The Duncan Family
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the knowledge of and how to live a healthy lifestyle. Registered dietitian, Melissa Hawthorne helped us provide this gift to our family! We were faced with some genetic dispositions at an early age in our family that required a change in our lifestyle, particularly in the way we ate. If no change was made, we would be living with medications and the substantial side effects.
Melissa helped us all understand food labels, healthier meal planning, busy family pantry stocking and educating us on our individual needs for nutrition. What we enjoyed the most working with Melissa was her gift to explain and nurture our children’s understanding of healthy nutrition without lecturing. Her patience, understanding of our family dynamics and ability to correlate nutrition into our lifestyle was positively impactful.
I had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes for several years, but my glucose levels continued to rise. My doctor was suggesting additional medication, but I wanted to focus on changing my diet. I knew I needed a professional who understood the world of diabetes and nutrition. I reached out to registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, Melissa Hawthorne and it was a great decision! She is kind, patient, and very helpful. Melissa taught me how to eat to lower my blood sugar and feel full and satisfied. She helped me with meal planning, grocery shopping and guided me in identifying balanced meals both at home and when dining out. She challenged me to set goals such as increasing my exercise and adding strength training to my routine. While working with Melissa, I have lowered my A1C and lost 20 pounds. I continue to meet with Melissa to keep myself motivated and educated on the best way to eat for the best diabetes control.
On my 58 th birthday, I made a decision to work on myself before I turned 60. I needed to lose weight. I had told myself this thousands of times and tried many diets in the past with too many failures to count. I wanted this time to be different. I was looking for a permanent change. I realized that I needed help and could not do this on my own. I wanted someone that could help me navigate this journey and help me reach my goals. A friend recommended registered dietitian Melissa Hawthorne.
My biggest challenge was tracking everything that I ate. Wow! What a wake-up call! I never realized what and how much I was eating throughout the day. I always thought that I was eating healthy because I was focused on limiting fats, sugar, etc and just had a low metabolism. Reality was that I was eating too many calories and not paying attention to portion sizes. The food tracking app was the biggest challenge and the best tool to keep me accountable. Melissa helped me understand that smaller meal portions and healthy snacks throughout the day work!
I like working with Melissa because we have a plan that includes real foods. I am learning what nutrients are in foods and how they affect my body. We discussed food as fuel and even how to manage foods that are part of celebrations and social occasions. Melissa has also taught me a very important key in my journey to ealthy life and that is “exercise”. Melissa taught me that I “need” movement in my life to achieve my goals. This was the hardest challenge for me to accept. After much
encouragement from Melissa, I found my movement (daily walks, spin-cycling-yoga) and it has been a life changer. The third component and advice from Melissa was to “make time for myself”. These three areas that Melissa and I have worked on over these last 9 months have changed my life and made me a better person both physically and mentally.
I am working on my journey. I wake up in the morning energized. I am enjoying life again. I am down 40 lbs. and several clothes sizes after 9 months. I look forward to exercising daily and miss it if skipped. I have a quote on my wall of my exercise area that I read every morning, “If it does not challenge you, it will not change you Thank you Melissa for your encouragement, support, and many suggestions.
I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and I knew I needed help to learn how to eat right for my body. I decided to work with registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, Melissa Hawthorne and after a year of dedication working with her I lost 30 lbs. and lowered my blood glucose levels to a healthy range!
It\'s been 2 years since I started working with Melissa and my diet has stayed generally the same, but I continue to meet monthly with Melissa for accountability and to get more meals and snack ideas to expand my options under my personalized plan. The biggest change is that I now eat a few more calories, under Melissa’s direction, because I include strength training in my exercise routine. I did not have a desire to be \"buff\", but I did want to get stronger. Once I made the switch in my exercise, I quickly realized how beneficial strength training is for my health! Within 2 months of adding strength training, and with Melissa’s guidance on the diet side, I was able to cut my diabetes medication in half! I was thrilled!
I have tried other diets in my life and the plan Melissa created has been the most successful and the easiest to maintain. She developed a diet that was both realistic and flexible to my lifestyle. If I get off track with my food choices, I know that I can turn to the plan and get right back on track fast. I have also learned that the faster I get back on track, the quicker my weight and blood sugar levels return to healthy levels. The biggest lesson I have learned over my wellness journey is that the change I desired required a complete lifestyle change. No quick fix diets that I tried previously would allow me to maintain my desired weight and normalize blood sugar levels. My health is important to me and I have learned and accepted that this is my new lifestyle and there is no going back.
The best decision I ever made was going to see a registered dietitian. Melissa took what I enjoyed eating and worked it into a plan that was unique to me. The individualized attention exceeds any other program I have done. I also know that if I stray from my lifestyle plan, all I have to do is pick up the phone and go see her!
I have a beautiful, healthy 9 month old baby girl, but I gained 60+ pounds while pregnant. I do not know exactly how much I actually gained because in the last trimester at my weekly doctor’s appointments, I would ask the nurse not to tell me my weight. I had been pretty active and healthy prior to being pregnant. I trained for half marathons, went to cycling classes with friends and ate relatively healthy. However, once I was pregnant, I had major cravings for carbs and heavy meals. Pizza was my number one craving. One of my doctors talked to me about my weight gain and asked me to cut back on the carbs and focus on more protein and egetables. I tried to take his advice but then went back to eating unhealthy meals and did not really do any physical activity or exercise.
I am 5’5” and when I came home from the hospital I weighed 209lbs. I was exclusively nursing/pumping and 3 months after my baby was born I was only down to 203 lbs. I know that nursing burns a lot of calories but I was not losing weight! I remember looking at pictures taken and not even recognizing myself! I also had a hard time getting up and down off the floor when playing with my baby. I knew I needed to get some help.
I saw a Facebook post in a local mom’s group that mentioned registered dietitian, Melissa Hawthorne, and the person posting said they had great success working with her on healthy eating both during and following pregnancy. I picked up the phone that next day and called Melissa. When I called I was juggling a newborn baby, working a full-time job, pumping/nursing exclusively along with working on balancing my new family life, so I needed someone to help me figure out a meal plan that would help me reach my goal weight. Losing 50 pounds was not going to be easy so I needed a true professional to guide me.
Melissa was fantastic from the beginning! She was kind, encouraging, and as a mom of 3 little ones herself, she completely understood the challenges I was facing as a new mom. I filled out a questionnaire, told her what kind of food I liked to eat and she gave me a plan of different breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. She made it so simple! I have never been starving on this plan. I’m eating more protein and vegetables than I was before and feeling fuller longer.
One of the things I liked most about working with Melissa is that I had someone to report back to which helped keep me accountable. I have been on a few out of town trips in recent months. Melissa helped me prepare for those trips by researching restaurant menus online and suggesting healthy meal choices while away from my home and routine. Also, Melissa encouraged me to come up with a plan for doing a physical activity each week. At first, I could not even imagine being able to fit in a workout while working full-time and juggling family obligations. Melissa and I literally talked through my schedule and tossed around options that might work. I ended up finding a personal trainer and work out with her twice a week. I also signed back up with my running club, so I am now training for a half marathon. My weekly exercise routine is really helping me with my results. I am so happy to reach my goal weight and thankful for this journey and all of the help I have received from my dietitian!