Sarasota Nutritionist and Coca-Cola Are Leading Me on a #StepsToWellness Journey

I Just May Be Eating More Dishes Like these Lovely Vegan Entrees Prepared by Vegan Fusion Chef Mark Reinfeld at Worden Farm, Punta Gorda, Fla., Jan. 2013
I Just May Be Eating More Dishes Like these Lovely Vegan Entrees Prepared by Vegan Fusion Chef Mark Reinfeld at Worden Farm, Punta Gorda, Fla., Jan. 2013opens IMAGE file
I Just May Be Eating More Dishes Like these Lovely Vegan Entrees Prepared by Vegan Fusion Chef Mark Reinfeld at Worden Farm, Punta Gorda, Fla., Jan. 2013

I’ve embarked on a different kind of journey thanks to the assistance of Sarasota nutritionist Nora Clemens of  opens in a new windowNutrition and Wellness Solutions and opens in a new windowCoca-Cola. It’s a journey following the steps to wellness.

Getting My Measurements Done in the Office of Sarasota Nutritionist Nora Clemens of Nutrition and Wellness Solutionsopens IMAGE file
Getting My Measurements Done in the Office of Sarasota Nutritionist Nora Clemens of Nutrition and Wellness Solutions

I’ve admitted to myself, yet it’s difficult to admit to others, that according to medical parameters I’m the “O” word. A word so disgusting it’s one of the few words I can say. Thing is, I don’t, or haven’t, thought of myself as that because I don’t ooze over my airline seat, I don’t need a seat belt extension, I’m pretty active with walking and keeping on the go. Heck, a few years ago I played roller derby for a year.

I don’t fit the definition of what I think of as “O.” Yes. That’s called denial.

I’m about 30 pounds lighter than I was about a dozen years ago yet I still have a long way to go. I’ve tried to drop the excess weight beyond those 30-some but never really thought it was possible which is probably why I haven’t. I can’t visualize myself as a thin(ner) person.

I’ve worked out at the gym and even worked with a trainer for one, maybe two (could it be three?) years and although I got toned and lost a couple of pounds, I didn’t see the results I wanted.

Okay, I Went a Little Overboard by Eating a Tuna Sandwich for Lunch Daily for a Week, with My Buffalo-Made Weber's Mustardopens IMAGE file
Okay, I Went a Little Overboard by Eating a Tuna Sandwich for Lunch Daily for a Week, with My Buffalo-Made Weber’s Mustard

No More Slug!

“You work hard,” my trainer Al told me, “and would see more results if you ate right.”

I knew he was right and for a short while, like for a week, I’d stick to plan then slowly creep into my old ways especially when traveling or entertaining during my day job. He knew I wasn’t eating right not only because he didn’t see the results in my body after working out but because we’re friends on Facebook and I’d post photos of my food.

I have faced health issue over the past couple of years and never took my excess weight seriously. The most serious issues I’m facing right now are Type 2 diabetes, in which I was diagnosed with a year ago and high cholesterol, which runs in both sides of my family.

This summer, I realized I needed to do something so one lazy Sunday morning I ordered Shaun T’s INSANITY DVD Workout Collection after watching an infomercial. I diligently followed the exercise program but not the nutritional plan. Although I saw some results they were nothing compared to what other people were seeing.

Maybe following a nutrition plan and eating right works.

Which leads me to today.

Because I Like to Walk, I Was a #StepstoWellness Star
Earlier I mentioned how I enjoy walking and when I attended the blogging conference opens in a new windowBlogHer in July I walked like a fool. Coincidentally, Coca-Cola hosted a walking challenged called #StepstoWellness and gave attendees pedometers to track their steps during the conference. We were encouraged to submit our steps walked in order to win prizes. I ended up opens in a new windowwalking a LOT primarily because the conference was in Chicago and I went out exploring. This included walking to the convention center from the hotel which was more than three miles. I walked so much I was one of the winners to earn a session with a nutritionist.

Meet Sarasota Nutritionist Nora Clemens of  Nutrition and Wellness Solutionsopens IMAGE file
Meet Sarasota Nutritionist Nora Clemens of Nutrition and Wellness Solutions

This is when I was introduced to Sarasota nutritionist Nora Clemens and was enrolled in her opens in a new window180° Health Re-Do Program which did what she promised – she took me on an 180 degree turn in my eating habits to get me on the right track to improve my health and lose weight. In one session she showed me what I thought I knew about eating right was wrong which was based on completing my lifetime nutrition history and journaling my food intake for a week.

Through some machine she has in her office we measured my BMI (which is too much), the fat around my body (again, too much), fat around my organs (more than necessary but not too far from normal), my muscle mass (ironically, it’s average. Thanks, Shaun T!), and my body age which was 60-something. (Dang! If I feel okay at 60 after I drop some weight I’ll be feeling pretty awesome!) In addition to making a commitment to her to follow a nutrition plan and exercise routine I made a commitment to myself.

My First Week Goals and Nora Clemens Writing Nutritional Notes for Meopens IMAGE file
My First Week Goals and Nora Clemens Writing Nutritional Notes for Me

With confidence I can say I’m ready to stay committed especially after losing FIVE POUNDS after my first week. My glucose levels significantly dropped too, and although I can’t say a week’s worth of eating is totally responsible for this but I’m sure it contributed. My A1C number dropped from 6.3 to 6.0.

Taking More Steps on this New Journey
My steps to wellness don’t end here. On my own dime I’ve decided to stick with Nora for another three months in her opens in a new window180°Weight Loss Program because I have the confidence she can guide me along this journey I never thought was possible. In a week she proved to me six almonds with a cup of cantaloupe is a fulfilling snack. Trust me, I doubted it would be substantial because do you know what six almonds look like?

I know it won’t be an easy road especially with two weeks of travel ahead next week, but I now have the confidence and knowledge to successfully move forward and navigate the global culinary scene.

Thank you Coca-Cola for the gift of health and thank you Nora Clemens for guiding me through this new journey. I’ll continue to blog about the next three months so stay tuned!

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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