Weight Whys

Weight Whys
Exploring Your Thoughts and Beliefs to Create a Healthy Life

Cheri Calcagno, M.S.

iUniverse, Inc.
New York Lincoln Shanghai

or other competent professional before adopting any of the suggestions in this book or drawing inferences from it. including photocopying. The reader should consult his or her medical. of the use and application of any of the contents of this book. taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.com 1-800-Authors (1-800-288-4677) This publication contains the opinions and ideas of its author. or mechanical.Weight Whys Exploring Your Thoughts and Beliefs to Create a Healthy Life Copyright © 2005 by Cheri R. which is incurred as a consequence. electronic. health.iuniverse. The author and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability. Suite 100 Lincoln. ISBN-13: 978-0-595-37337-6 (pbk) ISBN-13: 978-0-595-81735-1 (ebk) ISBN-10: 0-595-37337-2 (pbk) ISBN-10: 0-595-81735-1 (ebk) Printed in the United States of America . It is intended to provide helpful and informative material on the subjects addressed in the publication. or risk. It is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering medical. graphic. iUniverse books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting: iUniverse 2021 Pine Lake Road. or any other kind of professional services in the book. NE 68512 www. directly or indirectly. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means. health. personal or otherwise. Calcagno All rights reserved. loss. recording.

All of who love me in spite of my flaws. .To my husband. my children. and my God.


3 The Psychology of Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Using Your Emotions Effectively . . . . . . . 70 Keeping Yourself Heart-Healthy. . . .ix About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Part I CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER 2 CHAPTER 3 CHAPTER 4 It’s More About Your Health than Your Weight Hope for Your Journey to a Healthy Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 The Miraculous Power of Exercise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Managing the Emotional . . . 49 Nutrition for Normal People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Creating Balance to Spend Your Time with Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 What the World Tells Us about Our Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Setting Yourself Up for Success. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xi Introduction—Your Invitation to a Better Life. 35 Part II CHAPTER 5 CHAPTER 6 CHAPTER 7 CHAPTER 8 CHAPTER 9 CHAPTER 10 Skills for the Road How Metabolism Really Works . . . . . . . . . .Contents Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 vii Understanding the Physical. . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .174 Basic Health Assessments . .145 Meeting Your Emotional and Spiritual Needs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120 Positive Thinking Cultivates Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179 Reputable Health Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .199 Author’s Note . . . . . . . . . . . . .203 . . . . . . . . . . . . .139 Appreciating Your Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112 Managing Stress. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165 Self-Control Impacts Every Area of Life . . . . . .157 Nurturing the Spiritual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .189 How Many Calories Does Your Body Need? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .185 How to Read a Food Label . . . . . . . . .193 Evaluating Your Risk for Heart Disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137 Part III CHAPTER 18 CHAPTER 19 CHAPTER 20 APPENDIX A APPENDIX B APPENDIX C APPENDIX D APPENDIX E APPENDIX F APPENDIX G APPENDIX H Embracing the Journey Living for More than Yourself . . . . . . .195 Recommended Reading . . . . . . . .170 Maturing Into Your Full Potential. . . .129 You Have To Believe You Can Do It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .viii Weight Whys CHAPTER 11 CHAPTER 12 CHAPTER 13 CHAPTER 14 CHAPTER 15 CHAPTER 16 CHAPTER 17 Dynamics of Your Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151 How Your Weight Affects Your Life. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183 Calorie-smart Food & Drink Choices . . . . . . . . .191 Developing an Exercise Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alan Feren. All the Mothers of Preschools (MOPS) women at Valley Bible Church in Pleasanton for their enthusiasm. my colleagues and dear friends at the original North Bay Health Partners: Kristine Baldwin for her sharp mind and honest opinion. Carol Otis.Acknowledgements My heartfelt thanks to all who have supported me through my writing and my career—each of who has touched my life and for that I am so grateful. and especially to Debbie Ward. Tami Sebastian. my dear friend in Germany who I think of every Friday at lunchtime. Lisa Koitka. Dad for his dependable work ethic and for keeping our family together as we were growing up. for believing in her students and her nurturing spirit. Marianne Hutton. Sonja Glassmeyer. Wes Alles. MPA. for their honest opinion and taking the time: Patti Glick. Lillian Smith. RN. RCP. for being my most ix . Ken Grace. Anna. CDE. Dorie Krepton. for her warm. Jordan Shields. MA. Pastor Gary for preaching the Word with a passion for God and a love for people. Sonda Perrings. Shannon Brown. Christine Rollins. Jim Mobley. and Laura Kohn. Thanks to those who peer-reviewed the original manuscript. RD. Thanks to my like-minded friends with a heart for health promotion: Carrie Archer. who coached me through the writing of this book. and Sue Ann Grann—I can’t wait to read their books some day!. Patrick Glover. EdD. my sister-in-love. and Lacy Rose. RN. Michelle Kiriakos. PhD. prayers. Yvette Pavels. MS. RD. Janet Dalke. Joe Nappi for his editing expertise. Elizabeth “Lizzy” Manos for the rare gift of true friendship. CPC. To Shar Adams who encouraged me along the way. Yvonne & Brad Wilson. for always being proud of his little sister. Richie. and for helping me be a better mom. CRT. Patti Mesquite. Jr. MS. MS. My favorite professor. Marsha Collins. my writing mentor. Carol Montgomery. MD. Penny Warner.. Shari Wallick. especially: Sharon Turk. beautiful spirit. Nat Tilander. My family: Mom for her sensitivity and loving nature. RN “The Foot Nurse”. my brother. for her inspiration and helpful nature. my Writer’s Group: Staci McLaughlin.

Ricky and Helen Calcagno for staying close even though there’s a distance. and for treating me like her very own daughter. Jenny Tortorelli. for being a Godly example of what a man. Carolyn Gerrels. Wayne Cordeiro. Jesus Christ. my mother-in-love. Dr. Kim Lynch. Grandma & Grandpa Vierra for their love and kindness. John Maxwell. Zig Ziglar. Kevin Leman. Thanks to the old friends I love who helped shape who I am today: Joanna Santos for being like a sister to me growing up. asking me to play when they can sense that I need to. Dr. and always telling me I could do it at times when I couldn’t see the end. telling me to retire when I finish this book. Dr. Max Lucado. . and Carol Wooleson. Grandma Robbins for making me wear tennis shoes at the beach and always seeing the best in me. And lastly. David and Sherry. Laura. Dr. a shoulder to cry on. Thanks to my kids: for giving me unsolicited kisses. Danny. Deanna Rubio. my father-in-love. for her giving nature. Lynn Lopes.x Weight Whys enthusiastic supporter and my favorite cheerleader. for being a supporter of my dreams. Agapi Kouropoulous. my sisters and brothers-in-love. Dr. an eternal thank you to my Lord and Savior. Joyce Meyer. Susan Leffel. and father should be. Adrian & Terry Martinez. Melissa Kanoho. Scott & Ronnica Nady. A special thanks to my best friend and husband. for touching my heart and making me whole. husband. Suzanne Kato. Thanks to the big leaguers who motivate me: Joel Osteen. Brandy Chatelain. friendship. Sharon. Brian & Cindy Goodell. a special thanks to them for watching the kids while I wrote—I couldn’t have finished without their support. Kristle Rittenbach. Catherine Lazaro. Bruce Wilkinson. and Greg Dickow. David Jeremiah. Dave. Dr. Jack Hayford. Bev O’Brien-Stewart. Elizabeth Guernsey. Dr. and Doug and Alecia for being supportive of my work. Phil. and for reminding me that relationships are what life is all about.

Quantum Corporation. Sutter Health. PilatesBased Mat Science and Prenatal Exercise Instructor. college health instructor. and member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Council on Exercise (ACE). and exercise therapy with older individuals. Some of her clients include Kaiser Permanente. through which she offers individual and group Wellness Coaching as well as classes. keynotes. Personal Trainer. xi .S. coordinating corporate wellness programs. Fortune 500 companies. She has taught hundreds of hospital and corporate classes on weight management and other health topics. Cheri has designed and presented programs to hospitals. PeopleSoft. She is a Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.About the Author Clinical wellness coach Cheri Calcagno. Maxtor. Faith Fellowship Foursquare Church (First Place Weight Management Program). wellness coaching in a medical setting. Nutrition. Cheri resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and is the owner of Inspiring Health. Cheri has received a Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Bachelor of Science in Exercise. industry conferences. M. has worked with thousands to achieve a healthy weight through adult and child weight management programs. and the Association of Worksite Health Promotion. Marin General Hospital. colleges. and professional associations. Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). Sun Microsystems. As a Professional Speaker. including a regular Health & Fitness section featured in Southern California Tennis & Golf Magazine. Cheri has written articles published in newsletters and magazines. and workshops. Novato Community Hospital. and Wellness.

com 925.com and create your best life…starting today! Inspiring Health PO Box 2487 San Ramon. Her programs educate participants on how to achieve their best weight and empower them to develop the thoughts and beliefs to make it happen in real life! Contact her to speak to your organization. CA 94583 cheri@inspiringhealth. and inspired to expect no less than the best from themselves.inspiringhealth. corporation. ready for action. or college.xii Weight Whys Cheri’s dynamic no-nonsense approach leaves her audience thinking. Visit her website at www.4180 . or for individual and group coaching information.548.

I was fascinated how much of an impact nutrition and exercise could have on our quality of life. We have so many needs and layers to our being. I hope to shed light on the ‘whys’ of your choices and empower you with the insights you need to make changes. and spiritually. Within the spirit lies the way you feel about your life and whether you love. Over the years while teaching Weight Management classes for hospitals and corporations. but doing it is an entirely different ball game. mind. I learned there were many dimensions to a person’s health behaviors. but not necessarily healthier. I found that to have the most impact. Learning how the human body worked was intriguing. Seeing the needs of others over the years inspired me to write this book. As I got more involved with coaching people individually. I had to work with the person as a whole and help them explore each part—body. To truly improve life and become better means developing each of your parts and appreciating that they come together to make you the beautiful person you are. I quickly discovered a passion inside me to motivate others to want to care for their health and achieve their personal best.Introduction—Your Invitation to a Better Life It is possible for you to have a better. It’s my sincere desire that you will get xiii . healthier life. and spirit. Forming relationships with clients who trusted me enough to share the intimate details of their lives helped me understand how marvelously complex creating change can be. Each day I talk with people who are hurting—physically. my interest moved from that of the physical to include more of the mind. When I began taking health classes in college. emotionally. educating them may result in them being a little smarter. I got into the wellness profession because I wanted to help people. or even like yourself. If people are in bondage with bad habits. I began to realize that people can know what they need to do to be healthy.

xiv Weight Whys healthy. and become your personal best as a result of our coaching together through this book. . You will come to realize the road to health can be full of more treasures than you ever imagined. like yourself better.

I It’s More About Your Health than Your Weight .


people are dying prematurely because they aren’t being proactive in managing their weight. In my opinion. more than ever. Children are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Intense self-discovery—exploring how to get in there and do the work it takes to lose weight—is the foundation of this program. many people with health problems would not be ill. Our weight affects our cardiovascular function. people are struggling with their weight. Like anything really worth having. high blood 3 . It affects people of all ages. I know we all have our reasons for not making it a priority. joint health. As you read this book. but it breaks my heart to think how many people could be living full. and would not be dying at this phenomenal rate.1 Hope for Your Journey to a Healthy Weight Most people don’t give much thought about their health until it’s failing. My goal is to help you translate this formula for success into every area of your life. Daily weight management is a huge component to caring for your health. Being your personal best and achieving a healthy weight involves choices. healthy lives if they would take better care of themselves. the journey of weight management takes perseverance. You can achieve your personal best when it comes to health. including the ability to get around and get the most out of life. if they would simply learn how to make better choices. People Are Struggling Now. It takes going when you don’t feel like going anymore. functional capacity.

4 Weight Whys pressure. Although we may tell ourselves that some things are not within our control. Fast food and convenience foods are everywhere and can contain up to a whole day’s worth of calories in a single meal. You can’t turn on the T. genetics or our busy schedules for example. Marketers don’t usually talk about weight “management” when selling their latest gimmick. what we have allowed ourselves to believe may not be the complete truth.” “Breathe your way to a thinner body. What once used to require movement no longer does.V. I am not exaggerating! People move less than ever because of technological jobs and the continuing advances in computerization. much of which is related to their weight and behavior. And guess what—I don’t see people getting thinner. often. you too can lose weight while eating whatever you want and not lifting a finger to exercise. We don’t have to leave our chair to change the channel on the television. When you’re overweight. not their efforts. they feel more like failures. There is no question that people are consuming more calories than ever before. We must choose to take back control and act on those things that are within our control. or stand in the grocery store line without someone trying to sell you a better body in a bottle or the latest herb that is the scientific breakthrough everyone’s been waiting for. Do It Right This Time With every unsuccessful attempt. Science has discovered it’s all in the way you breathe now. We live in an age where being healthy has to be a conscious priority. it’s the program that’s failing them. especially if . The Weight Loss Industry Deceptive marketing is another challenge that works against the efforts of weight management. or it is not going to happen. The overweight epidemic is complex because so many variables contribute to the state of our society.” We’ve seen it all. you will burn more fat. What people don’t realize is that they are being sold a bill of goods. Our diet and what we do for physical activity are two areas that we can certainly be accountable for. and high cholesterol. “For the low cost of $149 a month. If you can learn this technique to help you utilize your oxygen better. It’s typically about how much weight you can lose in the shortest amount of time by using their product. But they are spending a lot of money and energy trying. Little tasks like this add up and make a difference. which the average adult watches at least three hours a day.

Hope for Your Journey to a Healthy Weight


you’ve been struggling for years to get it off and keep it off, I understand the desperate wanting for the latest so-called “scientific breakthrough” to be true. I understand the willingness to spend any amount of money on the pill that could make it all go away forever. The reality is that real weight management requires putting in the work and effort it takes to become healthy. I can help you discover what your individual challenges are on your road to a healthy weight, give you the tools you need to take action, and inspire you to enjoy the journey.

A Nation in Trouble
No one can deny that health in America is on the decline and it is not getting better. Childhood obesity rates are the highest they’ve ever been and many adults are starting to take medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes in their twenties and thirties. Something has got to change. What I see in my practice of Wellness Coaching is that people are often unaware of how their lifestyle choices affect how their body is functioning. I have worked with many who have started walking programs, changed their diet, sought professional help for emotional problems (if necessary), and made other choices that drastically changed their lives for the better. What an awesome accomplishment it is when you are able to get off your blood pressure or cholesterol medication by starting a walking program that is doable in your life. Even if you can only lower the dosage of your medication by making lifestyle changes, this can drastically improve the quality of your life. Usually the lower the dosage, the fewer side effects. And that’s a good thing. Sixty percent of our population is overweight—at least that’s the latest figure. The reason this statistic is so scary is the negative repercussions it has on our health. No matter what our culture says about size, being overweight has cost our society a lot of money (look at the cost of healthcare). More importantly, being overweight has cost many people their lives.

It’s Not Always Good to Be Normal
In our society, being overweight is becoming more and more normal. Even though the media tells us we should be thin and that’s how most people want to look, we are coming to the point where being overweight is so common that we can almost always find someone bigger to compare ourselves to. We can look at the person next to us and say “See, my tummy isn’t so bad.”


Weight Whys

I have coached many people who thought their “pot belly” was not that serious a health issue. As long as they have a muscular upper body and normal sized legs, they try and tell themselves they are not overweight. My job as a Wellness Coach is to make sure they are aware that the thirty extra pounds of fat around their stomach is a serious health problem. Just because it is in their midsection and they see hundreds of people with that same shaped body, doesn’t mean it’s less of a problem. In fact, this type of body shape is at the highest risk for heart disease because the fat is more internal and surrounds the heart muscle. People who carry their weight in their hips have been shown to have a lesser risk of a cardiac event. Keep in mind there are serious health issues that can plague anyone who’s overweight, no matter where your fat is distributed.

Your Body Doesn’t Like Being Overweight
Contrary to popular belief, being overweight is not the body’s “normal” state. The reason I know being overweight is not the body’s preferred condition is because it causes our body’s systems to function improperly. Our hearts beat faster and work harder when we carry extra weight. In addition, pressure is caused by the internal fat tissue surrounding the heart. Our joints are under stress and have more problems on too large a frame. I know for many people, being overweight is a concern because of the way they look and how they perceive others look at them. We will talk about this later in the book. But, I want to be up front in telling you where I am coming from with my approach to weight management. I truly believe that everyone, no matter what size you are, should feel comfortable in their own skin and like themselves. My main concern with being overweight is that, clinically, it causes negative stress on your body and, I dare say, is preventing you from living life to your full potential. Expectations of ourselves can be the difference between living an ordinary life and living an extraordinary life. The standards and beliefs we have for our lives shape the decisions we make everyday. When you think about it, life is about the choices we make day after day that shape what we are. When you break it down, it almost sounds too simple. If we make better health choices, we will be better able to manage our weight. That’s the secret formula. That’s the magic.

Hope for Your Journey to a Healthy Weight


Getting Better Each Day
To manage your weight you must be aware of what factors contribute to your individual decision making process and then, learn how to change what is not working. It’s about making progress and becoming better than you were the day before. Having worked with many people in an effort to change their behavior, I have learned that the reasons for our actions are sometimes complicated. Still, we are all capable of changing and improving whenever we commit ourselves whole-heartedly to the task. I’m not saying this is true for everyone who is overweight. But, I find when coaching someone that their body is holding them back from being their best. There can be different degrees of this. For example, you are not able to stand as long as you’d like without feeling tired or you get short of breath easily while talking to people. Maybe you find it difficult to have a conversation with someone and walk at the same time. Does being overweight hold you back from achieving your goals or dreams? Do you tell yourself you could not stand in front of a group to give a speech or share your opinion? Do you assume no one values your opinion because of your weight and your appearance? It’s been an experience over the years to work with people who have lost weight and along the journey, have increased their confidence as well. I remember a woman in one of my groups who grew from being too self-conscious to sing in the choir, to being a soloist in front of a congregation of over a thousand. Another gentleman who had completed law school two years earlier found the courage to take his BAR Exam and developed the confidence to start his practice.

You Are Worth It
The limitations we place on ourselves often influence our journey with managing weight. The goals and visions we have can sometimes be hidden beneath our “weight problem.” We distract ourselves from achieving our best by wasting time with diet after diet, telling ourselves that if we could get skinny, we will finally focus our efforts on fulfilling our life’s purpose. I truly believe that the state of a person’s health has a connection with how they feel about themselves. When life is not working out as planned, when you are not hopeful about the future and living with purpose, how can you be motivated to wake up early for breakfast? Are you worthy of that? Why go that extra mile when you aren’t impressed with life anyway? Wait until you


Weight Whys

feel hungry and fuel yourself with doughnuts and coffee. That will get you going. You must have a sense of how valuable and special your life is. As a result, you will be motivated to properly care for your wellness. Some of you will need to do more self-exploration than others in this area. One thing I know is that I see self-worth as a core issue more often than you might think. For those of you who are totally secure and understand how precious life is, it may simply be a matter of starting to make decisions that line up with your value system. You need to know, without a doubt, that you are a valuable person and your time on earth should be lived to its full potential. The only way to achieve your best is to live in the most optimal health that you possibly can. Exploring yourself is essential in learning how to change your behavior. Accepting yourself as you are working toward creating the life you want is part of enjoying the journey. These are two key ingredients of any weight management program you should keep in mind if you want to succeed at achieving a life-long healthy weight. You see, losing weight is not difficult. In fact, all you have to do is stop eating. I guarantee you there are no underfed people who are overweight. However, if you want to lose weight with the specific intent of keeping it off and enjoying good health, you need a program that is individualized to your unique life and circumstances. I have not found that regimented daily eating plans or exercise formulas work very well with people for the long-term. Some believe they will use these formulas as a temporary plan while they take the weight off. I have not found them to be successful at transitioning to the life they knew before without putting the weight on again.

Creating Change
My formula for weight management success is to arm you with accurate facts about nutrition and exercise and then teach you the guidelines to help you change your behavior. You are the only one who can successfully identify the habits that are getting you into trouble. You are the only one who can do the work necessary to change your life for the better. I will guide you through, help you see what may be holding you back, and bring you out victorious. Not just in terms of your weight, but living at your personal optimum health.

manage stress. and determination. regular exercise and good eating habits still dramatically decrease your risk for every type of disease and condition. Most people know they should eat fruits and vegetables. Such is the case regarding your weight. they are at a loss when it comes to how to do it in . What separates those who are successful from those who are not.Hope for Your Journey to a Healthy Weight 9 Change is Difficult Changing any habit is a challenge. vision. even when they don’t “feel” like it. their bodies show no evidence of the abuse they are causing their bodies on the inside. Thrive. But. True. You owe it to yourself. This feeling of “just surviving” is a warning signal that you need to reach out for the help to get back on top. you must realize you are going to be uncomfortable at times and that it may not be fun. Understand that even though they look normal in size. This is where commitment comes in. be physically active. Research has shown that even if you are not active enough or getting the proper nutrition to achieve your ideal weight. is their determination to persevere. Journaling is Worth the Investment The writing I ask you to do at the end of each chapter is a huge part of the self-discovery work needed to be successful in our work together. The security you find in habits is comforting even those habits you desperately wish weren’t part of yourself. When you have decided with your mind and heart that you are going to change for the better. It is possible and you can do it. Because of their genetics. who do not eat properly. these people are at risk for high blood pressure. and all that good stuff. They are committed to keeping their word whether it has been given to someone else or only to themselves. you need to do it with the passion. and increased risk for premature heart attack and stroke. Being challenged with a weight problem is a sign that you are not doing what is necessary to keep your health a balanced priority. there are people who are not regularly physically active. Don’t Merely Survive You are meant to live in victory. high cholesterol. They just don’t have the burden of being overweight as those whose genetics predetermine them to be overweight. not merely survive. When you set out to create change. What people don’t realize is that being “fit” puts you in a much higher state of health than simply being “skinny” does. but do not have a weight problem.

Revelations can be made painlessly if you go about your writing in an honest and non-judgmental way. After your entry is done. How to learn what is in your best interest in the big picture. That’s what this is all about. Part of my intent with the writing is to reveal some of your core beliefs that may be affecting your weight and health. there is some personal work that should be done. What I have learned is that to change your lifestyle and improve your health. I have worked with people who say they want to lose weight. At the beginning of this program I suggest that you do some health assessments for a baseline of your health status. you need to examine your heart and mind to put them into agreement with what you want your actions to be. which can only be done with some investment on your part. Core Beliefs Drive Our Behaviors I find many patterns in common with those I coach. Even if you have never done journaling or any writing of that sort. Our work together will involve learning more about you to see what beliefs may be hindering you from discovering your personal best with your health. read it over to see what there is to be seen. Keep it forever or throw it away. The ideal is if you write your answer without judging it or thinking about it. they don’t think they can do it. You can write any way you wish. but in their hearts and minds. taking measurements. Buy a notebook and special pen or write your answers on a plain piece of paper. You’ll learn how to mold those beliefs and make them more suitable to create the desired results. You may be wary of someone reading your answers and need to go that extra step for privacy. Often. I pose some questions at the end of each chapter that I would like you to consider and write about. And your actions are the outward expression of what your thoughts and beliefs are. having your body fat percentage assessed (if possible). but there will be different core beliefs in each of you. This will help you learn what your next step should be along the journey. You may choose to share your answers with a partner or form a book study group. Break it down into steps that are doable.10 Weight Whys real life. Do whatever is necessary to make this process comfortable for you. I hope you are open to the idea that doing it during our coaching together could be the difference this time. Or they may not be willing to make life valuable enough in their minds to do what it takes to truly preserve it. and the other assessments listed in . Along the journey. Weighing yourself (which you should do every two to four weeks). The actions you take are what produce your outcomes.

If you continue to find that nothing is working. Experiment with what works for you. writing down your goals. Others thrive in a weekly group environment where they can share or listen to ideas. I have found it is highly individual what benefits most people. Having a trusted friend to update and report to can help you keep accountable. It may take experimentation to find what does and doesn’t work for you. it may be that you need to make a stronger commitment and stick with it. and discovering whether or not you follow through. Some like to meet with another person (like a coach or health professional). you may respond differently to various methods of accountability. You have to be willing to start the journey. Other options are mixing the two or working on your own. Together we’ll find the motivation and means to make this work. Thoughts for the Road What if you decided today to be as health-conscious as possible? How might your life be different at this time next year? How would it look compared to what it looks like now? . Being Accountable Because you are unique.Hope for Your Journey to a Healthy Weight 11 Appendix A will indicate your status and allow us to track your progress over time. However. some measure of accountability is necessary even if it’s being accountable to yourself. Keep trying and tweaking until you find the steps to take at each given point in your journey.

The second part of the equation. this may not be the right time for you to start this program. Reflective thinking is the ability to analyze your past and current thoughts and behavior and assign judgments to them. means that you spend the majority of your thought-time working on solutions rather than problems. When researching the patterns that successful people have. You may have learned it’s wrong to make judgments on your thoughts or behavior. being solution-oriented. We must start there if we are going to accomplish this managing-your-weight. you must be a good thinker. or if you have ideas of what you should be doing that are better. or part of the problem. we covered how thoughts influence your actions. 12 .2 The Psychology of Change Positive thinking has the single most impact on your chances of succeeding at becoming your best with your weight and in your life. “You’re either part of the solution. being-healthy thing. but how else are you to determine if they are working? If your habits are not working for you. but you’re unwilling to analyze your thoughts and go deeper. You may have heard the phrase. If you want to change your behavior.” Successful people know this to be true and use it as a guide in their thought lives. you must be open to thinking about them logically and making an evaluation. To achieve success. Earlier. There is no way to permanently change your actions other than changing the thoughts that dictated those actions in the first place. it always comes down to how they have trained their minds. Good thinking has two major components: being reflective and being solution-oriented.

if you are a negative thinker who simply dwells on the negative. The better you get at recognizing your thought patterns and evaluating them with rational thought. analyze the facts and proceed with a thinking pattern that will give you the best chance at success.” As with any venture. Those who see the negative have the advantage of foreseeing potential problems and thinking of solutions or a different approach that would be beneficial. Who Are You Inside? The challenge of changing your thoughts is that what you have in your mind comes from what’s in your heart. Practice Makes Better Practicing positive thinking can also be a developed behavior. depending on how well we develop and learn to use them. You may have tried saying positive affirmations. Tiger Woods does not go into a tournament thinking. rarely thinking of solutions. “I’ll try this program. At first it may seem annoying. You may have tried to change your thinking patterns before or the little voices in your head that tell you who you are and what you are capable of accomplishing. your thought life can be cumbersome. looking at yourself every morning and telling yourself how special and beautiful you are. our intellectual gifts vary.The Psychology of Change 13 Positive thinking can be a learned skill. you can’t start your weight loss journey thinking. but if we learn to appreciate people’s different thinking styles. If you use this strength as part of the process and develop your other thinking skills. but it’s probably not going to work.” Similarly. Our virtues can be both weaknesses and strengths. However. “I probably won’t play well today. There is no question that everyone from successful executives to elite athletes—those at the top of their fields—have trained themselves mentally to identify potential problems while focusing their energy on creating positive outcomes. you will be able to use it as a positive. . Sometimes we can benefit from tuning in to our natural thought life and partnering with an individual or group that has a different perspective than ours. the more successful you will become at thinking positively. Some may think you are born either a positive thinker or negative thinker. This may be true. even paralyzing. but I’ll give it a try. we can collaborate with others who are able to help bring out the best in ourselves. These methods of reinforcement are widely used.

14 Weight Whys but if you don’t believe them in your heart as you are speaking. fearing what we might find. To learn how to use these beliefs to create the results you want. your choices will produce the desired outcomes. but by failing to keep track of your workouts and making excuses week after week. you must be willing to make the emotional investment required to more intimately know this part of yourself. you are deceiving yourself. Sometimes we are afraid to know ourselves deeply. The actions and choices you make day to day should be based on your belief system and values. This means we try to talk ourselves and others into believing things are as we would like them to be. You may want to be someone who exercises three times a week. it’s too scary to explore an alternative that may be better. starting from when you were a child. You may even tell me that you are. you will eventually believe them. Time For a Reality Check Creating a new norm is the key to permanent lifestyle change. You have core beliefs and values that have been ingrained in you throughout your life. there will be no conflict in saying your positive affirmations and statements. Expect it to feel strange. Deep down. it is difficult to determine people’s true “norm” because they create false norm for themselves (from a false sense of reality). Life-long change that results in weight management must start from your heart. You may not be intentionally lying. You may get comfortable with your created self. What have you got to show for it. but. Approaching it this way. In fact. the exercise may not have lasting value. instead of forced emotions or words you pretended to feel. but failed results? You may feel guilt in coming to terms with the truth of your actions (or lack of actions). I have not known the heart to be so easily persuaded. instead of as they are. When you clarify what you truly want your values to be and have the belief in your heart to support those values. and you desperately want something different. The school of thought is that if you repeat the words often. people know themselves and live with their flaws. Change requires you to leave your comfort zone. Whatever your habits are now is considered your norm. they will be the natural product of how you feel. Sometimes in coaching. . Your norm is comfortable. Even if it is not working for you. There will be an overflow of feelings and the positive attitude you have toward life. you may have exercised three times a week for one week the last month.

Don’t Be a Victim Accepting responsibility for your actions is essential in empowering yourself to create change. this will play itself out in other areas of your life as well. not only in your health. you must be willing to be accountable for your actions. even if you truly desire it in your heart. As you continue in each new habit. Decide today that you will excel and achieve that greatness. Persevere during the challenging times. The perspective you should have is that the more responsibility you acknowledge for your actions.The Psychology of Change 15 If you are lying to yourself. your norm is what is comfortable to you. You develop that confidence that comes from completing your goal and being a person of your word. it will feel uncomfortable and strange. even on those days when you feel like vegging out on the couch with the remote control. This kind of character is the difference between those who lead mediocre lives and those who aspire to greatness. into tasks at home. a new norm will start to emerge that will someday feel natural. confidence to complete tasks. but also in relationships. You are diligent about tracking it on your calendar and adjusting your schedule to make it happen three times a week. Whatever you choose to accomplish. even if no one else knows. If . That’s called being a person of integrity. It is familiar and secure. When you decide to improve. you will know you can rely on yourself to complete it. These lessons on the road to weight management will bring you success in life. but challenging goal of walking three days a week. You must remind yourself that the discomfort is temporary. Telling yourself that circumstances “happen” to you takes away your power. Just as you lose self-confidence when you lie. even if no one knows about it. the more power you have to change them. That is. you gain it when you set out to complete a goal and achieve it. when you are honest and admit what your norm is. It may feel good to let yourself be a victim because you relinquish responsibility for the situation. It is easier to be the victim than face the reality that you played a part in the situation. Remember. you will not feel like a trustworthy person. even when it’s difficult and you don’t feel like it. You may give yourself the realistic. and so on. To be victorious. you may realize a fact that you may not like. Ultimately. and at work. You will carry this confidence with you into relationships. You will not be confident that you are reliable and worthy of your word. It will evidence itself not only in your poor health.

You can use this in weight management as you do in life. When you go to the restaurant with the big portion sizes. When you accept this truth and grow into the fullness of it. It’s not the donuts. but you will have taken the most challenging step by accepting ownership. You deserve to live the most abundant life possible. What a scary thought. but gives a richer reward. I wish I could say its all downhill from there. you’ll be able to control yourself. it is that much more difficult to empower yourself to produce a better outcome. There may be times that asking for help from others might be necessary to gauge how to change your circumstances. The hardest part of reality is acknowledging the part you play in your circumstances. Run the race until the tape snaps across your chest. or the fact that your mom is a great cook. this gem of knowledge has the power to set you free. especially when no one is looking. they feel they have to hide . Take control of your life by evaluating each situation to see where your control is and considering how you can change it. Greatness cannot be achieved without being a person of your word. but it’s not. They don’t do it in front of others. You will be free of the helplessness you feel over your compulsion to eat when you are stressed. Sadly.16 Weight Whys you had no influence over creating it. That’s when you must take the journey to learn more about yourself and others. or your heavy workload that prevents you from having time to exercise. Once you get past the fear. The Power of Commitment In life’s journey. My clients often share that when they sneak food or eat by themselves. You will be free of the power you thought people had to make you angry or upset. the life you were meant to live. They can best be recognized by their level of frustration. there is great power in commitment. you will be satisfied that you tried your best. Don’t allow yourself to live this way. It requires more work. either in relationships or other situations that are challenging or disappointing. and become the person who is capable of living a more desirable life. Keeping your word to yourself and others is paramount in achieving your goals. You may know some of these people. It’s you. It’s not about finishing first. there are some who will forever live in a world where everything “happens” to them and they are unwilling passengers. Choose the higher road. it will be the truth that will set you free from bondage. they are most inclined to eat to excess. When you cross that finish line. the victory is in running your best race and accepting the reward you earned.

In reality. That’s what inspired me to write this book. you have conceded that you overeat or don’t stick to your exercise program. “I have a dream” not “I have a goal”. but these are the standards you have created and accepted. you need to have both a dream and a goal. I also find that people will exaggerate their frequency of exercise until I ask them for details. you have been setting New Year’s resolutions. What is popular is finding a quick fix for managing your weight. A large part of it is because people are being misinformed that these gimmicks work. Search within yourself for what it takes to stay driven toward the dream of a healthier you. Whatever the trait you desire to change. The health habits you’ve been practicing have been acceptable for you until now. People are dying over this. Raise Your Standards It is possible to develop perseverance to keep your commitment to yourself. Everyday. It takes work and it’s not always fun. I understand why a fast solution is appealing. Take ownership of it so you can see the awesome power in what happens when you come to terms with your behavior and choices. Focus on Your Health Instead of Your Weight You may be thinking about this and discover some enlightening truths. but dreams give power. That’s why it’s not popular. you have .” Remember—on your journey of managing your weight and improving your health. buying exercise equipment. When you reach the point where you can track physical activity and be honest about eating habits.The Psychology of Change 17 it because they know that it’s not right. understand that it has been an acceptable standard for you to this point. you can make some awesome changes. Goals give focus. I see the sad reality. people’s health is failing as a result of these gimmicks. You will finally be empowered to create change in that area. Keep your focus on your mission of being fit and healthy. My hope is that you will be diligent in reading it. John Maxwell once wrote that “Martin Luther King Jr. you must be willing to raise your standard of what is acceptable for you. For whatever reason. You may have convinced yourself that you want to take control over your weight. said. and trying one diet program after another. For years. You may not like your habits or the results they produce. Maybe you are late for everything. To have success in your weight and in your life.

In fact. but the means by which the excess weight was created. you must have the commitment to persevere in becoming more healthy. Losing weight must be your secondary driving force or you will fall prey to the traps that are all around. but that number cannot be the endall-be-all of achieving success. I see people all the time who don’t want to drink water or eat lunch before they get weighed. Often people try to focus on the weight. becoming so fixated with the number on the scale that they want to do crazy things. C. it’s not too late to stop and change directions.18 Weight Whys been distracting yourself from the real issues that are affecting your health. It drives me crazy! I understand wanting to remove a heavy jacket. Know Your ABCs Creating change is as simple as A. and managing your emotional and spiritual well-being. Success in managing your weight will be easier when you focus on improving your health. I know their perspective is jaded. Get out of your feelings for a minute. Wherever you are. As long as you are alive. Thinking along these lines is not healthy behavior. especially when the journey is difficult and you would rather turn back to your old habits where you feel comfortable and secure. enticing you to lose weight in an unhealthy way. Your desire for good health and your love of life have to be at your core. Don’t misunderstand me. B. Attitude. You may be setting yourself up for problems with respect to keeping your weight in perspective. You must have a stable belief system where the foundations of health are ingrained in your heart powerfully enough to influence your decisions and actions. or taking keys out of your pocket before stepping on the scale. It is not the weight that needs to be the center of your attention. eating healthfully. instead of just losing weight. Belief. you have the potential to change. You must have a positive attitude and do whatever it takes to make you confident that you can achieve your goals. you will be better able to manage your weight than when you were not focusing on these needs. and back into your rational mind. a life is well lived when . unwilling to face facts. and Commitment are the driving forces behind success or defeat in changing behavior. When I see people practicing unhealthy behaviors just to see a smaller number. Finally. I guarantee that when you focus on being physically active. Weight is a gauge used to evaluate your health status. encouraging you that managing your weight is the best thing to do for your overall health.

That’s one of the reasons why I work so hard to educate people.The Psychology of Change 19 you continue to learn more about yourself. It’s easier to get around when you have twenty less pounds to carry. Because you can’t look under your skin and see your arteries and muscles. we will discuss more physiology and the ‘whys’ of taking care of ourselves. and lungs. ankles. but how their bodies work as well. It is amazing with everything that happens inside. it is possible to damage your body to a point where you have conditions that are beyond repair. and balancing stress. not exercising. smoking. Your quality of life is drastically improved when you maintain a weight that is appropriate for your body. exercise. Many people get stuck in the mindset that they are too old to be anything different than what they are now. it’s difficult to appreciate how nutrition. When you understand how your body works. simultaneously that we are alive from one second to the next. this is a place you might be visiting. Life is a Miracle One of my fascinations with wellness has to do with how I am in awe of the human body. Have you abused your body. and emotions affect your body. It is truly a miracle that every cell knows its function and carries it out day after day. I’ve worked with people in their sixties and seventies who have had a lifechanging experience. The good news is—you don’t have to live there. Damage caused to the body (especially the heart) from being overweight. Imagine how this change can lighten the load on your heart. the truth is that the body has an amazing ability to repair itself and to adapt to exercise. this is a sad and hopeless place to be. and other unhealthy behavior may be impossible to reverse. knees. eating right. not eating enough fiber. However. It’s my hope that you will understand your body to the degree that you are convinced to nurture your health. or gained so much weight that you cannot envision yourself feeling healthy again? Are you tired at the thought of trying? Have you surrendered to your reality that you will never be better than you are now? When your spirit is broken and you believe the lie that life can’t get better for you. They begin a walking program. in a way that you might not believe. . start eating more fruits and vegetables. not just on what to do to stay healthy. Throughout the course of the book. But. Realistically. and lose twenty pounds. and the world around you. It is worth the effort. others. your back. you are more inclined to relate your everyday actions to what is going on inside.

If you know you have a family history of heart disease. whatever that may be. I mean finding out what the appropriate exercise is for you from a qualified health professional and doing it on a . Be aware that you may be tempted to fall into the victim mentality. By the words that come from a client’s mouth I can tell almost immediately what their mentality is with their health. I do not advise setting a weight goal as your sole means of measuring success. But. exercise. Whatever the case. people fixate on that magic number to the point where it makes no sense. At times you may get tired of setting goals. desperate measures when you do not take that step back to get a clear view of the path you’re taking. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I encourage you to set behavioral goals as opposed to weight goals. you don’t have complete control over the number of pounds you weigh. Start this journey with healthy expectations. Being a victim says that your actions don’t influence the state of your health. these are often the same people who say.” This is a lie they tell themselves. the focus has to be on the baby steps along the journey. How do you know that exercise doesn’t work for you if you’ve never tried it? By trying.20 Weight Whys Setting Goals Setting realistic goals is imperative when starting your mission. it is a lie. Are you focusing on your weight to determine your goal or are you giving the due attention to the behavior its going to take to get there? Remember. focus on exercising the control you have to keep yourself healthy. Often. As you progress. having a sense of what size you will wear and what your body may look like. It’s tempting to resort to crazy. You can shoot for a range. and their lives. getting to know yourself. and it is costing people their lives. so be patient. Take steps to improve your health and be your best. The way you respond to the hand you are dealt is relevant in determining the quality of your life. Don’t let it cost you yours. you should be more diligent—than someone with “good” genes—to eat right. and manage your emotional being effectively. Stay focused on your goals to improve your health and become fit. It is all a process. and getting to your healthy weight will be a by-product. making thoughtful decisions—all these new thought processes. Perhaps their well-meaning doctor said this when reviewing their health history. Maybe this is their excuse to eat whatever they want and not be physically active. While this may be true in some instances. It’s in my genes. You can use your weight as one way to determine if the behavioral goals you set are working effectively.

Instead of putting your energy into . Explore your motives to make sure the behavior you are choosing is appropriate to meet your needs. You may even have the desire to overeat. or create new lifestyle behavior. as is the case in many cultures. Even the habits you dreadfully can’t stand. the fact remains there are reasons we do the things we do. There are many variables that influence why we do the things we do.The Psychology of Change 21 consistent basis for at least three months. In the examples I used about communicating with food. is to look at your past and examine the motives behind what you’ve been doing. There’s more to learn about those changes in the chapters ahead. Invest the time to do this and it is much easier to change to the more desired behavior. both physically and emotionally? What if they talked more and communicated more effectively through words? How about going for a walk to spend time together? How about being together with the focus on fellowship and being sociable instead of on indulging (or overindulging) in food? Weight Loss Programs Don’t make the mistake of trying to reinvent your life by starting from scratch. Regardless. but make the excuse that you are doing so for the sake of the other’s feelings. even when you are emotionally frustrated by them and you expect to have the willpower to change. This behavior may be considered emotionally healthy and simply a form of how we express love in our culture. The habits you have now probably took years to create. This is worth investigation. you must consider part of yourself. You may communicate love by cooking or baking cookies for someone. They have been reinforced over and over in your life every day. You may not want to examine your past because you don’t want to exert the energy. Forming New Habits Habits are extremely challenging to break. this pattern becomes a negative or unhealthy behavior if one feels as though their “love” has been rejected if their food is not eaten in abundance. However. Looking at your past may be painful. especially with food and other health habits. what would happen if these two individuals communicated their love through other means that were healthy for them. An effective way to change habits. It is also unhealthy behavior if the one accepting the food feels a burden to overeat for fear of hurting the other person. This is how long the body usually takes to have a physiological response to your exercise.

Busying yourself with dieting and preoccupying your thoughts with your weight might help you to avoid the pain associated with looking at what’s inside. progress is negligible during this time. You need to know how you will motivate yourself to keep going and learn more about yourself as you go. Persevering through the journey of managing your weight can be trying. At times in coaching. you should know there are only three steps involved to create change. feelings. Unfortunately. and behaviors throughout the reading and journal writing. You end up losing weight while on the program. You follow the steps for a while and refer to yourself as being “on the program.22 Weight Whys rejecting who you are and starting over. I get a sense this is the kind of diversion the client might want to help them avoid facing the real problems. It is common that people will lose weight on programs where every step is detailed. That kind of program will fail because you have not integrated permanent changes into your lifestyle. Steps to Change Before you start feeling overwhelmed. That way you also have something outside yourself to blame your weight struggle on. It takes the attention away from the specific problem behavior and puts it on staying “on” or being “off” the program. You will explore your thoughts. based on these insights about yourself. The third step is continuously encouraging yourself to take action. The second step is exploring who you are as a unique individual and discovering how to change. only to regain it and start the cycle over again. . exercise. It is only a diversion. This fear can be the driving force for making a lifetime of “yo-yo” dieting a person’s entire world. In a strange way. You fear what you might find when you look deep inside. and balancing emotional and spiritual wellness which are necessary in creating a lifestyle of optimal health.” This also means you eventually will be “off the program. You may do whatever you want and not discipline yourself when you’re “off”. being “on” and “off” a program may be easier. The first is to learn what you need to know.” What do you do when you are “off”? You revert to the behavior that was natural to you before. You will then be able to make informed decisions and act accordingly. focus your energy on getting to know who you are and nurturing yourself through the process of change and improvement. We will discuss the foundations of nutrition.

The gratifying part of coaching is seeing clients succeed. I find that people who work with another through individual coaching. It depends on your needs and where you are on your journey. Some of my clients have returned to college for formal education in a health related field. or some other activity that will help further explore your selfawareness. Getting healthy and managing your weight is a journey. An example might be to walk or eat a healthy breakfast twice a week.The Psychology of Change 23 Our Coaching Together During the course of our work together. When you mature enough in your health habits to inspire someone else. Having someone to empathize with. . My hope is that you someday advance far enough to inspire and encourage others. you will have the potential to improve someone’s life. groups. you have an impact on others. Thoughts for the Road How can you focus on your goal of becoming healthier? Brainstorm ideas for setting your mind on making your he alth a priority. You will need encouragement as you continue along the road. but doable. a partner. someone who relates to you. In my experience working in weight management groups. you can benefit from the other’s experiences. as well as with individuals. or someone to share your heart and mind with can significantly hasten your success. Set a quantifiable goal that focuses specifically on your behavior. even reading a book. No matter what your place in the world. It should be challenging. even by reading a book. start now to take a step toward improving. When you work with someone else. therapy. take a health class. A goal can be anything more than you are doing now. Whatever you would like to change. That is an awesome. are more likely to succeed than by trying it on their own. It is gratifying when you switch your attention from yourself to motivate others. people benefit in different ways from both. work with a weight management group. you may discover you would like to attend individual therapy. powerful thing.

As I am listening. 24 . and other forms of marketing that weight loss companies use. infomercials. Maybe they are desperate to lose weight and hate their bodies. Isn’t it intriguing that one pill will give your body the amazing ability to decrease the size of fat cells without changing your diet or exercise routine and can stimulate hair growth? That was the information included in an advertisement I saw. I am amazed at the ridiculous claims they make. I think about these claims and—while I find them entertaining—I am saddened by them.3 What the World Tells Us about Our Weight Weight loss is a sixty billion dollar per year industry. the industry is constantly supplied with “new” customers. Listening to most advertisements. Combine this with the fact that people are desperately looking for the fastest solution that requires the least effort. moving from one diet craze or pill to the next. you have yourself a money-making machine. someone else who is uninformed about health and how the body works is being fooled by these claims. It is likely they will pick up the phone and spend their hard-earned money on a product that is going to make them feel worse than they did before they bought it. To think about it angers me and tears my heart out. Because weight management is my main interest in the area of health. Unfortunately for consumers. Because people constantly lose and regain weight. there are many gimmicks to watch out for. my ears are always open to radio commercials.

The question discussed was . When you are shopping in the grocery store or watching an infomercial. It opened my eyes to the truth of how stories are marketed. Information—headlines especially—is often skewed to influence the viewer to become interested in their story. I don’t intend this to be a slam on the media. The slot may be a “teaser” that leads into a commercial break. Sadly. Do not let the media be your primary source of health information and do not assume what you read or hear on the news is factual. the public doesn’t have the knowledge to decipher the information. Sometimes politics and bias dictate which stories are given press releases and which research is published. but I want to emphasize that it is not the reliable source of health information consumers expect it to be. over half of what you hear about health is not true. or use unreliable sources to “get a story”. I don’t necessarily blame journalists or the media. so they believe the story or headline is factual. you can digest the information differently by being a marketing-conscious consumer. change information. The Great Debate Years ago I watched an interesting debate between various media professionals and health professionals (physicians. This may lead the media outlet to exaggerate facts. They are trying to sell you a story. They are probably trying to do the best job they can at relaying information. dieticians. If you realize the media’s main objective is like any business—to attract customers—you will examine their information before accepting it as fact. Evaluate their claims with the knowledge that this is a product they are trying to “sell. Be a smart consumer.” The same is true with the media. Health segments in the news are created when a journalist (usually with no clinical knowledge in the health arena) is assigned the task of presenting an intriguing filler for a 3-minute time slot. The bottom line is that information and “research findings” should not be considered valid until they are evaluated by established professionals in that particular field.What the World Tells Us about Our Weight 25 The Media is a Business Media is the public’s main source of health information. and the like). making the headline all the more enticing. they do not have adequate knowledge to ask relevant questions concerning studies and the “health sources” who submit the information. Often. The problem is that the media is in business to lure viewers into watching. From the perspective of a health professional.

In the chapter ahead on nutrition. Nutritional value aside. and often confused by conflicting information. and much of this information was misleading and wrong. we will cover some basics to make life eas- . Other containers that read “70% juice” mean that 70% of the contents are from fruit juice and the remainder from added sugars and sweeteners. how will I know what to buy without becoming a nutritionist or spending hours at the store reading food labels? Fear not. when you buy fruit juice at the grocery store. The deceit began when companies realized that consumers are looking at the labels and not buying their sugar-water. and so forth. misinformed. but if you look for the percentage on the label. They looked at how much health information was presented during each newscast and what percentage of that information was considered valid by the health community. An unaware consumer might think all fruit juice is the same. you can distinguish the nutritious juice from the colored sugar-water. You won’t see this as much in the media as you will in product claims on boxes. For example. so they find a clever way to make claims on the labels. They may put “100% Vitamin C” on the label. Startling statistics were presented to detail the various aspects up for discussion. You can find products that contain as little as 5% fruit juice that taste sweeter and are usually marketed toward children who like the sugary taste. to distract buyers from looking at the other part of the label which reads that it’s only 5% fruit juice. meaning that most of the contents are real juice from the fruit itself. you want to buy the type that has the most nutritional value. This means that most people are not armed with the facts. you might ask. we have a huge problem. They showed statistics from interviews with the public to determine to what extent media stories are believed and viewed as a reliable source of health education. or something of that nature. Don’t Be Deceived It is wise to be aware that marketing can be deceptive.26 Weight Whys whether news professionals had an ethical responsibility to thoroughly verify health information before presenting it to the public. since sugar and water are cheaper ingredients than real juice from the fruit. infomercials. At this point. The container should read “100% fruit juice”. consumers may be more inclined to buy the lower percentage juice because it is sweeter and less expensive. The panel concluded that if the public used the media as their main source of health information.

Be wise and be alert to the marketing tactics that are used to play on your emotions and get you to spend your hard earned money. Is there some secret diet formula only famous people have access to? The ones who are trying to sell you their latest book. health-conscious consumer. and what their professional experience has been. Then. The truth is you are best served when you seek advice from health professionals who have education and experience in the field you want advice about. it happens all the time. For example. For now. These “experts” can even be neighbors or co-workers who want to tell you how to cure your high blood pressure by taking the newest herb. You might believe the outrageous lie that fruits and vegetables can make you fat because a celebrity on an infomercial told you these carbohydrates are bad for you. you will be in a position to make an educated decision whether you want to believe it or not. realize that the industry is marketing to you every minute. pill.99. you might let your emotions override common sense. you can learn the secret formula too.” You often hear of a celebrity who has written a book about how to stay young and slim forever.What the World Tells Us about Our Weight 27 ier. if you investigated before deciding if the health information you heard is reliable. When you hear that drinking a glass of wine daily is “good for you.” research what national organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) believe. “For the low cost of $19. you may have heard that drinking wine improves your cardiovascular health. Everyone’s an Expert There are people everywhere who consider themselves “health experts. or video would like you to believe so. You must be aware of this if you are ever to be a smart. it’s good to ask questions such as: where they went to college. If you are like most people. Why should you believe the nutritional advice given by a celebrity? Since when does being a good-looking actor make you an expert on managing weight and proper nutrition? Yet. in what field did they earn their degree. . Another wise step would be to see if their information agrees with that of the national organizations that specialize in that particular area. you would not hold many of the distorted beliefs you do today. eating beeswax.” Don’t be a victim. or whatever the latest and greatest fallacy may be. Before you decide if you will trust their opinion. Instead of taking someone’s word.

People are discriminated against because they are too young. we never learn to love our unique qualities. What is interesting in working with these individuals throughout their weight loss journey is that their perspective of their circumstances often changes before they reach their target weight. They exercise three times a week. How Do You Respond to Adversity? The sad reality is that some people are discriminated against because of their weight. You may think negative experiences occur because you are overweight. Overweight clients often tell me they believe they are looked at negatively because of their weight. When you begin to change your behavior and develop self-confidence. Appearance is and always will be a factor in how others perceive you. What Makes You Attractive? Uniqueness sets each person apart from the other. Throughout my years coaching overweight clients. Think about what your perception of this reality is and how it might manipulate your thinking. manage their stress well. it’s been exciting to see how working to build their confidence and self-image positively impacts obstacles. You will enjoy yourself and your body more when you realize that it’s not being perfect that makes you attractive. That is not the issue. they feel their work and opinions are not valued to the same extent as their thinner counterparts. The question is how will you respond to it? Are you going to complain about it and let it be an obstacle to enjoying life? Or will you have the character to get beyond circumstances and achieve assured of your confidence and self-worth no matter what the circumstances? The choice is yours and it does not depend on what anyone thinks of you. even more than losing the weight does. I have coached people who work hard at being cardiovascularly fit. as well as how you perceive others.28 Weight Whys Does Your Appearance Determine Your Value? Society tells us our appearance determines how valuable we are. unattractive…you name it. old. but the same can be said for many other variables of life. we sometimes have a distorted impression of what it means to be attractive. attractive. In our culture. As a result. make good eating choices most of the time. You may be constantly preoccupied with thoughts that others are judging you because of your weight. those around you will respond and the dynamics of your environment change. . It is being your personal best and being confident in that.

they spend time and resources to keep up their appearance. Being realistic and thoughtful in our expectations can help us love our unique selves and not to be constantly critical and disappointed in our appearance.What the World Tells Us about Our Weight 29 and are health-conscious overall. not fifty pounds from now. it is the responsibility of adults to set a good example for our young people. It’s just the way it is. See if the people around you don’t respond to you differently. countless hours a week getting facials. It is not hitting a magic number on the scale or fitting into your old pants size. but they are more attractive than someone who is stressed. you are simply a work in progress. That’s their job. On the one hand. It helps to feel confident when you are fit and in shape. upset. Remember that the standard we should hold ourselves to has to be our personal best. are extremely thin and have been airbrushed to achieve the desired look of the advertiser. count every calorie. It’s the model’s job to look their best. and all the other things that models do because their appearance is their livelihood. Most models. Media Presents an Unrealistic Image Media figures present an impossible standard. Being attractive and confident is a state of mind. Media figures. There are also a lot of models (not all) who resort to eating disorders. drugs. you are not attractive. Change your mindset to believe that you are all right the way you are today. but don’t fall for the misconception that until you are a certain size. and the people in advertisements should not be our role models. I’m not saying this is right or wrong. The time to start feeling confident and striving for your personal best is right now. We should strive to be our personal best. I can see an advertiser wanting to display their product in the best possible way to influence consumers to buy it. They may be fifty pounds overweight. even if you don’t have children. models. and obsessed with losing five more pounds that will get them to their goal. Set a Good Example In my opinion. not what advertisers or marketers are defining as most attractive. Girls and boys alike try to emulate the models they see in . get the perfect hair color. both male and female. I don’t want to spend three hours a day in a gym. Unlike the average person. The bottom line is that we have to be able to look at these people on commercials and billboards and realize that their job is to appear as desirable as possible to sell their product. and other unhealthy means of keeping up a slim appearance.

characteristics. better at communicating. Learning to love yourself for who you are. inside and out. Adults are no different. Instead. and learning how to live your life to its best. there are things we want to change about ourselves. dislikes. strive to be your unique personal best. Try your best to improve each day. They will ask: what is this peace you have that commands your best and makes you satisfied with the results? Look around. According to them. being on time. Content Being Yourself Why is it so hard to believe you are good enough? It is a natural tendency to compare ourselves to others and yet we’re quick to criticize that which is unique and special about ourselves. Realistically. disciplining yourself to exercise regularly. being thin is more important than being healthy. This does not show gratitude for the life. All the different. Be the beautiful person you were created to be and love who you are. Explore what makes you special and different than everyone else. Not many people have that air about them. or perceived lack of talents. yet the expectation we have of ourselves is different. mind. A successful life means you are getting better as time passes. You can. their appearance. their personality. and striving for the best of yourself will set you apart from the rest of the world. no matter how we do it. That sounds like the ideal we desire for our children. Beating ourselves up. It is so common that people are unhappy with themselves. You . trying to be someone that we are not and not liking ourselves is not the way you were meant to live. and character traits make you special. marvelous likes. Striving and giving life your all every day creates a quiet confidence that makes others want to be around you. Being Healthy Requires Effort Society tells us it is good when we lose weight. You should be better at being a friend. and soul that have been given specially to you. We should be teaching our children and the other young people in our circle of influence that being like someone else is not a worthy goal. Everyone has things about themselves they would like to change. let go of the negative feelings you have about yourself and become your own best friend. At some point. People long to know themselves but are afraid to look too deeply for fear they may not like what they find. Recognize you must find a balance between contentment with who you are and striving to be better. and love it.30 Weight Whys magazines or the latest popular singing icon.

It’s All About the Journey Weight loss programs are. and spiritual health. This is not bad. you can have it. So-called experts tell us that it is possible to lose weight without effort. I have seen that sickness and death is often the price that people pay. These skills are necessary for you to live an abundant life. continuing this process will produce a changed lifestyle. you will see a product on television that will make you happy by making you thinner. Don’t resort to these quick fix gimmicks that jeopardize your precious time here on earth.What the World Tells Us about Our Weight 31 rarely hear commercials tell you to be healthier. results-oriented. They market what people are looking for and would pay any amount of money to have—a thinner body with no effort required. emotional. Often I have seen this happens to people who are ready to change their lives. you will not get the results you want and you will not be capable of maintaining the weight loss. Some may argue that they have the public’s best interests in mind. Many products that are hurting people are still on the market. Learn the qualities within yourself that influence your decision-making process. You must acquire the skills to lose weight and maintain it. as well as new and better ways to care for your physical. Being thin is not worth sacrificing your health but. However. Next. and communication skills. Over time. For the most part. for the most part.95. If you want a thinner body. Understand that anything worth having requires effort. sadly. When it comes to managing your weight. you must be determined to make health improvement a top priority. Anyone in science who is familiar with how the human body functions can deduce that a product . If you short-change yourself. Stay focused on achieving results that are health-oriented. coping. eat fruits and vegetables. However. It will help you to discriminate against gimmicks that may be hurtful. Those messages don’t sell anything. The best way to get it is to care for your health in the process. Their intent is weight loss for people who are not motivated to exercise or improve their diet. but it should be kept in perspective. balance your desire for results with being process minded. but you have the fortitude to make this happen. discover how to change that behavior so it is healthier. You will learn behavioral. We have things like “exercise in a bottle” for the low price of $29. You must realize that being healthy is more important than simply being thin. it’s all about the journey. Many fail at this huge task. it’s all about money on the part of the manufacturer. You never see a billboard advertising that walking will strengthen your heart and prolong your life.

32 Weight Whys that speeds up your central nervous and cardiovascular systems is harmful. but the person taking it thinks. put their product in the most strategic location of the store and use the right lighting. you can bet it’s not good for you. companies will use any means to make their product appealing. Buyer Beware At times I think. As an educated consumer. Later in the book I’ll explain metabolism. and health industries. My mission is to educate people on how to manage their weight successfully for the long term.” I’ve heard it all. I’ll take it for a while to get the weight off. “They couldn’t sell it if it could hurt me. no matter what the cost. Consumers are manipulated every day with weight loss products. Don’t companies have every right to market their products the way they want?” The capitalist in me believes they do and that it is the consumer’s responsibility to be aware. Why do people believe they work? It’s because they are desperate to lose weight. Someone knowledgeable about anatomy and physiology can deduce this. People believe that diet pills work and the truth is that some are destructive to their health and have negative long-term effects on their metabolism. and to inform them of the effects of various weight loss products and programs. Since it comes down to money. hindering their weight loss at the very least. exercise equipment. “This is America. When the person taking the product has trouble getting to sleep at night because their heart is racing. This includes directing their advertisements toward our emotions. I feel so passionate about this issue because it hurts people. The health professional in me thinks that companies who profess these health claims have a moral responsibility to speak truth and to make buyers aware of the potential side effects. instead of using our rational thought process to decide. You’ll understand how these various diet programs and products work against you in preparing your body to keep off the weight that you lose while on the program. Then I’ll start eating healthier and exercising. I know this to be true about the food. These elements are used to persuade us without our awareness. Marketers use science to play the right music in the commercial. These pills can be like speed. when they have no idea it is going to hinder them in the long run. be skeptical of the marketing that is directed toward you. Their intent is that we will draw conclusions about the product using our feelings. In . I’ve had clients tell me they take their diet pills occasionally just to give them energy.

where the objective is to influence you to purchase their product. pieces of exercise equipment. or health educator for their opinion. It is tough to turn a deaf ear to the health claims that bombard you from every direction. really make sense? Why would something that good be a secret? Ask yourself these questions and get the opinions of professionals you can trust. And always ask how the product works. One of the biggest challenges through your weight loss journey is to resist the diet and exercise gimmicks that catch your interest. It is your responsibility to be a savvy health consumer and know that many products don’t work and could actually harm you. If “exercise in a bottle” worked. beneficial health products that people develop with the consumer’s best interest in mind. you must do so with a keen awareness of this ploy. why would so many people still be overweight? Does the claim that this is a “secret pill”. Ask a professional or a reputable health organization what they think about the claims the company is making before you invest your time and money. and money. Seek out someone with the knowledge to help you distinguish between good and bad information. unknown to millions and available to you for a short time only. weight management books. It is worth the effort and could be one of the smartest things you do along your weight loss journey. seek the opinion of established organizations and . and other health products that are helping people learn to better care for themselves and improve their quality of life. but it is worth getting the information and asking a Registered Dietician (RD). The answer you get may be a lie. physician (MD). To save time. energy. Distinguish Fact from Fiction Organizations that are well established and unbiased in the health arena are tough to distinguish when you are looking for guidance. I have listed some well-known organizations in Appendix B to help you. Whether you are factfinding or looking to acquire knowledge in a particular area of your health. there are well-established organizations that we professionals have come to trust. It’s your responsibility to ask questions before using the products and to make sure you test ideas against your rational judgment before making a decision. clinical exercise specialist. there are also legitimate. With that said. There are great vitamins.What the World Tells Us about Our Weight 33 business. I have worked with many people who could have saved themselves money and years of heartache if they had done their research and elicited opinions from health professionals before deciding on a course of action.

If you still don’t feel comfortable. Be your own health advocate and take control of your life. ask how the products work in your body.34 Weight Whys health professionals that you trust. the keys are to research the backgrounds of the health professionals from whom you are seeking the opinion. the information a health professional gives you is their opinion based on their knowledge and experience in that area. Find the individual most qualified to give you advice and realize it is only an opinion. Thoughts for the Road What do you believe the world has told you about your weight? What quick weight loss products have you fallen for in the past? What did you learn from those experiences that can help your weight loss journey? Are you mindful to get accurate health information from reliable sources or do you easily believe what others tell you? . and don’t be afraid to keep asking questions until you understand. Remember. ask several professionals in the field and evaluate their answers. Remember.

Who wants to live just getting by? We should thrive. and we don’t rationally evaluate whether our need-driven actions get the desired results. Once lost. time cannot be replaced. We all need a game plan defining “balance” and an action plan to make it happen. not knowing how to assert yourself. wanting to please others. For example. One of the keys to living with purpose and finding passion in life is to create balance. Take an inventory of your current habits and identify your needs. can be difficult. like a half-hour walk for a half-hour of television. This becomes a problem when we don’t understand the needs that drive us. like your health.4 Creating Balance to Spend Your Time with Purpose Our needs often determine our priorities. or simply lacking good communication skills. Spend it wisely. Think of your time as a commodity and you will be more thoughtful when you choose how to spend it. Saying “no” to people. Time is to be Treasured Time is your most valuable asset. but you also find you are lacking time to exercise and eat a healthy lunch. You may decide to make changes or simple exchanges. not just survive. Taking 35 . for example. Some people accomplish great things in a single day and others complain they barely get by. you may find comfort in watching three hours of television every night before you go to bed. It is necessary to eliminate comfortable things to create room for valuable things. Time management factors into this as well. Reasons for this vary such as liking to feel needed.

I have coached many clients. you may have to decline. and the spiritual self as well. postpone. It has been given a temporary solution. but it paves the way for a rewarding life and enables you to devote your time purposefully and enjoy your chosen activities. If you go to lunch instead. This applies to the physical. Medication treats the symptom—education and change treats the person. see a therapist about their stress. If you do not have a schedule that is conducive to meeting these needs on a regular basis. Choice is important. When a friend invites you to lunch during your planned walking time. Clarify Your Priorities Simplifying requires thought about your priorities. loving relationships. your health will eventually suffer. Not the Symptom My new clients are usually having their whole health evaluated for the first time. who simply need to lay off the caffeine. The second problem is that the patient’s need may never be identified. Clarifying your priorities takes thought. People often wait until something is wrong before giving attention to their health. managing stress. It is wise to first see if your primary needs are being met with your current habits. Sacrifice may be involved. or invite your friend for the walk. This works for few people since it masks other types of greater health problems. The reason health problems are misdiagnosed or not properly rectified is because dealing with a specific symptom and solution. ignores other important variables. and then focus only on the issue at hand. My experience shows that if people started to look at .36 Weight Whys control of your time is not fun. If managing your weight and your health is important. eating a nutritional. Think them through and act accordingly. For every medication there are side effects. the body has to process the medication. How many times is a patient prescribed a sleep aid because they can’t sleep? Wellness coaching involves looking at the person as a whole. well-balanced diet. the emotional. but so are your priorities. Complete wellness requires that primary needs be met most of the time or health problems will result. but your goals should not be sacrificed for short-term desires. I define the primary needs as: adequate sleep. and nourishing your spirit. your lifestyle must be adjusted to reflect these priorities. or maintain a regular sleep cycle. When treating symptoms. you will have to give up something else to get in your exercise. taking sleep medications. Treat the Person. regular physical activity. some you may not feel.

The quicker you learn to identify areas that could be improved and then take action to change them. not waking early enough to eat breakfast. You Can Achieve Balance Living a balanced life is possible.Creating Balance to Spend Your Time with Purpose 37 lifestyle factors when a problem arises. Analyze Your Thoughts Thinking habits may also be critical when it comes to looking at what needs to change. I challenge you to focus on creating healthier habits and see if it affects your weight. you may decide it is in your best interest to get a job closer to home. It is a daily endeavor requiring conscious evaluation of what works for you and what could be better. rationalize. This way. you can choose to change them. there are environmental factors that have to be there for the weight gain to occur. their opportunity to live healthier and happier is greatly improved. In the future. or waiting until we are so hungry that we do not use rational judgment in selecting what we eat. For example. I have worked with many people who have the genetics to be overweight. work fewer hours. remember your circumstances are often of your own choosing. If you believe that your genes make you overweight and your decisions don’t. It will be changed when you take control and do your best. When you have been making good food choices and exercising . or the difficulty to lose it. Whatever is not working for you will not be changed with a helpless victim mentality. the more skilled you will become at creating balance. or take your breaks instead of working through them. While I can empathize with such situations. It may not happen overnight because a new “arrangement” can take time to achieve. While some people are genetically predisposed to gain weight. instead of resorting first to medications. Perhaps you tell yourself that your extra weight is due to genetics. They chose to change their eating environment with a nutritious and balanced diet and regular exercise. I’m not saying that it’s easy—but it is possible. It’s hard when our natural inclination is to deny. Creating balance in your life is an art. We all have habits that may not be serving us well. It may be wasting time watching too much television. or seek excuses. if you are working fulltime where you have an hour commute each way. your exercise time may be a 20-minute walk at lunchtime. it’s not your fault and you have pardoned yourself from having to change it.

Then. and spiritual needs. and the like. Invest time to evaluate them and change the negative forces in your weight loss effort. trips to the pharmacy to pick up medication. Growth occurs when they can get down to exploring what compelled them to allow people to need them so much in the first place. and all the other things that are the result of neglecting their health. We’ll discuss how to simply put away distractions and experiment with being unavailable to others for an hour at a time. It is unreasonable to expect that you can create a healthy lifestyle for yourself. and be on call at work 24/7. Set Reasonable Expectations I have coached people who are overstressed because they feel they must be accessible by cell phone. Then decide what you .38 Weight Whys on a consistent basis for a few months. Think about what you are willing to change. and much of the time they are emotional reasons. There is nothing wrong with doing things for others. Then we can talk more about how much is genetics and how much is lifestyle choices. or have some form of contact with other people. Without being aware that the underlying reason is their need. have time to relax. or being available to others. Don’t dwell on thoughts that aren’t moving you in the right direction. most will become good at scheduling the time when they have doctor’s appointments. emotional. Demands from others are often the main source of stress for people. pager. The need to feel needed can drive a person to overextend themselves to the limit. get your exercise. What is important is setting healthy and reasonable limits on your availability. do things you enjoy. First. Examine what your role has been in creating these situations. I have seen many people who are not proactive in scheduling time to walk. Examining your motives can help to determine where you should be spending your time. we work on the logistics of communicating their new boundaries to those who are used to having them available. it’s the sense of importance they have when they feel needed. you are simply too busy. For many. they may not know how to change. relax. Set Your Limits If you are too busy to care for your physical. Unfortunately. we can work on turning off the equipment and enjoying some down time. helping others. People overextend themselves for different reasons. you might be surprised where it leads.

their reward may be that they get to feel needed and maybe even loved. Learning how to love and accept yourself the way you are now (the contentment) while still desiring to do better and be better (the striving) is what life is all about. You deserve the fulfillment of knowing you are doing everything within your control to care for your most valuable asset…your wellness. they sacrifice their healthy needs and what they are desperate for. Understand Your Needs This need to feel needed may also be more deeply rooted as a need for love. loving relationship. happier person may express itself in different areas at different times. Not managing their stress.Creating Balance to Spend Your Time with Purpose 39 must do and what you have to communicate to others so they are aware that a change is imminent. Your potential to become a better. Growing into peace is where you will find true balance. . All the while. You will never be satisfied or have peace if you are never content with yourself or what you have. It’s a losing proposition for both parties because neither their standards nor their abilities to handle problems are ever improved. Always being available to people at work is a great example. Many times we are in relationships where this exchange is not working in a healthy way for either side. I see many people settle for this because they are having a strong emotional need met in feeling important. It is possible to live in both states. One of the most difficult things for any human being to do is to identify what their needs are and then meeting them in a direct and healthy way. The better you become at evolving both. but we settle for it rather than changing what’s necessary to improve it. you will only live up to your potential when you continue to challenge yourself each day to become better than you are. their need for love is unresolved because they are not approaching it in an emotionally healthy way. whether it is with a spouse or friend. In essence. involves an exchange of meeting each other’s needs. contentment and striving to be more. The person needed all the time is stressed because they don’t have time of their own and the people who are calling them never learn to be self-sufficient. putting aside time to exercise and not having time alone. On the same note. the more alive and beautiful you become as a human being. the trade-off is that they may be neglecting their health in the process. The beauty of living in balance is developing the ability to be content yet continuing to strive for more. A healthy.

This repeated scenario not only results in your lack of exercise. you will develop these character traits and they will carry over in other areas. even when you may not feel like it. My hope is that through our weight management journey. and doing hobbies they enjoy as a luxury rather than a necessity. Learning and practicing to develop a strong sense of commitment to keeping your word is one of the key elements in living to your potential. The problem occurs when you cannot go beyond your comfort level to change what is not productive for you. Moving through discomfort to create balance and more healthy patterns is the best thing you could do for yourself. you will train yourself to believe you do not have the strength and character to keep your word. If physical. . you lose a little more self-respect and it costs you. is not popular because it requires discipline. and spiritual needs are not met. but to give yourself the opportunity to live up to your potential. but not taking the time to care for yourself is actually selfish. Every time this happens. they must be broken. After enjoying your usual sleep. and patience. what will be your value to others? If your health suffers by not meeting those needs. You may struggle for some time with that. and find that morning after morning you hit the snooze button.40 Weight Whys Caring for yourself won’t become a habit until you see it as valuable. emotional. taking time out for stress management. Doing so. It seems paradoxical. you may not be available to perform them. Picture yourself following through on your personal commitments. eating right. While you may have different roles and responsibilities that are important to you. Beyond Your Comfort Zone Old habits are hard to break. You may keep setting your alarm to wake up early to exercise. You may continue to regress to behaviors that you are trying to change. but so does your availability. How can you feel good or trust yourself when you have not developed your character to act dependably? It doesn’t matter that it was “only” a promise to yourself. people will think of exercise. you wake up vowing that tomorrow morning you will do it. however. Often. your value not only declines. We schedule it when we’ve taken care of our other business. Knowing you cannot make a basic commitment and be trusted to keep it. perseverance. but also in a loss of integrity and self-confidence. if you neglect your health.

You may become disciplined with not saying what you feel when you feel it. In coaching. even dying. Have a Game Plan When I ask people about the game plan for their day as it relates to their health. they practice it in relationships and communication with others. They either don’t expect anything better for themselves or don’t know how to get it. cut out sweets. Yet. you may become more thoughtful of your words before you speak. Are you wiling to do what it takes to get there? Do you need to take time to explore yourself for what you may discover? . you can mature beyond doing what you want to do. This is where the power is. ignoring their needs. Since you are disciplining yourself to put more thought into what you are eating. making exercise part of your lifestyle. You may learn you should love yourself even though you don’t always choose correctly. They are working too hard. Developing balance. You may become patient with yourself. learning that your body is fine. They lack the willingness and the desire to develop the discipline and perseverance to get there. What are you willing to do to get there? For some. because they do not know how to create balance in their lives. I hear goals like. not caring for themselves. and feeling frustrated. or fit into size 10 pants. That is the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. which helps to reinforce and improve your other habits. unable to communicate in a healthy way. Avoiding food that is not good for you is not pleasant. but they are not willing to do anything to achieve them.Creating Balance to Spend Your Time with Purpose 41 Develop Self-Discipline Often.” They like to have goals. will provide greater inner peace. to doing what you know to be best for you. “I want to lose 10 pounds. It may become easier for you to accept others the way they are. engaged in unsatisfying relationships. and enjoying what you have are necessary if you want to live to your fullest. Some people are struggling through life. Say you become better at being disciplined with portions sizes or food choices. I have seen that when people learn this concept with food. and realizing we are all trying to do our best. Growing patience. the answer is “nothing. simplifying life. This is where the focus needs to be—on the game plan. I am often surprised to hear how many don’t have one.” but I rarely hear a well thought out plan to go along with it. and caring for your emotional and spiritual well-being can be used to better yourself. skills you learn for moderating your food intake.

it is difficult to be motivated and excited about your life. Expect an Extraordinary Life Everyone desires fullness of life. Only you can make that decision and only you can put in the work required to make the difference. “actions speak louder than words. not merely survive. When we see how they occupy their time. Living with purpose and passion is at the heart of every man and woman. but so often we settle for less. The easy road is reacting to adversity merely to survive. and programs designed to help them. exploring techniques on controlling their stress eating. making lunches to take to work. business partners. Thoughts for the Road What activities are you involved in now that conflict with what is really important to you? .” Remember these words when you are dealing with others and forging relationships with friends. You develop self-respect when you make your actions line up with your values. This indicates where we need to focus our work together. The reward of facing each day with excitement and the thrill of thriving is worth the effort. Remember to examine your actions realistically. products. Dissecting the details of your life can be exhausting. Part of choosing the path of extraordinary living is having a clear view of your priorities and spending the core of your life supporting those priorities. Take time to see where you spend your money and time. Does it align with how you want life to be? When someone comes into my office and tells me it is important for them to lose weight. Doing so is useful if it helps you avoid wasting time and money on things that are of little or no value. Life becomes fulfilling when you expect more and choose to thrive. When you spend most of your time working at your priorities you will find it easier to live with purpose and passion. little has been spent on physical activity. your sense of purpose will be clearer and you’ll find fulfillment.42 Weight Whys Reflecting on where you spend your time and money is essential in determining your values. or adopting other healthy behaviors. When your words and actions agree. This takes conscious effort and decisiveness. they may believe this is true because they have spent money on books. and especially yourself. When you are wasting time being driven by unfulfilled needs or simply living on auto-pilot (driven by old patterns and habits). I’m sure you are familiar with the saying.

Creating Balance to Spend Your Time with Purpose 43 What could you do differently to change this? Explore all possibilities…no matter how far-fetched they may seem to you now. .


II Skills for the Road .


Understanding the Physical 47 .


and theories are lies. food takes on a new meaning. In my experience. It is fascinating that many of the best-selling diet books include intricate explanations of the biochemistry and physiology of the reasons people are overweight and how to fix it. Most people reading these books have no knowledge of the physiology of the human body. it makes a huge difference when people look at food as fuel for their bodies. consider first what would be beneficial to your health. and fat work is beneficial when choosing what to eat. Instead of making choices based on hunger. protein. and what might taste good. 49 . “How is what I am consuming nourishing my body?” This will start to get you on the right track. informed decisions about what you are willing to consume. When you understand that food and drink are meant to nourish you. contrary to popular belief. Having a basic understanding of how carbohydrate. The purpose of food is to meet nutritional needs so our bodies will function properly. Whenever you eat or drink. The average reader trying to be healthy may find it difficult to differentiate fact from fiction. Remember. You will make educated. most of the books. products.5 How Metabolism Really Works Perspective has a lot to do with the nutritional choices we make. Selective eating can do wonders when you learn the basics about what your body needs. Their lack of knowledge leaves them vulnerable to theories that sound believable if you are not an expert in the field of nutritional science. instead of being satisfaction for your hunger. These people are trying to sell a new gimmick or put a different spin on an old one. Unfortunately. it doesn’t have to be rocket science. ask yourself.

Metabolism is the body’s rate at which it utilizes energy. We take in energy in the form of calories from food and drink. I will explain metabolism and nutrition based on my research and coaching others who have changed their lives. and nutrients. If you’ve practiced weight management long enough you’ll understand how life-changing it would be to avoid the torture of gaining and losing weight. You may not like this reality but it is imperative for you to accept it if you are to succeed at managing your weight. How would it feel to lose weight by training yourself correctly and never having to fret about it again? You would continue being health-conscious. As you develop these skills. One of the main reasons I see diets fail is that they are too complicated. as people of any weight should. and time.50 Weight Whys Why Diets Fail In the next two chapters. Effort is required to learn about portion sizes. I encourage people to learn the principles of proper nutrition. A calorie is a measure of energy. rather than using complicated devices that waste time and energy. Understand it is possible to change your metabolism to its optimal level. When is the last time you saw a commercial that promised you could increase your metabolism by taking a pill or drinking a diet product? (With a money back guarantee. patience. be patient and understand that the process of changing your body on the inside takes time. but you would not have the stress of losing and gaining weight as you have in the past. like walking or talking. The hard truth is that changing your metabolism requires work. each healthy decision you make becomes part of your overall healthy lifestyle. Learn to integrate sound nutritional choices into your lifestyle. you should have a clear understanding of what metabolism is and the variables that affect it. Doing it right could change your life and get you off the cycle of yo-yo dieting (weight cycling) forever. Changing Your Metabolism Takes Time When you decide to lose weight. Our bodies require energy for each system that is functioning—from our voluntary movements. Advertisers would like to convince you otherwise. Before we explore what is right for you. but learning the basic principles of proper food selection is the key. to the involuntary movements of . rather than intricate systems of tracking or counting. calories. The way to do so is with the appropriate eating and exercise habits. instead of a chore or a strict diet.) The herbal products that are marketed as “natural” are selling for $100 a bottle. of course.

An essential concept to managing your weight is that you must have optimal muscle mass. you are setting yourself up to fail. protein. the higher your metabolism. and fat. It is the key to life-long weight management. It isn’t necessary to be a body builder to get the benefit of increased metabolism. energy utilizing. It concerns the number of calories rather than the type of calorie. Instead of focusing on what your metabolism is. It is possible to strength your muscle fibers on the inside without “bulking up”. In a later chapter. Weight loss of this kind is a double-whammy. The numbers you see on a chart or exercise machine to show how many calories you have burned are estimates. People restrict their calories so severely that their metabolism slows even further because it runs into “starvation mode” to survive. or fat—the extra calories will be stored as fat. Your body continuously uses energy in the form of calories. If it is an exercise where you carry your own weight. Our bodies use energy to function properly and the rest is stored as fat. calorie-burning machine that uses your fuel the most effective way possible. This is how millions of people lose weight and gain it back. remember that everyone’s is different. If you lose weight without increasing muscle mass. we will cover ways to train your muscles. such as walking. They lose weight by temporarily reducing their intake of energy (calories). but do nothing to increase the rate at which their bodies use their calories (increase muscle mass). protein. In the next chapter. concentrate on manipulating yours to be as efficient as possible. It is self-sufficient and uses no calories to keep it “alive” and on your body. An interesting thing about metabolism is that everyone’s is different. Other factors include your muscle mass and how much you weigh. a heavier person will expend more calories than someone who is lighter. I cannot look at someone and know what their metabolism is.How Metabolism Really Works 51 our hearts beating and our lungs allowing us to breathe. A pound of fat requires no energy to sustain it. you will learn to make decisions about carbohydrate. It takes a substantial number of calories to sustain the energy required of one pound of muscle. We know the more muscle mass you have. There are some principles we can apply based on what we know about metabolism. . These principles make a huge difference in changing your body into an efficient. This contradicts diets you have seen that claim your body will store various foods differently. I have not seen this to be true. It is clearly shown in metabolic research that no matter where the calorie comes from—carbohydrate. As we go into this chapter examining how to get the most from your metabolism.

It is harsh on your body when you let your stomach become empty. unhealthy things to decrease the number on the scale. The one with 20% body fat has less muscle mass (5% to be exact). Two people can each weigh 150 pounds. assessing your body fat. Body composition indicates this insightful information. Some criteria are: how your body shape is changing. The most reliable ways to have your body composition measured are hydrostatic weighing (the gold standard). A common mistake is using the scale as the only gauge of how your weight management journey is going. This makes a difference in the number of calories their bodies require to perform everyday functions. since it contributes nothing to our healthy lifestyle. Doing this repeatedly will send a message to your body that it must conserve calories . your glucose stores get depleted and your blood sugar drops. and a machine known as the “Bod Pod”. We are made up of 100% of something. The lower number on the scale may give them a false sense of gratification. Body weight on the scale doesn’t register how much is muscle and how much is fat. Muscle is denser than the fat and shows up as weighing more on the scale. the one with less muscle and more fat requires fewer calories to survive. Eating to Increase Metabolism Eating every few hours is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism. and weighing yourself are key in gauging how your body looks on the inside. but does little to improve their health or long-term weight management. caliper testing. This doesn’t mean they have failed. People do illogical. Whether you feel hungry or not. and other variables that indicate how you look on the inside. A certain percentage of that is fat and the rest is muscle mass (and what is called “fat-free tissue” such as bones. but one may have 15% body fat and the other 20%. how your clothes fit. Some of these include not drinking water or skipping a meal before weighing themselves. and the like). Taking your measurements. the body with more muscle mass uses more calories. Remember. This behavior has no place in proper weight management. What happens when they eat lunch or drink a bottle of water? The number goes up. One of the physiological reasons is that eating food keeps your insulin regulated.52 Weight Whys Body Composition is What Matters Body weight and body composition are key terms when looking at your body on the inside and how it relates to your metabolism. organs. your body needs fuel every three to four hours.

snacking on corn chips while they are making dinner or fast food from the drive-thru because they will be too hungry to make dinner when they get home. For lunch. Also. your prime rib night is not the best time to have a big dessert. Aside from these facts.How Metabolism Really Works 53 because it’s unsure when it will be refueled again. You should never let yourself get so hungry that you cannot make rational food choices. Your brain doesn’t function well. Your body won’t burn calories as efficiently as it should when you are on this roller-coaster. Eat your vegetables and keep the alcohol to a minimum. This means when you eat or drink something. knowing each day is different. remember you don’t have to eat the whole thing. If you are going to a nice restaurant where you want to order prime rib. If you do not give your body enough calories. but I am not going to give you fuel to do it. It is common for people to let their blood sugar drop so low that by the time they eat. one of the main reasons I advise you to eat every three to four hours is to moderate your hunger. remember your body has been fasting since the last time you ate. It could be cookies from the vending machine. I mentioned that a calorie is a measure of energy. even thinking. your metabolism will slow . Breakfast might be high fiber cereal or whole-wheat toast and fruit. You are saying to your body. your body uses calories to digest. your body uses some calories to digest it. The key is to be diligent in your food choices. If you don’t share. “Be awake and function. and you may get headaches or impaired memory when you haven’t eaten enough food. This is where pre-planning comes into play. A light healthy snack in the afternoon could keep you from being famished at the restaurant. You must have a plan to fuel your body throughout the day. particularly carbohydrates. It’s true that your body will go into “starvation mode” when you fast too long. they are reaching for the closest thing that is edible. Every process that takes place in your body requires energy. be sure to have a good breakfast and lunch. If you order chicken or fish. Earlier. you could plan a sandwich on whole wheat bread with carrots dipped in ranch dressing. When you wake from a night’s sleep. The thermodynamic effect also helps our metabolism. preferred fuel the body uses for all its functions. which was eight or more hours ago. you can reward yourself by sharing dessert with someone. alcohol has calories that should be factored into the equation.” Glucose is our primary. When you eat. Remember. Breakfast is Crucial to Increase Metabolism Skipping breakfast is a sure way to slow your metabolism.

but a good breakfast consists of healthy doses of fiber and vitamins. Many people in their thirties and forties come to see me for wellness coaching because they are gaining weight and don’t understand why or what to do about it. your body needs nutrients to fuel your activities. As muscle mass declines. caloriesmart food and drink choices). it kicks your metabolism into gear giving it the message that it is time to work. When you eat breakfast. The key is to have a nutritious and healthy breakfast with calories from nutrients that will benefit you. it runs slower if they have not eaten breakfast. and a short stint of exercising. you are “glucose depleted”.54 Weight Whys down to conserve. your lungs breathing. Have a waffle with sugary syrup or a doughnut for a treat occasionally. (See Appendix C for examples of high fiber. Muscle mass affects your metabolism. you are doing great. Your body needs to be fueled with something nutritious two hours or so after you wake from your night’s sleep (breakfast). If you are not a “breakfast person”. skipping breakfast. and your brainwaves going. Our bodies naturally lose muscle mass each year (starting around thirty years old). The energy it takes to keep your heart beating. this may mean just eating fruit and toast in the morning. When they tell me about their health history (information I always get when coaching) the typical scenario includes recent history of unhealthy dieting behaviors like fasting. It takes years to repair it. cutting down carbs. Good choices are cottage cheese with peaches. But. When you wake. . Your body used glucose all night for fuel to perform the involuntary bodily systems that run while you sleep. or butter (used sparingly) and jelly on toast. It is a mistake to make food choices based on hunger and satisfaction because the foods you desire might not be nutritiously sound. meaning that the immediate store of glucose (blood sugar) that your body had when you went to sleep is low. the speed of your metabolism will decline. If you are getting fiber and being conscious of your portion sizes. Breakfast is a great opportunity to get fiber from a high-fiber cereal (bran or grains) or whole-wheat toast and fruit. Combating the Aging Process The aging process is one reason your metabolism changes. I have worked with many people who have given their bodies such misguided messages regarding their metabolism. Research shows that testing a person’s metabolism in the lab after a night’s sleep. requires glucose you get from carbohydrates.

From research of positive effects from physical activity—walking.How Metabolism Really Works 55 They may have noticed their body changing after gaining ten pounds. they lose weight and then gain back more because they have lost muscle mass and lowered their metabolism. but most people tire of their program and stop before these changes occur. The main ingredient in developing the healthy body composition I describe is not easy to achieve. When you skip meals. This causes their hearts to function abnormally. or don’t ingest enough calories for your body. and lots of fat. It’s only when you press on that you will realize the fruit of your efforts. and the like—it is clear that exercise must be performed consistently (at least three . If you have not ingested enough calories (energy) to perform the physical work you desire. When you do not get enough fuel. Many people I coach have told me they’ve done this in the past to lose weight. biking. twenty. Instead. strength training. The good news is that you can control the rate at which this aging process of losing muscle mass occurs. There are many physiological and neuromuscular changes that take place when you are on a consistent exercise routine. you are doing wonders to control the decrease of muscle mass. it is stressful on your body. It’s called consistency. Unfortunately. It is easy to get excited about an exercise program or buy a new contraption from an infomercial. This scenario is common because people do not understand the role of muscle mass and energy within the process of metabolism. to nicely toned muscles and a healthy amount of fat. To understand this process. and frustration when they could not lose it and keep it off. It typically takes at least three months for your body to show the results of exercise. and so on. You will be amazed to see how a body can be transformed from very little muscle. As a result of the calorie-restricting. your body will not burn fat (as some “experts” may have told you). followed by unhealthy weight loss behavior. The tough part is motivating yourself after the newness has worn off and you don’t feel like doing it anymore. let’s examine the extreme calorierestriction practice of an anorexic. it will start to burn muscle. avoid carbohydrates. If you are exercising consistently. the result is a decrease in muscle mass. Sadly. but it’s not too late if you haven’t started yet. Autopsies of anorexics reveal that their heart muscles and other muscles erode. they don’t realize until after the fact they have programmed themselves to fail. The optimal way to do it is to begin your regular exercise program before you lose much muscle. over time ten pounds turns into fifteen. which is what leads to their death. doing weight bearing aerobic exercise and strength training.

But. it’s a journey. a new. As you progress. A key to success is to develop the discipline of focusing on being your personal best. it becomes a lifestyle rather than something you convince yourself to do. Push yourself toward achieving higher standards. you will be getting better. herbal and otherwise. Motivate yourself to continue when there are changes or intrusions in your life. While you may have a genetic predisposition for slower metabolism. It is Possible to Change Your Metabolism The question arises. you must control these factors through your environment. Once you have a regular exercise routine and make nutritionally-sound decisions most of the time. and how these supplements and medications function for weight loss. more impor- . scientific discovery based on the most advanced technology. Based on my knowledge of how the human body works. more fat cells. That’s why I’m telling you. This will require disciplined decision-making and careful self-evaluation. and decrease in blood pressure) take two to three months to occur. That is one of the challenges with weight management. There is absolutely no denying that lifestyle choices have a significant impact on your weight. They tell you it is not time and effort that are required. The changes that occur in blood chemistry (increase in HDL “good” cholesterol. or larger fat cells. or you’ll get stale. When your metabolism has been damaged from negative diet behavior and/or lack of activity it takes months of practicing your new.56 Weight Whys times week over a period of months) to have a significant impact. there is no avoiding the fact that it requires time and effort. but $150 a month for a supply of the latest and greatest diet pills. You must focus on being your best. Improving your behavior and exploring what needs to change will get you closer to your personal best. your personal best will improve and in the process. decrease in triglycerides and fasting glucose levels. there is no way for them to work without having a negative effect on your body. It may be confusing because there are so many messages to mislead you. Unhealthy Claims to “Increase Metabolism” Most people don’t realize that supplements. healthy behavior to regulate itself. and other weight loss drugs can be harmful to your weight loss effort and. is it possible to change your metabolism? The answer is yes.

or doing an activity that you associate with eating. your health. Our job is to determine how to distinguish that physiological sense of hunger from the psychological one. . the other half don’t work at all. The stress they create on the body by increasing your cardiovascular and central nervous system can affect you long after you stop taking them. That is your body’s natural cry for whole food. Teach Your Body to be a Calorie-Burning Machine The goal is teaching your body to be a calorie burning machine by eating foods that are nourishing to your cells. I do not usually encourage relying on feelings to make decisions. like watching television. Ask people how they feel on these diets and they will tell you they feel starved all the time. but regain it. It may be a response to seeing an outside stimulus. They regain more weight than they lost because a loss of muscle mass occurs with severe calorie restriction. The psychological one is more of a mental signal for hunger that may stem from your mind or heart. Half of these drugs work by speeding up your heart rate and raising your blood pressure. It may be an unmet emotional or spiritual need. Problems occur when your caloric intake returns to normal. Your body senses that and will slow your metabolism in response to the fast. It is also due to their metabolism slowing down from getting fewer calories in a short time than their body is used to. like an ice cream commercial. There are medically supervised programs (they periodically monitor you to make sure you’re not doing too much damage to your organs) and store-bought brands you can do on your own. Another popular means of losing weight is the liquid diet method. That’s because they are. as I mentioned earlier.How Metabolism Really Works 57 tantly. plus more. The physiological one is a positive messaging system that tells us when our body legitimately needs fuel. There are also fewer calories and significantly less fiber to digest when you are eating all of your food in liquid form. and then ignore the signs that your body is hungry. My experience with people who have used either or both methods is that they lose weight on the plan (because they are restricting calories). but there is something wrong when you feel physiological hunger every day. You should not trick your body into digesting foods that are unnatural. The metabolism slows to accommodate the number of calories you get. This calorie-restriction technique is a form of fasting.

You can eat junk when you feel like it without hurting your overall health. You will always struggle with your weight. Conversely. The focus is on losing the most weight in the shortest time. they will not leave you much room for junk. plan. Yet. but it does mean learning to balance it. Be a healthy person because you value your life and want to treat your body right. how does it feel when you regain the weight? It’s frustrating when old habits return and you tell yourself: “You don’t have control. I have not seen that being on a liquid diet. . Healthy people understand and are honest with themselves to ensure that most of the choices they make are with their health in mind. Think through and develop a game plan that includes looking at your overall wellness. When you are eating nutritious foods that are high in fiber. learn to distinguish these physiological and psychological hungers. We revel in the accolades of those who praise what a great job we did. If you make a habit of satisfying your physiological hunger with nutritious foods. This doesn’t mean never eating in response to your psychological hunger. you won’t have a problem eating junk food. being thoughtful and wise about your metabolism can help secure your success. Focus.” What else do you tell yourself about who you are? What results has it gotten you so far? Make Decisions with Your Wellness in Mind Use positive affirmations about your health and weight and see how much easier it is to make decisions with your wellness in mind. You were meant to be overweight.58 Weight Whys To achieve a healthy lifestyle. and use self-control to make it happen. Designing a plan to increase your metabolism while you lose weight can be significant for life-long weight management success. We need to look at why you do what you do and find motivation for changing it. or any other “diet. This is appealing because we like instant gratification. You can make a rational decision when to eat.” has taught anyone much about themselves in this area. it is often the most neglected part of a weight management program. We feel good when we can achieve a so-called “goal” in a specific amount of time. During your weight-loss journey.

How Metabolism Really Works 59 Thoughts for the Road What have you done in your past weight loss efforts that may have negatively affected your metabolism? What must you do differently this time to turn your body into a calorie burning machine? What do you tell yourself about your weight loss efforts? Write some positive statements about your health and weight management journey. .

It’s because they are taking in more energy (calories) than their bodies are expending through metabolism and physical activity. The other factor involved in choosing what you eat and drink is taste and how it is going to satisfy you. Ensure that the pleasure factor is secondary and keep a healthy balance with it. It’s not because they don’t drink enough water to flush their fat out or because they have an “overactive stress hormone” that makes them store more fat. I call this chapter “Nutrition for Normal People” because no one has to be on a special “diet” or do anything complicated to attain a healthy weight and manage it. it is a scientific fact you are overweight because you are taking in more calories than your body needs to survive. The key to healthy eating is to think of food as fuel. There are some elementary principles you need to understand regarding what you are eating and what it’s doing (or not doing) for you. Until you perceive your nutritional program as part of your overall healthy lifestyle (instead of a diet you are “on” or “off”).6 Nutrition for Normal People People become overweight for one reason—they eat more calories than their bodies need. No matter what you may have heard to the contrary. Logically. you will not be able to maintain weight loss. The primary reason for your food and drink choices should be guided by what it does nutritionally. Understand that the primary purpose of food (and drink too) is to supply nutrients to your body. most of the food and drink we ingest should contain nutrients to serve that purpose. Before you eat or drink 60 . It’s not because they are a certain blood type or they aren’t combining the right protein with the right carbohydrate.

have bran cereal. They make most of their nutritional decisions based on how hungry they are and what they feel like eating. a smaller handful of chips. Using this same example. it shouldn’t matter if you want to have cookies after dinner or treat yourself to ice cream. Be sure you are being health-conscious about your choices and looking at the big picture. As I mentioned before. Use any dressing you want without saturating your lettuce in it. Another factor to consider is regulating your portion sizes. keeping it off. Is that what you used to have to do before. Be honest with yourself admitting it is a treat. but you have to acknowledge the fact. Instead. think about what . if there’s not typically one there. or a similar nutritious food. If we work on that and get better about asking what this is doing for me we have made progress. I know this from working with many people who have been successful at losing weight. and improving their physical and emotional health in the process. Eat breakfast and lunch so you don’t go there starving. not your normal way of eating. I’m eating it because I like it. when food was constantly on your mind. If you are being nutritionally wise most of the day. “What is this doing for me?” If it’s a piece of birthday cake or dessert.” Discipline Your Food Choices I have coached clients who have no discipline. You could bring a bowl of green salad for everyone. Choose darker greens like romaine or spinach leaf instead of iceberg (which is mostly water). Have one hot dog. and green salad. instead of engaging any health-conscious thought before acting.Nutrition for Normal People 61 anything ask yourself. Don’t overindulge. the answer is going to be: “It isn’t doing anything good for me. you may be used to eating two hot dogs and potato chips at the barbeque. a banana and toast. Keep your focus on socializing and activities instead of the food. don’t have bacon and eggs for breakfast on a day you are going to a barbeque. Enjoy your time without obsessing over the food. Occasionally eating non-nutritional foods is all right. Avoid broadcasting you are “on a diet” or feeling guilty afterward because you overate. for you to feel like you had any control over it? Eat for Your Health Focus on eating for your health and preventing disease. That is what I perceive to be people’s biggest challenge with nutrition. Don’t concentrate on what you need to eat or do to lose weight.

It is impossible to expect everyone to follow the same eating program. losing weight. • Limiting junk foods to one or two per day. who frequented fast food places. Think about your life as you read the following list. • Eating enough fiber. cookies. My advice is to stay away. becoming bored. I’m not going to do that to you. One program will not work for everyone. All these reasons get in the way. and maintaining it. I would be doing a disservice to them if I did. Going once a month may be all . but I have never worked with anyone who was successful at improving their health.62 Weight Whys you need to eat and do to be healthier. complex meal combinations.—Clients will tell you there are lower-calorie options at these fast food “restaurants”. but then life happens. • Restricting “fast food” to one or twice a month (if at all). Packaged foods like chips. Creating diets. What happens with structured eating programs is that people get excited and follow them in the beginning.—Mostly found in fruits and vegetables (at least five servings per day). Check the areas you are doing well in and commit to working on the rest. baked goods like doughnuts. It’s easy to get 3. and whole-grain foods. Over the years I have learned everyone is individual in their lifestyles and eating behavior. My goal when I start coaching someone is to convince them to honestly look at what they are doing now and then get them going in the right direction. I cover basic nutritional concepts with them. Focusing on the positive and being results-minded will bring you the success that seems beyond your imagination. fries. but it’s not what helps people become healthier. not having the freedom to make your own choices.000 Calories (two days worth) in one fast food meal. cakes. I encourage them to examine their own behavior and consider what they would like to change. I have coached and taught many people who ask for a meal plan or program to follow. 25—35 grams per day is recommended for most adults. and programs may be what sells books. and pies. and soda. If you are used to driving through and ordering a large hamburger. I avoid “programs in a box” because I know they are likely to fail long-term. going on vacation. there is no way you can switch to a salad and water for long without being tempted.—Foods with no nutritional value. Things get in the way—going out to dinner.

That is a matter of opinion. Perhaps. based on their current habits. Most importantly about alcohol is to ensure that you factor in the calories and are realistic in measuring the serving size. and then they become frustrated about why they aren’t losing weight. but a deli or other healthier take-out food place would be a much better option.—Everyone has a different idea of what a portion should be. We will cover stress and the effect it has on your health in a later chapter. if you look up an eight-ounce piece of beef in a nutritional book and they estimate it is 700 calories. For example.—Saturated fat is found in animal based products (see Appendix D to learn how to read a food label) and sugar is often added to foods to enhance their taste. People will often calculate the calories of a six-ounce glass of wine. My advice is to determine how many calories are contained in the food you eat and how it fits into your daily caloric intake. you may eat half of it and have more salad and vegetable to balance it. the calories don’t count. You may have heard that moderate drinking (of red wine particularly) can be good for you.—See Appendix E to determine yours. but we’ll talk about that later. Perhaps. determine what percentage of your daily calories that is.—These calories must be factored into your big picture. • Limiting saturated fat and sugar.Nutrition for Normal People 63 right. Most alcoholic drinks can range between 150 and 350 calories and can be as fattening as dessert. hunger level. you can logically decide if you want to eat the whole steak. • Drinking alcohol and other high-calorie beverages in moderation. • Moderating portion sizes. We don’t know exactly why it may be good for you. there is an element in the wine (also found in grapes) or possibly the individual who drinks wine with dinner may have a decreased stress level. People think because it’s liquid. and how they were raised. Then. • Eating every 3 to 4 hours to fuel your body properly. • Eating the appropriate number of Calories. when they are consuming ten ounces. . Alcohol is also a mind-altering toxin that can damage the body if it’s overused.

I’m using these guidelines to direct your behavior and to educate you on how your body works.500. Instead of taking a pill. Fruits and vegetables are typically lower in calories than any other food snack. .64 Weight Whys Eating Right Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult I am a firm believer that eating right is not a difficult practice. Eating them instead of other foods is a step in the right direction. The same is true for high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol. for example. Many people are surprised when they calculate their intake and discover they have been ingesting 3. The condition is not the problem.000 calories a day. You should be thoughtful of what you are consuming and what your habits are. Excess weight is the result of poor health habits manifesting themselves physically. If you get an idea of your patterns. It is the behavior that leads to the condition that must be changed. It is difficult to be your personal best when you are plagued with aching joints and struggle climbing a flight of stairs. Being overweight is your body’s way of telling you there is an imbalance between you food intake and your physical activity. Another benefit is that people do not typically overindulge on fruits or vegetables (because of their high fiber content). The fruits and vegetables principle is amazing to see in action because it has many positive effects. you’ll learn what you have to change. mindful of our health instead of focusing on the weight. This will help you to achieve success in managing your weight. Do some background research to get an accurate picture of what your life is like now. Add to that the fact that they are not regularly exercising and it’s easy to see why they are gaining weight. You should not have to carry a calculator to tell you what you can and cannot eat. listen to it and respond wisely. The trick is to stick to the guidelines and use them to change your daily behavior. Life doesn’t have to be this way. I have to say…I have never seen anyone become overweight because they overate fruits and vegetables. trying to trick our body into burning fat. when maybe their body needs 1. Don’t be compulsive about counting everything. The difficulty is disciplining yourself to make it happen. I have worked with many people who changed their nutrition gradually by working basic principles into their lifestyle—limiting soda or alcohol intake and increasing fruits and vegetables. You may have heard how too much sugar from fruit is not good for you. I encourage you to weigh some of your food and look up caloric values to see what portion sizes you are used to eating.

it would be wise to have your larger meal at lunchtime. People who eat moderately before dinner will burn those calories the next day. Remembering the principle to fuel your body every three to four hours. Your unique answers to these questions will dictate your course of action. think about where you are going to be for lunch and dinnertime. should you make your lunch and pack your snacks the night before? Should you wake up earlier to make time for breakfast? Do you need to make food over the weekend for leftovers during the week? I can’t give you a meal plan to follow. This may be a revelation if you are accustomed to blaming your situation on circumstances. I would rather see you eat something nutritious than prolonging your overnight fasting state. Examine your daily schedule and then make your eating decisions based on that information. if the choice is eating late or not eating. On the days you expect to eat late. They won’t necessarily be stored as fat because you are eating them before bedtime. People who work late or have a schedule that makes it convenient for them to have dinner just before bedtime often ask me what to do in this situation. begin developing a game plan that works. It shouldn’t be complicated. Does that surprise you? Does it surprise you that most people would rather . However. can I tell you a secret? Most people would like to eat high fat. my advice is to eat late. One suggestion would be to eat half the entrée and more vegetables. Discipline + Accurate Information = Success Since we have developed a relationship. At the start of each day. It’s only food. what foods will be available. and thinking ahead. Do you need to write it the night before? Is it enough to visualize the game plan? You will discover you will have to make further decisions like. you must make your health a priority by doing things differently. having the right information. No matter what your situation. but. Develop Your Personal Eating Plan Your personal lifestyle and schedule play a role in your eating game plan. You can do it. and what your role will be to ensure health happens. It takes careful planning. and then have a light dinner. It’s within your control. you shouldn’t be going into this meal starving. you have control over your choices and you can make changes to become healthier.Nutrition for Normal People 65 Pay attention and be health-conscious when choosing what you consume. Until your new habits become natural. high calorie foods rather than broccoli or spinach.

cookies. there are many people on “low carbohydrate” diets who think vegetables are protein. Another area that people are often misinformed is being able to determine what they need concerning carbohydrates. but they have been misinformed about what they should do to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way. and cookies are not good for you. When you look at the nutritional value on the back of a vitamin bottle. Most foods are made up of all three categories. Our bodies are so beautifully complex. but there are some things your body needs that you cannot get from a pill. no harm done. Without getting too technical. that doesn’t mean you can take the pill for your entire vitamin intake and not concern yourself with getting any from real food. When it reads 100% or 120% of a nutrient. it is amazing how foods are made (especially fruits and vegetables) with vitamins in them that help with the absorption of each other. chips. Some fool themselves into believing that eating low fat ice cream. What you should learn are the number of . means they can eat as much as they want without hurting themselves. As long as the treats are in moderation and it fits into your big picture. and fats. Whether you are eating low-fat ice cream or a “real” ice cream. You can make some conclusions about food by using common sense. absorption is more efficient when eating a whole food rather than taking a pill. it indicates that one pill contains certain percentages of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). admit this is a treat. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in whole foods cannot be replicated in a pill the way our body responds to them in whole food. I realize that along with discipline. may demonstrate discipline. coffee. proteins. People on liquid diets for example. Discipline involves doing what’s best for you rather than what you feel like doing. They are classified as carbohydrates. most are complex carbohydrates to be exact. but it is hard to tell what percentage of these nutrients is going to be absorbed. but they are labeled as what the highest content is. but also necessary vitamins and minerals. For example. When learning about nutrition. Vegetables are not only proteins. and the like.66 Weight Whys have a doughnut than grape-nuts for breakfast or chocolate instead a banana for a snack? That’s where discipline is needed. you also need to be armed with accurate information about what is healthy. For example. you don’t have to be a nutritionist to guess that soda. and it’s contributing nothing but some calcium and a ton of calories. You don’t need to know how to classify everything. Few people eat these foods thinking they are doing something good for their bodies. Taking a regular multivitamin is good for most people. remember that food not only supplies energy.

” As long as you are not overeating these foods—meaning portion sizes and the number of calories they contain—you will not become overweight by eating these types of carbohydrates. See Appendix C for examples of what foods fit in this category. Since hunger is both a physical phenomenon and a psychological one. First. but fruits and vegetables are a great way to go any time. I am not hungry in the morning. These foods should not be eliminated from your diet. hunger is not a good gauge in determining when we should eat. even though you may not . Eating complex carbohydrates usually gives you more bang for your buck—few calories. This means that if they eat at 12:00 noon and they last ate at 10:00pm the night before. I advise you to make your lunch a few hours after breakfast.Nutrition for Normal People 67 calories of the various foods you commonly eat and what nutritional value they are giving you for the cost of the calories. They are good for you. In this situation. making it difficult for your body to know how to regulate calorie burning properly. Psychological Hunger One issue that can be tricky is how to use hunger as a gauge for what or when to eat. Physical vs.” Some have told me they don’t get hungry until lunchtime. This is a two-fold issue. Many of you may be thinking. Most people do not plan what they are going to eat until when they are feeling hungry. Do you know what that does to your metabolism? It slows down. it’s still nutritionally sound. Potatoes and corn have wonderfully nutritious vitamins and are a source of fiber.” You may not like the sound of this. My philosophy is that just as thirst is a poor gauge for measuring our hydration level. using hunger as your primary gauge of when to eat is a problem. they are apt to choose what is convenient and desirable than what might be the best nutritional choice. “I am not a breakfast person. Doing that enough times creates stress on the body and slows the overall metabolism. I have coached some who tell me. their body has been fasting for fourteen hours. but hear me out and you’ll see the logic. I have talked to people who don’t want to eat potatoes or corn because they are convinced they are going to “turn into fat. some butter on a potato or dressing on salad. and lots of fiber to fill you and protect your body against cancers and disease. “Is Cheri telling me I am supposed to eat when I am not hungry?” My answer is “yes. Waiting until we are hungry leaves little time to make a controlled decision before eating. lots of vitamins/minerals. Even if you put fat on it.

If you feel offended or rejected when the food you prepare isn’t overeaten. If a family member or co-worker persists about “just trying some” and you refuse because you are not hungry. When you are changing your lifestyle to include healthy choices. overeating not to offend someone else.68 Weight Whys be hungry yet. and pour a glass of milk before hunger pulls your inhibitions down. they will understand if you explain that you are trying to change your lifestyle and become healthier. The problem is being out of balance and in an unhealthy place on the spectrum. Examine Your Relationship with Food We all have a relationship with food. We are all guilty of this behavior at times. Badgering. decide on fruit. You must evaluate what makes you uncomfortable or what may be hindering your weight management efforts. Also. Remember that just because . It is not wise to put ourselves in the situation where the psychological or physical state of hunger determines when or what you eat. Common unhealthy behaviors I’ve seen are: sneaking food (being secretive and/or lying about what you eat). You will hear many different theories about nutrition. Be sure these tendencies fit into the spectrum of what you want your relationship with food to be. Be on the lookout. Communicating through food is accepted among many cultures—an example is making cookies to show someone we care. can challenge your weight loss effort. Tell them you would appreciate not being pressured or asked repeatedly when you refuse. This can be a wonderful quality. You may discover things about yourself and others when you evaluate your relationship with food. you may need to confront them about it. Maybe you cook well and feel a compulsion to feed people to express your love. If someone is really a friend and cares about you. the people around you who are continuing to make poor choices may not appreciate. This will give you time to make your sandwich. maybe put a few potato chips on your plate. and you don’t need any more obstacles. even if well meaning or unintended. understand that our emotions are a wonderful part of who we are and they serve us well if we can control them. and may even feel threatened by your recent change. Mine comes from experience in coaching people and understanding that a rational decisionmaking process must happen with everything we eat if we are to be healthy. your relationship with food is out of whack. or insisting that others eat food you’ve made when they are not hungry.

Thoughts for the Road What areas of good nutrition are challenging for you? Are your eating habits influenced by your emotions? What change could you make to eat for better health? Commit to yourself to make at least one positive change this week. People change when they set their hearts and their minds to it. It’s one thing to talk with a loved one about how their choices may be negatively affecting their health. it’s another thing to nag someone or make them feel bad about what they’re eating. and are armed with the right information. Keep your mind on your own food and your own choices. what everyone else does is their business. making it harder for them to own their decisions and change their behavior.Nutrition for Normal People 69 you have changed. What you eat is an individual choice. I have seen this work both ways. with overweight people ridiculing what a “skinny” person will put on their plate as well as slimmer people who talk about how an overweight person is eating. Avoid telling other people what to do. and assert yourself when someone oversteps their boundaries concerning you. Negative reinforcement does not encourage others to change. You don’t know what that person has eaten the rest of the day or what their lifestyle is like. . I have often seen a doting family member or friend make comments that will cause animosity in the person who is trying to lose weight. What You Eat is Your Own Business It’s fascinating to see how overly concerned some people are with what others eat.

they might train to accomplish a specific task. coordinated. The elite athletes you see on television are at the extreme end of the spectrum—no doubt playing endless hours of their sport and complimenting it with a strength training and stretching program to keep their bodies ready to perform. agile. Many people are limited from doing what they want because they are not physically able. Look at physical activity as keeping your body in training to perform for the rest of your life. and having balance.7 The Miraculous Power of Exercise You have the ability to train your body to be healthier and fit. Unless your body has a permanent disability. a moderate amount of physical training is required. For the rest of us who are trying to keep our hearts healthy and our bodies in shape to perform daily activities. You should always think of yourself in training. If people have physical limitations. We may develop a training program that will get them riding a stationary bike to lose weight. we would design balance and strength training exercises to build their muscles. The focus is on training them to make these everyday tasks easier. It doesn’t have to be this way. sculptured muscles. no matter what result you are seeking. it 70 . The human body is marvelous at responding to positive stressors (such as exercise training) and become stronger and better. You have probably seen elite athletes whose bodies are perfectly trained—little body fat. An example would be a client who cannot get in and out of the car or bathtub without straining and being in pain. The beauty of the human body is that there is a spectrum to which this physical training can occur. Next.

Understanding how this training works is often helpful to keep people motivated. Understand that the body will respond to being physically challenged by exercise. We will cover in detail the physiological and structural changes that will take place. You must also give your body time to adapt to the physiological changes that occur. Who would you be if you didn’t worry about your weight? What would you do if you were in top physical condition and your body wasn’t a concern? Plant the seed in your mind to think about these questions. Starving yourself to lose weight doesn’t make you any healthier than someone who has twenty extra pounds. don’t expect much while your body is changing internally. The effort it has taken for them physically and emotionally to do the work does not have an immediate payoff. is being physically fit. Commit yourself to sticking to it for the long haul. but you must be consistent with your training. As I mentioned. Often. Everyone is different. Did you get that? Ninety-five percent of the people who have done what you want to do have made it a point to . They don’t understand how exercise training works and they are disappointed that their expectation doesn’t match up with reality. at least keep a healthy perspective. they decide it is not working for them and they quit.The Miraculous Power of Exercise 71 will respond to the proper physical training program in a way you never imagined possible. your body should not prevent you from reaching your goals. Many people start a program and give up after one month. Ninety-five percent of people who lose weight and keep it off for five years and longer have made exercise a consistent part of their lives. That’s part of the journey. but a good rule of thumb when starting an exercise program is to allow your body about three months to respond. There is nothing wrong with caring what you look like. as long as you avoid risky behavior. As a result. People often start on an exercise program and their motivation fades when they do not see immediate results. Strive to Be Physically Fit Being physically fit is not just about looking good in a bathing suit. Work on the weight and we’ll talk about that other stuff later. Let me give you a statistic to write on your heart. If it is more about vanity for you. but they are hindered by their weight struggle to the point that they don’t know how to free themselves. In the beginning. people have deep-rooted goals and dreams they want to fulfill. which should also be yours. if they last that long. You may want to explore your mind and write your thoughts in your journal. My concern.

There is no avoiding the fact that our bodies naturally age. If they develop a pill that can manipulate aging muscles. That means if you are planning to lose weight and keep it off. and sabotaging their weight loss efforts by believing the lies of the weight loss industry. unnatural hormonal effect (like cancer. etc. vegetables. damaging their health. Everyday I see people who are spending money. Pick another challenge. there are other reasons why your body needs exercise. regular exercise is part of the package. but are still doing cardio exer- . The rate at which the aging process occurs can be slowed down tremendously by the choices we make in our lifestyle. Disregard any infomercial for an anti-aging pill that claims to increase your muscle mass. Being physically active and challenging your body in a structured way is the only way to achieve that. You cannot do it by eating more protein or by taking a pill. Others may disagree. If you are going to give yourself the best chance at success. but don’t want to start an exercise program. Research shows that even if you are not exercising or eating well enough to lose weight. There are people who see weight loss as a sixty billion dollar a year industry and want to get a piece of it—don’t be naïve and susceptible to their ploys. the key to high metabolism is to increase your muscle mass. It would not be surprising if they discovered that users of such a pill had a higher incidence of cancer and/or heart problems. consistent cardiovascular exercise drastically reduces the risk factors of heart disease and stroke. Being overweight should be a wake-up call that your life is out of balance and something needs to change. Some of you may feel tempted to put yourself into that category of the five percent. Besides managing your weight. and whole grains) and being physically active. Exercise is Essential for Heart Health Without a doubt.) is by eating healthy (especially fruits. That is one reason there is such a passion in my heart to share this message of managing weight and improving health through natural means of eating better and exercising. Remember. but I base my statements on my knowledge of how the body works and what I see in research. Being overweight is an outward sign that things aren’t going well on the inside.72 Weight Whys exercise regularly. The only way to manipulate the aging process without having an adverse. it would be an element that affects your natural hormones. wasting time. especially if they are trying to sell their growth hormone pill. you are giving yourself a five percent chance at success. heart problems.

they pump a lot of blood with each beat. we see that the heart increases what is called its “stroke volume.” Stroke volume is the amount of blood that is pumped out of the heart with each beat. The number of times per minute that your heart has to beat to keep you alive is called your resting heart rate. Here is a quick education on how the heart works and how cardiovascular exercise affects it. if you quickly become out of breath from going up stairs or walking briskly. riding a stationary or regular bike. the lower your resting heart rate will be. Cardio exercise can be defined as any aerobic physical activity that gets your heartrate up for five minutes or longer. and running. unless you are an elite tennis player. This means your heart has to beat more times in a minute to meet the demand you place on it. and it has to beat fewer times. The better your cardiovascular fitness. Sometimes your heartrate is up. This is a change you . but you would need another activity—like walking or biking—the other days of the week to get the full physiological benefit of cardio exercise.The Miraculous Power of Exercise 73 cise on a regular basis. tennis would not be highly effective as your sole means of aerobic activity for your exercise program. When your body becomes “trained” from performing cardio activity on a consistent basis (usually about three times a week). but it also has to beat fewer times while you are at rest and your heart is beating to keep your body alive (and supplied with oxygen). With that said. resulting in less stress on the heart. Examples of aerobic activity include walking. If you have poor cardiovascular fitness. This increase in stroke volume does not only mean that your heart has to beat fewer times when you are performing a challenging activity. you have a significantly reduced risk of heart problems and stroke. With the tennis example. you would probably cycle from aerobic to anaerobic throughout a match. sometimes it’s down and you’re more relaxed. Physiology Benefits of Aerobic Exercise Cardio exercise works like a miracle in terms of what it does to the heart. Your heart will not have to beat as many times in each minute to supply your body with the oxygen that it needs. swimming. Various sporting activities (such as tennis) may also be considered aerobic as long as they keep your heartrate up consistently for the time you are performing them. It might be a good crosstraining exercise. When someone is “trained”. your heart most likely does not pump out much blood with each beat (low stroke volume).

Keep in mind that the reason why our hearts have to beat is to transport oxygen (that’s in our blood) into our cells to keep them alive. high cholesterol.74 Weight Whys can usually see in a one to three month period after someone starts exercising. This type of cholesterol is different than the LDL “bad” kind because the HDL’s function is to go through your arteries. known as LDL “bad” cholesterol. or being overweight. also decreases when a lesser amount of blood has to come out of the heart and your heart has to beat fewer times. I have never coached someone who did not have the ability to improve their cardiovascular fitness with the right exercise program. So. Reduce Blood Pressure and Improve Cholesterol Blood pressure. This means that if the blood is more saturated with oxygen (which is what happens when we become “trained”) then a lesser amount of blood has to come out of the heart to meet your body’s regular oxygen needs. causing your body to deposit a glue-like substance. A blood clot that happens in your carotid artery (leading up to the brain) is what causes a stroke. You may not be able to remember these details after reading this chapter. A high force of blood (high blood pressure) can also wear out and damage the arterial walls over time. the force of the blood on the arterial walls. Whatever your fitness level. the . Another amazing change that cardio exercise gives is that it raises HDL “good” cholesterol. This is what commonly happens when someone has a heart attack. The fewer number of times your heart has to beat. Another significant change that takes place is that the blood chemistry becomes more efficient in such a way that there is more oxygen carried through the blood itself. The problem then becomes when LDL cholesterol continues to be deposited on your arterial walls and builds up there. you have the ability to train your body and improve your cardiovascular function. the better. This is another reason why less blood has to come out of the heart (resulting in decreased resting heart rate) to keep your body alive. Whether the problem is high blood pressure. but you can see why the changes that occur in your body as a response to exercising are very real. and makes you susceptible to plaque (cholesterol buildup) breaking off and blocking the blood flow. over the tears to patch it. it also hardens the wall so it is less flexible. It is truly amazing how the body responds to physical activity. scoop out the bad LDLs and remove them from your system (through the liver). Not only does it narrow the passageway for the blood to flow through.

Some people may not see much of an increase in HDLs when they start their exercise program. but most people’s bodies respond to consistent exercise with an increase in HDL. Cardio exercise is known to reduce the triglyceride levels. the fact that you are doing exercise can help to prevent this from happening. When you have Type 2 diabetes. As little as a thirty minute investment. It is not bringing the glucose into your muscles. Insulin is like the boat that carries it from the bloodstream into the muscle. Type 2 Diabetes A startling epidemic that has risen dramatically in the last decade is the incidence of Type 2 diabetes. If you are borderline diabetic or don’t have it. Research shows that even those who do not experience much of a weight loss as a result of their exercise program still experience this amazing effect of increased insulin sensitivity. Inside your body. Once referred to as “adult onset diabetes”. children are now being diagnosed with this condition in epic proportions. Exercise positively affects people who are taking antidepressants and/or have a diagnosed mental condition. three times a week. Our muscles feed off glucose to survive. If you already have Type 2 diabetes.The Miraculous Power of Exercise 75 more HDLs the better and cleaner your cardiovascular system is going to be. your insulin sensitivity will stay increased even when you are not exercising. When people do cardio activity their insulin sensitivity increases. There is overwhelming research that shows a subject’s mental outlook is more positive if they are exercising on a regular basis. you have glucose in your blood (called “blood sugar”) that is carried into your muscles by insulin. and does it. and you exercise on a consistent basis. The same is true for triglycerides. This means that the insulin gets the message of what it’s supposed to do. Glucose (sugar) builds up inside the bloodstream creating problems. your insulin is not working as it should. a fatty element found in our blood. could potentially be enough to help keep your insulin sensitive and help manage your diabetes. Improved Mental Health The effect that aerobic exercise has on mental health is well-documented. This increase in both children and adults with Type 2 diabetes is directly tied to the rate at which our society is becoming overweight. The endorphins and hormones that are released during exercise can be power- . We know definitely that your insulin function has a relationship with your activity level.

Continue doing thirty minutes a session (closer to an hour if you can). and you might sweat. challenging yourself the whole time. If you are doing exercises that are too easy. depending on your fitness level when you begin. except by choice. You may start at five or ten minute sessions. the workout you started with will probably be too easy for you. When you maintain a pace that is challenging. Remember. The other two components of exercise are strength training and stretching. my opinion regarding heart rate and the pace you exercise is simply to challenge yourself. for thirty minutes each session. That’s the beauty of seeing and feeling your body improve with training. As you continue to exercise and your heart becomes more efficient. Exercise five days a week only while you are losing weight. Work on building up your cardiovascular fitness so you are able to do thirty minutes of moderate exercise without stopping. Research shows you can get the positive physiological effects I describe in this chapter by doing cardio exercises (walking.76 Weight Whys ful. Speaking as a health professional. for which the three day a week regimen applies. your rate of breathing become faster. you might as well not be doing them at all. These two components are important for keeping you functionally fit and able to perform daily activities without caus- . You shouldn’t have to do five days a week forever. you must challenge them during your workout. People usually do well increasing at five minute increments every two weeks. The aging process changes your body in such a way that you lose muscle mass (strength) as well as the collagen in your joints that helps keep you flexible. Do as many days as you can (five days a week is best) while you are in weight loss mode. Keep a record in your journal of how you think your exercise has affected your mental outlook. etc. you will feel your heart rate increase. If you are developing an exercise program for weight loss. See Appendix F for a sample exercise program.) three times a week. you will need to work harder. Challenge Yourself The frequency and duration of your exercise should be dependant on what you want to accomplish. fat loss to be specific. Strength training and stretching can drastically slow the rate at which this aging process will happen. A consistent program can increase strength and flexibility you may have already lost. When you achieve your ideal weight. for your heart and muscles to become stronger and better. you will be in maintenance mode.

Ensure that your perspective is right and you are looking at exercise as part of your lifestyle rather than a temporary weight loss program. I’ve seen people who overcome obstacles to achieve what they want. fulfilling lives. Be Determined You may be asking yourself. create a habit of exercising and then progress to five days a week. which is following through. spending the hours to write and putting in the effort to keep my life in balance. I advise people to start at the three days a week. You probably have a dream and a vision of what a healthy life might be like for you. . The actually doing is up to you. but are you too busy to take care of yourself? If so. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and know in my heart that I could have done better. I am doing the tough part.The Miraculous Power of Exercise 77 ing injury due to lack of flexibility or not being strong enough. I don’t want you to regret that you could have taken better care of yourself if you would have only taken the time. you are going to make exercise happen for you. Make a decision. See Appendix F for samples and information on developing a complete exercise program. Make a commitment that no matter what gets in your way. Follow through. you are headed in the wrong direction. but I didn’t. what is one activity you could start this week to get you going in the right direction? Remember. “How will I find time to exercise?” I understand you are busy. Create a game plan. The hardest part is following through. It started with a dream to help people live healthier. People can accomplish great things when they are determined. starting small is better than not at all. It’s your decision. I have shown you information you can use to motivate yourself to get physically active. It’s a bonus that you are not only expending calories while you exercise—you are also increasing your muscle mass and burning calories while you are sitting in your chair. The difference is that I am sitting down each week. it’s time away from my family and other things I love to do. Thoughts for the Road What do you need to change so that you can fit in regular aerobic exercise? What health problems have you experienced from not being active eno ugh? Are you challenging yourself with your exercise program? If not. As I write this book. We are in the same situation.

Strengthening your other muscles and maintaining flexibility and balance are important. The risk factors. we covered physical activity and how it relates to heart health. blood sugar. including blood pressure. Performing aerobic exercise consistently (usually three times a week for thirty minutes) works for most. we would live in a different world.8 Keeping Yourself Heart-Healthy Being heart healthy should be your primary concern when it comes to taking care of your body. but heart health is our foremost concern. etc. I focus on educating them about heart health. When I am coaching a client. Developing lifestyle habits to improve your heart health would improve the weight management issue one-hundred fold. are important because they are factors in preventing that person from dying prematurely of heart dysfunction. to be given the most attention. I had a college professor who told us something I will never forget. are able to change their bodies without the stress dieting can cause. being active. In the last chapter. I’ve seen people who. not a short 78 . once they finally break free from the “lose weight” mentality and move toward the “get healthy” mentality. we covered the miracle of exercise and how being active on a regular basis can keep your heart performing as efficiently as possible. cholesterol. This should be a lifestyle habit. What she meant was that the heart muscle is the most significant part of the body. The incredible thing is that people wouldn’t have much of a weight problem either. maintaining a healthy body weight. In the last chapter. If I could convince as many people who are concerned about their weight to shift their focus to improving their heart health. That is—no one ever dropped dead of a weak thigh muscle.

Something has to change to reverse the prevalence of clogged arteries and stress on your heart as it works harder than necessary. you can assume that you will see them in their parents as well. they usually become open to changes once I tell them what their next step will probably be if they don’t.” Youth is often forgiving when it comes to abusing your body. When they find out it’s their lifestyle that needs to change. Getting older is not. This is often a pivotal time for them. until you have exercised consistently for three to six months.Keeping Yourself Heart-Healthy 79 time practice to improve heart health and/or lose weight. abnormal blood lipids. Control Your Risk The key to preventing heart disease and stroke is being aware of the risk factors and doing what you can to control them. especially working with children and weight management. Although thinking of the health risk of lifestyle behavior is not popular at first. outwardly or inwardly. but we are dying because of it. and Type 2 diabetes. and have negligible effect to their bodies. Many younger people—in their teens and twenties—they can eat a horrible diet. The high calorie foods combined with a less physically active lifestyle is bringing children in with high blood pressure. I explain to those who are younger (20’s. Age is not forgiving. 40’s) that if they ignore their weight gain and continue to practice unhealthy behavior. I have seen this change dramatically. they will often gain weight and experience physical symptoms. such as abnormal cholesterol or blood pressure. If they continue with this behavior as they get older. When you see this kind of health problem in a twelve-year-old. most make some decision that will send them in the right direction. 30’s. high alcohol intake and stress. You have to give your body time for physiological effects to occur and to become “trained. the next time they see me they may be ten pounds heavier and in need of medication for high blood pressure. People see me for coaching because they want to know what to do to manage their weight. We may be a wealthy nation. Some don’t see the consequences of what they have done to their bodies with unhealthy food and not exercising until their fifties. lose sleep. they might not like that. Thankfully. Don’t expect dramatic change. One thing that puts you at higher . The risk factors are listed in Appendix G along with questions to answer regarding your personal risk and details on what you may need to work on. avoid regular physical activity. Learn how your body works and what you can do to bring your health to the optimal level.

When you are exercising consistently. They would rather take the pill and pretend what they do doesn’t matter. your condition would probably be worse. While it is true that you may have a genetic predisposition for certain diseases. but it might kill you in the long run. if you weren’t practicing healthy lifestyle behavior. You might need a higher dosage of high blood pressure medicine if you weren’t exercising regularly. Even then. Eight out of ten people who have a heart attack or stroke have diabetes. Most people who live like that will be dead by sixty-five. but you have high blood pressure. The first step toward doing something about it is to accept ownership. my intention isn’t to condemn. it will kill you. Improving your eating habits and aerobic exercise has a positive effect on each of these areas. If I’ve described you. lifestyle habits have a lot to do with the status of your health. There are people who take ten different medications every day because they don’t know or don’t care that getting on a walking routine might eliminate the need to do so. especially those who aren’t trying to do anything about it. The great thing about getting a screening now and having one every year or . smoked a pack a day. If you resort to medication (which may be necessary at first) to manage these conditions. Others who are aware would rather take a pill than put the effort into doing anything about it. It may require less effort. Unmanaged high blood pressure. Most people don’t realize they can control these conditions. was a meat and potatoes guy. abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides. People constantly use this as an excuse for health problems. you have to take a different medication for each one. it is likely due to your genetic predisposition. The only way to be sure is with a screening.80 Weight Whys risk is if you have a family history of heart problems or the various risk factors. and being thoughtful about your emotional and spiritual health. and high blood sugar (Type 2 diabetes) are the main indictors that affect how hard your heart is working. but rather to encourage you that you don’t have to live this way. Uncle Joe is definitely in the minority. If left undetected and untreated. eating a balanced diet. Many people who have diabetes don’t know it. you will need to get screenings and take other preventive measures. drank whisky every night. Why gamble your life away just so you can eat doughnuts for breakfast and avoid exercise? We’ll cover that question in a later chapter. Is that a fair trade off? The connection between high blood sugar (Type 2 diabetes) and heart attack is astounding. Everybody has a story about Uncle Joe who had a potbelly. When you know the risk factors and your family history. Many people don’t want to own it. and lived until he was ninety-five.

I have found over time. because people often have a number of pounds in mind they want to lose. it is difficult to change this mentality. I sometimes get resistance with this at first. you should know your actual result and the “healthy range. How hard do you think it might be to achieve that lose? When I coach someone who wants to lose weight. find it interesting to have an early record of these screenings (maybe from their 20’s) to see what their “trend” has been over time. So much marketing is done with pounds as the focus. but you get the point. As little as a five to ten percent weight loss does wonders for your physical health. especially when dealing with heart health. one of my biggest challenges is to get people to focus on their behavior instead of the number on the scale. That may motivate you to start being aggressive in changing lifestyle behavior. After I talk through my reasoning for this. it can be one of the most important things in determining long term success. you may be told your screening is “normal. It really is that simple. Becoming fit is your primary goal. If your screening indicates you are 109. You don’t want to rely solely on your physician to account for the condition of your body. If you are focused on practicing healthy behavior and improving your wellness. you will be tempted to practice unhealthy means to get to your target. I encourage them to do the math on what five percent and ten percent of their current body weight is and pick one of those figures as their weight loss goal. If I screen someone who registers high in an area. I see this more often with cholesterol results than glucose. you will do the right things that will eventually result in a healthy weight on the scale.Keeping Yourself Heart-Healthy 81 two (even if it’s in the healthy range) is that you can find out what your result is and know if you are borderline-high. personally. I know it might sound . Research shows that even a modest weight loss will significantly reduce your risk for developing most health conditions.” For diabetes. but the fact is that too much weight is not good for you. I. In working with weight management. If you are overly concerned about how many pounds you weigh. they see the logic. the "healthy range" for a fasting blood sugar screening is 110 or below (100 or below if you are "high risk"). Learn what you need to know and keep an ongoing record of your results. you will not be aware you are close to a “high” screening result.” Unless you inquire about the actual value. it’s easier to see if it is influenced by genetics or lifestyle if I have previous records to look at. Some ageappropriate medical guidelines suggest we do cholesterol and blood sugar screenings on people when they turn thirty-five. When you get a screening from your doctor or other source. Figure out what five percent and ten percent of your body weight is.

but tend to have an anxious or angry personality that may be affecting their heart. When I am coaching someone. and sodium (salt) are very important.82 Weight Whys scary because it goes against everything you may have done before with dieting. But. This is commonly seen in high blood pressure patients. Anything more could cause stress on your body and might have a negative impact on your emotional health and the relationships around you. Experimenting with stress management techniques can produce positive results. drinking one or two alcoholic drinks a few nights a week should not have a negative impact on your heart. and whole grains) and limiting your saturated fat. Alcohol also can have a significant impact on heart health because it can raise your blood pressure. I believe it can have a major impact on your overall wellness. Smoking lowers the level of good “HDL” cholesterol in your arteries. and it makes your blood less oxygenated. A Word about Smoking Although this isn’t a smoking cessation book. it’s time to try something different that will work and give you a better life in the long run. keep in mind that it usually increases your blood pressure and is loaded with empty calories. Emotions and the Heart Stress can also have an effect on your heart health. Heart-Healthy Nutrition As we covered in the nutrition chapter. I mentioned how aerobic exercise changes your body by putting more oxygen into your blood so your heart beats fewer times to meet your cells’ oxygen . we will cover how much alcohol may be too much. Smoking drastically increases your risk for having a heart attack. In a later chapter. vegetables. eating as much fiber as you can (fruits. not just your heart health. We will talk more about stress management in a later chapter. while you are smoking and after. I will inform you about how it affects your heart health. Based on what I have seen in coaching. dietary cholesterol. You may have heard different things about how red wine may have a beneficial effect on preventing heart disease. Chemicals in the cigarette raise your blood pressure. I’ve coached some who are doing everything right. In the previous chapter. I like to know what their alcohol intake is and ensure they are comfortable with it and that it isn’t causing negative effects on their lives. For now.

Nicotine withdrawal doesn’t last long. The solution is to identify what can be done with your lifestyle to manage it and prevent it from becoming worse. You and Your Doctor In talking about the different risk factors for heart disease. and most people who get lung cancer are or were smokers. The challenge is in finding something else to do instead of smoking to make your cravings more manageable. Sometimes. People who gain weight when they quit smoking usually do so because they use eating food as a substitute for smoking. get rid of them and avoid the temptation. so your heart has to beat more to compensate for this lack of oxygen in your blood. When you smoke. Even though medications are wonderful at controlling the condition. Since it’s not a necessity to have cigarettes around. Your cells still need an adequate supply of oxygen. Your doctor should be someone you feel comfortable with to ask questions and who will be patient and forthright in giving you information. Keep in mind that although medications are sometimes necessary to control risk factors initially. It is a band-aid for your condition. they are foreign elements you are introducing into your body. The opposite is true if you smoke. You may want to write questions before you see your doctor to remind you what to ask. it may help then quit smoking. elements from the cigarette enter your blood and take out the oxygen. Realize this will be a challenging time and have patience with yourself. you can quit. that should not be your only means of trying to control the condition. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get details. If you set your mind to it. Most doctors welcome their patients being active participants in their health care. You can avoid this by being aware of the potential and having healthy foods to snack on or water to drink while you are overcoming the habit.Keeping Yourself Heart-Healthy 83 needs. people think that once they start taking . A good doctor will not be offended if you ask them to explain the suggestions they make. Smoking is an addiction. medication is sometimes recommended to control what may be out of the healthy range. When people realize they are harming their bodies. The best person to discuss this with would be your Primary Care Physician. Every medication has a side effect. Lung cancer is still the number one cancer killer in America. Think about what might work for you. The battle is in the mind. I used to smoke and I know how that feels. It’s a shame that people die so needlessly. Don’t let it be you. You do the math. I’ve seen many people quit who put their mind to it and set up their environment to succeed.

move less and we are paying the price. Improve Your Quality of Life Being heart healthy isn’t just something you do to keep yourself from dying. What is one change you could make this week to improve your heart health? . Keep your mind set on the positive results. cholesterol. Don’t let the thoughts come in that tell you it’s not possible or all the reasons why you can’t do it. You need to practice basic principles of balance in caring for body. It’s something you do to improve your everyday life. We eat more junk. The fact is. They will eventually have to increase their dosage and add other medications as their condition worsens. mind. Thoughts for the Road Calculate 5% and 10% of your current body weight. Have you seen your doctor (or health professional) for your basic screenings (see Appendix A)? Answer the questions in Appendix G to evaluate your heart disease risk.84 Weight Whys pills to manage high blood pressure. Then. our world is changing. and spirit. What they don’t understand is if they don’t make a lifestyle adjustment to change. losing this amount could significantly improve your health. everything will be as it should be and your life will be all the better for it. Think about the things that will bring you closer to your goal. What we need to remind ourselves is that it’s not that hard. If you are overweight. or diabetes that is the complete solution to the problem. How would it feel to no longer be short of breath when you have to hurry to meet someone? Can you imagine what your life would be like with no health limitations? Focus on the positive impact that taking better care of yourself will produce and it will be easier to do what it takes to get there. the condition will probably get worse.

These may be habits you are so familiar and comfortable with. Eliminate wasted energy trying to talk yourself out of things or struggling inside with choosing which is the right thing to do. as much as you possibly can. you can manipulate them to give you the best possible chance for a glorious outcome. I know if I were to let my kids eat whatever they wanted all day long. to make this health thing easier.9 Setting Yourself Up for Success To succeed in any endeavor. they would probably eat candy and potato chips and then come to me later complaining of an upset stomach. When you are trying to change to become healthier. First. What we need to talk about now is how to manipulate the rest of your life. Before you identify your own. We have covered how to shape our thoughts. habits you were accustomed to must change. 85 . the people in our lives. You want to make this as easy as possible. which heavily influence our perspective and attitude. You may have to grow up in terms of decision making and doing what is right and best for your health. After identifying these things. you must recognize what factors will contribute to a successful outcome. realize that success is affected by our physical environment. You can benefit from giving this some thought beforehand and working on solutions before you put yourself in the situation. The rest of the time you will have to rely on willpower and discipline. Some people live as though they were children. here are some ideas of what influences most people have in common. as well as our own perspective and attitude. The main environments we function in the majority of the time are usually home and work for most people. We want to think about how best to create situations where you have to rely on your willpower as little as possible.

We are all in different situations. Don’t just clear out your cabinets. olive or vegetable oil for cooking (instead of butter). whole grain bread. I promise you. peanut butter and jelly for sandwiches. is to remove anything from the house that is not contributing to a healthy lifestyle. good-for-you cereal with fiber (check the label).86 Weight Whys On a good day they’d mix in an apple or prunes (I’ve tried to train them right). Replace the items with healthy choices. The first task. chicken or turkey) if that is your busy time. Always have a supply of healthy foods on hand and a minimal amount of junk food for treats. and some fresh fruits and vegetables. Cleaning House When considering how to set up the home environment. at your desk. It may be that you prepare your dinner on weekends and freeze it to heat up on a weeknight (spaghetti sauce. is prepare most of your meals at home. your office. packing a lunch and two snacks. but you get the picture. Eating breakfast at home or in the car. This means throw it away. be the shopper and cook or just the one who eats the food. be on the go and eat most of your meals out. Throw away the four different kinds of ice cream and just keep your favorite one. oatmeal. Throw away your soda (maybe just keep a few cans). everyone is in a different situation depending on your circumstances. Invest what you can into making your environment conducive to success. and eating dinner at home works best of most people. if you can and make eating out less of a norm. so pick the advice that is most helpful for you. Eating nutritious foods is much easier if you stop “winging it” and plan your meals ahead. granola. Do the same at work. no matter what your situation. Throw away your cigarettes. yogurt and fruit cups. You may live alone or with your family. Things are sure to change when you move your health higher up on the hierarchy of importance. . Get those candy bars out of your desk…yes. and leave one. throw them away! The world will not end. or wherever you spend your time. Throw away the sugar cereals and chocolate bars. lasagna. Throw away the three different kinds of cookies and potato chips. but the rest is up to you. Once a week you’ll have to go to the store for fresh fruits and vegetables and whatever else you need. The best thing to do nutritionally. tamales. lots of water. and economically. Buy frozen and canned vegetables.

I have another. it will be more natural instead of being a chore or requiring as much thought process. I have three small children (all under four years old). I’ve taught and coached all sorts of people—professionals. I had responsibilities and commitments. Before undertaking this endeavor. and decide if this was wise to embark on at this time. Fueling your body with the right foods must be a priority. When I am at home. varies each day. and keep my own life balanced? Was I willing to accept the trade off of time missed with my husband and kids? Was my husband willing to pick up the slack at home while I wrote? Would I still have the time I needed to fulfill my spiritual needs? All of these questions had to be answered before I could wholeheartedly begin this without feeling like I . Nutrition has to be important to you. I can assure you. I have a certain eating routine. leaders. At work. I have learned to adjust to my schedule and environment to make sure I am prepared for the different circumstances of each. The beginning will be the most difficult part because it will probably be much different than the way you are used to doing things. The other days my kids and I are in and out of the house and our schedule varies somewhat each day. Pursuing Balance Another change came when I decided to write this book. business owners—who are also very busy. Would I be able to take care of my family and still be a good mom and wife? Would I be able to get my exercise in.Setting Yourself Up for Success 87 Health is Doable Before you get nervous realize that I am a busy person the same as you. eat right. I had to take an inventory of my life. lunch. this is doable. parents. This is the art of balancing your life. I had to foresee what might come up in the future. I do wellness coaching two days a week at an office away from home. athletes. After you figure out what healthy foods you like and get on a routine. Most people have a set breakfast. My schedule. Then mixing your day up occasionally—going out to lunch for example—is not that big a deal. and snack routine rotating through a few different options and then use dinner for variety. for example. The challenge of balancing my life while writing this book is probably similar to what many others have experienced while accomplishing a project. talk it over with my family. If done properly it will even make you more effective overall because your body will perform at its optimal level and you won’t be short on energy.

but I think it’s so important to remember that we are and always will be a work in progress. and candy). we are all in the same boat when it comes to applying it to our everyday life. Don’t tell yourself that because they are on sale. If you are trying to decrease your family’s soda intake. I did not want this journey of writing a health book to cause me to neglect the needs that I’m working to inspire others to care for. I blow it sometimes. Don’t make life harder then it has to be. Of course. look in your cart and make sure that you plan to eat everything there. The days and choices will be different for you. yogurt. doughnuts. Force yourself to get discipline over your eating habits. I’ve learned to discipline myself to do things I don’t necessarily feel like doing and to control my emotions so I can choose how to best express myself to create a desired outcome. When grocery shopping. I tell you this story because I want you to realize that I sympathize with you. Instead of eating junky snack foods. and I’ve learned how to adjust quickly when faced with adverse circumstances. In other words. Controlling Your Environment Changing some things to make your environment health-friendly may be a switch for you at first. you should expect to be eaten. And you can too. I’ve got a routine down where making health-conscious decisions comes naturally. remember that whatever you buy. you will buy them now at a bargain and save them for later. Even though I’m a health expert. It’s truly my hope that you come to know that truth in your heart throughout our coaching together. with knowledge about what it takes to be healthy. I have compiled a few lists of healthy food ideas in the back of the book. but you get the picture. You may want to go through them when . pastries. If you are having trouble deciding what’s good for you. If they are all gone by Tuesday. cookies. buying one six-pack to last a week (or whatever you decide) is the way it’s going to be. you will be tempted to eat it. If you have it in the house.88 Weight Whys was off balance. you should be eating cut up fruits. If you find that you have purchased five junk food treats (chips. salads. carrot snacks. then everyone (including you) will wait until next Sunday’s shopping trip. It is easier for me because I know what questions to ask myself. I can change anything about me that’s not working well in my life and be patient and loving with myself in the process. The food does not have control over you. don’t buy them and tell yourself you will ration them as the weeks go by. and other things that are good for you.

Since keeping a healthy home environment is so helpful for your journey. You may have heard some of these and they are definitely true: • Always have a list and don’t deviate much from it. • Most of the fresh and healthy food choices will be found along the perimeter of the store. (Remember that whatever you buy. grocery shopping and being thoughtful of what you bring into your home is important. • Write the type and quantity of junk foods you plan on buying on your list before you enter the store. just because they’re a bargain or on sale. with co-workers in the office. • Learn how to read food labels to make wise choices. This is when you are eating with other people at a restaurant.Setting Yourself Up for Success 89 deciding what to keep in your kitchen cupboards or while writing out your grocery list. • Don’t buy large quantities of foods/drinks that aren’t good for you. or having dinner quests. • Don’t go down every aisle—just go to the items that are on your list. impaired decision making from alcohol-lowered inhibitions which may increase eating—and all the calories from the alcohol). overeating while socializing and being distracted with conversation. Others tend not to eat so much during social situations (sometimes because they are self-conscious) and overeat when they are by themselves at home. which is social eating. Now let’s talk about another area you are sure to encounter. a party. Everyone is different how they handle these various situations and I want you to think about what may be some of the challenges you experience and how you can come up with a game plan to change your behavior. you are going to eat.) Social Eating We’ve talked about the main physical environments that you have control over. Take out anything you don’t want to buy. (see Appendix D) • Look inside your cart before you check out. . I’ve learned that some tend to overeat when they are in a social eating environment (large portion sizes in restaurants.

You have the freedom to make your own decisions (that will each carry their own consequences) and hopefully learn to appreciate how special you are in that no one else feels or thinks exactly as you do. Restaurants that are known for their gigantic portion sizes or all-you-can-eat buffets may not be a good idea the first few weeks you are starting to make changes. Over time. When you are trying so diligently to create a new norm and change your lifestyle.90 Weight Whys People are able to change these behaviors when they identify their challenges. It requires thinking. You may want to build the confidence you can in practicing more healthy choices at home and work. It is temporary that they will be uncomfortable and new. it’s wise to limit and avoid unnecessary stress as much as is within your control. Surrounding Yourself with Supportive People This chapter on creating an environment for success wouldn’t be complete without talking about surrounding yourself with the right people. you are completely capable of making good decisions. When . Each day is different. have an alternative plan. instead of living on the auto-pilot you are used to. and then set their mind to take action. and only you have the ability to see the big picture and know yourself on the inside. It’s up to you. but something to keep in mind. certain social situations for a short time until you develop confidence in your new health habits. less challenging for you as time goes by and you practice them over and over. You may find it more natural to do health-conscious things like look over the whole buffet to see the options before putting anything on your plate. you will find you have a different perspective and response in these circumstances. Don’t use stress as an excuse to avoid your health plan. This is not always possible. keeping half of a large portion size in a doggie bag for tomorrow’s lunch. or at least make sure to be extra thoughtful of. splitting a dessert with someone or just having coffee. These will be your new habits. Either way. Everything about you and your life is unique. You may decide to stay away from. Identifying and controlling your personal triggers in these different environments is important when trying to change your lifestyle. each challenge and circumstance you encounter is different than the next. No one can tell you what to do in each situation because no one is exactly like you. requiring more discipline and effort. You are creating a huge disruption in your life (for good reason) and it can help you to keep the other areas of life as solid as possible. before you reintroduce the element of a social situation.

more direct remarks. Sometimes people are insecure and do not feel comfortable saying positive things or trying to influence someone else to be their best. even though you may choose at some point to do that. Be patient. I’m not saying you need to immediately shut out anyone who is not encouraging you. What I am saying is that it is not a selfish thing to learn how to set boundaries with people and teach them how to treat you. you’ve tolerated their behavior. but you would rather they leave these choices up to you. it’s wise to invite people who are supportive and protect yourself from the people who aren’t. You may have to ask them to resist the temptation to boss you or tell you what to do with your wellness choices. it may be best to create some distance from them for a while. It might even be best to . you are the one who has taught them how to treat you. You may need to read other books in this area to learn more about how to do this. Say someone is peer-pressuring you to eat. You may have to be the one to set it right by explaining to them that you are not on a diet and are simply changing some habits that have not been in your best interest health wise. If. it is going to be a change for them when they have to stop. Not everyone knows. it might be best to talk to the person (maybe at a more appropriate time) and explain to them how it makes you feel when they say those things and what you would prefer they do in the future. You may be doing them a favor too. They may be used to you being on and off a diet if that’s been the case for the last twenty years. If you try your best to explain your needs and the other person is still a negative influence. Remember. Come on.” Or. like saying you don’t look good or pestering you about your weight. Give people room to grow. Instead of responding in a defensive manner with a remark. That is when it is good to have communication skills to call on and experiment with different ways you feel comfortable handling these situations. saying something negative like. up to this point. how to be an encouraging. just have some and you can go back on it tomorrow. “You must be on your diet again. or is willing to learn. Saying things of that nature are usually helpful in developing relationships that are supportive of your healthy lifestyle. One thing you must know is that no one has the right to treat you poorly. just as you don’t have the right to do so to someone else. I notice that sometimes people do this unintentionally.Setting Yourself Up for Success 91 choosing who to have in your personal environment. It’s good to explain to them that you know they may be well-meaning and making those comments because they care about you. supportive person. you may have to talk to them more than once as both of your needs change.

What I am asking you to do right now is think about the excuses you give yourself for not being healthy—job. Your dream is the reason you work so hard to achieve your goals. The goals you have to set and achieve to live out your dream are as individual as you are. genetics. but dreams give power. Excellent health doesn’t just happen. in some areas of our government. and our everyday lives. upbringing? The fact is no . while being visionary enough to see the big picture of your dream. Only you can decide what you think would be best. You have to learn how become focused enough to achieve your goals. in the media. Both are important and one cannot fully exist without the other. The quotation cited earlier by John Maxwell has stuck with me through various endeavors I've set out to accomplish: Martin Luther King. A Vision and a Goal Being successful requires a game plan. My hope for you is that the dream in your heart will be to become as healthy as you possibly can so you can become your personal best. Don’t waste your time making superficial goals for yourself that don’t come from your heart (and the dream inside). kids. Take ownership of your health. It’s very evident in our legal system. If you can find something else good enough to blame it on. This may be one of the most important truths you will hear in your whole life. One of the most unfortunate results of this is. Your likelihood for success is directly related to your willingness to accept responsibility for your actions. not “I have a goal”. You need to keep reminding yourself you are on a mission and come up with one that is personal and meaningful to you. The Blame Game Our society has a tendency to blame things on anyone and anything. Goals give focus. other than ourselves. They may understand. you don’t have to be responsible for it. thoughtful. and taking responsibility for your actions. Jr. said “I have a dream”. Clarify in your own words what your mission is (why you want to become healthier) and it will be easier for you to focus on your goals and the work it will take to get there. until you acknowledge responsibility of your situation you cannot exercise control over the elements that can change it. It’s so important to understand the value of both a dream and a goal. It’s about being proactive.92 Weight Whys explain to them why.

because that is so automatic in their thinking. it is highly likely there is someone else on the face of the earth that has circumstances very similar to yours. Let’s do what we need to do to get it. maybe. Say one of your challenges is that you don’t exercise at all. Set your mind to becoming closer than you ever have before and see where that gets you. you have to first get your mind off the challenges and set your thoughts on the solutions. I encourage you to try to be more behavior minded when it comes to your health. Expect the Best Make sure that most of the time. You will never be perfect. But. success might mean to you that you are walking regularly in the mornings and it is part of your routine. Expect the best from yourself and you are more likely to get it. Write down what you will do to become healthier. Become inspired by this reality. it will take some help from you and a willing heart. You also have to have a vision of what success in your health means to you. but it doesn’t hurt to keep your expectations high. while being gentle enough to find the grace to live in contentment. . You are. Write down everything that is within your control and then start working on them. you are moving in the right direction. Often people want to choose a number of pounds. It is an art to learn the balance of being firm enough with yourself to make the right decisions. one where you are learning about what the right decisions are and then learning how to train yourself so you are inspired to make them. Have you given up on yourself or lowered your standards? Have you lost confidence or become tired? I hope to encourage you no matter what your situation. who decided to look past that and be healthy anyway.Setting Yourself Up for Success 93 matter what you list. a work in progress. I expect the best from you. Try your best to create the life you were meant to live. It is possible to overcome even the most difficult of obstacles. Thoughts for the Road Is your environment conducive to healthy eating? What can you change to make it so? Are you challenged in social eating situations? What are the excuses you give yourself for not being healthy? Write down what you are willing to do this week to become healthier. and always will be. Be kind to yourself in remembering that getting healthy is a process.


Managing the Emotional 95 .


My attempt is to help you grasp this concept on a conscious level so you can see how your pattern of response usually works and find new ways to manipulate it to make it work better for you. you are more impulsive. (That’s a whole other book though. Improving your ability to think and reason before you act or react to certain situations can bring you into a new dimension. and what your actual behavior might be in response to it. People especially tend to have a difficult time with this one when it comes to their mouth and the words they speak. 3. 2. You may find that in different areas. you respond differently.10 Using Your Emotions Effectively Everything in life gets better when you learn how to manage your emotions and actions to get your desired outcome. Feeling or initial thought–action Feeling or initial thought---------action Feeling or initial thought---------reason---------action Change Your Actions by Changing Your Thoughts The potential power that lies in mastering this method is completely awesome.) What I want to talk to you about today is recognizing the significance in the process of feeling an emotion or having a thought. There are a few different ways this process might look: 1. There’s not much thought process involved during the time between you 97 . Maybe with your money. you are very good at being thoughtful how to spend it. but in the area of food.

It will bring you to a higher level when you discover more of who you are. you have significant potential to live a remarkable life by striving to be the best person. no matter who you are. at some point. don’t be scared of what you might find out about yourself along this journey. Understand that an action always follows a decision. This ability is at the heart of being healthy. Since the objective of our coaching together is to inspire you to be your personal best. parent. Don’t get me wrong. There is great potential in you. sister. I sympathize with some of these people. they are afraid of what they might find.98 Weight Whys feeling hungry and thinking how yummy it would taste. we must first influence your decision-making thought process. to guide the actions of your behavior. or at the very least burdensome. Do you think peo- . you’ll have more control to become the person you want to be. It’s amazing to me how many people are drawn to weight loss programs that only approach change from the “action” level. in doing so. do the work of dissecting the decision-making process that occurs before the action. it is with both sympathy and great hope that I tell you. As a result. My belief is that people are drawn to the types of programs I mentioned before because they are not yet willing to invest the effort it takes to analyze and change their thought process. you must. Mastering Your Impulses I believe that everyone has a hope inside that makes them desire to be their personal best and it is not possible to be satisfied without striving for it. or fancy charts to track your eating and exercise. giving you food plans. spouse. Since it would be nearly impossible. these are good tools that can be helpful at times. Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a mother of four who rarely gets outside a ten mile radius of your home. it would be wise to get to the “meat” of your behavior as fast as possible. packaged meals. What I want you to accomplish is to become aware how you make decisions that might affect you in the area of wellness. or friend you can be. Part of that means achieving your personal best in the area of managing your emotions and making wise decisions on what actions will give you the best outcome. In talking to them I suspect that. The person you were meant to be. and then taking the action of eating it. Learn how to manipulate and control your response to create the desired result of making better decisions. Be excited. to stay on these types of “action based” programs forever. but there is no getting around the fact that if you are looking to change your behavior and actions. employee. So.

What she was able to see in our sessions and talking it through was the need to develop positive behavior as coping mechanisms for her loss. I am convinced we are a complete package and you cannot improve one area of your life without developing qualities that make you a better person. You Are a Complete Package Often. This decision came about after she took an inventory to reaffirm what was important to her and she chose to do it for her children and grandchildren. The glass of wine she used to have with dinner has turned into a couple of glasses. She decided she was going to take care of herself. and your life in general. even though at that time in her life she did not particularly feel like it. Does that mean she doesn’t still desperately miss her husband and feel empty inside sometimes? No. and she has added another at bedtime. partly due to the alcohol. we see she has created a coping mechanism for dealing with the loss and loneliness that comes from losing the man she loved and shared a life with for forty-five years. I am happy to report that she is back to walking a few times a week to keep her blood pressure and weight in check and her quality of life has improved. If you have difficulty controlling your emotions. this chapter should have a powerful impact on your health habits. During our coaching. and her family. We are in trouble when we allow our impulses to have more control over our actions than our conscious decision making process. Not only has she added 450 Calories a day. It simply means you don’t always have to act on the way you feel. For example. they develop skills and abilities that improve other areas of their lives. they’ll ruin her life. she would look beyond her hurt and do what was best for herself.Using Your Emotions Effectively 99 ple who are excellent at caring for their health make most of their decisions based on what feels good at the time or based on what is best for them in the long run? You guessed it. This doesn’t mean you always have to go against the way you feel. The few glasses of wine may numb the sadness she feels every night. when I am coaching someone on various areas of their wellness. . They are generally better at making decisions with the future in mind and keeping a balanced perspective between enjoying life today and living with the consequences of their choices tomorrow. it simply means she decided that although numbing herself with alcohol is what she felt like doing. her health. but she is also not sleeping well. I might have a client who is gaining weight because of increased alcohol intake following her husband’s death. but over the long haul.

the more control you will have over the outcomes of most situations in your life. Every time you catch yourself. think of something positive to keep your mind busy until you do. the more control you will get over the circumstances in your life. Many of us like to talk about our problems and go on and on about how hard life is treating us. If you don’t see a solution immediately. How many times have you done or said something you regret because you acted out of anger or hurt? Maybe you were reacting to someone else’s wrong behavior and knew you made the wrong choice. Often.100 Weight Whys Sometimes changing things about ourselves takes outside help to clearly see the situation. our emotions can cloud our thoughts in determining the best course of action to take. I know that whatever my kids feel like eating is what they are going to ask me for as a snack. you have witnessed that their emotions are often what dictates their actions. It does not help change your situation. That is when it helps to talk with someone whose decision making ability you trust and respect. The better you get at controlling your emotions. It doesn’t do anybody any good and it’s annoying to others. does absolutely no good for you. If you’ve ever been around young children. It encourages you to become overly focused on the problem.” Stop focusing on your emotions and feeling sorry for yourself and it’ll be easier to come up with solutions. but the more you avoid this habit. If you can’t come up with a solution to the problem you keep bringing up in conversation to others. I know that my 1 ¡ year old is probably going to hit her sister if she takes a toy out of her . “You’re either part of the solution. I am not talking about that. Be Part of the Solution You may have heard the adage. These are examples of letting our emotions dictate our actions without engaging a thoughtful decision making process. Write down areas you complain or make excuses about. or part of the problem. Having maturity with your emotions involves being able to identify them and control their ability to influence your actions. Learn the discipline of controlling your mouth (your words). and determine you will not whine about them for the next week. what good does it do to talk about it anyway? This is a common characteristic of people who are too easily influenced by their emotions. and you will see that this discipline spills over in controlling other aspects of your emotional life. focus on a solution to the problem. Complaining for the sake of complaining or to get sympathy from others. It may require practice. and distracts you from working on possible solutions.

Sometimes the best solution in this scenario is to state how you feel in a thoughtful choice of words. they begin without setting their minds that the desired outcome is to create a compromise both parties can accept and be in harmony. . Since controlling your responses to your emotions is a learned behavior that means that you are capable of learning this skill. you may have wasted your time. There is nothing wrong with sharing and describing your emotions to another person in a healthy way. They might open their mouths before thinking and talk about how they feel about things. This may help bring things into perspective. work situations. and agree to talk about it after you both have time to think it over and let your emotions calm down. accusing each other of this and that. That doesn’t mean it won’t feel uncomfortable if you are usually the type of person who “reacts” rather than “responds. buying a car. Responding vs. However. It means you think of a game plan. (She might even hit her just to get my attention—but that’s another book). Perhaps. That may be the best news you’ve heard all day if you are challenged in this area. Being mature in managing your emotions and controlling your actions means you are outcome-minded. when couples argue. when the need to express your feelings supersedes your ability to clearly identify the problem and come up with a solution or compromise. without disciplining themselves in their words.Using Your Emotions Effectively 101 hand. The more you become outcome-minded in every area of life—relationships. This doesn’t mean you neglect your emotions to get what you want. Do something positive and productive with your energy. dealing with your children. whatever—the better you will be at deciding what steps to take that will be most productive toward getting the desired outcome.” It does mean you have the potential and it is your choice whether you become more disciplined and successful at it or not. even harming your relationship by saying something you will have to apologize for later because you couldn’t control yourself. and coordinate the steps with the desired outcome in focus. Reacting It is a learned behavior to respond to people and circumstances in such a way that a rational thought process is involved. For example. This is sometimes a good time for a walk.

This can be either in a positive or negative way. We need to deal with emotions effectively and use them to serve us instead of us being servants to them. To have a fulfilling life. shame. I believe they are from the mindsets the individual has developed as a result of these experiences. guilt. or both. Learning how to deal with your own and other people’s emotions are part of living a balanced. Hurts of the Past We all have hurts from childhood. such as eating to feel better after an argument with someone. Anger. healthy life. functioning. The results are not so much from the effects of the childhood experiences themselves. unable to break free from that hurt to begin a normal. For example. say someone is abused as a child by an alcoholic parent. ensure our expectations match up with what others are willing to give us. You may have had behavior modeled for you that was unhealthy physically. we need to identify our needs. or acting out other negative health behavior. Have you ever realized that not everyone who goes through the same experience comes out of it quite the same way? Some people suffer their whole lives. others get past even the worst experiences and live fulfilling lives. psychologically. There are some people who come out of a . I have found through coaching that a person’s childhood affects them in every area of their lives. overindulging in alcohol. and get mature in handling our emotions. resentment. feeling trapped by their past. This happens all the time. As an adult. fulfilling. Sometimes we fill our unmet emotional needs by overeating. Why is that? It has a lot to do with the mind and emotions. People who get past extraordinary circumstances to become great human beings do so by directing their emotions into thoughts that are productive for them. ask for what we need from others. especially when you try to ignore them instead of dealing with them and changing your perspective to let positive emotions flow through. that person could live trapped by their past. grown up life for themselves. all have a way of rearing their ugly heads. because they don’t have the life coping skills to positively handle these situations. You may have unfulfilled relationship needs from your parents that have left you with a hole in your heart that feels like it can never be filled. which tends to bring us more grief.102 Weight Whys Healthy Coping Skills Why am I talking about how to discuss issues better with others in a health and weight management book? Sometimes people make poor choices.

or being sexually abused. suffering through a divorce. Forgiving them doesn’t necessarily mean you are excusing their behavior. • Working through those feelings and focusing these emotions in a way that will have a positive effect on your life. Until someone can come to peace with negative events from their childhood. learn what it means to have a loving relationship (since that was not modeled for them at home). They might also make a decision not to let alcohol be part of their lifestyle. but rather releasing that person from the anger that might have the potential to eat you up if you allowed it to. They could work with a counselor to understand it is normal to feel emptiness when a parent has let you down. and be determined to enjoy the life they’ve been given after watching the parent they loved throw theirs away with alcohol. These bad memories and perceptions of what your reality was during your childhood are important because they can give you a new level of understanding of why you may do certain things now. and could be a cause of psychological problems if you are suffering in that area. This pain often plays itself out in negative health behavior. Grace and mercy given to someone who has hurt you can be a miraculous gift. . One of the most common hindrances I see in people I coach are negative experiences from their childhood they have not fully worked through and been healed of. work through their feelings and the behavior that was modeled for them. Maybe you feel like your sibling was loved more because they were skinnier or more attractive (in your mind) than you were.Using Your Emotions Effectively 103 childhood like that. and make a conscious decision on how to respond to the choices they have been given in their adult life. Having this terrible childhood might inspire them to treat others the right way (especially children). Sometimes our hurts are more from our perception of situations rather than the actual events. I’ve seen it change the hardest of hearts and bring others to a whole new level of life. they will carry a stress or burden from it through their adulthood. “Coming to peace” with circumstances from our childhood means: • Freeing yourself to fully explore the feelings you have associated from the issue (even if it’s going to be painful). There is a wide spectrum of hurts that people have experienced. These include being ridiculed by your family for being overweight.

However. Confronting pains. I am talking about when someone closes the door to their heart because of a hurt and then never open it because they fear what might be inside. you may want to spend time doing it in your journal by yourself. Choose what your behaviors will be. an almost two year old. A therapist or counselor. I am not talking about someone who decides to succeed despite starting out with negative circumstances. Who you are today is a product of people and experiences that have touched you throughout your life. Sometimes people would rather that not be the case. exploring issues from your childhood can be beneficial on so many levels. They don’t want to be a product of anything they might feel ashamed of or hurt by. a pastor. Learning to Set Your Mind Raising a four year old. or even a good friend can help you work through what your feelings are. Whatever the case. you may decide that to talk with someone else to better understand how your past might be affecting what you do now. and a four month old is not an easy task. and learning how to deal effectively with your emotions are all steps to writing a happy ending to your life story. There is much to be said of the dysfunction that comes from closing off part of yourself and not coming to peace with parts of your life that are not pleasant.104 Weight Whys • Forgiving the person or persons who have offended you. Depending on what may be holding you back. Freeing yourself to accept. Take away their immediate influence. • Accepting that you might feel a sense of loss and hurt over the situation for the rest of your life and that’s okay. I set my mind first thing in the morning to be thankful for this precious season of my life and be patient and gentle with the kids. talking out hurtful experiences (even the family secrets no one wants to discuss with you). Emotions can be paralyzing when they rule over you. It’s part of who you are. Whether you are trying to understand why you feel guilty if you don’t clean your plate or why you feel self-conscious or unloved. releasing them from bad feelings you might have. the events that have made you the beautiful person you are today is part of growing in self-love. there are days when I have gotten frustrated and impatient and not been the parent . even appreciate. Or. so they close off that part of themselves and try to function as best as they can in spite of it. Don’t let your emotions ensnare you into doing things that are not good for you.

Using Your Emotions Effectively


I want to be. I could feel sorry for myself, talk negative about how much work it is, and let my emotions get the best of me when the kids want to test their boundaries. Or, I could set my mind to be the best parent I can be with these precious angels who have been entrusted into my keeping. Those days when I haven’t been the best parent have been learning experiences because that’s what I choose to make them. Instead of living the same challenging experience over and over, I reflected on what my frustrations were and how to do it better next time. I have learned that my day is more enjoyable when I am not rushing around. I don’t schedule too many chores to do and I leave enough time to get places, allowing ten minutes to get in the car and little things like that. I’m sharing this to show you that if I let my emotions determine my actions, I could feel so overwhelmed that I would miss some of the best years of my life. My attitude determines if my two year old running around the house naked while I’m trying to get her dressed is annoying or cute. And I have control over that. It takes effort and energy to accept that responsibility. It might be easier to blame my shortcomings on my circumstances. If you use your circumstances to excuse your reactions and behavior, you are giving up your responsibility and control. If you tell yourself nothing you did contributed to it, there is nothing you can change to control it. That was a personal story to share my heart as I go through my journey of writing this book. Realize that once you grasp this concept of effectively managing your emotions and learn how to use it to your advantage, it can improve every area of your life. It can change your eating habits, how you spend your time, the quality of your relationships, and fulfillment in your life. Many people don’t exercise because they don’t feel like it. That is a situation where you should look past your feelings and do what is good for you. Or change your feelings by motivating yourself. I’ve learning from coaching hundreds of people, that everyone has a story. Everyone I talk with has problems. It may be the failing health of a loved one (or their own), issues from their childhood, challenges in their marriage, or not balancing their life properly by being overly involved in their work. Whatever your challenge, remember that only you can decide whether you will approach it from a victory or victim mentality. Life may throw you a curve ball, but you can choose how to respond to it. Do you want to feel sorry for yourself and make excuses for why nothing is turning out as it should, or do you want to control what you can and come out strong and victorious?


Weight Whys

Don’t misunderstand my heart here. I am not trying to make light of a serious situation that you might be dealing with. What I am saying is that you will not be able to enjoy life, whatever the circumstances, if you have a victim mentality. I will talk later about the power of positive thinking, but what I want you understand now is that your emotions and actions are directly linked to what you allow your thoughts to be. Once you accept that and start exploring how you’ve been doing it so far, then you can work on what can be changed for the better. This is a learned skill. Learning to have control over your thoughts, how to use self-control to decide what emotions you will allow to influence your actions, and how to have a conscious thought process before an action, can all be learned and become more natural with practice.

Anger is Powerful
Since we’re talking about emotions, let’s discuss one that comes up a lot…anger. Dealing with anger is an issue for many people and can lead to heartache if not managed properly. Understand that anger is an issue of the heart. It’s a feeling that usually comes from a hurt, an offense we have suffered, or one we perceived to suffer. It can be directed toward ourselves or someone else. It can be misplaced, meaning that we can be angry with one person and act that feeling out on someone other than the one who has angered us. Whatever the case, what you must know is that anger, like any other emotion, can be controlled and managed. You will hear different kinds of advice about anger. Some challenges are best addressed by a psychologist when it comes to behavioral health. My opinion and what I have seen work in my life and the lives of many others is validated by many highly qualified professionals in the field of psychology. Having studied the psychology of behavior and motivation, I believe that anger is a powerful force that is generally not an emotionally healthy motivator. In reviewing the research on the internal effects of anger, it is clear that people who have more anger or who are quicker to respond to a situation with anger, usually have health problems as a result of it. High blood pressure, heart problems, and possibly even some cancers have been found to be more common in those who have anger issues. We will talk later about managing stress, which is sometimes linked to anger and frustration. What I want you to know now is that anger has no place in your heart. It is destructive, not only to yourself, but to those around

Using Your Emotions Effectively


you. If you have anger, even if you don’t fully understand it, the best thing you could do for your health is to explore it and learn how to effectively deal with it. As we talked about with unforgiveness, I believe the proper way to deal with anger is to determine the cause, perhaps by writing or talking it out, and then not allow it to have an uncontrollable influence on your behavior. The interesting thing about anger is that you can eliminate it from your heart and replace it with love. If someone hurts you, have compassion for the other person’s shortcomings and empathy for their situation. This can do more good emotionally than allowing your anger to fester. Anger inside the heart can steal the joy in your life and eat you up alive. I have seen anger overtake people to the point where they don’t care about their health. They have lost the desire to care for their wellness because they don’t value their lives anymore. Don’t let anger, or anything else, steal your passion for fulfilling your potential. Eliminate emotions that cause you to lose hope, be your best, and enjoy the fullness of life. Decide to remove anger or unforgiveness from your heart, and replace it with love. Explore your feelings and decide what is worth keeping and what may be ruining your life. We have a short time here in this world. Make up your mind and choose in your heart that you will make it the best time possible—no matter what lies behind or ahead. The choice is yours. What lies behind and what lies ahead are small matters compared to what lies within. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jealousy is Not Productive
Envy and jealousy often play a huge role in people’s struggle with weight and self-image. Comparing ourselves to other people can be a destructive habit. It is natural for your mind to immediately start this process, especially if it is in an area you are insecure about. Everyone is insecure about something. The most “perfect” person you can think of has the human emotions of insecurity, a desire to belong, and need to feel loved. Choosing to strive for your personal best is more emotionally healthy than wanting to be up to par or better than someone else. It frees you from the ugly feelings that can be associated with competition. I am not talking about eliminating “healthy competition” provided in the confines of sports, academics, and the like. I’m talking about what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We constantly compare ourselves to what we perceive others to be. I’ve experi-


Weight Whys

enced this at times in the weight management classes I teach. Clients will focus on comparing themselves to me because I am a healthy body weight and they aren’t. They think about me instead of accepting where they are and making a game plan for improvement. My healthy weight is a result of healthy eating, regular exercise, spiritual fulfillment, and making thoughtful choices to balance my life. Thankfully, I had a desire to practice good behavior before I was ever challenged with a weight problem. I have been highly motivated to take care of myself from what I’ve seen in the lives of those who haven’t. I’ve worked to be a healthy weight, it is not by chance. You must be willing to make the sacrifices and do the work. Another interesting thing about comparing yourself with others is that no two people have lived exactly the same life. You may see the outward expression of what their persona is but you can never know the inside of another person’s heart. People with seemingly happy lives struggle too. You never know what someone else’s life is really like, so concentrate on your own. I so often hear overweight people talk in an unflattering way about how skinny someone else is, how uncomfortable they feel around the skinny people at the gym, what their skinny co-worker eats for lunch, and so on. It’s a waste of time. Sometimes these people are preoccupied with thoughts that they are being judged or talked about; other times it’s out of jealousy. This is a very natural emotion but one that is not productive. Some might suggest that jealousy could be used as a motivator to achieve what another has. The truth is that jealousy is an ugly, negative emotion and should be avoided at all costs. We can never win when we compare ourselves with someone else. Play with the desire in your heart to achieve your personal best and the only way you can lose is if you don’t try hard enough. Think about it. Everyone is capable of achieving their personal best. Isn’t that amazing? All you have to do is get in the game and be willing to do the work to find out what your best is. How often do you allow your feelings to be a gauge of when and what to eat? If I ate based on my feelings, I’d eat doughnuts for breakfast, Cap’n Crunch cereal for lunch, and apple crisp for dinner. Of course, I’d leave room for dessert. I would never allow my children to eat this way—it’s a good reason not to allow myself to either. Learning to parenting yourself and consider what’s in your best interest comes in handy.

I asked if she would allow her children to fast until the afternoon if they weren’t hungry. Then. Emotional Maturity In examining how your emotions affect your life. She explained that she did not feel hungry from the time she woke up until the afternoon. You will have a lot more self-respect when you do. she expected her body and mind to perform with no fuel. After waking from an eight to ten hour fast and continuing to fast for another eight hours while she was awake. She did not agree at first that this was not healthy behavior.Using Your Emotions Effectively 109 Use Logic to Make Decisions I coached a woman who had been practicing unhealthy behavior before our working together. money. ask yourself how mature you are in this area. but it was a challenge for her to think logically instead of emotionally when making her food choices. I believe that everyone has a need to respect themselves. anger. She would wait until two or three o’clock in the afternoon to eat her first food of the day. When you act like a child instead of disciplining yourself to make mature decisions and follow them through. She was trying to manage her weight and also had some emotional (anxiety) issues that might have contributed to her poor nutritional decisions. She started to understand at that point. Try motivating yourself to make better choices in this manner and see how it works. What needs to be improved to make your wellness complete? Some of us live our adult lives as children when it comes to our emotions. I had a sense she wasn’t telling me everything—she was either keeping it from me or she did not yet understand enough about herself to explain what was going on. you lose some of your self-respect. Whether or not you have children. fear…whatever it is. . this method of making decisions is a useful one. I asked her if she experienced hunger at all during the day and she told me that she did not. Our impulses and feelings guide our actions in areas that have such a significant impact on the outcome of our lives. make a decision to assert your power over it. Get honest with yourself about what your efforts have been so far and see what would be in your best interest to change. Whether it be food choices. laziness. she would usually eat a bag of nuts or corn chips she kept in her car for when she left work. Asking yourself if you would allow your children to eat the way you do can be an eye opener. I’m also happy to report that the dizziness she used to experience (which had been diagnosed by her physician as an inner ear problem) is no longer happening.


Weight Whys

People have the toughest time with this. And I can see why. It is hard to admit to yourself that you have failed or let yourself down. It is much easier to blame your weaknesses or problems on something else—other people, circumstances, genetics, environment, I could go on and on. Don’t live in denial one minute longer if you haven’t been trying to grow in self-control. Sit back and take a long, hard look at what your efforts have been on your journey. Have they been enough to help you make progress or have they been half-hearted to make yourself look like you’ve been doing something. Make a conscious decision to live in reality from now on. I know it’s hard. It’s easier to make ourselves feel like we are trying by going to meetings once a week, or buying new diet books and fancy workout equipment. We can talk ourselves into believing we’ve been trying to get healthy when we haven’t really done much at all. This is another area where we can let our emotions override reality. Don’t let yourself off the hook. Acknowledge that you may not have given a wholehearted effort into getting healthy (if that is the case for you), and decide what you are going to do about it. I am not going to tell you that you absolutely must make a decision to change your unhealthy behavior now. It has to be of your own free will. It has to be a decision you make in your heart. Only then will you be able to have the determination it will take to see it through and make it happen. There are times when it will be challenging and no half-hearted effort will see it through. You have to want to change, be willing to explore, and do the work, even when it’s not fun or what you’d rather be doing. If you decide that now is not the time to discipline yourself to improve your health and manage your weight, it’s better to be honest. Accept the truth that being overweight and unhealthy doesn’t bother you enough right now to change it. (Maybe it’s just bothering you enough to complain about it.) You have the freedom to love yourself no matter what your decision. It doesn’t mean the way you feel now is how you’ll feel the rest of your life. I’ve coached people who did not want to change until they had a close family member die of a heart attack in their fifties, or something of that nature. Seeing someone die, knowing their lifestyle had a lot to do with it, can be a powerful motivator. My hope for you is that we can learn together how to motivate you to put forth your best effort now. I would rather see someone be honest and say “now is not the time” than to waste time with half-hearted efforts. The choice is yours. The more real you get with yourself about where your heart is now, the more powerful your efforts will be when you choose to

Using Your Emotions Effectively


put your whole being into it—body, heart, and mind. That’s what it will take. Don’t sell yourself short by accepting anything less.

Thoughts for the Road
Search your heart today. Are there any emotions that are holding you back from being your personal best? What will you choose to do about it? Think of incidents when you have let your emotions dictate your behavior and later regretted it. What could you have done in that situation to handle it appropriately? Do your emotions affect your eating or physical activity? What can you do to improve your discipline in this area?

Dynamics of Your Relationships

In this chapter, I want to talk with you about the connection between your health and your relationships with others. Each affects the other in an interesting way. Becoming aware of this can help you to improve both your wellness and your relationships. It’s evident we were made to be in relationship with others. Research shows people fare better when they are in a positive environment with encouraging people. Studies of cancer support groups who meet regularly to talk about their experiences and support each other have shown that the participants usually live longer and have a more positive outlook than their counterparts who don’t have a social group of this sort. Having people to share your life with who will support you and love you is important. We all need to surround ourselves with people who value our beliefs and who we have things in common with, as well as people who can expose us to new and different ideas. Even though there are differences in our personalities, some people enjoy being around others and some enjoy being alone most of their time. We still need others to show us that we belong and help us feel special. You should have at least one trusted person to share your heart with who will encourage you. This should be someone who will cheer you on and has your best interest at heart. You may have been born into a family that is not positive and encouraging. What do you do? You go out and find encouragement. It’s everywhere. Books, tapes, videos, DVDs, seminars, classes, Internet…you can find motivation and inspiration if you seek it. Who are the people that support you and lift you up?


Dynamics of Your Relationships


Are you an encouraging person to others or do you tend to look on the negative side? This may give you insight as to why you attract who you do.

Fearing Others’ Achievements
I was at a barbeque once and someone there was talking about how one of her family members had recently been given a scholarship to MIT. She didn’t talk about how wonderful it was that his education was going to be fully paid for at a prestigious school, or how deserving he was of the scholarship because of how hard he worked in school. She talked about the negative aspects such as: how much it was going to cost to live there, how he would be away from his family, and how foolish he was to think a college education was going to help him learn about life. It was almost comical listening to her. I wondered where this negativity could be coming from. I remembered the misfortune she’d had with her adult son. He’d been in trouble with the law and made some poor decisions that have cost him. I thought of how hurt she probably was over that and how it might have made her jealous to see other people’s children doing well. She has also been close to this young man for most of his childhood. I wondered if she might fear that his experience at this prestigious school and getting a college education (which no one else in his family has, including her) that he would no longer desire a close relationship with her. Maybe he would look down upon her. This may sound strange, but you see it all the time. Positive events like going to college, or losing weight and adopting healthier lifestyle habits, can feel threatening to people close to you. Whether people are being negative because that is their usual mentality or because they feel threatened by your changing, it is helpful to recognize this and address it appropriately. Often, there are deeper reasons why people are not encouraging. That is not to excuse their behavior, but simply to help you understand it and maybe learn to be more gracious about it.

Seek Encouragement
Someone who is supposed to love you should recognize their own insecurities and get past their selfishness enough to support you (or learn to keep quiet, at the very least). If you don’t have a cheerleader, someone you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts, feelings, goals, and dreams with, learn to encourage yourself. Use this time to write down the intimate details of your heart in your journal. Look for motivational books and materials that will help you be more

Anyone who has ever caused you hurt is a flawed person. it means you accept yourself the way you are and have affection inside toward yourself as a person. others can tell. it may be their real struggle is in loving themselves. To love yourself in spite of how you might have let yourself down. Every one of us is a flawed person. compassion. . See yourself as you are now. having a negative self-image. affection for yourself. When someone goes through life not liking who they are. as though you are watching a movie. Learn to look at yourself and feel it. Give yourself grace in knowing that you are learning how to be better and how to minimize your weaknesses. It doesn’t matter if you feel no one else has ever looked at you and felt this love before. It simply means you have a compassionate. If you see yourself and feel anything other than love. When you meet people who never seem happy. The self-help book section is constantly being furnished with new books on how to love yourself and improve your life. Being positive and encouraging is not a quality most people possess. It is more common for people to talk negatively about and to others than it is to hear people talking about how great someone is praising good things they’ve done. gentle. You will find many people who are not encouraging. as well as your own situations. This means you are able to see yourselves almost in the third-person. as though that person is your child.114 Weight Whys positive. Evaluate yourself and see what you are inclined to say about others. Others will gladly tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Pay attention to how others talk. so they don’t project positive ideas toward others. You don’t have to wait until you lose fifty pounds or get control of that anger problem to love yourself. even overly anxious or terribly self-centered. and fondness. Maybe they have been disappointed in their own lives and have given up on themselves. Loving Yourself It is much easier to have healthy relationships with others once you have developed one with yourself. We all have different parts to ourselves and it is sometimes helpful for people who have trouble loving themselves to develop that parentchild relationship inside. I have compiled a list in the back of this book of some that I highly recommend. When you love yourself. or where you came from is the most beautiful gift you can give your soul. you will not be able to look at anyone else and feel it. looking at that person with a fond affection in your heart. are rude. regardless of the circumstances.

or there’s nothing special about them. you feel confident that you belong in this world and there is a place here for you. What hobbies and pastimes bring you pleasure and joy? It is not an accident that you are who you are. you have a purpose. This maturity comes from changing into the parent (the adult who should really be in charge of your life) instead of choosing to live as the child inside. or what unique qualities and talents you have that can be used to serve others. doing what you’re doing. walking around in adult bodies. . ask yourself if you have a problem forgiving yourself. and everyone else you encounter. They might struggle with an overwhelming sense that the world doesn’t need them. and a mortgage. you will have a much easier time living in harmony with everyone else. even reading this book. People who feel depressed or lack self-confidence often suffer from feeling like they don’t belong here. If you were created and born into this world. and much of it can be influenced (in a positive or negative way) by our beliefs and the choices we make. If you struggle with these thoughts. You may have to discover what your special purposes are. Recognizing that you. were born to your parents. If you want to learn to forgive others more easily. There is absolutely no question that the way you feel about yourself impacts those choices and influences your relations with those around you. The effects of this can be life changing. We all make mistakes but there is nothing that the human heart cannot forgive. raised in your neighborhood. Too many people are really 10-year-olds. a credit card. others don’t need them. There is no one to whom you can’t show love. but they live as though their feelings can dictate their actions and their actions have no consequences.Dynamics of Your Relationships 115 Our love and feelings for others are often veiled by the way we feel about ourselves. these thoughts are not true. they lack a sense of purpose. You Are Not an Accident When you love yourself. You will find that if you change the way you feel about yourself and choose love over all else. probably have unfulfilled needs requires maturity. Life doesn’t happen by chance. Balancing Maturity with the Child Within We talked before about fostering a loving relationship within by learning to parent yourself. They have their driver’s license. you are not alone—more importantly.

living for the moment and ignoring consequences is not appropriate when you are at a dinner party. She can separate this from the relationships she chooses to have .116 Weight Whys I don’t mean to be harsh. However. but someone has to declare this is what is often at the heart of dysfunction in relationships and in life. This balance relates to unfulfilled needs because people who do not understand this part of themselves express these needs in inappropriate ways and don’t know why. You can enjoy being silly.) It is not appropriate when you continue to eat two doughnuts for breakfast even though you’ve made a commitment to yourself to eat more healthfully. It is not appropriate when you don’t have enough money to pay for an outfit and you charge it on your credit card. Jill is probably under the impression that picking controlling men happens to her by chance. The good news is that you can learn how to grow up and still enjoy that child within. For example. Remember. say Jill has an unfulfilled need of being parented and loved properly by her father when she was growing up. she continues to pick people who demonstrate their “affection” for her in this unhealthy way. if you balance it and express appropriately. Making a game of your chores or your exercise routine can help make responsibilities become fun. Meeting Needs in a Healthy Way There is a way to balance expressing your childlike side with living as a responsible adult. Even though it’s often negative attention and can be annoying to her. and living for the moment. Being mature doesn’t mean no longer having these qualities. and have not prearranged for someone to drive you home. extraordinary. (That bill is going to come eventually. Being playful can bring a smile to someone’s face and make the ordinary. This may cause her to feel insecure in her relationships with men. It simply means expressing them in the appropriate manner and time. where you know you will be drinking alcohol. instead of mundane. One way she might express this insecurity is by choosing men who are controlling because they give her an extraordinary amount of attention. What Jill needs to accept is that the unhealthy relationship with her father has left a void she may feel forever. loving with a child like heart. laughing for no reason. that maintaining your childishness can be a fun and beautiful part of your personality and bring joy to everyday life. Until she realizes what her unfulfilled needs are and stops trying to meet them in unhealthy ways. she will continue to become involved with men like this. She doesn’t understand she has traits that cause her to attract this type of person and tolerate their behavior once it shows itself.

There is a huge difference between being aggressive and being assertive. “Mom. You may choose not to be in relationship with them anymore. Being aggressive would sound like. you will even become better at relationships. drain your emotional energy. I’d rather not take the pie home. You may be associating with people who are a detriment to your efforts to improve your health and lose weight. What’s your problem?” Being assertive would sound like. or set boundaries on the degree of your intimacy with them. Learning to set boundaries with people is essential. It may be wise to temporarily distance yourself from people who are exceptionally negative. I love your pie. Use your judgment on how to approach each situation. The only way to have true intimacy in any relationship is to be willing to make yourself emotionally vulnerable. You will be better able to communicate and get to the heart of the matter. but whatever choices you make. but leads to more fulfilling results. you know I’ve been trying to lose weight and you’re trying to stuff me with pie. Your Circle of Influence Creating a positive social circle is a learned skill and requires work.Dynamics of Your Relationships 117 with men and start making rational decisions about the type of man she would like to be in healthy relationship with. but I’ve been trying to be more health-conscious with my food choices. An example would be if your mother were trying to send you home with pie after a dinner gathering. but life in general. but learning how to let yourself love and foster healthy relationships is essential to your health. Being mature means knowing that even if someone takes advantage of your vulnerability. you can still love them and move on. This takes more energy and emotional investment. but thank you anyway. and will not do to fulfill them. or constantly manipulate you into doing things you would rather not. instead of just dealing with the surface issues. When you become aware of how your needs influence your behavior as well as being mindful of the needs of others around you. not just concerning weight loss. if she were to persist you can . Identifying Needs Learning to parent yourself involves understanding as much as you can about your unfulfilled needs and making thoughtful decisions on what you will.” Then. Teach yourself to be more thoughtful in choosing who you will surround yourself with. you will benefit greatly from learning to assert yourself and set boundaries with others. “Mom.

the better you will be at dealing with it effectively.118 Weight Whys assertively tell her again. To a certain degree. Mom. What would happen if you replaced the behavior of overeating with eating an appropriate amount and then expressing your gratitude in words? Developing the skills you need to verbalize your feelings and needs will have a tremendous impact on the level of fulfillment in your relationships. For example. “No. it is at an unhealthy extreme when your appreciation for the gift of food is tied to the amount of it you eat. but every area as well. Baking someone cookies or preparing a meal to show them how much you love them are wonderful actions to communicate love. Someone may treat you inappropriately at work. it can become negative when done to an extreme. and then you feel you must overeat it to express your gratitude. knowing how to ask the right questions to determine the needs of others. Being effective in creating great relationships also involves being outcomeminded in your actions and words.” Learning how to assert yourself is an important skill to learn because you must teach people how to treat you. It’s very easy to get in the habit of allowing ourselves to speak and act before thinking. Please don’t ask me again. “Why must I overeat to show I’ve enjoyed the meal?” And. This can be a useful skill not just with respect to health choices. think about how you can be more forward-thinking in your interactions with others. and expressing yourself well with your words are all necessary elements in relating well with others. Maybe another customer is rude to you in line at the supermarket. if you made it: “Why do I feel people haven’t enjoyed my meal (or have rejected my love offering) if they don’t overindulge?” You may have created an environment where this is normal behavior. thanks. You have to ask yourself. Expressing Yourself Effectively with Words It is amazing how much our culture communicates with food. This is not healthy behavior. Whether it is your spouse or the cashier at the supermarket. But. enhancing you communicator skills will serve you well in health and in life. Many conflicts and bad situations can be avoided by learning how to express yourself assertively instead of aggressively. Learning to determine your own needs. For now. The most difficult aspect of this for most is that it requires controlling your emotions too. this can be very sweet. This means . The more keenly aware you are of this phenomenon. The most common scenario is when someone goes to a lot of effort to prepare a meal. We will talk more in a later chapter about developing self-control in this area.

You will have success more easily in life when you are solution-minded and use good communication skills. but thinking about solutions and compromises that will bring positive results for both people involved. Not just focusing on the issues at hand. and your health. will be. Approaching this situation from the perspective of not wanting to offend her (positive for her) and not wanting to tempt yourself with pie in the refrigerator (positive for you) is wise and outcome-minded. Thoughts for the Road Who can you trust to go to for encouragement and support? What motivational resources can you use to get moving in the right direction? Are you happy when others succeed or do you find yourself jealous? In what ways could you benefit from “parenting yourself” better? Are you meeting your emotional needs in a healthy way? What might need to change in this area? What might you need to change to improve your relationships with others? . I used an example earlier of the mother who was trying to send pie home.Dynamics of Your Relationships 119 approaching a situation with a desired outcome in mind. you will find that part of improving your health involves examining your relations with other people. Along this journey. the better your life. The better you get at learning to express yourself assertively and effectively.

causing your blood pressure and heart rate to increase and your muscles to become tense. You might feel stress when the way a person acts or how an event turns out doesn’t line up with your expectation of how it should be. While people have different natures. It’s crucial to develop the life skills that will enable you to manage your stress and balance your life without constantly feeling overwhelmed. you can control the degree of stress you have by learning to change your perspective. it causes your heart and other muscles to be tired and overused. During a perceived stressful event.” Your body releases a series of hormones. Set your life in such a way that you minimize your stress as much as possible. “Look at me. Chronic stress is thought to be a major source of the health problems in our society. When the body experiences these frequent stress responses over and over. 120 . It seems in our culture. and learn the skills you need to properly manage the stress you have. some more “high strung” and easily stressed than others.) Take a look at what the stressors in your life are and how you might want to make changes to ensure your priorities are straight. people wear their badge of stress to show how important they are. I must be really important. you must know that the amount of stress that you experience is determined by your perception of each situation.” (Am I striking a nerve here? You won’t feel offended by that unless it’s an area you struggle in. See at how busy I am.12 Managing Stress When it comes to managing stress. your body will experience what’s called the “fight or flight response. all of which can tax the body over time.

Maybe enjoy the time with a loved one on the couch. when you have things that you’d like to get done. than get to the root cause of their stress and simply make changes to alleviate it. A lot of the stress in our lives has to do with our choices—concerning both what we choose to allow in our environment and how we choose to respond to individuals and circumstances.” There are many “time management” techniques you can learn that may be helpful in organizing your life. and it will probably cause you grief in the meantime. if you are using them to avoid dealing with the source of your stress. you may bypass responsibility on your part for this sce- . Own Your Time You may have heard the popular term “time management. You see stress management classes everywhere and I think there is a huge missing link when it comes to learning how to create a low-stress life. it causes more stress because they still have the same problems.Managing Stress 121 I believe this is one of the most important topics we will talk about in this book. or meditation. Stress management techniques are useful. and what you were trying to avoid still has to be done. But. It is likely you will feel worse about yourself after this hour because you’ll know you wasted time procrastinating. sometimes. The Real Source of Stress Often. Making a conscious choice about this activity means you are taking ownership for your time. you are using this activity as a diversion. Or. you will have to eventually deal with it. people want to put a bandage on their stress. In the end. massage therapy. and even enjoyable. The one element that is absolutely essential when practicing smart time management is to focus on priority management. do it with the purpose that you choose to spend this time to do “nothing” and relax. We all have the same twenty-four hours in the day. and learn skills to help you eliminate them or cope with them in a healthy way. People seem much more inclined to want to learn breathing techniques. but now they have all these stress management techniques to fit into their schedule as well. The reality is you must choose what is important to you and spend your twenty-four hours doing that. but you flop on the couch and waste an hour flipping through channels and watching shows you don’t enjoy. If you decide to watch TV. I see people get caught up in this cycle all the time. On the other hand. My objective with you is to help you identify what your true sources of stress are. Don’t get me wrong. try biofeedback.

pinpoint your priorities. Before you begin listing your excuses for why you don’t have enough time in the day. What good will your budget do you if you spend time making it. we are on auto-pilot when it comes to the priorities of our day. and work on solutions that will make your life better. you’re in big trouble if you buy it at that time. That requires going through the uncomfortable feelings that accompany change. Think of time as your most precious commodity. balanced life and you have a responsibility to yourself and your loved ones to do just that. there’s just no way to handle all that needs to be done. It may not feel good at first because you must discipline yourself. Unless you have that money as excess or had it factored into your budget. and then organize your time to reflect those priorities. The number one killer of passion in life is when you get stuck on autopilot. I am amused by how people waste away their time. Anyone will tire of doing the same thing over and over if you aren’t stepping back to see if you are going in the right direction. Clarify your priorities and goals. but time has to be high on the list or you are likely to become frustrated. the more it will become second nature. but the point is to make sure every area of your life.122 Weight Whys nario and decide it is easier to blame it on outside circumstances. When working on time management. You may end up wearing your new suit while you’re standing in line for a bed at the homeless shelter. That may be an exaggeration. Just as in managing your finances. but you remember your house payment is due. such as the fact that there are only twenty-four hours in a day. They feel life is so busy. Those who are success- . the more fulfilling and easier your life will become. from your finances to your weight. Your life doesn’t have to be this way. you create a budget and then try to spend your money on those things you feel are important. and focus your energy toward achieving them. Stop playing the victim for your lack of time. Time is Precious People sometimes think of money as their most precious commodity. The better you get at taking ownership of your time. The more you practice it. and then act as though making time for exercise is absolutely impossible. is in healthy working order. but end up spending your money on whatever it is you feel like buying at that time? Maybe you felt like buying a new $500 suit while you were at the mall. know that it is possible to create a healthy. Much of the time. It’s all about choices.

In my role as a coach. it is almost always possible to rectify your mistake. Most perceived stress has to do with our own reaction to it. once each day is over. It’s impossible to get time back. or their reaction to them. you will never be empowered to change what you get. Simplifying life involves making choices about how you are going to spend your time. Until you realize the measure of how much your choices determine the outcome of your life. you can reduce stress by limiting (or eliminating) the activities that are not so important to you. depending on how much you desire to improve your wellness. you’re probably not my biggest fan right now. Take it for granted or misuse it. Spend Your Time on Your Priorities I’ve spent most of my career helping busy people create balance in their lives and make their health a priority.Managing Stress 123 ful at enjoying each day and living with passion are constantly reevaluating if they are spending their time wisely. Everyone has things they could work on with respect to dealing better with others. Dealing with People Who Cause you Stress Concerning the other common source of stress. Treat each day as the treasure that it is. Each of us is quirky with different personalities and temperaments who are self-centered and inpatient at times. dealing with others is often cited as one of the main sources of stress. When you define what the priorities in your life are. If you throw away your money or possessions. Your time is a precious gift that needs to be cherished. In the research I’ve done and people I’ve coached. and stress caused by other people. you will be excited about this truth because it means you can do something about it. which is other people. If you are ready to make changes in yourself and you are fed up with your lack of control in your life. I challenge them to consider whether it is the circumstances that are the source of stress. and you will surely come to a time when you’ll regret it. If you would rather blame your challenges on everything else and not hold yourself accountable. The main reasons I hear from people of why they experience stress are not having enough time in the day. we will never get it back. This revelation can be a burden or a blessing. my advice is simple: as much as is possible and within your control try to get along with everyone. With time. People will forever be this way and we live in a world where . I try to move people toward seeing to what degree they have control over their stress level.

and looking for the positive in others. You will have to use your judgment and wisdom in deciding who to include and who you might want to limit your relations with. as well as co-workers. and those you would have an on-going relationship with. improve my interpersonal skills. In your quest to become a more positive person it is wise to surround yourself with positive people. which goes a long way in helping to deal in this world. These are the people who affect your life who you encounter on a regular basis.124 Weight Whys we have to deal with them. family member. For example. Becoming a good communicator. You may be lonely for a while if most of those who you usually associate with are not very positive people but it will be worth it. Remember. We talked earlier about having love and compassion for others. I will do my best to act professionally. You can think. For now. “Why are these people like this? I am stuck in this job. “How might my response to their behavior contribute to my stress? Does my environment bother me so much that I should start looking for another job? While I choose to stay in this job. We will talk more in the next chapter about the power of a positive environment and how it lends to your success. complaining about it to every friend. It’s about you too. I will accept that I can’t change other people.” Another aspect of limiting your involvement with negative people includes evaluating the stress that affects you from your circle of influence. If we are to reduce our stress concerning this. I will say choosing to surround yourself with positive people can do wonders for minimizing your stress. Who wants to be around someone who’s negative all the time? . Limiting relations with negative people is part of creating a healthy environment. it’s not all about others. which includes making wise decisions on what situations you place yourself in. This includes family members and friends mainly. Why is this happening to me?” The person who spends mental energy entertaining these thoughts is likely to go on and on. what must we change? It’s our attitude. are all learned skills that can reduce stress and make life easier. Gaining control and managing your stress in an environment you find challenging involves shaping your thoughts to sound more like. and be on good terms with others as much as is in my control. and acquaintance who will listen. Take ownership for your stress. You may choose to avoid someone and deal as best as you can with the situation realizing you have control over the choices you have made. developing patience. avoiding strife by choosing confrontations wisely. if your co-workers cause you stress you can tell yourself a couple different things about your situation.

One of the most beautiful things about being in relationship with another person is being able to share your heart with them. It is one thing to talk to another person with the intent of being productive in some way. they can help you direct your thoughts to the positive side. Sometimes this involves venting your negative feelings about experiences or people that may be affecting your life. People who complain a lot tend to gravitate toward living in situations to complain about. It’s good for you to learn this technique of training your mind to shape your thoughts more skillfully. Think about how your mind has been trained to work. It is emotionally draining to talk to someone who is complaining for most of their conversation. you are talking to someone who is positive. would you want to be around yourself most of the time? What do you say when your spouse walks in the door? How do you greet your co-workers? Do you act like you are happy or excited to see them? How would your relationship with others be different if you did? When you wake in the morning. this is a big part of your problem. It’s one thing to discuss with the intent of sharing your emotions and finding compromise. But if you are complaining for the sake of hearing yourself complain. If you had the choice.Managing Stress 125 Being a Positive Influence I like to do an experiment with people and say something positive when they say something negative. and it’s interesting to see how this changes the direction of the conversation. . and another to go on and on because you don’t have anything better to talk about. You are fortunate if during one of these down times. No amount of complaining will bring about a resolution to your problem. to get their opinion. If you find you are a negative person or constant complainer. People who talk positively about their lives and others. do you tell yourself you are looking forward to what the day holds or do you make yourself tired thinking of all that needs to be done that day before you get out of bed? Check your attitude and see if you like where it’s taken you in life so far. gravitate toward positive circumstances and people and get out of negative situations more easily. Open yourself up to the possibility that you can change this about yourself to help make your life better. Don’t misunderstand me. you are doing nothing but adding to the situation. We’ve all done it at one time or another. maybe for them to help you figure out possible healthy solutions. but it is of no benefit to complain. After you have had your time of complaining. Try this next time you are in conversation.

This is how you come to experience a fulfilling life. Practicing healthy eating habits helps to reduce stress and allows your body to perform at its best. Fueling yourself with glucose (from carbohydrates) for thinking skills and alertness prevents headaches and a crabby attitude. the person who exercises regularly does not have as much of a reaction as the person who does not exercise regularly. eating right. You must figure out how to balance each area and learn to have peace about eliminating what doesn’t fit. To use my time wisely so I can care for my own wellness by exercising. I enjoy reading. and being alone with God each day to renew my spirit. and so forth). Joyce Meyer. For me to bring my passion for helping people into my coaching and give my best. Balance for a Fulfilling Life To live in balance and alleviate stress. There are different parts of life that need to be kept in balance if you are going to bring the best of yourself to everything else. This means when you measure the hormones and physical reaction to stress in the lab. The exerciser’s body is better able to handle these stressful situations without having as much of a chemical reaction over it. and the symphony. take time to do what gives you pleasure. Research shows that regularly exercisers experience the hormonal response to stress to a lesser degree than those who do not exercise. This results in less physical stress on the body because it has to do less work to bring your stress hormones back to baseline (the ones that are released to return heart rate and blood pressure back to normal.126 Weight Whys Healthy Choices Reduce Stress It is also wise to look at how your choices might have an impact on the amount of stress you feel. You should eat every few hours to give you energy and keep you fueled properly. I need to do what is needed of me to be a good wife and mother. playing with my family and friends. spending time with God. We are all individual in this way. I need to balance my life in the other areas that make me who I am as well. listening to music. I also enjoy my profession and am passionate about helping others to be healthy. musical theater. relax your muscles. Consume enough protein and fat to keep your appetite satisfied for a period of a few hours until you eat again. What we put into our bodies is key in how well we are prepared to respond effectively to stress. You can set your mind on each task knowing that what you’ve decided to invest in can be done wholeheartedly. going for walks outside. One of my favorite motivational speakers. has .

Thriving…Not Just Surviving One benefit of coping with stress is learning the skills you need and changing your attitude so you are thriving. You have to get out of the boat and start the journey before you can find out where it will take you. If you are struggling in one of these areas. and are they productive for you? . not just get by. How could you change either the circumstance or your response to it? Is your usual response to stress healthy or unhealthy? What coping mechanisms do you use. but I want to enjoy my life. All you need to do is take it one step at a time and do your best to keep focused in the right direction.Managing Stress 127 said that we need to focus more on being “human beings” instead of “human doings”. get up. taking mood altering drugs. You may be so busy and overstressed from doing that you would benefit greatly from taking time out to just be. which are both wonderful and honorable actions. but they are burnt out (and usually not taking good care of their health) because they are stuck in a rut. People often practice avoidance behavior. I don’t know about you. home from work. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking too much about your destination. Remember. take an inventory on the activities and people in your life you feel are a negative source of stress for you. They have allowed themselves to be overwhelmed by their circumstances. denying problems. not just surviving. It’s time to stop feeling stressed or overwhelmed and start choosing to be excited about your life. I have clients who don’t even know what they enjoy doing. go to work. Thoughts for the Road How are you doing dealing with stress and keeping balance in your life? If you feel it would be useful for you. They work and take care of their family. No matter what your circumstances or responsibilities you are capable of living with passion. go to work. you don’t have to live life just getting by. staying extremely busy. This is very clever and so true. We have all been in the situation where we feel like our life is the same day happening over and over…get up. such as drinking alcohol. I believe everyone has that desire in their heart. Sometimes it takes help from others to get it out from beneath where it’s been buried. it would be to your advantage to talk with someone who can help you. and overeating because they don’t have the coping skills to deal effectively with the challenges they have. go to bed.

128 Weight Whys Do you need to eliminate any activities to make room for making your health more of a priority? .

To become successful in managing your weight. This means you can envision yourself achieving your goal. but 129 . We may have tendencies toward certain thoughts based on our unique personality. The two other necessities to positive thinking while on your journey to better health are having a hopeful attitude and being outcome-minded (focusing your mental energy on finding solutions for problems) as opposed to being problem-minded (focusing primarily on the problem itself). Analyzing your thought processes is important in changing behavior and creating success in your life. we’ll look more deeply at how your thought patterns tend to be. and what our mind and spirit absorb from our environment. you must first learn to be forward thinking. which is living a healthy lifestyle. and how you can change any negative mentality that could be standing in your way of creating your best life possible. Thinking is a skill. and I will show you the way. We have control over how our minds work. The actions we take are the result of our thoughts and beliefs. you must practice positive thinking. In this chapter. What matters is that you start today to be more positive. our upbringing. You need to be a willing spirit. Why let another day go by without trying to become better than you were before? It doesn’t matter if you have been a negative person all your life. In studying the common practices of other successful people. one trait they have in common is thinking positively about the area in which they are looking to achieve. before it actually happens.13 Positive Thinking Cultivates Success To increase the level of success in any area of your life.

130 Weight Whys we have more control over our thoughts than we often realize. “I am naturally more on the pessimistic side. An example might be eating a nutritious breakfast in the morning. You may be thinking. Don’t underestimate your ability to fulfill your own prophesy.” “I don’t feel like eating in the morning. If you go into an endeavor with a negative attitude allowing your mind to think defeating thoughts. Much of your life is a result of what your thoughts have led your actions to be. 2. I could eat whole-wheat toast and a banana in the car on the way to work. Release your preconceived notions that you can’t think positively and open yourself up to the possibility. . This is what I am trying to impress upon you. What thoughts would be helpful in producing this desired action? Some might be.” What thoughts might you have that would not be helpful to you if you were trying to achieve this action? Maybe. Do you see how easily we can allow our thoughts to be self-defeating to our goals before the behavior starts? It is in the mind that these battles are won or lost. the victory of good health is only as far away as a thought.” or “I’m sure going to miss my morning doughnut. The good news is that even if you have lost time and time again in trying to manage your weight. This truth can help break down any endeavor that might seem overwhelming to you. “I don’t have time for breakfast and its extra calories. The power in everything you will do in life is held in your ability to train your mind to perform at its best.” 3. What does this have to do with my ability to become healthier?” My answer is…everything. Exercising Positive Thinking Try this mental exercise: 1. “Eating breakfast might help me to not be so hungry at lunchtime” or “A high fiber cereal and fruit would be a great way to start the day. you are likely to get what you expect. Intention without action is a heavy burden to bear. Successful people have learned to create visions and train their minds to think the thoughts that will influence them to carry out the actions that will get them their desired outcome. I can’t change who I am. Think about a desired action that would help you to be healthier.

You might want to do this exercise to identify what thoughts you have that are helpful. I say it is a “learned” skill because anyone is capable of learning the process that we went through to do it. but that’s where people are sometimes. they are not at the point where they desire to put in the effort to change. It could be starving yourself with only salads for a week because you overate and gained five pounds on vacation. Just for the record. I see that people tell themselves that they can’t change because they don’t know how or they are incapable of controlling themselves. Don’t do yourself the disservice of copping out. This means to punish your for bad behavior as discouragement from repeating it. you have permission to be there. It’s sad to see. I have coached clients who are very comfortable being negative thinkers. That might help you to determine what you can do to bring yourself closer to being ready. Negative Reinforcement One of the problems I see is that people try to change their behavior with negative reinforcement. saying that you “can’t” when the reality is.Positive Thinking Cultivates Success 131 Say you have fifty pounds to lose. Don’t rob yourself of your potential by selling yourself a lie. It is up to you to be persistent enough to continue practicing it until it becomes natural. The way to become a positive thinker is simply to become more mindful of identifying the negative thoughts and learning to replace them with positive ones. punishing for behavior. This punishment shows itself many different ways. The practice of positive thinking then becomes more natural over time. Whether it be laziness or fear of failure. Call it what it is and be real in admitting you aren’t there yet. you “won’t”. Positive vs. rarely works in helping to stop that undesired behavior. This type of negative reinforcement. It could be emotional punishment such as feeling guilty or angry for overeating. Often. It doesn’t mean you will never change or there is no hope. I’m assuming you have it to some degree since you picked up this book. It simply means that you aren’t ready for change yet. and which ones are not so helpful. There may be times when you don’t achieve your full potential. The best way to stop unwanted behavior is to use something called posi- . Comfortable in Reality Thinking Desire to change has to come from within. They would rather let negative thoughts and excuses keep them in bondage than learn the discipline of thinking better. The reality is that they don’t want to do the work it takes to make it happen.

“You will never finish this . for one-half hour each session. A great example to illustrate this is in the area of exercise. I am talking about choosing a response that will enable you to get the best outcome. you are more likely to succeed next time than if you continued to tell yourself what a failure you were for not completing your goal.” What if I don’t finish this chapter today and I tell myself. we might set a goal to walk three times this week. They are the best at what they do. There’s no way you can hit a home run tonight. In asking you what your thoughts are on that. The only thoughts you have given yourself are that you have failed. the more capable you will be of changing. The better you can become at using positive reinforcement more often and negative reinforcement less often. you are using negative reinforcement. They have talent. Could you imagine Tiger Woods stepping up to the tee thinking. and positive reinforcement is. In studying the psychology of elite athletes. If this is all you allow your thought process to be.132 Weight Whys tive reinforcement. I hope you don’t shank this one like you did this morning in practice. instead of three. then surely two days of exercise deserves applause. When we talk the following week. Barry. but their opponents have talent as well. you tell me you exercised two days. What sets elite athletes apart is their ability to perform to their true potential during critical times when the stakes are high. I am not talking about continuing to let yourself fall short of your goals and becoming satisfied with mediocre. If I am coaching you. “You’re getting too old for this. This means rewarding desired behavior. Studying these individuals can give us insight on how to attain success in any endeavor in life. positive reinforcement is used overwhelmingly more often than any type of negative reinforcement. What about the two days that you did exercise? If you were doing nothing before. “You’re not very good golfer. What you want to look at when we are talking about goal setting and changing behavior is what you can do to be your own coach and best friend. This way of thinking is not setting you up to be successful in achieving your goal of three days when you try it again this week.” How about Barry Bonds at the plate thinking. Elite Athletes Use Positive Reinforcement It has been heavily established in psychological research (and I have seen it time and again with clients) that negative reinforcement is not helpful. you tell me you are disappointed in yourself because you didn’t achieve your goal. By giving yourself accolades for accomplishing part of your goal.

Nothing I try works for me. and creating a game plan for how to get there. Why haven’t you changed up to this point in your life? Why do you accept this behavior from yourself? What things might have been “normal” to you before that you are now finding unhealthy? Is being inactive “normal” and a way of life with your family? Turning the Page to a New Beginning Successful people don’t spend time dwelling on the problem. What were you thinking starting a book with three small children at home anyway?” These thoughts not only hinder you from making progress toward your goal.” Those thoughts are doing you absolutely no good. This can be in managing your weight and every other area of your life. Don’t let negative thoughts steal your life. For you. You can exercise regularly and improve your heart health. “I will always be overweight. “I’m not a good saver. But. but it is wise to analyze what went wrong before and use that information to help create effective behavior.” Don’t spend another minute thinking. It is not good to spend time agonizing over the past. The bottom line is that you are going to get what you expect from yourself. it could be being on time. “Saving money has been a problem for me in the past.Positive Thinking Cultivates Success 133 book. if you tell yourself. Expect the Best Another aspect of being your personal best involves expecting the best from yourself. That time would be better spent deciding out where to go from here. It’s the way I am. it may be your weight. Everyone has challenges. You need to come to life everyday expecting the best from yourself and the best in others. Cheri. but I am committed to learning a different way to manage my money that will help me to save better. You can become healthier. If you tell yourself. Other people in the world save their money and I can learn too. or managing their money. Feeling angry about past circumstances is a waste of time. Train yourself to think right and become your personal best. even when there isn’t any evidence of it yet. For someone else. but they waste your mental energy and might stop you from achieving success. . This means being hopeful and believing for the best.” you will go through life and never save a dime. You can change any part about yourself that you are not satisfied with.

This means accepting who you are. even life changing. Don’t forget to complete the exercise by writing some positive thoughts. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about yourself and how you can do everything within your control to become your best. asking yourself where some of these thoughts came from. try harder. “Is this the best I can do today?” If the answer is no. Accepting Yourself Along the Journey The best foundation for positive thinking is to accept that all you can do is your best. Writing down in a journal or talking over the past can be productive if you balance living in the present with looking toward the future. Go ahead. yes. see the Recommended Reading List for books that I have found enlightening. Do you believe positive thinking is a learned skill and that you can become better at using it to your advantage? List your negative self-talk statements. The challenge comes in honestly seeking. You can discover the best of yourself today. and know that in each and every moment lies the potential for a new beginning. Thoughts for the Road Practice the positive thinking exercise from this chapter. Write them down quickly without judgment. Use them the next time you catch yourself thinking negatively.134 Weight Whys Expressing your emotions can be cleansing. Go back over your list. Identify areas of your weight and wellness that have been challenging you and evaluate what your thoughts about them have been. Learning about this principle and applying it can have tremendous outcome. today. then be your own friend about it. learn to love yourself. . especially in parenting and relationships with others. Ask yourself. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow. What have you got to lose besides the weight? If you are interested in learning more about positive reinforcement. Ask yourself how much time you spend thinking about your problems and making excuses versus how much you spend figuring out solutions. See if it doesn’t bring you better results. right now. If the answer is. lose the guilt! Turn the page on any unfulfilled goals and focus on moving forward and feeling good about yourself. It has to be good enough.

Character is the ability to follow through on a commitment long after the mood in which it was made has passed.Positive Thinking Cultivates Success 135 Decide whether you want to continue to allow them to be there and how they have helped you in life.—Steven Covey .


Nurturing the Spiritual 137 .


We all have a physical body and a mind that processes our thoughts and emotions.14 You Have To Believe You Can Do It This next section on nurturing your spiritual self is what I believe to be the most powerful part of this book. You may have seen different types of “holistic” health programs that offer to help you fulfill spiritual needs. For what we’ll be talking about together. I do think our spirituality and view of ourselves is impacted by whether we believe we were created by a God who loves us or if we perceive our existence to be a cosmic accident. Clearly. let’s operate from the premise that we are all spiritual beings. For the sake of our work together and our goal to improve your overall health and help you lose weight. what matters is that you are willing to examine this beautifully unique part of yourself and explore who you are with the intent to create your best life. religion is not synonymous with spirituality. we benefit from acknowledging and coming to peace with how we choose to nourish that intimate part of ourselves. To be sure. You will not be able to apply what you’ve learned about physical and emotional well-being unless you increase your awareness of how they are impacted by your spirituality. 139 . To define what the spirit is makes me realize the wonderful complexity of our spiritual selves. I will leave it up to you to explore what your own personal beliefs are. it doesn’t matter if you are sure of who you are spiritually or if you are not quite certain. Although. We also have spirits that contain the heart of who we are.

I know you might be tired. and you have created the habit that every morning (and every night). Try something new. My challenge to you is if you have not yet made the commitment to yourself to get healthy. but they can’t follow through with it. with faith that you have the potential to make your life better than it has ever been. Somewhere along the line. There are many wonderful advantages to having teeth. We have the core value of the teeth. They will tell me they value exercise. we know that many people see the value in brushing their teeth. You believed what you were told about them falling out if you didn’t take care of them. I try to help them understand this and experiment with what we need to do to make exercise more valuable. Do they understand why they should exercise? Do they not . but their actions show they don’t. We like to eat with them and smile with them. involves becoming intimate with who you are. Call a friend for lunch or a walk and tell them your thoughts on this book. long term. Smile more today.140 Weight Whys The Heart of True Health The rest of this book is the substance of how to create your best life possible. the value of the actual brushing process has also been instilled as a value to you. everyone values their teeth. They make it easier for us to pronounce words. so you can apply health principles authentically. which is evidenced by your action of brushing regularly. I try to ask questions to reveal what their values are now and help them understand what they would like them to be for the future. Of course. do some heart preparation to give this more of an investment. When I am coaching someone. and not just make superficial changes that are temporary and go against who you really are. I know it’s difficult. What Do Your Actions Show That You Value? What do your actions show that you value right now in terms of your health? Many times I will begin coaching someone and they will tell me they want to be on an exercise program. Do something to rejuvenate your spirit. Until now we have talked about what you need to know to set the foundation for healthy living. Start this segment of the program with a renewed freshness. the spiritual side. The rest of it. Take a deep breath and relax. Looking at how our actions reflect our values. and the value of the brushing process. you will brush them. One of the reasons why exploring your whole self is crucial to good health is that our actions are an outward expression of what we think and what we value.

they wonder why they are constantly frustrated by the results. “I see my heart. What may be holding you back is what you think you are capable of when you look in the deepest corners of your heart. This part of ourselves must be developed and explored if we are to experience the fullness of life. Assume you can achieve your goals and full potential. Then. Hope Grows the Fruit of Success To achieve a challenging goal. but if you don’t feel it in your heart. Why can you tell your mind something on an intellectual level. be someone who exercises most days of the week for the rest of your life. The dreams and visions you have for yourself are attainable. I know the heart and spirit have to be factored in somewhere to make this occur. our actions should be a result of what we value. It’s not enough to have a mind-body connection. More Than a Mind-Body Experience We must realize that it’s not just the “mind-body” connection. and how to do everything within your control to make it more positive and fulfilling than it’s ever been before. What does that look like? How does it feel? The possibilities for what you can do with your life are limitless. Your heart and beliefs are at the core of the choices you make and must be considered. Before it happens in the physical realm. or whatever your personal aspiration might be. Many people don’t explore this and waste time doing things that don’t line up with their values. You have to change the beliefs in your heart that put those thoughts there in the first place. and I don’t know what to do. my weaknesses. and shortcomings. When I read research or literature about the “mind-body” effect.” What we will explore is how to see as far into yourself as you can. you must have hope. hope has to be there to help it grow. I think it’s more of a heart-mind-spirit-body connection. When you look inside yourself. you don’t believe it? It’s not enough to change what’s in your mind.You Have To Believe You Can Do It 141 value it because they don’t think it will truly make a difference in their health? Is their lack of clarity now resulting in inter-conflict and frustration with their inability to change? Ideally. . You must believe you have the potential to lose fifty pounds and keep it off. do you see any of the reasons that might be holding you back? Do you see untruths you’ve been told or have told yourself about why you can’t be the person you desire to be? You may be thinking. Hope is the ability to see the potential in what has not yet happened.

Seek encouragement and hope in each situation.142 Weight Whys Developing confidence in your ability to succeed happens from the inside out. Your words will have no effect if you do not focus on changing your heart. Working together. we can touch each of these areas so you have the tools you need to be your personal best. Those things can be inspiring. but for one of these four reasons. it won’t help to wake up and shout. Look into your heart and examine what you believe. These are the causes why millions people live in frustration. If you feel in your heart you are an ugly person. The beliefs you hold may feel comfortable for you. and feeling hopeless. it is not enough to say positive affirmations or put post-its of famous quotes on your desk. but what life really comes down to are the issues of your heart. They know life must be better than this. Positive Core Beliefs Do you believe that you can achieve? Are you worthy of having a full life and enjoying relationships with others? If you are not in control of your emotions. Most people have core beliefs that were developed in their childhood and some that have grown since then. Everyone has that potential. you can try all you want to change your behavior. they have not made progress to change it. Your personal truths will always come out when you are under pressure. but you need the seed of hope to be planted before you can see the fruit of success. Then. When you . you will probably revert to the old behavior that supports your unhealthy core beliefs. you will be able to give it to someone else who may need it too. lack of knowledge. instill inside the supporting reasons why the change would benefit you. especially if they have been there since you were a child. Think about what beliefs would be more loving and encouraging instead. When stress increases in your life. In dealing with the matters of life. If you have a core belief that you cannot control your impulses and are not capable of being healthy. “I am a beautiful person” ten times every morning. do you believe you can ever keep them in balance? Do you believe you can live in peace while dealing with difficult people? What you need to believe in your heart is that you are capable of changing. The main problems why many people aren’t living to their full potential come down to four basic reasons: laziness. Whatever you can do to find hope in a hopeless world and encouragement when you feel discouraged…do it. Don’t waste time on superficial efforts. When you do. being discouraged (by others or life in general). Perseverance and a positive attitude are qualities that can be added.

They are already the best in their game. The best motivators understand it is not enough to externally motivate someone. We are complex human beings and need to treat ourselves as such. learning what is inside you. Using a support system is often helpful in developing your self-image and positive core beliefs. Many people go to weekly weight management programs and don’t know how to maintain their weight loss once they no longer attend the meetings. It’s a beautiful thing to see a group of people working together toward a common goal. Since improving your core beliefs and heart is a process. Success means continuously trying to become better than you were before. Even elite athletes have coaches. You must practice visualizing a better life in your heart. Developing patience.You Have To Believe You Can Do It 143 make the investment of seeing what yours are and consciously deciding what you want them to be. You must set goals. I’m not saying it’s wrong to go to regular groups and get encouragement and support. Becoming healthy is a journey. The truth is that you must motivate yourself and be accountable to yourself for your life to truly be healthy. It is a process of constant self-discovery. What is wrong is when we go into that environment with a misconception that if we follow the rules. and continue improving. and believing it is possible. understanding your unique challenges. but they know they need encouragement and support. to just talk them up and get them excited. and what you can do to make yours as positive as possible. I consider this a warning sign that the program is not working for that person. We don’t realize how big a part changing our hearts and minds is in maintaining our new lifestyle. We are not robots. it is important to define success in this area properly so you know you are moving in the right direction. you can change them. this is a reflection of how good it must be. These traits become more natural when your core beliefs reinforce that you can do it. Thoughts for the Road What would your life look like if you had the core belief that you are capable of creating a healthy lifestyle? . we will reap the benefits. Changing core beliefs is not something you do overnight. What a great motivator does is teach and encourage others how to motivate themselves. keep focused on them. where it might have come from. They may think because they cannot do it without the program. trying different approaches. and treating yourself as an individual are all necessary in creating a healthier lifestyle.

144 Weight Whys Would your confidence be different if you knew in your heart that you are capable of acquiring the qualities you need to live to your full potential? How do you imagine your full potential is different than the level you are achieving now? What excuses do you give yourself that relate to your current circumstance? Are you likely to be successful if you continue in this current thought pattern? What are some beliefs you need to work on developing to encourage you toward better health? Do something new to rejuvenate your spirit today. .

I have coached many clients who are angry and disappointed for letting their weight get out of control. Feeling valuable means worthy of being here. Life can be more fulfilling if you learn to love yourself for who you are. It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling that we have to prove ourselves worthy of love by what we have or what we do. You have the human need to be loved in spite of your imperfections. Both the achievements and the shortcomings make up the beautiful person you are today. You Have a Special Place in This World You may be displeased with characteristics about yourself. a real emptiness results. You may simply have more to learn about healthy eating. Accept yourself in spite of whatever shortcomings you have or how disappointed you may be in yourself for not having achieved what you feel you should have by now. You need to know deep down in your spirit that you are worthy of love even when you fall short. worthy of expecting abundance in life.15 Appreciating Your Value I am saddened to see how many people don’t love themselves. It becomes unhealthy when you no longer consider yourself valuable. how to exercise to keep your heart healthy. I believe everyone has a longing in their heart to be loved simply for who we are. If we don’t feel this need is ever met. and disciplining your emotional responses. 145 . You are not a bad person for letting yourself become this way. It is a healthy desire to feel like you want to change things about yourself that bother you. They let their health become so poor that it makes almost every area of their lives more difficult.

If proving your value drives you to stay so busy you are neglecting your health or unable to maintain balance in your life. He was heavily involved in charity and volunteer work. Where Do You Find Your Value? One of the revelations we discussed was how his tendency to occupy himself doing charitable work made him feel valuable as a person. Jeff has managed to lose weight and improve his life. What you do is not the sum of who you are. It is when you feel so compelled to do. Jeff was now motivated to reset his priorities and balance his life. The cost of Jeff driving himself into the ground. a result of being overweight and an unhealthy lifestyle. The end result might be that Jeff is in the hospital having open heart surgery or. I am coaching someone now who lost over thirty pounds last year. He is truly an inspiration to others who are seeking to learn how to lose weight and keep it off. After watching his brother die of a heart attack in his early-fifties. eating fast food on the run. you are headed for trouble. When you were growing up. Some are willing to trade money or the prestige that comes from being labeled a workaholic at the expense of spending quantity time with their families or caring for their health. but you have to separate your “who” from your “do”. Not being as involved now has left him with a void that he needed to reconcile in himself. do that you no longer understand your innate value outside of those things. Jeff made major changes in where he chose to spend his time. which made him feel good and is a worthwhile endeavor. and skipping meals took its toll. Many struggle in the area of not being true to themselves in trying to prove their value. not taking time to exercise.146 Weight Whys and knowing you have a special place in this world. they are not always fully aware of the cost at the time. Jeff had to realize he was not capable of doing what he wanted with his charity work (at least not all at the same time) and still have time to take care of himself. By balancing his life. We just need to be sure to step back and count the cost. The way you were raised may have a bearing on what you perceive your value to be. When people do this. It is perfectly wonderful to be productive and to be a doer. loses his life because he was not wise in his choices. Taking a step back to evaluate it and making sure you are spending your energy on what you want your values to be is a wise exercise. Until you develop . do. you may have gotten the message that you were only valuable if you were achieving something. There is nothing wrong with doing things and feeling like it fills you with a sense of purpose.

Body-Image vs. little quirks. hobbies. What I realized is that whether they are conscious of it or not. Self-Image Another issue is how much you feel your value is attached to the way you look. You’ve got to know in your spirit that you were born with value and stop feeling as though you have to earn it. I’ve experienced people who challenged my value as a health professional because I was younger than they were. to judge by outer appearance. to some degree. Most of us have had some experience when another has judged our worth based on how we look. It is not my imagination that I get better service at the mall when I am dressed nicely than when I am wearing my sweatpants. You need to separate these and realize the way we look does not have anything to do with our worth as a person. Although I believe in being presentable and doing the best with what you’ve got.Appreciating Your Value 147 the core belief that you are truly valuable as a human being. Self-image has to do more with what we perceive our value to be as a person. You can learn to appreciate them because they make you who you are. Being Intimate With Yourself Part of the journey to experiencing total wellness involves getting to know your true self and appreciating who you are. they treated me differently based on the way I was dressed. Body image is how we perceive the way we look. Do you know yourself well at this point in your life? Do you know your likes and dislikes. you may never experience fulfillment of this need. able to make eye contact and express myself clearly in an assertive manner. apart from what you do. It doesn’t mean you will never change them. The world will tell you differently. there may be times when you will be judged unfairly and should choose not to allow it not to affect you. It is natural. even the ones you have spent your life resisting or despising. Your experience struggling with this will help you better understand someone else later on . What makes your heart melt? What are you passionate about? What makes you angry? What’s your personality type? What are your strengths and weaknesses? You can find beauty in your weaknesses. and unique ways you have of doing things? You can learn to appreciate your value by thinking what makes you unique. I am a confident person. things you find pleasure in. I know I am acting the same.

Learning the life skills to deal with a situation can be a better choice then trying to remedy the emotional discomfort we feel with a medication. The reason I talk about finding our value and being hopeful about the future is because I often see that is at the root when people are struggling. It is great to know what makes you happy and gives you pleasure. You never know in what ways your weaknesses will be turned into something beautiful. If you are certain being overweight isn’t an issue of your emotional wellness and whether or not you like yourself. They may use their weight as an excuse for why they don’t do things or forge relationships with friends or romantic interests. talk with someone. it is reasonable to feel sad and discouraged sometimes. It seems we are living in a time when people want a pill to cure everything. start journaling to work it out. If you are taking medication and working with a medical professional who is helping you.148 Weight Whys down the road. These are some issues I’ve experienced in working with people. At the very least. it will help you to understand others who may seek your advice in maintaining their health. In knowing your value. The Deeper Issues Sometimes. You may be able to help them when you have learned to work it out for yourself. How can I coach someone to become healthier when they don’t feel like their lives have much meaning? In getting to the core issue of helping them see how profoundly special they are. or do something to help yourself. exploring the answers to these questions can help you ensure this isn’t a contributing factor hindering your success. it is easier to inspire them to make healthy lifestyle changes. I am not advising you to stop your medication without talking to them first. Whether or not you like yourself affects your ability to manage your weight and make healthy choices that are in your best interest. but there will be times when you are not happy. I don’t want you to waste time putting bandages on your problems. people hide behind their weight because they are afraid of others knowing who they really are. . They create an emotional boundary by building a physical boundary around themselves. Becoming more aware of this area can be helpful on the journey. I am suggesting that you make informed decisions and understand it is normal to experience a whole spectrum of emotions. If your sense of value is an issue.

The anxiety she felt from what was happening at work was carrying over into her personal life. when we don’t like things about ourselves. Before taking mood altering medication. Think of a person you know who is not reliable. She resolved her work dilemma by discussed it with her supervisor. Pam worked through her emotions. what is stopping you? Part of finding balance is doing what is pleasurable to you. What do you dream of exploring? If you’re not doing things that you have a talent or passion for. They can be taken at their word and you can count on them to be trustworthy. Now. Pam determined much of her anxiety came from what was happening to her at work. our emotions indicate something in our lives need attention. Although they are often prescribed at the request of a patient with no question. Pam shared with me that she felt anxious much of the time and didn’t know how to calm down. In talking it through. and avoided going on medication. She worked with cancer patients and felt she was being assigned too many cases to give them the care they needed. Now. They may arrive an hour later than promised or not pay back money they borrow. she feels she has been given the resources to be successful at work and it has improved her personal life as well. think of someone who you respect. We talked about what her options were and how she might approach her supervisor. Self-respect involves how confident and trustworthy you are that you can be taken at your word to follow .Appreciating Your Value 149 Not too long ago. capable of experiencing all kinds of emotions. Had she gone on medication. Nothing is sadder than someone who is all talk. I was coaching a client who was thinking about seeing her doctor for anti-anxiety medication. it may have alleviated her anxiety. Sometimes. learned the life skills to do something about it. even the ones that hurt. Pam talked with her supervisor and is doing great. Other aspects of your uniqueness are the gifts and talents you have. Sometimes. but she would still have the same problem. the best thing to do is work though it and accept it as part of what makes us whole human beings. The last thing I’d like to mention with respect to valuing yourself is that you will find it much easier if you have self-respect. This is a character quality that is developed when you that you can rely on yourself to follow through with your commitments. identified the cause of her anxiety. that doesn’t mean it is in your best interest. it is wise to think it though and feel comfortable that the emotions you are experiencing are not a normal part of life. and no action.

If you are challenged in this area.150 Weight Whys through on the goals you set. Chances are if you have problems relying on yourself. Setting your mind to a task and trying your best to follow through builds confidence that you can rely on yourself. it is better to make a small commitment to yourself and get experience following through. Be honest about how you need to improve in the area of developing self-respect. This will be a huge step in helping you to see your value as a person. other people have trouble relying on you too. No one feels good making promises to themselves and then consistently not carrying them out. Thoughts for the Road What do you do to find your value? Do you have inner security of a knowing that your life is meaningful simply because of who you are? Is this an issue for you that affects your health habits? What steps could you take this week to improve your sense of meaning and value? .

Our behavior is influenced by our feelings and the needs that drive those feelings. identifying the need can help you prevent it from driving your behavior. but once you’ve named it. healthy way.16 Meeting Your Emotional and Spiritual Needs When I talk with people about their weight. Many times I find that people’s choices are influenced by emotional needs they are unaware of. either because they haven’t worked it though to understand it or because they are trying to ignore it. loneliness. Whether there are problems in a marriage. Whether it is with a counselor. in a support group. You may not have the skills to cope with it yet. or whatever emptiness there is inside. you can more easily figure out a course of action. Sometimes coping with a situation may simply mean talking about it. Otherwise. That might mean deciding to accept the 151 . Sometimes. you will be much better at recognizing what it is when it rears its head. There is no getting away from the fact that we are body-mind-spirit beings. Sometimes we can identify these needs in coaching. or even a trusted friend. people are trying all sorts of ways to fill it. it helps to get clarity by talking it though. it is almost without fail that the emotional or spiritual side of life will come up. a wellness coach. and then decide how to meet the need in a more appropriate. It is more productive to learn how to confront your needs then to avoid them. The same is true for our health behavior. they will work themselves out some other way—like causing you to overeat. a broken relationship that is causing hurt. Then.

and sometimes eating a whole pie while she watched television or read a book. You can learn how to communicate. Her problem was not just that she was eating too many calories or moving enough. is an outward expression of what they’re feeling about themselves on the inside. Other times. even working from home to avoid being around other people. Learn to give each other some grace and room to grow. She stayed in the house most the time. and how she could motivate herself to make better health choices. The other option is to live in frustration. It was starting to make her nervous because she did not want to die. which is what some spend their entire lives doing. In our coaching we were able to get to the heart of it. Caring Enough to Change There are times in coaching when I can see that what people are doing to themselves through their health habits. or use positive reinforcement. Not only do they feel hopeless about losing weight. Coping may mean accepting you cannot change another person. our problems involve other people. ourselves included. focus on what we can change. her main challenge was that she did not feel much reason to live.152 Weight Whys reality that you do not have control over the situation. How do we contribute to the situation? What specifically can we change and what do we need to accept? Many times finding peace in our relationships with others simply requires thinking it through and realizing we’ve done all we can. but the truth is there are some situations you just have to learn to live with. You Can’t Change Other People We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. In working it through with them. it may mean substituting a more healthy coping mechanism. she had also lost her zest for life. The only thing that was even a slight motivator to her was that she was in her forties and already her health was declining. I remember working with a wonderful woman last year who let herself become so big she had a difficult time doing ordinary things like getting in and out of the car and the bath tub. what she didn’t like about herself. what she enjoyed doing. We talked . She lived alone. But. but they feel hopeless about life in general. which is ourselves. We talked about the unique qualities she had. Many times. they may discover the reason they are not taking good care of themselves is because they feel hopeless. Then. She shared intimate details about waking up in the middle of the night.

and being aware of it could be helpful. Although the need drives them. Some may use acceptable coping methods. Feelings often dictate our actions. If you have behavior you think may be unhealthy. Get it out in the open. The sad thing is that people who do not confront the truth about their lives don’t fulfill their needs anyway. but to an unhealthy extreme. You may be able to process it better and decide if it is something you need to change. If you think this “feeling stuff” doesn’t apply to you when it comes to your health habits.Meeting Your Emotional and Spiritual Needs 153 about things I’m sure she was ashamed of and embarrassed about. but what makes them so dysfunctional is that no one talks about them. Honestly Confronting Your Emotions You must identify the needs that drive you and learn the appropriate skills and coping mechanisms to fulfill them. be patient and openhearted in reading this chapter. it took away some of the power those impulses had over her. which is something only you can do. and alcohol. In our society. and learning how to use it to our advantage. It is important to examine our lives and see how we choose to meet the emotional and spiritual needs that we all have. A . people turn to medications. Chances are some of your behavior is influenced by an emotional or spiritual need. I guarantee you will someday meet someone who needs it. and there is nothing wrong with asking for help. food. drugs. We are so complex as human beings that we need to constantly examine the motives for our behavior and consciously decide which actions will be to our advantage. and overworking to fill their emptiness and distract themselves from the problems or people they may be avoiding. taking prescription medications. talk to someone about it. and in sharing and telling the truth to someone. We all struggle. They choose excessive exercising. It becomes unhealthy when there is no thought process associated with the action. alcohol drinking. You need to do the emotional work necessary to figure it out. they are not meeting it properly. Talk Openly About Your Challenges It’s interesting how many people have the same problems. We can empower ourselves by being aware of this phenomenon. so they will continue to be frustrated until they confront what it really is. to fill the void inside. The things you think are strange about yourself may not be as uncommon as you think.

People are staying on these medications for years and no one is following up with the behavioral side of the patient’s problem. It is common for people to take anti-depressants because they are experiencing sadness as a normal response to an event or situation. If children were involved. they can drastically reduce the number of times they are eating when they are not physiologically hungry. You may feel lonely and have difficulty falling asleep. “What am I really hungry for?” If they do this before eating. they began having trouble sleeping. It may be of benefit to find a qualified professional in the behavioral health field to help you decide on the best course of action for your situation. they too learned to deal with problems through external means (as modeled by their parent) instead of working through their feelings and asking other people for help. I’ve talked to a number of people who started taking anti-depressants because they were going through a divorce or some other tragedy. Our society is losing their ability to cope with life issues in a healthy way. and they were sad about it. we talked about how we live in such a quick-fix society that people don’t want to process their emotions anymore. In my experience. therapist. For example. It’s best to see a psychologist or psychiatrist who actually works in the behavioral health field. The system is broken and needs to be fixed. these issues are best resolved by working through the emotions and developing new behaviors that support a healthy environment. It’s something to think about if you are ever in this situation and deciding on a treatment plan with your doctor. People fare better when they learn coping mechanisms that deal with the issues. However. in epic proportions. it doesn’t change the fact that people who were once a family now have to develop new norms. Sleeping alone each night after you have shared a bed with your spouse for twenty years is going to be painful. when eating out of . or friend can ask questions to prompt you to learning these things about yourself. they gained weight from overeating to fill their need for companionship and heal their loneliness. Then. I see a huge health problem in our society. In the previous chapter. Then. such as anti-depressants. I realize that everyone is unique and life situations are complex.154 Weight Whys coach. Questioning Your Needs When I work with people. That is. primary care physicians prescribing mental health medications. Even though divorce is common these days. especially in the area of eating behaviors. but these are issues only you can work out. so they took sleeping pills. it is helpful for them to ask themselves.

you can begin to heal. Some love art. Don’t live your life feeling incomplete. are in an unhealthy relationship. As you may know. you can decide if eating is the way you want to meet it. when there is a whole life of fulfillment just waiting for them. Writing about it in your journal. Let it inspire you to be your best so you can fulfill your ultimate purpose. They need healing inside before they can feel whole enough to deal with the issue of their weight and the health problems plaguing them. Think of some times in your life when you felt whole and energized. You only need to have the courage to find it. How can your gifts and skills be used to help others? Write it down and put it somewhere you can see it. By admitting this brokenness. “I am hungry for entertainment…for some excitement in my life.” By identifying your need correctly. others find them boring. something you have a desire to accomplish. or drive to a park and look at the view. Do something new. You might put down your snack and decide you will turn off the television and go for a walk. productive response to your need. or going to church to fill your spirit can help to heal even the deepest pain. talking with a professional or good friend. Choose something that is a healthy. Only when you are doing your best to care for your wellness can you perform optimally in all the . Keep trying things until you find what will make you feel whole. Inspiring Yourself Think about what makes your spirit feel alive. others love baseball. Some people love musicals. or have some other hurtful issue in their life that has left them wounded. The Pain of a Broken Spirit There are times when I am coaching someone I can see so clearly that their spirit is broken. Everyone should have a sense of purpose or mission in life. What were you doing that made you feel that way? The beauty of life is that everyone is different in this way. So many settle for functioning out of their brokenness. Explore your uniqueness and use it as motivation to take better care of your health. Maybe they were abused as a child. Think about what makes your spirit smile. life can feel almost unbearable when you have a broken spirit. perhaps both. You need to be certain you have a purpose to be motivated to care for your health.Meeting Your Emotional and Spiritual Needs 155 boredom. instead of your waistline. Look through a catalog and sign up for a class. as so many of us do. one that will enlarge your spirit. ask yourself this question and the honest answer might be.

. there will only ever be one you. at the very least) to be able to serve that purpose. You have a responsibility to yourself and to the rest of the world to do your personal best in taking care of it.156 Weight Whys other areas of life. All of us have struggled discovering who we are and how it is connected with our purpose. One of the ways to fulfill your emotional and spiritual needs is to feel you are serving your purpose. Use this journal section to gain clarity on why you are important enough to make caring for your health a priority. Thoughts for the Road Do you have an emotional or spiritual need that is unfulfilled? If so. What are you meant to do here on earth? Don’t miss your purpose because you wasted your time worrying about your weight and hating who you are. You need your physical body (a healthy heart. You are special because you are here. how does this affect how you care for yourself? What makes your spirit feel alive? Do you have a sense of purpose at this point in your life? What can you do to cultivate it? List your unique gifts and qualities. Remember. The more you understand this. the easier it will be to use it to motivate yourself to make your health a priority.

you need to change it. based on your height. but I like to emphasize improving health. The pressure of thinking about your weight all the time can be burdensome. Looking Back to Move Ahead Examine the course of your life and think about the role your weight has played along the way. high cholesterol. using healthy methods. the higher your risk of developing negative health conditions (such as high blood pressure. when they took a sedentary job. This book is primarily written for those who are trying to lose weight. when they became a stay-athome mom. What have you learned about what doesn’t work for you and what does? When I am coaching with someone. I like to know whether they have struggled with their weight their whole life or just as an adult. I believe it is much more productive and positive to stay focused on becoming healthier. I have found that mentally it’s less stressful when you focus on getting healthy as opposed to losing weight. The heavier you are. and let the weight take care of itself. it is wise to think of managing a healthy weight as one way to care for yourself.17 How Your Weight Affects Your Life Let’s talk more specifically in this chapter about your weight. If you are overweight. Type 2 diabetes. the CEO of a company? What is their “weight management his157 .). In terms of caring for your health. The BMI (Body Mass Index) in the back of the book lists a healthy range of what your weight should be. instead of just losing weight. etc. Did it start in college.

If Megan is wise enough to think ahead. She is now at the point where she is not burdened emotionally by her weight.158 Weight Whys tory” and how has it affected them emotionally over that time? I recently worked with a woman. Perhaps. plenty to be thankful for. she will see she’s not only hurting herself now. they weren’t able to grow inside her as before. going to weight management programs. never being thin enough—these feelings plagued her for the better part of her young adult life. Comfortable Distractions A common phenomenon I see is when people focus on their “weight problem” to avoid facing other issues that bother them. She started verbalizing her fears to her husband. but I believe if she doesn’t change her ways. Now that Megan’s fears weren’t a secret anymore. Thinking about their weight. Part of what we discovered in looking at Megan’s past was that it was difficult for her to look at the dumbbells she had in her house without those old. and twenty years down the road. This was a painful and stressful time for her. She revealed that she had an eating disorder until her early twenties. being open about our fears takes away their power over us. which helped her no longer feel so controlled by them. Megan. in the past during which time she exercised compulsively and had unhealthy eating patterns. Megan realized she is not the same person she was fifteen years ago. feeling bad who she was. In talking it through. but she has high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol because she hasn’t taken good care of her health. trying dif- . Sometimes. an adorable one-year-old daughter. she is likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and maybe heart disease by the time her daughter is twenty-five. Weighing herself everyday. ten. She knew if she had compulsive feelings that she could find healthy ways to cope with them. bad feelings from when she used to obsess about her weight. but knows that it is not healthy. who is trying to lose the weight she gained during pregnancy. I don’t like to think negative. She has a better sense of herself and can learn better ways of coping with compulsive feelings that might recur. talking about their weight. but will have even more health problems to deal with over the next five. journaling her exercise and discussing it with an accountability partner to be sure it doesn’t become excessive might work. We discovered one of the reasons she wasn’t exercising now is because she feared those feelings of compulsion might return. Megan is a 35-year-old woman with a great marriage.

It is also helpful when the one who has lost weight continues to encourage the other and not tell them what to do just because they have fulfilled their goal first. Real. Maybe you think whenever you make a mistake others perceive it to be because you are overweight. Have you ever imagined how life would be different if you were not overweight? Would your personality or your relationships be different if you were in a more fit body? Would you have more confidence or express your opinion more freely? Would you set more goals for yourself? What do you feel you haven’t achieved because of your weight? Do you ever use your weight as an excuse for other weaknesses or shortcomings? Maybe you think you wouldn’t make as many mistakes at work if you weren’t overweight. having their weight be an all-consuming issue in their lives. people I have coached who have lost weight tell me about relationships they have that have changed because they are no longer overweight. Losing Weight Will Change Your Whole Life Our weight can have a significant impact on areas of our life we would never imagine if we hadn’t thought it though. It is inevitable that their relationship would change. and we should be encouraging and supportive to one another. the jealous. or communicate through food. it makes sense that there would be feelings of jealousy or resentment toward someone close to you who has worked hard and achieved a goal that you would like to achieve yourself. mature friends should encourage each other and get past their own selfishness. Many times.How Your Weight Affects Your Life 159 ferent diets. These activities help them avoid the other problems around them they would not rather deal with (or don’t know how to deal with). they might have to give up making jokes about themselves. If they lost the weight permanently. People learn and do things in their own time. We all have . They couldn’t talk about food all the time. have food be the central focus of their socializing. They might lose the relationships they’ve made with the common bond of unsuccessful weight loss. It is normal and healthy to acknowledge there is a relationship between how we feel about ourselves and how we think others perceive us. resentful friend should get past these immature feelings and feel happy for that person. can be a comfortable distraction. Although this can be a sad thing. Instead. Being overweight and struggling with weight can become so much a part of a person’s identity that it actually hinders them from losing weight.

what judgments they place on you are out of your control. If you try your best to be presentable and that isn’t good enough for someone…maybe that’s their problem. their perception of you may change. That shouldn’t make you feel like any less of a human being. There will be times when people’s perception of you is not what you want it to be. We make assumptions about people without taking the time to find out who they really are. If you have the opportunity to show them who you are. or the CEO of a billion-dollar company. and life will be much more peaceful. I had to learn I had no control over others’ perception of me. I have watched customers mistreat the Starbuck’s employees simply because they can? I wonder if they would talk to them the same way if they were their boss. Don’t let the opinion of someone who doesn’t care for you diminish your self-esteem. Sometimes we struggle with that if we feel unattractive. What they do with that. by the words you say and by being yourself. you need to know people will mistreat you simply because they think they can. All of us have been prematurely judgmental at one time or another. We should be careful about the relationship between our confidence level and what we expect to look like. But. as I write this book. It is a mistake to allow others to define our self-value or worth. If you are going to live in this world. how they perceive you to be. All you can do is present yourself to others to the best of your ability. Be thoughtful how you treat others and quick to forgive others. It is another when someone tries to make us feel less valuable because of what we look like or what we do. I don’t think my peers have ever denied me a professional opportunity because they knew me on a more intellectual and personal level. I couldn’t take it personally because that is what they felt comfortable with at the time. Others’ Perceptions of Us I used to have a problem with my students and clients judging me because they thought I was too young to know enough to teach them about their health. Instead of sitting around feeling resentful and depressed. You don’t have to apologize for having hurt feelings if you sense someone is mistreating you. I understand our outward appearance has an impact on how others perceive us. I had to make a decision early on if I was going to have a fulfilling career.160 Weight Whys a desire to feel accepted. It is one thing for someone who cares for us to approach us about our weaknesses with the intention of helping us be a better person. I had clients at one of my coaching jobs that preferred working with an older coach. not yours. use . Do you know how many times.

They are like adults in this way. will have a better impact on them in the big picture than to tell them they are obese and need to lose weight. the dynamics of weight with children fascinates me. with people who are rude about you being overweight. talk to someone about it. it is psychologically healthy to address being overweight by encouraging positive health behaviors. Overweight kids may also overeat to fill emotional needs their parents or peers fail to meet. Write about it in your journal.How Your Weight Affects Your Life 161 this as an opportunity to assert yourself and set boundaries. You Are Lovable Just as You Are The last issue to consider with respect to how your weight has affected your life is whether you feel someone could love you the way you are now. The human spirit is so complex that we can do things that have a negative impact on our health without knowing the reason. Do something productive to explore what this might be about. Although it is true that your weight will have an impact on what your life is like. Sometimes it’s best to overlook people’s meanness. If you believe this is a roadblock on your journey to managing your weight. Children and Weight In studying the psychology of how weight management affects people’s lives. Whatever your physical state now. As with adults. When little Tommy sees his parents problemsolving together on how to get him to lose weight. I have seen in working with kids that some will feel secure being overweight if it is a center of attention and distracts parents who suffer with marital problems. and learning how to process emotions effectively. he may like the feeling of seeing them bond over a common problem. . being active. and it is often a learned behavior from their parents. Focusing on healthy eating. I have worked with many adults who were put on strict diets as children by their well-intending parents. but assertively. Learn how to deal gently. Other times it’s productive to confront it and talk with them about what you perceive them to be doing. you should be able to have loving relationships and feel significant in this world—no matter what size you are. who still suffer the physical and emotional repercussions today. you are still just like everyone else in that you are worthy to be loved and have a need to be loved.

162 Weight Whys Thoughts for the Road Describe how your life would be different if you were not overweight. What life goals have you not accomplished for which you use your weight as an excuse? What is one step you could take to venture out passed the excuses and allow yourself freedom to achieve them? .

III Embracing the Journey .


it doesn’t matter if I don’t respond to my co-worker’s greeting. I don’t have to be polite to others because I have the right to “express myself. Being thoughtful of others even on days when we don’t feel like it. or say what they want to say. It would do us good to get our minds off ourselves for a while. Our culture is all about asserting our personal rights and that’s the most important thing. We worry about how they might think we look. because they think everyone is judging them for being overweight. sometimes even at the expense of others. and not being smart. While it is wise to be reflective most people care too much about what others may think.” If I’m not a morning person. It is important to keep a healthy balance and not become too self-absorbed. If you have your mind on yourself all the time. Some of those I coach worry so much about their weight that they miss out on a huge part of their lives. pretty. If I’m having a bad day. We can be so selfabsorbed that we become overly concerned with what others think about us. We have been told to look out for number one. Why is it we think that everyone is watching to see what we do and waiting to make a judgment on it? It is healthy to practice introspective thinking and examine your life but too much focusing inward is not healthy for your 165 . They don’t do what they want to do. Much of this concern could be eliminated if we weren’t so self-centered.18 Living for More than Yourself Living beyond yourself means being others-minded. right? Give me a break! We are too self-centered as a society. It’s not popular in our culture to be others-minded. do what makes you happy and feels good at the time. it’s easy to be consumed with worry about how others judge you. about being judged. or rich enough…I’m sure you have some of your own.

Balancing Your Needs with the Needs of Others Our need to feel important can cause us to do things that are not in our best interest. While this is a common need. This may sound strange. you can be free to live beyond yourself and find opportunities to help someone else. Others-minded people don’t think less of themselves. The best way to find balance is by doing positive things for others and having some life purposes to focus on. but it might be helpful to evaluate your life and see if being more others-minded might help you get your mind off of your weight. you just start exercising? Stop thinking so much about our weight and yourself and do something about what you want to change. it can be fulfilled in a healthier way that can be beneficial to both people involved. It is refreshing for the spirit to feel you have a larger purpose in life. Ask yourself. books. exercise machines.166 Weight Whys spirit. It can hinder us from setting appropriate boundaries with ourselves and others when our need to be needed overrides good decision making. Fear of Close Relationships Our fear of trusting or being close to others hinders us from being othersminded. Practice thinking outside of yourself and it will become more natural over time. Then. We need to stop being consumed and . How much money would you save if instead of buying every diet fad that came on the market. what would you do if you didn’t spend so much time thinking about your weight? How could the energy and time you spend thinking about yourself be better spent? How much money have you spent on weight management programs. tapes. Don’t be preoccupied with proving your value and importance to others. they think of themselves less often. You don’t have to look far to see there are people in need. you are wasting your money and your time. and off yourself. You may have skills and gifts that can help meet the needs of others and make them feel special. That way we can avoid any type of relationship because we are afraid of being hurt. It feels more comfortable to isolate ourselves. Focus on living life to the fullest and get beyond yourself. But. You see this often in parenting when a parent tries to fulfill their need to be needed at the expense of helping their children grow and learn to do for themselves. and weight-loss shakes and supplements? It’s great to invest in self-improvement tools. by buying things you will half-heartedly try just so you can feel like you are doing something to lose weight.

You are too busy to realize you didn’t answer her when she asked how you were. It is gratifying to help someone feel better about themselves or show someone love who may not have otherwise seen it. You may already be balanced concerning being others-minded and not too self-absorbed and that’s great. The world is not all about you. but I hope you see what I am trying to illustrate. It’s because I see it playing a role in people’s health. There are times when we are preoccupied. I have coached many who found losing weight easier when they spent less time thinking about food and themselves. When I talk about being others-minded. They are feeling self-conscious all the while the clerk is ringing them up. I mean getting your mind off yourself so much and thinking how your actions can impact someone else’s day. They have spent the last three minutes creating a scenario in their mind that everyone is concerned with them and what they are doing. it is necessary for you to know that no matter your place in life. Using your special gifts and talents to benefit other people and the world around you makes life more meaningful. When you are self-absorbed. and more time finding things to do that are positive and rewarding. To be others-minded. They may even get angry or defensive about it. To unleash your potential to be your personal best. but for some. Here we have this clerk who has worked eight hours scanning groceries and you are too busy focusing on yourself to ask her how she’s doing and make conversation. you have a significant and unique purpose. and you didn’t make eye contact the whole ten minutes you were there. You may ask why I am addressing this issue in a weight management book. . you are not usually focused on using your gifts to help someone else and the world misses out on a wonderful part of you.Living for More than Yourself 167 driven by what our needs and wants are and be more concerned with the consequences of our actions. you have to find that balance between focusing on yourself and using what you’ve been given to help others. developing in this area can be a big part of the equation. Your Impact on Others Take shopping at the grocery store as an example. You would be better off thinking less about yourself and concentrate on having a positive impact on those around you. They may tell themselves that the person behind them is looking at what they’re buying and judging it. Get out of yourself for a moment. Someone who has a tendency to be self-absorbed might stand at the checkout and feel like others are looking at them or judging them.

try to encourage someone instead of talking negatively or thinking too much about yourself. Spend more time planting seeds of hope and less time looking for the negative.168 Weight Whys Encouraging Others Always keep in mind that there are many people in the world who don’t like themselves and have an unmet need to feel loved. It may even cause you to be more thankful for what you do have. Thoughts for the Road How have you been doing being others-minded? Can you think of anything you can change to be a more positive influence to . you can find someone who is worse off than you are. See how many people aren’t smiling.” “Look at that outfit she’s wearing. Chances are. Having empathy for others and learning more about the world around you can help keep life in perspective. When talking to others. Your positive words can make a difference in someone’s life. We can grow and learn about ourselves from helping other people. How about peer pressure eating? Do you pressure those around you to “just have one” so you feel less guilty? Examine how you talk about others. examine how your behavior may affect the health habits of those around you. when you look around. You will be amazed at how your life will change when you reap the rewards of being others-minded. On your journey to becoming healthier. the world could use you. What could be so wrong? Perhaps. and even to yourself. I see we are overly critical of ourselves. it should be to edify those around you. Do you talk negatively about others? “I thought you were on a diet. We talked earlier about communicating through food. Every day. Stop saying things that are discouraging and negative even if that person can’t hear you.” When you open your mouth. looking as though they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Look around. What would your life be like if you were the one to make someone else feel special today? What if you encouraged or inspired someone to be a better person and love themselves more? Is it a habit for you to encourage others or should you focus on getting more practice? Today. you could be the one to show your light and help give them a sense of hope in their situation. If you are an encourager. and underestimate our value. be thoughtful in choosing words that will build up and not tear down.” “Look at how skinny she is…I hate her. There is power in your words.

Living for More than Yourself 169 those around you? How might life be different if you spent less time and energy thinking about your weight? What can you do to create better balance for yourself in this area? .

Self-Control Impacts Every Area of Life

I heard a saying a while ago that really made an impact on my own ability to achieve goals and help others accomplish theirs. There are only two kinds of pain concerning achievement, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. It was at that time I realized that it is normal to hurt while you are disciplining yourself to attain a goal. I can’t begin tell you how many hours I have spent writing this book. Hours I’d rather have spent with my husband and kids at the beach, the bookstore, or the park. But, I kept my mind focused on the prize and endured the temporary pain of discipline because I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t complete what I started. I knew there was an end if I continued to press on.

The Pain of Discipline
Although I can look back on it with peace about the process there were many times when it was downright painful. Starting out with a box of scribbled notes on napkins and sticky notes I’ve compiled over my years of teaching and coaching—organizing that chaos was no easy task. I spent months researching how to write a book and writing a sixty page outline before I even got to start writing the first draft.


Self-Control Impacts Every Area of Life


The same is true for any achievement you would like to see fulfilled in your life. Either you do it, and endure the pain of developing the discipline it takes to make it happen, or you live with the pain of regret, knowing you could have done what was required and you didn’t. One way to relieve some of the pain of discipline is to focus on the prize. This is especially true in managing your weight. Get clarity on what you can expect to be the benefits, and then focus on that. When you skip that doughnut in the morning or go for that walk when you really don’t feel like it, don’t focus on how difficult it is. Focus on the prize of becoming healthier with each good decision. Self-control requires maturity in your spirit. The more often you experience self-discipline, the better you will be able to endure that type of pain. It may even begin to feel a little less uncomfortable.

Empower Yourself
Recognizing you are only responsible for that which you have control over will help you decide where to change in the area of self-control. For example, when dealing with a difficult person, understand you are not responsible for their behavior, only your response to them. In analyzing our role in certain life circumstances, it is empowering to realize just how much control we do have. It can also be scary when you realize you have control over things you don’t necessarily want to accept responsibility for. The truth is, you have to own it before you can change it. Look at your life situations and relationships and evaluate if you are exercising the proper amount of accountability over them. I have coached people who are resentful over the circumstances they have created for themselves, yet they feel trapped by it. They feel more comfortable blaming their challenges rather than using self-control to create a solution. The only way to have the power to change what is yet to be improved in your life is to accept accountability and learn to use self-control to change it.

Being a Grown-Up
The only way to experience true empowerment is to realize that you are not a child anymore. Some of us would rather be children, but the cause of many people’s problems is that they choose to live like children in an adult world. They would like the privilege of being adults without the accountability. This is just not possible. This is not to say that you can’t be silly and act like a kid


Weight Whys

sometimes, but the true mark of maturity is when you can fit the role at the appropriate time. We all have self-control issues in life. For some people its food. For others, it’s exercise, money, business, parenting, or relationships. The pain their lack of control causes is often not worth the burden of the consequence. Self-control is a basic life skill, but I see it is at the core of many issues for the people I’ve coached. It is amazingly wonderful to coach someone as they are developing and improving in this area. Although I can see that the discipline is painful for them I can also be with them along the journey as they experience the reward. What a blessing it has been to work with clients who stepped out in this area and see how it improved the rest of their life as well. Self-control is a powerful character quality. Once you develop it for the purposes of managing your weight it is easier to use it to fulfill other areas in your life too. I’ve worked with clients who have improved in this area and decided to go back to school and finish their degree or learn how to save money better—all sorts of great achievements as a result of learning how to exercise the quality of self-control.

The Challenge to Change
What I want you to do is examine the big picture of your wellness and decide what you can change by using more self-control. Planning ahead for lunch, making time for exercise, and getting to sleep at a decent hour all require a measure of self-control. Brainstorm the problems first, and then work on finding solutions. Be open to experimenting when learning how to make things work for you. You must be flexible enough to try different methods to see what works, yet rigid enough to know that sometimes you simply need to stick to your word to make it work. After you’ve figured out a game plan, it’s up to you to stay focused on the prize and keep your commitment to yourself.

The Pain of Regret
In talking about self-control, let’s be specific about our relationship with food because I see it is an issue many struggle with. Clients sometimes tell me they love food and it is difficult for them to moderate their portion sizes because eating is something they thoroughly enjoy so much they “can’t” control themselves. As their Wellness Coach, I try to show them what their love for food

Self-Control Impacts Every Area of Life


and lack of self-control is costing them. It’s then up to the client to decide if the price is worth it and whether they are willing to change. We can be so short-sighted, only seeing how much pleasure we find in doing what it is we’re doing. We choose to deny or live in ignorance about what it might cost. If I were to factor in the excess weight, high blood pressure, and diabetes they will have ten years down the road, and maybe dying early of a heart attack, I wonder how many would still value the pleasure they get from overeating over the price they will have to pay in their health. The answer for most is no; they do not want to pay that price. But, it will require getting over that pain of discipline to avoid the real-life challenge of failing health.

Setting Boundaries
When you feel so compelled in your emotions (feelings, desires, cravings) to do something you know is not good for you, is it acceptable for you to give in without disciplining yourself? Do you want your love for food or laziness about exercise to override your logic and conscious decision-making ability? Some people perceive their lack of self-control to be a freedom they have, but be clear that there is no freedom to be found in living without boundaries. It’s not good to live in the weakness of being controlled by your environment. Make a decision to develop self-control within and experience the fruitfulness of a healthy, well-balanced life. Setting boundaries is absolutely necessary in creating the life you were meant to live. To settle for less is to live as though you are a child. The results of boundaries will yield more benefits than just better health habits. The real reward will be in the new found level of selfrespect you will discover when you are able to keep your commitment to yourself, even when no one else is looking.

Thoughts for the Road
What specific health habits could you improve by using more self-control? When has it been acceptable for you in the past to act on your compulsions and do what you know is not good for your health and weight management efforts? What is one step you will take to help discipline yourself better in the area of self-control?

What would your life look like if you chose to do everything with passion to the best of your ability? Igniting Your Passion When I was fifteen. counting the hours until it’s time to go home. and then sleep hard at night. I want to talk with you about what I believe to be one of the most significant issues of life. but most of the people I worked with could care less about how well they did their jobs. no more slugging through the day with no energy. I didn’t notice it too much at the time. There would be no more half-heartedly going to work in the morning. And that is living to your full potential.20 Maturing Into Your Full Potential In this final chapter. I often wonder what this world would be like if everyone did everything to the best of their ability. I think people’s health would improve. Can you believe the irony? I remember having this feeling deep inside me—a wanting to do everything to my absolute best ability. I think people would probably sleep better at night. I got my first “real” job working at a fast-food restaurant. Instead. The visions and inspirations people have been given sometimes don’t happen because they didn’t get what they needed to mature into their best self. I would get so upset if a customer drove away without their French fries or we filled an order wrong. Work hard and play hard during the day. It pains me to know that most people live and die with a dream in their heart that will never be realized. we would choose to only do those things that we were willing to do with the best of ourselves. I remember the strong desire I had inside to do a great job and it has been 174 .

This may seem heavy for a weight management book (pardon the pun). I have a desire in my heart to be my personal best. I’ve left some of those experiences thinking: “God. emotional. I refuse to look at managing your weight as a superficial issue because it has to do with so many other facets as well. I’ve taught weight management classes where people were so frustrated with their weight they wanted to take it out on me (and everyone else. for that matter). you have the peace that comes with knowing that you are doing what you are gifted to do as well. There have been times when my gift has been challenging. We can be so childlike in allowing ourselves to do whatever we feel like doing and then acting surprised when we have to bear the burden of the consequences. One part of achieving your full potential is being accountable even when no one is watching. I have found out over time that my desire is a gift and my purpose is to help others be inspired to find the best in themselves as well. but the reality is that I choose the pain of discipline in dealing with opposition because I don’t want the regret of not fulfilling my purpose. body-mind-spirit. Being wise enough to set boundaries and accept that you will have limitations can be such a freedom. I made a decision early on that I would choose to spend my time doing what I felt passionate about and make myself feel passionate about all the things I had to do otherwise. when it is simply a piece of our whole. How many times do we expect others or some outside entity to pick up the tab? How often do parents blame it on the police or teacher when their children get into trouble instead of teaching their kids right from wrong? Why are per- . I have a heart for doing that.Maturing Into Your Full Potential 175 with me in almost every endeavor since. but I believe we are whole human beings. I know there are people who need someone to care for them and encourage them to make better health choices. This first working experience taught me something about myself. and it’s a mistake to look at weight as the sole focus. I can’t help but wonder if. I have been reading self-help books since I was about eleven years old. why didn’t you make me a computer programmer so I wouldn’t have to deal with people?” That doesn’t happen often anymore. and spiritual health in a balanced way will enable you to accomplish great things. Your Whole Self Nurturing your physical. as you read this book.

And the reward for that is success and power. Make a decision to stop spinning your wheels and approach this endeavor wholeheartedly. They have the courage to stand up and accept it. It is a constant growth process to see clearly what our role is in each situation. They don’t run away from it or try to give it to someone else. and how we can go about making a positive impact. Highly successful people are good at being accountable for their actions. We are much better at making excuses and trying to avoid facing consequences. You can empower yourself beyond belief by asking. It could allow you to create a life beyond what you imagined or ever thought possible for .176 Weight Whys sonal bankruptcy rates at an all time high as people run up their credit without having a means to pay it? It is because we have become people who are not good at being accountable for our actions. We all have the same nature. It’s extremely rare when people do this. Disease prevention and wellness have to be a priority. suffering from ill health. Health and weight management is a life-long journey. This could be one of the most important parts of managing your weight and achieving optimal health. The better we become at being honest with ourselves about what we’re doing. It’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves. They grasp the concept that they have total control over this and it empowers them to use that control to their advantage. Acknowledge as much ownership as you can over every situation in your life. Decide that you will get better in developing the self-control that you need to create the abundant life you were meant to live. and settling for a life less than your true potential. Your life is a gift that has been given to you and you have a duty to do all you can to preserve it. Some of us are better at controlling it than others. You will always have to be health-conscious. even after you achieve your healthy weight. New Possibilities Lie Ahead The outcome of choosing to own your actions could be glorious. taking medications for conditions that can be controlled by changing your lifestyle. You were not meant to be overweight. No More Excuses Maturing into your full potential means taking complete responsibility for your actions. the quicker we can determine what needs to be changed and take action concerning our challenges. “What can I do about this situation? How am I contributing? How can I change it for the better?” Living in reality is a struggle.

I have seen many times that learning to manage weight is simply the beginning of wonderful things to come.Maturing Into Your Full Potential 177 yourself. healthy behavior over and over. It means that you feel the fear. healthy habits. no matter what the cost.. It’s all right to be different and be at peace with who you are. Focus on developing positive. When you feel overwhelmed just focus on the next step. Being your personal best is a journey that will stretch you to your limit and expose the innermost parts of yourself. You must choose to develop the courage to persevere and become who you are meant to be. put one foot in front of the other. Encourage yourself to stay focused and don’t overwhelm yourself by looking too far ahead. The real you is special and unique in your likes and dislikes. I want you to get excited about the possibilities that lie ahead in taking control of your life. By choosing to do this new. you are on your way to developing a new habit. Habits are formed by doing the same behavior over and over. We all have a natural wanting to belong and your authentic self is something the world needs. or too whatever. The Courage to Be Yourself The other part of releasing your full potential involves discovering your authentic self.. These are qualities that will be helpful along the journey of life itself. The world needs you to release your full potential and get in the game. and have the courage to create your best life. You will develop patience and perseverance on this journey. open your heart. and do it anyway. Thoughts for the Road How might life look different if you did everything with passion and to the best of your ability? What is holding you back from doing so? How might living with passion improve your health habits and help man age your weight? Do you take full responsibility for your attitudes and actions? . your strengths and weaknesses. Some people think they are too sensitive. Having courage doesn’t mean that you don’t feel fear. Only look so far ahead as what is inspiring to you. Don’t be afraid to show the world who you really are. Break it down and see that health and being your personal best is a day-today process.starting today. Now. People who are immature or lack confidence are so concerned about being rejected they are afraid to show who they are. Disrupt the normal pattern of behavior and put something better in its place. too silly.

178 Weight Whys What can you do to grow in this area? What health habits and mindsets have you changed over the course of our coaching experience? What can you do now to help continue in these positive changes? .

179 .APPENDIX A Basic Health Assessments Copy blank page & complete periodically for your personal medical records. Name: Date: Height: Weight: Body Fat Percentage (if known): Waist Circumference: Body Mass Index (BMI) Risk (Circle one from chart below): Minimal Moderate High Blood Pressure (BP): Total Cholesterol: HDL “good” Cholesterol: LDL “bad” Cholesterol: Triglycerides: Glucose “blood sugar”: Consult a qualified health professional for individual recommended ranges of BP and lab values.

180 Weight Whys Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart Height Minimal Risk Moderate Risk High Risk (BMI 30 & over) Obese 143 lbs.9) Healthy 4'10 4'11 5'0 5'1 5'2 5'3 5'4 5'5 5'6 5'7 5'8 5'9 5'10 5'11 6'0 6'1 6'2 6'3 6'4 118 lbs. or less 123 or less 127 or less 131 or less 135 or less 140 or less 144 or less 149 or less 154 or less 158 or less 163 or less 168 or less 173 or less 178 or less 183 or less 188 or less 193 or less 199 or less 204 or less Overweight 119–142 124–147 128–152 132–157 136–163 141–168 145–173 150–179 155–185 159–190 164–196 169–202 174–208 179–214 184–220 189–226 194–232 200–239 205–245 . or more 148 or more 153 or more 158 or more 164 or more 169 or more 174 or more 180 or more 186 or more 191 or more 197 or more 203 or more 209 or more 215 or more 221 or more 227 or more 233 or more 240 or more 246 or more (BMI under 25) (BMI 25—29.

and your waist circumference is over 39 inches (for men) or 34 inches (for women). heart disease. Extreme obesity is defined as a BMI of 40 or greater. and earlier death. If your BMI is 25 or greater. the less risk for most health conditions (provided it is not below Minimal Risk). some cancers. divide by your height in inches. you are at increased risk of developing diabetes. People with BMIs in Overweight (Moderate Risk) category have increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease. multiply your weight in pounds by 703. Waist Circumference is the distance around your natural waist (just below the navel). high blood pressure. high blood fats. stroke. The lower your BMI. Those with BMIs in Obese (High Risk) have an even higher risk for these and other health problems. . then divide again by your height in inches.Basic Health Assessments 181 Body Mass Index (BMI): To calculate your exact BMI value.


APPENDIX B Reputable Health Organizations (Partial List) American Cancer Society American College of Sports Medicine American Council on Exercise American Diabetes Association American Dietetic Association American Heart Association American Medical Association Center for Science in Public Interest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Department for Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration Mayo Clinic National Cancer Institute National Cholesterol Education Program National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 183 .

184 Weight Whys National Institutes of Health National Osteoporosis Foundation Shape Up America! .

Below is a partial list for reference.APPENDIX C Calorie-smart Food & Drink Choices (High fiber and/or Nutrient Dense) All fruits & vegetables are in this category. Circle what you enjoy and post it somewhere visible as a reminder of what to choose. Fruits Apples Blackberries Cantaloupe Figs Guavas Mangoes Oranges Pears Plums Apricots Blueberries Cherries Grapes Kiwifruit Mixed fruit Passion fruits Persimmons Prunes 185 Bananas Boysenberries Cranberries Grapefruit Kumquats Nectarines Peaches Pineapples Raisins .

) Tofu Yogurt (low-fat) .186 Weight Whys Raspberries Tangerines Rhubarb Watermelon Strawberries Vegetables Artichokes Beets Brussels sprouts Cauliflower Cucumber Green pepper Lettuce Onions Potato Spinach Zucchini Asparagus Bok Choy Cabbage Collard greens Eggplant Kale Mushrooms Parsnips Pumpkins Squash Avocados Broccoli Carrots Corn Green beans Leeks Okra Peas Radishes Tomatoes Other Carbohydrates Bread (whole-grain) Oatmeal Rice (brown) Cereal (whole-grain) Pasta (whole-grain) Oat bran Popcorn Protein/Dairy Beans Milk (non-fat or 1%) Tuna (in water) Chicken (skinless) Salmon Turkey (skinless) Crab (3 oz.

Grape. White Grape. Tomato) . Apple.Calorie-smart Food & Drink Choices 187 Fats (sparingly) Almonds Peanut butter Canola Oil Walnuts Olive Oil Seeds (sunflower or flax) Drinks Water Milk (non-fat or 1%) Soy milk 100% Juices (Orange. Prune. Cranberry.


Fat Aim low. 189 . if you eat double the serving size listed. For a healthy heart. Limit this as much as possible. You can start in your own kitchen by reading the labels of your favorite foods to see how they measure up. look for the key line items on the label that are listed below and compare foods to one another to see which might be a better choice. you need to double the nutrient and calorie values. Serving Size How does the serving size on the label compare with the portion size you usually eat? Remember. choose foods with a big difference between the total number of calories and the number of calories from fat.APPENDIX D How to Read a Food Label Reading food labels can seem complicated. To keep it simple. Saturated Fat This number is included in the Fat total. Calories Look here and think about how a serving of the food fits into your recommended daily caloric intake. but is listed separately because it’s a key contributor in raising blood cholesterol and your risk of heart disease.

and other packaged products you buy and see how you might start getting more fiber in your diet. Try to keep your intake low and check to see if some of the “low fat” items you’re considering have added extra sodium to help make it taste better. Too much may increase blood pressure for those who are “salt sensitive”. whole-grain foods. Fiber The more fiber (both soluble and insoluble). crackers. More sodium may not be worth the trade off of lower fat. beans. the better. Compare the labels of the cereals. and peas are good sources of fiber and can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Fruits. . Remember to keep up your water intake to help your body process it. vegetables.190 Weight Whys Sodium More commonly referred to as “salt”.

200 Calories per day and men no less than 1. 191 .APPENDIX E How Many Calories Does Your Body Need? A simple formula to estimate your daily caloric need is: Women—current body weight x 10 Calories per pound* Men—current body weight x 11 Calories per pound* *Additional Calories can be added if strenuous exercise is performed.500 Calories per day. slightly decrease your caloric intake (eat less Calories) increase your caloric expenditure (do more exercise). Women should eat no less than 1. To reduce your body weight. Your daily caloric need represents an estimate of how many calories your body requires to sustain your current body weight.


elliptical or rowing machine. stair-climbing. Strength Training for a full-body workout includes exercises for: Back (upper & lower). and jogging (if appropriate for your body condition). chest. stationary (recumbent) biking. 193 . hips & glutes. cycling. 15–30 minutes per session Strength Training: One to two days per week Stretching: Done after cardiovascular or strength training workouts Lifelong Program Guidelines Cardiovascular: Three—five days per week. If you experience chest pain. stop immediately and seek medical attention. aerobic dancing. & calves). and abdominals (stomach). legs (quadriceps. hamstrings. Beginner Program Guidelines Cardiovascular: Three days per week. arms (biceps and triceps). hiking (uphill). dizziness or fainting during activity. shortness of breath. at least 30 minutes per session Strength Training: Two to three days per week Stretching: Done after cardiovascular or strength training workouts Cardiovascular exercises include: Brisk “power” walking.APPENDIX F Developing an Exercise Program Be advised to consult your doctor for clearance to exercise before beginning any program. swimming. shoulders.

keeping both knees pointing forward. use a wall or chair for balance. • Consult a Certified Fitness Professional or printed. If you need to. or video resource for individualized recommendations. • Low-back. flowing movement (avoid bouncing). Bend from hips. and heavy gym equipment or machines. Switch legs and repeat. Slowly raise leg as high as you comfortably can. not arching your back. using hands to stretch upright leg toward you. Stretches for fullbody flexibility and injury prevention include: • Shoulder rolls—Circle your shoulders several times in both directions to loosen your shoulders. and upper back. • Skip a day in between your strength training workouts to allow for muscle recovery. keeping your knee pointing straight to the ground. breathe. hamstring stretch—Seated on floor or bed. and relax. • Quadriceps (thigh)—While standing. minimal equipment (such as dumbbells. fully extend your legs straight out and stretch hands as close as you can toward toes. Hold positions about 20–30 seconds. Additional sources are listed in Appendix H—Recommended Reading. Stretching exercises should be long. Return leg to floor and repeat with opposite leg. keeping your hips and shoulders straight. pull your foot to your buttocks with your hand. internet. • Side reaches—Reach one arm overhead and to the side. press your back heel to the ground and bend your front knee only. or stability balls). elastic bands. • Calf stretch—While standing with one leg back. . neck.194 Weight Whys • There are exercises that use no equipment. • Hamstrings (back of thigh)—Lie on your back.

195 . is defined as consistent screenings of 140 or over for systolic (top) number and/or 90 or over for diastolic (bottom) number. this condition can damage the blood vessels. you are at increased risk for heart disease. Because you cannot feel when you have high blood pressure. Make the appropriate changes and talk with your doctor about how to lower your risk. If left untreated.APPENDIX G Evaluating Your Risk for Heart Disease Are you at risk? It is important to understand how certain factors can affect your chances for heart disease and what you can do to control them. If you answer yes to any of the questions below. Aim to keep your blood pressure below 120/80. or are not compliant in taking their high blood pressure medication. High blood pressure also increases the workload on the heart. it is called “the silent killer”. it is considered high blood pressure. If either number is over. also called hypertension. Do you have high blood pressure? High blood pressure. are in denial and do not follow up after a “high” screening. This extra load may lead to a heart attack or stroke. Even when you are on medication. you should be screened regularly to be sure it is working properly. The first sign of high blood pressure is often a heart attack because many neglect to be screened regularly. allowing cholesterol and other substances to build up.

Are you overweight? Overweight people are much more likely to develop heart-related problems. If you have diabetes. high blood pressure. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked. If over time the blood supply is cut off completely. Being overweight also appears to contribute to heart disease by increasing the chances of developing other major risk factors including diabetes. you are considered to be at a higher risk. HDL. The two key ways to reduce cholesterol are through lifestyle changes and medication. vegetables. and triglycerides. controlling your blood sugar levels will help to prevent complications of diabetes such as heart disease and stroke. you will have a heart attack or stroke. If your mother or sister was diagnosed with coronary heart disease or had a heart attack before age 65 or your father or brother before age 55. including total cholesterol. Do you smoke? Smokers are up to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than nonsmokers. LDL. Do you have a family history of heart disease? It is important to inform your doctor of any family history of heart disease. It is also important to limit your exposure to secondhand smoke. even if they have no other risk factors. Smoking also increases the risk of stroke. higher triglycerides levels. Do you have diabetes? People with diabetes are more likely to have higher blood pressure. Quitting smoking can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. and whole-grains) can be helpful in reducing cholesterol. and high blood cholesterol. Heart disease is also higher among African Ameri- . Have your cholesterol panel checked. Decreasing saturated fat (from high fat animal products) and increasing fiber (from fruits.196 Weight Whys Do you have high cholesterol? Extra cholesterol and fat in the blood can build up as plaque in the arteries of the heart and reduce or block blood flow. or if the plaque ruptures. low levels of good cholesterol and problems with how well the heart pumps.

However. and stress management programs. native Hawaiians. The good news is there are ways you can lower your stress and help manage depression.Evaluating Your Risk for Heart Disease 197 cans. Symptoms of a Heart Attack may include: • Chest discomfort. This can be done through counseling. so if you are taking HRT or are considering it. Depression is also an important risk factor. Research shows that 30 minutes of moderate activity—such as brisk walking. Most people do not get the recommended amount of physical activity. new research shows that certain types of HRT may result in increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. and some Asian Americans. or jaw • Discomfort or pain between the shoulder blades • Shortness of breath • Sweating • Nausea or vomiting . arm. or burning • Chest or abdominal discomfort or pain spreading to the shoulders. raking leaves. housecleaning. regular physical activity. neck. For women: Do you take hormones? Loss of estrogen after menopause increases your risk of developing heart disease. talk with your doctor about your specific situation. Are you under a lot of stress? It has been shown that too much stress contributes to heart problems and even increases the risk of death. Many women have taken hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to try and lower their risk of heart disease. occurring nearly twice as often in those with heart disease. HRT does have some benefits. or gardening—most days each week helps to protect your heart health. American Indians. Do you have an inactive lifestyle? Lack of physical activity raises your risk of heart disease. including support groups. Mexican Americans. pressure.

you should seek medical attention immediately by contacting your doctor or calling 911. .198 Weight Whys • Indigestion or gas-like pain • Dizziness or fainting • Unexplained weakness or fatigue • Sense of impending doom If you experience any of these symptoms.

. Fitness.APPENDIX H Recommended Reading The following is a list of books that I have found to be exceptional in the areas of health and fitness. I’d like to hear about it. Pilates’ Techniques of Physical Conditioning Allan Menezes Hunter House Publishers.com or obtain my mailing information from the About the Author page. self-help. Please feel welcome to send your suggestions to me via email to: cheri@ inspiringhealth. Inc. If you come across one that you find extraordinary. ISBN 0958799164 Getting Stronger: Weight Training for Men and Women Bill Pearl Shelter Publications. As an avid reader of non-fiction books. Enjoy! Health. motivational. nutrition. “The Calorie King” Family Health Publications. and Nutrition The Doctor’s Pocket Calorie Fat & Carbohydrate Counter Allan Borushek. I have read hundreds and have compiled this list of favorites to recommend to you. and spirituality. ISBN 0679732691 Joseph H. ISBN 0897932854 199 .

Shoulder. ISBN 0553380397 Game Plans for Success: Winning Strategies for Business and Life from 10 Top NFL Head Coaches Ray Didinger (Editor) Contemporary Books. Hensrud.200 Weight Whys Mayo Clinic on Healthy Weight Donald D. Hyperion. and Other Structural Pain Forever—without Surgery or Drugs Sherry Brourman. ISBN 1893005054 Training Fan: Fitness Training Guide Benefit Health Media. McGraw. Ph. with Randy Rodman Hyperion. Maxwell . ISBN 074322423X Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work John C. Simon & Schuster Source.T. Hip. Neck. ISBN 0786862939 Self-help and Motivational Don’t Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training Karen Pryor Bantam Books.trainingfan. Ph. ISBN 0071437924 Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out Phillip C.D. ISBN 0809231719 Life Strategies: Doing What Works. MD—Editor in Chief Kensingtn Publishing Corporation. McGraw. Knee. Doing What Matters Phillip C. ISBN 0971245606 Order at www.D. P.com or 1-866-550-6666. Walk Yourself Well: Eliminate Back. ISBN 0786884592 My Personal Best: Life Lessons from an All-American Journey John Wooden with Steve Jamison McGraw-Hill.

. Bruce Wilkinson Multnomah Publishers. ISBN 159052201X The Dream Releasers: How to help others realize their dreams while achieving your own Dr.. ISBN 0310205719 The Real You: Become the Person You Were Meant to Be . ISBN 0785260242 Enjoying Where You Are On the Way To Where You Are Going Joyce Meyer Harrison House. ISBN 1577944453 Can A Smart Person Believe In God? Michael Guillen.. Wayne Cordeiro Regal Books. Inc. ISBN 0425181634 The Dream Giver Dr. Jakes Berkley Books. Ph.Recommended Reading 201 Warner Books. Inc. Bruce Wilkinson with David & Heather Kopp Multnomah Publishers.D. ISBN 0830728074 The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life Dr. ISBN 0446529575 Spirituality and Self-fulfillment Being the Person God Made You To Be Joyce Meyer Harrison House..D. Inc. Nelson Books. ISBN 0892749482 Maximize the Moment: God’s Action Plan for Your Life T. ISBN 1576737330 The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren Zondervan. Inc.

ISBN 0446532754 .202 Weight Whys Dr. Revell. Kevin Leman Fleming H. ISBN 0800718186 Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential Joel Osteen Warner Faith.

You can reach me via email at cheri@inspiringhealth. updates on club events. the latest health trends. Warm Regards. and featured success stories. Cheri Calcagno 203 . I appreciate your input and will make every effort to include your ideas in my newsletter or in my new books.Author’s Note Dear Readers: I would love to hear from you. member tips. • Whether you studied the book alone or with a partner or group. Group Wellness Coaching sessions and seminars in your area. This FREE membership includes our newsletter. • Your own success stories. or whatever else you would like to share with me. especially insights about: • What you wish I’d covered (or covered more in-depth).com or send it to me via postal mail to the address below.inspiringhealth. You may also visit my website at www.com to find out more about individual or group Wellness Coaching and join the Inspiring Health Club. • What you’d like me to write about next. I welcome your thoughts. • What was most meaningful or helpful to you. Be encouraged to let me know more about your own experience while reading Weight Whys. as often as possible. ideas.

com Tel 925.204 Weight Whys Inspiring Health PO Box 2487 San Ramon.548. CA 94583 cheri@inspiringhealth.4180 .com www.inspiringhealth.

205 .A portion of the proceeds from this book is donated to First Resort—an organization providing medical and counseling services to help women make fully informed decisions about unplanned pregnancies in line with their own beliefs and values.

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