CREATOR OF INNERGETICS
Shirley Billigmeier has created the solution to our most pertinent struggle – that of eating and losing weight.
Her Innergetics Process is an optimal yet structured way to reach and maintain your natural weight by regaining the true joy of eating, rather than through deprivation and willpower. It came naturally for Shirley to learn, create something that no one had yet discovered, be connected to the world, and share enormous respect for our creative soul.
Born in 1950, her parents taught her to think for herself and choose what she wanted to do. Her mother was a teacher, while her father was an entrepreneur in the cattle industry, designing a first of its kind cattle building. They had people come from all over the world to learn from him. He never patented his plans because he wanted others to learn and grow from his knowledge. Her brother, a couple years older than Shirley, went on to become a veterinarian along with being an entrepreneur in the agricultural industry.
Shirley earned her undergraduate (B.S. – 1971) and graduate (M.A. – 1975) degrees from the University of Minnesota and started teaching in 1971. She taught Physical Education and Health for six years. As she worked with students, she noticed a high level of anxiety surrounding eating and weight-related concerns. This realization led her to make it her life’s mission to address and resolve these issues. Her plan was to pursue a PhD degree but the University, in the late 70’s, did not allow her to include multiple areas such as nutrition, exercise, psychology, and kinesiology. She assumed the answer did not lie in one area. Nevertheless, this restriction turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it spurred Shirley to undertake her own research and collaborate with other researchers across the country.
During her research, Shirley observed that hunger was a seldom-discussed topic. However, she realized that hunger was meant to be the driving force behind our decision to start and stop eating. She drew inspiration from infants who instinctively know when to begin eating, what foods taste good to them, and when to stop eating. Infants possess over 10,000 taste buds which allow them to discern what foods are suitable for their consumption. Shirley believes all individuals possess these innate eating boundaries, which are governed by hunger and taste, but we tend to overlook them and allow external factors to dictate our eating habits. Once we stop listening to our own signals, our eating becomes out of order, and we begin to develop that internal angst which creates a magnetism to eat when we are not hungry. This starts the path of using eating beyond its original purpose – to satisfy hunger and enjoy the pleasure from the taste of the food. Eating begins to drain our energy instead of giving us energy. So, the key was to develop tools to guide the individual back to their original boundaries – hunger and taste.
Shirley consolidated her research and teaching methodologies into her book, “Inner Eating” which was published in 1991 with the foreword written by Dr. Michael D. Jensen, Mayo Clinic. Her expertise led to an invitation to speak at the National Convention of Compulsive Eating in 1995, which confirmed to her the widespread need for this information. This realization prompted her to launch Innergetics.
Up until these last few years, she has worked mainly with one-on-one consultations but realized she needed to reach more people. She was fortunate that one of her clients, Mary Sonnack, now a close friend, had written down every word Shirley said while working with her. This was a blessing in disguise because Shirley intuitively knew what tools she needed to give her clients to help them continuously move forward in the process. These tools came naturally to her, but she soon realized this was her gift. However, in order to have the world benefit, more people would be needed to spread the word. This started a long journey to create detailed handouts so future coaches could coach her process and reach a larger audience. Shirley now has certified four coaches from around the world who she is exceptionally proud of because they have all lived the process. In addition, they have done case studies so they have shown they not only live it but can teach it. Jan Niemand from South Africa, Sue Lester from Australia, Stella Litton and Jessie Rose, both from the UK, are all part of her dedicated team to help spread Innergetics to the world. Shirley has just launched an online course that has over 60 videos, created by Shirley, so you feel she is right there with you helping you move forward with the process. Coaches will be available to work either individually or in small groups, along with the online course.
The Innergetics Process played a crucial role in Shirley’s life. When she was 59, she was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer. Because it was aggressive (she caught it early thanks to a mammogram), she needed to do chemo and would lose her hair. However, she discovered an interesting process — Penguin Cold Caps, by Frank Fronda of England.
If she used the cold caps, she wouldn’t lose her hair. But would that be even possible? She talked at length to the inventor to understand the science behind the process. Even though many around her, including her doctors, were skeptical that this was possible, she pursued the protocol to a successful outcome. She and her friend, Nancy Marshall, decided they needed to share this information with the world. Hence, they created The Rapunzel Project with the mission to create awareness of the existence and efficacy of scalp cooling therapy which saves one’s hair while going through chemotherapy. In addition, while going through chemo, Shirley could feel within her exactly what she could and couldn’t eat, how much rest she needed, and how important it was to remain calm. Innergetics guided her to feel the incredible wisdom of the body and what she needed to do to move her through the chemo with minimal side effects.
This experience further inspired Shirley to ensure that others could benefit from the Innergetics Process. She feels fortunate to have family and friends who have supported her in her lifelong mission to resolve eating and weight issues throughout the world. With her husband, Jon, they have raised two beautiful children, Kate and Steve, who are now successful doing what they love to do and nurturing their own families.
Shirley states, “Eating was always meant to give us energy, it was never meant to drain our energy. As you begin to put eating back in order, you will discover your true path towards living your best life.”