breaking through plateaus with "extreme makeover's" chris powell


I was celebrating and I was at Walt Disney World, which is a very, very good place to be when you have something to celebrate. Since October I have committed myself to eating healthy and working out. This plan has worked. I've lost 85 pounds. On a day, though, that I should have been happy celebrating this loss, I was instead frustrated. It seems no matter how hard I worked, the scale wouldn't budge. I was driving myself crazy trying to push through the plateau. As fate would have it, as I was feeling this way I met Chris Powell, the host and trainer from ABC's Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition at an event I was taking part in at Walt Disney World.
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Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition 
series premiere TONIGHT on ABC 8pm ET/7pm CT
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As part of the Disney Social Media Mom's Conference I was attending, Disney invited a number of energizing speakers to meet with our small group of bloggers about issues affecting our lives from health and wellness to family, marketing and loyalty. At a party one evening, Chris Powell was the featured guest. He spoke with passion about about the secret to successfully transforming your life. 

Powell said it ISN'T about the food or the exercise. It's about the INTEGRITY of your promise to yourself. If you make a commitment to yourself, you keep it. Take small steps, make small promises like "I will exercise for 10 minutes each day" and do it. Follow through with your promises and your self-esteem will grow. I believe in this tenet. On Facebook, I have made a promise to my family and friends that I am committed to being healthy. Throughout my weight loss journey I update my F&F with weight loss statuses. I made a promise that whether the scale goes up or down that I will still post the status. This was a scary thing to commit to but I am happy that I did. It keeps me honest and I know that I have  of hundreds of people tracking my progress. Chris Powell was absolutely right about INTEGRITY being the secret to successful transformation. 



How to Break Through a Plateau

But I still frustrated. As hard as I worked, running 4 miles a day and eating "clean" foods (no wheat, dairy, sugar or alcohol) the scale wouldn't budge. It took weeks to lose 1 pound. After he spoke, I met with Chris alone. I told him about my weight loss and he congratulated me on my transformation. I said "Sure, it's fine but I am stuck. I am discouraged. The scale just won't move no matter what I do. I want to quit."

Chris said "Sure you do! I see this all the time with my people. They reach 75 pounds and the scale seems to stop but YOU can't stop. You have to keep pushing through. In my new book I talk about the Slingshot Technique. Your very clever body has learned to adapt to your new weight loss and conserve as much energy (fat) as it can. You need to change your eating pattern so your body has to learn how to adapt again. This will restart your metabolism. DON'T follow your intuition when you hit a plateau and eat LESS. This won't work. Your body is too smart for this. You will not lose weight doing this. You need to reset your metabolism. Eat seven high-carb days in a row. Your body will notice that you're not eating low calorie and it will assume it does not need to save energy (fat). You will start burning calories like crazy. THEN go back to the 7-Day Carb Cycle.  If you follow the Carb Cycle Solution you WILL lose weight."

It was exactly what I needed to hear. I picked up Chris's new book (Choose More, Lose More for Life) and I started following his suggestions. The scale started to move again and I'm feeling much happier these days about my transformation. I'm the kind of girl who needs to see a payoff if I am going to work this hard.

Lesson: I believe that sometimes you just need to call in the big guns, the experts who have experience, who are passionate about helping people achieve their goals. I would call an electrician to fix a broken circuit so it makes sense to reach out to a transformation expert to help achieve weight loss goals, right?

What has helped you lose weight or transform into the person you've always wanted to be?




Chris Powell's Secret to Transformation
from Walt Disney World on May 9, 2013

When it comes to the secret of transformation what we have learned just through our experience of working with all these different people is that there are these common denominators that are present among everybody who truly transforms. Here we go— this is the punchline. Transformation is about integrity. Integrity-- what is that?  That is the value we have on our word. If you give your word to somebody else, you are going to follow through on that, right? If you tell somebody you are going to do something, you do it. Most of us are fantastic at fulfilling our commitment to other people but how many people have said "The diet starts Monday?" or "2010 THAT'S my year! 2011 THAT'S my year!" We are great at fulfilling our promises and commitments to everybody else except who? Right. The most important person in the world because if you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anybody else. 

Here's the gist of the whole thing— your integrity, the value you have when you keep the promises you made to yourself and your dignity, that is your esteem- your confidence  and self-love they are one in the same and what happens when I meet people who are beginning this (weight-loss) journey, they have no self esteem and they don't know how to get out of this place. I don't see 200 pounds of extra body fat. I see 200 extra pounds of broken promises. After time they don't even say their promises to themselves in front of other people because. . .  You don't want to be vulnerable or show that you are weak. What happens is you sweep those promises under the rug thinking no harm was done but there was harm done.  Your dignity take a hit because every single time you make a promise and you break it. 
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Follow Chris Powell on Facebook and Twitter
 for more encouragement. 
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Transformation begins with a simple promise you make to yourself. Forget diet and exercise. It begins with a promise. When you take the value off or diet and exercise and you put the value on the promise, that is when change starts to happen. For my people, as soon as they change that lens through which they see transformation, at the very end of the year they see their body on the stage and they could care less that they lost 200 or 250 pounds. Their chin is high and their chest is out because they love themselves. It's not about the diet and exercise or the number on the scale. I will give you an example of how powerful this is. If I were to take any of my people at the end of the year and they were supposed to do 30 minutes on a treadmill and I took them off at 29 minutes, they would throw a punch at me. It's not about the treadmill. What's a minute on the treadmill? They would still lose the same amount of weight. It's about the promise they made to themselves and that is how transformation begins. The biggest mistake that we see everybody make, I am guilty of it, is that we make these inflated promises and we begin the process of losing weight with a quantum leap "I am going to do 45 minutes of cardio, eat five small meals a day, drink  a gallon of water a day. . ." You make all these promises to yourself that are so unattainable that you are bound to break them.  What we don't realize is that our dignity is out of line.  When we make those promises and break them, sure enough what happens to our belief?

That is the other magic ingredient.  It's the belief we have in ourselves. It goes out. Once we believe in ourselves that is when we have the strength to do what it takes to go where we want to go. It is all about those promises. So what do we do? People see our transformations on our show. Someone has to lose 250 pounds. How we do start? Day one I say "I want you to make one promise to yourself and do NOT make a promise about something you can't attain." We suggest setting a goal for five minutes—just five minutes of moving, whether it's walking in place in front of theTV or running outside, but if you do 4:59 you lose.  It's not about the movement. It is about yourself. Take the value out of diet and exercise and place it in yourself. That is when you begin to change, that is the true magic of healthy living.

This is a conversation we have with  every single person who begins a transformation. For those that get it, it is my job to just get out of their way. Otherwise, I am holding them back.  This is how we take the lid off of people. Even for those that don't believe in themselves yet, if they keep promise after promise after promise that they make to themselves, they think "What else can I do?" When that starts to happen, that is when we believe and when we believe on ourselves we think that there is nothing that we can't do.  That is the magic of transformation. It is about taking those tiny little steps. 

More than anything I wanted to share that secret. Put the value on yourself and there is nothing you can't do. From this moment on, be a promise keeper. Set those small attainable goals. Don't try to begin any transformation with a quantum leap. Just take a single step  and from there take another step and another. Take your time. You can get anywhere you want to go. That is the secret.