Friday, November 1, 2019

My snugglebuggle Julian

My snugglebuggle, Julian.

My snugglebug Julian and I kickin' back on the couch. He's feeling a little better, no fever today, and super-snuggly.
One of the huge reasons I love our vocation (Independent OPTAVIA Coaches) is that Dave and I get to BE with our son Julian Xane Phillips, as a fully-present family.
Time is a non-renewable resource. I was reminded of that last week when I turned 50, but to be honest I didn't need that reminder because my reminder is a little dude we call "Sunshine" who came into our lives 15 years ago, and brought a whole lot of meaning purpose passion and - CHANGE - into our lives.
In order to BE the parents we wanted to be, in order to be GOOD STEWARDS of this amazing human being, this gift-of-a-boy God entrusted to us, we needed to CHANGE just about every one of our unhealthy habits, not simply our unhealthy PHYSICAL habits (of not taking care of ourselves, of emotional-eating, of using food and drink as coping mechanisms, etc) but we needed to change our unhealthy habits of THINKING (which contributed to our unhealthy physical habits).
Can I say it's been the hardest and best journey of my life to date? I think that's a pretty fair assessment, sums it up nicely, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

How to Gain Ten More Pounds by January 1st 2020

Are We Still Kidding Ourselves?

I remember the day when that first purchase of Halloween Candy "for the kiddos" right around October 15th would set off a cascade of events which would catapult me through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve and leave me an extra 10-15 pounds heavier by January 1st.

You know what I mean, that first tingle of "Oh, wow, Halloween candy, right...I'd better pick up a bag of my favorites right now before I forget."

Then I'd get INTO that very bag well before Halloween.  Which would leave me needing to buy another bag at 4pm on October 31st anyway because I had eaten completely through the first one.  The one I bought for the kiddos.

November 1st would roll around and I'd still be in a sugar-coma from the Halloween candy.  But I couldn't start any program because, of course, Thanksgiving was coming up.  And who starts a program before Thanksgiving?  That would be a futile exercise, right?  So went my thinking in the PAST.  So the menu planning and the procurement of food stuffs FOR Thanksgiving would begin in earnest.  You know, the sorting through the recipes, the gathering of the pumpkin pie fixings, the elaborate side-dishes, I could feel my mouth watering with every Food Network Thanksgiving Show I watched!  And a few more pounds would come on in anticipation with some of the "test recipes" I would make, you know, just in case, because it was a new recipe and all.

Thanksgiving Day would come and I would be SO FULL already by the time Thanksgiving Dinner rolled around because I had been tasting and testing as I prepared everything.  Then the "post-Thanksgiving nap."  That tryptophan-laden slumber of being SO stuffed I could hardly breathe.  Good thing I was wearing an elastic waist-band, or better yet a draping dress that of COURSE hid my rolls.

Finally, the Christmas Season, which had already hit with a vengeance on October 26th, was in full swing.  Time to make the "Christmas Cookies" because, of course, it was TRADITION!  The massive quantities of fudge I would have to make early in December simply to have enough pieces to go around on Christmas Eve.  Turns out I had to make about 3 double-batches before Christmas anyway to have enough because we kept eating them and eating them in advance of the festivities.  And the fudge was just ONE of the 6 or 7 varieties of Christmas Cookies/Goodies I was famous for making.  Nevermind the Mrs. Field's Eggnog Cookies that I ALSO had to make a few double-batches of in order to have 24 left by Christmas Eve.

And finally, New Year's Eve.  What is New Year's Eve without food, and a LOT of it?  Appetizers, champagne, you name it. I honestly don't think I felt a PANG of hunger from October 15th clear through until January 1st. THEN came the obvious resolution.  "I will lose weight this year!" Sure I will. If the previous 3 months was any indication of my resolve, I was in trouble. Still kidding myself.

So, then came the question.

What would I be willing to do to FINALLY realize my dreams of attaining and maintaining optimal health?

If you could, with the right tools and a little motivation and support, start something right NOW that could allow you be significantly healthier BY Christmas, would you be interested in that proposition??

The good news is: you CAN.  The question is: WILL YOU?

You see, I used to be the person described in the first half of this blog.  I used to BE Class IV Obese.  But I can tell you that even if you have 10-20 pounds to lose, you can relate to this blog, and you CAN get the results you want and live the life you desire, in health.  The plan is simple, and effective, and clinically proven.  It comes with a nutrition plan designed for massive, predictable success, it comes with David and I in your corner guiding you in the process as your coaches, it comes with an amazing community that we will introduce you to, and finally and most importantly you'll have the tools and support through our transformational system and education to adopt and continue to practice the healthy habits that can create lifelong health if you choose to engage in it!

If you are READY to bring health into your life you CAN be successful on this plan.  

If you are thinking "But I WANT to eat Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas Dinner, I don't WANT to start something now and NOT be able to enjoy those two days" think of it this way:  You are talking about TWO meals out of the 183 meals between November 1st and New Year's Day! No one is going to slap your hand or think you are a failure if you make a DECISION to have a couple Tablespoons of stuffing and a small sliver of pumpkin pie between now and January 1st, 2020!  You MAY even get to those meals and decide that it isn't WORTH it to you to have a few yummy things and sacrifice those days on plan.  But it isn't a deal-breaker unless YOU make it one.

For me, it was a turning point in my life and my health when I committed to the process.  What will YOU do?

Rinse and Repeat!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

TEN People Walked Into a Lifestyle Change-and Two Years Later There Was ONLY ONE LEFT.

Dave and I have been able to work, through the years, with many clients who have had Gastric Bypass, or other types of bariatric surgeries, and gained most, all, or more weight back that they had lost initially. Same is true with other "weight-loss programs" and what we've found pretty consistently is that like most OTHER lifestyle change endeavors, there seem to USUALLY be more people who fall into the "relapse" or "recitivism" category than those are are able to maintain their success for 2 years or more (long-term). Why is that?

The short answer is: It's complicated. The longer answer is that there is no pill or surgery or quick fix that can change our HABITS of THINKING. And, being obese (morbidly obese like I was, with a BMI approaching 50 and over 50% body fat) is not a physical problem in and of itself, it is simply a CONSEQUENCE, or a RESULT, of consistently using food in a way that it was NOT serving me, but was actually harming me. There isn't a flip that we can switch with a procedure or a pill, with something that is done TO us from an external standpoint. The same was true for me, when I made the decision to step into the process that our program provides, there is no guarantee and the decision and pulling the trigger on stepping into whatever process someone decides to utilize is simply STEP ONE of changing our life. The rest is a journey, and I'm sure there are lots of success stories of people who have done the work of deliberately changing the way they THINK after getting Gastric Bypass Surgery, just as there are lots of success stories with our program of people who have done the work of deliberately changing the way they THINK on the program David Phillips and I used and have dedicated our lives to assisting others with as coaches. It's what happens AFTER, and there's SO much science out there on behavior change and it is constantly evolving, but what has been CLEAR in the evidence-based literature is that this type of life-change, changing our habits and they way we think and respond to life, basically, REQUIRES much more than simply a "diet plan" to adhere to.

The structured nutrition that is necessary to send the body the instructions to utilize it's long-term energy reserves (fat) is surely an important factor, and there are lots of ways get there, some I would never recommend in a million years because they are NOT physician-recommended, they are NOT clinically proven and rigorously studied and determined to be SAFE and EFFECTIVE, or they have stimulants, shots, hormones, chinese herbs, appetite suppressants, all SORTS of things in them that yes, people desperate for ANY solution will participate in - even hacking up their own bodies - for what they THINK they will get in return. Bottom line is that yes, a solid nutrition plan that will spare lean body mass while burning fat, healing the gut microbiome, and delivering all the micronutrients by way of vitamins and minerals, and macronutrients like adequate protein and fiber is one of the elements of our program that I am so proud of. And it IS what, scientifically and biochemically, tells our bodies to go ahead and lift the firewall between our daily energy needs and our energy reserves. It's a beautiful process and the body is designed to do just that, if only we would let it.

If there were no other variables, for example, if once we hopped on we could, like robots, always stick to it and never deviate, and transition perfectly into an energy BALANCE nutrition plan after that, then yahoo we wouldn't have to worry about ever gaining weight again. HOWEVER, firstly, nutrition isn't the only healthy habit that effects our hormones/weight gain/weight loss/health state/disease state/lives, there are many interwoven factors that make up optimal health, and developing healthy habits of nutrition is the first step of getting on that path. In fact there are 6 main habit categories that we work with in our program, and healthy weight management or "getting to a healthy weight" is only one of them. Our program empowers people (with the coach as a guide) to develop the other FIVE areas, or categories of healthy habits, which all work together to support the potential to live optimally, in health. There's the category involved with eating healthy and hydrating adequately, which is lifelong. There's the healthy habit of restorative sleep and management of our daily energy (the cycle of ups and downs throughout our day), the habit category of healthy movement, the habit category dealing with creating a healthy mind, managing our emotional responses and our emotions and thoughts in general (including mindfulness and healthy ways to reduce chronic stress), and the habit category of creating healthy surroundings, because if we don't build an environment around us in our day to day which is supportive of health in all areas, with our relationships, with our homes, with our vocation, finding meaning and purpose, our spirituality and faith, all of it is individual which is why as coaches we are simply the guides, but someone needs to be willing to create a new life and way of living for themselves from the ground up in order to be successful in the long run.

It's what we do every day, habitually, and over time, which determines our future, and unfortunately so many people (including myself in the past and even sometimes I catch myself in old patterns of thinking even now but I have the tools to realize it now) simply view "losing weight" as an end unto itself, and look at the "way they're going to 'do' it" as a short-term diet that they will submit themselves to and "hold their breath" to muscle out and white-knuckle "sticking to it", they believe, until they "reach goal weight" then live in fear at "gaining it back".

If someone cannot or will not make the transition of THOUGHT (which our program provides so much support and tools and the COMMUNITY in which those positive changes and that shift can happen), FROM their previous WAY of thinking and acting/responding/living TO a NEW way of thinking/acting/responding/living, and believe me everyone CAN do it, everyone has the CAPACITY to do it, and with our program anyone who wants to transform themselves and thereby transform their lives as a result has the OPPORTUNITY to do it. Changing our MIND and creating new habits of thought (which determine our focus and our action/behavior) is a SKILL that none of us are good at when we are starting out but ONLY is developed over time, with intentionality, consistency and bull-doggish GRIT.

So I can say with 100% certainty and sincerity that unless someone is stepping into a process that has the 4 tools that we have, the components NOT ONLY of solid nutrition to meet their health goals over time, but ALSO has a GUIDE (Health Coach, in our case) to work with them 1:1, and ALSO has the EDUCATION and SKILLS workshopping WORK to actually change the way they think (our Habits of Health Transformational System), and ALSO has a greater supportive like-minded COMMUNITY of people they can walk this journey with (our OPTAVIA Community), well, those are the proven factors that the science of behavior change has indicated are NECESSARY components for someone to have the best outcome and live the life they truly WANT to live long-term, in their NEW behaviors, in their NEW life, without stepping back into their previous way of living.

I've touched on some of the components or the program that David and I coach, but now I want to switch to the philosophy our program is built on, and "why it matters what your diet program thinks" LOL.

A great book recommendation dealing with the overall philosophy of what it takes to be a successful PROGRAM to start with, for further study on what elements ANY program focusing on behavior change NEEDS to have to consistently have a low recidivism rate and a high success rate, read the book by Alan Deutchman called "Change or Die".

When I read this book many years ago, it independently confirmed to me and in my mind that the program David and I have the honor of being a part of (indeed it is the process and program we ourselves utilized to create health in our lives, losing over 200 pounds combined as a side effect of creating health) is like nothing else in the world in it's field, and at the same time it DOES have the components that Alan Deutchman highlighted that successful programs MUST have.

One way of looking at it, then, is to consider our program as having a "success-bias" built right into it, from the get go! It is our model and our methods that are biased towards success in the first place, instead of being "relapse-biased", which many behavior-change programs have built into them from the get-go, with their toward a 90% relapse rate!

One of the big differences is HOW they go about, ah, shall we say "motivating" people to change? Many classic (old, traditional, outdated, obsolete "relapse-biased") methods employ trying to motivate through FEAR, FORCE or FACTS.

Any one who is responding simply to fear, force, or facts, and focusing on something that is giving them pain that they want OUT of their lives, if they stay motivated by those things they simply won't succeed in the first place. What happens when they start achieving those changes? The discomfort diminishes, and if they haven't begun to change their thinking (again, it's a skill), then as their pain diminishes so does their "motivation" and as a result their "actions" and surprise surprise, their results stop dead in their tracks or they abandon their effort altogether because they ONLY did it to get away from the PAIN in the first place, not having the experience or foresight that yes the pain is temporarily diminished but unless they continue on in creating a new life and new thoughts and new habits and behaviors, the pain WILL return because they will be doing the SAME things they did which caused them to be in that place of pain in the first place.

Can anyone say "oscillating pattern?" Or how about "Yo-Yo Dieter?" Yep, that was for SURE me for much of my adult life!

Unless a program is keenly adept at empowering the individual to shift their way of thinking, well, that person will likely never be able to be included in that initial "10 people who had initial success and met their goals" number in the first place, to have a slight slight probability of ever BEING that ONE who made the change permanent.

No. The old model, the 90% relapse 10% success model deals with conflict resolution, and views the prior behavior or unwanted outcome (where a person is starting from as they enter into the process) as a "problem that needs to be solved" (ie, surgery, which is the quintessential example of treating obesity like a problem that needs solving...).

Really take a look at the philosophy of what kind of process you are considering stepping into to change your life. Seriously. Because if you don't you could likely be stepping right into a 90% recidivism rate model (which means that 9 out of 10 people who find initial success in the program will fall back to their previous unhealthy way of life/state within TWO years of their success) from the get-go. Ask questions, and before you even consider any kind of program or process, read Alan Deutchman's book, "Change or Die" (or at least read the thoughtful in-depth summary someone wrote ABOUT the book which I have included the link for below). Why? Because if you don't know WHAT you are looking for, you will not RECOGNIZE it when you see it. And you may miss that opportunity, have to wait for that bus to come around again and then get ON it!

In the book "Change or Die" Alan examined programs all over the country which were having AMAZING success and showed that with their programs, out of ten people who succeed in "changing their life" initially, six of the ten are still enjoying that changed life TWO years after finding the initial success, only four of the successful ten were unable sustain those new habits necessary to continue living that new life they wanted, and reverted back to previous unhealthy patterns WITHIN two years of their success.

That's 9 out of 10 "relapse" rate by the time 2 years have passed after their initial success for the classical (but totally ineffectual at producing long-term change) models, and a 4 out of 10 "relapse" rate with the successful effective models Alan studied which were having much better outcomes over time! Well, Alan studied these successful models to see if they had anything in common regarding how they are set up, the components and philosphy of change they utilize, their methods, environment, context, all of it. Then he distilled it down to THREE things all these successful programs had in common, THREE things that were common to each other, but were ABSENT in the more traditional or classic (ineffectual) program models. Now bear in mind that Alan was not studying a certain TYPE of behavior change only, in one TYPE of population or issue that people were trying to change. It was the sociology and epidemiology of behavior change ITSELF he was looking it. So, programs he looked at dealt with ex-convicts who were just getting out of prison and the goal was for them not to go back, for them to live a different life than the one that got them into prison in the first place. He also looked at drug addiction programs and dynamics involving addiction in general. And, get this, he ALSO studied BUSINESS programs. Yes, behavior change in business! Businesses attempting the change the way they do things, to reform their models to ones of productivity and positive work environments, to get at their cultures and create the businesses they wanted. Yes, all of the successful programs he studied dealt with some sort of behavior change, bringing in habits and thinking that can support the desired outcome, long-term.

So bringing it back around to healthy living, and what has always in the past been viewed as "dieting" or "weight loss" (but those words don't make sense in our model, really, as people find out after a few months they just don't sound right anymore)....Guess what model most ever other "diet programs" I've ever seen, been part of, read about or heard about use, including Gastric Bypass? The model that produces a built-in failure bias that 9 out of 10 people will fail. Only ONE out of ten people who are successful initially and meet goals and outcomes at the start will be still living those positive changes 2 years later.

The program David and I coach, however, is an embodiment of the principles of the successful models Alan Deutchman studied! He didn't use our program as an example, but as I was reading it and reading about the principles that all the successful models he studied utilized, he boiled it down to THREE principles that he sums up (see summary link below), and our program utilizes each of the three components that he said lead to outcomes of SIX out of TEN people being able to remain in their new changed lifestyle after 2 years! That's like saying this: 10 people do programs based on the first model (which is still SO prevalent in the "Health Care" system), and after 2 years only ONE is living the life they want. Hypothetically to compare, then, 10 people do the work using our program and apply themselves to the methods, and after 2 years SIX of them are still living the life they WANTED! First model, what most "diet programs" are, 10 people start out and two years after all 10 of them had success (we're not talking about people who didn't meet their goals, here, we're talking about ten people who MADE CHANGES and GOT RESULTS initially, the changes they were after), and then two years later, NINE of them are back to where they were before they started, and now feeling horrible about themselves. And it doesn't really matter who they are, you just have to realize that it wasn't anyone who quit midway through, statistics are based on 10 successful people who met their goals initially. It's the built in bias of the philosophy and the components, so that's why David and I are so passionate about what we do and WHY we do it. We don't want people who WILL be successful, who WILL be one of those "10 successful people" short term, who do the work and make the effort and are simply aligning themselves with a method that statistics show they only have a 10% statistical probability of being that ONE who is able to make it permanent. We'd rather people put their efforts and get their success in a model where 10 successful people, according to Deutchman, who meet their goals initially, have a 60% statistical probability of still living the successful NEW life after 2 years have passed. We're not like anything else out there on the planet today, and it's because of our philosophy of change, our philosophy of creating the life you want, and because our program delivers with the tools and support necessary to step into that new life. Here's a picture of the cover of the book, and a link to a great summary of the book:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Think on These Things

I remember when, in a pretty dark time in my life, I struggled DAILY to muster enough emotional energy to even get out of bed in the mornings. As soon as my eyelids fluttered open there was already a cacophony of shame, feelings of unworthiness, and the incessant chatter in my head every waking moment which screamed “See, you’re NOT enough. Told ya. You’ll never succeed an anything. You don’t have what it takes. You’re not welcome. You’re a bother, a nuisance, you’re just a place-holder in this life, taking up oxygen and biding time until you die.”
The echo-chamber of my thoughts was a dismal place to hang out.
And it was a choice to keep thinking this.
It was MY choice.
I didn’t think so at the time, I thought I was simply destined to “have low self-esteem,” and further, I believed God disapproved of any efforts or attempts to “improve my self-esteem”, that somehow it was wrong to “think more highly of myself than I ought”.
I wasn’t emotionally available for my family or for myself. I look back at those years that I wasted in a cycle of self-depreciation and self-defeat, and I don’t regret them. On the contrary, I’m grateful for them.
What I didn’t comprehend back then, and what I’ve been learning these last few years, is that people (including myself) can put labels on the growth process and I think we do that to try to define it in some concrete terms so we can “poo-poo” it as “not for us” so as not to feel even WORSE about ourselves, rather than stepping into taking 100% responsibility for where we are in life TODAY. Taking responsibility means that we look at our current mindset, our current health, our current habits of thinking and our current emotional management and take an ACCURATE assessment of the choices we’ve made and the consequences of them, with an attitude of gentle loving kindness and grace, and become fully aware of WHO WE ARE TODAY, in this moment, and understand that WE CHOSE IT.
I didn’t THINK at the time that I WAS that person because I chose to BE that person. None of us who have been through times like that THINK “It’s my fault”, and yet deep down we DO really think “It’s my fault” which adds to the confused thinking.
But you know, it’s NOT our FAULT. It’s our CHOICE.
Once I decided I wanted to change my thinking and began to step into that process of designing my life (including my thought life) around what mattered most to me, the people, mentors, and the tools showed up in my life! In fact they were there all along, had I been looking for them I would have recognized that, and when I did recognize that, I saw they were there.
One of the books that a dear friend and someone I consider a mentor recommended to me was “Switch on That Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist. She speaks of taking control of our thoughts, taking control of what we focus on and pay attention to, and becoming a master at it!
We CAN change our unhealthy habits of thinking, but only WE can develop those new healthy-thinking habits.
It’s a skill, and it felt awkward beginning that process, but so does any new skill!
Now I surround myself with relationships, people, and things that bring me joy, to reinforce and prompt me with visual cues to exercise healthy thoughts! I feed my brain good things, read books to learn more about the growth process and apply it practically in my life. I listen to podcasts that stretch and grow me, and I stay curious!
And when those echoes of old unhealthy thought patterns show up on my radar, I know I don't have to sit with them, entertain them, ruminate on them, or water them. Because WHATEVER we water, WHATEVER we FEED, WHATEVER we focus on, GROWS.
“So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always.”
-Philippians 4:8 (TPT)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

I Lost Half of Me Three Times in Twelve Years...

I lost half my size three times in 12 years* and transformed my mind
Reflections: I lost half my size 3 times in 12 years and transformed my mind in the process. What’s Going On? General thoughts starting back up to ASU tomorrow for my last class of my Masters Degree, and how THIS Fall semester is going to be WAAAY different than the first Fall Semester of my Masters Degree was. I gave myself a bit more experience during my Obesity Prevention and Management Masters Degree than I had planned. Call it my unofficial, unplanned practicum. And the valuable lessons I learned along the way. #losthalfofmethreetimes #losthalfofme #peoplewholosthalftheirsize #losthalfmysizethreetimes #healthyhabits #healthcoach #healthycommunity #healthynutrition #habitsofhealth #nevertoolate #firstsaywhoitisyouwillbe #dowhatyouhavetodo #stopdreamingandstartdoing #missionfit #mycoachstacy #optaviacoach #optavia *In a clincial study the group on the optimal weight 5&1 Plan lost 10 times more weght than the self-directed group. Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 lbs. Average fat loss is 10 lbs. Clients are in weight loss an average of 12 weeks.
Posted by Stacy Coar Phillips on Wednesday, August 15, 2018
I don't know if there is any sound on this, it's my first time trying to embed a video, so here's the link to the full video on my YouTube channel:

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

What's the RISK?

And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.

This is a curious world, we are always assessing "risk". 
"What will they think of me if I...."
"What if I end up being disappointed?'
"What if it doesn't work out?"
"What if it makes me uncomfortable?"
"What if I have to change?"
"What might I have to give up if I........"
What will I risk?

We think we are protecting ourselves from "risk" by simply staying the same, staying where we are, yet we then resent the feeling that we're somehow "stuck".

Well, consider THIS. Maybe we're feeling STUCK because we're forcing ourselves to mitigate all the risks of ACTION in advance, playing that narrative over and over in our brains, and our brains are pulling the emergency break and saying "you'll be safe so long as you stay right where you are. Don't breath, don't move, because if you DO, the scary things will find you and eat you up." Because that's what our "survival brain" does. It resists change. Any change, even positive change. Ever make a decision which on the surface appears to have NO foreseeable downside, but does involve change, and in the next hour/day/week/month our brains seem to find all sorts of reasons why we SHOULDN'T act on it or go that direction? All sorts of "possible scenarios" about how it "could go wrong" or "this could happen" or worst case "stick man warning" signs that seem to just appear out of nowhere? That's our brain resisting change. Some call it "paralysis by analysis" and I'm here to tell you, it's REAL.

Tell me, have you considered the "risks" you are taking by NOT doing that thing that is in your heart to do? That dream you have? The risks that could happen if you don't even TRY? Try THOSE risks on for size and see how they feel.

My friends, it's time to consider the flip side of that coin.

Next time you find yourself thinking about all the risks you may be taking to take that leap of faith, with all the uncertainties that come with it, ask yourself what you risk if you DON'T?

Do firemen risk physical harm when they run into a burning building to save lives? Is that not a dangerous thing, full of risk? Is there a chance they will get injured, or killed? And yet they do it. Why? Because it is what they are trained and equipped to do...after they set their intention on becoming a firemen and get busy BECOMING a fireman.

They didn't decide to become firemen to mitigate the risk. Paramedics become paramedics to help save people's lives. Some ride in helicopters every day. Army medics save lives in war zones. Have you ever seen the movie "Hacksaw Ridge"? They know there is a risk involved in these vocations, and yet they do it anyway. Now if you're not a risk taker by nature, there are plenty of other "safer" occupations to do, which are also noble and needed! The fact is people can get hurt and killed just about anywhere.

Two people sitting in their cars, likely with their seatbelts on, stopped at a red light on a busy street in rush hour in Seattle learned that this week when a crane fell on them and crushed them. A beautiful 60 year old lady observing the Sabbath with her congregation last week learned that when a gunman opened fire. Her first instinct was to throw herself in front of the Rabbi, saving his life and ending hers. She did not foresee any risk that morning to being with her community, and yet she never came home. I wonder if she mitigated the risk before she acted as a human shield? If she did, it was in a split second, and maybe she decided the bigger risk that mattered to her was what would happen if she did NOT act.

But how about those dreams we have, sometimes buried deep inside us? Those things that maybe we feel like we're "not enough" or "not ready" or "not capable" to do, or feel like "someday I'll...." but that someday never comes because we're always thinking "someday"? What if we change that to "Today I will........" or "Today I CAN....." or "If I COULD do that, what would it look like?" Truly, think about what you risk if you DON'T instead of what you risk if you DO.

We can never alleviate all the risk to living. Question is, what life do you want to be living, NO MATTER THE RISK?

Food for thought.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Inspiractional Libs: Reframing Our Narrative and Self Talk


Five years ago I began to "drift" in my own health. I had been a health coach for 5 years, had lost 150 pounds, and had maintained a healthy BMI for 3 years. Some would have looked at my journey as an example of success, an example of how to "lose weight and keep it off...." (which is diet mentality right there), and I would have agreed with them. However, I began a slow "slide" back into unhealthy habits by DROPPING some of my healthy ones, or at least being a little inconsistent with them (at first...because that's always how it STARTS...just a little slip here, a little slide there, a little mindlessness here, a little "I'll start for reals and get super serious tomorrow" there) you know the drill, and you probably know the story of what happened after that without me even having to fill in the blanks. I could probably make a mad lib, and you could have a little fun with it, maybe even fill in your OWN version if you, like me, procrastinated on making a shift back to health!

I'm so _________(insert emotion, perceived state, or external circumstance)
Suggestions include:
Emotions: overwhelmed, stressed, discouraged, ambivalent, upset, blah,
State: busy, tired, sick, sick and tired, stressed, confused, ambivalent, stubborn,
External circumstance: broke, relied upon by others, overworked, overscheduled, busy,

today, I can't possibly practice healthy  ________________________ (insert healthy habit)
Suggestions include: eating, motion, stress management, sleep, community, emotional management, goal setting, revisiting my why, assessing my current reality).

because I have to ____________________ (insert action).
Suggestions include: go to work, go to school, visit a friend, run errands, wash the car, file my taxes, organize my sock drawer, study, write a paper, think about why I’m not writing my paper, schedule my week/month/year in my daytimer, organize my files, pay my bills, water my plants, buy a house, buy some lipstick, buy a boat.

Therefore, I can’t possibly even CONSIDER staying TRUE to my _______ (insert nutrition), which I KNOW is the first habit of health I need to put in place in order to begin getting the results I want, let ALONE start working on the other habits of health,
Suggestions include: “Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan” or “Transition Plan” or “Optimal Health 3&3 Plan”)

But I can always start __________________ (insert date - any other date but TODAY),
Suggestions include: NEXT Monday, NEXT Tuesday, NEXT Wednesday, NEXT Thursday, NEXT Friday, NEXT Saturday, NEXT Sunday, NEXT week, NEXT New Year’s Day, tomorrow, next month, next year, after my next birthday (in 7 months), after Christmas (it’s March 18th), after “the holidays” (whichever one is next, or better yet, the one AFTER the one that’s next).

Because THEN I’ll probably have more _______________(emotion, perceived state or external circumstance you THINK you LACK which is CAUSING you to not “be able to” begin today).
Suggestions include: willpower, motivation, support from my family, support from my coach, money, time, bandwidth, superhuman/supernatural power, pixie dust from the diet fairy.


I’m so ________________________________(insert positive emotion)
Suggestions include: happy and grateful, overjoyed, peaceful, hopeful,

That TODAY, in THIS MOMENT, RIGHT NOW I have the ability to choose to become the person I always wanted to BE. This best version of me is ____________________ (describe the “you” that you want to become).
Suggestions include: confident, healthy, purpose-driven, passionate, successful, living his/her dreams, smiling at the future, living a life of intention

TODAY, I will be working on my healthy habits(s) of _______________(insert habits of health I’m working on presently.
Suggestions include: nutrition, motion, emotional management, community, sleep, mindfulness

Which, as I practice daily with consistency, bring me closer to achieving _____________________________________________________________(insert goal or goals).

Next _________ (insert time frame like “week” or “month” or “year”) I can see myself enjoying my improving health as I _____________________________________(insert activity)
Suggestions include: walk on the beach, play with my grandkids with ease and comfort, go on that Disneyland ride, take a hot-air balloon ride, ski the slopes, participate in that race, model health for my family, help others get healthy too

I know that the habits that I practice ________________ (insert “TODAY, RIGHT NOW”) will create the ME  I desire to BE.


I know that when I complete a daily healthy habit action plan in the morning I feel better both short-term and long-term. Practicing self-care in this way is a priority that I want to live out authentically every day because I am BEING today that person I desire to BECOME.


My Habits of Health TODAY _________________________ (date)

Planned Nutrition/Hydration _______________________________________________________

Actual Nutrition/Hydration ________________________________________________________

Planned Activity/Motion__________________________________________________________

Actual Activity/Motion____________________________________________________________

Planned Mindfulness Activity ______________________________________________________

Actual Mindfulness Activity ________________________________________________________

Planned Healthy Community_______________________________________________________

Actual Healthy Community_________________________________________________________

Planned Personal/Emotional Development ____________________________________________

Actual Personal/Emotional Development______________________________________________

General Review Notes and Observations_______________________________________________

5&1, Transition, 3&3 (with or without fuelings)
64 oz minimum
Always speak to your Physician before beginning a program with a weight loss-component. Consult with your coach to individualize your nutrition plan to fit your particular health goals.

If in 5&1: If you were exercising regularly before you started the 5&1, cut your time and intensity in HALF for the first 3 weeks, no more than 22 minutes per day of light/moderate activity. After 3 full weeks on the 5&1 program you may engage in up to 45 minutes light/moderate exercise per day
If in Optimization phase (3&3) you are not limited to 45 minutes per day. Consult Dr. A’s Habits of Health for ideas, and it is recommended to check with your Physician before beginning an exercise program if you have any underlying health conditions that may warrant caution.

Mindfulness Activity:
Guided mindful meditation, spiritual devotions and quiet time, practicing mindful awareness such as body scans, having a massage or a thoughtful sauna. Consult Dr. A’s Habits of Health for some guidance in this area. There are also free resources online at many university-based mindfulness institutes around the nation.

Healthy Community
Examples can include listening to a live or recorded Habits of Health Webinar, Engaging and participating on the Client Support Facebook Page (giving encouragement to others, posting encouraging breakthroughs or challenges), and in-person hangouts or other activities with healthy-minded friends. Also, encouraging others on their journey (coaching) can be a part of this in a big way, to build healthy community around yourself by helping to provide it to others. Ask your coach for suggestions if you would like some help in this area.

Personal/Emotional Development

Examples include: Dr. A’s Habits of Health Book and workbook, non-fiction personal development book or podcast or video/webinar in areas of interest, such as leadership, emotional intelligence, managing emotional quotient (EQ). Ask your coach for suggestions if you would like some help in this areas.