I'm going on a bit of a trip this summer: Like many ladies, after coming out of winter hibernation, I'd like to get a little healthier and lose a little weight.

A few years ago, I lost 30 pounds with a Dr. Oz diet, and I've fluctuated between 10 and 15 pounds of that gained back over the last year and a half. So, I'm challenging myself to try again, this time with help from a nutritionist at Shore Medical Center. And I'm going to share my entire process with you along the way!

Let me explain:

So, why nutritional counseling, instead of just counting calories alone or cutting carbs?

1) A personalized approach. My Shore Medical Center nutritionist is going to review my medical history, eating habits and schedules (oh, the chocolate!) and exercise habits and help me find the lifestyle changes that will have the best, longest-lasting impact for me. I don't know about you, but if I give up my favorite snacks, I want to see results!

2) It's not just about numbers on the scale. I remember feeling better and more energetic (especially when I got to the radio station at 4 a.m. for work) when I was at my goal weight, and I'd like to get that back.

3) Follow-up sessions are important. As I learned from Shape, a nutritionist can provide emotional support you didn't know you needed and essentially save you from yourself.

"A nutritionist can serve as an outsider who can see things from a different perspective and point out what's working toward your goal and what's not," the article states. "It's normal for your eating patterns or healthy routine to need a little maintenance as you progress with a diet or new path."

4) Good nutrition can help you weather other life challenges. We all go through stressful times, whether they're job changes, training for a 5K or a marathon or relationship changes. According to Eat This, Not That, a nutritionist can help you deal with stress eating, preparing for a pregnancy or other challenges. I hope the things I learn this summer will stay with me when I'm tackling bigger goals in the future.

Getting started was easy! I got a referral from my primary doctor and made an appointment. Shore Medical Center does have some great online resources, such as a nutritional history form if you'd like to fill it out before your first appointment. To check that out (and get pricing information), click here!