Though she’s had decades of experience as a Registered Dietitian, coaching people on how to build healthier eating habits, stick to exercise plans, and better manage their day-to-day health, myNurse’s Pat Soderberg is the first to admit she’s far from perfect.
“Dark chocolate is what I live for,” says Pat, laughing. “I definitely have to be mindful about what I keep in the house…if it’s there, I’ll claim it and eat it.”
Like many of us, Pat struggles with keeping her food cravings in check, staying active and having a positive attitude when she slips up. And at 60 years old, she knows that staying on track can get even tougher as we age.
“The line I hear a lot is, ‘At my age…’ And I get that,” says Pat. “You’ve lived a full life, ‘dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s and done everything you’re supposed to. So sometimes you think: ‘I’m just going to do whatever I want.’ But I think it’s important to remind people – you got to be 85 because you’ve done some right things along the way.”
“The line I hear a lot is, ‘At my age…’ And I get that.”
Though sticking to healthy eating and exercise habits or making other positive health changes can feel daunting, they’re key to maintaining our quality of life. “I think that as we age, our life becomes more complex from a health perspective,” says Pat. “But if you want to continue to feel as good as you do now, at least staying close to a healthy eating pattern will help you keep your quality of life where you want it to be.”
|Pat recently hosted a special online education session from on healthy eating! Watch the replay here or visit us on YouTube|
Still, Pat acknowledges just how difficult maintaining those healthy eating patterns can be in today’s food climate. “The issue is that we all need nutrition and it’s abundantly available to most of us. But nowadays, there are so many opportunities to make the less healthy choice. I’m more surrounded by food and reminders of food than I’ve ever been – you barely can walk 10 steps without seeing an ad or a vending machine or some other reminder of food,” she says. “So managing food choices and knowing what you need and what you want and being able to distinguish those two is very difficult. I’m very empathetic to people when they say this is hard. Yeah, it is.”
“I’m very empathetic to people when they say this is hard. Yeah, it is.”
That’s why Pat emphasizes starting small. “No goal is too small,” she says, explaining that whether you’re trying to build a new healthy habit or break an unhealthy one, taking small steps in the right direction or even just paying a bit more attention to the details can go a long way. That’s doubly true when your goal is weight loss, which can be a slow and frustrating process. “It’s very easy to buy into a negative mindset,” says Pat. “But we need to realize that the weight didn’t come on in a day, and it won’t come off in a day.”
“No goal is too small.”
Instead of looking at the top of the mountain and getting overwhelmed, Pat encourages her clients to focus on the smaller, more manageable adjustments they can make day to day. “There’s that expression, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff,’ and I completely disagree with that. We do need to sweat the small stuff,” says Pat. “Say you eat 10 Hershey’s Kisses every day – it’s only 10, but they add up. Little things add up whether they’re good choices or not.”
If you start with the tiny steps, Pat says, you may be shocked at just how far you can get over time. “I think people’s ability to change is amazing. If the reason is good enough, I think that we can all make changes,” says Pat. The key is to take concrete actions and get the support you need to stay on track.
Drawing on her experience as a health educator and dietitian with leading organizations like Cigna, Pat strives to help myNurse members tackle their diet and fitness challenges to reach their personal health goals, one step at a time. Have a question for her? Ask away!
Pat Soderberg joined myNurse in September 2021 as the program’s first Registered Dietitian Wellness Coach. She coaches members directly and supports other coaches on the team by providing specific guidance around nutrition and healthy eating.
Pat has been a registered dietitian for 30 years and has worked in acute care, long term care, health coaching and project management. Given her passion for nutrition education and coaching, she’s very excited to be a part of myNurse.
Outside of work, Pat is an avid alpine skier and is enjoying her 31st year of teaching skiing. She’s also a proud “gramma” and loves visiting her 2 grandchildren in Maryland to take them on new adventures. Pat and her husband also love to spend their free time enjoying outdoor activities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Alaska, and wherever else the road takes them.