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IN THIS ISSUE                                                  March 1, 2007
  • Valuable Lessons From a 500 lb Man
  • Enjoy the Health Benefits of Green Tea
  • Team Sequoia MS Walk for 2007 
  • New Healthy Products Page


Valuable Lessons from a 500 Pound Man
Matt McKenna is an Orange County, California resident who weighted 500 pounds on October 2, 2005 and now weighs 235. In a superb article entitled From 500 pounds to a New and Rewarding Life, CNN tells the story of how Matt faced-up to a big challenge; regaining control of his body and his life. For anybody concerned about losing weight, Matt's story is both enlightening and inspiring.

Matt allowed himself to reach an unhealthy weight of 500 pounds by slowly replacing healthy with unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Now at 500 pounds, Matt was forced to make drastic lifestyle changes. For most of his life Matt had a weight problem; now he was losing that struggle in a big way. "I was 34 and had always struggled with my weight, but for 15 years, I had allowed it to get out of control. I ate as if it were my hobby. I was unable to do the simplest physical activity. I made excuses to avoid having to go out in public, for fear of being ridiculed. I tried to hide myself, as if someone so large could actually hide."

Read Matt's story at:

Here are some of the more important healthy lifestyle behaviors that helped Matt turn his weight loss struggle into success.

Willingness to Accept Help
An outside support network is essential for any successful weight loss. Going it alone, like Matt had tried, is the hardest and most unsuccessful way to approach weight loss. Matt knew he needed help, "I was grateful for the love and support of my family and their willingness to help. But I was also apprehensive at the prospect of giving up a measure of freedom and independence." Now with his family in the picture, Matt could feel supported, accepted and loved enough to begin the healthy transformation process and lose the weight.

The Need for Healthy Structure
A structured environment is necessary for successful weight loss. On his own, Matt couldn't get the structure he needed to eat better and be physically active. He chose to move back home into the "custody" of his parents. "We decided that I would move into my parents' home, where I could be supervised and supported... no more hiding from anyone!" Positive role modeling from his parents would safely help Matt re-introduce healthy lifestyle habits into his life. Matt would need to personally adopt these healthy habits if he ever hoped to be on his own once again.

A Goal Greater Than Self
Successful weight loss can require adopting a goal greater than self to help stimulate feelings of self worth and respect. Matt's low levels of self-esteem and self-worth needed a strong motivator. "We devised a 'pledge drive' tied into my weight loss with the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity to benefit Katrina victims." In a perfect world, Matt would have lost the weight because it was the right thing to do for himself. Until Matt felt better about himself, the "feel good" coming from helping others would be the next best motivator.

Rewarding Yourself at the End
A reward in the form of something you have always wanted to do or have is another good way to stimulate healthy habits. "I went to Europe , something I had always wanted to do but couldn't because of my obesity. It was my victory lap, a celebration of what I had accomplished. I don't call it my reward, because my reward is the life I have today." What ever you call it, celebrating the small and large successes in your life is an important part of better health, happiness and wellbeing. If it worked for Matt, it can work for you.

To learn more about Healthy Weight Loss the Fresh Start way, go to Schedule your no-cost Healthy LifePlan consultation by calling 703-464-5171 or email


Enjoy the Health Benefits of Green Tea

Tea is an ancient herbal drink discovered in 2700 B.C. by Emperor Shen Nung.
It's known for both stimulating qualities that come from the caffeine and relaxing qualities resulting from the hot, aromatic liquid. Green tea has been studied as a health enhancer showing to help prevent or improve conditions such as heart disease, cancer, gum disease, skin aging and weight loss. There are three major types of tea black, green and white (oolong) all differing in their effects on the health of your body.

Comparing the Caffeine in Tea and Coffee
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and temporarily wards off drowsiness, restores alertness, increases concentration and enhances the sense of taste and smell. Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed legal, psychoactive substance. In North America , 90% of adults consume caffeine daily. Some caffeine is good for us but too much can leave us nervous and make it hard to get a restful sleep.

Chemically, the caffeine in tea and coffee are identical. The amount of caffeine varies in each cup depending on the type of tea, brewing methods and leaf cut. Green tea has approximately 12 to 40 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Various teas contain different amounts of caffeine with green tea containing the least; about one-third less caffeine than black and two-thirds less than oolong.

hat Makes Tea Special
The medicinal properties of tea are attributed to substances called polyphenols. Polyphenols act as powerful antioxidants that can protect your body from free radical damage. Free radicals are responsible for inflammation and the tissue damage associated with arthritis, cancer and heart disease. Green tea has more polyphenols than black tea (about 25% vs 4%). White tea is almost as rich in polyphenols as green tea but is different in composition and less well studied. Green tea is known for its abilities to fight both cancer and heart disease.

Tea and Your Heath
Numerous studies have shown tea polyphenols to have protective effects against free radicals, cardiovascular damage, some cancers, infections and toxins. Most of the direct studies of the effects of green tea have been done in tissue culture (test tubes) and animal models. The majority of human studies have been based on statistical correlations, i.e. the researchers used statistics to link tea consumption and the incidence of various diseases.

The overall impression from the limited human clinical trials is that tea (especially green and white) acts as a strong antioxidant in your tissues, particularly the blood, and it also affects the level and stickiness of LDL (low density cholesterol).

Skin Benefits of Green Tea
There have been a number of encouraging studies of green tea's beneficial effects on the health of the skin. Topical green tea formulations can reduce sun damage by acting as an antioxidant removing free radicals and reducing inflammation in the skin. Some people use a green tea formula under zinc oxide-based sunscreens. Zinc oxide blocks harmful UVA rays but does not react with the skin or green tea (some chemical sunscreens can react with green tea).

To learn more about the health and relaxation benefits of green tea go to: and click on About Tea.

Fresh Start is your number one way to reduce stress and live a healthier lifestyle. To receive your no-cost Be Less Stressed Report, contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to


Team Sequoia MS Walk April 2007

It's that time again. Time to start preparing for the 2007 MS Reston Walk!!! The MS Reston walk is scheduled for Sunday, April 15th starting and finishing at Reston Town Center. Team Sequoia had almost 30 people walk and we raised over $5500 last year for MS education and research. This year we want to try and double both our number of walkers and set a fundraising goal of $10,000.

The MS walk is a great goal to set for yourself for 2007. This is the time of year everyone is making commitments to get more active. Here is your chance to do something good for yourself and MS.

We are looking for a sponsor for our pre-walk breakfast so let me know if you are interested or have any good ideas for places to eat. Starting in January we will have some "FUN Walks" to get our little feet in shape and initiate our fundraising drive. We'll also have another Whack-it tournament in February to raise money as well.

Go to to register and learn more about the event.  If you have any questions or would like to help volunteer please email me at or call 703-628-2880.

I look forward to seeing you walk again this year. Woody

New Healthy Products Page

Check out our new Healthy Products page. I have tested and use each of these products
personally finding them to meet or exceed my expectations.
To learn more go to

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) 2006-2007 by Sequoia Health and Fitnes
s, Inc.

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please contact Woody McMahon :
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