Eat, Play, Balance™ is the theory that Kathy Hoss espouses when she says, “Forget about diets.” As an influencer, speaker, event producer and consultant, she has helped clients successfully transform their thinking and integrate healthy habits into everyday life. Her motto: Turn “what we know” into “what we do.”
“Growing up, I wanted to know a little about everything and was always seeking to learn and understand and to improve things,” explains Kathy, who came from a large, social family that hosted many gatherings. In her world, home cooking was seen as an art form and full of variety.
A child with a sweet tooth, Kathy watched her mom hide desserts from her before and after parties. She believes this was the beginning of an unhealthy relationship with food and body image.
Kathy was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, until the age of 14, when her parents moved to the U.S. Although she spoke English, she struggled to make friends and fit in at Rolling Hills High School in Palos Verdes. She graduated before age 16 and attended UCLA, earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in business administration.
“I learned that you don’t need to restrict and deprive to be healthy but instead expand and liberate.”
Seeking a different way of life, she moved to France after college. “This was pivotal for my wellness journey and changing my own relationship with food, eating, drinking, playing and balancing,” Kathy shares. She went back to school to become certified in holistic health and nutrition—studying and learning more about the science behind mind and body connection.
Kathy discovered being healthy and happy is not only easy but can also be lots of fun. “I learned that you don’t need to restrict and deprive to be healthy but instead expand and liberate,” she says.
As a certified holistic wellness and health coach, she believes diets are built on deprivation—a key reason why they cannot be sustained and often fail. “How we desire and need to eat differs from body to body and from mind to mind,” she says. “Our uniqueness and individuality need to be learned, understood and honored. This is the first step to working toward one’s optimal health.”
She suggests first focusing on how you eat and why you eat. Are you eating for enjoyment, as medicine, or as a solution for managing discomfort, anxiety or boredom? “Focus on what you can eat and not what you shouldn’t eat,” she says. “Discover your relationship with food. This will allow food to not only help you reach your health goals but also be your path to discover the many flavors, spices and cultures of the world.”
She also encourages clients to channel their inner child and do things in life that make them truly happy. “When we were kids there was a natural way of being, and you didn’t have to look at your watch to know when to eat,” she says. “True play is being connected with your individuality, which can be done by expressing yourself, for example, by building something, gardening, studying, reading a book or educating yourself—because then you feel a sense of expansion.”
The rest comes down to balance—how we work, eat, parent, exercise, socialize, etc. It’s not uncommon to find ourselves out of balance when one aspect of our life dominates our day to day. Kathy says the art of creating a healthy balance is understanding how and when to lean into each aspect of life.
With full awareness of our individual needs, there can be an overarching sense of harmony in the presence of all the not-so-perfectly-balanced parts. With mindfulness, we can make behavioral changes aimed at relieving some of the biggest stressors causing us pain and unwellness. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, Kathy notes.
“It’s a graduating scale, and there are several ways to put our mind and body in a state of healing so we can get better from disease and feel healthier,” she says. “Each person’s starting point and goals are different.”
Kathy hopes more people will take an individual, personalized approach to their health and uncover a unique, joyful path to a better self.