Serve Magazine from Concordia Plan Services Winter 2017 - Page 11

Back to my story with my health coach: At the beginning, we talked about every three weeks. The beginning steps involved me sharing honestly with her my struggles with food and evaluating my overall health. I read the literature she sent me and started measuring my body and weighing myself only once a month — the day before my next phone call. I didn’t want to obsess about my weight. My goal was to be healthy. She encouraged me to set one goal to start off my program. My first goal was committing to walking for 30 minutes daily — except for Sundays. The next phone call, I committed to make an appointment with a nutritionist. The third phone call was a commitment to go to my appointment with my nutritionist. At this time, I also scheduled in morn- ing and evening Bible readings to get support from God in my daily struggles. I have continued that for the past year and a half now and can’t imagine a day going by without reading God’s Word. “Everyone has a story,” said Yomarie Olsen (pictured), a nutritionist with the Concordia Total Health Team (CTHT). “I love to listen to their stories, and I love to help them break down the walls that are keeping them from getting where they want to be.” behavioral specialists, health educators, exercise specialists and counselors — all supported by doctors and pharmacists. The service is free and confidential. For more than a year, Olsen has coached the woman whose story you just read. A wellness coach with more than 25 years of experience, she works with Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members who are struggling with nutritional issues and has formed relationships with pastors, teachers, lay workers, spouses and others. When a CHP member calls the CTHT, the first conversation is with a personal advocate who will find the right coach to help the member with personal needs and goals. The team includes nutritionists, registered nurses, The nutritionist was very helpful. I recorded what I was eating for one week before my appointment. She helped me fine-tune my eating plan and recommended that I drink half my body weight in fluid ounces of water. This really surprised me, because I thought I was drinking plenty of water. This took me about three weeks to adjust, but my body got used to drinking that much water. The progress has been slow but sure as I became more willing to try something new each month. Many months I was successful with my goal, but if I was unsuccessful, it was very helpful to talk with my health coach and to figure out a new plan to meet that goal. My overall progress has certainly “We usually start out by getting to know the members a little bit better and find- ing out what their overall goals are and what barriers are preventing them from meeting those goals,” said Olsen, who has a degree in nutrition and dietetics. “From there, we start working toward the goal in baby steps. We identify something they’re willing to do and be accountable for, and we make that the goal until the next time we talk.” Olsen connects about every three weeks with the members she coaches, but that schedule can change depend- ing on need. Weight is the challenge for many who seek out a nutritionist like her, and the ideas she provides vary depending on the person. “We talk about handling emotional strug- gl