A desire to help individuals achieve better health and a more rewarding life prompted Marilyn Donnelly, RDN, LD to leave a successful career in the insurance industry and become a nutrition counselor. Marilyn has been a nutrition professional in the Concord community since 1994.
Custom-Tailored, Client-Centered Approach
Marilyn approaches her work with a strong belief that individuals do best with a custom-tailored approach to nutrition, which takes into account their personal goals, life choices and individual physiology.
Rather than simply telling clients what to do, Marilyn uses an individually-centered approach. While providing suggestions, she also directly involves individuals in analyzing their current situation, seeking solutions and setting their own personal goals for change.
Each person comes to her at a different stage of life, with a unique personal history. This type of counseling actively involves clients in becoming the agent of their own change and results in long-term solutions.
Every effort is made to meet individuals at their current stage of change and guide them to progress in a comfortable and results-oriented manner. Marilyn helps her clients focus on meaningful, manageable and sustainable changes that are integrated into an overall healthier lifestyle.
A New Viewpoint
Nutrition information is readily available today, from formal programs and from the media. Many clients have extensive nutrition knowledge and are puzzled that having the information has not resulted in the healthful changes and weight management results they seek. Also perplexing is the fact that weight lost is so easily gained back. Many of her most successful clients have previously been “yo-yo dieters.”
Nutrition counseling offers the ability to build on what the client already knows. Marilyn particularly enjoys working one-on-one with people who have failed at diets and who lament: “I know the nutrition information. Why can’t I follow it and be successful?” She helps them correct some misperceptions, begin anew, and ultimately succeed. Her new approaches to weight management help ensure long-term success.
Speed of Progress/Magnitude of Change
Lifestyle change is a very individual challenge. Some people are aggressive, seeking rapid but sustainable results. Others prefer to move more slowly, with gradual changes.
Working one-on-one with Marilyn allows clients to choose not only the speed of their progress but also the magnitude of the changes. Her counseling helps each client move at a comfortable, sustainable pace. The synergy of working individually with Marilyn often produces long-term success her clients have not been able to achieve on their own.
Areas of Practice
Healthy Weight Management (both weight loss and weight gain)
Bowel Issues such as Constipation and Diarrhea
Non-Insulin Diabetes & Pre-diabetes
Weight Loss for Sleep Apnea
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Breast Cancer (post treatment)
Two Weight Management Approaches
Custom-Tailored Weight Management Approach
Based on her own past history of weight management struggles, Marilyn is fully aware that any successful weight loss plan:
- Must include enough food to prevent hunger
- Must include food that tastes wonderful
- Must not be based on foods that cause cravings and uncontrollable urges to eat
This weight management counseling begins with an extensive discussion of the client’s weight management history, including medical conditions, lifestyle habits, food likes and dislikes, fluid intake, exercise tolerance, stress levels and other factors that affect eating and weight management.
Marilyn and the client then work together to build a customized plan to meet the client’s individual needs.
Working together, Marilyn and the client develop a list of specific ideas for both meals and snacks. This is combined with an exercise plan that the individual is capable of and willing to pursue. The client leaves with personalized written goals, educational materials, recipes and newly acquired knowledge that fits into his or her current lifestyle.
Follow-up visits answer questions, provide support and motivation, adjust goals and modify the program based on the client’s individual experience.
The Bottom Line
Marilyn uses a personalized, holistic, therapeutic, approach to guide clients toward healthier eating and overall wellness. Her firm and focused, yet gentle and caring motivation has guided thousands of individuals to permanent lifestyle changes, better health and improved self-esteem, helping them to successfully manage weight, and deal effectively with specific medical diagnoses.
Nutrition counseling is typically covered by most Anthem, CIGNA and Harvard Pilgrim insurance plans. Medicare covers nutrition counseling with a diagnosis of diabetes.