Taking the steps to improve your lifestyle to lead a healthier and more fulfilling life can be a major challenge, but one thing that could help us all is a sense of community and accommodation. After going through her own individual journey to better her daily life, Dana Skaf wanted to give as many people as possible the opportunity to feel good about themselves, and their lifestyle habits, through her Body Wisdom program and business. Body Wisdom™ brings the individual a powerful, proven approach to weight loss that incorporates improving not just the body, but the mind, and spirit.
We all could benefit from a life of less stress and anxiety. When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, most of us associate it with strict diets and constant exercise, when the reality is there are a multitude of ways that we can live a healthier life, we just need some guidance, and that’s what Body Wisdom is there for.
Dana Skaf has over 25 years of experience working in healthcare. After experiencing a level of burnout after many years working in a profession she loves, she realized she hadn’t been taking the time to take care of the most important thing; herself.
Skaf then went through her own lifestyle transformation, and has been leading a happy, fulfilled, and healthy life ever since. The feeling she got after turning her life around was indescribable, and she knew she wanted to give as many people as possible the same feeling she had when she adopted healthier habits into her daily schedule.
Skaf completed the Body Wisdom program to reach her transformation, and it was so effective she ended up partnering with the owner to grow the brand and help a wider population of people who have similar goals. Eventually, Skaf bought the entire business, and has been helping people all over the world better themselves everyday since.
“Body Wisdom™ can influence how you manage stress and anxiety; assist in long-term weight loss and maintenance, improve sleep, enhance brain health, improve your energy and vitality.”
Skaf’s background working in healthcare is an integral piece to her current success with Body Wisdom. She’s been working since she was 16-years-old, after gaining the opportunity to work at a family dentist’s office for a few months, where she realized she had a connection with the field of healthcare, and helping people be the best version of themselves.
Skaf received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Chemistry. Following this accomplishment at La Salle University, a few years later, she attended Philadelphia University and graduated with a Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. Skaf is currently working on her doctorate in business administration through an affiliate program with Duke University.
She quickly transitioned to working in a medical practice office that was eventually sold to the University of Pennsylvania, and at the age of 26, she decided to forge her own path within the healthcare industry.
Skaf worked as a healthcare executive, beginning as the Director of Patient Accounting at Standard Medical Supply, Inc. She then became the Vice President of MBMS LLC, while she also established MedVisible as its managing partner. She then worked at NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, becoming a Professional Consulting Manager. She went on to serve in executive leadership roles at BlueNovo, Continuum Healthcare, Core Solutions, Inc., Puyallup Surgical Consultants and Healthcare Media Marketing. Currently Skaf is the CEO at Heaton Eye Associates.
Skaf is also currently pursuing a certification in lifestyle Medicine in Health and Wellness at Harvard University. Additionally, she’s a Certified Yoga Instructor, as well as a Certified Nutrition Counselor.
The multitude of roles Skaf played within the industry gave her an extensive amount of knowledge and experience to create her own sector in the field.
As her career progressed and she began taking on more executive leadership roles, she found herself becoming stressed out more often, and found it difficult to allocate time for it all. She hit a point where she still loved being in healthcare, she just needed a way to place a spotlight on the parts of it that truly mattered to her, and could give her the chance to help the most amount of people possible.
“I found myself struggling to manage my time to take care of myself. I had to continuously eat on the go, which led to some weight gain, and a sense of loss within myself, as I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my knowledge in terms of my career.
I hired a nutritionist and personal trainer, and she was really the one who helped me love myself and the person I wanted to become. She helped me manage my eating habits, as well as the stress in my life, which is such a major factor when it comes to our daily lifestyles and the ways in which we live our lives.”
From that point on, Skaf became very interested and educated in nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She became the go-to expert within her circle of friends and family when it came to nutrition and making lifestyle changes to better one’s overall wellbeing. She was able to help many people with the things she learned through her own wellness journey, and began to realize that she could help even more people if she had a larger platform.
“When I entered into my 40’s, my metabolism changed, as it does with most people, so the habits I had been practicing for the past decade were no longer relative to the way in which my body was changing and processing the habits I was maintaining.
It was at this time that I had met Dr. Donna Goldstein in Florida. I went on her Body Wisdom program and found extreme success from my work with her.
“What was nice about the Body Wisdom program was that it wasn’t just a way for me to lose weight and create adjusted healthy patterns for myself, I was also taught how to maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep the weight off, and continue to make good decisions for my overall wellbeing.”
At that time, the core values of the Body Wisdom program resonated with Skaf in terms of her life and what she wanted to do in the future. With all of her knowledge in healthcare, she knew she could be a beneficial asset to Dr. Donna’s mission with her business, Body Wisdom, so she ended up joining her as a business consultant.
Skaf ended up becoming certified in nutrition, and was able to begin co-leading groups with Dr. Donna, before leading groups on her own, and eventually, ended up buying the company all together.
“It turned my passion into a profession where I knew I could help so many people feel good about themselves through healthy lifestyle habits. Seeing people thrive on the program, and go on to live a happy and vital life has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.”
Body Wisdom has multiple programs to accommodate the different needs, goals, budget and lifestyles of every client.
One of the most popular is their 6-week live group program, as it sets common goals that many individuals looking to improve their lifestyles want to achieve, and it’s cost effective. The programs don’t just emphasize the importance of the individual making changes, it encourages group collaboration and support so everyone involved can lean on one another to achieve their goals.
“With the 6-week live program, we meet once a week and go through any questions or concerns from members of the group, as well as work through different modules and topics to encourage health and wellness.”
We also offer an on-demand program that’s catered to busy professionals that prefer to learn and thrive at their own pace. It’s all of the benefits of the 6-week live program but you go at your own pace with learning modules that are flexible enough for your busy schedule.
Our program isn’t identified as a diet, because it goes beyond just the foods members are consuming everyday, Body Wisdom is a lifestyle, with the overall goal of promoting a healthier day-to-day life.
“Body Wisdom covers habits to improve brain and gut health, stress management, overall health, sleep habits, non-strenuous exercise habits, and more. So overall the program works with all the elements of life to give everyone the education and tools they need to accomplish their goals.”
Body Wisdom also offers One-On-One programs for clients who want a more personal experience. Skaf explained how making lifestyle changes for anyone can be an intimidating experience, so sometimes going into it solo can help the individual acclimate to feeling comfortable in the journey they’re taking.
“We truly want the best for each and every one of the people we help, which is why we’ve worked to adjust, and even create new programs, to give everyone the best chance at living a healthier life.”
When Skaf first started at Body Wisdom as the owner, she wanted to add and adjust the two program options to accomplish that goal, and accommodate everyone’s feelings going into a new way of living.
Body Wisdom also offers 8-week & 12-week one-on-one programs for those who may want to lose a little more weight.
“The range of weight loss on the 6-week program is from 10 to 32 pounds, with an average of around 16 pounds, but it all depends on the individual, of course, and how much weight the individual has to lose.
If an individual wants to lose 25 pounds or more and has the financial means to, I recommend our 8-week or 12-week program. If the 6-week program is more in the realm of what they want to spend, they can then join an accountability group to continue the work they learned throughout the program with others, and continue that learning experience as well.
Clients can also go through the program again on their own once they complete it, or move into phase 2 of the program.”
The program in general has three phases to it:
- Phase 1 is the first 6 weeks known as the breakthrough phase. This phase is the “strictest” in terms of making the actual adjustments to your daily life and implementing the healthy habits taught within the program.
- Phase 2 is known as the momentum phase. This phase is available for anyone who’s met their weight goal, or is close to it. This phase supports those who want to exercise more than what’s needed in phase 1.
- Phase 3 is the thriving phase, which typically involves members who have lost their goal weight and have maintained a healthy lifestyle for a year.
The programs come with a vast menu full of nutritional options for one’s diet, and are designed to parallel the work they’re doing within the program so they never feel hungry, but instead feel fully satisfied and healthy with the choices they’re making. Again, Body Wisdom isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
“Usually by the second or third week of the program members start to discuss how they’re sleeping better and have more energy to go for walks and take on their days. When you take the steps to improve on and change all aspects of your lifestyle, it can surely be intimidating, however once you see even a little bit of a change in the way you feel everyday, it all starts to make sense and only motivates you to keep going.”
During Phase 2 of the program, the momentum phase, there are more items added to the menus given to each participant, which is designed to keep you on track with your new healthy lifestyle, but slows down the process so it’s not as intense as phase 1.
This way you can focus more on your day to day responsibilities outside of the program while still doing things everyday that will keep your mind, body, and soul feeling good.
“There’s also no strenuous exercise within this program, the exercise is more about making sure you’re taking time out of your week to move your body and keep it functioning at its best capacity. There are no shots, pills, supplements, or strict diet requirements, we offer real food and realistic options for every person.
We’re shifting lifestyles, which may have its difficulties, but the last thing we want is for our members to feel like they’re denying themselves of things that make them happy and feel good, we’re instead shifting the perspective on what that may be,” Skaf explained.
“Camaraderie has also become a huge part of what our programs accomplish as well. There’s such an immense amount of support that everyone gives one another because they’re all on the same journey together, and while their specific reasonings for joining may differ, they all have the overall goal of wanting to be the best version of themselves. I’ve seen so many life-long friendships form within these groups that last for years after they’ve completed the program.”
“There was this one group, for example, of 9 people that started the program back in November 2021. They all had various personal goals but after completing the program twice, a few months later they all came back as a group to go into phase 2 together. Since they created such a bond during their initial 6-weeks with us, they knew they could lean on one another as they continued their journeys, it’s really a beautiful thing. Additionally, ever since May of last year that same group has joined me every other week for their accountability group sessions; something that is available to every individual who has completed their program.
Most people actually enjoy the accountability groups because they can catch up and see the friends they initially made during phase 1 of the program. That group of 9 individuals is actually made up of a few pairings who live close to one another, so ever since 2021 this group has kept in contact, met up with each other when they can, and overall just always showed their support to one another, this is truly a program of community.”
Community is truly such an integral element to this program as well. Skaf currently resides in Texas, but will travel to Florida often; where Body Wisdom was initially founded. When she does get the chance to travel, she always makes it a point to meet up with her clients who live there to check in, and offer any advice that they may need. She even discussed how she’ll be taking a trip to North Carolina this year, and has already begun coordinating with clients who live there so they can catch up together.
“Obviously with the pandemic, 99% of my clients would do the program online during that initial year, but now that we have the ability to travel again, I’ve made it a point to travel and meet all these amazing people in person.”
When you enter into the program, Skaf also explained that while there are live classes for everyone, if those are done during a time where the individual may be busy, every lesson taught is available on demand so they can watch on their own time. Another example of Body Wisdom putting the focus on the individual and accommodating what they need to better themselves.
Body Wisdom is literally changing the world, because it’s available internationally. Skaf has clients in Singapore, Lebanon, the UK, and more. She’s also been working with some of her international clients on getting certified through Body Wisdom so they can bring all the amazing work they do to more international citizens in person.
Skaf has over 25 years of experience working in healthcare, throughout a variety of specialties. She described working with doctors in a wide variety of specialties, and seeing first hand what can happen to a person who doesn’t take the best care of themselves. This experience has made her passion for Body Wisdom even stronger. She’s able to apply her vast knowledge of the human body and how it functions, and meld it with her knowledge of health and wellness to help every member of Body Wisdom looking to improve their life.
When it comes to the future of Body Wisdom, Skaf has no intention of slowing down. Being inspired by the multitude of groups she’s been able to help and seeing the results in real time has given her all the motivation to continue to grow Body Wisdom and help an even larger population of people.
As previously mentioned, she’s been working on creating a certification program for others who want to help lead groups of people better their lives under the Body Wisdom umbrella. She’s also working on a collaborative new program that encompasses the idea of feeling good on the inside and looking good on the outside through image consulting.
When individuals have a physical transformation, there’s often a hesitancy to change the way they present themselves in terms of clothing and style. This new program will assist individuals who are leading a new lifestyle learn the best ways to dress themselves so they’ll feel as confident as possible every day.
“I’m committed to offering the highest quality service on everyone’s journey to wellness, vitality, and happiness,” Skaf concluded.
To learn more about the amazing work and transformation’s Body Wisdom has provided to the world, check out their website by clicking here!
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.