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Community Highlights: Meet Annamarie Hedman of The H2Life NB

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annamarie Hedman.

Hi Annamarie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Community, education, and faith are at my core. My story goes back to the classroom as a child. For many years, I watched my aunt (“tia,” as I refer to her) in the classroom and saw the positive impact she made on her students and those around her. I knew at a young age that I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life when I grew up, particularly underserved populations. After graduating from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with a B.A. in Political Science in 2002, I worked for a non-profit organization, the National Hispanic Institute in Maxwell, Texas, as their Director of Public Relations and worked with high school students all over the county in youth leadership development programming. I relocated back to the Midwest to lead their Chicago office as the Director of Programming while completing my M.A. in Secondary Education in 2007. My calling in education continued as I entered the classroom as a public high school teacher and department chair for almost ten years for both the Chicago Public School system and Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, both “Title 1 populations” and LOVED every minute with my students.

In 2012, I left the classroom after my daughter was born in 2012 and embraced my new role as the “CEO of my household.” Our son was born in 2015, and in that same year, I created a blog for new moms called “Cavemom in the City” and often wrote about the adventures of motherhood and healthy recipes & cooking tips for families, as my husband is Type 1 diabetic. Needless to say, this is where my love for health & wellness AND education merged together. My home kitchen became a “test-kitchen” for recipes that were clean in ingredients, family-friendly, and compatible with my husband’s T1 Diabetes. I had many friends & family members call, text, or email me with questions and advice on healthy eating and nutrition. I couldn’t help but think this was a calling to do something more that could have a bigger impact. God always has a plan.

My passion for health/wellness, community, and education led me to discover the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute in 2019, where I would receive my Certified Health Coaching certifications in both family nutrition and adult & senior nutrition. I completed my program in March 2020 and opened The H2life NB, LLC in July of 2020. I know this may sound crazy, but opening my business in the middle of the pandemic was the perfect timing. There was a need more than ever to serve others in the field of wellness, as Covid19 was impacting communities worldwide. As a certified health coach and Diabetes Prevention lifestyle coach, I am able to help people in a more meaningful way with real, sustainable lifestyle change. I work with private clients locally in New Braunfels and do contract work with Vida Health, a national healthcare provider in the areas of nutrition, weight loss, diabetes prevention, exercise, and stress management. Despite my work with private clients, the heart of H2life NB is in community and making wellness opportunities accessible for all.

My husband and I, along with the support of our former pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Carlos Velazquez, started the Health & Wellness ministry in 2020 to further serve our parish and school community through a variety of programming in our local New Braunfels community. We have created wellness partners with local fitness centers, health & wellness businesses, and local health professionals to provide opportunity for our parishioners to get healthy and stay active. This year, pending approval from the CDC, I will launch our first group cohort for the Diabetes Prevention Program in New Braunfels, with Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church as the host location. The Diabetes Prevention Program will target individuals who are diagnosed with “prediabetes” by their primary care physician and are looking to make sustainable lifestyle changes. In the future, I hope to qualify for local and state grant assistance so that I may provide the Diabetes Prevention Program FREE of charge to community members who qualify. I am thrilled to have Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church as the host location in New Braunfels, as Austin and San Antonio are currently the only providers of the diabetes prevention program. My community work has allowed for me to work with so many wonderful partners including the New Braunfels Public Library, New Braunfels Parks & Recreation Department, and Westside Community Center in a variety of health & wellness education programming. I am excited for upcoming collaborations with the New Braunfels Christian Ministry and Texas Agricultural Extension Office in Comal County–all with community in our mission and hearts.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a business is never easy. And certainly starting one in the middle of a pandemic presented its challenges. But with determination, creativity, and faith in God, anything is possible.

My business plan for the H2lifeNB, LLC definitely had to shift and pivot as I was introducing myself in the New Braunfels community as a new wellness partner. When I opened in July of 2020, it was VERY difficult to establish relationships with local health care providers, as they were not allowing anyone in their offices other than patients. I also quickly realized that potential clients were not comfortable with meeting in person, as Covid19 vaccinations were not available yet. I quickly saw the need for virtual health coaching options. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how to create personal connections through technology. I was able to utilize zoom conferences initially, convert all of my coaching materials to a digital format, eventually invested in a new telehealth platform, Healthie, that would make health coaching easy for both the client and coach. Even though the state of Texas is “open for business,” I find that most clients, to this day, prefer the convenience of the virtual option for efficiency in their day. But there always is a silver lining in challenging situations. With the use of a virtual platform, I was able to expand my client base from local to national.

I’m also a firm believer that God puts people and opportunity in your life if you open your heart to it. Through His goodness, I have met some amazing folks along the way that have supported my vision for The H2lifeNB and have helped with referrals and programming opportunities. They say “it takes a village” and I’m thankful for my village of wellness partners, friends, family, and community that believes in the mission of The H2lifeNB. Connecting with other like-minded individuals who have a mission of community has been essential in my professional growth since opening The H2lifeNB, LLC.

We’ve been impressed with The H2Life NB, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The H2Life, LLC is a local New Braunfels healthcare provider that aims to help individuals and families achieve their health and wellness goals through trusted, science-based information, positive encouragement, and motivation. I often refer to my family as the “Healthy Hedman’s,” hence the H2 in the name, and practice what I preach, as I come from a LONG line of chronic illness in my family including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. I believe that a holistic approach to wellness starts with understanding how your Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition choices integrate and set the stage for your overall health. Through the H2lifeNB health coaching services, my clients create individualized solutions that support genuine, lasting lifestyle changes.

I have an extensive background in the areas of: family nutrition, adult & senior nutrition, women’s health, stress management, and diabetes prevention. I’d like to think what sets me apart from others is my honesty, integrity, trust, and reliance on science-based information. “Show me the science” is what makes me New Braunfels’ “trusted health coach.”

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Image Credits:

Mikenzie Ryan

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