Once in a while we share things we really enjoy hearing about or using here.
Love is one of the strongest words in the english language. It can mean a lot of things. It’s a noun, it’s a verb and we say it almost every day. It evokes a lot of emotion, both good or bad. Love has even been the cause of some wars in history. With everything going on in our lives, do we take the time to stop to smell the roses and say to ourselves and mean it, “I love myself. I really, really, love myself!” Valentine’s Day is a holiday when we stop what we are doing and show our love to others. We make elaborate plans in hopes of expressing our love to a significant other. For example, I love my girlfriend, so I show her by getting her flowers, making her breakfast in bed and taking her out on a date. We do nice things for others, but what do we do for ourselves? I don’t know about you, but I love myself with food. I love the movies, but I really love eating movie theater popcorn. I love baseball, but I really love having a beer and peanuts at the game. Sometimes my love of a food, instead of just the activity, gets in the way of living a healthy lifestyle. I don’t always realize it, but it’s true. I don’t need popcorn and beer to love what I am doing and have a good time. We can experience love in another way, with the companionship of a significant other, a good friend or even a puppy. But first, we have to love ourselves. That’s the l-o-v-e that we all need in our lives. Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s hard to find things to appreciate sometimes. With everything going on around us; speedy events, family obligations and the everyday mundane tasks, when can we muster up appreciation?
When we decide to take on a whole lifestyle change with a program like Reshape The Nation, finding things to appreciate can seem daunting. As if choosing a healthy lifestyle isn’t a large enough task in itself. It’s an amazing and wonderful decision to make that will reward you with more than you ever dreamed, but it’s can seem easy to view the choice as an up-hill and impossible feat. Not to worry though, the ups and downs of extreme weight loss are completely normal and hey, at least it’s cyclical!
As we start to gear up for an exciting season of extreme weight loss, I want you to focus on one thing: appreciation. Not in it’s vague philosophical form, but more in the details on your weight loss journey. One thing I truly appreciate in my own journey for a healthier lifestyle is the want and need for more. When I feel better, lighter and stronger than ever, I can appreciate the feeling of simply “wanting” to be healthy.
What do you appreciate? Your excitement to get out and move? Your dedication to your Reshape The Nation lifestyle? Your kids being excited for you to live a healthier life? What is it on your own journey which helps you that you appreciate? It can be a small thing in your everyday life and it can seem insignificant. But regardless of it’s perceived importance, when something helps you along your path to better health, it’s a big deal and should be celebrated.
Follow us on facebook and tell us what you appreciate along your weight loss journey. Share it with others, tis the season for amazing weight loss goals being met.
David Smith, who lost over 400lbs by Chris Powell’s program, Reshape The Nation, still faces his addiction daily, food. Here, he speaks openly about it:
Addiction…. It comes in many forms: alcoholics, sex addicts, gamblers, and drugs. One form of addiction many are not aware of is food addiction. Addiction can cause guilt, shame, fear, hopelessness, failure, rejection, anxiety, and humiliation.
I am a food addict. I was able to suppress my addiction for a long time. I had it under control for 6 years. In those 6 years I did incredible things and I inspired millions of people. In the last year I have slipped. Some days I am aware and I have it under control but on others, I am not conscious and I find an outlet.
My outlet last year was body building… Then I tore my shoulder earlier this year. Before I tore it, I was still healing from skin removal surgery I had in August. The second documentary I filmed in November covered my weight gain. I knew I added some chub, but I drop fast because of the muscle mass I have. I was the size of a NFL linebacker and I looked the part… So no worries, right?
Obstacles in life come and go, as do shoulders on a flat bench. I could have done more cardio and reduced my food intake. I KNEW better, and I didn’t listen. I turned to an outlet that was always there before, thinking, “this will make me feel better, this will make me happy.” Did it? For an all-too-short time it did, but it caught up with me fast. Shortly after, I experienced guilt, shame, fear, hopelessness, failure, rejection, anxiety, and humiliation. I hadn’t felt this way in years. I could have a pity party or I could find a new, more productive outlet.
We all need outlets. We all need that escape. We need to have that feeling of worth. Find something that will not only fill that void but give you satisfaction that will not destroy you but make you stronger and a more productive person. So pick up a new hobby, start a walking club, volunteer, or be like me and write…
The most pertinent topic for the day is the holiday that gives some Americans this day off from laboring at their jobs, Labor Day. Because I have been self-employed for so long, the idea of having Labor Day off always seemed like one of those things that I could just dream about, like the other national holidays that don’t pertain to me personally. This year though, I thought I’d do something different. Not only will I work, laboring over a computer for a few hours, but I want to take the time I’m spending working to give thanks to the fact that I am fruitful with labor…
I don’t think many of us contemplate the meaning of “Labor Day” and it’s origin..We hear political leaders speak of it on this day, thanking the workers who formed an official union more than 100 years ago. The only reason most people would know of the true meaning of “Labor Day”, is if they weren’t out of town, at the lake, or doing some other play-intensive activity.
In the midst of anything that you did over the weekend to celebrate, shop the great sales, eat at family BBQ’s, or skip out of town, I want to ask you to take a moment to assess what you bring to your community in the form of labor. For those of you working full-time, let’s just take a moment from the holidays happenings to be thankful that we are working, be thankful that we are contributing on a daily basis to the workforce, that we are even able to do so… Because let’s face it, 9.3 % of Americans are out of work, a really large chunk of our society. That said, I want to ask you not only to be thankful for the jobs that you have, but that when you go back to work tomorrow, that you give more of yourself than you did last week and the week before to the labor that you do.. There are plenty of over-qualified people who would love to be in the position that many of you are, being able to take a paid day off for having a job in the first place..That is a luxury.
This, the origin of Labor Day:
“Labor Day differs in every essential from the other holidays of the year in any country,” said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. “All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day…is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.”
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.
As we are wandering about our days, playing or not, just take a moment to understand what it means to work and labor through your day. Reshaping your lives is work, day in, day out. Be thankful if you are working, and keep trying if you are not. You guys are awesome for sticking with Reshape The Nation, it’s really exciting to see! We are here for you, all of us at team Reshape… Let us know how we can work for you.
Hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over
Whether you like the original Crowded House version, or the new Cardigans one, you are bound to get inspired and check your attitude at the door.
Upon reading Aaron’s blog about the Journey song, “Don’t Stop Believing”, he mentioned something about the hype being over after ABC aired the 20/20 special of David Smith, who was once obese…And all I wanted to say was…NOOOO, don’t dream it’s over!
The reason Chris Powell does what he does is for people like David, who could stand to lose 400 pounds, because he believes in them, he believes in me, and he believes in you! That’s why Reshape the Nation can Reshape the world, because he and David care. I do not doubt the success of other ways to lose weight through different diets and exercise, something works for everyone. What I know about Chris Powell and Reshape the Nation is that persistence is key, and Reshape promotes that. You see, we already know YOU can do it, you just have know you can.
Honestly, there is much to be said about the lyrics “don’t stop believing”, and “don’t dream it’s over” even though they are just from seemingly sappy songs. They are a good representation of what Chris Powell and David Smith want for each of you. You know it’s been over 5 years since Chris helped David lose all that weight? That’s quite a long road, full of ups and downs and bumps along the way. But what set David apart from all the other guys out there trying to manage their weight is that he was persistent and vigilant for the fight. When David thought he was done, was tired, and had failed, Chris believed in him, he knew it wasn’t over for David. Chris inspired David, giving him the courage to keep going and forge ahead!
For all of you who follow Reshape the Nation, keep going, persist, don’t stop believing, and don’t dream it’s over!
There has been a lot of progress in the confines of Reshape the Nation, I’ve seen it first-hand, you guys believe in something…maybe something bigger than you, maybe yourself; whatever it is, it’s working and big amounts of weight-loss are happening right now.
Until then, “Don’t dream it’s Over”
Since Chris Powell and David Smith appeared on ABC’s 20/20 a couple weeks ago talking about their personal struggles and helping morbidly obese people improve their lives, Reshape the Nation has had an expected outpouring of support. Lots of people were motivated by David’s story, and his weight loss success inspired others trying to achieve the same thing.
But now it’s over.
Well… it’s not technically over. Some people were truly inspired into action and are starting to change their lives. Then there’s everyone else—the vast majority of the people who saw Chris and David on 20/20, got inspired, then got distracted. Or they got discouraged. Or they never got started in the first place. At Reshape, we understand these struggles. It’s the biggest challenge we face. Getting people motivated is easy, but keeping people motivated is hard.
So today’s message… Don’t Stop Believing.
No… not the Journey song. Though if you need to sing a few bars to yourself right now, feel free to:
“Don’t stop… believing… hold onto that feeling!”
But once you’re done singing, remember the message. Successful weight loss—any successful transformation, really—requires a belief in the reason your losing weight and a belief in your ability to succeed. Yes, you can do it. David and Chris gave you the motivation, but now you have to keep believing. Believe in yourself and you will be successful!
Whether you are an oldie or newbie on Reshape the Nation, we can all stand for a little restart. Restarting your routine, new meal plan and new fitness, allows you to jump start your metabolism and get things moving again! Even if you are a veteran to Reshape, restarting and recommitting are important for long-term success.
In case you weren’t aware, Chris Powell, David Smith, and Reshape the Nation were featured on ABC’s 20/20 on Friday night, where David Smith retold his story of losing over 400 lbs, and of finding love. That story always brings me to tears, causing me to look at my life once again. Their story makes me view my life from a different perspective, giving me the need to re-evaluate my priorities and recommitting to taking care of myself, all over again. Chris Powell has a saying that’s in his top 5 tips for weight loss, and that is: “Stay the course”… Staying the course pops into my head after seeing the ABC special.
If David Smith can do it, I can do it. I can “stay the course”…slow and steady, in it for the long haul, no quick fixes here!
With my 40oz water bottle on my desk, I’m reminded that staying the course means continually evolving in my routine, changing little things all the time, keeping a fresh approach to my daily life. I am thankful for the opportunity to see things from this perspective, as often as possible. Only then can I truly see how beautiful and awesome I am, and the more I can “stay the course,” the more I can help others around me. If I am truly grateful and thankful for what I can do in this body, I think about how much I can offer someone else who isn’t there yet…That’s my intention and that’s my purpose.
I am thankful to be able to recharge, recommit and restart ReshapetheNation.com, all is well on my end of things, I’m “staying the course,” thanks Chris and David for the inspiration!!
Check out Chris Powell’s new video blog!
Chris Powell, David Smith, and Reshape The Nation are going to be featured this Friday night on ABC’s 20/20! It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for.. the follow-up story of David Smith, five years after his transformation of losing over 400 lbs!
Also…Later on today, David Smith will post a blog….check back
As I begin today’s blog post, the perfect song came on Pandora: A Little Help From My Friends by the Beatles…
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.
The song’s hook is incredibly appropriate for those of us following Reshape The Nation because it emphasizes exactly what makes Reshape different than just about every other weight loss program or diet plan. As Chris Powell regularly says, there’s no real secret to losing weight. We all know the only real weight loss solution is a balanced diet and exercise. So why are there so many different diet programs? The answer is simple: the hard part about a diet program isn’t the food and exercise constraints, it’s adhering to those constraints. So a good weight loss program is one that helps you stay on it, and that’s where Reshape The Nation differentiates itself. Reshape isn’t just about Chris Powell or David Smith. And it’s not just about you or me or any other single person. Reshape The Nation is about all of us… it’s about the Reshape Community supporting each other and working together to Reshape America.
But I’m not telling you anything new, am I? If you’re a regular Reshape blog reader, you know what makes Reshape different is our goal of creating a community. Spreading that message to everyone else… well… that’s the hard part. Luckily, what Chris and David and Reshape The Nation have been doing hasn’t gone unnoticed, and we’re about to start spreading the word big time. This Friday, August 6th, Chris Powell and David Smith will be featured on ABC’s 20/20. The focus of that feature is none other than Chris and David’s quest to Reshape The Nation.
Chris Powell, David Smith, and Reshape The Nation are ready to change America, and it’s time to start spreading the word! So tell your family, tell your friends, even tell the strangers you meet on the street… tell everyone to tune into ABC’s 20/20 on Friday night and learn about Reshape The Nation and how we’re all going to Reshape America with a little help from our friends.
Recently, a girlfriend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Her life up to that point had been particularly tumultuous, her kids had moved out of the house, business had slowed down, and what’s worse, she was going through a separation with her husband of 20 years. The cancer seemed to have occurred overnight. It developed quickly, was virulent, and needed treatment A.S.A.P. She had a double mastectomy a couple of weeks ago, and I saw her shortly thereafter. She looked pretty good, considering… We talked about how quickly everything had happened surrounding the cancer and treatment. She said that when she was diagnosed, her oncologist and naturopathic physician had both told her that the type of cancer that she had was directly related to the amount of stress in her life.
When she fully grasped the diagnosis, before the mastectomy, she sought stress relieving meditation and prayer. She decided to manage her level of stress in a different manner. Instead of internalizing like she always had, she decided instead, to focus on the beauty around her and be gracious for things and people in her life. She started practicing gratitude, simple as that. Call it what you will, but essentially what she did was accept and redirect positive thoughts at herself and others.
After the mastectomy, when they biopsied the tumors, they had shrunken from when she was first diagnosed. She even thinks that if she were given more time before the surgery, that she would have been able to heal completely. Her oncologist thinks that they shrank because of her more active role in her health.
Our body responds to the way we think, feel and act. This is often called the “mind/body connection.” When we are stressed, anxious or upset, our body tries to tell us that something isn’t right. For example, high blood pressure or a stomach ulcer might develop after a particularly stressful event, such as the death of a loved one.
Poor emotional health can weaken our body’s immune system, making us more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. Also, when we are feeling stressed, anxious or upset, we may not take care of our health as well as we should. We may not feel like exercising or eating nutritious foods. Abuse of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs may also be a sign of poor emotional health. Being a part of ReshapetheNation.com can help keep us motivated with the support we need.
People with good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life. They feel good about themselves, have healthy relationships, and are less prone to disease.
I was reading Elle’s weight loss blog post yesterday about the ABC 20/20 News Special on American Obesity and it got me reflecting on the great thing Chris Powell and David Smith are tying to do with Reshape The Nation. The American obesity epidemic isn’t a limited problem. It’s huge… it spans the entire country… and it keeps getting worse. How do we solve it?
Chris and David have the right idea—trying to help other people. When David Smith lost 400 lbs with the help of Chris Powell, he could have just patted himself on the back and went on with his svelte new life. Instead, they looked at each other and said: “David isn’t the only person with this problem. America is facing an obesity epidemic. We’ve helped David, now it’s time to help others.” And so Reshape The Nation was born.
But the thing about Reshape The Nation is it’s not just a Chris Powell and David Smith appearance on 20/20, or TLC, or the Today Show, or whatever other media outlet wants to feature them talking about how successful they’ve been and how they want to help others lose weight and get healthy. For Reshape The Nation to work, Chris and David can’t do it alone. They need your help. They need everyone’s help.
Reshape The Nation isn’t about two men. Reshape The Nation isn’t even about Elle, myself, and the rest of the official “Reshape Team” helping Chris and David. Reshape The Nation is about building a community of people who want to improve their own health and the health of the people around them. Reshape The Nation is about you, the Reshape Community.
So as you exercise today and as you eat your meals, look at the people around you. Are they eating right? Are they exercising? Are they living up to their happiness and healthy life potential? Probably not. And while everyone might not want your help (or our help), we, as a community, must remember to always be supportive of and helpful to those people who do want to Reshape their lives.
A key ingredient to getting healthy is having a support system. Trust me, I know. I hear it all the time from people asking for help. “Chris Powell,” they write me, “I’m ready to get healthy. I’m ready to Reshape my life. Can you help me?” It’s heartbreaking, and it’s part of why I started Reshape the Nation. It’s my way, as a personal trainer, to give people a support system.
But let me tell you guys that there’s another incredible support system out there waiting for you, and it’s super-convenient. That support system is your friends and family. The best people to help you Reshape your life are the people who care most about you. They’re the people who want you to be happy, healthy, and live a long life. But the key to getting their support is asking for it. You see, friends and family can also be the cause of the problems, too. They’re the people who suggest eating at a greasy hamburger joint instead of a light salad shop, or going to the movies instead of going on a hike.
So sit down with your loved ones and have a serious conversation about your goals. Tell them you’re trying the Reshape your lifestyle, and it’s going to be hard. But their support can make a huge difference. Ask them to watch out for you. When you order fries at a restaurant, they’re the people who need to suggest the steamed veggies. When you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, they’re the people who need to suggest you go for a walk. It might be hard at first for both of you. They might feel like they’re criticizing you, and you might feel like you’re being attacked. Just remember, these are the people who care about you most. They love you, and in the end, they’re one of the biggest reasons for transforming your life.
Just about every day I hear from someone asking for my help. Someone, somewhere is just like David Smith. Someone, somewhere saw his incredible story, is ready to make that life changing decision to get healthy, but feels like he or she needs my support the same way David needed my support. It’s heartbreaking. I can’t tell you how much I want to personally respond to every cry for help because I honestly believe I can help each and every person in need. I want to jump on the first plane I can and fly to those people, wherever they are, and show them that they can do it. They can reshape their lives.
The problem is, there’s only one of me. There’s only one Chris Powell and I just can’t be everywhere at once no matter how much I wish I could be. That’s actually the story of how Reshape the Nation began. I was telling some people I was training about this problem of not being able to help enough people. They happened to work with websites for a living, and we got to thinking, “Even though Chris Powell can’t be everywhere all at once, maybe we can create an online weight loss program that basically brings Chris Powell to anyone who wants his help.” And so Reshape the Nation was born.
I know Reshape the Nation isn’t a perfect solution. The only perfect weight loss solution is if we can figure out a way to clone me and I can personally work with every person who needs help. Even then, a bunch of Chris Powell’s running around might not be so great for the world for other reasons! But Reshape the Nation is really, really, really fantastic. My team has done an INCREDIBLE job creating an online program that tells you everything I would if I were right there standing next to you. The only thing we can’t digitally recreate is the commitment, and that’s the big hurdle. If I’m working with you in person, I can make you go to the gym. If I’m working with you in person, I can stop you from eating unhealthy snacks. If I’m working with you in person I can help you build healthy habits and routines that will Reshape your life.
But over the Internet, I can only tell you what to do. So here’s your responsibility… you have to do it. That’s it! If you take my advice, if you follow the Reshape the Nation program, you’re going to be successful. I know I can’t be with everyone who needs my help. But I can give everyone the same exact advice and guidance I would give if I were standing beside you. And here’s the really awesome thing. For every person who embraces Reshape the Nation, for every person who we help transform, if we all pay it forward, then we can start helping other people. That’s really how we can change the world! Even if I can’t be there for everyone in need, we, as a community, can be. That’s how, together, we’re going to Reshape the Nation!
Today is Memorial Day. In all the hustle and bustle of a holiday weekend, most people tend to think of Memorial Day more as an opportunity for a day off of work, great sales, and family barbecues. But I like to think—or maybe just hope—somewhere in the back of every person’s mind is the understanding that Memorial Day is a chance to honor those valiant women and men of the armed forces who have died fighting for our country.
Fighting for our county… that’s an interesting phrase here in the context of Reshape the Nation. In a way, I feel like Chris Powell and the entire Reshape team are also fighting for our country. We’re fighting to reshape the nation—to make it a healthier, happier place. We’re not fighting an enemy who attacks us with guns and bombs; we’re fighting an enemy we willingly let into our bodies. And as we let these enemies into our bodies—fried foods, fatty foods, chemical-filled foods—perhaps we can all take a moment today to remind ourselves that the bodies we can injure or even kill with unhealthy decisions are the same bodies our brave countrymen are defending.
Am I arguing healthiness is a patriotic obligation? I think maybe I am. It’s more than that as well. It’s a personal obligation, and it’s an obligation to those people we love and who love us. But in the spirit of the day, let’s focus on the patriotic perspective. Thousands and thousands of very brave men and women have given their lives to protect ours. We can repay their sacrifices by honoring and cherishing the very lives those sacrifices have saved—our lives.
As I write today’s post, I realize that yes, the very sacrifices made for our country also protect our right to eat whatever we want, exercise as little as we want, and pollute our bodies to our hearts contents (or rather, discontent). I respect that right also. In fact, I’m proud of that right. It’s part of what makes America great—the right to choose our own destinies. But this Memorial Day, as I reflect upon those sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces, I’m going to exercise the freedoms they’ve protected so valiantly by working hard to live the happiest, healthiest, most successful life I can. I hope you’ll join me in exercising your ability to make those same healthy choices. And, whatever choices you do make, I hope you’ll also join me in thanking the men and women of our armed forces for protecting the very freedom allowing us the right to choose.
I spend a lot of time at Reshape the Nation giving fitness advice, eating tips, and all sorts of other healthy living advice designed to improve the quality of our lives. But sometimes I feel like I don’t do a good enough job of reminding us of how perfect we already are. Yes, most of us can stand to lose a few pounds. And yes, most of us have some unhealthy habits we need to break. But that doesn’t make each and every one of us perfect in our own way.
As we embark on our weight loss journey, we always need to remember that successful weight loss relies, first and foremost, on loving ourselves and appreciating who we are. Loving ourselves doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t things we want to change about ourselves. It just means we accept ourselves, faults and all.
The reason we must love ourselves in order to successfully improve ourselves is simple. No matter how much weight we lose, no matter how much healthier we make our diets, and no matter how much more active we become, we’re always going to be our own biggest critics. As a result, we’re prone to getting discouraged if we feel like we’re not perfect. And discouragement leads to getting off course. The best way to stop from getting off course is to remember how perfect you already are. Yes we have flaws. I’ll be the first one to tell you that Chris Powell has plenty of flaws. But we’re all perfect, even with our flaws, so love yourself. You are truly perfect!