Blog FPO

Revealing the Magic of Health Coaching

This guest blog is by Maria Ferrante, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications for PMMI.

About 20 months ago I was at a low point in my life. I was significantly overweight, unhappy with the state of my health and honestly, I felt stuck…and then my friend Anne reached out and offered help. She is a health coach – and although at the time, I was pretty skeptical that she could assist me, I figured what did I have to lose. In January 2018 I started working with Anne. Together we explored my health goals, I followed the plan we laid out together and the weight started melting off.

Fast forward 19 months, I have lost 138 lbs. and I have never felt better. I have resumed my active lifestyle that had been put on hold for years…kayaking, hiking, running a 5K, rock climbing with my 19-year-old son and so much more. I have endless energy, a new-found sense of freedom…and most importantly hope.

But that is not where the story ends…as I was having success, friends and family who noticed my transformation wanted to know how I did it, and I wanted to help. So, I started health coaching.

While health coaching for me is not a career – I continue to work full time as a marketing professional for a trade association based in Herndon, VA – it has become a passion, a way to pay this amazing gift forward and help others achieve their own health goals.

So, you might be wondering what do health coaches do? As a health coach, I do not diagnose, treat, prescribe, interpret medical results, write food plans nor recommend supplements. I work one-on-one with clients to empower them to develop and achieve self-determined goals related to all aspects of health and wellness. I support my clients as they mobilize their internal strengths and develop self-management strategies for making sustainable, healthy lifestyle, behavioral changes.

I create an environment that gives my clients permission to own responsibility for their health and success. This is a very personal process – I am simply the guide, cheerleader, motivator, supporter facilitating the process.

Together, we start with uncovering their “why” – why do they want to improve their health? What will life look like if they could get off medications, lose weight, move more freely, etc.? It is not all about the scale – we look at all aspects of their life from improving sleep to healthy motion to quality nutrition, managing stress and more.

As a health coach, I help clients achieve optimal health – and develop the mindset and habits to maintain it for life. Many clients initially come to me for weight loss (whether to lose 10 lbs. or 110 lbs.), but they find that is only one piece of the puzzle. When they learn what is possible, that is when the magic happens.


Maria Ferrante is senior director, marketing and communications for PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. For information about her health coaching practice, she can be reached at

Think Like a Kid… and Find the Fun in Getting Healthy

All the excuses of 2020 aside, most of us kick off any new year with a million goals about our health. The huge influx of people to the gym that seems to dwindle off by the end of February. So, how do we find a routine we can commit to? My advice – think like a kid.

Read More >
By: Stephanie Birnbaum | Jan, 29 2021

How to Stay Healthy at Home

Working from home comes with its own set of challenges. Staying active when you’re cozy in your house can be harder, while eating healthy when there’s a pantry full of food just steps from your home office can be tempting. Then there’s the tendency of Americans to work more with the time they save from commuting. But staying healthy while working from home can be done. Here are seven simple ways to maintain healthy habits while working from home.

Read More >
By: Jim Thompson | Jan, 15 2021

Don’t Fail to Plan

When you think of meal planning, the old saying really rings true here. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And that statement couldn’t be more true when it comes to making good choices with your food intake.

Read More >
By: Sarah Sain | Jan, 8 2021

Why You Should Prioritize and Plan for Rest

We live in a society that places value on always moving, going, doing and working. Even when the pandemic began nearly a year ago and many people were restricted from going anywhere or doing much of anything, the mindset of needing to be busy all the time persisted – albeit remotely. Add to that the fact that we’re all connected through our screens 24/7, and it’s leaving us mentally exhausted and chronically stressed.

Read More >
By: Mark Gray | Jan, 5 2021

The Health Challenges of Remote Working

Remote working has become the norm in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With workplaces the world over forced to close their offices, those who could turned to the sanctity of their own homes to go about their working day.

There are many benefits to a career spent at home, but it’s hard to argue there aren’t also downsides to this kind of life – especially when it comes to both physical and mental health challenges.

Read More >
By: Angela Pelc | Jan, 1 2021

It’s January 1, 2021, What Now?

Long time HBA Moderator Angela Pelc has all the answers on how to make 2021 so much better than 2020! Improve your health, get fitter, sleep better, stay motivated. How can you achieve all this and more? Well…she’s got one answer. And it’s not an easy one.

Read More >