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A Woman's Journey to Attain Lifelong Wellness

Knowing the Difference Between Wellness and Weightloss

Suzanne Fornaro was visiting her chiropractor, complaining of not feeling well and her body always being sore. Suzanne is a speech therapist, working with children and spending a lot of time playing with them on the floor. She started to notice it was becoming difficult to get up and down on the floor. This was when she knew she needed a change. A friend of Suzanne's suggested Dr. Gerber and Refresh Integrative Medicine and Aesthetics in Newtown. Now, three years later, Suzanne has kept off the 42 pounds she lost and Refresh continues to be a constant in her life. Suzanne says she owes her life-changing transformation to Dr. Lori Gerber and Life Coach Shawn Szalabofka. Suzanne continues to check in with Refresh monthly and says it helps to keep her on track. 

Newtown Lifestyle: What does wellness mean to you?

Suzanne Fornaro: Many people may view wellness as weight loss. Wellness, to me, has been much more than just weight loss. Through this program, I have restored energy, happiness, relaxation, emotional balance, stress reduction, I sleep better and have a better quality of life. Wellness has become more than just being free from illness, it is now a way of life for me. 

NL: What is different about the program at Refresh Integrative Medicine and Aesthetics compared to other wellness or weight loss programs you've tried? 

SF: From the first consultation, I knew Dr. Gerber and Shawn were different. I tried other weight loss programs in the past and had some success, but I was frustrated with places that had one broad plan that is usually the same for everyone. Refresh works with you one-on-one and gives you the individual attention that other programs don't. Dr. Gerber has a different type of insight into things, she is not afraid to try new things and think outside the box. After my bloodwork, Dr. Gerber saw that I had very low testosterone, so she added some bioidentical testosterone. My thyroid was low functioning so we optimized that with iodine and D3 as well as A and K2. Dr. Gerber suggested a green leafy diet and DIM (broccoli extract.) I also had very low progesterone, so we supplemented some bioidentical progesterone to help my sleep and weight. She also suggested a gut probiotic. 

NL: What do you think specifically was the key to your transformation? 

SF: I got to the point where I knew I needed to become aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Refresh gives you guidelines on the types of food to eat and what to stay away from. There are lists of foods in three categories, red, yellow, and green. "Red" are foods you should stay away from, "yellow" are foods you can have once in awhile, and the "green" foods are mostly vegetables and lean proteins that should make up the majority of your diet. Another key is to avoid anything processed and water! Lots and lots of water, it really helps with getting rid of any inflammation. 

NL: What benefits of wellness have you noticed in your daily life?

SF: In my daily life I have noticed I have increased energy, positive emotions, reduced illness and inflammation, I am genuinely pain-free and happy. My mother is 79 years old and for years she was having constant hot flashes and leg pain. She went to multiple doctors, none of which helped. Dr. Gerber met with her and after getting the results of her blood work, she realized she needed a low dose of testosterone. My moms hot flashes were finally gone! Her daily life has completely changed as well. 


NL: Why is your personal wellness so important to you?

SF: By changing my personal wellness, I've changed my life for the better! Balancing all that life has to offer is easier when you have a personal wellness plan and much easier when you're feeling good. I wasn't feeling good, I was avoiding social situations, I would only ever wear black. This program has completely changed my life. I wore a red sleeveless dress recently that I would have never even tried on before. Focusing on my personal wellness has really helped me to grow into the best version of myself!

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