Colette Baron-Reid, New Age superstar turned diet guru, comes to Toronto!
Updated: March 5, 2013
Colette Baron-Reid, New Age superstar turned diet guru, comes to Toronto
By: Leanne Delap Living Columnist, Published on Thu Feb 28 2013 Toronto Star
A whoosh of hands rose up in unison in the lower-level reading pit at the Bay-Bloor Indigo on Monday night. New Age superstar Colette Baron-Reid has the mic and 50 heads are nodding along as she describes the self-defeating patterns people cripple themselves with.
In a 45 minute set, the big-stage veteran whisks her loyal cadre of fans from despair to hope in a visualization exercise that involves the back of a bird big enough for the whole gang. She is naturally charismatic, punctuating her touchy-feely bits with smooth scientific patter. “Don’t pooh-pooh the woo-woo!” is one of her favourite lines — by which she means don’t discount the mystical.
Baron-Reid is a mainstream-crossover hit. She is back in her hometown to promote her latest book, Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much, which marks her move to the big leagues with Random House.
She’s an odd fit for a diet book: The Toronto-born Baron-Reid first rose to fame as an intuitive reader — she does not use the “p word”, as in psychic — and estimates she has read some 30,000 people around the globe, at $400 per half-hour sessions. Her first book, Remembering the Future:The Path to Recovering Intuition, detailed her path breaking through addiction.
She has previously been the opening act at 1,500 seat shows for New Age publisher Hay House, has released two albums as a singer, wrote The Map, a bestseller, has appeared on Oprah, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz.
Now 55, Baron-Reid maintains her multiple business branches by working 16 hour days, and with the help of her husband, who manages her business affairs. She lives in New Hampshire, after a spell in the spirituality positive Southwest.
She has 20,000 Facebook fans, and corresponds regularly with them (“I let my fans go after my detractors — they tear them up!”). She is also a blogger and the heartfelt advice columnist for everythingzoomer.com.
“My demographic is mainly 35 to 50 and over, when people are searching,” says Baron-Reid.
She says she was drawn to weight loss since she’s had emotional contact with 30,000 people, explaining that being “exposed to their innermost desires and unmet desires and failures and why we create our realities” taught her about what we all have in common.
“We are part of a fabric, a community of consciousness,” she says.
Baron-Reid says she gained extreme weight extremely fast twice, with no correlation to her careful diet. She then “reverse engineered” her experiences to figure out why empathy overload could make us gain weight.
In the book, she details the physiological facts about stress response and cortisol secretion and how that packs the pounds around our middles, but doesn’t get to food until the seventh chapter. “The work is on yourself, not on your diet,” she says. “This is in fact not a diet at all. Your visceral fat is there to protect you; you must work through those issues to allow your body to release it.”
An autodidact, Baron-Reid threads her approach with Jungian theory. “Your unconscious is dying to talk to you, and it talks in pictures,” she says. An imagery and oracular expert through her intuitive skills, her program builds landscapes for the student to work through. She details the case studies of 200 people who take the eight-week program detailed in the book, who lose weight, by working on themselves first.
“We are all humbled by tragedies,” she says. “And every human being is an oracle, when we allow our unconscious mind to dream while we are awake.”