Wednesday, June 17, 2020

June 17, 2020 Thoughts

June 17, 2020 Thoughts?
Things I've been learning through the Habits of Health Transformational System:
Reframing our narrative. Is the world happening TO me or FOR me?
This has been a recurring theme in my life these last few years, and I've been asking myself this question almost every morning recently in order to frame my mindset for the rest of the day. Some days I dip into uncertainty, fear, doubt, and feeling a sense of "helplessness" but I'm getting much more adept at identifying that "feeling", that set of emotions that can begin to settle in (they have a very distinct vibe, a unique signature of thoughts and emotions) and I've been practicing the skill of intentionally choosing to "shift" my state out of those emotions and thoughts and back into gratitude and growth.
Today I am grateful for the life I have and the opportunities God has given me to contend (not struggle, CONTEND), and to overcome. Without challenges, there would be no overcoming, right? Without obstacles there would be no compelling story, right?
Before someone cared enough about me to share this amazing process/program with me, I pretty much lived in a state of victimhood. I spent several decades of my adult life being angry. Angry at myself, angry at others, even angry at God.
But now, through these last years of choosing to align myself with the amazing people here and this amazing mission of hope and health I KNOW that I DO have an active role in fashioning my own personal health and well being, and it's my responsibility to invite others onto this path, too. How can I NOT?
And this I know: The story I write can either be an inspiring story of courage and grit, like the Gladiator, Secretariat, or Shawshank Redemption (a few of my favorite movies), or it can be a Greek tragedy.
It's up to me.
It's my choice, as the author.
I was born with free will, and that includes the freedom to choose how I will think, what habits of thought I will develop.
Yes things do happen in this world which are beyond my control, and events and circumstances which directly and indirectly effect and impact me and my family in very real ways. It's HOW I VIEW and interpret these events, the choices I make and the actions I take as a result of the meaning I've chosen to ascribe to these events, which determine whether I'm being a victim or a victor.
What CAN I control? I CAN  control how I show up in this epic story of my life. How I show up for myself, how I show up for my family, my neighbors, and the world.
So that is the question I ask myself every morning, "How will I choose to show up TODAY in my life and in the lives of others?"
I choose to make this year the best year yet. I choose to make this day the best day yet. I choose to make this hour the best hour yet. I choose to make my NOW the best NOW yet.
It's a process, it's a journey, and I am so grateful DAILY for Dr. A and this amazing community.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Corona Virus Covid-19 Pandemic Catalyst for Healthy Changes: Pattern Disruption/Interruption on Steroids

Corona Virus Covid-19 Pandemic Catalyst for Healthy Changes: Pattern Disruption/Interruption on Steroids
By Stacy Phillips 

Can you say "Pattern Disruption on STEROIDS?" I can.
We’ve just been handed a BIG one!
Studies in behavior change psychology and neuroscience (actually changing our wiring and firing in our brains) have shown that “pattern interruption” can play a BENEFICIAL (understatement) role in our lives, IF we are wanting to make changes in our habits and lifestyles (Smith, et. al, 2016)*
We are, right NOW, experiencing the biggest “pattern disruption/pattern interruption” I have ever experienced in my entire life (including 9/11). We are likely to have at LEAST this level (LIKELY much more) disruption for the next few months into July or August, according to the Presidents Corona virus task force briefing today.
"So tell me, Stacy, cuz I've really got to hear this one, how in the WORLD can you even say that this might be a good thing?!?!?!"
No. I'm not saying HOW our patterns got disrupted is good in this case. Sometimes we can CREATE a favorable one, on purpose, such as going on a spiritual retreat for example, or church-camp when we were little, taking a beach vacation, etc. Basically a pattern disruption on a grand scale changes our situation and surroundings to such a degree that it takes us (and our brains along with us, in most cases lol) OUT of what is familiar. As a result, our brains can't rely on automation AS MUCH (I don't know HOW I got into this Taco Bell drive-thru, I don't remember CHOOSING to be here, the car kinda drove itself....).
WHEN we are out of "our element" so to speak, when things or situations or places are LESS familiar to us, we DO become more mindful, present and aware of our surroundings as a result. We can do that on purpose, by design, or we can do that by default because of circumstances outside of our control. THIS WILL HAPPEN to us all.
What IS in our control is our decision as to whether this will cause us to become MORE CHRONICALLY STRESSED, or can BENEFIT us in the short and long run.
Again, our focus WILL be more acute, things ARE going to be less familiar, and our brains are going to have to put a lot of extra effort into the next weeks and months, simply by the nature of the fact that it is new.
1) No intentional positive changes are made during this time:
If we are focusing (by default) on the crisis, bad news, our perceived helplessness in it all, the negativity all over the internet, or the entire 8 (or is it 9?) seasons of Game of Thrones from the beginning because we are seeking to distract ourselves or find "escape" from our circumstances, it's likely we will only increase our chronic stress. When our chronic stress is INCREASED it causes a decrease both in immunity and resilience to disease if we DO catch something. (
Can I recommend AGAINST that scenario? Especially right now?
2) Intentional positive changes are made during this time:
If, instead, we can shift our FOCUS (because we will have intense focus over the next days, weeks and months) onto stepping into a process of intentionally developing habits of health, with guidance and an amazing community, well, predictable transformation CAN occur in our lives. I've seen it time and time again, in our lives and the lives of many others we've worked with.
Either way, welcome to the pattern disruption. A pandemic, (and the preventative measures and precautions being taken RIGHT NOW) can most certainly be DEFINED as a pattern disruption, a pattern interruption. And science tells us that it is not the reason behind how our patterns were disrupted, but what we DO with that disruption that matters, and it IS often in deepest adversity that the seed of change finally takes root and people begin to take charge of their own lives.
This is what happened with David and I, when we decided to change our lives 10 years ago, after Julian's kidney transplant.
So, a key question I took some time to ask and answer for myself last week was "How can I reframe this narrative to change how I look at the next two weeks?" Or how about the next two months? We weren’t the architects of this particular pattern interrupt, but I think it’s safe to say that we will ALL be affected by it!
I know the direction I want to head in my health, and I’m going to use this time to both develop NEW and hone /refine EXISTING healthy habits, to weave them into my life in all areas! Nutrition, motion, sleep, and my healthy surroundings!
And I'll tell you what, I want friends on this journey with me, using group zooms, text, social media, private community facebook groups and phone calls for encouragement and support, because creating new ways of being in community is going to be KEY for all of us during this season and beyond! And it's no fun to do this alone, in a vacuum. David and I dialing it in, and we want to dial it in WITH you!
This year, let St. Patricks Day be a reset on our New Year’s Resolutions.
Let this be a HOPEFUL time, and know that we CAN use this time to THRIVE in our health, which is the BEST GIFT WE CAN GIVE ourselves and our family, literally, during THIS TIME, for all the reasons that have been talked about in the last month. Evidence is coming out from China and now around the world that the healthier we are, the more resilient we are to this virus. David and I have seen people begin to transform their lives and get RESULTS (when they work closely with us) right away, our clients feel better and have more energy in a very short time, no matter where they started in their health on their journey!
I’ve been taught by those wiser than me that “The Obstacle IS the Way”, and there is a GIFT on the other side of the obstacle, FIND THE GIFT in this adversity. Ironically, it may be that the time is finally right for you, amidst this uncertain time of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, that you FIND your health. What an amazing story that would be. We’re here for you, if you want to explore what that might look like, working with us, and who knows, even perhaps partnering with us to help those you love also.
A candle’s flame is never diminished when it lights another candle.
This is what David and I DO, and it is our desire to walk with you INTO health, yes even during this time! Will this be an OBSTACLE for getting healthy, or a CATALYST for getting healthy? You decide!
I pray for a speedy resolution, and as we come up on Easter and Passover Celebrations, both these holidays are even more meaningful (which sounds strange, but it is true) here in 2020 to me in their messages, even though they’ve always been dear to my heart.
PS. We CAN even set up your nutrition plan to where you don’t need to enter the grocery store for ANY reason until you are a healthy weight! Yeah. We can do that if that is important to you.
*Smith KS, Graybiel AM. Habit formation. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2016;18(1):33–43.

Be well. Stay Safe.
Rinse and Repeat.
Stacy Phillips
MS, NDTR, Independent OPTAVIA Coach

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: