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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                October 1, 2009 
  • Tips to Control the Holiday Food Madness
  • Keep Stress from Weakening Your Bones
  • Achieving Wellness in Retirement
  • Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting
  • New Be Bone Strong! Online

Feel Better... Live Better

Tips to Control the Holiday Food Madness
by Woody McMahon

No Need to Struggle

If you are struggling with food or your weight, the next twelve weeks can be a
bit overwhelming. This is the season for food overload with all the football
games, Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas and New Years all lined up in a
row. Just makes your mouth water doesn't it? This is a challenging time for
even for the most health conscious individuals. So what does a reasonable
minded person to do when faced with such a seemingly daunting
? An old saying comes to mind, "When the going gets rough, the
tough get going." 
Here are some suggestions on how to be "tough."


Stay Active

This is a social time of year. Sometimes you are forced to be more social than
you might like. Instead of stopping what has helped you feel so good all
year, integrate. If for example you have company coming to town, invite them
when you go to the health club
, Pilates or Yoga class. They may never have
been bold enough to try it on their own or have been admiring you thinking "I
wish I could develop a healthy habit like that."
What a great opportunity to do
something good for yourself and set a good example while sharing some healthy
time with a loved one.


Avoid Overeating

Why do you want to ruin a year's worth of good work just to overeat right now?
Overeating is a unhealthy habit; a habit that is learned and can be unlearned.
The typical party is full of distracted eating (eating while talking) and over
grazing leaving you with no idea of how much you really ate. Instead of grazing
all night, take a plate and put a reasonable amount of food on it. Go and sit
down and enjoy your food. This is a much better way to enjoy the party and
not hate yourself in the morning for being a glutton.

Adopt a Positive Attitude

Take the time to be thankful for what you have and your accomplishments.
Determine what's really important in your life and how you plan on making next
year better than this one. What does this have to do with food? Well, if you
are struggling with food, now is the time to tell yourself next year is going
to be the year you end the struggle. Take the time to look behind your
overeating. Figure out why food is all consuming and has such a hold on you.
How are you going to break the bonds that are keeping you from enjoying life
more? Understanding the "why" can help solve the problem and allow you to get
on with enjoying life more.


Keep Stress Low

Work diligently to keep your stress low during this time of year. Reducing
stress keeps overeating to a minimum. Also you don't have to accept every
single invitation to a party. You know people always invite more guests than
they expect. So don't feel bad if you can't say "yes" to all the invitations
you get. If you can't accept an invitation from someone you really enjoy, then
suggest a lunch or tea after the New Year. You'll spend much better quality
with your friend and it will help you manage your holiday stress. Try
these simple holiday strategies and start your New Year off right.

Not all personal trainers are created equally. If you have special needs then
your trainer should have special training as well. Contact us to discuss how
Fresh Start can help make the most of your exercise time by building a stronger
body the right way. With our program you'll improve balance, strength, flexibility,
energy and stamina while feeling and looking your best. Call Woody McMahon
at 703-464-5171 to schedule your free Fresh Start consultation. You can also
email to


Keep Stress from Weakening Your Bones

by Woody McMahon

Stress and Your Bones

A high stress lifestyle has always been suspected as one of the contributing
causes of osteoporosis
and other major health problems. Continued high stress
levels can also lead to depression or depressive behaviors. Now, recent studies
have indicated people with major depression have a lower bone mass density
compared to non-depressed individuals. Other studies have found that an
extended loss of social interactions and pleasurable activities may have an
impact on bone density as well. In light of these findings, it is important to
consider two important trends


First, stress appears to be more important than once thought in the

healthy functioning of your bones. Second, depression should be considered

as another important risk factor for osteoporosis.


Definition of Depression

By definition, depression is a mental condition affecting your mood, thought
process and physical functioning.
It is characterized by a range of negative
feelings such as sadness, loneliness, anger, despair, fatigue, and guilt as
well as loss of energy and low self-esteem. Depression may cause you to lose
interest in many aspects of life and no longer find pleasure in activities and
relationships. Depressive thoughts can cause physical changes in your body that
include various pain syndromes and other medical conditions.


The Chemical Cascade Affecting Bone

What is really happening inside your body as the result of high stress living
and how does it affect bones? Constant stress promotes an unhealthy
hormone shift
increasing cortisol and reducing serotonin levels. Higher
cortisol levels increase total body inflammation decreasing calcium absorption
and increased calcium excretion. Osteoblasts (bone-building cells) are reduced
in number impairing the bones ability to renew which is essential to
maintaining normal bone density.


The Bone / Brain Connection

The depressed brain sends different signals to your internal organs and
bones than a healthy brain. The brain uses the sympathetic nervous system
to increase the secretion of a chemical compound called noradrenalin within
the bone. Noradrenalin literally has a depressive effect on the osteoblasts. The
interleukin-1 protein, which has been known for many years as a stimulator of
the immune system, increases the number and activity of osteoclastic cells
(bone break-down cells). Stress causes less bone to be created and more
bone to be destroyed resulting in osteoporosis.


Bone Balance Destroyed

Chronic stress can now be physiologically traced as a significant player in
the creation of osteoporotic bones. By reducing the ability of the osteoblasts
to form new bone and speeding the osteoclasts into bone breakdown, the
natural balance of bone growth and repair is altered. Effective osteoporosis
treatments must consider stress reduction
so bone formation and repair
can return to normal.


Consider a New Direction for Your Healthy Bones

In light of these recent discoveries it's not enough to just discuss diet,
exercise, supplements and medication for the treatment of osteoporosis. The
research indicates that effective treatment programs for healthy bones must
include mechanisms to reduce the negative effects of stress on your body.
Reducing the negative effects of stress on your body helps the cells
responsible for healthy bones begin to function normally once again. In a
nutshell, the time spent promoting good mental wellbeing is as important as
that spent on good physical health.

Follow our Fresh Start Healthy Weight! system and you can reduce your weight
and improve your health at the same time. We provide the education, motivation
and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look
your best. For a free consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or
email to  

Personal Support  


Proactive Planning Leads to Wellness in Retirement
by Dee Cascio, LPC

Wellness in retirement includes a healthy balance of physical, emotional,
social and spiritual well being. A holistic approach to living well is
important regardless of what stage of life you may find yourself. Wellness is
important throughout all of our life transitions, but especially vital during
the major life transition called retirement.

An Unlikely Scenario
It's the last day of work before you begin that long awaited, glorious,
two-week vacation. You can't believe that the day has finally arrived! The
promise of this day is the only thing that has sustained you through the long
work hours, impossible schedules, and never-ending office politics. Unlike most
mornings, you are excited about going to work today. As you begin your commute,
you beam with pride about the decision you made in the cold short days of
January. You set up that special vacation savings plan in order to have enough
money for your vacation. It has been hard to put money away weekly when there
were so many other demands on your paycheck.

Now, because of dedicated savings, you have enough money to go almost anywhere. However, on the way home you realize that the long-discussed trip to Europe is
definitely out of the question. Your passport has expired and you don't have any
airline or hotel reservations. You're not the least bit concerned because there are
so many other things to see and places to go. In fact, numerous opportunities have
been the major road block in your planning efforts. You rationalize that it shouldn't
be a big deal to shorten the list and still create a truly memorable vacation.

Consequences of Failing to Plan
Saturday morning is set aside for you and your spouse to plan how you will
spend your vacation. After several telephone calls, you realize that the beach
vacation you fantasized about all year is not a possibility. All the good
places have been booked for months and the only thing you could find was a
rundown property four blocks from the beach. The trip to Northern California
wine country is also off your radar because the last minute airline tickets are

Even the vacations by car begin to look problematic because the tires are worn
and the brakes feel a little spongy. Because the car is in poor condition, it would
be too risky and stressful taking  it on a several thousand mile trip. Is this a
ridiculous scenario for how to plan  a much-anticipated vacation? Of course it is!
Most couples would never  procrastinate and avoid the obvious questions about
how they would like to  spend their precious time.

The Reality
The terrible irony is that the story above is more like retirement than
vacation planning. Many people will spend much more time planning a two-week
vacation than they spend planning their 25-30 year retirement. Surprisingly,
they truly believe that contributing to their 401(k) plan for many years has
made them responsible retirement planners. However, having a fully funded
retirement package does not guarantee a happy or successful retirement any more
than a vacation savings plan guarantees a successful vacation. Money is an
important but small part of a successful retirement.

Six Life Arenas Model for a Successful Retirement

Successful retirements are dependent on careful planning and a feeling of
readiness in at least 6 Life Arenas. These six areas are:

1. Career and Work -- Will you continue to work with a more relaxed schedule?
Start your own business? Volunteer?
2. Health and Wellness -- How well are doing with your health and fitness
practices? What changes can you make?
3. Family and Relationships -- How will you maintain relationships with friends
and family?
4. Leisure and Social -- Do you have enough interests outside of work?
How will you maintain your friendships? Is it time to take up a new hobby?
5. Personal Development -- Are you open to learning new things? How will
you find purpose and meaning in your life?
6. Finances -- Have you planned well financially so that you can afford the
lifestyle you desire on the money you have set aside for retirement?

The Well-Being and Retirement Planning Connection
Whether it is your dream vacation or your retirement, proactive planning is
required. Planning in all Life Arenas significantly increases the likelihood of
a positive outcome for your retirement. Take action now by addressing the
sociological aspects of retirement. You can look forward to a positive life
transition in retirement if you have planned well and experience readiness in
all of the Life Arenas mentioned above.

Dee Cascio is a Certified Life & Retirement Options Coach, an Associate
Certified Coach (ACC) and a member of the International Coach Federation. Dee
is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Marriage and Family
Therapist (LMFT), a National Certified Counselor, a Certified Couples Imago
Relationship Therapist, and a member of the American Association of Marriage
and Family Therapy (AAMFT). For the tools you need to build the retirement of
your dreams, sign up for The New Lifestyle Retirement at or contact Dee at for Lifestyle
Transition Coaching For Retirees.

Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting

"Healthy Bones Come From a Healthy Body" Woody McMahon

Topic: 7 Ways to Reduce Inflammation and Fracture Risk

Date: Tuesday October 6th

Time: 6 to 7 pm

Place: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc
            483A Carlisle Drive, Herndon, VA 

Come dressed in comfortable clothes and bring water. For questions and
reservations please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to



New Be Bone Strong! Online Program

Be Bone Strong!
 is now available online. With the use of Skype, emails, phone calls and the internet, you can benefit from the only complete osteoporosis prevention and repair program. Video consultations, stress reduction activities, healthy eating plans and functional weight bearing programs all available in the comfort of your own home over your computer.  

Be Bone Strong! focuses on reducing fracture risk by helping you change your lifestyle. 
Unlike other programs that just focus on medications, calcium and vitamin D to increase
bone density, Be Bone Strong! works to modify ALL the lifestyle factors that help you
increase bone quality

Our unique three step process makes it easier to improve bone strength faster:


Step 1: Personalized Osteoporosis Lifestyle Assessment

Step 2: Comprehensive "Make My Bones Strong" Plan and Program

Step 3: Implementation Support, Motivation and Consultation

Follow The "Big 5 for Healthy Bones" and you can't go wrong:

1. Dietary changes that balance protein with fruit and vegetable intake.
Fruits and veggies contain greater amounts of water, minerals and antioxidants with generally lesser amounts of animal protein to reduce total body inflammation.
2. Calculate optimum water intake for maximum hydration. Water is very important
in helping the kidneys regulate pH and detoxify the body.
3. Increase daily stress reduction activities. This helps lower cortisol and homocystein
levels while reducing calcium loss.
4. Establish year round vitamin D3 levels in the 50-80 ng/mL (or 125-200 nM/L).
This should be confirmed by regular 25-hydroxyvitamin D testing.
5. Safe and sufficient weight bearing exercise to stimulate muscle growth and balance. This is essential for increasing bone quality and preventing falls.


Test your bone knowledge and take our Strong Bones Healthy Body Quiz at


To learn more about Be Bone Strong! Online or to schedule a free consultation, please go to and click on Be Bone Strong!



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) 2006-2009 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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