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


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

  • 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™.

Journey to Success - Esther Hollander

Fulfilling Dreams

“My motivation to lose weight stemmed from my worsening physical and mental health. I despised the way I looked and was close to 300 pounds. My body was starting rebel.”

Esther Hollander was overweight as a child and for the majority of her adult life, hitting her peak at 320 pounds. But, as she turned 40, she was determined to make fundamental changes and see a different reality.

“Being overweight was tough. Because I had little self-worth and confidence, I shied away from seeking new friends and career advancement, and felt closed off to general opportunities and experiences.”

Esther was acutely aware of her size and felt like people were staring and judging her. She felt embarrassed and ashamed most of the time so she avoided activities that required too much exertion or activities where her size was prohibitive.

“My children were being parented by a mom who was less active, involved and energized. And, I felt out of sync as a wife. I was not setting a healthy example for my household.”

Changes began when Esther connected with her OPTAVIA Coach who guided and encouraged her. In the course of nine months, she lost 137 pounds*.

“My Coach believed in me before I could believe in myself. I was grateful to have found a program with structure and built-in support from its Community. I cemented numerous healthy habits that were not part of my previous routine. And, I now use those habits as my road map.”

Now, Esther pays it forward as an OPTAVIA Coach and she is humbled to motivate others. Since being on the program, her life has transformed dramatically, both physically and emotionally. She is happier, more vibrant, and more engaged in all aspects in life.

“Losing my weight has given me self-confidence not only because I accomplished a goal, but before, I just didn't feel worthy of happiness and fulfillment. Well, I am worthy. I believe in myself.”

Esther is still in awe that this is her life.

“If you believe in yourself and work towards your goals you CAN change the course of your life and fulfill your dreams!”

*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.

Spring Into Health!

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The change of seasons is the perfect reason to refresh your goals and journey towards lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time™.

Here are several ways you can revamp your lifestyle during the spring season.

  • Change up your exercise routine. Spring is the perfect time to get outside and refresh your daily exercise drill, so find a new walking route in your neighborhood or hit a trail at the local park on your bike!
  • Incorporate more water into your diet. The warmer weather of spring makes staying hydrated more important. Try your best to consume 64 ounces of water per day*. Incorporate more H2O into your day by keeping a water bottle at your desk. You can also try to drink a glass of water before you eat your OPTAVIA Fuelings as it will help to fill you up!
  • Take care of your skin. Since you’re outside for longer periods of time in the spring, it’s important to protect your skin with an SPF of 15 or higher. Also, try to wear sunglasses to shade your eyes, and a hat to protect your face. You should also apply lip balm with a high SPF to shield your lips.
  • Renew relationships. Spend the day with family and friends at the park or go on a healthy picnic. Get outside to enjoy the warmer weather while strengthening bonds with loved ones at the same time.

Ask me for more details on how to spring into health and achieve Optimal Wellbeing!

How To Stick To Your Exercise Routine

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Most people understand that it’s important to make exercise part of your everyday life, but it’s sticking to that 30 minutes of healthy motion every day that can be a challenge.

The good news is that there are steps you can take from to make exercise less of a burden, more enjoyable, and part of your everyday routine.

  • Take it easy, and build up to your main goal. Wayne Andersen advises 30 minutes of healthy motion is important when making strides toward lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time™. However, sometimes you need to start with baby steps, like walking, and use that momentum to begin working out every day. Start small and gain the confidence needed to take on loftier goals, like exercising every day.
  • Make exercise part of your routine. Find daily cues to make exercise a natural instinct. You see your walking shoes inside the front door, and you’re off for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s lunch time so you take a jog before eating your next Fueling. Cues like these will make it easy to make exercise part of your daily routine.
  • Pat yourself on the back. Make sure to reward yourself on a daily basis, but make sure you exercise first. This could be as simple as having a massage at the gym after a tough workout. Rewarding yourself will lead to a more consistent pattern of daily exercise.
  • Choose a method of exercise you enjoy. If you love to dance, try a Ballroom dance class. If you love to speed walk, find a scenic path at the local park. The point is to do something you enjoy! This will make daily exercise less of a chore.

Your OPTAVIA Community is always here to support you. Join me Wednesday evening for our Habits of Health zoom call.

How to cope when feeling overwhelmed

When living above the line, you empower yourself to take ownership of all aspects of your life, you are accountable for your actions, and you act responsible.

Living above the line is not always easy and can sometimes feel overwhelming. In moments of stress, it’s important to take a step back and follow these steps to help re-center yourself.

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  • Breathe. Breathing is essential to life. Steady breaths can help you relax your body and ease your mind. Inhale for five seconds. Hold your breath for an additional five seconds. Finally, exhale for another five seconds. Repeat this practice for as long as you wish.
  • Stop and Visualize. When negative thoughts seem to fill your head, picture a ginormous traffic stop sign to help guide your mind to positive thinking.
  • Find Your Mantra. “I can do this!” When times are tough, it is important to have your own personal mantra to help guide you. Find your affirming phrases and keep it close.
  • Body Scan. Lay down and focus your attention on your body. Do a mental body check from head to toe. This self-realization will help to center you and make you more self-aware.
  • Sensory. Check in with your senses: taste, smell, sight, touch, and hearing. Name a handful of things you see, feel, hear, smell, and taste. Relax your mind by focusing on your immediate surroundings.

It’s time to take ownership and empower yourself. Ask me how you can use the above tactics to help center yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Empower Yourself!

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Habit for living above the line.

Empower yourself by living above the line and making decisions that reflect you! Take responsibility and take steps to becoming the best version of yourself that you can be.

Here are some habits to help you live above the line:

  • Journal more. Take ownership for your actions and write them down. Take a few minutes each day to write a sentence or two reflecting on your day.
  • Sleep more. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. By getting restful sleep, you can become more aware throughout the day and be more accountable.
  • Drink more water. Try to drink about 64 ounces of water a day to stay healthy and help fight potential food cravings. Hydration is essential for your Optimal Wellbeing, can help you remain responsible, and assist you in making better decisions.
  • Reach out to your supportive Community. Connect with those who have likely been in a similar situation as your own. They can help guide you with making above the line decisions and keep you on track to your goals.
  • Get moving. Participate in healthy motion to help guide you along your journey. Not only is healthy motion good for getting your blood flowing and heart pumping, it is also a great tool for clearing your mind. Help focus your mind on what is most important to you.

Take ownership and be responsible and accountable on your journey to lifelong transformation. Sometimes just changes in thinking can make all the difference in the world. Check out some of these positive alternatives. 


Journey to Success - Susan Zartman

Living a Healthier Lifestyle

“I am so thankful to be living an OPTAVIA® life.”

Susan Zartman struggled with her weight for most of her life. “From the time I was a kid, I was on one diet or exercise plan to another. At times I would lose weight, but it would always come back…and bring more of its friends with it!”

A few years ago, Susan’s weight had her facing potential surgery. She knew that was not the path she wanted to take. “I knew I needed to do something.” Tired all of the time, Susan would take a nap in her car during her lunch breaks and again when she got home from work. Susan missed many things because she was constantly saying no.

Enough was enough, but Susan feared the big task that lay ahead of her and she struggled with how she was going to accomplish it. “I knew it was necessary.” Finally, one of her friends invited her to an online challenge. “There, I was part of a healthy Community where we were learning about the Habits of Health. I saw people losing weight, but their focus wasn't on the weight loss, but on living a healthier lifestyle, and I really liked that.”

In October 2014, Susan began her lifelong transformation. She went on to lose 137 pounds*. “But more importantly, I gained a whole new life! I have so much more energy! I feel so much better, inside and out!”

“The girl who wouldn't even get out of her car to go into a store is now walking 5k's, and I've even done a 10k – and I enjoy them!”

Susan’s decision to become a Coach was fueled by her own journey to success. “I became a Certified OPTAVIA Coach along the way, wanting to help others discover the health and the hope I have found.”

*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.