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Thriving – not just surviving the Holidays! (part 2 – Shopping)

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Thriving – not just surviving the Holidays!

Part 1- Shopping!
holiday-shopping-MedifastWhen going to the Mall:

  • Dress Comfortably
  • Remember your Program meal replacements
  • Don’t go hungry
  • Stay Hydrated! Bring a bottled water
  • Pack some Pep with the Calorie Burn Infusers and/or Antioxidant Infusers
  • Bring along sugar-free chewing gum, cut up celery sticks or another snack option.
  • Keep your mouth busy and chew away frustration without hindering your weight loss efforts.
  • Wear a pedometer and keep track of your steps
  • Exercise while waiting in line. Ex: Calf raises (I’d love to know those of you that take me up on this 🙂
  • Mall food courts can have healthy options, but the question is… WHAT food should you choose?
  • Go Green (as in Lean and Green): Follow the parameters of the Lean and Green meal as closely as possible by focusing on grilled, broiled, baked or steamed protein and non-starchy vegetables. Condiments: Choose lower calorie options such as: Yellow mustard (1 tablespoon or 3 packets = 1 condiment option and) contains just 9 calories and 1 gram carbohydrate. Avoid those that are piled high with high fat meats and cheeses or that have a lot of extras such as croutons, crispy noodles, and/or high calorie dressings.
  • Drink plenty of water as well as other zero-calorie beverages (such as diet soda, or unsweetened iced tea).
  • Just say “no thank you.”  Avoid the food court.

Remember, that weight loss is a journey. If you slip up with an occasional treat, this will not ruin your chances of long term weight-management success. Keep a positive attitude, this goes a long way. Develop a plan, write down your feelings, goals and your barriers. Read it from time to time. This may be just what you need to get you through the season.

Thriving – not just surviving the Holidays! (part 1)

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Thriving – not just surviving the Holidays!

Part 1- Parties!


thanksgiving-Staying-Healthy-Take-Shape-For-Life-MedifastRemember, that you have worked hard, whether it has been all year long, just a few months or maybe you just made the commitment for optimal health. You want to be able to survive the next 2 months’ social engagements and gift giving season (no matter what you celebrate) to help you keep moving towards your weight loss goals.
This is a great time of the year, it is important to focus on the reason for gathering, and that is to spend time with loved ones, family and friends. Many social gatherings are centered around food. This can be frustrating, scary and extremely tempting when attending a party or celebration.
Here are a few tips you can use when you are attending parties and giving gifts:

  • Don’t go hungry-try eating a Program meal or part of your Lean and Green prior to arriving at the party. This will help curb your appetite.
  • If you are invited to a party, which happens to be a potluck, this is a great opportunity to bring a healthy choice, that also fits with your program
  • When you arrive at the party-and you want to partake or try food, use the smallest plate with healthy choices.
  • Be mindful of your Healthy Choices, fresh vegetables, lean proteins and salad.
  • Limit or skip foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value.
  • What happens when you are the host/hostess?? There are many tempting opportunities to “graze” when packing up leftovers. Divide leftover’s into Lean & Green meals. Allow someone else to pack up the leftovers and you offer to wash the dishes.
  • Develop a Plan of Action for Surviving an Event: Identify your personal barriers and strategy, write it down.  Plans make the difference!
  • Take time for yourself!! This is a very busy time to the year for people, take time to exercise and keep your body moving. Just taking a walk can give you that alone time you need to get your body moving and regroup.
  • In advance ask your family and friends to forgo food gifts. Examples: wine, cheese, candies. You may say this year, let’s get together and start focusing on relationships instead of the food we eat.

Thriving – not just surviving the Holidays!


Considering Bariatric Surgery? Bill’s Story (part 4)

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Considering Bariatric Surgery?  Bill’s Story (part 4)



Bariatric-Surgery-vitela-Health-Bodpod-Vancouver-MedifastMy hope is that anyone considering bariatric or lap band surgery will seriously consider what I have been through and the success that I have had.  My first year I lost 250 lbs. — half of my body was burned.  I am different – seen differently by others.  I act differently – making better decisions about my life and my health.  I have two years under my belt of healthy eating and have thus far lost 265 lbs.  I still have a bit to go but was intent on maintaining and not losing.  I have proved that I can do this.  I can be healthy, I can live a fruitful life and I can embrace life!

As I said in my last blog, I am currently pursuing health coaching so that I can pay it forward.  There are others out there that can identify with me.  They feel at a dead end and without the ability to change their health, their outlook, or their life.  I want to shout out – I can help!

If you know of someone – or if you are that person who needs to be healthy and lose lots of fat please give me a call.  I really can help.  I really do understand.  I am not one of those people who say they can understand because they have lost 50 or 60 lbs.  I have lost 265 and counting – and have kept it off for 2 years!  I really do understand!  Give me a call: Bill 360-771-0172

Considering Bariatric Surgery? Bill’s Story (part 3)

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Considering Bariatric Surgery?  Bill’s Story (part 3)



Bariatric-Surgery-vitela-Health-Bodpod-VancouverI just cannot say how very important this time was to me.  I could eat in a restaurant.  Inside a restaurant – in a booth! I could walk the few steps to my work without having to stop several times because I was winded.  Understand I was still large – VERY large but for the first time I had hope!  Every day seemed to bring a new landmark.  People talk about belt notches cinching up – for me it was actually wearing a belt!

People were beginning to notice after the second month.  I was getting high fives and kudos right and left.  I can tell you that this did a lot for me at this time.  It was difficult to receive but my friends love me and they loved seeing me get healthy.

It was amazing that even thought I still had lots of weight to lose – my numbers were coming into healthy levels.  My blood sugars were normal quickly as I wrote last time but all my blood levels were coming into a normal range.

I was so excited, happy, blessed.  My whole life was turning around.  My relationships were blooming, my family was supportive.  People were not worried that I would die tomorrow.  I continued to lose and bariatric surgery became a joke!  Why would anyone do that when this plan is available?  It may not work for everyone but it is so healthy and life giving it should be tried first!  As I said before the plan is used by post bariatric patients as it is so nutritionally dense – why not try it before!!

I began to think about coaching myself – paying it forward.  I can so identify with being morbidly obese!  I wanted to be a Certified Health Coach as well!

Considering Bariatric Surgery? Bill’s Story (part 2)

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Considering Bariatric Surgery?  Bill’s Story (part 2)



Bariatric-Surgery-Alternative-MedifastSo I told my Certified Health Coach that I would try it for a month and see if I could do it.  I was pretty sure that I could do it – but that it would not work.  The plan is simple. I got to eat 6 times a day…sounds good.  The food was packed with nutrition and balance.  OK – I was a fast food fan – that way I did not need to get out of my vehicle and did not need to cook for myself.  This plan the food was easy, quick and I was assured balanced and nutritious.

I went to the doctor before I started the plan and she was just happy that I was doing something!  She had heard about the plan as it had been developed by doctors (there is even a plan in this program to feed bariatric patients as the food is nutrient dense as this post surgery requires).  My weight was 513 and my A1C was 10.1 and blood sugar 342; actually all my numbers were terrible.  She was sad as she shook her head at how poor her patient was doing.  She painted a bleak picture – but then I was used to that.

So I plunged in!  The first three days were just like my Certified Health Coaches described – difficult!  It takes three days to get your body into a fat burning state.  I was determined to give it all I had in me for the first month – I had promised!  Day four was like the sun bursting through!  I had energy was sleeping better and not hungry!  Are you KIDDING me – no hungry!  It was amazing!  So after the first week I shred 19 lbs.  That put me under 500 and I was on my way!

It wasn’t long before I was on autopilot as far as eating.  I was eating to fuel not eating to hide or to console myself.  Now at my morbidly obese frame I was still morbidly obese even though I had lost 19 lbs.  That amount was a drop in the bucket in my sea of fat.

After my first month I lost 50 lbs and I was hooked!  My A1C went to 5.1  and my blood sugars were 111 in normal range.  My doctor certified me non diabetic!  Seriously!?  I am pursuing health!

Considering Bariatric Surgery? Bill’s Story (part 1)

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Considering Bariatric Surgery?  Bill’s Story (part 1)



Lose weight nowMy name is Bill and I used to weigh over 500 lbs.  That is one weighty sentence!   With it comes crashing in on me the rejection the problems, the isolation, the loss of relationships and just plain pain.

I honestly thought that my life was destined to remain the same.  I had given up.  I saw no way out and though I had thought about bariatric or lap band surgery I thought that was not an option as I had no inkling of how to pay for the procedure and was not fond of this intrusion and surgical pain into my body.  I thought that as I had not been successful in any other thing as far as my body was concerned – that this would be more of the same.  Plus I had read about people eating through the reduction to come to the same place in their lives — just as much weight to lose and just as many problems.  I had also read about severe health problems resulting from bariatric surgery sometimes causing death!

I had a friend who I watched quickly and safely lose over 50 lbs in a short time.  I was interested but not convinced – after all 50 lbs was really a drop in the bucket for me.  I decided to talk it over with his certified health coach.

If you are reading this and you are morbidly obese you know the problems I had in life at an everyday level.  If I went to a friend’s home I was not assured that I would be able to sit.  Could I sit without breaking his furniture?  Not all furniture can hold 500 lbs!  Can I go to the bathroom?  Are there stairs? Can I get there – I could fit into my van but there were not many cars that could hold me.   I was at a point that all of these would look to me like an insurmountable obstacle.  It is amazing how many times people would suggest bariatric surgery as if it were not the serious major surgery that it is!

After talking to my Certified Health Coach I decided to give this plan a try.  I first got into a BodPod machine – a gold standard in determining a person’s fat to lean to within 1.6 ounces!  You must understand – I measured NOTHING in ounces.  So I went – not super excited to get bad news….how could it be good?

After the easy short series of tests I got the results.  Some of the results were good!  I found that I had over 200 lbs. of lean muscle mass and that was VERY good.  Of course I did – my coaches assured me – I constantly weight lift!  I laughed with them as I saw the truth – this weight that I had been carrying around was developing muscle.  The remaining fat would still kill me if it was not shred but I DID have lots of muscle.  No one had EVER told me that!

I decided to try the plan for one month.  That was the trial I would give it we would see.

Why Weight?

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Why Weight?


Healthy-WeightTake-Shape-For-Life-BellevueIn today’s America, being overweight (over-fat) is the norm — but it’s not normal. In fact, this common problem is one of the things that make diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and arthritis so common. And if that’s not bad enough, it also increases the risk of male maladies, ranging from erectile dysfunction to BPH and prostate cancer. I have coined the phrase over-fat because weight can be in the form of healthy muscle mass.

One of the things necessary to shred fat is a plan that involves fat burning. This is essential to healthy weight loss. We have often heard that there is no quick fix.  That may be true – but in my experience as a Certified Health Coach I find that true fat burning is indeed quick.  Some have said it is too quick.  Not because it is unhealthy but because it does not give the client time to adjust to his new body and to identify with the changes.

Some companies say that their products put people into fat burn but the truth is that fat burning is a very specific balance.  It involves balance of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.  If these are not adequate or in imbalance I submit that the person is probably burning lean muscle mass.   One of the things that the BodPod does is that it PROVES the burning of fat and fat only!  I have clients all of the time that prove this to me and to themselves using this tool.  So much so that I KNOW that if a person cannot come to my location and test with the BodPod I am still assured that they are burning fat and fat only!

Building muscle is important to health as well – VERY important — and is the next step that we take people to — ultimate health.   Shredding fat first is very important as an undue amount of fat is a stress on the body.  Because of that stress to joints, organs and systems I recommend shredding the fat first!  Then you will FEEL like moving more!  More on that in my next blog as we discover together habits that move us to health!

Mindful Eating

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Mindful Eating


Eating-weightloss-health-vitelaBack in the day meals used to be events, times of social interaction, and the term meal was synonymous with a break in your day.  Perhaps some of the time spent in reflection or engaging conversation.  With the advent of all of the time saving “help” that we have, there is more and more a disconnect with actual eating.  We have become mindless and as we shovel in more and more calories along with less and less nutrition.  The result is an unhealthy more and more pounds of fat and fewer building blocks that could actually aid our bodies in repair, upkeep and growth (the lean muscle kind).

When we talk about quick weight loss we must also talk about the habits that led us to the need of weight loss.  Unless we attack these when we actually reach some of the goals that we have set for ourselves we will slide back to the unhealthy “norm” that we never changed when dealing with the fat!  Once we lose we do not want the unhealthy overweight condition again!

Mindless eating is one of those habits that we need to address; this sort of eating needs to be replaced with mindful eating.  Mindful eating is being present with the meal.  That may seem a bit more mystical than I mean it to!  Mindful eating means that you are concentrating on the enjoyment of eating.  It means that you relaxing and allowing stress to fall from you for a short respite at least.  It means that you actually feel good about this process.  If we engage in mindful eating the amount of food is less important, the event becomes more important along with the fact that YOU are worth the time and energy to allot time to this most important activity.  It means noting the colors, smells and textures of your food.  It also means getting rid of other things that can fill your mind at meal times like TV, computer, and reading.  It also means coping with guilt and anxiety that some of us carry in relationship to food.

If we continue in distracted, mindless eating we will probably consume more calories, not be able to remember if we did eat, and our digestion is effected much like a “fight or flight” response.   Our tendency in mindless eating is not just to eat more but also to eat more quickly.  It takes about 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our head that we are full so there is a 20 minute potential during that mindless time to consume too much too quickly potentially adding unhealthy fat!

My weightloss clients sometimes will tell me that they are hungry to which I always reply:  Tell me, are you truly hungry or do you just want something in your mouth?  This is an important question because their answer will temper my coaching advice.

Experts suggest starting gradually with mindful eating, eating one meal a day or week in a slower, more attentive manner. Here are some tips (and tricks) that may help you get started:

  • Set a timer to 20 minutes, and take that time to eat a normal-sized meal.
  • Try eating with your non-dominant hand; if you’re a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth.
  • Use chopsticks if you don’t normally use them.
  • Take small bites and chew well.
  • Enjoy conversation during the meal
  • Put your fork down in between bites.
  • Think about a pleasant occurrence – upcoming or past.

Weight loss must include change in thinking so that the weight loss is permanent.  Begin as you are shredding fat to shred some of these habits that got you here in the first place!

FAT – Is it really a bad thing? Part 2

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FAT — Is It Really A Bad Thing? Part 2


measuring-body-fat-overweight-obesityThis is the second part of my discussion of fat and though it is not meant to be exhaustive will give you some useful information in this whole area.

Fat cells secrete extra estrogen

An abundance of fat and fat structures yields a very interesting byproduct:  Estrogen.  This abundance of fat becomes an estrogen making machine to the extent that over abundance of fat actually become a sort of symbiotic parasite with a mind of its own.

It may also wreak havoc on your hormonal balance, leading to a variety of illnesses and health risks. Estrogen, the classified “female hormone,” is a fat-storing hormone that is also naturally present in small amounts in men. But with an abundance of fat, estrogen levels rise and other health problems ensue.

Estrogen is necessary in men; it regulates a healthy libido, improves brain function (especially memory) and protects the heart. When the levels are too high in men, testosterone levels are reduced, and many men experience fatigue, muscle tone loss, decreased sexual function, and in some cases, enlarged prostates. In other words, there are no good side effects to increased estrogen levels in men.  Men can also have enlarged breast area because of this hormonal imbalance.


I hear all of the time that soy is bad because of the increase in estrogen.  This is in a small part correct – but a much larger culprit is estrogen secreting fat.  If we were to think logically about this very volatile subject – look at the Asian population.  They have very little incidence of cancer in comparison with Americans and eat quite a bit of soy.  Though this is not about soy I will just mention here that all soy is not created equal though that is for a different time!


Quick weight loss takes more time than you may wish to think about but soy is definitely the friend of a person wanting to lose weight quickly with balance and success.


Fat tissue attracts cells that promote inflammation

Of course we know that you feel lousy when you’re packing a few extra pounds, but there are also internal complications that result from excess fat.

Fat tissue attracts immune system cells called macrophages that promote inflammation in the body. If you are carrying any extra fat, your body begins to produce an immune response similar to when you develop the flu or have an injury.

Inflammation’s intended purpose in the body is to fight infection and when that happens – your body is doing what it was intended to do – heal itself.  So in cases of sickness inflammation is good; but when it comes to fat your body sees inordinate fat stores as a parasitical invasion and inflammation increases.

One of the things that happens when you lose fat is that inflammation is reduced and health increases.  This is probably the joy of my heart – helping people lose fat, gain their life and their health.



FAT – Is it really a bad thing? Part 1

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FAT — Is It Really A Bad Thing?



Fat is a word that most of us do not want to hear on a regular basis, especially when it relates to our own bodies. We associate it with growing beer guts, tighter pants, and less-than-ideal sex and social lives. In my life it is a daily vocabulary word as my expertise is helping people to shred it.  Most people know little about fat so I thought I would spend a couple of blogs educating you on it.

It plays a critical role in many of the processes our bodies go through each and every day, and is both positive and negative when it comes to health.

Fat cells can swell to as much as six times their minimum size

Fat cells are really fuel storage cells in the body.  They can swell to as much as six times their minimum size.  When you lose weight it is the weight that is stored in the fat cell that you are losing.  You do not lose fat cells.  Everyone has fat cells; they begin to form and take shape before birth and then again in adolescence.  When they are mature you will not gain any more fat cells.  The size of the fat cells, as they swell to store energy and flatten when that energy is needed, is what we see in the battle of the bulge!

Fat cells are critical for survival and help assist the body’s “store and management” energy system. If it is not used for fuel immediately it is stored for later use. We want to limit the fat storage; as Americans we have no fuel shortage in our bodies!  Actually burning this fat and not compromising muscle is what my coaching is all about.  It is a precarious balance but if the fundamentals of this are obeyed – fat only is shred!


If you lose a lot of weight, your fat cells shrink, but they do not disappear

Having 100 billion fat cells in your body from weight gain may sound scary. The good news is that you can still achieve weight loss after your fat cells swell; in fact, when you lose weight, your fat cells flatten and shrink. Although their total number only decreases slightly (if at all), the cells become less metabolically active and remain in your body, waiting for you to pick up a bag of pork rinds so they can expand again.

The structures that support the burgeoning fat cells break down and are absorbed by the body as unnecessary structures.  For instance – for every pound of it there are 7 miles of blood vessels that are part of the support system for swelled fat cells.

This means that it’s better to try to maintain a normal weight than to gain and lose weight.  Someone who has maintained a normal weight (i.e. has been relatively thin) all their life will have an easier time staying at that weight than someone whose fat cells have swelled.  If you, have had an abundance of it engorging your fat cells – take heart!  If you empty those fat cells of their fuel and allow the structures to absorb you have a great chance of maintaining your loss.  If however you lose a combination of muscle and fat you lower your metabolic rate and the structures are still in place ready to host more fuel storage.


With our coaching plan and proven fat burn* products you will burn fat only leaving your muscle in tact!  Read more about fat in my next blog.


*On this website you can find the clinical studies in full.  The term “clinical studies” is bandied about a lot these days but check out our sources and hospital studies.  It is truly proven.