Archive for December, 2010

Maintaining Your Success

Ah, Christmas and December special events are over! Hopefully sometime last week-end, you also took time for celebrating the spiritual significance of Christmas: that Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth as a baby, willingly, as part of God’s plan for reconciling (making the relationship right) each one of us to Himself. What a plan! What an awesome occasion!

What does a spiritual component have to do with weight management?

It is a factor of healthy living!

For the past twelve years, I have been coach to a variety of clients, at various levels of commitment, who got various levels of success. Over those years, people who experience the greatest level of optimal health seem to have these eight areas of lifestyle choices on the right track.

Here, then, is the list of these 8 guardians of our health- a descriptive phrase from a business friend, Carol Merlo.

1. Spiritual component

2. Emotional component

3. Activity

4. Sleep

5. Breathing deeply

6. Hydration

7. Quality and Quantity of Food

8. Supplementation

Over the next couple of weeks, I’d like to explore each of these aspects a little more in depth.

Right now,  let me suggest that you check out these tips to roll into 2011 on the coattails of recent success: whether that was maintenance, less gain than last year (noticeable by how your clothes are fitting- the best way to judge success!), or actual loss of inches/pounds.

The first tip is to stay hydrated- reach for water first when you are hungry. My suggestion: be sure that you are drinking pure water. You certainly don’t want your water to inadvertently be a source of more chemicals and toxins that your body has to work overtime to flush out!

Click here to read the other tips.

If you are in need of take-em-with-you healthy snacks, check out my website for a special price on our Simply Delicious organic snack food bars (2 boxes for the price of one!!). If you have any questions about ordering, feel free to get in touch with me.

One more holiday week-end, New Year’s Eve and Day. You’ll do fine!

May you experience good health, happiness and prosperity in 2011.

If there is anything I can do for you, just let me know.

By the way, if this blog was helpful to you and you know of a friend who is like-minded, or is making steps in that direction- feel free to pass on this link. You can also visit my facebook page for comments and links to other articles of interest. Thanks for stopping, and I look forward to reading your comments below.


Our Cycle of Beginnings

It’s almost here: 2011!

One of the exciting aspects of our calendar that I always appreciate is the number of opportunities we have to make a new start (my thanks to God the Creator for His plan). Think of it:

A new day

A new part of the day (morning, afternoon, evening)

A new week

A new month

A new season

A new year

A birthday

A new decade

And I’ll stop with that one!

How exciting to have a new year just around the corner…an opportunity to begin a new track in many areas of our lives.

Certainly finances have caused a great deal of anxiety this year. You may want to do something different, and actually do things differently, than you did in 2010. Have confidence that when you get a better handle on your finances, you will be reducing your stress, and any number of health challenges that are the result of chronic stress (i.e., high blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, accelerated aging).

Today, click here for a great blog about five strategies for providing a better personal and family financial scenario for 2011.

The author talks about budgeting, but gives some several very practical suggestions to help with the process such as looking for ways to do something you do regularly- cheaper.

Check it out!

Have fun being a better steward of the resources (time, money, energy) that you have been given. The rewards are tremendous.

If there is anything I can do for you, just let me know.

Mari  at 614.804.0291

Food Gifts are so much Fun!

Years ago, I can remember tuning into the idea of homemade and/or handmade gifts as a great way of dealing with my cash flow and taking personal baby-steps in becoming a better gift giver.

Along the way, I was introduced to the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I realized that my love language is NOT gifts, which has helped me relax a little about my lack of enthusiasm  in selecting gifts for others. I think we tend to give what we want to get.

With that said, we as a ministry family have always been in a position to receive gifts of food. Now I have to tell you, that kind of a gift is one I have always appreciated!  At this time of year, of course, food gifts translate into pans of homemade nut bread, boxes of handmade candies, and more! mmmm!

So how does a diligent, committed-to-the-best-lifestyle-choices wellness coach handle this time of year?

Sometimes I handle the situation very well- there are some (not very many, but a few) seasonal treats that are just not appealing to me. Of course, I can’t think of even one right now! Sometimes I give in to tasting, OK, more than tasting: special breads, dark chocolate almond treats, turtles, shortbread cookies, oversize chocolate chip cookies… all call my name!

When I read Lucy’s post this morning, “How to eat so much candy,” I sat here at my computer and laughed out loud. Lucy was one of my first wellness coach mentors. Her thoughts helped me remember that we all have to develop some strategies for containing collateral damage!

Lucy, thanks for reminding me that laughing and enjoying the gift and the gift-giver is a priority. Keeping my commitment to a low-glycemic plan requires a thoughtful plan, and is a second priority!

So what’s your plan for this Christmas week?

I’d love to read your comments!

What’s Your Favorite Diet?

Since the early 70’s when I taught health as a Physical Education teacher, I have kept an eye on the noise about diets. As a Personal Wellness Coach for the last twelve years, my observation is that people are looking for a magic bullet. Unfortunately, upstart companies and entrepreneurs abound to provide what looks like a magic bullet.

Here’s an interesting post by Heather Hawkins, CPT, that might give you some new thoughts about a variety of current diets:

Fitness Trends Review

My personal experience  echoes many of Heather’s thoughts about calories, activity and portion size.

I would go even further and note that in order to get to your ideal size, there are two pre-steps necessary before you cut a single calorie or do one workout:

Know what your goal size is. Start with the end in mind: move incrementally…stay laser-focused on your ultimate goal.

An aside: Why do I say goal size rather than goal weight? Losing pounds does not guarantee that you will lose the fat- and fat is definitely what you need to lose. On typical weight-loss plans, a participant will lose 50% fat, 50% muscle. Losing muscle is NOT a goal!! If you choose to use  a supplement to help you in this process, don’t get sucked in by glitzy testimonials. Rather make sure the product is backed by scientific studies, which give evidence that you will lose more fat than muscle. Mannatech’s OsoLean ™ is such a product (and there is a great two for one promotional price going on right now through Dec. 24. For more information, go to To order, go to

Know why you want to get there. Quite frankly, it usually can’t be for someone else: you need to come up with a reason why you need to get this done NOW, so that when the going gets tough (and it will, as you well know!), you will push through the challenge!!!

Bottom line: Diets don’t work! Read my previous post,

If you can name your favorite diet, the implication is that you have chosen one from a number that you have tried. If a plan only works short-term, it’s simply not a good plan.

Are you ready for a lifestyle change? Let’s talk!

I’d love to read your comments.

Anatomy of a Business Relationship

How is it that we morph from being customers (one-time purchaser) to clients (loyal customers)?

I had reason to think about that question this week as I analyzed my relationship with Dee, the owner of Papillion Day Spa here in Columbus.

Dee had a business display at a Columbus Business First Breakfast in September, ’09, at the Hilton on Polaris (happens to be where her business is located).

As I was leaving, I had to pass Dee’s table, and since I was in need of some make-up, I inquired about what kind she carried. Dee was friendly and easy to talk to. She answered my questions and encouraged me to stop by the spa.

I did, in fact, stop by and make a purchase – and Dee remembered me: always a good part of customer service! I inquired about what services she offered, and discovered that she had a hairstylist and a manicurist. I was casually looking for a new hairstylist, got Andrea’s contact information and began a client relationship with her. Eventually, I made the decision to splurge and get a manicure, and started a client relationship with Amy. Meanwhile, Dee started advertising monthly specials via email. This past week, I really stretched  my comfort zone and took advantage of an email coupon for a facial. Of course, the result was fantastic!

So what happened here? From the business owner’s viewpoint: Dee took the risk and advertised herself at a business networking event. She provided information and a gracious invitation to stop in and talk with her. She provided good customer service and a range of services that would appeal to me. She kept in contact with me with a monthly email that provided special pricing on services that I would be interested in. She provided a setting that is complementary to her services.

From a customer’s viewpoint, she was on the scene physically, with product, where I was. She remembered talking with me when I did drop in at her spa for my first informal visit. That was impressive.  She has friendly employees who add to the professional setting. Of course, I’m very satisfied with the product. She has kept in touch monthly via email: not too much (companies that are in my face every day drive me crazy!), just enough.

I am a satisfied customer, and yes, I have given her name out to my friends.

If you are a business owner, what are you doing to move your one-time customers up the ‘client-ladder?’

If you are a loyal satisfied customer, do you have your friend’s business card so that you can give a referral?

In today’s economy, a referral is the highest recommendation you can give!

What is your experience as a business owner, or as a customer? Please leave a comment!

Cutting Calories- even in December!

Although it is certainly a very acceptable goal to not gain any weight during the holidays (remember we are not throwing in the towel and abandoning making better decisions this month), what if you could actually lose a few inches? What if you could keep your closet inventory down and  not have to buy another (i.e., bigger) size?

The following suggestions can be implemented at any time of year, but even choosing one NOW and sticking with it, could make a difference in how you start January, 2011.

One of the best ways to lose the fat  is to reduce caloric intake while taking the OsoLean(tm) powder*. In fact, these suggested behaviors to reduce your calories will serve you well for permanent weight loss.

  1. High Protein for Breakfast. The OsoLean(tm) powder is an excellent addition to breakfast in that it contains high protein (22 grams per serving).  Whatever you choose to eat for breakfast, add more protein. Why? Research has show that when an overweight person eats a high protein breakfast, s/he reduces appetite (and calories by 267) the rest of the day.
  2. Get 8 hours of sleep. People who do not get their proper 8 hours of sleep experience hormonal fluctuations that increase appetite.
  3. Start off with vegetable soup. When you sit down to eat lunch or dinner, start with a cup of vegetable soup (130 calories). Penn State researchers report that this causes a person to consume 20% lower calories overall during that meal.
  4. Give your brain something else to think about. When scientists scanned the brains of people eating different foods, they found that the brain reacts to fat in the mouth much the same as it responds to a good aroma. So when you feel a craving, apply one of your favorite scents!
  5. Give yourself very little choice. Packages that contain assorted varieties of cookies, candies, cheese, etc. make a person want to try them all. The effect is so powerful that researchers found that when someone is given 10 different colors of M&M’s, they eat 30% more than if they had only one color. Suggestion: Limit your choices.

Even now during December holiday challenges, you can make a decision to change your behavior. Even one behavior change can make a difference. I promise!

If there is anything I can do to help you on this journey to ‘lose the fat,’ just let me know.

*OsoLean(tm) is a nutritional product available for purchase from Mannatech (go to More information is available from Right now through December 24, there is special pricing through a promotional offer. Call me for details.

(The material in this blog is adapted from a newsletter ICANLOSEFAT by Merri-Jo Hillaker)

Legacy, conclusion

In addition to the suggestions previously posted, here are some additional specifics:

1. Promote a diet high in fiber (check the labels of purchased food!)

2. Promote a diet balanced with protein, carbs, and fats. Carbs include fruits and vegetables which should definitely trump the appearance of refined carbs (cookies, pastries, bread, etc.).

3. Encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity- at least 60 minutes a day! It would be great if physical education class was a regular part of school, but whether it is or isn’t, there is a definite need for children to be playing, running, riding bikes, etc. Take family walks or bike rides: do activities together!

4. Sleep is an extremely important factor in children’s health, both the quality and quantity of sleep. “Well-rested kids are more creative, more interested, more responsive and do better in sports. It also will help them eat better.” 1

Suggestions from these three articles are actually lifestyle choices that we as adults make everyday. If you are a parent (or grandparent who has regular input!), remember you are modeling lifestyle choices: good choices that promote wellness, poor choices that promote sickness.

Sometimes, of course, the results of our choices are not immediately visible. However, as is the case with a legacy, the results are inevitably something that will be handed down to the next generation.

Somethings to think about, and hopefully, take action on. I’d like to read your comments below.


1. Kate Cronan, MD, associate professor pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia; medical editor at

American Academy of Pediatrics

Barlow, SE & Expert Committee on the Assessment Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity (2007), Pediatrics, 140 (4), S164-S192

Bowdoin, J.J. (2008) A response to the expert committee’s recommendations on the Assessment Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity, Pediatrics, 121(4), 833-834