in the Cherry Blossom parade in Washington D.C. Both children play lacrosse, and her husband coaches lacrosse for the youth league.
Lisa became passionate about fitness when she conquered her own weight problem. “I was overweight from the age of 16 until my mid-20s,” she says. “I was using food to suppress my emotions, but I began running and finally broke free of my pattern of emotional eating.” Lisa lost 50 pounds and says she always wanted to help other people lose weight. After spending 17 years as a teacher at Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth, she was ready for a change of career. She began a business as a weight loss coach over three years ago and leases office space at Basics Fitness in South Portland.
“It’s a challenge to market yourself and recruit clients,” says Lisa, “but I’m thrilled with my career switch. It’s very gratifying to help people achieve their wellness goals.” Lisa says women often feel they don’t have time for an exercise program. “One client told me she had five children and just didn’t have the time. But I gave her some strategies to eat better and begin exercising. She lost 60 pounds in a year’s time and has kept it off for six months now.” Lisa says she breaks the process down into small steps, getting people to make small changes in what they eat. “You have to start where you are,” she says, ‘then move forward.”