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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                July 15, 2008 
  • 298 Pounds and Still Dropping
  • Prevent Diabetes with Healthier Lifestyle Changes
  • This Saturday... Healthy Pets and People Too Seminar
  • Sign-up for the Active Adults... FITT Testing Program


298 Pounds and Still Dropping

Keeping it Off
For most people losing weight and keeping it off is hard work. If you do succeed, it is a great accomplishment and makes you feel like a million bucks. Unfortunately, most people continue to lose the hard way. That leads us to the actual story of Ralph, not his real name, and his quest to lose 180 pounds. At 371, Ralph's weight had admittedly gotten out of control. He had done it the hard way with diets and exercise programs and had found limited success. He considered surgery but decided the risks were too high and the changes in eating habits and lifestyle too great. He was faced with a dilemma; how could he make it easier to get the weight off in a healthy way and not repeat past mistakes and gain it all back again? 


Taking a Different Road
When Ralph first came in, we sat and talked for about an hour discussing his weight problem. After making several suggestions, Ralph knew he had left out critical components in his previous weight loss approaches and needed to add three major pieces to his new program. First, start an accurate journal of his activities, food intake, mood and other factors providing valuable current and future accountability and insight. Secondly he needed a better personal and professional support team. Support is the key to a successful outcome
especially in the early stages. Finally, he needed to figure out why he was eating so much food. Not necessarily an easy task but an important one to stop his uncomfortable relationship with food. Adding these new components to his program would make it easier to lose weight permanently.   

The First 73 Pounds
In his own words, losing the first 73 pounds in 5 months "wasn't that hard." In reality, losing weight is not that hard if you have the right program in place. Ralph was committed to losing the weight and his journaling, support team and self-discovery all added to the ease and success of his weight loss. Early on he made an important connection between food and his emotional state. He noticed that every time he got "pissed off" at someone or something, he would go eat to relieve the stress. Stress eating is very common and the fact that Ralph discovered this connection was a great help to him.


His journaling allowed him to see that his approach to eating was sporadic. Before he would eat "when he felt like it" sometimes going 6 hours between meals. This caused his blood sugar to go out of balance and increased his hunger levels. In the beginning of a weight loss program, eating on a four hour schedule is a better strategy because your blood sugar stays balanced and your hunger centers won't push you to overeat.     


Ralph is on to his way to losing his next 73 pounds. He feels better about himself even though he knows he has a long way to go. Ralph would like to share some of the more important healthy lifestyle behaviors that have helped him turn his weight loss struggle into success.


Keeping a Record 
In the first 6 to 12 months, you are trying to erase unhealthy habits and substitute new, healthier ones. Keeping a journal helps you determine how well it is going. The discipline to write it down whether it's food, activity or a bad day makes you accountable to yourself (you have to stop and think about it) as well as your support team. Journaling provides healthy structure that is usually missing with people who have trouble with their weight. Initially a structured environment is absolutely necessary for successful weight loss. Before now, Ralph never kept a record and that was one of the reasons he struggled with his weight.


Personal and Professional Support Team
Ralph's support team is bigger now. He has found some people to play tennis with and has started to enjoy that time. He has also learned who his detractors are; those people he thought were on his side but were really not. His professional support team is valuable in keeping him centered, motivated and accountable.

Smaller Portions
It seems incredibly obvious but smaller portion are essential for weight loss. You don't need special foods or drinks, pills and potions, special diets or calorie counting. All you need to do is eat less. But how do you accomplish that? Eating smaller portions is easiest when you know how to visualize a healthy portion size. So like Ralph, with just a few small changes you too can make weight loss easier and more successful.

When it comes to weight loss, having the right program makes all the difference between success and failure. End the struggle with your weight once and for all. Contact us for more information on Fresh Start Healthy Weight or to schedule your free Fresh Start consultation. Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to to learn more


Prevent Diabetes with Healthy Lifestyle Changes

A Preventable Disease
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that damages your heart, nervous system, kidneys and eye sight. It is a life shortening disease that is also the fastest growing health problem facing Americans today, even faster than cancer or heart disease. Diabetes is very preventable and easily managed in a majority of cases. Medical research has shown that healthy lifestyle changes, like FUN physical activity, healthier eating and stress reduction, are the best prevention and cure for diabetes.


Take the First Step. Get Physically Active
Getting physically active is the first step to preventing or eliminating diabetes. Diabetics are typically sedentary people and have trouble with their weight. Lacking FUN physical activity, their metabolism slows down making it difficult for their bodies to properly utilize foods. A lack of muscle development due to sedentary behaviors promotes body fat storage rather than calorie burn. Start with something simple like walking even if it's only for 5 minutes a day. Yes, 5 minutes a day of walking can make a big difference in your blood sugar levels, metabolism and your health.  

Step 2. Eat Healthier Foods
Eating a well balanced nutritional program provides the proper vitamins and minerals your body needs not only for growth and repair but optimum mental and physical performance. Diabetics typically have poor eating habits that chemically stress their body lowering the pH, increasing levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and decreasing immune system function. Another huge benefit of healthier eating is healthy weight loss. Excess weight makes it difficult for insulin to work properly in your body. Losing weight and taking the load off your heart and pancreas, helping your body restore balance and reverse the negative side effects of diabetes is a great benefit to your health.

Step 3. Reduce Your Stress

Reducing your stress levels is the single most important step to living a healthier life without diabetes. Diabetics typically lead high stress lifestyles producing unwanted health problems such as unhealthy weight gain, strain on the pancreas and immune system and excess stress on the heart. Reducing high stress living also stops stress eating and allows your body to heal. Want to reduce your stress? Simplify your lifestyle and make time for you. Taking time for yourself everyday, not just sometimes or on special occasions, adds years to your life. When you feel stressed, take deep breaths or go for a walk. Review your schedule and make sure you're not over scheduled. Have some FUN with your friends and laugh a little. Laughter is always good medicine.


Click Here to learn more about Diabetes Prevention.


Staying active and physically fit is the best way to avoid chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, osteoporosis and depression. Commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. No matter how old you are, Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    


This Weekend... Healthy Pets and People Too

On Saturday July 19 from 9 am to 12 noon you can bring your canine companion and learn some fun ways to help improve each others' health and conditioning. Let your dog show you how to be more active and you reciprocate and help their muscles and joints feel much better. In our fun session you'll learn: 

  • An effective activity warm-up and stretching cool down
  • Proper hydration (water intake) for you and your dog
  • A fun "no equipment" fitness circuit that you can do together
  • Simple pet massage techniques to help maintain his or her natural
    state of health and well-being

Cost: $45 per pet

Class Size: Limited to 10 pets
Location: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.

Please come dressed to be active and bring water for both you and your pet.
For reservations or more information please contact:

Woody McMahon at Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc                   703-464-5171


Ingrid King at Healing Hands                                                             703-309-4296


Sign-up for Active Adult FITT Testing Program

Your Conditioning is Important to Your Health
Research continues to show the positive effects of good physical conditioning on maintaining your heath and independence. You noticed I said physical conditioning not exercise; there is a big difference. Physical conditioning is a broader measure of fitness. It includes stamina, balance, flexibility and strength as its important components. Just going to the health club or Yoga studio is not enough to put you in good physical condition!


The Signs of Poor Physical Conditioning
The body will tell you when you're not paying enough attention to it. Stiff and sore muscles and joints, back and neck pain, shortness of breath walking up stairs, headaches, difficulty getting out of a chair, sleep trouble, arthritis and difficulty tying your shoes or putting on your pants are all signs of lack of physical conditioning. The best way to maintain your independence as you get older is to have a conditioning program that keeps your body in top condition.     


Testing for Physical Conditioning
We are offering FITT, the physical conditioning testing program affiliated with the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards program for adults. Once you complete the tests, you'll receive a conditioning score. You can compare your score with a national ranking system to see how well you did. For those interested in improving their score, we are offering an assessment fof your current fitness program; improved program design and conditioning classes specifically designed to improve your scores.    

The Time to Start is Now

It is easier than you think to improve your physical conditioning and your health.
Dedicating as little as three hours a week can make a significant difference in how you look and feel. Health problems don't need to slow you down or keep you from enjoying life unless you let them. Besides, getting active, eating healthier and reducing stress significantly improves most medical problems. Remember, it takes being proactive now if you want to be an Active Adult in the future.


Become An Active Adult Today
Testing is free for current clients and $39 for non-clients. Give us a call at 703-464-5171 or email to schedule your FITT test today.

You can also click on the link to take our
Health Investment Questionnaire, a great way to learn what it takes to stay independent and healthful for the rest of your life. 

Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon, VA 20170  

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. 

Copyright (c) 2006-2008 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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