Sep 30, 2013

Need A Little HOPE For Tomorrow?

Looking forward...something I do really well.  I've spent the last 32 years looking forward, that's what you do when your life's work is helping people achieve their goals and live out their best life. I've learned a lot about forward thinking and it's a great way to live. When you live like that you never give up hope, never stop believing and you never lose faith. When you live a life looking forward you're sure to change for the better...and that's a good thing because when you're through changing, you're through.

I've also learned that to look forward and live an extraordinary life, you've also got to let go.  Letting go doesn't mean giving means moving on. It is one of the hardest things a person can do. Starting at birth, we grasp on to anything we can get our hands on, and hold on to it as if we will cease to exist when we let go.  We feel that letting go is giving up, quitting, and that as we all know is cowardly. But as we grow older we are forced to change our way of thinking. We are forced to realize that letting go means accepting things that cannot be. It means maturing and moving on, no matter how hard you have to fight yourself to do so. To live a forward thinking life, you've got to learn to let go of the past.

As I sit on this last day of September 2013, I'm looking forward...this time to December 19th 2013. The last day of the 18th Team Challenge "Let it Go." December 19th, a time when women will want to slip on a little black dress and men will want to look and feel great on their arm. December is a time when we see old friends and spend time with family. I'm looking forward believing that I will have Healthy Weigh friends who will feel better about themselves than they have in years when they see those friends. I'm looking forward and imagining how proud and strong they'll feel as they head into the most "wonderful time of the year." This week a great number of people will make the decision to start a journey that will end with a outstanding holiday season... the Fall Team Challenge. I'm excited!

I'm excited because I know that to look forward and change the future...they will have to "let go" of some things in the past. We are going to spend this fall pushing hard to secure a better life, all while we release the past with ease so we can move into a brighter, healthier, more outstanding future.

I hope if you're reading this today, and you're struggling seeing a better tomorrow, you'll choose to participate in the Fall Team Challenge.  We'll have an abundance of hope, an overwhelming amount of belief and enough faith about tomorrow to loan some out! We're going to "Let it Go" and make an exciting run for the future...join us!

Thursday: October 3rd at  Noon and 6 PM  I'll explain the nutritional plan in detail for all participants of the Fall Team Challenge
Thursday: October 10th at Noon and 6 PM we will weigh in our teams to start the Fall Team Challenge!

If you don't have a team mate...that's OK...I'll hook you up!
Visit our web site at  and sign up today!

How you'll feel on December 19th all depends on you!

Look forward with me...and let go of a lot of things...but don't let go of HOPE!

Always encouraging you,

Aug 20, 2013


Well, we finally made it...we're taking action. We've come out of denial (pre-contemplation), thought about changing (contemplation) and taken the steps necessary to get prepared (preparation). Now it's time to take action!

Real, effective action begins with commitment. Once the commitment is made, it's time to move. People often equate action with change. We've learned in the last 4 weeks that action is just one of the stages of change...and no more important than the rest. Changes made during the action stage are more visible to others than those made during other stages, so they receive the greatest recognition. Although change "looks" good during the action stage, the change that people can't see needs to be recognized and celebrated during the other stages as well.

The key to permanent change includes:

Changing your level of awareness
Changing your emotions
Changing your self-image
Changing your thinking

The work you will continue to do internally will make the difference in the action you take each and every day. How you think about yourself and others has EVERYTHING to do with following through on your commitment to lose weight or whatever else you are working to change.

To change behavior, lose weight, and keep it off for life, it takes massive action.

  • making your enviormrnment safe
  • buying and preparing foods in advance
  • planning ahead to always have the appropriate foods available
  • saying no to the bad and yes to the good
  • choosing exercise to burn calories and relieve stress...
just to name a few... however, even with all of these great things being done, unless you are dealing with your relationship with food, you will not succeed at keeping the weight off.  The stages of change are powerful when you examine and participate in ALL of them, from pre-contemplation to maintenance.

Take action this week. Lots of it. But make sure you are doing the internal work to assure that the progress you're making by taking action, will be for life!

Always encouraging you,

Aug 12, 2013


So, you worked through your denial and spent time contemplating about changing your life…are you ready for action?
There is a subtle but important stage between contemplation and action, the presence or absence of which, can make or break the effort to change. This stage is preparation.
I’ve seen a lot people over the years try lose weight without being prepared for it.  They see some temporary results but not the permanent change they are looking for.
Preparation is a lot like contemplation but a lot more forward looking… you begin to focus on the future you. It involves careful planning, positive self re-evaluation and commitment.
In the preparation stage we start to turn away from the past.  We begin letting go of the activities and circumstances that lead us to overeating, like eating while in a depressed state. We begin changing hobbies – like having fun exercising instead of baking and finding new friends who enjoy the same.
In the preparation stage it is important to insure support of your family. It’s time to go public! It’s important to let the people closest to you know that you decided to get fit and lose some weight in the process and it will require a certain investment of time and resources as well as changes in your usual routine.

During the preparation stage:
Take small steps...even the smallest changes over a period of time add up to permanent change!
Set a date...decide when you’re “starting” and stick to it! No going back!
Go public…make sure the people in your world know that you’ve decided to make changes.
Treat your change as a major event…as if you had an appointment for a serious operation!
Create your own plan of action…people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.

Commit to your plan…decisions are at the heart of Action. Out of your decisions action will flow!
In the preparation stage, you’re getting anxious about getting started and taking some ACTION!  Don’t skip this very important stage of preparation though…it’s crucial for your long term success!

Always encouraging you,

Aug 5, 2013

Contemplation's on the horizon, or is it? We've moved from pre-contemplation to contemplation and that's a good thing. We just need to make sure we don't stay here too long. Some people spend a life time contemplating!   In the contemplation stage we've come out of denial, we're looking at our problems as our problems, and we're thinking about how to solve them. That's a far cry from what we talked about last week, but if we're not careful we can get stuck here. Those that do, are called chronic contemplators.

In the contemplation stage, we're eager to talk about, read about and spend time thinking about our issues. The problem is, we're not ready for action until we get a greater understanding of our behavior. Contemplators want to change but the desire to change exists simultaneously with resistance to change! Action brings with it, a fear of failure, so it's easy to see why contemplators get stuck!

During this stage, people become more and more aware of the potential benefits of making a change, but the costs tend to stand out even more. This conflict creates a strong sense of ambivalence about change.  Because of this uncertainty, the contemplation stage can last months or even years. During this stage you may view change as a process of giving something up rather than a means of gaining emotional, mental or physical benefits.

If you are contemplating behavior change, there are some important questions to ask yourself: Why do you want change? Is there anything preventing you from changing? What are some things that could help you make this change?

As you continue to do self-evalation in the contemplation stage, you'll find yourself getting closer and closer to stage 3...preparation stage. When contemplators begin the transition to the preparation stage, their thinking is clearly marked by two changes. First they begin to focus on the solution rather that the problem, and they begin to think more about the future than the past. The end of the contemplation stage is a time of anticipation, activity, anxiety, and excitement!

Here's to not getting STUCK in the contemplation stage!  We've got changing to time for getting stuck here!

Always encouraging you,

Jul 29, 2013


We are looking at the six stages of CHANGE this summer at The Healthy Weigh.  We are starting at the very beginning to fully understand what it takes to change permanently. Pre-contemplation is the very first stage although it doesn't seem like it has much to do with change at all. When you are in this stage, you're not think much about change. You're in denial about your problem.

Experts like to call alcoholism the disease of denial. But this applies to most any problem: when we are mired in the pre-contemplation stage, it is denial that holds us there.  If we are accused of doing something wrong, one of the ways we learn to avoid punishment is to deny responsibility. This is especially true if we take pleasure in our misbehavior.  Another step we take is to admit, but justify our behavior, creating good reasons for our bad actions. This is one of the reasons we so often defend our right to defeat ourselves.

What is it that is appealing about the pre-contemplation stage that so many people struggle to stay in it? For one, it feels safe. You can't fail there. It frees you from the demand of time, you can change some other day...not now. It also frees you from guilt. If you can avoid thinking about bad habits, then how can you begin to feel guilty about them?

  • Pre-contemplators wonder if help is even possible

  • Pre-contemplators believe that even to think about change is to risk failing again
The thing I find fascinating about this pre-contemplation stage, is that people can be taking massive action regarding their specific problem, and still be in the pre-contemplation stage with no intentions of changing.  Most of the time that is due to the pressure put on them by others. Spouses, Judges, employers, etc. Once the pressure is relieved, the destructive behavior returns. 

Many times when we are in the pre-contemplation stage we will turn the source of our problem outward. Projection and displacing it toward something or someone else. This defense involves transferring the source or object of pain to anything other that our self. The best defense is a good offense, is the slogan of people who turn outward.

We can also turn our feelings inward, believing no that others caused us pain, but that we ourselves created the problem. By turning inward consistently and failing to express negative feelings appropriately, we begin to internalize, or "swallow" these feelings. The result is habitual self-accusation, self-blame, low self esteem, and sometimes depression.

Looking at, and understanding the stages of change, even the pre-contemplation stage, is important. Raising our consciousness is crucial to understanding ourselves and acknowledging our defenses. Becoming aware of a problem behavior remains the first step in changing it!

As a pre-contemplator, you can take advantage of people who care about you by letting them help you. Acknowledge that loves ones can see you as you cannot, and allow them to assist you to enter the cycle of change. Get involved in a social group that has like minded people who care. (The Healthy Weigh)

If you have identified your defenses, become open with yourself and others, and have found support through a group setting or loved ones, you are probably ready to move to the contemplation stage of change. There's great things ahead of you!

Until next week as we consider contemplation,

Always encouraging you,

Jul 22, 2013

Encouragement on Monday...Now That's a CHANGE.

For the last three years or so, I've written a Friday morning blog to encourage my clients at The Healthy Weigh.  Weekends can be a difficult time for individuals who are pursuing a change in their eating habits, so I wanted to encourage them and give them something positive to think about as they headed into the weekend. I've been seeing my friends at The Healthy Weigh on Tuesdays for the last four years.  I gave it my best to inspire them for the week at our Tuesday gatherings and kept it going for the weekend through my blog on Fridays. Well...things have changed!

We now meet every Thursday for our Team Challenge.  We have over 70 teams of two, pursuing CHANGE and greater health this summer. We gather on Thursdays to weigh in, hold each other accountable and receive great education and powerful inspiration. I'm sure that the motivation they  acquire on Thursdays will get them through the weekend without fail! So that caused me to make a CHANGE in my blog as well.  I'll be posting this blog, "Encouragement from Letha" on Mondays now!

Mondays...doesn't everyone start a "diet" on Mondays? :-) I'm hoping that my clients won't start a new diet on Mondays, but will make a new, strong commitment every Monday.  I'm hoping this blog will help them with that process. Encouragement includes the giving of courage, hope, confidence, support and help. It's my desire that this Monday morning blog will do just that.

So for this very first Monday morning...I want to give a shout out to all the participants of the Summer Team Challenge 2013!  You are going to do GREAT things this summer. Not just because you are changing the way you eat, but because you're going to change the way you think! If you want to go to places you've never been before (like losing your weight and keeping it off for life) you've got to think thoughts you've never thought before!  I'm prepared for the next ten weeks to share those thoughts with you and offer up all the encouragement I can give!

Have a great Monday...looking ahead to a life changing week. Can't wait to see you all on Thursday!

Always encouraging you...and now on Mondays,

Jun 21, 2013

You Have The Power...Now Flip That Switch!

You know the switch I'm talking about. The one that when flipped, you are ON PROGRAM! You are fired up and nothing can break your resolve! You are excited, motivated and driven to follow the nutritional plan and see results. That switch!

I've spent time in the last 30 years discovering ways to flip that switch in my own life. Not only in regards to my eating habits, but in other areas of my life that require excellence as well! I've gotten really good at it!

There are really two things you need to invest in, to flip the switch...time and emotions. Oh, I can hear the sighs right now! :-) You're always short on time...and you avoid those emotional moments really well!

Do you want to flip the switch? Do you wake up each morning and say "This day is going to be better" and by the time you lie down at night, you are discouraged with your self again? If you are willing to spend some time, and feel some feelings, you too can flip that switch and TODAY can be the start of a great fall and a content holiday season!

TIME...we rarely take the time to get to know ourselves. We race through this life, taking care of other people and obligations without the important connection with our selves! Can you stop at a coffee shop today and sit in a corner by yourself? Can you drive to a big parking lot and sit in your car on your lunch hour? Can you go to a room in your house that never gets used and spend some time there today? Get alone with yourself! Invest some time in YOU. Some of us are alone a lot...but are we alone, focused on ourselves? Flipping the switch requires time and focus on you!

EMOTIONS...I can promise you, if you have been eating off program, unable to follow through for even one day, you are stuffing your emotions! It's time to look at them and allow them to surface. The first question I ask my self is "Letha, What's up?" I ALWAYS get an answer! You will too. (that's why you're afraid to ask it) If you have a journal...start writing in it. If you have junk mail in the floor board of your car, that works too. Get something down on paper!

Another effective tool I use is the pain and pleasure list! I hope you have all used this "power tool."

Make a list of the pain, over eating is causing you...go for it! Don't stop, get real, get painful...allow it to take you all the way to gaining ALL your weight back, feeling miserable, and overwhelmed with medical problems and personal pain that choosing food has caused you! Don't skip ahead fast...if you have an hour, spend at least 30 of it on this list! Don't forget to include family, children and spouses in this list. How has your overeating affected them. Your overeating has caused you to be irritated, mad at the world and not very's that working for you and your family? Your clothes don't fit, you feel frumpy, and you don't want to do much of anything! Your overeating is affecting EVERY area of your life!

Now...if you have done a good job on that list... it's time to move ahead...if you haven't, you are not really serious about flipping the switch.(or you're just scared)

This list is a lot more fun! This is the list that includes all the emotions that you feel when you are on program, eating healthy, and setting limits for yourself! Have fun, spend time on this list too. Don't forget to include your family, children and spouse also. How has eating healthy, feeling attractive and in control, made a difference in those relationships? How's your wardrobe? How much energy do you have? Are you fun? Do you laugh more? Do you take pride in how you look and enjoy going out? Is EVERY area of your life affected by how you eat and what choices you are making? Don't stop short dreaming as you make this list. Allow the good feelings to overwhelm you and fill you with hope.

Look at those two lists...ask the all important question now. "Why am I living here...when I could be living here?"

If no tears are involved with this might be dead!:-)

I've had clients tell me, "Ive done the pain and pleasure list thing and it doesn't work." I'm wondering have they REALLY done it. Have they really taken the time to look at the way their eating is affecting their life and the lives of all the people around them? Have they asked them selves, "Why am I letting food win?" "Why am I letting food be the boss of me?"

My lose weight and keep it off, you must be able to use pain as your friend. Flipping the switch when you are living on maintenance is crucial to you keeping your weight off for life.

I wish I had time to sit in your car with you...but I guess you wouldn't be alone then would you? Take time, allow your emotions to come forth...and flip the switch. Don't is the perfect day to change the direction of your life!

Always encouraging and pushing you,