Just two years ago, Noel Koenke packed her car and left her longtime home in Pennsylvania to make a fresh start.
“I didn’t have a job. I didn’t know where I was going to go. I had very little money. I took a leap of faith,” Koenke said. After going through a divorce, the former minister only knew that she needed a change.
After landing in North Texas, Koenke discovered an unexpected career path that has taken her years of spiritual coaching experience in a new direction. Now, she coaches clients through the challenges of weight loss as a Regional Natural Hormone Balancing Manager for BeBalanced, a weight loss and natural hormone balancing center.
Koenke, who has a master’s degree in spiritual care, said her background and personal challenges help her connect with clients as they work to let go of stress, trauma, and other barriers to weight loss. Since joining the company in late 2019, Koenke has led the company’s growth from one to three North Texas locations, including centers in Frisco, Plano, and McKinney, with plans for more openings.
“BeBalanced is a non-medical, holistic approach to solving stubborn weight gain, PMS, and menopausal symptoms,” Koenke said.
She continued: “It’s not the kind of weight loss center where you come in, get your products and go. We make the space to talk about what’s weighing you down, what you are emotionally carrying as well. It’s a safe place where women can come to feel supported and gain knowledge about their bodies.”
The main program for weight loss focuses on healthy eating, stress-reduction techniques, and natural supplementation to promote healthy ranges of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol.
Said Koenke: “The center also offers a wide range of certified supplements and has a program to address leaky gut, a condition that involves a weakened intestinal barrier believed to play a role in both gastrointestinal symptoms as well as a precursor to auto-immune diseases.”
While most of the clients are women, the center also serves men.
After joining the company, Koenke started the program and lost 19.2 pounds in one month. She said the plan’s focus on holistic wellness made it different from the many diets she had tried over the years.
“The biggest reason it worked for me is that I was doing something so good for my body,” Koenke said. “It’s holistic; it’s all-natural. There’s nothing synthetic. It’s not medication, intense workouts, or a starvation diet—I’ve tried all of those, and they don’t work. If you treat your body with care and give it the most natural approach to what it needs, it will cooperate with you. We aid the body in reaching the natural state of how it’s meant to perform.”
The 14-week program guides clients to lose excess weight quickly, stabilize their metabolism, and reintroduce their favorite foods while maintaining their weight loss. After a two-day preparation, clients go through a 28-day weight loss phase in which they eat a diet focused on healthy foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Koenke said she encourages women to reach a weight they are comfortable with, not necessarily what fits societal expectations. The last phases focus on lifestyle and nutrition to help clients maintain their weight loss as they move forward.
“We work to help clients get to the weight where they feel their best,” she said. “We’re so inundated with societal standards and messaging from the time we’re little children. We’re not trying to fight a continual battle for something that is not realistic or healthy.”
One of Koenke’s clients, Page Johnson of Prosper, discovered BeBalanced while researching weight loss.
“I was trying every diet known to man and wasn’t losing weight,” said Johnson, 57. A blood test taken by her doctor had revealed that some of her hormone levels were low. However, Johnson did not want hormone replacement therapy.
Johnson started the program in January. By the end of May, she had lost 50 pounds. Her problems with heartburn disappeared after eating more fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods rather than prepackaged processed meals and counting calories.
“I felt better than I had felt in years,” Johnson said. “I was cooking and doing meal-prep. I became conscious about the vegetables I ate. I have been able to turn around the way I eat.”
Founder Dawn Cutillo, a long-time health educator, developed the BeBalanced Program and opened the first center in Pennsylvania in 2007. Many women over age 40 she worked with became frustrated because they could not lose weight despite dieting and exercising. That led Cutillo to look into hormone imbalances that she believes cause weight gain. The program’s focus on natural hormone balancing instead of hormone replacement therapy is critical to helping women lose weight, Koenke said.
“So much of how our body works is based on hormones. I don’t think they get the attention they deserve. Hormones are the body’s way of communicating; their balance contributes to our ability to lose weight,” Koenke said.
For example, stress can raise the body’s level of the hormone cortisol, which contributes to elevated insulin levels and weight gain. The program’s relaxation techniques help clients lower their cortisol levels, restoring progesterone and insulin stabilization. Koenke said BeBalanced’s all-natural, certified supplements also help balance hormones and relieve PMS symptoms, bloating, hot flashes, night sweats, lack of libido, headaches, migraines, and depression.
“You do not have to suffer through hot flashes, night sweats, and stubborn weight gain. You don’t have to settle for those symptoms,” Koenke said. “You can choose to make a change and have different results.”
Rather than a quick fix, the program focuses on helping people achieve long-term health, Koenke said.
“If you do not make time for your health now, you will be forced to make time for your illness later. If we accept illness and disease as part of aging, then we will manifest that belief as a result,” Koenke said.
“Covid-19, as difficult and challenging as it has been, was a huge wake-up call about our health. The most severe cases of Covid were in people who already had pre-existing health conditions. What more motivation do we need to live our best lives and not take any moment for granted? That’s what the entire year taught me. Life is too short; it’s too short to accept feeling bad.”
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