I received the official word of passing the board exam on Thursday, October 12th at approximately 4:15pm. I remember it all well, and what I forgot I went back and checked all the texts I sent to those who love me and were following my journey. You see, my journey in nutrition education began in 1999 after a second diagnosis with Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed just a week before our 25th wedding anniversary and a trip we planned to share together in Europe for 12 days. The oncologist wanted me to go to surgery immediately for a mastectomy, but I said, “No way! Me and both my breasts are going to Europe!” I promised to deliver myself to the hospital within two days of my return and that is exactly what I did!
I am grateful for the medical world and all that they have provided over the years.
However, in my two bouts with cancer (1988 and again 1999) what I learned was that they are equipped well in surgical procedures and prescription drugs. The surgical schedules are full and the prescription pads are plentiful. Drug reps visit great doctors several times a day with a new and improved chemical concoction that is promoted as the best thing in disease management. Please hear my love for the medical world, but my dissatisfaction with their lack of knowledge of nutrition and the power of the plant. If you visit a surgeon you will most likely be on the scheduled for removal of a body part that is affected by disease or illness, and often that is the necessary approach, but many times there is a better way. After going through my hysterectomy at age 29 for cervical cancer, and my mastectomy at age 40 for breast cancer, I decided to investigate what my body actually needed from me.
I became what I call a “Student of Nutrition”.
I asked God a probing question: You created our bodies, so you must know how best to fuel them. What do I need to know that I don’t know about how to take care of my body? I began pursuit of trusted truth from what I consider the book of truth – the Bible. I learned many things and began to put them into practice at that time. I couldn’t get enough!
Meeting Dr. Willam Sears, MD
I do not believe in multivitamins so I said no to all supplements because I do not believe they are bioavailable. Then I found and read the research on Juice Plus . . . all plant-based nutrition from the actual whole food sources. Don’t try to talk me out of my Juice Plus, because I believe my son says it best, “Mom, if money was ever an issue, I’d turn off my cable tv before I’d stop my Juice Plus.” It was while listening to Dr. William Sears, MD shared his “Show me the Science” talk about supplements and whole food nutrition from plants, seeds, nuts, and legumes that I was overcome with a desire to learn more from this wise pediatrician of 45+ years in practice. When I found out that he had started the L.E.A.N. Coaches certification program, it was my dream to sit at his feet and learn from one who understood what I thought very few doctors understood. He taught exactly what I believed to be true, that nutrition is the key to health and prevention of illness.
My dream became a reality.
My dream became a reality when my husband presented me with a birthday gift in July 2015 that changed my life and my career. That beautifully wrapped box was full of materials, books, binders, and a syllabus for my first course of study with the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. I became a Certified Health Coach with Dr. William Sears, MD and I gave a 60-day notice to my then job as the Executive Director of a large swim-tennis-special event club, and by the end of the 60 days, I went into full-time nutrition coaching. While working full time with individuals and groups, I went on to obtain my second certification in Prime Time Health – A study of body systems and the foods that fuel them. Now with 2 certifications in two life-stages (Family, Adults, and Seniors), my practice grew.
Advanced Coach Training and Techniques Course
I didn’t want to stop there, so I registered for the Advanced Coach Training and Techniques Course to become a Master Certified Health Coach. This was no small feat. 18 weeks of intense study with little time for much else. Lengthy and complex syllabus, Textbooks, online live classes with weekly labs, and a final exam that was no joke. I passed. That course gave me the confidence to expand my practice in more ways than I could have ever dreamed.
National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach
Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is one of the few institutes that you can obtain the education required to become eligible for the board exam. My ACTT course had prepared me for the next and final step in my education journey . . . to become board certified. It seems like a long-shot for this gal that was married at 15, mother at 16. I barely graduated High School, and that was a long-shot too, so why not go for it. 15 more weeks of 12 textbooks, research, study, biometrics, psychology, behavior modification and so much more. The exam is 4 1/2 hours of long, complicated scenario-based questions, proctored, and timed. The two sections are a combination of physical, emotional, and behavioral topics that were somewhere in my brain! I finished. I drove home from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega in awe of what had just happened. I did it.
Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC. I am so proud of what it means to me and to others.
I am proud of my certifications. I worked very hard to get them. I love what I do. I love my clients and my students. I love coaching coaches and helping them grow their confidence so that they can help their students and clients. I tell my coaches, “The more you learn the more you earn.” Continue to grow. Continue to learn. This is true of any career. This is my full-time career. It is time-consuming, but every moment is a valuable one that you cannot get back, so make it count.
Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC
Owner of The Whole Food Health Coach, LLC 4988 West Broad St. Suite 201 Sugar Hill, GA 30518