Journey to Success - Sophia

Re-energized

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“Before starting the OPTAVIA program, I was hopeless. I had struggled with weight my entire adult life.”

Sophia had gained and lost weight many times before, but she struggled to keep it off. As a result, she didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin.

“I hated getting dressed. I avoided social situations. I was embarrassed to do just about anything.”

Sophia also felt like a horrible example to her daughter. She didn't want her to experience the same struggle she did.

“My breaking point was when I was 39 and I was desperately trying to lose weight before I hit 40. Instead of losing weight, I gained it all year long, to the point of where I weighed what I weighed when I was pregnant with my son.”

Sophia was devastated. She figured this was just the way her body was meant to be, and she felt she was always going to be the overweight sister, friend, wife, and worst of all, overweight mother.

“Then I found the OPTAVIA program and on day four I felt so good I didn't care how much weight I lost. I had hope for the first time in 20 years!”

To date, Sophia has lost more than 90 pounds* and she is really feeling comfortable in her skin.

“I love spending time with family and friends! The best thing is I finally feel like I’m a positive example of health and confidence to my daughter.”

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

Once the magnolia and dogwood blossoms appear, it’s time to shed those outer layers. Our hiding place for the last two seasons—beneath baggy sweaters and loose-fitting pants—is now gone for a few months. If you’re not quite ready for shorts-wearing weather, you’re not alone.

Eating, especially in the spring and summer months when outdoor celebrations dot our calendars, is an American pastime. Cookouts, graduations, weddings, and pool parties are a blast, but can be tricky to navigate when you’re on Plan.

So how can we keep our friends and our figures, our social engagements and our health goals?  It’s easier than you think.  Below are some strategies to keep you on track:

  • Routine is keen. On the day of your party, you might make a few alterations to your meal schedule, moving your Lean & Green to lunchtime for an afternoon event, splitting it in half for two events. Remember to stick with your schedule, especially your exercise.
  • Bring something. Showing up with a platter of veggies or a tray of lean deli meats will ensure that you have plenty of on-Plan foods to keep you safe and satisfied.
  • Talk, walk. Parties are not really about the food; they’re about the friends. Chat up a new acquaintance, or cozy up to an old pal. Find someone whose company you enjoy, and talk or, better, walk.  Moving away from the buffet and ditchin’ the kitchen are a must.
  • BYOB. That’s Bring Your Own Bars! Is everyone carrying a plate with a slab of cake on it? Bring along an OPTAVIA Campfire S’mores Bar, place it on a plate, and top it with one to two tablespoons of pressurized whipped topping (2 Tbsp = 1 condiment). They’ll want what you’re having!

You’re only human so don’t beat yourself up if you slip off of Plan. Just get right back on track after the party. 

Reducing Inflammation

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We can do many things to help minimize the uncomfortable and often disabling effects of inflammation. A healthy lifestyle including diet, exercise, and good sleep habits are powerful tools in fighting swelling and other side effects.

Here are several ways from Dr. Wayne Andersen’s Dr. A’s Habits of Health book to refer to when trying to stave off inflammation.

  • Eat your vegetables. Ensure you incorporate greens like lettuce, and spinach, and/or cucumbers, which are low in calories and full of water, into your daily meals. Get creative with your Lean & Green meals to keep inflammation at bay.
  • Control your stress. Save some time for yourself during the workday. Take a 20-minute walk at lunch to unwind; learn how to let the stress rebound off your body and leave your mind. You will instantly feel the rebounding affects.
  • Sleep more. Dr. Wayne Andersen calls for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Record your evening programs and watch them at a later time so you can get to bed earlier. This will help you work in extra time to your sleep schedule, and will keep inflammation from creeping in.
  • Get a massage. Just one massage can reduce inflammation. Research shows that a 45-minute Swedish massage can greatly lower levels of two key inflammation-promoting hormones, according to a study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Ask me for more details on how to reduce inflammation and achieve Optimal Wellbeing in your life!

Optimize your Daily Routine

Get the most out of your day

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Life can get hectic on any given day. Endless work meetings, after school activities, meal planning, 30 minutes of Healthy Motion, drinking 64 ounces of water daily. It’s never ending!

It’s critical to focus time and energy on what matters most to many of us in the OPTAVIA Program: lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time™.

I recommend these tips to help optimize your daily routine.

  • Keep an updated calendar. A calendar can play a role in keeping a healthy lifestyle top-of-mind as it helps to keep menu plans and exercise schedules at the forefront and on the brain.
  • Say "no" to things. Time is the biggest excuse for putting a healthy lifestyle on the back burner. By saying no to things, it frees up more time to prepare foods in advance, exercise, and make living a healthy lifestyle a priority.
  • Work on relationships. Positive healthy relationships are crucial. With these intact, your mind can focus on other things because there’s no worry or stress. This also makes it easier to keep making healthy choices.
  • Create a peaceful place for a few minutes a day. In order to be the best version of you for those around you need to take time to reflect and think. This will make your healthy decisions a priority with many other things begging for attention.
  • Put together a to-do list before bed or first thing in the morning. To-do lists keep you focused, serve as a reminder, and help to prioritize the things that require the most attention. They also reduce your chances of becoming stressed, which increases your chances of continuing to make healthy choices.

Your Transition To Health

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Your discipline on Plan has paid off. Now it’s time to make the transition to lifelong healthy eating.

You will expand and develop a new eating plan that you can use for the rest of your life. Six of these eating habits you’ve learned through the Habits of Health system.

Chapter 12 of Dr. Wayne Andersen’s Dr. A’s Habits of Health book presents an overview of the behaviors essential to maintaining a healthy weight:

  • Breakfast. By now, you’re in the habit of eating a healthy, portion-controlled breakfast every morning. Keep up this routine to ensure long-term weight loss.
  • Exercise. Increasing your activity level from the OPTAVIA Program is very important. Keep up your 30 minutes of Healthy Motion each day and consider dialing up the intensity level.
  • Support. Don’t forget your OPTAVIA Coach is always there to help you along your journey to lifelong transformation. They can provide much needed assistance and support when making this important transition.
  • Low-fat meals every two-three hours. You learned the importance of eating low-fat, high protein Fuelings every two-three hours. You’ve expanded the food choices that are available to you, but you should follow this same routine of eating small, high-protein meals on a regular basis.
  • Individual plan. Now that you’re past the initial weight-loss stage, it’s important to build a plan that gives you control and long-term strategies for life!
  • Monitor. Continue to check your weight on a weekly basis, and monitor your energy levels to ensure you’re not taking in too many calories.

Making these personal investments every day is important in your quest for Optimal Wellbeing! Ask me about other ways you can transition to lifelong healthy eating.

Journey to Success - Joice

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Creating a New Me!

“I was overweight and then obese from childhood on, having grown up with plenty of food on the table and a family where emotional eating was the norm.”

Diets had never worked for Joice, but there was a new option of gastric bypass surgery. It changed her life in many ways - she lost some weight and became more active. But, bariatric surgery was only an answer in some situations. It also carried devastating lifelong consequences.

“For the past 40 plus years, I have not only been limited in the amount of food I can eat, but also the kinds of foods I can tolerate. When I eat food that doesn't agree with me, the result is either hours of discomfort or eventual regurgitation.”

For many years, Joice lived with being obese— she figured it was the hand life had dealt. She was miserable, chronically depressed, physically sick, and mostly sedentary.

“My primary physician at the time shared OPTAVIA, and I found hope that I could not only lose weight, and create improved health, but also be well-nourished for the first time in decades!”

When Joice heard about the long-range, comprehensive OPTAVIA program that was focused on lifelong healthy changes, she knew immediately this was for her. And, the small, frequent Fuelings were a realistic possibility for her limited gastric situation!

“I made a committed decision to create health and improve the quality of my life—not just in body size, but in other areas of my life as well. Part of my success can be measured in measurable results such as 108 pounds* shed on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan®, and because of my weight loss, I also improved my blood sugar.

But, this doesn't compare to other outcomes she has witnessed, such as being more active. She has energy like she never imagined, and feels great in her own body!

“I want to be fully alive as long as I live, and OPTAVIA has added life to my years I am beyond grateful to/for my doctor, and my entire support Community as I continue to create ME!”

Happy Feet

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Look down at your feet, and think about the people you love...

📖Here’s the story of the AMAZING woman behind the feet:

"My name is Noelle. I have been obese most of my adult life. I avoided scales, mirrors and cameras for a long time. In June of 2016 I took my children to the zoo and they were forced to wait for me every 10-15 min due to back pain and exertion. This was not the life I wanted for my children. It was time for a change. I decided to face the scale, weighing in at 414 pounds. I was devastated. I decided at that moment that I had to completely change my lifestyle for good or I wasn't going to be around much longer. I started my journey July 29th, 2016 and on my 1 year anniversary I had lost 207 pounds (half my body weight). I feel amazing and have so much energy. I now get to enjoy my life with my children....hiking, zip lining, swinging and so much more."

But there is a story behind these feet and putting one in front of the other (pun intended) by utilizing all 4 pillars of our lifestyle program...

"Progress not perfection" Huge part of losing weight is believing You Can Do It and realizing it's not going to happen over night. Starting at 414 pounds, I set small achievable goals for myself. If I focused on needing to lose 200 plus pounds, I would've been easily discouraged and overwhelmed. I focused on getting to 399 and then set 20 pound goals for myself. I hit 4 plateaus that would last 2 to 3 weeks and one that lasted almost a month. I stuck to my goals through all of them....why? Because this is a lifestyle change. Whether the scale is moving or not, I am improving my health every day by making the right food choices and moving my body. "Remember to never give up what you want most for what you want today."

❤️💥Proud of you Noelle for not giving up on what you wanted... glad our program has been the fit to assist you in making lifelong transformation - one healthy habit at a time!😍😍

Journey to Success - Jody

Love at First Bite

“It’s been very fulfilling to go from a broken man in desperation to being an inspiration.”

At more than 200 pounds overweight, Jody was miserable. “My four young kids – deserved a better me. My wife deserved a better me. I deserved a better me.”

“Everything was hard — tying my shoes, walking, showering, rolling over in bed during restless nights of sleep, sitting down, standing up, feeling good about myself, and fitting into seats. Honestly, I'd given up on life.”

Jody’s turning point was on a painful and uncomfortable plane ride. “I forced myself to write about how miserable it was to squeeze into a small seat on a regional jet. The thing is, I was as miserable in the rest of my life as I was on that flight.”

“It's hard to put into words how much different my life has improved since I made a decision to change after that fateful flight.” Jody is forever grateful for the OPTAVIA Program and wonderful Community, his wife included, that helped him find his “on” button.

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“From the get-go, this program clicked for me. I went from being mad that I only got to eat six small meals a day to being grateful for the self-control and portion control that I learned from incorporating healthy habits of mindful and healthy eating into my life.”

“For me and this program, it was love at first bite.” Jody has lost 160 pounds* and feels as though everything has changed for the better. To him, his transformation has not just been about his weight loss, Jody also feels as though he has experienced an incredible health change and an improved mindset, attitude, and outlook.

“Early in my journey, I decided to become a Coach to pay this tremendous gift forward to others who need it as desperately as I did. It's been so rewarding to help friends turn the lights on in their souls and to improve their health and happiness.”

“My transformation began on an airplane as a small spark inside of my heart as I tried to find my way. It's ignited into something much bigger and brighter now that I've embraced the OPTAVIA way. Stay tuned. The best is yet to come.”

Journey to Success - Greg

Journey-to-success | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

Complete Transformation

“I was 37 years old, and I was at a low point in my life. Life was completely out of balance. I was working 10 plus hours a day and using food as a reward. I gained 50 pounds, and I was obese.”

Greg was burned out physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. He had no time for friends, and he only saw his family on holidays.

“I was so heavy and out of shape that I couldn't do my favorite things like surfing, yoga and snowboarding. I was embarrassed and frustrated because nothing seemed to work. I had failed at so many diets, even working with a triathlon coach five days a week didn't work.”

Greg started to believe there was nothing he could do, and that his overweight body might just be attributable to his genetics. He was beginning to give up.

“When I heard about the Program, and saw the science behind it, and met Dr. Wayne Andersen, I decided, “Why not give this a try?” I was blown away and with the dedication and support of my Coach, I lost 50* pounds in 10 weeks.”

Greg was thrilled to have found the Program. He had a Coach that kept him on track and the program was convenient and portable. He had tons of energy.

“By adopting the Habits of Health, I've been able to keep the weight off. Today, I feel like I can do anything. I can do yoga. I can surf. I can wakeboard. I can snowboard.”

Greg also became an OPTAVIA Coach (and one of my mentors). Being a Coach has not only been very rewarding for Greg personally, but he’s also been able to help others improve their lives as well. This has helped keep him accountable to his own healthy lifestyle.

Now Greg’s mission is to help others who feel like they're stuck and their life is out of balance.  “I love helping people get healthy and creating Optimal Wellbeing.”

*Average weight loss for Clients on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® with support is 20 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Power of a Support System

There are many different options when it comes to building a support system, from working in a group, leveraging your Coach, building your social network, or all of the above!

  • Work in a group. This strategy sets the majority of people up for success. By working with family or friends that share similar goals, you are able to push each other and keep one another on track! Newer online support groups are becoming readily available. These programs tend to be interactive, and offer easy ways to stay connected with your network.
  • Work with your Coaches. Whether you choose to participate in an outside group, time with your OPTAVIA Coach is a necessity. Coaches in OPTAVIA’s Community provide one on one guidance, and hold you accountable through every step of your journey.
  • Build a social network. Join any of OPTAVIA’s groups on social media to get better connected with OPTAVIA’s Community. There are both closed or public groups on Facebook, and other platforms, that will widen your network and enhance your Community of likeminded people on the same path as you!

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, about the available options for you!

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Stay Focused on Your Journey

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Sustaining and being consistent during your journey to lifelong transformation can be challenging at certain times. There are months when we’re more focused and goals are easier to attain, and there are months when staying committed can take more effort.

To help you stay on task and energized about your journey to Optimal Wellbeing, we’ve outlined the recommendations below from LifeOptimzer.org.

  • Stay focused. If you want to stay focused on achieving your dreams, make a list of everything in your life – like poor relationships, unhealthy food, or even television – that is a distraction from achieving your goals. It may be difficult to rid yourself of these things in the beginning, but you’ll thank yourself in the end.
  • Keep a written log. This can be a great way to eliminate negative thoughts and daily stressors, so you can focus on what’s really important. It’s also a great place to focus on your progress. Focus on areas of your life where you want to focus like finances, healthy diet, family and other relationships.
  • Keep your OPTAVIA Community close. There’s no better way to achieve your goals then by working with people that are on a similar path and looking to achieve Optimal Health. Join a support group or visit with your Coach or friends on a regular basis so you can discuss the things that are important to you on your journey.
  • Take time to recharge and refresh. Taking time off is sometimes important. There are different ways to enjoy time away like getting an hour massage, or taking a bath, or even reading a book. Whatever your choice, you are guaranteed to come back with renewed resolve and focus.

Join me this Wednesday, April 18th for our Habits of Health call for additional insight into how to stay focused on your journey.  As a community, I'm here to support you as we all achieve lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time™.

Journey to Success - Rebecca

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Game Changer.

“My transformation began in January of 2016 when I started the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® and began to see immediate, substantial results in my physical health, and the mental focus and clarity that were byproducts of fueling my body the way it was designed to be fueled!”

Rebecca Ramsey became such a firm believer in the OPTAVIA program that three months into her journey she become an OPTAVIA Coach to keep herself accountable to her personal goal of achieving lifelong transformation, as well as to be an encouragement to others that sought Optimal Wellbeing.

The structure and support that is a vital part of OPTAVIA enabled Rebecca to lose in excess of 65 pounds.*

“The presence of a healthy Community, through having access to a supportive Coach and through participating in eight consecutive meltdown challenges, has kept me moving forward and closer to achieving lifelong transformation.”

Rebecca also ran a half-marathon. Before she began practicing the collective Habits of Health, she would never have dreamed of taking on such a challenge.

“I feel better, think better, sleep better, deal with stress better, and am so very blessed to have the opportunity to encourage others on their individual journeys towards Optimal Health! It is so true that we are better together when we surround ourselves with a healthy Community!”

Becoming a Client and Coach with OPTAVIA are two of the greatest accomplishments in Rebecca’s life, and she is incredibly excited to continue supporting others as they join the OPTAVIA program, Community, and way of life!

“Here's to being Agents of Transformation™ and getting America, and the world, healthy!”

*Average weight loss for Clients on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® with support is 20 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Acheiving Optimal Health

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Working towards Optimal Health requires a series of gradual changes made at your own pace.

A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about losing weight, but about becoming a balanced person that displays healthy habits across the gamut – from healthy sleep patterns to maintaining healthy nutrition, and more.

Follow these five steps to fulfill yourself on a daily basis.

  • Get enough sleep. Getting your body healthy starts with a good night’s rest. Dr. Wayne Andersen calls for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Sleeping this long on a consistent basis will help you cope with everyday challenges that come your way!
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Ensure the foods you eat are rich in vitamins and nutrients, such as green vegetables and lean proteins like chicken or fish. Also, try to consume 64 ounces of water per day.* Hydration is key to helping your body run throughout the day.
  • Do something you love. We do our best when we’re doing something we love. Play with your pet, go hiking, or challenge yourself to a game of chess! These types of activities will keep us upbeat and in high spirits.
  • Stay positive. Practice positive affirmations to become a firm believer in you. Smile and laugh with friends and family. This will increase your confidence and will help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.
  • Save time for relaxation. Close your eyes, and relax in a quiet place for 20 minutes, take time to practice deep breathing exercises, attend a yoga class, or take a bath. Any of these exercises will leave you refreshed and recharged.

As part of a community, I'm here to support you as we all achieve lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time!

The Wonders of Water

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Water is essential to our overall health and wellbeing. Based on his Dr. A’s Habits of Health book, Dr. Wayne Andersen calls for about 64-ounces of water consumption per day.

This may seem like a lot so we wanted to highlight some specific benefits of water to ensure you that it is essential when seeking Optimal Wellbeing.

  • Water can help control calories. This all-natural, calorie-free beverage is an essential component of a healthy metabolism. In addition, water may reduce hunger by filling you up if consumed prior to meals.
  • Water keeps skin looking fresh and vibrant. Water moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. It’s a great anti-aging treatment.
  • Water increases energy and reduces fatigue. Staying properly hydrated can help you focus, concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, water will also boost your energy levels!

If you think you need to be drinking more water, here are some tips to increase your intake:

  1. Have water with every snack and meal.
  2. Eat vegetables with a higher water concentration, such as cucumbers and celery.
  3. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.

Join me this Wednesday, April 11th for our Habits of Health call to learn more.  As a community, I'm here to support you as we all achieve lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time™.