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The Weight Is Over Release the Fat. Reclaim Your Health. Reach Your Ultimate Fitness & Life Goals.

By Val D. McLeod


Copyright © 2014 by Val D. McLeod ISBN- 978-1499223767 All rights reserved. Written permission must be secured from the publisher to use or reproduce any part of this book, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles. First Printing, 2014 Printed in the United States of America Cover design by Vita M. Rome, Vision Is The Answer Design Firm, LLC –

Layout & Interior Graphics by Tracy A. Hanes


Praise for

The Weight Is Over! Tamela’s Testimonial You have just picked up the book that will change your life! In 2006, I watched a gracious, gentle, vibrant, loving and gorgeous woman walked into the classroom of WOTP. Her beauty and presence filled the room immediately and I thought, “Who is that?” After a few weeks of encountering this woman of purpose, it was apparent to me that God chose Val McLeod, the Founder of Shaped4Success, to enter my life and change it forever. At the time, I was preparing myself to enter my first corporate manager role that I dreamed and prayed for. After 10 years in the global treasury market, I was ready to enter the place God had ordained for me but I lacked the ingredients needed to enter this new realm of success. It was through daily Conversations with V as the sun rose where Val provided me with immeasurable insight that helped me to understand that my talents and skills were a product of the internal person that God “already” created me to be. Val’s unique anointing penetrates like a river of water to the cracks of internal wounds, hurts and disappointments.


Val has been given an extraordinary gift from God that allows her to see a person in God’s “finished state” versus there “current place of process.” The VAL-U Tip that I see as the most integral part of Val is her “Selfless celebration of everyone that she meets.” I have never in my life met a person as outwardly and internally beautiful as Val, that makes everyone she encounters feel their absolute best. Without physically touching my face, her presence and posture always lifted up my chin and her smile always communicated how proud she was of me. I never met the 600 pound woman that Good Morning America displayed during Oscar weekend in 2014 or the woman surrounded by food that was featured in People Magazine showing how Val lost 296 pounds. When Val approached me it was as if she had been her total complete self her entire life. She did not present to me the wounds and hurts of her past. I never encountered the bitterness from the shame that she carried in her former years. You see, she was completely healed and able to offer her best self to all those she came in contact with. I not did see the physical calories of weight externally nor the internal weight of guilt, shame, pity as she walked through life’s ridicule because of her size. I only saw the beauty, strength, grace, faith, love and dignity that brings to every life she encounters. This journey for you and not only for you bit it will liberate all that you encounter as you begin to see the you inside of you. So just like you, I am able to experience the miracle of what God CAN and WILL do with a willing spirit. It is not an accident, coincidence or happenstance that you are reading this book. 6

This is the manifestation that everything that you have experienced in your life up to this very second is NOW going to be used to produce the person that you were originally created to be. My internal wiring always led me to meeting celebrities, executives and famous people. While even being the granddaughter of a Motown legend and all those perks, I struggled with accepting and acknowledging that I could actually become and receive God’s absolute best for me. As I stated during Val’s interview on the Sidney Woods Radio show in Atlanta, GA, “Sidney – she is not only my dear sister, I am a client.” Val, I am forever grateful for you loving me beyond my fears and insecurities! I am so Proud of You! #quackquack #honkhonk #VTTV!



About the Author

"Abundant Living" Speaker, Author & Life-readiness Expert, Val McLeod, is passionate about teaching you how to live a joy-filled, heart-centered life. Her “All things are possible when you believe” approach builds faith in every life she touches. Val uses the power and principles of her challenging but triumphant weight loss journey to help you release whatever is weighing you down. Whether it’s excess weight, extreme stress, economic hardship or an inability to move out of your own way, Val helps you to get rid obstacles so you can learn to live a more confident, enriched and balanced life. Once weighing in over 600 pounds, Val is a strategic optimist. Always able to see your greater potential, she guides as you learn to believe and become the ultimate expression of yourself. Val inspires you to reach beyond every limitation to embrace and enjoy the abundant life you were created to live, love, lead and leave a legacy. 9

As the Founder and Chief Executive Facilitator of Shaped4Success, Val now uses her victory over a lifetime of morbid obesity to inspire, motivate and empower. Val’s keynotes, seminars and workshops are life-transforming experiences that leave you wanting to be, do and have more. Val’s core belief in personal responsibility enables her to successfully coach her clients to get what they want out of life by holding them accountable for the results they desire to create. Her first book, EmpoWord! {pronounced ‘empowered’} – Build A Life Of Success With Powerful, Positive Language is a manual to managing your life with the wealth of your words. With Value, Abundance & Love, you can choose to live victoriously in every area of your life! To find out more about Val D. McLeod and the Shaped 4 Success movement visit her website:


Randy Friedman Communication Expert The Athletic Mindset 561-444-8704 Office 561-345-5440 Cell Randy Friedman has been a professional athlete for over 25 years. Competing and teaching at the highest level in racquetball, golf and bodybuilding, Randy learned how to mentally breakthrough barriers to achieve her goals at an early age. Later when she became an LPGA teaching professional, teaching her students how to use an athletic mindset to play at a higher level, became her “aha� that opened several new doors. This unique way of connecting with others caught the attention of many successful New York executives, who later hired Randy to bring this technique into their companies. 11

The athletic mindset concept was born. Randy took her physical talents to paper, publishing her first book Your Inner Swing: 7 Lessons in Golf and Life! Using her extensive knowledge and experience on the mental game of competing and winning, she toured the country as a motivational speaker – from country clubs to corporations, which including many Fortune 500 banking, insurance and financial institutions. As President of The Athletic Mindset, and co-author with Linda Webb of The Athletic Mindset – Three Tools for Success, Randy now educates and coaches, using a unique “give me the ball” attitude twist on corporate training and coaching. As a professional athlete, trainer and coach, Randy has spent her career helping people discover their inner potential, helping them get out of their own way. Her natural way of sharing powerful messages, like the mental attitude of gratitude, goes way beyond the sports arena and into everyday living.


PATRICIA “Pattie” WALDEN Pattie has served as managing editor for the Atlanta Business Journal magazine, as feature writer for Minority Business News (MBNUSA) magazine, and freelance writer for MD Publishing. She has authored the books - The Art of Standing still…When Still Doesn’t Mean Stuck and The Art of Resilience…Learning How to Bounce Back. She is also a professional script writer, reviewer of books, and book editor. As a national voice-over talent for radio and television commercials Pattie has been dubbed as one of the most versatile voice-over artists. Her voice has been heard by millions of people throughout the country and abroad to AOL users everywhere saying: “Welcome! You’ve got Mail!” for AOL’s 9.0 optimized and personalized version. This accomplishment was recounted on the front page of The Daily Press newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia. Pattie also teaches by lending instruction for voice training through voice13

over workshops. She has taught Voice-over 101 at local universities and other facilities. She has also developed courses for Executive Speech as well as taught students executive assistant training to students for first time entry into the workforce. In her spare time, Pattie doubles as the Christian comedienne, the dear “Mother J” – performing at church conferences, as an opening act for concerts, plays, private functions and at community and school events. Pattie received her formal education from Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with a minor in Theatre. While serving as a coach and mentor for youth, Pattie’s ministry translated into her being a motivational speaker and inspiring think leader and life consultant to church and community leaders.


John Moore Website: Email: John Moore of 1 Moore Rep Studio is a Professional Wellness Enrichment Expert. His unique approach to wellness incorporates mental, emotional, and your spiritual well-being in achieving physical fitness goals. 1 Moore Rep Studio is infused by balanced comprehensive core components of health & wellness, which will add multi-level long-term benefits. John Moore attended the University of Maryland. College Park and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1986. He continued his education at Jackson State University to finish with a Master’s degree in Kinesiology Ordained Minister from the New Heaven Christian Academy in St. Louis, MO. In 1998 where he knew you had to bring the mind, body & soul together for a “Spiritual Fitness Infusion.”


John Moore has several credentials under his belt. He is constantly renewing his mind to better equip his clients, his staff and community to bring forth the knowledge and wisdom of Spiritual Fitness Infusion for a healthy living lifestyle. His favorite quote is, “Anyone can quit, but it takes a special person to finish,” because “Fitness Without Faith Is Dead.”            

(RDA) Registered Dietitian of America Nutritional Advisor (ACE) American Counsel on Exercise Clinical Reebok Cycle Instruction & Schwinn Cycle Spin Instructor Healthy Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant Pre and Post Natal Fitness Trainer (ACSM) American College of Sports Medicine Certification (ISSA) International Sports Sciences Association Strength and Conditioning Coach (AFAA) Aerobics & Fitness Association of America Certified Group Fitness Instructor American Red Cross CPR-First Aid – AED Certified Instructor


Tracy A. Hanes Authority Marketing Media Strategist VP of The Local Marketers Association 281-910-8728 Cell International Best Selling Author, consultant, and online/offline marketing Pro Tracy A. Hanes is an educator and an advocate for the success of his customers to gain Authority position in their local marketplace. Tracy specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses gain a competitive advantage in their local market both online and off by using Authority Marketing. Tracy has been quoted on CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC affiliates and featured on small business He is also the creator of The Lotus Formula. How now 17

is the time to “Awaken” and crush it! Discovering and Leveraging your Talents for Wealth. 10 Steps to help you… “You know how hard it is to get into national publications like NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX so you can become an Authority in your field of expertise?” I solve this. A retired US Navy Photographer and Videographer and director spent nearly 20 years training and supervising Photographers/Videographers on Shore commands and at sea. Some of his significant assignments were the Presidential visit of Ronald Reagan to Hawaii in 1984, the Presidential visit of Bill Clinton to the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) to Alameda CA. 1993. If you are serious about improving your own business’ bottom line, positioning as an Authority and would like to schedule a free consultation to see how T Allen Hanes & Associates can set a comprehensive online media Authority Marketing campaign using strategic media for your company, you can contact Him by at, or by calling or texting your name and email to 281-910-8728. Or go here to set an appointment.


Norma T. Hollis America’s Leading Authentic Voice Doctor® 323-734-7144 Norma T. Hollis helps people find, live and share their authentic voice. She defines authentic voice as the “person you were born to be” and “the voice you were sent to the world to share”. She has developed the ‘Authentic Voice System’ and is transforming lives worldwide with a focus on helping people align their gifts and talents within fulfilling and sustainable career paths. Norma offers many products and services that enable people to know themselves on a deep level, monetize their gifts and talents, become self-sufficient through their gifts and talents then step into their authentic voice and life assignment. Her path to authenticity began in the field of education as an early childhood development specialist. She directed private and non-profit child care programs in Michigan and California. Most noted for her work with 19

Head Start, Norma reached the top of this industry, directing Charles Drew University’s $10 million program serving 1500 children. Through this process she developed a deep understanding of human development and the gifts and talents we are born with. She became a champion of children’s spirituality and now helps parents and caregivers deepen their understanding of natural gifts and talents and direct the path of the child’s authentic voice. She also became a spiritual director to gain a deeper understanding of gifts and talents as it relates to spiritual growth and development at all ages. In her second career Norma was an entrepreneur in the professional speaking industry. She was the first African American woman to own a speaker’s bureau focused on African Americans and she started the very first directory of African American speakers on the internet. This led her to understand not only what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur but also how speakers use their natural gifts and talents to share their authentic voice through their message and delivery on stage. In the process she gained the title of America's Leading Authentic Voice Doctor®. Clients marveled at her ability to help them find their message as a speaker. Others were impressed at her ability to help them adjust to the challenge of living their message regardless of the obstacles. Still others benefited from Norma's ability to help them find comfortable ways to express themselves in sustainable careers. She is now in her third career as a thought-leader, mentor, transformational speaker, trainer, author and authority in the field of authenticity. Norma has an 20

international clientele of speakers, authors and entrepreneurs as well as others who seek to follow the path of their authentic voice. She currently certifies Authenticity Ambassadors and Coaches to expand the message of authenticity in corporate, medical, youth, personal development and community environments. She’s fulfilling her mission of touching your authentic core and impacting personal development worldwide. Norma produces multiple events in Los Angeles and around the country. She is a Partnering Director of the Public Speakers Association and recently received the 2014 National Collaborator of the Year Award by this organization. She is also an Event Director with The Women’s Information Network (The WIN) and an Ambassador for the Stiletto Business Conferences. Norma is the author of Ten Steps to Authenticity, Creating a Satisfying and Rewarding Life; The Process to Become a Professional Speaker, A Workbook for New and Emerging Speakers, Mystic Footprints, A Journey of Spiritual Awakening and numerous audio and other programs that enhance authentic personal and professional development.



Sharon Frame Former CNN Anchor/Author/Empowerment Speaker/ Focus Coach 678-602-2899 Sharon Frame’s core mission is to help women claim their “space” on the planet, re-frame their self-image and create the life they desire and deserve. She does that through her international travels as an Empowerment Speaker and with her “Focus And Follow Through” Power Focus Coaching. As a coach, Ms. Frame teaches clients how to take small, daily, deliberate, systematic steps to laser-focus and harness their energy to reach desired goals. Ms. Frame believes everyone came to the planet “Wired to Win” and pre-programmed for greatness. For more than twenty-five years she has delivered selfdevelopment speeches on business and personal success strategies. She has conducted “follow-through” seminars and keynotes for small businesses, 23

corporations, colleges, conferences and associations. Clients are taught to shift their mindset from negative, toxic, limiting beliefs; tap into their full potential and create a life of significance, joy, purpose and unlimited possibilities. Ms. Frame also created a four-step “LeadHERship” strategy to help women set a better sail in life through Ownership, Relationship, Scholarship and Stewardship. Those are the anchors of her 4th book “LeadHERship: Own it. Love it. Learn it. Give it: Women Redefining Wealth, Health and Happiness, And How You Can Too.” Sharon also hosts an exciting LeadHERship Empowerment Cruise for women every year that offers a fun get-away of “Leisure and Learning. ““. Ms. Frame is a former CNN anchor, award-winning journalist and Empowerment Speaker. She hosts an eTV Show on the WIN Network. “Focus and Follow Through: How to Get Things Done While Having Fun!” Sharon’s 4 books include Wired To Win! The Ultimate Guide for Women Who Want to Plug In, Power Up and Push Through to Personal Greatness!; LeadHERship! Own it. Love it, Learn it. Give it; The 67-th Book of the Bible. Have failures, set-backs and disappointments derailed or deferred your dreams? Perhaps it’s time to let Sharon Frame help you set yourself up for true and tangible success through the power of ”Focus and Follow Through.” 24

Pollie Massey Pollie Massey, creator and brand ambassador for all things YOGO®, is a dynamic speaker, master facilitator and leadership coach. She is the chief consultant of OMS Consulting and Training, Inc., a consultancy specializing in providing clients with strategies for developing workplaces that are more inclusive for their workforce and their clients. You learn a lot about great communication just by watching Pollie listen to others. When someone is that present with you, it’s transformative. People are able to make change, because as she so clearly sees the potential in them, they begin to see it in themselves. She’s constantly seeking ways to explore and integrate different approaches to improve how she communicates and how we listen to one another. Pollie takes a very active approach to life. When something interests her, she finds a way to read about it, learn more or even try it. This means it’s hard to 25

predict what she might be doing on her free time. She might be volunteering as a sign language interpreter, teaching at risk young people the power of public speaking, practicing yoga or even learning to rollerblade. She’ll tell you that her best ideas come from her long walks on the Atlanta Beltline and when trying new recipes for green smoothies and juicing when she’s not traveling for business. Since she loves music Pollie signs her favorite songs often when opening her keynotes. Her love for theatre has led her to take improvisation classes and she makes it to Broadway several times a year. Pollie believes that most of us tend to put our dreams away for another day or somewhere out of reach when they are often in front of us and come from deep within us. When she is coaching she is on your side one hundred percent. And her patience is unlimited. Pollie has extensive experience in optimizing organizational effectiveness, cross-cultural competency, with a specialty in women’s leadership and corporate mentoring. As a speaker and master facilitator -- after thousands of engagements -- she consistently receives extraordinary feedback. She leads her signature workshops around the country with joy and passion. She wants you to know that you only get one – Be intentional about showing up as the best you can be. No one can be better than you at being you. YOGO!® “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” 26

Alex Q. Anthony BLE, Incorporated “The Power of Health seizes the moment for a joyful life.� Alex Q. Anthony (born October 15, 1973) is the founder & CEO of BLE, Incorporated. His company focuses on entertainment, communications and media services. Alex Anthony was born in the Bronx, New York and currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He's from a Black Hispanic background that strongly believes in toiling towards success, through commitment that results in action. He attended Rice High School in Harlem, New York and studied Mass Communications/Journalism at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Miami Dade College. Growing up in New York City, Alex was confronted by many challenges in life. Despite the hardships of poverty, gang participation and violent activities, Alex has 27

become an against-all-odds success. The cardinal principles of his Alma Mata helped to shape, mature and transform him into the man he is. Alex governs his life by the ethics of R.I.C.E., which symbolize Responsibility, Integrity, Courage and Empowerment. Alex credits his life mentors, who continue to inspire him toward greatness, including: Mr. Patrick Mangan, Mr. Fred Murphy and Ms. Maura Beattie. Their commitment to instilled in Alex the values to always keep a clear mindset, which enabled him toward higher aspirations. An avid reader, Alex’ passion for reading was instrumental in developing his creative writing skills. He is admired most for his short stories and poetry's for which he won several honors and awards. Alex Q. Anthony's business includes Mediacom. He's also experience in the independent music industry with skills in management, promotions, social media marketing and public relations. He also serves as the Editor In Chief of BNN – BottumLyne News Network. BNN publishes a community newsletter that covers upcoming business news, career and life development opportunities, events, and current affairs. BLE’s blogtalk radio program features interviews on various public and social topics. Alex is the proud father of Jadakiss A. Anthony. Rearing his daughter as a single parent motivates him to reach out to youth throughout South Florida. By helping other children and young adults to make positive choices and lead a productive life, Alex is recognized as a force for community good. Alex believes that the most well prepared mind is the core quality to live a healthier life, achieve your goals and realize your greatest dreams. 28

Mike Spitzer Mike Spitzer took charge of his own health, combining past knowledge and new research, he structured a diet and exercise program that allowed him to get in the best shape of his life – all past the age of 40. His highly acclaimed book has been called one of the most definitive books available to guide people over age 40 to achieve a higher level of overall fitness and well-being. In Fitness at 40, 50, 60, and beyond, Mike shows you the exact program that helped not only him, but also scores of other individuals who have followed the guidelines described in this resourceful book. In addition to spending the past 30 years as a chemist, Mike Spitzer has been interested in the topic of weight loss, resistance training, and maximizing fitness potential since the late 1970’s. 29

Prior to the writing and publication of this book, Mike spent the major portion of his professional career in the Environmental industry. In 1992 he cofounded Precision Environmental Laboratory, a testing facility that grew to be one of the largest in the State of Florida. During this time Mike supervised the analysis of drinking water and other samples as part of EPA regulated programs to insure public safety. In addition to participating in a variety of small fitness contests for his own personal motivation and writing articles for magazines, he has also assisted scores of people to achieve their own weight loss and fitness goals. In fact, it was at the suggestion of those he helped that he was urged to write his recent book.


Pastor Dan Johnson website: Twitter: @empoweredbydan Facebook: danjohnsonworldwide1 Dan was born to the ills of a poverty stricken area, much like many inner-city youth, seeking to be successful in the midst of drugs, gangs, and violence was quite difficult. Despite his season of being a participant in the wiles of his community, Dan realized early on that he did not want to become a product of his environment, nor allow his environment to take him under. As a result of this decision, he rededicated his life to Christ and later accepted his call to ministry at the age of 17. As a traveling evangelist he has shared platforms with persons such as Dr. John Maxwell, Bishop Tudor Bismark, Dr. Juanita Bynum, and Dr. N. Cindy Trimm, 31

just to name a few. In addition, God began to open ministry doors outside of the U.S.A. in places such as Cameroon, Johannesburg, Cape Town, East London, Durbin, Zimbabwe, and so forth. Committed to community growth and development, Dan has founded and funded several projects to meet the needs of the inner city. Such activities as creating jobs, distributing more than 20K meals, anti-violence marches, teaching young people entrepreneurship, providing mentorship for at risk youth and so much. By the Grace of God, Pastor Dan has been featured on TBN 4 times, highlighted as “Someone You Should Know” on FOX news and UPN My 50 (Chicago Urban League Next T.V.), and featured on several radio shows for his diligence and work in the community. Pastor Dan also served as the host and empowerment coach of the Life Gets Better Radio Show aired on WVON. In addition, he served as Co-host for the “Making your Marriage Work” radio show in Miami, FL. Dan Johnson has also served as General Sales Manager in both radio and television. The youngest to hold such a coveted position, was able to increase sales by 34% in just one year for the radio station, and saved the television company nearly half a million dollars on a media buy within the first week of his employment. Dan has achieved great success not only in business development and sales, but also in marketing and promotions. Always seeking to expand and grow, Dan founded 1st Choice Promotions which later became 1st Choice Communications Group, a full service printing, marketing & consulting firm that specializes in “marketing businesses & churches…while promoting 32

people & events�. Through 1st Choice, Dan has served many corporations, ministries, and musical artist in the area of consulting, marketing, and promotions. A gifted & anointed speaker, teacher, author, and entrepreneur, Pastor Dan's ministry focuses on assisting individuals in identifying purpose and overcoming day to day life challenges, while empowering others to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. His prophetic ministry of healing, deliverance, economic empowerment, and inspirational speaking has allowed him to grace pulpits, boardrooms, and schools, both nationally and internationally. Pastor Dan's life experience, biblical teachings, and message of empowerment will improve your quality of life and help you reach your God-given destiny.



Tamela Joyce website: Follow Tamela on Twitter: @tamelajoyce Facebook: Jones Tamela Joyce is an international treasury expert with over 15 years of experience and helps business owners and individuals learn how to track and understand cash while maintaining liquidity. She has worked for several Fortune 500 organizations, during which over time she has developed a unique knowledge base of cash principles, discipline, and financial workings of emerging global organizations, in particular the daily cash position, cash forecasting and credit facility infrastructures. Tamela utilizes her global corporate experience to collaborate with non-profits by creating partnerships for volunteerism and philanthropy. She serves as the Financial Advisor to Hoke McNeal Academy of Higher 35

Learning and works with Giving A Hand, Inc., with serving homeless children and families in the Atlanta area. In 2009, after on 30 days with the organization, Tamela negotiated a refund of over $50k in over charge bank fees. She is a member of the Association of Financial Professionals. Tamela has appeared on Atlanta LIVE Channel 57 and conducted a Financial Workshop that provided free tools and resources to business owners and individuals. She completed an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Alabama State University and is the granddaughter of Grammy Award winner, Richard Pistol Allen for his acclaimed musicianship as a drummer in the Motown band, The Funk Brothers. Tamela currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her two handsome sons.


To everyone who believed in the me I could not see... You’ve added such value to my life


To you – The person who is ready to take the next step because deep inside…you believe…the weight is over!

I Val You!



To my Baby Sister Felicia



CONTENTS Foreword xv Acknowledgments xvii Introduction xix Chapter 1 Why Weight? Val McLeod shares her amazing story. She covers it all. You will cry & cheer for Val as she touches and transforms your life by sharing her challenging but triumphant story.

Chapter 2 Shaped For Success Former CNN Anchor, Sharon Frame recognizes success when she sees it. She also knows how to move you to create the life you desire and deserve.


Chapter 3 You Only Get One – Wait No More When Pollie Massey speaks and people listen. You will be glad and grateful to lean in and hold on to her extraordinary inspiration and insight.

Chapter 4 The Power of Affirmation Alex Q. Anthony affirms you by sharing his wisdom and strength. Knowledge is key and he helps you to unlock the power of your mind, body and spirit.

Chapter 5 A More Abundant Life Fitness experts, John Moore and Michael Spitzer know exactly what you need to do and they tell you how to do it. Both bring a unique, power-filled, abundant approach toward helping you to take control of your life by changing the way you eat, move and live.

Chapter 6 REACH For What You Want Through his own journey to better fitness, Pastor Dan Johnson understands that the process is not easy but it 42

is worth it. He empowers you to press through the tough times to REACH your goals and experience the glory.

Chapter 7 Sustainable Success Real success is revealed in what remains. Wherever you are in your process, Norma T. Hollis, America’s Leading Authentic Voice Doctor® celebrates your accomplishment. She helps you to understand the imperatives of authenticity. You’ll learn to connect and commit to your truth so you can hold on to the ground you’ve gained by releasing the weight and revealing the truest you.

Chapter 8 The Value of Personal Responsibility Val McLeod believes in you. She knows you can create the changes you want to see in your life because it’s yours. You own it. From wherever you are on your pathway to greater fitness, Val gently holds your heart and takes you by the hand as you take the next step toward becoming the amazing person that you already are. The Weight is really over!




"Sticks and stones will break your bones and words will surely harm you!" Val McLeod tells her life's story of being ridiculed and bullied from the time she can remember, about being overweight. This book will change your life‌ Whenever you're ready! The big question that Val finally asked herself and she will ask you in this book, is why wait to change your weight (I love a good play on words)? The answer is simply mindset. Now I'm not saying it's easy to change your mindset, but it is simple (and yes there is a difference). As Val will brilliantly tell you, it took her years and years of abusing her body, where it finally started to break down on her, to make a big change. Her joints started giving way, her internal organs began to malfunction, and she was put on multiple medications to survive. Is this living? No, not the quality of life Val wanted for herself. Enough is enough As strong as top athletes look, they are only as strong as their mindset. And this athletic mindset must be positive 100% of the time, cheering themselves on from the inside out. This was Val's "aha" moment. I say, "Bravo Val" for being able to brush yourself off, pick yourself up, and start over again. Val, like a top athlete was able to cheer herself on, encourage herself every single day, and believe that she could make drastic changes to reach her personal goal line. 45

A new mindset Val's mindset had to change from the inside in order to change her outside. She had to reinvest in herself with positive, life-giving beliefs. You see, when Val finally realized that she wasn't forced to eat anything and that no one was telling her that she had to over eat day in and day out, it was then that she realized no one else but herself was responsible for her body. "A belief is just a thought you keep thinking." It was in that moment, that Val realized she could change her beliefs by changing her thinking. Her old belief of "I've always been fat and I will always be fat" had to change to "I am getting healthier and healthier every day." This new mindset was the starting point that propelled Val to be as beautiful on the outside as she felt on the inside. Don't feel sorry for Val. She is not interested in that. She is interested in helping you rediscover your truth. Read this book with new insight and inspiration that you CAN improve your life from the inside out. Don't wait any longer. Val McLeod is proof positive that the battle of the weight is now over!

Randy Friedman


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thank you is the most essential expression of the human experience. I’d like to thank the many people around the world who have heard or read about my story and see themselves in my experience. Help is here. The weight is over! From the place in my heart that’s filled with overwhelming gratitude, many thanks and abundant blessings to Pattie Walden, my supervising editor, for her brilliant ability to bring the absolute best out of me. Tracy A. Hanes, you are indeed, “Mr. Incredible”! Thank you for coming to my rescue. To my family, friends and fans who continually give me the fuel to go forward. Thank you for your support. To Tangee Hall ~ for your major contribution to the “process”, I appreciate every kindness extended to me. To Teresa Reese ~ “When someone shows you who they are believe them.” Thank you for always being authentically awesome! To Robert Sims for all that are to me and, for everything you do to navigate my affairs – I’m so very grateful to GOD. Mr. Michael Andrews & Spot Light Entertainment – Your representation has expanded my view and increased my value. Let’s do it!!!! 47

To the “Splendid Seven” – my contributing authors

This book could not have been written without their extraordinary gifts, talents, skills and ability to create value, abundance and legacy.

~Norma T. Hollis ~ ~Sharon Frame~ ~Alex Q. Anthony ~ ~Pollie Massey~ ~John Moore ~ ~Michael Spitzer~ ~Pastor Dan Johnson~ I Really VAL You! With enormous appreciation to Vita M. Rome, my gifted graphic designer who consistently brings my vision to life!


Editing by Patricia Walden



INTRODUCTION What’s the one thing everyone wants but remains elusive to all? Answer: The perfect diet. We all want to be healthy, fit, strong, energetic and even beautiful. The desire to lose weight is so strong that there are over 100 million dieters in America alone. The $40 billion dollar a year weight-loss industry has not come up with the “perfect” solution to cure the increasing numbers of people who are over their desired weight. Even with the abysmal success rate, which some report as less than 5%, we are eager to try the next great plan. If I had learned what I know now twenty-five years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of time, a lot of money and a whole lot of agony. I won’t say diets don’t work but I will emphatically say that diets alone absolutely do not work. The more I obsessed about losing weight, the more I gained. The more I thought about what I should not be eating, I ate even more. Everyone who hears about my remarkable weight loss success story applauds me. I’m continually asked what diet I followed that produced such outstanding results. I had great success with the Weight Watchers program. It was my internal shift combined with their meal plan that ultimately worked for me. The bottom line is I had to change my mind along with my eating and living habits. As you will read throughout this book, good thinking is essential to good health. Sharon Frame, Pollie Massey, Alex Anthony, John Moore, Michael Spitzer, Pastor Dan Johnson and 51

Norma Hollis and I have collaborated to help you to change your mind, change your message and change your methods. Permit this book and everyone who contributed to its rich content - be a guiding light for you. Prepare to get over the brain blocks and mental hurdles that have kept you from releasing the extra energy we call fat.


-1Why Weight? It was a typical sunny South Florida day. As I looked up at the beautiful beaming blue skies, I wished the ground would open and swallow me up. There I was‌ lying in a hospital bed, outside on the loading dock. This state-of-the-art hospital did not have a scale that could accommodate my weight so without asking or telling me anything, I was rolled outside pass the kitchen and storage rooms, perhaps even pass the morgue to the outdoor freight scale. They talked to one another but ignored me. I remained silent but I still remember the pungent smell from the surrounding green dumpsters. It was trash. I was cargo. Embarrassed and humiliated beyond words, I vowed that I would never make anyone feel that way. Objectification opposes and denies our humanity. No one deserves that. So why had I permitted myself to be in that situation? Throughout my entire life, why hadn’t I just stopped eating? 53

Why? Why? Why?

Food Was My First Bestie From my earliest childhood memories, I was extremely overweight. My mother recounts that even as a baby, I had big appetite. I was never satisfied with one bottle of milk and would scream until she gave me another eight ounces. Before I started going to school, I recall being much larger than my siblings and friends. I would try to keep up with my older brothers but never could. I once attempted to follow them and climb a fence. My leg got caught on the top of a spiked wire and was ripped open because I was too heavy to lift myself over it. I was taken to the emergency room for stiches and as 54

my leg healed, I stayed inside and ate. Eating was certainly more preferable than failing at physical activity. I believe this was one of the pivotal trajectorysetting moments that led to lifetime obesity. I became an “indoor child” who found companionship, care and consolation in food. I never saw food as something that was hurtful me. To the contrary… food was always there to soothe and satisfy me. More to Me Than the Eyes Could See When I started school, I was much larger than all of my peers but that did not stop me from eating. I really liked school and I do not remember being a continual target for insults and offensiveness. That came a little later in my life. However, there were instances of extreme embarrassment. In my elementary school, we had annual health reviews that included recording each student’s height and weight. I would dread this day every year. It was the beginning of my aversion to getting on a scale. The nurse would roll this creakywheeled gray “monster” into the classroom. Each student was called to the front of the class to be weighed. In order for the teacher to be able to record the weight on the student data cards, the nurse would call the number out loud to her. You already know. When it was my turn, the laughter would start as soon as my name was called. Every year I took that walk of shame. My publically announced weight was at least double that of my classmates. The class would erupt in laughter. I was mortified but I would never cry. With a bold face but a broken heart, I’d walk back to my seat. Even at that tender age, I experienced brokenness. I 55

overcompensated by setting my face like a flint. Being broken is something that will eventually have to happen in order for both the wait and weight to be over. And, sometimes our point-of-brokenness leads to breakthrough. Although, each of us are different; we reach our stopping points at different times and for different reasons. I “weighted” for quite some time; but now, after being broken in the right direction, I have been able to reclaim my health as well as reach and even supersede many of my life goals! Throughout my life, people have commented on the level of confidence and strength that I exude. I believe that is a core part of my personality but it was also a learned coping mechanism. It became a necessary means for mental and emotional survival. I taught myself how to handle public humiliation with a sense of personal honor. From a wounded child’s heart I thought that I was being courageous to pretend I was not in pain when treated badly. Today, if I could speak to my younger self, I would say, “Baby, where is your courage to tell people, STOP IT! That hurts.” There is no way that I would let someone drop a tenpound rock on my foot and not scream out in agony. Being fat does not insulate a person from feeling. I later learned that this childhood coping mechanism was the foundation to a problematic pattern I would be confronted with in adulthood. Whether it was in public, at home, school, work or church, I would permit people to treat me cruelly and pretend it did not hurt. No matter how extreme the emotional pain, all I wanted to do was get to my place of comfort. My solace and strength was in overeating foods that sadly would 56

eventually subject me to even more cruelty. Allowing people to willfully hurt you helps no one. I encourage you to bring power and peace to your painpoints. Don’t be so engulfed in shame that you’re afraid to say when you’re sad. Stop taking “crap” from people and respond by putting “crap” in your body. It could become a horrible and deadly cycle! If someone is close enough to hurt you, then make sure they hear your “ouch”. Stop pretending that fat jokes don’t hurt. It does not matter who says it. Don’t allow yourself to be labeled by offensive names that you accept as your identity. You don’t have to get angry, argumentative, aggressive or antagonistic, but you do need to stop passively participating with it. What we permit we promote. "Your silence gives consent." - Plato Here’s the deal. There is something wrong with people who take pleasure in being mean and unkind toward another human being. Eventually, I learned to feel sorry for rude and nasty people. The more I recognized my value, the less their opinion of my worth mattered. I was more than my numbers on the scale or dress size revealed. I am worth my weight in gold and so are you.


Not that everyone needs to feel sorrow or sympathy for you. However, at times, that can be just as harmful. I just want to encourage you to courageously care for yourself by not participating in what causes you pain. When you stop taking it, they’ll stop giving it to you. You can mitigate their influence by making an internal mental shift. Turn the table. The best way to assert your power is to become your best you. There are people all around my old neighborhood in Miami, Florida who are absolutely bewildered. Many are utterly amazed as they watch and witness the woman I have become. A lifetime of ridicule and rejection did not disqualify or stop me from being chosen by PEOPLE Magazine for a full-page feature in the 2014 “Half Their Size” issue.


It would have been hard for me to even imagine that one day my story would be seen on ABC’s Good Morning America on Oscar Friday and celebrated as the number one news story on for two days. Imagine my delight when Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, “Val, I’m so happy for you!” Her on-air comment to me – was also seen and heard by the millions – all over the world. And the best is still yet to come! Now, negative-minded people do not even matter. The sky opened up and angels descended the morning I saw Oprah Winfrey’s conversation with Brené Brown on Super Soul Sunday. I found myself screaming at the TV, “PaaaaReach Brené!!!!” when she shared this paradigm-shifting Teddy Roosevelt quote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” 59

Open the door, pass the collection plate and let the Church say Amen! Never, ever cater to a hater. They absolutely do not matter. And here’s the true beauty of it. I hold no hurt, pain or resentment in my heart. Having forgiven EVERY offense, I am filled with gratitude that by the grace of GOD, I was able let go of the burdens of past pains as I released the weight. And so can you. When I was in the third and fourth grade, my favorite teacher of all time, Mrs. Francis Cavari made those yearly traumatic moments less painful. She would shield the scale with a piece of art paper and either the nurse would write my weight on a piece of paper or Mrs. Cavari would stand next to the scale to see it. She would always give me an amazingly reassuring smile that said, “You’re going to be okay Val”. In fact, throughout my life, I have always had a few “Mrs. Cavari” people who would show up when I needed them most. No matter how painful the situation, there was always someone around who could see more than my body size. Even if it’s just one person, GOD always has someone in your corner who will help you get through the journey. Who is your someone? From Friend to Foe I weighed over 200 pounds by the time I started middle school and eating became more and more the center of my life. For a few hours after school, I was home alone - which allowed me to eat with no sense of accountability. 60

During my teen years, I continued to gain massive amounts of weight. Since I was very tall (6’ ft.) with a large body frame, I did not appear to weigh as much as I did. I actually had no idea what I weighed because by then I would completely avoid the “scale monster.”

1977 – Miami Carol City Senior High School Even though my physical presentation was quite overwhelming, in spite of my size, I wanted people to look beyond my appearance to see the wonderful person underneath all of the fat. As my weight progressively increased, I encountered several consequences that resulted from being morbidly obese. I always wanted to look my best but I just did not make the connection to the fact that I could feel and look better if I would just stop overeating. My “caring” relationship with food was stronger than my desire to take responsibility. The challenges I experienced did not motivate me to move toward the changes I needed to make. Unrelentingly, I consumed enormous portions of food and I continued to gain 61

more and more weight. In early adulthood I began to experience health and bodily problems that were undeniably directly related to my weight. The excess poundage began to take its toll on my joints and legs. Sometimes it would seem as if my knees were going to break. My ankles would swell and a varicose vein eventually ruptured in my right leg. The initial stages of several other health issues began to emerge. Food, my lifelong friend, had betrayed me. The very thing that had been my source of comfort and support was making me sick. Ultimately, my weight ballooned to over 600 pounds. I was forced to a point of decision. My choice was: Accept responsibility for my well-being or face an unfulfilled life of frustration, extreme health challenges and potentially death. When Enough is Really Enough - My Turning Point In a “come- to-Jesus” moment with my doctor, I came face-to-face with some real issues. I was in the prime of early adulthood and the possible medical consequences I faced included: -

A mandatory hysterectomy Being in a wheelchair forever Getting regular blood transfusions Taking medicine for the rest of my life

Something had to be done. I felt helpless and desperate. I didn’t think I could anything to change my course. I thought my only option was to have a drastic surgical weight loss procedure but I was even too heavy for that. I had to lose at least 100 pounds to be eligible for consideration. 62

My doctor referred me to dietician who gave me my first glimpse into what healthy eating would look like. For as long as I could remember, I would consume double and triple portions of food. There were days that I ate upwards of 30,000 calories. That is three or four times the normal amount. I had no idea what to eat or what a normal portion size was. The dietician suggested that I join Weight Watchers. I did and with their structured eating plan along with the support of my group leader and the other class members, I released my first 100 pounds. I was absolutely elated! And while I had accomplished a major milestone by getting off to a great start on my own, I still wanted to have the gastric bypass surgery. My doctor pleaded with me not to do it. I was getting successful results with Weight Watchers but I wanted the weight that had taken my entire life to gain - to be gone extremely quickly. I refused to heed all the cautions that my family and friends had about the surgery. I think desperation distorts our ability to think clearly and make sound decisions. Or perhaps I was just young and dumb because I wanted an immediate solution to a problem that had existed for the duration of my life up to that point. The “cargo� incident shared earlier was absolutely a rock-bottom moment for me. That day started badly and went downhill after that. Things would get much worse. While still on the loading dock, the hospital staff 63

continued to talk to one another about me like I was not there. When they were ready to take me into surgery, one of them announced through a circuit radio that they had a 500 pound woman heading to the surgical room…and they needed every available man to help transfer me to the operating table. I was mortified but I was not dead. Didn’t they know that inside that fat body they were moving around, there was a heart that felt some kind of way about the things they were saying? When you see me, you’ll notice that every day I wear a heart shaped brooch or other accessories. It outwardly symbolizes an acknowledgment that everyone, including me, has a heart. Deeply ashamed, I felt insignificant. As large as I was, I was unseen. What I knew for sure is that I never wanted to feel that way again. Shame, criticism and condemnation do not inspire; but this experience was my turning point - the moment when the course of my life had to change. For the first time, I faced the realization that I wanted to get the weight off - for good.... for me! I didn’t want to die! I had major respiratory failure during the surgery and the gastric bypass procedure was thwarted. I had to be intubated with an enormous breathing tube that was inserted down my throat to get air into my lungs. My hands were restrained because I would try to pull the tube out. I was under heavy sedation but I recall wondering if I would have to live the rest of my life with the machine breathing for me. With my eyes closed, 64

the sound of my mechanical lungs was horrifying. I was so afraid and even angry with myself. Why didn’t I listen to everyone who told me I did not need the surgery? What would become of my dreams…my future? Had food and fat ruined everything for me? The Future Depends On Fitness I cried out to GOD, “please give me one more chance.” By His grace, after three days, I was extubated. I don’t recall how long I was in the hospital but when I went home, I was very depressed. During my recovery, I gained twelve pounds but I remembered my “just one more chance” vow. I accepted that my future would depend on my fitness. So being a woman of faith, I decided to focus my faith toward my fitness. This one decision changed the course of my entire life. Someone reading this right now knows that this is your chance. The door of decision has opened to you. The details may be a little different but you recognize and feel connected to my story. You can relate to exactly what helplessness and desperation feel like. But right now, a spark of hope is ignited. Don’t be afraid to believe. Belief is simply holding on to the information you have in your head. Replace doubtful thoughts with determination. Know that your determination translates into hope. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “If Val can do it, then so can I.” It is the right information. Believe it. Hold on to it and never let it go! Even though I had regained some of the weight that I lost before the failed bypass surgery, I had to believe again. I knew that the life that I was living was not the 65

truth of who I was; so I faced the fact that I had all of the power. It was like a “red sea” moment for me. The army of the life I no longer wanted was behind me and a new abundant way of living was before me. I knew I wanted where I could go – much more than where I had been. Then I decided to take the next step forward and the waters parted for me. I crossed over to the other side. The opportunity to advance opens up to/for us when we initiate the necessary action. Make the first move and the miraculous will manifest. The irrefutable information that I could hold on to is that I had already gotten rid of 100 pounds on Weight Watchers. I believed that it would be a place of accomplishment and success for me so I started with the program again. It was a slow but certain process and pound-by-pound, I released the weight.

My weight loss journey has been long. I call it, “taking the scenic route”. Along the way, I have not always been consistent with doing the right things. There 66

have been cycles of losing, gaining then losing again. It was like a situational “groundhog day” that I kept waking up to. I had to admit that my issues were not just physical; I had to face some hard truths. There were many life issues that needed to be addressed…things that I never dealt with because I anesthetized myself with food. In an effort to peel back the layers, I had to face the obvious contradiction that in my professional life, I was committed to helping others while continually doing harm to myself. It felt hypocritical. I had to honestly examine why I failed to direct my faith towards overcoming my overeating. I could no longer allow past pains to destroy my future promise. No longer would I forfeit my power for self-growth and development. After confronting my toxic connection with food, I began to establish healthier ways of dealing with challenging life issues. Taking Care of Me One of the most critical keys to my weight loss was never giving up. Although I would stop and start again, I eventually stopped stopping – which jumpstarted a new beginning for me. The journey was {is} never easy. In fact, there have been some really tough times but I have continued to refuse to quit. Of course there were stretches that I got off track, but every morning brings a new opportunity to recommit and continue forward. By connecting to the principles that I embraced when I lost my first five pounds ~ it gives me a pattern/process to follow for achieving my life goals and remaining true to my vision of a more victorious, abundant life. Don’t give up! As long as you have life, you have opportunity. 67

Success is a measurement. Booker T. Washington said, “Success is not where you are today, but to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome.” No matter where you are on your pathway to better fitness, you have come a long way. Like me, you may have taken three steps forward and two steps back, over and over again. Today, you can take another step. And tomorrow another. Just keep moving forward; taking one step at a time, you will reach your destination. One of the most important things I began to do was saturate my environment with positive messages. Daily faith-building affirmations became my indulgence. In chapter 4 we will thoroughly talk about the power of affirmation. It is one of the most useful tools that you can use to create positive change in your life and in the lives of others. Affirming your ability automatically strengthens your mobility. When you say, yes I can, believe that you will. My first book, EmpoWord { pronounced ‘empowerred’} Build A Life Of Success With Powerful, Positive Language is a faith-filled guide to greater self awareness and personal empower that will help you to change your internal messages and create solutions in every area of your life.


When I started out, I had so much weight to lose that I chose to set small, incremental weight goals for myself. I never thought about the fact that I had a mountain of weight to lose. That probably would have overwhelmed me. I would focus on getting rid of 5 or 10 pounds. No, it did not happen overnight but poundby-pound and inch-by-inch - the weight came off and I gradually reached the milestone loss that I celebrate today. You can do this too. Simply start from where you are and go from there. Set a goal of losing three to five pounds to start. You have the ability to do this. Don’t look to lose once you win…look forward to winning – once you lose. You’re worth celebrating. Losing just two pounds will give you courage to continue. Why wait!


I also learned how to mute the voices (internal and external) that were destructive to my emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. Many people write to me about the negative things that others have said to and about them. I know all about the ridicule and rude comments that are hurled at people who are overweight. Interestingly, I experienced much more public rejection and ridicule as an adult than during my childhood. Without impunity, some people think they have permission to belittle someone who has a weight problem. I think it’s because they believe that they can disregard their feelings because they believe that fat people cause the weight to happen to them. As previously mentioned, I wear a heart as a symbol of my identity and the humanity of everyone I encounter. Surround yourself with people who support your goals. Your relationships matter. Agree only with those who believe the best about you. Learning to love and care for myself was pivotal. Love is absolute and I had to learn to love the person I was before I could expect others to love me. Real love always shows that it cares. With the support of an amazing therapist & life coach, I came to understand that taking better care of me was one of the most loving things I could do. As I began to care more about how I treated myself, I found that I was losing more and more weight. Each day, I felt better – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. In addition to eating smaller portions and staying away 70

from daily consumption of high fat, high carb food choices, I began to walk every day. Initially, I could barely walk a block without feeling exhausted. However, as I persevered, I progressed. My walks gradually increased to 3 – 4 miles, five or six days a week. To build muscle mass that really boosts body toning, I incorporated strength training into my workouts a few times per week. I actually love working out. It feels good to sweat. I commit 97-minutes a day to an activity that will help me to achieve my success objectives. Reclaiming my life by releasing the weight has created so many opportunities for me. I recently partnered with Delta to promote their local, regional and national healthy initiatives.

Here’s a news flash that is a part of my legacy: On Saturday, May 17, 2014, Val McLeod, leads Delta’s annual scholarship 5K Run/Walk. Can you imagine that! 71

I used to not be able to walk a block and now on the front line leading a 5K for Delta Air Lines, the global leader in domestic and international travel. WhaaaaaT!!!! All things are possible when you believe! It’s so rewarding to get down to a new size. Now I weigh almost less than I did in elementary school. It has been and continues to be an amazing journey for me. When I was at my heaviest, I was too large to buy clothes from even the full-figured women stores. I used to make my own outfits from upholstery fabric and elastic. I used what I had. Today, I employ that same motto to my life. Only now, I am doing better because I know better. What I have now, is the knowledge that I am in the driver’s seat. I get to say exactly what I want from life, and then set the goals that will help me to achieve what I want; and then activate. Here’s a full-circle moment, I have gone from not being able to fit clothes in retail stores, to preparing to release my own “real woman” clothing line. Look at GOD!


One of my upholstery outfits. When was able to get into my first pair of size 28 black jeans, I felt like Janet Jackson! I continued to use clothes as my mile-markers for success. For you, it might be something else, but I simply employ what works for me. I would always purchase clothes a size smaller than I was. When I was able to get into something new, I would be thrilled and motivated to keep moving forward. I’m absolutely amazed at how 73

my body responds to me taking better care of it. I had no idea I had a waistline, a long neck or defined jawline underneath all of the excess weight. Physical qualities that I always wished for - I already had. The better version of myself was always there, I just had to do what was necessary to allow the true me to be seen.

Not that He made me 600 pounds; I did that but I believe GOD entrusted me with an incredible life story. I am a living testimony that no matter what challenges we face in life, we are empowered to be over-comers. I've actually lost more than half of my peak weight. Through GOD’s amazing grace and great faithfulness, I have accomplished much and I know that much, much more is required of me. This book is not just something for me to do‌ it is actually a required part of my journey. In becoming the me that I could not see, writing this book is necessary for you the reader. Your issue may or may not be weight. But, at some point in your life, there is something that needs to be released, something that needs to be reclaimed, and a goal that needs to be reached. I will forever be on the path to better fitness. One of 74

my overall goals is to live a long and vibrant life; and I am committed to reaching this goal. There is an amazing power that comes with completing things. Finally, whatever the scale reads, the weight is over. I will remain focused with my faith on fitness and finish strong! I trust that just hearing this portion of my story brings you hope, encouragement and confidence in your ability to overcome. Believe in you by believing that you can and you will!



Value Key:

When you understand that what you thought you understood, it is understandable that you’re always understanding. Understand?


Not sure where I heard that but it is so very true. We’re always in the process of finding out what we think we already know. I’ve probably tried nearly every diet imaginable. Some worked, some were worthless but it was not until I understood that it was my mind that needed to change before I could successfully change my body. Personal messaging is one of the best ways to command and create success in your life. Your words have power to attract, generate and manifest abundance. Be willing to rethink and closely examine your thought strategies. Prepare to make paradigm shift in what you say, how you think and what you do. There is so much power in positive thinking that as Sharon Frame addresses in the pages to come, whatever you think you are – you are. Every action we carry out originates with a thought. You have control over your thoughts, actions and results. So think on this…from the inside out, you are wired to win and no matter what size you are, you’re shaped for success.


-2Shaped For Success Live the Life You Desire and Deserve! Sharon Frame Former CNN Anchor/Focus Coach What if you knew just how miraculous you really are? Would you shrink back or step up to live your full purpose despite challenges? I asked myself that recently when a stubborn mental brain freeze hit me while writing a crucial assignment under deadline. I spent hours agonizing over endless rewrites to one single chapter. No matter how hard I tried thoughts failed me. And words refused to flow. My tangled mind was like a twisted pretzel ready to snap. The scribbles staring back at me from the computer screen looked like a blotch of babbling nonsense. Award-winning journalist or not, I was ready to scream out loud, rip out her hair and call it quits. When Things Get Tough, Dig In But then I remembered who I was; a miracle in motion. I came to the planet wired to win! I am shaped for success. And so are you! We are equipped with the ability to be not just good, but great; to turn obstacles into opportunities of growth. Isn’t that the real assignment life offers us all?


Size Up the Obstacle You may be wrestling to still lose weight after years of dieting. What’s the obstacle? It’s not the physical weight. It’s the dreadful feeling of failure when you fall off the wagon, again! It’s the frustration that comes from depravation diets that don’t work. It’s the guilt that sets in when you betray your good intentions. It’s the depression that shows up after the “umpteenth” diet relapse. Yes, it’s a ton of mental anguish that really weighs you down. Size up the Opportunity So, what’s the opportunity? Every new day you wake up with a fresh chance to face the culprits in your mind; to honestly acknowledge and admit that your own thoughts may be sabotaging your efforts to slim down. The road to victory starts there, with new determination and serious commitment to “workout” the mind, then the body. For wherever the mind goes the body follows. Opportunity Dressed in Work clothes Jim Rohn once said, “Life is opportunity mixed with difficulty.” We don’t often recognize opportunity because it shows up dressed in work clothes. It challenges us to put our hands to the task and get things done! I had made a firm commitment to complete my writing assignment. It was my duty to focus and follow through, no matter what. Giving up was not an option.


Shape Your Commitments We live in a culture in which people make promises and commitments on a whim with no intention of honoring them. Politicians lie to us. Corporations deceive customers. Wall Street is awash with financial experts who say one thing and do another. Seldom can business partners rely on a handshake these days to seal a deal. It seems few people take pride in protecting their personal integrity. Several years ago I scheduled a business meeting with a potential client. He showed up chronically late and offered no apology. Not only did he dishonor my time but he dishonored himself. Internal Damage We may not feel it; but our self-image is psychologically damaged when we don’t keep our word. That’s why a person who deliberately lies feels guilty, or at least they should. Anytime we fall lower then our true divine self it bothers our conscience. The spirit senses a moral code has been breached. And instead of the body releasing endorphins, our naturally “happy drugs,” the mind is signaled to make us feel guilt and shame instead. That’s not to punish us, but to prod us to course -correct. Size Up Your Self It’s bad enough to lie to others. What’s worst is to lie to ourselves. Whenever that happens, a piece of our self worth dies. Remember the last time you promised yourself to finally drop those extra pounds, stop chainsmoking, or curb your excessive spending? It was in 81

January, around New Year’s resolution time. In about two weeks, the thrill of reaching that goal had fizzled, so you gave up. You were left feeling frustrated and “worth less” than when you started. There will always be an internal struggle to do the right thing, to press against lethargy, inertia, laziness, procrastination, and a host of other success-sucking distractions. My chronic writer’s block was a distraction that could have frustrated me into giving up. Instead, I dug in and eventually pushed past the mental wall of resistance. You can do the same when trouble knocks on your door. Prepare for Resistance Whatever your success goals are in life, expect resistance. Trouble is par for the course. In fact, without resistance we cannot become our best selves. A caterpillar must fight its way out of its cocoon to emerge as a beautiful butterfly. Grapes must be crushed to produce fine wine. A U.S. space shuttle, weighing 4.5 million pounds, had to burn 500 thousand pounds of fuel just to break through the earth’s atmosphere during take-off. So it’s no wonder that the minute you chart a course to become a better you - irritants, obstacles or old bad habits entrench themselves and challenge your resolve. But remember, you are pre-programmed for success. That means you have the ability to conquer any problem, rise above any set-backs. You’ve got what it 82

takes to stay on task when times get tough. That’s how you were built, in both mind and body. You: The Miracle in Motion At conception you were one single cell. By birth you had multiplied to more than one hundred trillion cells. That’s more than all the stars in the Milky Way!      

Each of your cells does more than 6 trillion things per second Your heart beats a 100,000 times a day Your blood travels 60,000 miles per day on its journey through the body 25 million cells are being produced in your body every second If your DNA was stretched out it would reach the moon 6,000 times! Your bones are 4 times stronger than concrete

(Statistics from “Kute Blackson’s The Miracle is You”) You are an architectural masterpiece; an engineering marvel that still baffles scientific laws. Each of your more than 50 trillion cells is powered and purposed for greatness! You are equipped with an over-abundance of skills and talent; more than enough to bring you “uber” success. Bring a Bigger Bucket Despite knowing just how magnificent we are as human beings, some people choose to live with limitations. They complain there are never enough opportunities in life; that they’ll never get their “big break.” Could it be that their bucket is too small? 83

As abundant as the oceans that swallow up seventy percent of our planet, so are opportunities that flow wide and deep all around us. Position yourself to scoop up as much as you desire. Pan For Gold While “Some people wade in the water, others pan for gold.” If you plan to live your dreams, you can’t just wade or wonder aimlessly through life. To get the gold you must do the work. There is no lack or limit to a mind that is creative, a man who dreams big, or to a mom ready to work over-time to make a better life for her children. Determination and drive always trump the nagging naysayers who say, “That’s impossible,” or “Be satisfied with your station in life,” “Who do you think you are?” Remember, life does not care if you desire a little or a lot. You decide how much wealth, health and happiness you want. And since “All things are possible to those who believe,” don’t come to life with a timid grin asking for just enough to get by. Raise your Level of Expectation Be bold! Raise your level of expectation and bring a bigger bucket to life! Be soundly convinced that you deserve to live the life you desire. And then take action. It is the not the desperately needed man who gets. It’s the man who asks. The one who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door of opportunity will open wide.


That’s what a woman named Sarah Breedlove did. She got the biggest bucket she could find and then tried to drink the ocean dry! From Rags To Riches Sarah Breedlove was likely not raised with a big bucket mentality. She was a victim of institutional racism and injustice in the Deep South. When she was seven years old, both her parents died of yellow fever and left her orphaned. By age twenty, Sarah was a widow after a lynch mob hanged her husband. She had a choice: Wallow in anger and hopelessness or change her poverty mindset. At some pivotal point along her journey she realized she deserved a better life, and was willing to work hard for it. Find a Need and Fill it Sarah’s big break came when she found it difficult to buy proper hair products for black women. She knew she was not alone. So, she started her own hair-care business in her kitchen. In 1905, Sarah packed up her daughter and moved west with two dollars to her name. Just nine years later this savvy entrepreneur was a freshly minted millionaire. Her innovative line of hair care products had exploded. It lured customers from across the country and throughout the West Indies. History knows the pioneering icon as Madame C.J. Walker, one of the most famous African-American inventors. This daughter of a newly freed slave became 85

the first black millionaire in the country. She did it by bringing a bigger bucket to life! So, how big is your bucket? How wide is your vision? And how strong is your passion to create a life of joy, purpose and satisfaction? It won’t come by osmosis or by wishing long and hard enough. Get off Auto-Pilot: How often do you bump into people with big dreams and little to no plan of action? Keep your distance. They gab constantly about starting a business, becoming a millionaire, or getting out of debt. But nothing ever gets done. Their life is an endless seam of hopes and dreams. Success comes to those who are deliberate and intentional; those who set firm goals and follow through with the necessary work. Perhaps you are among those who have put their lives on auto pilot. You are afraid to step out and take a risk. You may have tried before and failed. So now you are on pause, or cruise control, thinking that things will work themselves out. The good life happens by choice, not by chance. Wait No More Perhaps you are waiting for just the right time to take the plunge. But now is all the time you’ve got. Abraham Lincoln put it this way, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” The question is how tired are you of living with lack and limit? How hungry are you for change? Remember for things to change, you must change. And that starts in your mind. 86

Beat Back Negative Thoughts Experts say the average person thinks fifty thousand thoughts a day. What’s alarming is that seventy to eighty percent of those thoughts are negative. And most of them are recycled from yesterday. So the average person’s mindset is cluttered with a cycle of negativity. Such toxic thoughts lead to doubt, worry, stress, depression and failure. Your thoughts, good or bad, create your beliefs. And your beliefs determine how you behave. So if you can’t seem to break out of harmful habits and patterns of self defeat, examine the way you think. How Successful People Think So, exactly how do successful people think? Business author, John Maxwell, offers some insight on some of their thinking styles:      

Big Picture Thinking: Brings perspective and expands mind and vision Focused Thinking: Gets clarity, removes distraction and clutter Creative Thinking: Stretches the imagination Realistic Thinking: Reveals difference between what you wish for and what is Strategic Thinking: Makes one more efficient and maximize strengths Possibility Thinking: Allows for big dreams , generates energy and excitement


Weigh Your Thinking “Where success is concerned, people are not measured by inches, or pounds, or college degrees, or family background: they are measured by the size of their thinking.” --David Schwartz What’s the size of your thinking? Could your positive thoughts be big enough to create a world you desire in the middle of an unpleasant reality? Ask the girl with three strands of hair. Only Three Strands of Hair The story is told of an unusually positive young girl. She woke up one morning, looked in her mirror and discovered she had just three strands of hair left on her head. Quite naturally she was shocked. But instead of freaking out, she thought, “Oh my, what can I do with three strands of hair? “Ah ah,” she screamed with delight. “I think I’ll braid my hair today!” So she did, and skipped out the front door with every intention of having a very good day. The next morning she hopped out of bed, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only two strands of hair. Again she refused to get depressed or think unhappy thoughts. While considering her dilemma, she had another light bulb moment and said, “With two strands, I think I’ll part my hair today!” So she did, and skipped out the front door determined to think positively and make her day great.


Turn Obstacles into Opportunity: The third morning she jumped out of bed and headed straight for the mirror. By now you might have guessed. She was down to one single strand of hair! So what do you do with one strand of hair? No one would have blamed her if she finally decided to curse the world for her misfortune and give up. But again she chose to turn her obstacle into an opportunity for personal grow. So, she stared at that one strand of hair and said, “I think I’ll wear a pony tail today!” She gleefully pulled her last strand into a pony tail and left the house feeling very creative and empowered. What do you think happened the fourth day? She found herself in front of the mirror totally bald. By all appearances, things had gone from sad to bad, then from bad to worst. But this young girl was not moved by the circumstances. She looked at her bald head and jokingly said, “I guess I won’t have to fix my hair today!” The Power of Choice: This metaphorical story offers some important life lessons. First: It’s not what happens to you that matters. It’s how you respond. How are you responding to your obstacles? Second: We always have the power of choice. We can choose to re-shape our thoughts, to have a different outlook. Don’t like the direction you are headed in, you have the power to shift course. You can always choose 89

to play on the one positive string, or get creative with that one strand of hair. Third: Horrendous set-backs make tremendous setups. Tragedy can be turned into triumph anytime. Fourth: Whatever you face in life, find the funny. The young girl’s response to her troubles is summed up in an appropriate quote from Anthony J. D’Angelo: “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” Suited For Greatness To be sure, life will always throw you a curve. Just remember you are shaped for success. Your God-given greatness is tailored for everyday wear. So try it on for size and go reclaim your health, wealth and happiness! I did! This chapter you are reading is the very writing assignment that held me hostage. Words had refused to flow and reflect what my heart desired to share with you. My ideas were like a diamond in the rough buried deep in my scattered mind. I simply had to keep digging, keep chiseling away and not give up. Since you too are shaped for success, keep chiseling. Keep doing the work to self-improve. It is always too soon to give up on your dreams, goals and visions. Stay focused. Move forward. Eventually every opposition must step aside to reveal the true you, and bow to your demand to live the life you desire and deserve! Sharon Frame * Former CNN Anchor * Focus & Follow Through Coach 90

VALue Key: We are what we’re grateful for


What if you woke up tomorrow and the only things you have are those things for which you express gratitude today? The first time I heard the above abundance awareness and activation principle I immediately started saying thank You for stuff. I expressed gratitude for things that really mattered. The irreplaceable things like my family, my health, my future. Even a few possessions made the list. Pollie Massey prolifically reminds you that your life is your most precious treasure. You’re going to scream out loud when she introduces her YOGO® principle. Being thankful is a conscious act. You can improve yourself in every possible way by choosing gratitude over guilt and thankfulness over shame. Release the weight of burdens you’re carrying and embrace all that awakens and brings you life. Give yourself the grace to grow and the faith to fulfill your fitness goals. Each day is a new opportunity to live your life the way you choose….from a grateful heart.


-3YOGO You Only Get One! By Pollie Massey Embrace and love your body, you only get one… It is common these days to hear someone say, “YOLO.” Often it is to justify a foolish action or risky decision, a decision that may be made at the expense of health and wellbeing. You only live once? Not True. You live everyday. You only die once. Finding things to appreciate can be a simple thing to do, though admittedly, not always easy for some. For many of us, it has become more natural to lean toward being negative and pessimistic. Because of this, it is oftentimes necessary to make a concerted effort to be more positive and thankful. Gratitude is an action: {Find a sheet of paper before you turn another page create a gratitude list of 101 blessings you have experienced.} Below are 21 blessings that often go unnoticed to help you get your list started: • • • • • •

A good cry Having hope An old picture that makes you smile A hug from a child A new baby in the family The peace of having all your bills paid 93

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A call from an old friend Seeing the sunset Seeing the sunrise Someone trusts you enough to ask your advice Hearing a sermon that spoke to your situation Matchmaking the perfect couple Being on time Someone that loves you for you A favorite song Heat in the winter Air conditioning in a hot summer Saying just the right thing at the right time Arriving at your destination safely A good movie A smile from a stranger

It’s easy to get numb to the regular sources of goodness in our lives. Each time you look at your list of blessings the realization of the abundance you already have should soothe you like a favorite blanket wrapped around you. Gain Gratitude. Lose the Weight Gratitude came first, then the healing. Gaining gratitude is about the awakening. The official Thanksgiving holiday takes place only once a year. But it would be quite beneficial, both to our physical and emotional health to capture the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday and use it to spark our daily lives. If God loves you and forgives you all your mistakes, why can’t you love and forgive yourself? Let’s start to gain gratitude by forgiving ourselves for not being perfect. 94

It’s easy to be grateful when life is ebbing and flowing— when you have plenty of money in the bank, you have someone that loves you and you are feeling healthy. But where is gratitude when your account is overdrawn, your lover has betrayed you and the doctor has given you bad news about your lab results? We don’t feel grateful when our heart is broken or our dreams have been crushed. But, gratitude is not about how you feel. Gratitude depends on what you do. You have all you need right now, you only need awaken and consciously consider your list of blessings. Once we realize that abundance and lack are parallel realities then we recognize that we have a choice in shifting our reality, daily! Research has proven that stress and consistently negative feelings weaken our immune system. The things that we stress about can be incredibly damaging. They can either build up our bodies or tear them down. It is wise to choose thoughts and behaviors that will strengthen our bodies and give up those that are damaging. Our immune systems protect us against illness and disease. When it is weak, it is much easier to become sick. There are a many things that can be done to build up our immune systems: • • • •

Exercising on a regular basis Eating in a healthy manner Reducing the amount of stress that we experience Practice gratitude daily

These behaviors are all conducive to weight loss. When we eat healthy foods, exercise and keep our stress levels in check, it is much easier to lose weight. 95

Practicing the experience of gratitude—is really about forcing ourselves to pay attention to the good things in life we’d otherwise take for granted. Those things that we do to improve our emotional state help to keep our body strong and prevent illness as well. Being grateful is one way to improve ones immune system. When people make an effort to be appreciative and look on the positive sides of things, that optimism naturally strengthens the body’s built-in defense system. Gaining gratitude (whether you journal or say an affirmation throughout the day) is personal. It’s not supposed to be a chore but rather a habit that organizes your thoughts. A fancy journal is not required, nor does spelling count. The most important thing is to do it--pay attention to gratitude-inspiring events that are happening all around you, every day. Gaining Gratitude is a Belly Laugh. A belly laugh is defined as a burst of deep loud hearty laughter. After you have cried, kicked, screamed and cried some more, it’s time for a belly laugh. Gratitude is awakened when you allow yourself to laugh from your belly. Yes, when you laugh you burn calories, boost your immune system, calm your muscles, relax your mind, reduce physical pain, and lower blood sugar levels. And unlike pills, laughter has no negative side effects. So should you just sit there and start laughing? Yes! But, if you need help then find your teenage diary or tell an old joke. Even better find a laughter club…Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India, is the founder of and chief proselytizer for Laughter Yoga, a movement that since 1995 has spawned 5,000 laughter clubs—in which people meet regularly just to laugh— 96

worldwide. Kataria says. "Laughter Yoga is nothing more than prepping the body and mind for happiness." Have a good belly laugh… now go write that in your gratitude journal. Gaining Gratitude is about affirming. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Upon waking, let your first thought be, “Thank you.” If you just say thank you for three blessings or gifts every day for one month you will have affirmed a new reality. Gratitude is a very simple way to balance one’s emotions. When people feel sorry for themselves and begin to focus on the things that aren’t right in their lives, they tend to engage in behaviors that are detrimental. They may overeat and consume foods that are bad for them. They may also find it difficult to conjure both the mental and physical strength necessary to exercise. When this behavior is ongoing, a person may begin to gain weight or find it difficult to lose it. Developing an attitude of gratitude can help replace negative habits with positive ones. Gaining Gratitude to Adore Your Body at Every Weight. While many of us shower other people with love, we find that we have not fallen in "body love”. Begin today to start appreciating, accepting and yes, even loving your body. Stop picking yourself apart! Just what is the perfect body anyway? Even celebrities and models that have been stamped with the media’s 97

so called "perfect body" rating have parts they dislike – their feet, their hands, their ears – and they don’t necessarily have high self-esteem either! Rather than pick your body apart, look at your body as a whole and consider the millions of microscopic functions that go on in our bodies every day, and you don’t even have to think about them. They just happen! Unfortunately, it often takes a crisis or a tragedy, such as a brush with death, a go-around with a disease, or a debilitating accident for some women to realize that their bodies weren’t so bad to begin with and that their body hang-ups were a big waste of time. Don’t let that be the case with you! How much time are you spending each day worrying about your weight, your body shape, the size of your rear? What could you be doing with that time? Get real Did you know that most of the images you see on television, movies and magazines aren’t even real? A model for a magazine cover goes through hours of professional hair and make-up, has professional stylists, top photographers who know her "best side," professional lighting, and that’s all before the chosen photo goes to a company where they remove stray hairs, wrinkles, blemishes and "extra" curves. Most of what you see is totally made up! And it’s not just fashion magazines that are creating a fantasy. Most of today’s "fitness" magazines are following suit. In addition to airbrushing and photo shop their models’ pictures, fitness magazines now need to audition their models to be sure they’re strong enough to just do basic exercises! Muscles are even airbrushed in! It’s time to get real! Find real role models who really have 98

the qualities you desire. Educate yourself about what really goes on "behind the scenes." And realize that no one naturally "glows" the way those models in the magazines do! Change your inner dialogue We teach others how to treat us. Are you sending a message that comes across to others that you are not worth being liked, loved, or treated with respect? Most of it comes from what we’re not saying. Choose to believe that you are worth taking care of and that you have the right to be respected and treated with dignity – and act like it! Take care of your body Diets, pills, quick fixes, binge eating, not exercising, over-exercising; all these things disrespect one of the greatest gifts you have been given – your body! You only get one per lifetime, so give it the respect it deserves. You will not only feel better, but you just might become someone else’s role model! YOGO. You only get one! Embrace and love your body, it is the most amazing thing you will ever own!

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” -Jim Rohn



VALue Key – Power to Yes! Affirmation activates what manifests in your life. One of the most powerful affirmations is yes!


Yes I am! Yes I can! Yes I will! The things to which we say “yes” will influence every area of our lives. Yes is an access point. It opens both opportunity and opposition. Be conscious of the power that is released in what (who) you say yes to. When you say ‘yes’ to something, you surrender your power it. To affirm automatically positions what you’re against. When you say yes to victory, defeat is off the table. Having the infrastructure in your life to accommodate your yeses is essential. With his philosophic voice and view, Alex Q. Anthony encourages you to consciously think about your affirmations. Your thoughts and words are more powerful than you might imagine. On your fitness journey, what you say to and about yourself in many ways is just as important as the food you eat. Just as you should prepare your meals in advance, think about your words because it is said: “you will eat what you speak.” Alex Q says KEYs are Knowledge that Elevate You!  Which keys unlock your greatest potential?  Could you handle having the master key?  What are the key things you need to achieve the success you desire? Use your keys to ignite your engine to advance. Get rid of the rear view mirror and focus forward.


-4The Power of Affirmation By Alex Q. Anthony Affirmations are positive statements that express exactly who you are, what you want and what you dream to have. Everything you do should be motivated by the love of being, finding and providing a solution for challenges in your life and in your environment. When you love who you are, you’ll think about how to show love to yourself. What is the main skill you can utilize to show that you love yourself? The skill of thought is one of the most powerful tools you have. Thinking motivates. When you think about love, it’ll inspire you to find ways to express it to yourself. When you read Val’s story, her steps to self-love will help you to understand how to take steps toward love in your own life. Even good eating habits begin with love, respect, understanding and wisdom. The wisdom of love helps you to make a commitment to improve how you take care of your body. The wisdom of discipline gives you the strength for consistency. Being consistent fuels your power to affirm your outcomes with any life goal - including weight loss. Thinking about change is powerful because that thought process requires strength. We ask ourselves why we must discover affirmations or what does it really mean? An affirmation is an assertion that 103

something exists or is true. We have to take into consideration when making a commitment to change to remold our power to manifest changes in our lives. Affirming our lives - adds measurements of breaking free because every thought you think, every word you say, is an affirmation. Subconsciously, when we are creating a life experience we are affirming the moments of thought patterns. Let’s target “Power of Affirmations”, I always utilized it with beliefs that can overturn a negative circumstance. Replace that negativity with a positive affirmation of self-nurturing – which is a force that keeps us focused in order to modify our positive goals. Health is an important factor that becomes a priority when we include it as an affirmation. The life goals we set for living a healthier lifestyle is the declaration we prepare in practicing discipline. Power gravitates to knowledge. When you know how to do something, you have the opportunity to advance and accomplish anything within that sphere. Our actions affirm that the rules and methods that we set in motion become what we regularly practice. The importance of self-discipline should be taught from childhood. It’s a centerpiece of personal purpose that is groomed to control the unnecessary cravings. The correlation of spirituality and health is involved as an effective affirmation. The connection is a protestation linked to the betterment of mental health. Some may disagree, but I believe it’s a tangible feeling when you are able to integrate your personal soul system, and your search for the meaning of a healthy life. Prayer, meditation or any form of belief in a higher power is an assertion of authority. I affirm nature as a resource to a long living healthy life. 104

Nature is known to keep our earth revolving and healthy. Applying it to your affirmation is a satisfaction to your body’s weaknesses. Shaped 4 Success gives you the preparation for cleansing the body naturally and protecting your life from any form of ailment that will taint your mind, body, and soul. One of my tools is to use nature’s patterns as a template or formula to create solutions. A natural healing process consists of a variety of combinations. Herbs and alkaline lifestyles teach you to eat better, live better, and feel better. Improving with your spirituality develops a powerful positive mindset. We belong to nature; my spirit is nourished by spending time in nature. “We are what we repeatedly do” –Aristotle Power is Health Positive nature affirmations are to understand that you are a part of this existence, to respect your intelligence with a sharp mind and skills to achieve all things. One of my most empowering affirmations is “Power is Health.” It’s a mission I provided for myself to advocate health education effectively. This inspiring terminology was shared by my dear friend, Charlette George-Lowe. I asseverated the power of health with the power of affirmation through my thoughts which became my faith profession. Avowedly, my own health challenges motivated me to want to exchange my experience by bringing forth a positive message with reactions of praise. The question is often asked, “Do affirmations really work?” Yes! 105

Affirmations really work based on your diligence to make changes. If you accept change and let go of your past, then the better affirmations will work for you. This is why spirituality is important…because the core of faith allows you to re-examine the period of your introspection. I recommend you have proper support as you follow through the process. It makes it much easier. It’s a journey that makes you evaluate your external life. Reprogramming your mind and removing the negative beliefs, which have you sabotaged throughout your lifetime, enables you to succeed in having the life you’ve always wanted. The power of affirmations can be fulfilling in weight loss, health, abundance, selfesteem or even joy and happiness. Have the strength to break free and validate your own affirmations. Create power with your affirmations. Do we have real power? Yes we do, if you work with them properly. Always remember affirmations are really the way we express thoughts and statements in our subconscious actions. Repetitive affirmations will eventually transform into a belief. Like an art to master, affirmations build a structure that will lead you to the results you want. My daughter and I use affirmations to create a pathway to her goal of becoming a Veterinarian. I explained to her that first she must realize that Attitude + Choices=Life. Once the statement is projected, positive thinking takes action. And that’s where the power evolves in an effective visualization. I wanted to create a technique of retraining her mind into really making an impact in life. This is not magical thinking. It’s a language that she must now begin to verbalize in 106

order to express a positive growth. On a daily basis, I taught her how to use new affirmation statements. Her favorite affirmation phrase is “Jadakiss Anthony will succeed.” I encourage her to incorporate her affirmation in her prayers. When she goes to bed at night, affirming her success is the meditation of her heart. Higher awareness is essential to making a positive lifestyle habitual. When articulating affirmations, be sure to smile when you say them because positive selftalk brings positive results. In every advantage there can be a disadvantage. When you are progressing, there will always be resistance. Throughout your fitness journey, the unhealthy will be all around you. Like the problems that occur within my daughter’s ability to focus… there are old habits that will try to invade your thoughts. Distractions can take you off track. Redirect your focus when you start to feel negative thoughts. Counteract by quoting your power of affirmation. The purpose of the power is to remember to use these steps for the rest of your life. The changes you make in your life are what draw the experiences you seek. Let’s all discover our power of affirmations and challenge ourselves and actually harness affirmations and employ them!


Self-Discipline Affirmation A little self-discipline goes a long way when we stop making excuses for why we can’t accomplish a goal. In order to take steps forward, it may be helpful to think about rationalizations for not taking actions. Losers come up with all sorts of excuses while winners make progress. If we would put as much energy into achieving our goals as we put into making up excuses for failure, we would astonish ourselves. One must understand that self-discipline starts when a person recognizes humble beginnings. Demanding more from yourself to become successful depends on how much effort you’re willing to put in. This means your determination will prove how you’re applying the power of discipline. Determination and discipline are co-equal. As affirmations, both words can make everything possible for you to acquire the qualities of being a different person. We all concur that selfdiscipline is the key to success. Although there are many advantages, the disadvantages can become your worst enemy if you are not careful. The lack of discipline causes failure, underachievement, frustration and unhappiness in life. Seeking an easier, faster way is not always the way to achieve real success. Wanting things right now will bring forth long-term consequences. Take control of yourself. I am a firm believer that a person should master his or her emotions, appetites and inclinations. That is self-control. Practice the art of self-mastery. Ask yourself if the elements of your life are those you desire. The mastery of your body should be identified with discipline and 108

mental obedience. Concerning yourself with the challenges is not beneficial to you. Force yourself to follow instructions that will destroy laziness, lack of determination and comfort zones. It all starts with a spiritual life because you have to create energy in a “forcing system� for your subconscious mind to motivate you. Put together a list of everything you want to achieve. It’s your blueprint to seeing your dream become your reality. The art of self-mastery is a process. The foundation creates an alignment of wisdom. Teaching ourselves is a creative art that leads to journeys of developing a better attitude of fearlessness and fortitude. The energy of discipline is vital. My perception is the foundation of human power. The power of affirmation and discipline values the respect for humanity. The aim is to have positive values with attributes such as respect, kindness, helpfulness, patience, courage, integrity, perseverance, and most important honoring commitments. When you are disciplined, you tend to have an enthusiasm about yourself. The practice separates you from others because of your skill(s). Dedication is a skill that can help to improve weight control, selfconfidence, coordination or even increased body circulation. Ask yourself this question: Does discipline gives us a purpose in life? We were created to have no fear. Discipline is a gift given to believe in hope and to protect us. We must accept that discipline shapes us with a sense of worth. 109

Give yourself permission to be selfish. By doing so, you can rediscover your own inner and outer beauty. Pleasing everyone else will eventually diminish your own purpose. The vision is clear when you can look into your own heart and acknowledge self. I would suggest taking the time out to be quiet. Silence within your own self is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. As a child, solitude became my deliverance. This still stands true for me today as an adult. I was able to appreciate more of the things I loved. Purifying your thoughts in a journal is helpful. There are no limits. It helps you to envision a totally different perspective. Managing your inner peace illuminates happiness. If you say I am angry, then your mental state will no longer say it, but it’s managed by knowing there is anger in you. All these traits make you an observer of your own life. Many people fall victim to all challenges that come their way. However with observation, you learn to control your reaction and replace it by being responsive. Having discipline teaches you to understand words can turn into actions which lead to habits. Often, our character is what guides us to our destiny. I’m sure you have no idea how much the world needs you to be the true you. The world will respect you with admiration once you step into your “Super Self” – the person who you really are completely. It’s the most important kind of freedom because you are true to yourself in a unique and original kind of way. Falling into a transcendental meditation overcomes barriers that keep you disciplined when you allow yourself to just be. You will 110

feel a greater joy with your inner peace and informality. The only separation that will be present is the one created in our mind. Your time is now spent loving and being your real authentic self. That’s affirming.


14 Q KEYs Knowledge Elevates You 1. Knowledge 2. Inner Awareness 3. Persistence 4. Focused Persistence 5. Incredible Commitment 6. Well-placed Connections 7. A Plan and a Keen Sense of Direction 8. Faith in Your Ability 9. Resilience 10. A Taste of Victory! 11. The ability to help others succeed 12. Remarkable proven talent 13. An approach that generates action 14. Tools to managing your mind and thoughts that can be applied in the midst of any experience and the willingness to do so. 112

VALue Key: Abundance is a central awareness and wellbeing concept that governs my life. I permit the “Law of Abundance� to be a guiding force. I believe we create and attract abundance by opening ourselves to receive. What we focus on most, multiplies in our lives.


To increase joy, peace, gratitude, love and light in my life, I generate that same energy and the things I value most expand in my life. John Moore and Michael Spitzer are two of the most prolific health & fitness experts I have ever met. Their content and way of delivery has empowered me to achieve life-changing results in my level of physical fitness. I have attracted abundant health by opening myself to greater wellness. It’s challenging but as John often says, “There is no change without challenge.” Attract the health you want by opening your mind and heart to it. The help you need will appear. In chapter 1 I shared that when I first began my fitness journey, I had no idea what balanced eating was. I never thought about what improved physical fitness would look like on me. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I wanted to feel and look better. Over the years the abundance wellness began to overtake my life. In spite of the abuse that my body endured, carrying hundreds of excess pounds has left few effects. No high blood pressure, no diabetes, no nothing. Thank You LORD! People are always asking me what I do to release the weight. Chapters 5 shares key perspectives from my fitness guys. I’m working on releasing my last 47 pounds to get to my goal. I have included my personal meal plan that John designed for me. One day I just wanted a taste of butter on something. His answer was, “If you’re looking for butter, don’t!” Sacrifice is integral to success. 114

Many have asked me how I feel about “Cheat Days”. I would rather called them “Treat Days” but I believe that there is merit in incorporating days when you expand your food selection. Michael Spitzer offers his perspective on how these special days can be used to make dietary and lifestyle changes less dramatic. I will be 55 in July and my health and fitness has never been better. Mike’s book is an encyclopedia of healthy living that especially encourages his readers that it’s never too late to do something good for your body. It will always respond positively. Just get started. Let’s do this….together!



-5A More Abundant Life One More Rep to Return to Readiness By John Moore

Growing up as an only son, I realized that there were a lot of things that would be unpreserved. I saw several of my family members dying of diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, gout, heart disease and cancer. It really frustrated me. Not being able to talk to my grandfather or my greatgrandfather had a huge impact on my life. I knew there were things I could do to ensure that I would be here for the next generation. This led me on a quest to help 117

others sustain life filled with more abundance. I offer my clients “Moore Talking Points” which helps them to identify how they have gotten to where they are and how I can help them to get to where they want to be. How to get started The most common question people have is, “How do I get started?” or “John, I’ve started so many times before and stopped. How do I stop this vicious cycle?” I call this the ‘Yo-Yo Cycle’. When we go through ‘yo-yo cycles’ they can become so much a part of our lives that the experience could shy us away from new information or another opportunity to reclaim our health. We have to break through those things that cause us to say “STOP”. Those are called “X- Factors” which are very real and will be very tangible to our success or failure. A. Determine Your X-Factor When learning about yourself through researching your family history, you will likely find information you didn’t previously have. There are some ‘unknowns’ in your family’s history that could impede either your progress or the progress of others in your family. These are called the X-factors. X-Factors come in many different forms. Some could be: family inheritance, influence, fear, anxiety, distrust, lack of education or motivation. These previous items 118

could be some of the things that hamper your positive progression. You will have to learn to identify those things that are keeping you from reaching your goal/s. B. Habits and Inherited Influence Changing your habits and inherited influence comes with accepting that you are now ready to move forward. The habits in place are exactly what got you in the position that you're in now. If the place you’re in currently is not a positive one, then change is mandatory to your success. Changes stimulate your mind as well as your focus. However, it could come with a very heavy price; and you will be challenged. Challenges as we might have heard before, take approximately 21 days for the brain to accept a new challenge. Once you’ve accepted the challenge and have activated change, then you will likely begin to see change occur. Every client I have ever had is still repeating this mantra even in their sleep, “you will never have change without challenge.” C. Fright, Flights and Fights Marketing madness Fright, flight, fights and marketing madness… the body does not know the difference between those things. You just respond the same way as in rapid heart rate or immediate response to fear. Marketing blindness only teaches you to want immediate results without awareness of the long-term repercussions. This explains why so many get some results with losing weight but then they gain it all back. 119

Goals that Grow Creating long and short-term goals are great as long as those goals grow along with you. A. Timelines have to be realistic and measure through every four weeks of your course or journey. Give yourself a professional coach to build a curriculum that fits your lifestyle activity goal and limitations or conditions. B. Measured Changes Measuring your goals and changes by tests should be done with a started baseline, recording the next tests every four weeks of a new curriculum. You are building a new curriculum that not only shows continued growth but one that also gives clarity on realistic changes. Maintenance plan Track your progress so you always have a point of reference to keep you on task for the long haul. After recording all of the changes, it will be easy to see how you can sustain your new level of fitness. A. Reestablishing purposes Once you've obtained optimal physical fitness and you're now maintaining, choose activities that help you to ensure that your plan stays up to par by reestablishing physical fitness abilities. Participate in events that create community and build close connections to motivational support groups. B. Passing on inheritance 120

Teach your children about healthy eating. Model the behavior for them. Unfortunately, you might not have learned this information in your early years but it’s never too late to live a better life and pass on healthy habits to the next generation. Pay attention to the information you accept as truth. Gimmicks will never produce good health. You have to do the work to get the desired results. You are worth the effort.

Simply speaking, your life needs three core physical components for sustainability:  What you eat {Nutrition}  How you play {Exercise}  How much you sleep {Recovery} What you do most, you become best at doing. When you lack doing these three things in a balanced way, your body will send you signals, indicators, alarms and warnings. Like the car, if you do not properly take care of it, it is going to malfunction. Your body is smart and it will 121

keep operating even though you are neglecting it. That will not last forever. Redirect your focus and become more conscious of how you care for your car….your beautiful body. Create new eating habits. Ignore the marketing madness that tells you that eating is bad. You should be eating the right things for your body every two – three hours. Food is your fuel. Your engine needs it to run efficiently. Get out and play. Ignore anyone who says you can lose weight without exercise. It is a lie. Your body was made for activity. Pay attention to how much a baby moves. Movement is the indicator that he’s growing up properly. The body will respond to your action. Play in the way that adds to your joy and gives you power. Adequate sleep is as essential to fitness as eating or exercising. The body needs six to eight hours a day to rest, repair and regenerate. When you create a deficit by not getting enough rest, it will throw your entire life off balance. Progress and success comes with getting sufficient rest.

See your body as fine car. You have to maintain it for it to retain and increase its value. Your life is a gift given to you. When you choose to live it abundantly, it becomes your gift from the Giver of life. Val is one of my favorite clients. She has gotten phenomenal results. Continuing on her journey, she has come within less than fifty pounds of her overall weight goal. Her dedication, commitment and discipline will inspire and empower many people to take better care 122

of their bodies. As an example, Val has given me permission to share the meal plan I’ve asked her to follow. Health and fitness plans should always be personal and have purpose and performance measurement/s. Please check with your health professional for the plan that’s best for you.

Val McLeod's Meal Plan Weeks 1-4 Meal 1.

1 / 2 boiled or scrambled egg with salsa or veggies and ½ wheat bagel 1 serving of any berries

2. 1 green apple with a serving of 2 servings nuts or low fat peanut butter 3. 1 serving of any berries with 8 oz chicken breast or ground turkey with 2 cup green vegetables or salad with wine vinegar 4. 2 cups of green or dark vegetables salad with grilled chicken with wine vinegar and fruit 1 cup of brown rice or whole wheat bread 5. 4 oz fish, chicken or turkey breast with 1 cups green vegetables 6. 1 serving of or lean protein with fruit or 2 cups of green salad with wine vinegar 123

WATER INTAKE: 1 gallon will be consumed daily. Sweets Replacements: sugar chocolate, turbinate brown sugar




Carbohydrate Veggie Replacements: broccoli, red onions, asparagus, green beans, red potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams, corn, carrots Grain Replacements: wheat bread, wheat bagel, brown rice, spinach tortillas, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, plain granola, plain cheerios Fruit Replacement: cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, plums, tangerines, kiwi, papaya, peaches, lemon, lime, guava, apricot, grapefruit, green apple, raspberries, melon, bananas or raspberries

Protein Replacement: Low fat Peanut butter, White fish, Cod, Tilapia Sword, Mahi Mahi, Salmon, Tuna, shark, very lean beef, breast of chicken or turkey, tofu, 1/ 2cup of plain flavored nut or soy beans 1/2 cup dark beans Weight training: 3 days a week. Cardio training: 4-5 days a week for 45-60

Eating Plans for Weeks 5-8

1. 3-4 egg whites, 1/4 cup of Oatmeal or w/fruit or oatmeal with apple butter and Molly McButter butter substitute and 3 oz. Red grapefruit 124

2. 2 cups of carrots and all colored peppers with vinegar 3. 1 serving of fish or chicken breast 1 cup green vegetables 4. 2 cups of fresh cucumbers with wine vinegar and peppers or garlic and pepper seasoning 5. 6 Oz meat (any meat not breaded or fried) with 2 cups of fresh or frozen vegetables 6. 1 apple with peanut butter 4 oz. chicken breast or lean meat 2 cups of green vegetables WATER INTAKE: 1 and a half gallons will be consumed daily. Carbohydrate Veggie Replacements, Broccoli, red onions, asparagus, green beans, red potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams, corn, carrots Grain Replacements: When bread, Wheat bagel, Brown rice, Spinach, Oatmeal, whole wheat bread, Plain Granola Fruit Replacement: cantaloupe blue berries peaches plums tangerines kiwi papaya peaches lemon lime guava apricot grapefruit green apple, raspberries, melon Protein Replacement: white fish, cod, tilapia sword, 125

mahi mahi, salmon, tuna, shark, very lean beef, breast of chicken or turkey, tofu, 1/ 2cup of plain flavored nut or soy beans 1/2 cup dark beans Weight training: 3-4 days a week Cardio Training: 5-7 days a week for 60 minutes Eating Plan Weeks 9-l2

1. Wheat waffle with fruit and 3 strips of turkey bacon or turkey breast meat, 1/4 cup oatmeal or w/ 1 tbs. apple butter (every other day) 2. 3 cups non starchy veggies such as onions and green, yellow, or red peppers 3. 1/4 cup of Brown rice or yams 2 oz. piece of Meat 2 cups green vegetables 4. 4 oz. piece of Meat 2 cups green vegetables 5. 2 cups of green vegetables and 1 cup of fruit or 2 fruits 6. 3 cups green vegetables WATER INTAKE: 1 gallon will be consumed daily.

Carbohydrate Veggie Replacements:, Broccoli, red onions, asparagus, green beans, red potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams, corn, carrots 126

Grain Replacements: Wheat bread, wheat bagel, brown rice, spinach, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, plain granola Fruit Replacement: Cantaloupe blue Berries Peaches Plums Tangerines Kiwi Papaya Peaches Lemon Lime Guava Apricot Grapefruit green apple, raspberries, Melon Protein Replacement: , White fish, Cod, Tilapia Sword, Mahi Mahi, Salmon, Tuna, shark, very lean beef, breast of chicken or turkey, tofu, 1/ 2cup of plain flavored nut or soy beans 1/2 cup dark beans Weight training: 3 days a week Cardio training: 5-7 days a week 90 min. This can be broken done into two cardio sessions a day Eat to optimize your workouts Eat enough in advance so that you are not working out on a full stomach; but not so far in advance that you're hungry or you're starting to work out with a lowered blood sugar level. Working out on a full stomach can cause an upset stomach as blood is diverted away from the stomach to the working muscles. Working out on an empty stomach can cause you to feel dizzy and nauseated due to lowered sugar levels for exercise. Proper eating increases blood sugar levels that reduces fatigue which also improves performance and extends exercise duration.



Forty Is No Longer Over the Hill Assuming We Live a Little Smarter By Michael Spitzer, Author of Fitness at 40, 50, 60 and Beyond

There was a time not too long ago when the accepted mindset was that once we reached 40 years of age, we were “over the hill”. The best that one could expect was to try and accept an inevitable decline down a sharp slope into the frailties of old age. Looking back, it may at first seem this mindset was indeed accurate. After all, old photographs of family members often show a person who appears older than we know them to be by today’s standards. To be sure, in today’s youth-oriented culture, some of the change we see in people’s appearances as compared to yesteryear can be attributed to hair 129

coloring, plastic surgery, Botox injections or other techniques. But there is more to it than that. In the past, it seems many people lived their lives according to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since the prevailing thought process was that it is “all downhill” after age 40, most people subconsciously adapted their lifestyles to match this mentality. Gaining weight was simply accepted as an unavoidable change of life. Loss of muscle tone, aches and pains, and cutting back on once loved activities was considered part of the normal aging process. Here is the harsh truth: The average person was short changing himself/herself. They were “going to seed” resigning themselves to a reduced level of energy and fitness too early in life. Are you ready for another harsh truth? Many people today are still living their lives according to this inaccurate and outdated mindset. Modern research has revealed many interesting facts regarding aging; and has also dispelled a series of long held beliefs. For example: Even individuals who have been exercising regularly for years can still add new muscle size and strength into their late 50s. Time and time again, it has been shown that people who remain active and have a lifestyle which combines reasonable eating with some form of cardiovascular and weight resistance exercise, are more mobile and perform better into their 70s than do sedentary individuals in their 30s. Toning and strengthening of existing muscle fibers can be attained at any age, even well into your 80s. 130

Once they begin a structured program, persons who have not been physically active on a regular basis still show increases in muscle strength, size, and flexibility even into their 90s. Film action hero Sylvester Stallone is an excellent well known example of a man who at age 67 is more active and better physically fit than most Americans in their 30s. At age 70, the legendary Jack Lalanne still performed feats in public such as swimming one (1) full mile in open water while towing 60-70 rowboats behind him. Lesser known, but just as impressive are guys like Cliff Eggink who at the age of 70 was still participating in Triathlon contests which included over 2.0 miles of swimming, 100 miles of bike riding and 26 miles of marathon course running. There are now approximately 200,000 Americans over the age of 40 officially registered and participating in Masters sporting events that include marathons, distance swimming, and triathlons. The reader’s initial reaction may be to dismiss these examples as “rare exceptions” and “freaks of nature”. But such is not the case. These individuals were not all blessed with perfect genetics that magically made them different from you or anybody else. The only difference between most of these people and today’s vision of the “statistical norm” is the choices they made and the way they live their lives. Realistically, nobody is going to try and claim a perfectly fit person at age 65 is going to be in better 131

condition than a trained athlete at age 23. Such a claim would be foolish and misleading. It has been demonstrated by numerous studies that a combination of weight resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and an intelligent daily diet routine can slow the aging process and even reverse many of the negative effects brought about by years of self neglect. Under these conditions, it is not uncommon to see individuals in their 60s and even older who can leave many younger people in the dust. To be certain, there are individuals well into their 90s who are still very active and could put an average 50 year old to shame, but we are talking statistical norms here. It seems nature did not intend for the human body to experience any major loss of performance or independence prior to the age of 75. It can be argued any major decline in physical capability prior to this age is probably due to disease, injury, genetics or unhealthy lifestyle choices. If we are fortunate enough to avoid serious injury, extremely bad genetics, or disease, then a lifestyle consisting of a balanced diet and structured exercise routine should allow the majority of us to remain active, energetic, and independent.

Cheat Days The body is a machine highly capable of adaption.
This ability to adapt is usually a wonderful thing. In fact, the ability to adapt is why exercise and training are effective in the first place. By pushing the body to perform at a higher level than it is accustomed to, it will 132

adapt to that increased workload in the form of stronger bones & muscles, increased bone density, higher endurance, and better flexibility.

But the body’s ability to adapt can also work against us sometimes. When we go on any kind of diet that severely reduces calories for a reasonable amount of time, the body “thinks” it may forever be forced to work with a lower level of caloric intake. 
 What does the body do at this point?
It takes steps to prevent the possibility of what it fears may be impending starvation. The body’s natural preservation programming starts to slow down the metabolism. This can create a vicious cycle for dieters who unknowingly go on crash diets to try and lose weight. With the drastic reduction of calories, the metabolism starts to slow down in response.
The individual gets frustrated that they can no longer lose weight and decides to cut calories even more.
Again the body reacts by slowing the metabolism. This cycle becomes a losing proposition for the dieter as eventually the only way to overcome the body’s preservation mechanism of slowing the metabolism is to almost starve. Yes, a near starvation diet will lead to weight loss, but it also leads to a loss of muscle tissue (as we learned earlier, lean muscle helps control basal metabolism), as well as other nutritional deficiencies. Furthermore, a climate is created where the individual will more easily gain weight again after they quit starving themselves since their metabolism has been wrecked.

You may know or even have personal experience with “Yo-Yo” dieters. The term “Yo-Yo” dieting refers to people who are able to lose weight on a diet, but then quickly regain all the weight they lost 133

after they go off the diet. In fact, many times not only do the people regain the weight they lost, they actually end up gaining more.

For the most part, diets do not work.
This may sound like a controversial statement, but I will explain. 
 A “diet” is not the same thing as making long term dietary changes. Many people think of a diet as something they do for a short period of time to lose unwanted pounds, with the idea that once those pounds are lost they can resume their old eating habits and “maintain” themselves at the new lower weight.

 99% of the time, this does not work.
Think about it. If this idea was logical and scientifically sound, the extra weight would never have been gained in the first place. The individual would have remained at the same weight to begin with.

The only way to have long term weight control is to make lasting lifestyle changes to your diet. The process we described above for calculating protein, fat, and carbohydrate requirements for your body is the framework upon which your typical daily dieting should be based.

This sounds great in theory you say, but… “What about those great cookies my sister bakes?”
and “What about that World Famous Key Lime Pie when I visit Key West Florida?”

I agree. A professional athlete in training for a major competition may have to make extreme sacrifices for a stretch of time, but not us normal people just trying to stay in shape.

We can still enjoy the culinary pleasures of life by utilizing cheat days in an intelligently planned way.

 A cheat day is essentially a day where you allow yourself to enjoy those white chocolate macadamia cookies or those rich walnut brownies.

As just 134

discussed, if we reduce our calories continuously for a long stretch of time, our body naturally begins to slow down our metabolism.
For weight control, this is an undesirable condition.
We want to keep our metabolism at a healthy level.

By having a cheat day once every 7 or 14 days, we “surprise” the body by boosting the total calories for a day. Then immediately the next day we are back to our normal clean eating routine for the next week or two (with no more cheating!) This sporadic alteration to our calorie consumption prevents the body from adapting to a perceived permanent caloric reduction. Likewise a few hundred more calories 2-4 times per month are not enough added calories to seriously hamper your weight control goals. 
 There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to cheat days. They are not an excuse to totally binge eat everything in sight and eat until you are literally sick. A cheat day is simply a strategically used day you can look forward to for enjoying your favorite treats in life and not feeling as though your healthy lifestyle is depriving you in any way. The cheat day not only lets you still enjoy your favorite “bad foods”, but also serves the beneficial purpose of tricking your metabolism so that it does not begin to downshift on you.

We said that a cheat day is used once every 7 or 14 days. How do you determine how often you can have a cheat day? 
 As with most things in life, common sense provides the right answer. If you are not seriously overweight or are within a few pounds of your desired size, then you can probably afford one cheat day per week.
By 135

comparison, if you are working hard to lose 10, 15, 20 pounds or more, then you should probably limit yourself to a cheat day every 14 days. One more comment about cheat days… At no time should they become more frequent than once every 7 days. If you begin to make a habit of eating cookies, cakes, pizzas, and key lime pies every day of the week (or even every other day) they are no longer strategically planned cheat days – they simply become bad eating habits. Eat for the body you want. Muscle tissue, water weight, and fat all have different densities. Looking only at a total weight on a scale gives no accurate information in terms of your body’s actual composition. In the final analysis, knowing what to do is only half the battle. It is actually doing what you know to be right which ends up as the key to successful results.


Value Key: REACHing Higher Throughout your fitness journey there will be moments when it'll be harder for you to stick to your plan, stay the course and seize the success you desire. During times like this, you'll have to press in and push beyond barriers toward achieving continued success. I choose to tell the truth about the periodic difficulties that I experienced on my fitness journey. I loved the fact that my weight slowly but surely came off. During the process, there were many days when I just wanted to be done. You know those roller coaster, tug-of-war times when you have to choose between eating a few chocolate-chip cupcakes or some celery and carrot sticks. To be totally honest, on more than one occasion, the cupcakes won. It was a progressive process, but I learned how to REACH beyond my "breaking points". Pastor Dan Johnson also acknowledges the daunting ups and downs of dieting. He shares his process to help you to keep going when you feel like giving up. There’ll always be options before you. Choices you’ll have to make. When what you really want is to be healthier, and stronger, you’ll REACH for it and find a way to quit quitting.




REACH For What You Really Want By Pastor Dan Johnson

REACH by definition means to stretch out or put forth; extend. It means to touch or grasp by stretching out or extending; it means to arrive at; attain. No matter which definition you use, REACH in essence requires a process that is often times not easy. It requires sacrifice; and one is often faced with frequent opposition and resistance when it comes to reaching. The act of REACHING anything in life will always require an abandonment of comfort, complacency, and convenience. It is this reality that keeps many of us from ever achieving our goals, pursuing our purpose and REACHING our destiny. Over the next couple of pages we will explore how to navigate through REACH as an acronym to use as a tool to assist you on your journey to living a healthier and better life. The R in REACH is for Recognize To recognize is to perceive or show acceptance of the validity or reality of something. The first step in your journey to live a better life is to recognize where you are, recognize how you got there, recognize the need to change in order be at a healthier and better place in 139

your life. This recognition is very difficult to accept, as it requires that an individual deal with realities about him or herself ‌realities that might have potentially been ignored for years. Some of those realities could be: insecurities, the lack of discipline, low-self-esteem, depression, and so much more. It is in this recognition that we find the necessity to make a decision to change our lives. Once you recognize where you are, you must accept responsibility for how you got there. The acceptance of responsibility can be a hard pill to swallow. It is much easier to blame someone else, make excuses, and identify a million reasons why where you are at this point in your life is not your fault. Some may say it is a result of a broken childhood, a bad relationship, a loss of employment, or some other circumstance that caused you to be where you are today. The truth is that no one or nothing can control your destiny - but you. Therefore, if you have found yourself where you are as a result of the aforementioned circumstances, or any other condition associated with external entities from who you are, then you must a make a decision to take your personal power back and regain control of your life. No more excuses, no more blaming others, and no more wasting time. After you recognize and accept responsibility for where you are, you must also recognize the need to change. Change is not an event that happens overnight. Rather, it is a process that takes place over a period of time. The truth is that everything in your life is SUBJECT to change. This does not necessarily mean that everything will change, but it suggests that change is possible. In other words, everything in your life submits to the authority of the change that happens in 140

you. Here is the question: Could things be the way they are because you are the way you are? What is it that you can change about you that will change the things around you? Otherwise stated, as you become the agent of change, everything around you begins change. Let’s explore the evolution of change. The next letter in REACH is E. E represents EXPECTATION. As you recognize the need for change, and make a decision to commit to it, then expectation throughout the process is going to be paramount. Expectation comes from the root word expect which is means to look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of something, expectations deals with an attitude of hope; anticipation. From this vantage point it is important to expect to see yourself in a better place, looking a better way, and living a better life. This expectation comes not only with a new vision for the future, but also a new reality for today. As conduit to see your vision come to pass is going through the process of change. Change is always easier said than done. The beginning of change is a decision. The process of change is an activity; and the promise of change breeds success. You must start this process with managing your expectations by setting realistic and achievable goals. Many individuals never see their visions come to pass because they start off with aggressive goals that are difficult to reach. This constant disappointment potentially causes one to simply quit trying and give up. I remember when I first began my personal journey. I would go to the gym with 141

my work out buddy, Paul Johnson. He would seek to push me beyond my current capacity; and I would often say to him that if you give me goals I cannot reach right now, then it could potentially hinder me from attempting to REACH any goal connected to my future as it pertains to my health. However, if I am able to REACH the goals being established, it becomes my motivation to REACH further. Why? Because no one actually desires to fail. Additionally, if one is put in a position to continue to fail, emotionally it becomes difficult to continue to try. If we let the truth be told, one of the reasons many of us are where we are is that we have experienced disappointment at some point in our lives that created a sense of hopelessness one way or another. This becomes problematic in that the mismanagement of expectations leads to disappointment. This disappointment leads to an abortion of hope. This abortion of hope leads to spiritual suicide of purpose and destiny in your life. Therefore, as you journey to REACH to a healthier and better life, be sure to EXPECT to look better, EXPECT to feel better, EXPECT your life to be better. However, those expectations must be managed by setting realistic goals. You must also be willing to go through the process to ACHIEVE them. The next letter in REACH is A. The ‘A’ in your journey stands for ACHIEVE. The word achieve means to perform or carry something out with success; accomplish. Another definition is to attain with effort despite difficulty. Here is the truth: The process of achieving your expectations and goals will be difficult, and will not be possible without a committed effort on your part. In order for you to 142

achieve your goals you must understand that it will require work. You must be willing to do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it. You must be willing to willing to commit to ACHIEVE when it sometimes appears to not be achievable. Personal sacrifice of comfort, convenience, and consciousness will be the ONLY way you will ACHIEVE on your journey to living a healthier and better life. GO ANYWAY. DO IT ANYWAY. ACHIEVE IT ANYWAY. As I continue on my personal journey, I’ve come to realize that I should not expect to be comfortable in this process. I am one who loves to cook, eat, and enjoy a great sweet treat. Cooking and eating was and still is to a certain degree my therapy. I have found comfort in food. However, in recognizing where I was, I quickly realized that I was eating myself to death in the name of comfort. What happens when comfortable becomes uncomfortable? Here is what happened to me. Not too long ago, I was taking nearly 10 pills a day, I was knocking at the door of 300 pounds, cardiovascular concerns, and a couple of arteries that appeared to be closing. In a downward spiral, instead of accepting and taking ownership of my health and ultimately my life, for a long time I acted as if I was comfortable in my current state. The truth is that I was uncomfortable in my clothes, in my mind; and I was uncomfortable attempting to do anything that required any type of physical exertion. So don’t become comfortable being uncomfortable, sacrifice personal comfort today in order to ACHIEVE your goals and assure that you are comfortable living in your tomorrow. In addition to sacrificing your personal comfort, you 143

must also be willing to sacrifice your personal convenience. Achieving your goals will require a major lifestyle shift in terms of how you live your life. You must be willing to make adjustments to your time, to assure that you make provision for things like working out, eating right, and getting some rest. For me, this was difficult because I live a very busy life, juggling between my family, my business, and my ministry, I never appeared to have time for anything else. I was simply too busy. It wasn’t until that day when my chest was hurting, I could not breathe, and I found myself in the emergency room that I came to the full realization. Though I was still working while in the hospital, I realized that all of a sudden the things I cared the most about, primarily my family, was being affected by what I was going through. My personal convenience was creating a major inconvenience to everything I love, family, business, and ministry. I knew then that a change must happen. It was neither easy nor convenient then or now, but it was and is well worth it. Make some time to prepare healthy meals rather than eating out. Make some time for yourself to go to the gym, take a long walk, or commit to doing some other type of exercise at least 3 times a week. Finally, take the time, and make the effort to get the rest that your mind and body has been needing. You must be willing to sacrifice your personal consciousness for the sake of living a healthier and better life. Consciousness deals with our minds‌how we think, how we reason, how we learn, and how we understand. Many of us today live our lives from an individualistic point of view. We govern ourselves from opinions, experiences, and principles formed and created by our own ideologies, fears, and limited information. This level of consciousness or the lack 144

thereof impedes upon forward moving progress, limits growth, and hinders change. For example, I despised working out. I felt that my day to day activity was enough to serve as exercise and could sustain me. Furthermore, I did not like drinking water. As someone who loved to cook, I thought my menu of no beef, no pork, little no fried food, and limited bread was healthy enough. I was completely wrong, and every day I began to educate myself. With this education, I realized that I was going to have to have a paradigm shift in my mind if I was ever going to change and become who I ultimately desired to be. A paradigm shift is a change in the thought patterns and the thought process of how you think. Consider this. If you continue to justify where you are, you will never get to where you are going. To this end, to ACHIEVE your goals and REACH your expectations you must be willing to change your mind and increase your level of consciousness. The next letter that we will discuss in REACH is C. ‘C’ represents CONSISTENCY. Consistency is defined as reliable and steady. Consistency suggests that whatever you choose to do, you keep on doing it until you see the desired results. As life happens every day, you will find that consistency can be difficult. There is always something that comes along to distract you, delay you, or keep you from REACHING your destiny. The reality is that life happens with or without your permission. Life never happens at the most convenient time, and life always has its own way of presenting the unexpected. In order for you to REACH you must be able to navigate through the roads of life without losing sight of your destination. In other words, you must stay FOCUSED. 145

The term focus is defined as the center of activity, attraction, or attention, a point of concentration. Anytime you decide to make a decision for better, something always shows up to disrupt or interrupt your activity, divert your attention, or break your concentration. Many times this something is so subtle that before you know it, you have become consumed with what you are going through, and you lose FOCUS on where you were going. The easiest way to keep from becoming the person that you desire to be, is to lose focus and become inconsistent. There are many factors that could potentially cause you to lose focus. Let’s examine some of them: 1. The first factor is zeal. We must be careful not to allow our zeal to force us into setting goals we do not have the capacity to achieve. The message here is not to allow your zeal to take you where your faith and consistency can’t keep you. 2. The second factor is fear. Fear serves as the paralysis that immobilizes you. Fear is an unseen weapon that is designed to keep you from your destiny. Fear can always be countered with consistent acts of faith, courage, and determination, no matter what the challenges are. Set your goals, and in the presence of fear, DO NOT QUIT, DO IT SCARED!!! Every time you move a step closer to REACHING where you desire to be, fear will begin to disappear. 3. The third factor is surroundings. Your surroundings are very important in your process. These surroundings are not limited to your environment. They include your family, your friends, and your peers. There will always be someone around you to tell you that it does not take all of that, you can’t 146

do it, or there is a quicker or easier way. You will have to connect yourself to the individuals around you who have a need to change, a desire to win, and a hope that life gets better. Stay away from the individuals who have yet to make a decision to change or pursue their own dreams. They are a hindrance and will criticize and discourage you. Get yourself to the point where you are OVER your circumstances. Once you’ve gained or regained your strength, then you can strengthen others. In the meantime, stay away from the negativity as much as possible. Sometimes our mere surroundings and the people we hang with can cause us to lose sight of what really is important and what we actually should be doing. It is very important that you create an atmosphere and connect with people who will assist you on your journey. Furthermore, it is equally important that in your pursuit of purpose, you don’t allow your storms or people to distract you from where you are trying to go. Do the right thing. Be CONSISTENT enough, long enough, and it will eventually be enough. The last letter that we will explore in REACH is H. ‘H’ signifies HELP. Help is to give assistance or aid to. No man is an island. Whether we admit it or not, all of us need some help in one way or another. As a result of my decision, I knew that the only way I was going to go the gym is if someone would go with me. I needed that help. As a result of making that acknowledgement and accepting the help, I am now CONSISTENT in going to the gym 34 times a week and I am grateful. With HELP, I complete my workouts; and although to this day I still don’t like working out, I am getting it done with HELP. Working out may not be your issue. You may not need 147

help with going to the gym. Maybe it’s proper eating, or maybe it is just an encouraging word. The point is at some point or another we all need a little motivation or HELP. Never be afraid to ask for HELP and never forget about being willing to HELP someone else. In summation, you will never REACH your goals, if you allow your history, current situation, and/or the fear of failure to get in the way. Make a decision that TODAY will be the last day that you live your life different from what you dream of it to be. DON’T continue to hit the snooze button on your purpose and destiny. DON’T put off making that critical decision to begin your journey for another day. Unfortunately, for many, another day never comes. You do not have to continue to live your life as a result of your experiences. Create new experiences from where you are and live your life based on where you are going. All you must do is REACH, Recognize, Expect, Achieve, be Consistent, and never be afraid to ask for Help. YOU CAN DO IT!!!


VALue Key to Authenticity No one else can be you. What a great opportunity to create or improve your brand! Beautify your brand with your individuality. Be the best you. Your life depends on it.


Norma T. Hollis takes us to the place of accomplishment. Every marathon runner wants to know what it feels like to cross the finish line. Whether you’ve successfully released the weight and reached your ultimate fitness benchmark; or perhaps you’re still in some stage of the process, there is a truth you must embrace. I decided that I had to live the life that was most authentically mine. When I said, yes to that, the truest me began to emerge. Everyday I discover a new aspect of the treasure within and I give myself permission to be authentically awesome! Like mine, Tracey’s story reveals the power of authenticity on the journey to greater fitness. Authenticity is the bridge to true abundance. Norma writes, “There is great wealth in just feeling as good as you do. That feeling alone is the foundation of your ability to attract similar feelings in your life. This is wealth beyond measure.” Value you!



Congratulations on achieving your goal! You have released the weight, reclaimed your health, reached your ultimate fitness and life goals and feel absolutely wonderful. What joy to reach success. You should be proud of yourself. I hope you are celebrating and honoring yourself for your commitment to your goal and your persistence to reach it. Once a goal is reached it’s an opportunity to open new doors and start a new life. The veil of past thoughts and ways of doing life are now replaced with new views of self and a new way to live day-to-day. I like to refer to this wonderful transitional time as ‘stepping into your authentic voice’. It’s stepping away from past ways of looking at self and the world and stepping into your true self. It’s 151

reconnecting to the true you that lives within and allowing yourself to thrive. It’s releasing any feelings of unworthiness that may have dominated your past but have no place in your future. It’s honoring the person you were born to be. Now that the weight is over you can embrace this person and be your authentic self, sharing your authentic voice. Doing so enables you to embrace nine dimensions of your authentic voice and open the pathway for sustainable success. What is Authentic Voice? Your authentic voice represents the person you were born to be. It’s a combination of three voices which represent you. When these voices work together, your authentic voice is evident. These three voices are your Inner Voice, Outer Voice and Expressive Voice. Inner Voice is the small quiet voice that lives within you. It has been there since your birth and it is constantly trying to get your attention and give you guidance. This voice is your GPS system through life. Outer Voice is the person that other people see when they look at you. Whenever you step into a room people make an immediate impression of you, largely based on how you present yourself. Expressive Voice is who you have become in the world and how you combine your Inner and Outer Voices. Sustaining the success that you have achieved 152

becomes easier when you do it according to your authentic voice. This means being comfortable being you, honoring the work that you put into your efforts, staying true to your transformation and adapting a life that will truly benefit you and those around you. It means ‘Stepping into Your Authentic Voice’. Dimensions of Your Authentic Voice Each of the voices is comprised of three dimensions. The dimensions are energies that live in and around you. They are called dimensions because as human beings, we have many parts to ourselves. Understanding your parts, or dimensions, is an important step to embracing your authentic voice. Below you will learn about the dimensions of each of the Voices. Each represents parts of yourself that desires acknowledgement. Some may be very familiar to you and others you might not have thought a lot about. They are the result of 30 years of research into human nature from personal, professional and spiritual perspectives. And it’s the foundation for finding, living and sharing your authentic voice and sustaining the joy of your recent transformation. Inner Voice Dimensions Your Inner Voice is the quiet voice that speaks within you. It is also the foundation of your authentic voice. I like to refer to it as your ‘unseen supporters’, the collection of angels, ancestors, spirits, energies…however you prefer to define it. It’s energy that we don’t understand too much about. However, it is a true source of knowledge and guidance for each of us. And it’s especially valuable when you learn to 153

understand and partner with it. The Inner Voice has three dimensions: Intuition, Integrity and Inspiration. Intuition Thought stems from your intuitive mind. When you made the decision to lose the weight or otherwise transform your life, this decision was first confirmed in the voice that’s called intuition. In fact, your intuitive voice may have been speaking to you for some time, attempting to inspire you to action on this issue, but maybe you were not listening. It is always reaching out to you and offering guidance. I encourage you to listen deeply to and partner with this phenomenal voice. If you are not sure about connecting with your intuition, let me give you a suggestion. The next time you find yourself thinking “What am I going to wear?” examine how you get your answer. Does it come as a thought? A memory? A feeling? Something from your gut? How does it come to you? When I lost 30 pounds I purchased a beautiful orange suit in a size 8. I was so excited. That was over 10 years ago and I can still wear that suit, it’s a classic. I frequently visualize myself in that suit. Whenever I want to feel as good as I did when I first put that suit on, I wear it. I have learned that this is how my intuitive voice speaks to me…through visions, memories, and pictures. When I ask myself the question about what to wear I frequently get the answer in a picture in my mind. I also get similar pictures when I think about my goals 154

and where I want to take my life. communicate with my intuitive self.

It’s how I

Think about how this works for you. It’s a clue to how your voice speaks to you. Once you connect with this you will increase your ability to listen to your intuitive voice and therefore make decisions in partnership with unseen energies that work in your favor. Connecting with your intuitive voice will help you sustain your success because your intuitive voice wants you to be successful. This private GPS system will steer you in directions that support your success. Once you learn to communicate and partner with your intuitive voice, sustainability flows. Integrity Once thought enters through your intuition, it filters through your Integrity. This represents your belief system, your values. Integrity represents the degree to which you are steadfast to your values. Let me tell you about my client Tracey, from Detroit, Michigan. Tracey wanted to be a successful professional speaker and share her authentic voice. When I first coached her we discussed her weight and I encouraged her to speak about it each time she was in front of the room. Tracey decided that a better alternative was to lose weight and not talk about being obese. Tracey immediately had to change her values about food, weight, her body, her self-esteem. She decided to ‘tweak’ one thing in her life and that was to begin weighing her food. For eleven months she carried 155

around a scale and weighed food, counted nuts, and other practices to monitor what she put into her mouth. Her reward was releasing 100 pounds in just eleven months. Each time her intuitive voice had previously suggested that she release weight her value system didn’t support it. She accepted the value of being overweight. But when she decided on a goal – to be a professional speaker – she gained the inspiration to raise her value system and follow her intuitive voice. This led her to the next dimension – Inspiration. Inspiration After Tracey had the intuitive thought to lose weight, then her value system agreed that it was time, she then was inspired to take action. Once she took action and ‘tweaked’ the way that she ate, she was able to release the weight and then sustain it. A year after Tracey completed her transformation she was invited by a television producer for an opening show make-over. She flew with her two sons from Detroit to Los Angeles to appear on the show. Watching the face of her sons when her transformation was completed was priceless. Not only had she lost the weight, she was now dressed in an outfit that highlighted her new size, with a new haircut and cosmetics. She looked fabulous, felt fabulous and continues to be fabulous. Tracey allowed herself to listen to her intuitive voice. She embraced the integrity of a value system that supported what her intuitive voice was saying and she 156

became inspired to take action. As a result she achieved her goal and sustained it. Shortly after she released her weight she received a speaking engagement in Paris, France. She is reaching her potential and staying connected to her Inner Voice. You can too. Outer Voice Your Outer Voice is the person that other people see when they look at you. No one has a clue what is going on in your Inner Voice, only you. Sometimes your Outer Voice reflects what you are thinking and sometimes it does not. It does however, represent the sum total of how you live your life, at least from the outside looking in. The dimensions of the Outer Voice are Net Wellness, Net Work and Net Wealth. Net Wellness Because you are reading this book you have probably been exposed to the opinion that others seem to place on a person whose exterior wellness is not within what is considered normal limits. People who are overweight are often judged by others in ways that may have nothing to do with who the person is. It is just a judgment issue based on an exterior perception. The secret is you have the ability to control perception, at least to some degree. While you never control how a person perceives you, you control how you perceive yourself and how you yourself in front of the public.

this can can put

Net Wellness does not only have to do with weight, it is the sum total of those things that represent your 157

wellness issues – mental health, dental, nutritional, spiritual, fitness, energy and so on. Your entire countenance is your Net Wellness. You create sustainability for yourself when you respect and honor the laws of Net Wellness that work for you. It’s about knowing your body, what foods work best, what exercise is most effective, etc. in order to attain and retain your authentic health and personal glow. Net Wellness offers energy and longevity. Once you find your authentic voice don’t you want the energy to enjoy it? And don’t you also want to enjoy it for as long as possible? When you embrace the sustainability factors of Net Wellness you likely increase your potential for years of joy. Net Work Who do you surround yourself with? Are they people who support your transformation or people who tease you about it? Do they celebrate you or just tolerate you? You are often judged by the people you surround yourself with. You also gain or lose your self-esteem by the people you surround yourself with. Who is in your circle? A very important Net Work is your circle of quality friends. Your quality Net Work represents those people who know you well, even your faults, and they still love you. They have a tolerance for your vulnerabilities and do not judge you because of them. They accept you and seek to help you have an authentic life of high quality. These are people you want in your life on a regular basis. They will help you to sustain the goals 158

you have achieved. Net Wealth Many people think of Net Wealth only from a financial perspective. I ask you, what wealth have you gained since you achieved your goal? Don’t you feel fantastic? There is great wealth in just feeling as good as you do. That feeling alone is the foundation of your ability to attract similar feelings in your life. You have shed the discomfort of being behind your goal and you are embracing the glory of your success. This is wealth beyond measure. I encourage you with one of the most powerful sustaining perspectives. Look at Net Wealth as the abundance in your life. You have recently increased your abundance through your accomplishment. Now bask in that success and allow the great feeling to penetrate every part of your being. Feel it, embrace it, celebrate it. You have gained a new kind of abundance that promotes and celebrates your success. This sustainable abundance is priceless. Expressive Voice Your Expressive Voice represents who you have become. It’s the combination of your Inner Voice and your Outer Voice and is how you express yourself in the world. The dimensions associated with the Expressive Voice are Legacy, Likeability and Lifestyle. Legacy You were born with a unique set of natural gifts and talents. How are you using your gifts and talents in the 159

world? Do you even know what your gifts and talents are? As human beings, our natural gifts and talents are fairly evident when we are young children. However once we start the path of traditional education, the natural expression of gifts and talents is often traded for the organized structure of classroom teaching. So it is possible that you may have lost track of your natural gifts and talents. I suggest that you find them. 
 What do you thoroughly enjoy doing? What did you enjoy most when you were a child? What do you do now in your spare time or what would you do if you had more spare time? What are your hobbies? All of these are clues to your natural gifts and talents. It is important to know what your gifts and talents are. Once you know, ask yourself how often you engage in your gifts and talents. A great way to sustain your success is to integrate your gifts and talents into your success. Sometimes your gifts and talents are revealed through your accomplishments. I knew Val for over a decade before I was aware that she had released almost 400 pounds, which is quite an accomplishment. This represents gifts of persistence, determination and faith. But it wasn’t until she began to reveal her success that she began to see what a gift she brings to the world by sharing her story. What have you accomplished that might not seem like a big deal to you? Actually you would be surprised at how much other people respond to your successes. So share them and allow others to benefit from your story. The joy of sharing contributes to your sustainability. 160

Likeability This dimension focuses on your personality. Each of us has both positive and negative personality traits. To promote sustainability, share your positive personality traits as often as possible. People like people who are likeable. Examine your different moods and how you present yourself to others. Ask your quality network to let you know when your most likeable personality is showing. Get to know this side of yourself and share it as much as possible. This is the side of yourself that just accomplished your goal. This is the happy person with high self-esteem. Smile broadly and share this great joy as often as possible. Just sharing the joy will help you to sustain a joy that is authentic. Lifestyle The final dimension is Lifestyle. This refers to your dayto-day habits. Your habits have a lot to do with your sustainability. It is important that you adapt new habits that compliment your transformation. Start each day with a smile and a thankful attitude of joy. Evaluate what needs to be done to maintain your joyful life. Tweak what needs to be tweaked. End each day the same way. Create new habits that support your new lifestyle and your sustainability is assured. It’s Time to Tweak These nine dimensions of authenticity are clues to embrace longevity in your success. Identify which of 161

the dimensions are most vulnerable for you. Then decide to ‘tweak’ something in that dimension. Just like Tracey tweaked her eating habits by weighing her food, you too can achieve remarkable results by just one change in the way you do things. These secrets to sustainability will allow you to embrace additional traits that will add glue to your success. These traits are self-knowledge, boundaries and action. Connecting with your Inner Voice gives you self-knowledge. Understanding how your Outer Voice compliments your Inner Voice and setting boundaries for yourself is the key to a sustainable Outer Voice. And taking appropriate action that is aligned with the authentic parts of yourself gives you a joyful Expressive Voice. As you continue “Stepping Into Your Authentic Voice” remember that it is a lifetime journey. As soon as you uncover one layer of your authentic voice another layer begins to reveal itself. If you follow the journey, deepen your self-knowledge, honor appropriate boundaries and take focused action you will continue your transformation through the evolution of your true authentic self. It is an exhilarating journey of joy, discovery and sustainable transformation. I invite you to continue the process. To learn more about the nine dimensions of authenticity and take the Authenticity Assessment, go to Learn more about the author at


-8The Value of Personal Responsibility

From Chapter 1 in my first book, ‘EmpoWord!” Awesomely created by the best graphic artist on the planet! – Vita M. Rome, Vision Is The Answer Design Firm

Tamela Joyce talked about it in her beautifully expressed opening testimonial. I do have a unique ability to see potential in others. It is very clear to me. Equally certain, is my ability to help anyone fulfill another measure of their greatness. I will always build and not tear down. The only thing required is your conscious permission and active participation. My entire life I have wanted to help people to know that they are valued, appreciated and loved. It is so important to me to inspire and empower others to live the life they truly desire and really deserve. 163

I firmly believe that when GOD gives you a vision or mission, He will permit circumstances to occur that will permit the full measure of His purpose will manifest. I sometimes become so overwhelmed with gratitude because I realize that what could have and should have destroyed me - has become my destiny. Owners Solve Problems We live in a world that wants reward, before work. An entitlement mentality is not right and does not work. In fact, one of the most disempowering things that can be done to a person is to give them something they have not worked for and earned. To achieve our health and fitness goals, taking personal responsibility is especially important. Some studies show that successful, sustained weight loss has a less than five percent success rate. That is alarms me but it’s also a call to action. I know that we can do better than that and we will. So let’s excuse the excuses and move forward with becoming the most extraordinary expression of ourselves. When we are not getting the results we desire, we are either…doing nothing, doing the wrong thing or not doing enough of the right thing. Accepting responsibility is ownership. Like a homeowner versus a renter, when you own it, you’re responsible for the solutions. The answers are in you. Personal responsibility means you refuse to blame others for your current circumstance or situation. Accepting responsibility even means you take ownership for past failures. Acknowledging ownership means you are in charge of your own life, your own 164

health, and your own level of health and fitness. I like using myself as the example because it is irrefutable that if I can do it, anyone can. When I say anyone can release the weight they don’t want on their body, I mean it. I speak from the prism of a woman who used to carry cookies around in her pocket. I could no longer accept where I was because I had the ability to respond. I had to take actions that would create the results I wanted. The confused mind does not make a sound decision. So asking yourself the tough questions will help you to be clearer about what you want.  What do you really want?  What will it take for you to get it?  How will it look when you reach your destination? Also ask yourself this provocative question:  Am I worth trying again to make progress, overcome obstacles and achieve the results I desire? You must have specific goals, objectives and expected outcomes. Do you have a vision of yourself when you reach your goal? How does your face look? Are you smiling? How does your body feel? Do you feel strong and able to do things you’ve never done before? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions – the answers will come when you need them most. One of my guiding life principles was shared by Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, “When you survive, what others don’t, you have the 165

responsibility to serve.” It defies reason that I not only survived years of detrimental eating but I am thriving. Living the life I love.

       

8 VAL-U Tips to Remember Cultivate your desire for personal development. Recognize you have the ability to change. Release the resistance to take charge. Refrain from complaining. Don’t complain; create. Have the boldness to make better choices. Build your faith to improve your condition. Turn obstacles into opportunities to conquer. Reward and reinforce whatever you want to reproduce in your life. Exiting & Entering the DOORS

I was entombed in my 600+ pound body. So many times I felt trapped and closed off from the world. Even when I was out in public, I was often isolated and alone. I would have to make so many accommodations for my weight. My objective was always not to bring more attention and cause more embarrassment to myself. For example, whenever I was going to a place I had never been, I would always arrive at least one hour early so I could check the seats. First I wanted to see if the chairs would hold my weight. Then I had to make certain that I chose a seat on the end so my broad girth would not obstruct the view of anyone behind me. It would be so embarrassing when people would avoid sitting behind me so I deliberately tried to avoid those scenarios. I would try to block out the fact that my fat 166

was a gross inconvenience to others and myself. Another accommodating avoidance behavior I would practice is never riding in someone else’s car. I was petrified of breaking their car’s seat. At my heaviest, I could barely fit behind the steering wheel. One day the back of my seat finally yielded to the daily pressure. From phone books to a piece 2 X 4 piece of ply wood, I used what ever I could find to prop the reclined seat up enough so I could drive. I was petrified of breaking someone’s car, chairs, sofa, bed – I only went places that I thought were “Val-proof” and I would not do damage. Before the potential consequences of being morbidly obese became too extreme, I had to do something about it. I had to own it and be open to solutions that were within my power. I’m sharing these things not for anyone to feel badly for me but because there are women, men and children going through similar things right now. And I feel personally responsible for giving them/you hope. Personal responsibility matters. Yes, my body encased and restricted me. I tried to do it with poise, grace and dignity but it was uncomfortable carrying around all of the extra weight to wait until an inevitable health crisis occurred that shifted my responsibility to someone else. I was warned. My body told me. It was breaking down. Like the car seat, it would only be able to take the pressure the weight was placing on it for so long. The first person I had to hold accountable was me. Personal 167

responsibility properly understood and effectively applied was the key to open the tomb and step out. It was dark in the space I was in and I could only see a glimmer of light but it was a light of hope. Could I change? Would life be better? I had to find out so I took the first step and I’ll help you to take it too. Your DOORS to destiny is an empowerment speech that I deliver to encourage audiences to move out whatever space is restricting their growth, development, advancement and expansion. I want the same for you. When you take control of your weight, you take control of your life. You are in the driver’s seat. Keep the wheel and go for it. Don’t sabotage your success by shifting your solutions to someone/thing that may take you to where you do not want to be. Most days contain a new “WOW” moment for me…when I can get in and out of the car with ease. When I walk into a room and I don’t hear the gasps, sneers or more overtly rude responses. For the first time in my life, I recently purchased a blouse that did not have an “X” in the size. Last Sunday, I was able to get to my seat in church without everyone having to come out first. A few days ago I met with a Hollywood producer about the real possibility of having my own television show. In moments like these, I cannot thank GOD enough! Are you ready to go through the doors to fulfill your ultimate destiny? Don’t add anymore wait to your life. Allow the weight to be over for yourself too. The door is already opened. Walk through it so you can Release the fatty situations that have engulfed your life – 168

whatever that is to you. Open the door to get your life back and Reclaim your health so that you can Reach your ultimate life’s goals. The weight is over. Desire, Decision & Define Options – the power of choice Own each Opportunity to Optimize Your Life Remember your value; you are worth the work Seize & Stand in Your Space of Abundant Success Four Val-You Strategies That Motivate Movement 1. Be willing to be a “next play” person. Don’t get stuck on what didn’t work yesterday. Be able to take the experience you’ve gained to help you to get you to where you want to be. When you do that you’ll have this incredible feeling of empowerment. You will recognize that you are that special person who is more defined, developed, determined and unique than others. Your uniqueness will separate you from those who are not willing to do that. 2. Look yourself in the eyes. Tell yourself the truth about what you bring to the world. Now bring it. Put all your chips on the table. Have the ego, esteem and excellence that make you great. Speak power-filled words to yourself. Talk the talk and have the tenacity to back it up.

3. When people expect great things from you, embrace it. Don’t be afraid of expectancy. Expect AND See! What you expect, you will see. Harness the power of the pressure to perform so that you and others can acknowledge that you 169

are indeed extraordinary. Expecting great things from you is one of the best compliments someone can give you. You are not mediocre; your magnificence defines you and sets you apart from the average.

4. Don’t be afraid to be the beautiful person you are. Take the steps that are necessary to put yourself in the right place, position and posture. With a right state of mind:    

Say It See It Feel It Be It

Now it’s time for you to respond. You have the ability. Whether you have lost a pound or not, the weight is over! Feel the power of taking responsibility. The most important thing is that you feel it in your heart. When you can feel it in your heart, you know you will do well because it is real to you now.


Fill your heart with hope, happiness, harmony & health!

Look at my example and draw strength. I believe in you. Like Lazarus from the tomb, life called me out of the dungeon of my body. I was alive but not living. I encourage you to do it for you. Do it for the ones who are watching you do it. There are many more cheering for you than you can imagine. Take your step forward. Even if it’s a small step, know that every step counts. Eat an apple instead of an apple pie. You body has a brain, it will recognize, respond and reward you for treated it better. I was on the brink of not being able to walk and now I 171

am training for my first 5K for Delta. I stepped out of the “door” of that 600 body and I have not stopped moving forward. I walked out a door of destruction, into the door to destiny. Doors of great opportunity are opening to me because I took one step:  Major corporate collaborations and product endorsement deals.  My own television show.  A signature clothing line.  National and global speaking tours.  Much, much more!!!! The possibilities are endless when you embrace the power of your potential. If you’re willing to take the next step with me, I want you to use the next few pages to jot down what you are willing to do for you. You are Shaped 4 Success! Let’s get fit….together!  What’s one thing are you willing to do about your food choices:  What’s one thing you are willing to do to get more movement, activity and exercise:  What is one thing you will do to have a more positive environment or relationship:  What is one thing you are willing to do to create a stronger connection to your spirit: Write it down. Connect with us on and share. We want to agree with you and align our faith with yours.


Say this out loud. Shout if you’d like: “This is my body. I choose to make it the best version of itself. The weight is over! Nothing can replace the power of “insist”.


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The weight is over rev 6 may 8 2014 cover2