When you dial up Patti Garland, she’s sitting in a sunny workspace inside her home on the New Milford-New Preston line. In this intimate digital space between you and her, she says everything can change.
“What I really want to do is empower my clients to take care of themselves.”
To that end, the 66-year-old launched Healthy Methods Wellness two years ago. She’s spent 30 years in the health, fitness, and wellness industries, including a 15-year stint running an award-winning Curves franchise in New Milford. Prior to that, she’d run a busy massage therapy business and worked in administrative posts at nursing homes Garland worked and worked and worked, until age 60 dawned … and her body rebelled.
“I was feeling immensely burned out. And I was having pretty bad anxiety and panic attacks.”
Doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. Actually the opposite, Garland says—they would tell her she was extremely healthy. But the panic attacks didn’t relent—so Patti had to.
“I thought, I need to make a big life change here … because I am not going to live my life having panic attacks.” She continued, “I walked away from my business. I closed it. I took a little bit of time where I worked just with my husband for a couple years … and I’m gonna say, I really healed.”
Once she was patched up, Patti told her husband of 20 years what she had to do next.
“I miss miss miss helping women. I am going to relaunch and start over.”
This time around, Garland has been wiser.
“I wanted to help other women learn how they can lose weight, manage their menopause symptoms … and not do what I did.”
Garland says menopause can affect energy levels, diminish mental clarity, and trigger anxiety, in addition to the better-known grievances like hot flashes and weight gain. But she says these symptoms can be wrangled, even controlled. She customizes a plan for each of her Healthy Methods Wellness clients, and it never involves medication or dieting.
“This is food, mindset, and exercise,” she says.
Garland is certified as a health coach and fitness trainer, and looks the part with her neat, short blonde hair, ready smile, and energetic nature. The only thing missing is a whistle.
“I believe in coaching because most of the coaches I’ve ever worked with have walked through the fire and come out on the other side.”
She says she brings her clients to the other side by meeting weekly, for as long as it takes to move through three distinct phases. The first stage involves mastering eating, getting control over mindset and starting exercise—healing the metabolism, Garland says. In stage two, ‘things start to happen,’ according to Garland—clothes start to fit better, the old thought patterns are less prevalent, and her clients work to find the foods triggering their menopause symptoms. Finally, Garland says, stage three fortifies all of these changes into a new lifestyle.
“Nothing makes me happier than when I check in with my client and say ok, so the last time I talked to you, you said this and this and this … so are you still experiencing this? And they say, ‘Oh my gosh, I totally forgot that was going on!’”
Garland sees these victories as signs her clients won’t one day find themselves sidelined, like she once was.
“Had I just earlier on, learned some of the techniques that I teach my clients … I don’t think I would’ve had to take quite so much time to heal before I started back.”
Sponsored story written by Brandee Gilmore.
Lead photo by Lora Karam.