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July 2011: Trainings, Web Hits and How To Lose 30 Pounds.

Shame on me: more than six months have passed since I put a new entry on my web site! It’s not that I haven’t been busy (I have) but still… no excuse.

This note will relate some of the trainings I’ve been doing (and going to!) as well as health and other stuff. Let’s get started!


WiseWoman has once again hired me to do a round of trainings in Motivational Interviewing. This is a style of conversation that avoids arguments or confrontations in favor of developing a collaborative stance with your client. It’s essentially respectful.
I’ve done several trainings for WiseWoman around the state in the past, and also did a two day training for the staff at Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. I have two more dates in Grand Rapids and Gaylord, Michigan to round out the summer.


I consented to have examples of these conversations taped by WiseWoman over a year ago. I looked at the first one we made, which describes the interviewing technique “Developing Discrepancy”, only to find that it had thousands of hits! In fact, as I write this on July 1, 2011 there are 16,295 hits on this site.

You can see it yourself here:


I attended some superb trainings this Spring, including a two day training by Josh Smith on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a ‘working with eating disorders’ by Tish Vincent, treatment of sexual addictions by Randy Flood and a workshop on Jungian dream interpretation by Howard Tyas.


This past winter my doctor looked at the results of my blood test and told me my sugars were getting too high. He showed me how the elevation of my sugar readings perfectly traced the gradual incline in my weight. I was well above my BMI (Body Mass Index) weight, which topped out at 185# for my height. He suggested I change my diet and increase my exercise. He told me I was heading toward a diagnosis of diabetes unless I could turn things around through life style changes.

Now I’ve exercised regularly over the past thirty years, so it was distressing to hear I needed to up the ante. But I couldn’t deny that, very gradually, I had added 40 pounds of unwanted ME, mainly around my middle.

First step was diet. I had an appointment with a dietician, and we analyzed my diet. I’ve attended Weight Watchers in the past, so it’s not like I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Out with fast food and sandwiches, sugar cookies, ice cream and pizza. In with steel cut oats, salads, lean proteins and fruit.

Then a friend asked me, “Do you think you could swim for 20 minutes, bike for 20 minutes, and run for 20 minutes?” He was trying to entice me into entering the IRONMAC event at the Michigan Athletic Club. I thought I could. So the next day I tried it, but cut the amount in half. I swam for 10 minutes, biked for 10, and ran for 8 before I was pooped. Not as in shape as I thought. So I slowly worked my way up to it and then entered the competition, and finished!

By now, I was hooked. I looked up a website, Beginner’s Triathlete, and designed a training regimen that would get me ready for Hawk Island Tri-Sprint in the spring. The training was diligent but varied. I worked out 7 days a week: one long run, one short run, one long swim, one short swim, one long bike, one short swim. Plus yoga on the off day. The variation in the routine kept me from wearing down, like I’d experienced when I was way into running.

The event itself was actually fun. I just stayed at my own pace, didn’t let ego get the better of me (I can’t believe THAT person just passed me!) and enjoyed the whole process. I’ll do it again.

All this, plus I lost 30 pounds so far. 10 more to go (the hardest 10). In the meantime, I’ve eaten pizza a couple of times, a Five Guys cheeseburger, some pasta, a few wonderful steaks. But now I use them as treats to eat rarely instead of staples in my diet. And I feel great. I’ve had to buy new clothes as I’ve dropped a pant size. No more extra large shirts. I have more energy and get more done. And I’m happier.

The links between exercise, diet and good mental health and wellness are indisputable, and being added to on a regular basis. So, my friend, I ask you: Do you think you could swim for 5 minutes, bike for 5 minutes, run for 5 minutes?

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