• Joy!!!!! Your letter was fabulous and I agree with everything you said. I am down 40 lbs. and feel so much better about life in general. You left one thing out in your letter……the constant smile and happiness on your face EVERY single day. You were an inspiration to all of us. Let me know when you and Jackie are heading back. I would love to see you both again!!!! Donna

    From Donna Adam
    May 25, 2011

Get H3 Inspired: Joy M. Nonweiler, Ph.D., Esq.

Today, we have a special H3 Get Inspired message from Joy Nonweiler! I’m sure that Joy’s message will resonate in many of you as it has in me. Next Wednesday, I will share the story of my struggle with weight loss as part of my “From an Intern’s Perspective” series. I hope that everyone enjoys Joy’s post! Feel free to comment if you have a story you’d like to share or were inspired by Joy’s message. 


Betrayal from Within
Well, it may sound dramatic, but “betrayal from within” perfectly describes what I felt about menopause and advancing age’s effects on my body. I was 56, married for nearly 30 years, and an overachiever with degrees from bachelors through doctorate, and multiple successful careers in medicine, business and most recently as an attorney. In addition, I was concurrently a part-time group fitness instructor, and had been for over 20 years. But for about the past five years I was also miserable. Overweight by at least 50 pounds, uncomfortable in my own body, and ashamed that with all my resources, education and background I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I was usually the one other people came to for guidance, but I could not “heal myself” this time. I knew I needed to take action, but I felt like such a failure because I didn’t know what to do.

Just before Christmas 2010, I was reviewing my budget. I hadn’t been on vacation for many years, and I thought maybe my husband and I could take the whole family to Disney before my nephew went off to college. We had the money, but our two 14 year old dogs were no longer hearty enough for travel or boarding. I was disappointed, but determined to still find a way to decompress. After much thought, I decided to look into a fitness vacation.

Skeptical, but Hopeful
I scoured the Internet for information about “fat camp, fitness retreats, biggest loser, health resort” and every other conceivable search term. I narrowed the list down and down and down until I had five “finalist” locations around the country. I presented the spreadsheet of facilities, locations, programming, cost and consumer ratings to my sister. I asked her help me choose and to go with me. After hours of deliberation, discussion, and debate, we booked our trip at Hilton Head Health.

My sister and I were both skeptical about whether we could feel satisfied with a low calorie lifestyle, especially given all the exercise classes we saw offered on the H3 sample schedule. All in all, we were amazed at the delicious fare and how we easily adjusted to fewer calories and low sodium when the meals were distributed throughout the day with the Metabo Meal snacks in between. We learned about portion size, volumetrics, and to eat slowly and savor our food. We also enjoyed wonderful, enriching conversation during our H3 meals, and made many new friends.

360 Degree Educational Experience
The exercise classes were fabulous, entertaining, challenging, and ran the gamut of group exercise classes representing aerobic, strength, core, and specialty areas. The didactic sessions were informational and thought provoking. The staff and administration made me feel like I was valued and worthy of special consideration, and really made me feel welcome. I would have loved to stay longer, and I hope and wish to return. Amid all the other more obvious benefits, the peace of mind I gained was truly priceless. After getting back home, I followed the A&E “Heavy” episodes, and I was jealous of the participants who were able to stay at Hilton Head Health for 6 months. Their success is a tribute to the lifestyle education they received at H3.

At the time of this writing, it is about 3 months since I first arrived at H3 for my two week visit, and I have lost 30 pounds. I feel fantastic. The H3 team tested my blood on arrival and after two weeks, and my cholesterol went from 237 to 166, HDL stayed steady at 50, and my LDL went from 153 to 103. I no longer chew antacids like they were candy. My wardrobe has doubled because I fit into more of my clothes. My BMI is almost in the normal range, too!

Attitude Adjustment
Now that I have experienced the program, I can honestly say it beats a Disney vacation hands down. I am a believer!! I eat healthily without starving, find the time to exercise more, and know I can be healthy without deprivation. My metabolism and body have seen better days, but I no longer feel betrayed by the aging process. H3 gave me the tools to succeed at being healthy and fit well into my senior years. Thank you H3!

– Joy M. Nonweiler, Ph.D., Esq.

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