Six feet tall, and nearly 300 pounds, Chris Golden had a problem. He realized he was morbidly obese, that diabetes ran in his family, and that none of the programs he invested in over the last ten years had helped him to lose weight and to keep it off. On his 40th birthday, while considering lap band surgery, his wife goaded him into taking a gym class – and there, his story takes a turn. An inspired teacher/“coach” spotted Chris in her Turbo Jam class and took him under her wing. She believed that Chris could get fit, and he believed that she could be right. On that day, Chris’s journey toward better health began, fueled by connection and accountability.
The approach Chris took is not rocket science. With the guidance of his coach, he started with a natural meal replacement drink, adopted a sensible nutrition plan using a web-based fitness management program, made a commitment and started exercising consistently. He also made some life changes. Having realized that his job was making him unhappy, he went out and found a new one. This helped to alleviate some of the emotional causes of overeating for Chris, a root cause not to overlook! Four months after taking his first class, Chris has dropped 40 pounds and added a part-time career as a fitness coach to his full time gig. “I am so excited about the impact; I just want to share it with everyone.” In fact, click below to hear Chris’s inspiring story and helpful insights about his journey into and out of obesity. He’ll give you tips and tools that may help you on your path to improved wellness.
You can also check out the fun HALF WAY video he made to track his progress at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyDgf8eaUmE .
So why, after all this time, did this approach work for Chris? There’s a lot of research and literature on motivation, but sadly, there is no magic bullet. While each of us makes change in our own way and time, there are some key points in this story that may help you in your quest to make a change.
As I see it, here are the steps that enabled Chris to move forward:
- Chris developed awareness of his situation and hope for the future by connecting with a trusted, supportive guide, his coach.
- Chris then identified the vision of the person he desired to be. (Slim, fit, healthy and energetic)
- The coach helped Chris to analyze his current situation and to determine the behaviors and the choices he was making that were not helping him to create his vision. (e.g. You want to be lean and fit, which of your behaviors fight that outcome? Could it be job situation, lack of exercise, eating highly caloric foods, etc.? What could you do differently?)
- Chris worked with the coach and used a planning website to identify new behaviors and to commit to those behaviors, one-step at a time to accomplish his vision. (meal plan, exercise plan, goals)
- Chris became part of a supportive, like-minded community that continues to encourage him and reinforce his new, healthy behaviors.
In short, it took awareness, analysis, goals accountability, new behavior and support to make change occur. Many of us set goals, but forget to list specific behaviors to help us to reach those goals. We also often lack on-going support that helps us to keep motivated.
This is not to say that all change has to happen this way, but this kind of approach can be helpful and is apparent in a variety of effective wellness programs (in-person and on-line). A coach is not always necessary, but may serve as a guide while assisting in accountability, problem solving and lending overall support.
If you’re interested in the specific program that worked so beautifully for Chris, it’s “BeachBody.com” - an online program that tracks progress, builds meal plans, gives you access to workout videos, meal replacement products like “Shakeology” and provides support from a like-minded community. Or, you can work directly with Chris. Visit his site www.goldenbodiesnow.com or e-mail him at email@example.com . (Of course, don’t forget to check with your doctor before trying a new wellness program!)
Most of all, be happy; be well.