Sunday, January 27, 2013

Making a Dream Board

Next time I'll comb my hair!
I've made several "Dream Boards" over the last 15 years ... they help me visualize the results I want to create and also serve as "benchmarks" in my life.

To make a Dream Board, think about what's important to you ... how do you picture your personal pursuit of Happiness, Health, and Prosperity?  

I always use pictures and tend to avoid using words and symbols ... this is because my inner core, my heart of hearts, "sees" and remembers feelings and events in pictures. I dream in colorful pictures.  The pictures on my dream boards help me hold a feeling to strive for.

Making your own dream board can help you define and reset your health.  We aren't working with a yo-yo, get skinny quick diet. Our Program is all about your health on every level - physical, emotional, and financial.  As you make progress, what are your goals?  What does it mean as you become healthier?  

Finally, do you know that by unloading 50 pounds of excess weight, you stand to gain 10 years of life ... What will you do with yours?  

I'm looking forward to seeing yours.  For more info on making Dream Boards, Click Here to read what Martha Beck, of Oprah's O Magazine, has to say!

Will Power is a Muscle ... Use it wisely!

The concept that our "Will Power" behaves like a muscle is presented by John Tierney in his new book, WillPower.  Mr Tierny's research indicates that willpower, self-control, and decision making, all use the same areas of the brain and can become overwhelmed and fatigued - especially by the end of a demanding day!

This has really helped me understand why I can make great choices throughout the day but cave in to munching on unhealthy foods in the evenings.  Generally, I have the ability to "Stop, Challenge, Choose" as advised by Dr Wayne Andersen, founder of Take Shape for Life.  However, if I'm tired, distracted, or it's late in the day, I can become completely over powered by "over exposure" to chips, dips, and sweets. Then, my own private Cookie Monster gets excited, grabs the treat, and shouts "Gotta try it all and Get more of it NOW!" 

Dr Andersen in his book, Dr A's Habits of Health, makes it clear that initiating positive changes in habits and health begins by changing how we think. Together, we'll help you start and stay on the path to optimal health and well-being!  Take Dr A's Health Quiz and contact me to review the results at  Consultations are free and coaching is complementary for clients on program.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thanks to our Mentors!

Just giving a Shout-Out of thanks to our Health Coaches and Mentors, Jan and Craig Turner!  They are the best!!!  They teach by example and lead us steadily forward. Thanks TSFL Support Team!

Jan and Craig are remarkable because they personify "Trust."  David Horsager, author of The Trust Edge, describes eight pillars for building and reinforcing Trust. You can read about them in the February Issue of "Success form Home" magazine which is all about Take Shape for Life!  Find it in Staples or Barnes and Nobles, then flip to page 12.  The article is titled, "Trust is Your Trump Card" and explains the benefits of implementing the pillars to improve relationships for family and business.  The pillars Horsager identifies are: Clarity, Compassion, Character, Competency, Contribution, Commitment, Connection, and Consistency.

By the way, from now on, whenever I post any visual Before and After, I'll remind you that, while on Program, you can expect to lose 2-5 pounds for the first 2 weeks and 1-2 pounds weekly thereafter.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 2 of Hope

Day 2 of 30 DAYS OF HOPE
Meet Dr. Ken Kochman - one of my favorite chiropractors. He found our program, lost 60 lbs, became a Health Coach and shared the Program with his patients. 

Do you know that losing weight helps your chiropractic adjustments hold longer? 

Dr Ken is a true Health Professional dedicated to Healing his patients! So glad to know you Dr Ken. 

On a side note, I am especially happy to know Dr. Ken's wife, Tamara who is a midwife - just like me...nice to have these connections and know there are health coaches with all sorts of backgrounds.

Call us!  Clients can expect to lose 2-5 pounds per week for the first two weeks, then 1-2 pounds each week thereafter.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just Another Diet?

When you first started with Take Shape, did you think it was "another diet?"  Were you frustrated that you couldn't just "do it yourself?" Did you tell anyone you were starting?

I didn't because I was afraid I would fail! Three and a half years later, I'm shouting it from the mountaintops! Together, Greg and I are down a total of  ~ 70 pounds and continue to keep it off and improve our health by strengthening our healthy habits.

The Program we're using to gain health and help others, is rocking our world!  We are having a blast linking arms with all the new and returning clients.

This week, I've heard from former clients who have fallen off the wagon and are carrying the tires.  I heard from new clients taking the plunge and wondering how the program will work from them.  I also heard from many who are happily sailing along - crossing milestones, reaching goals, feeling and looking better than ever.  They are dropping in size and seeing the scale reflect lower weights that they thought they'd never see again.  Don't you just love Franklin's picture??!!

Coaching fits easily into my life and I love hearing from you. Our team is putting together a small album to share with medical practitioners, HR Dept managers, and service providers, who want to offer the Take Shape program to patients, employees, and clients.  Your "Before, In Progress, and After" photos mean the world to me.  They are the tangible evidence of your hard work, determination, and on-going transformation.

Please send photos and a short paragraph about your story for me to include. We acknowledge you for taking charge of your own health and doing the internal, personal work to change behaviors a step at a time.  We thank you for the referrals and honor you for the role you play in mentoring friends, neighbors, family and co-workers!   Thanks for being on the journey with us!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Few Members of Our Team

In San Francisco, Sept 2012, 513# lighter!
We are so proud of our Team of Health Coaches!  They are all transforming themselves and making such a positive impact in their communities!!

Here are a few of our team members - the first photo was taken Sept in San Francisco, the second one was taken last night as we wished Erich J Voght, in the center, good luck on his upcoming move to Nashville! You can really see how they are changing and I can tell you, their emotional and professional growth is incredible too!!
In Vancouver, Jan 2013, steadily on track!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Coaching Coaches: When an Entire Plan Reveals Itself

Occasionally, I get the gift of seeing an entire plan of action laid out before me in my mind. It's like being given a map and finding the trail ...

As I've developed in the role of business coach for our team of Health Coaches, I've turned to my mentors for guidance. The funny thing is, even before they have a chance to respond, the very act of reaching out, the act of asking for more insight and guidance, brings it on!!! Here's today's experience:

Question: What do I need to do and what do I need to Become, in order to help my team grow and thrive?

Answer: Be authentic, truthful, All In, passionate, and happy.  Then take the next steps today.
  • Get clear on what your Health Coach teammates want and need
  • Know your resources
  • Continually tap into your leadership ... they are a gift to you
  • Understand what it means to be fully integrated as a client focused on your own health journey, as a coach linking arms with your wonderful clients, and as a business coach helping your teammates succeed.
So the plan that came to mind is to look at all the aspects of coaching for the new coach.  Then, break it down into bite sized discussion topics, follow the new "Getting Your Coach Launched" materials and reach out to everyone who is already coaching clients and coaches or who would like to be coaching and develop a weekly conversation on the following topics:
  • Setting up your business
  • Finding and documenting their "Why" ... What is the "Why that makes us cry?" Help them paint the "Vision of Service" which will propel them over every imagined hurdle
  • Setting up your office using the file system, e-newsletter, and other tools
  • Helping clients sign-up and get started
  • Where to find answers - you don't have to know everything
  • Establishing a day-to-day rhythm
  • The essentials of net-working
  • Using social networking appropriately and fully
  • How to prepare and use Trainings and Conventions
  • Role-play and practice partner skills
  • Getting certified 
Can you picture it too????  I'm so exited to feel new levels of understanding an organization emerge!!  Call me ... our Team is on such a roll!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Sweat and Starve Diets" are not sustainable long term!

None of us like to sweat and starve for very long ... especially if we are packing an extra 100 pounds and have the habits well established that got us and keeps us stuck there.

The TSFL program isn't a sweat and starve, restrict or permit system.  Here's an explanation that may be helpful.  Normally, when people are carrying excess weight, the individual's cells become "insulin resistant."  

I picture it like this: imagine the cells in the muscles ... each one has a little engine inside that needs fuel.  The engine sends out the signal to "Go get food now!"

Then, when insulin arrives, like a truck loaded with nutrients, the nutrients can't be delivered because the thin layer of grease around the cells blocks the docking stations - they are resistant to insulin.  Those nutrients and sugars are stranded in the blood stream and result in "high blood sugar."  They are then processed through the liver and sent to "storage" for later.

Once the loop has been initiated of excess fat accumulation, insulin resistance, and rising blood sugar, the body tries to compensate by making more and more insulin.  The panceas, producer of the insulin, tires.  The elevated sugars in the blood are damaging.  Inflammation and diabetes with all its ramifications is diagnosed.  The likelihood heart attach, stroke, cancer and blindness go up.  Meanwhile, the sugars are ushered out of the blood stream and shelved as additional fat ... and our scales and clothing reflect the weight gain.  Eventually, our docs start doing tests and prescribing medications like Metforman and Insulin

The original problem remains - the engines inside every cell is still screaming for fuel!  They are starving and sending out loud signals to "Go hunt MORE!!"  Thus we are hungry, feeling guilty, and scarfing down everything in sight ... the more calories the better!

This weight gain (or can't lose it) scenario is not about being lazy or lacking in will power.  It's insulin resistance and brain fog caused by elevated blood sugar in the blood stream (fuel that cannot be delivered into the cells where it's desperately needed) ... It's about a genuine need at a cellular level.

This is why being on Program and using low glycemic index food (from the grocers or Medifast), will help you turn your insulin switch OFF.  Low glycemic index foods will lower the circulating blood sugars, decrease fat accumulation, improve delivery of nutrients into the cells, drastically reduce cravings, and result in the body's ability to tap into the stored fuel - the fat in our chins, bellies, hips and thighs!

One more thing, the brain is constantly on the hunt for nutrients ... since one donut has very few nutrients, very little vitamin A,B,C, etc, it takes more than one to get any nutritional value at all.  It's no wonder that we over eat!  

Whew!  Forgive me for being long winded ... I think you'll really like Dr A's Habits of Health because, none of us want another Yo-Yo diet!!  He's helped me help hundreds of people get rapid, safe, sustainable results!!!  Ready??? Call me! I'll help you!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When doing gets in the way of becoming ...

A number of years ago, when I was making the decision to retire from the university midwifery practice that I'd thrived in for 18 of my 28 years as a nurse-midwife, I sought the advice of a counselor / healer.  I was feeling exhausted and a bit lost.  I knew that I was no longer thriving and needed to redirect my energies.  The problem many of us have, when we want to make a change, is that we have formed an certain identity.  Our identity can become entangled with what we do.  And, when what we are doing gets in the way of who we are becoming, something has to shift!

I asked the healer if he thought I was doing the right thing and he responded that he couldn't answer me because I was asking the wrong question.  The real question was not "Am I doing the right thing?" but rather, "Am I the right thing?"  Once I relaxed into being the right thing, I was able to come into alignment with my next steps, accept the changes, and allow my identity to grow and redefine itself.

So, here comes the pitch, if you're ready to redefine your inner and outer being, give me a call ... I got a few ideas!  This is what coaching is all about: seeing people for who they truly are, beyond what they do and who they have been.  Is it your turn???  Ready or not, here we go!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Panda's Tail Wouldn't Squeak ...

Two thoughts: I don't like things that don't work and it's all about relationships ...

One of my earliest memories was a moment in time when I stood in the bathroom doorway looking up at my dad.  I was holding my toy panda with the squeaky tail.  The problem was, the squeak in his tail had stopped squeaking when I pinched it.  Now, my dad was big and strong and wise. I stood looking up to him, as he shaved, and tried to explain the tail-doesn't-squeal problem.  I remember not having the words to describe two things: my dismay that Panda was silent and the belief that he, my dad, could fix it.

Of course, squeaky tail mechanisms are beyond the grasp of even the smartest fathers.  Harder still, he then had to explain to the toddler (me) that it couldn't be fixed.  He tried to be blunt, clear and concise, intellectual, scientific, and rational, but I just wasn't buying it.  We were at an impasse.  Both of us were feeling the disappointment over the lessons: Life isn't fair, things break and can't always be fixed, and those we admire, even the smartest ones, don't always "get it."  Thankfully the love and trust that was established between us, carried us through.  My dad became tender and compassionate about my feelings and I became responsive and flexible even if I didn't understand.

This brings me back around to agreeing that none of us likes things that don't work. As a result, we watch, listen, experiment, and do the "do-diligence" so that we find the best information, products, and programs to help us in our quest for a happy, healthy, abundant life.  My journey has brought me to a new career as a Health Coach with Take Shape for Life.  I like it because it works.  I like it because the focus is on building relationships!

If you or someone you care about is unhappy with their current weight, has a closet full of clothes that don't fit, gets winded going up stairs because of the wealth of stored fuel in their belly, or has sore knees because of excess luggage, give us a call.  Not only do we have a program that works rapidly, safely, and establishes habits for long-term health, we focus on building trusting relationships to make it all work!

Friday, January 11, 2013

We're Engaged in a Wellness Revolution!

Engaged in a Personal Wellness Revolution!

We are engaged in a Wellness Revolution - a very personal Stand Against the Status Quo Rebellion!

Of course, we could just accept the frustration of the status quo.  Though the news, tabloids and common sense tell us that rates of "Diabetsity" (Diabetes and Obesity) will continue to double exponentially, there's no mention of how the dollars spent on the epidemic fuel our economy - many industries benefit from our unhealthy state and established habits including fast food chains, agricultural giants, pharmaceuticals, sickcare systems, hospitals, dialysis units, furniture makers, medical supply and equipment makers.  If we as a society decide to get and stay on the trail to better health, these industries will suffer because we aren't.

According to Simon Sinek, author of "Start With Why," people and organizations use several tactics to get us to change or buy something.  He refers to these tactics as "carrots and sticks."  The tactics include manipulation, sales, promotions, fear, inspirational messages, peer pressure, and novel gimmickry. Click Here to hear Simon's "Ted Talks" presentation, it's one of my all time favorites!  

Finally, there are 12,000 TSFL Health Coaches in the US ... Thank you for choosing Greg and I!  Please remember us to those dear to you.  We want to connect with them, hear their stories, help them join you on your journey, and have success!  Together we can win this Revolution!!  Polly

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What does a willingness to fail got to do with it?

I love the before and after photos and the many stories I get to hear about the tranformative power of the weight loss / health gain process.

Our program begins with a strategic change in nutrition - it's easy, convenient, and cost effective.  Coaching is complementary.  By the way, I'm not into "sweat and starve!"  Click Here to learn more about us and the program that is helping thousands feel and look better for a life time.

The following blog was posted in "Spark People" this morning and it's very inspiring ... it's authentic and timely ... I'd love to hear more of your story ... Together, we can heal ourselves and bring hope to many, many people!  Polly.

Week of 01/10/2013 - Featured Blog Post
To Succeed, You Must First Be Willing to Fail. One thought that I have been mulling over for quite a while is that success comes when we embrace failure, both real and perceived, as part of the process. I have spent a lot of time pondering this element of our journey. 
It's only when there is a willingness to experience the sting of failure that we will ever experience a breakthrough. I have observed during my journey that the only times I really made progress was when I was willing to step out and do what needed to be done in spite of my fear of being seen struggling or the inadequacy I felt if an attempt at a certain exercise ended rather ingloriously. 
I have noticed in my own experience that I hesitated to commit to a healthy lifestyle simply because my heart could not tolerate yet another failure. It was so easy to stay in a safe place of inaction than to step out and face my fear of yet another false start in weight loss. This same irrational fear has manifested itself so many times in so many ways. Being afraid of jumping rope at the gym because someone would see my belly bouncing around, afraid of doing push ups because someone might see me struggle to push out 10 good ones. To sweat and struggle to bench press a couple of 30 pound dumbbells because the guy two benches down is cranking out presses with two 60 lb dumbbells. Heaven forbid anyone should ever see me run.
It is only when I broke away from my fear that I truly experienced liberty. The liberty to try. Once I embraced the willingness to fail, I began to succeed. The courage to begin begets the will to finish. 
By the way, tonight, pressing those two 30 pound dumbbell turned into two 60's. Jumping rope? ... I do it almost daily. I try to leave a trail of sweat wherever I go. It means I did something. Those that look pretty or cute after a workout really didn't do enough. The jogging at night so no one could see turned into running a marathon in front of everyone, struggles and all. 
Success is mine for the taking. 
What about you? Are you willing to commit even if the scale doesn't agree with your expectations? Will you lay down your pride and press on no matter even if you feel foolish, feel like you failed, feel like you are going no where? We always want to appear to others to be totally in control and we always know what we are doing. To be seen struggling is somehow an admission of weakness that some egos cannot tolerate but it is in weakness that we are made strong. It is when we admit that we know nothing, empty out our preconceived ideas on how this journey is supposed to be and become a willing student, that then, the teacher arrives. 
How far are you willing to go to reach your goals? I know how far I am willing to go, as far as it takes and I will never be afraid to try. That is how I succeed. 

"Birth Story," a Documentary

I'm excited to share information about a remarkable film about a turning point in birthing practices throughout the world.  Birth Story is an authentic documentary about Ina May Gaskin and The Farm midwives. 

Ina May's book, "Spiritual Midwifery," lit the way for my 28 years as a midwife and has been the inspiration for an entire generation of midwives, families, physicians, and birthing professionals. Her work changed our lives ... it's so important to learn the lessons and not slip further into the dark abyss of routine, inhumane, costly, harmful, and totally unnecessary medically managed childbirth!  Screenings in Portland are being held Feb 1-7. 

Click Here to read more and see the trailer!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Do Seeds of Doubt Keep Us from Sharing?

As Coaches, we have an opportunity to share Hope, Vitality, and Healing ... so, why don't we?  Why do we hesitate?

There may be many reasons, but the one that comes to mind for me is that we may carry a little seeds of doubt.
  • Can I do it?
  • Will "they" criticize me?
  • What if "they" fail and blame me?
  • Am I worthy of their trust?
Those little seeds of doubt, like flecks of sand in my eye, can take over, germinate, and feed into a perpetual, pity party!  Those tiny seeds of doubt lead to anxiety, magnification of one inch hurdles, and hamster wheel rumination.  Then it's common to experience excessive evaluation, procrastination and eventual palatalization!

For me, the healing comes when I feel the tangible evidence that others believe in me even before I believe in myself!  People who believe in us and consistently extend clear, unselfish love, will see us making headway even when, all we see is the frustration on each step.  They will be able to see our capacity, even when we are feeling small and discouraged.

Note to Self: Surround yourself with people who believe in you!!  

This is what coaching is all about.  Coaching means that you believe in your child / friend / client for them until they can believe in themselves ... you are holding "sacred space" for them because you believe in who they are meant to be, who they really are, and what they are becoming!

Another Note to Self: You are worthy!

Call to Action:  Whether you are a client or a coach Share what you know!  Share these wonderful tools and this wonderful experience. Open your heart. Open your mouth and let the Concourse work through you!  

You have been gifted with renewed health, energy, and opportunities ... You are meant to share it! You are meant to broadcast it far and wide, ask for referrals, help others coach others, and be part of a genuine Health Building Revolution!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Prayerful Undercurrents

Whether we are coaching children (ie: parenting), or reaching out to family, friends, and clients, I find that there is always an undercurrent of prayer running in the background of the exchange. Both parties are whispering (praying) Help! or Thanks! or WOW!!

In the coaching roles, we have a deep desire to be helpful and effective without being preachy, patronizing, or annoying. In the recipient position, as a student, client, or patient, we believe that the coach has a tool or piece of wisdom that may be useful to us on our journey.  As a recipient, I have to allow myself to be vulnerable at that given moment and trust the process.  Both coach and recipient benefit by allowing the prayer for "Help!" to attract the universal resources that surround us.

It's important to recognize that the coach and recipient need each other - the recipient has the inner knowledge and wisdom to grasp truths, make adjustments, and help themselves.  The coach has tools, gems of knowledge and the advantage of experience.  He/she can see the bigger picture.  Together, they can begin to see the end in the beginning, build the vision, define the baby steps, and experience the desired transformation.

Navid meets his cousins
In my baby catching days (I am a retired Nurse Midwife), I was keenly aware that I could not give birth for my client ... but I was able to be truly helpful as she made the birthing journey.  And I was most effective when I stayed a little detached, when I trusted her to take the next steps, when I looked beyond her distress and nakedness, when I really focused on her strengths and power.  In those deep moments, if I had not been reaching beyond myself, shouting "Help!" to the Divine, I doubt that I would have made midwifery a 28 year career. If I didn't know how to say, "Thanks!" I might have skipped to "Wow!" and egotistically thought that I had much to do with it!

Anne Lamott, in her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Survival Prayer, says:
Prayer is not about saying, 'Oh, I think I'm going to pray now.' Or, 'Oh, I see I've made a notation here to pray at 2:15.' It's about getting outside of your own self and hooking into something greater than that very, very limited part of our experience here — the ticker tape of thoughts and solutions, and trying to figure out who to blame. ... 
If you're in the habit of praying - see if your personal prayers fall into these categories.  If you haven't been in the habit of praying, see if this simplified view is helpful in anyway.  Either way, shouting "Help!" seems much more effective than shouting, "Oh you-know what!" when faced with the demands and frequent chaos of life!!!

You can read more about Anne Lamott and hear her interview with NPR by Clicking Here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fall off the Wagon? Just get back on!!

So, we know what it is to be on the wagon ... and it feels wonderful!!!  Wonderful because I know where I'm going, the pounds are steadily coming off, new habits are becoming established, and the path ahead, leading to weight loss and optimal health, is becoming clear.  If you've been struggling with your weight and your health, you are in good company!  Our clients and coaches come from all walks of life - they hold teaching and nursing positions, one calls himself a a "high tech computer geek," another is a bicycle mechanic. They are in sales, the arts, event planning, and banking.

Here is one of my favorite quotes for the week:
I had become a professional dieter! I'd tried everything including HCG shots, pills and hypnosis for weight loss.  Before I read Dr A's book, I didn't realize that my cravings and persistent hunger was physiologic!  I just thought I didn't have will power and was bound to fail! With each dieting attempt, I'd be successful for a little while, then I'd fall off the wagon only to regain what I lost and more.  I needed an alternative!  I needed a doable lifestyle change - Thank you so much for showing what to do, how to do it and helping me!! 
Thank you Susan for reaching out to me, trusting me and doing the work! Please feel free to post your comments on what's working for you. Like Susan, you may also enjoy tracking your own progress at To read more about how to stay the course, take a quick look at the many topics covered by Dr Andersen, author of Dr A's Habits of Health, in his blogs. And, if you are in the Portland/Vancouver area, come hear him speak on Friday, Jan 4th at 6:30 at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion in Portland.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

If you're starting or restarting a diet today, you aren't alone!

If you're starting or restarting a "diet" today, you aren't alone!  On January 1st, 40% of the population will go on a diet this month. What if you not only were able to lose weight, get healthier and look better, but you learned how to become healthier long term? What if you could talk to your future self, the person you want to see in the mirror everyday? It is possible!

Check out these stories of real life people and their success, it's a brilliant ad campaign to inspire health in America as 3 everyday people get to have a conversation with their before self after they have progressed into their journey. This is all possible with the Take Shape For Life Program that we coach, it means support, success and long term healthy habits as you make your way through the program to achieve Optimal Health. If you would like to see your future self in the mirror please message me for more information.

Better than Success?

What's better than "Success?"  

Robert Fritz, the author of The Path of Least Resistance and mentor for the leadership of Take Shape for Life says, "Living a life in which you are involved with your own life-building process" is better than our common notions of success.  He suggests that reading about success in self-help books and magazines puts the focus on what we think "Success" will bring us and how our lives will improve as a result. Whereas, the focus should always be on the process of creating a life that matters to us.
Fritz goes on to say:
There is a distinction between success, and creating those things that matter to you. Success has to do with identity and self-definition. It is not about the actual accomplishments you have achieved. Rather it is how you see yourself by having achieved them.
So today's question might be, How do you identify success on a daily basis?  How is success related to Happiness, Health, and Wealth for you personally?

Click here to read more!