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I’M A WEIGHT LOSS ASTERISK! (c)2010
 
By Lauralyn Bellamy, MA, MDiv, cert. DREAMCOACH(r)
 
 Christmas Day, 2002 in 3X pants!         
     
 
  Christmas Eve 2003 in size 12!            
        
 
  2009, my 5th Christmas Day in size 8!   
   
 
For the last six years I have been living the life of a "weight loss asterisk"* (c) – proudly!
What do I mean?
Depending on which study you use, anyone who can achieve AND maintain their desired weight loss for over a year (some studies say 3 years) is a *WLA. The asterisk appears on every advertisement for weight loss programs and products promising, "AMAZING results as shown by these satisfied customers…" –
 
*Results not typical
 
One of the safest bets you can make is this: even if a chronic dieter achieves her/his goal weight, come back in a year and they’ll have gained it back and more. That’s why this predictable pattern is called YO-YO dieting! We spend our lives going up and down, and up-up and down, and up-up-up…
 
Look at OPRAH WINFREY! Kirstie Ally! (This photo is only 2 months old!)
 
Carnie Wilson was the poster girl for gastric bypass surgery in 2002. Last week I saw her on a current "reality" program and she’s back in plus-size clothing!These celebrities illustrate the fact that it doesn’t matter what method you use to lose weight: if you haven’t removed the behavioral triggers operating your personal DOOMSDAY machine, you will sabotage your efforts and you will gain back the weight.  
 
Secondly, NO ONE can shut down their own self-defense mechanism; it will always remain one step ahead of your conscious personality’s most inspired insights! The part of the brain responsible for keeping your Doomesday machine in top operating condition is  like the H.A.L. computer operating the life support systems aboard the space ship in the movie, "2001." When it began identifying the slumbering astronauts as threats to its system, it began shutting down all services to their sleep pods. With two men left, it took both – working together – to go in and remove those elements of its program that were automatically tagging threats and shift it to manual override.
 
As informative or comforting as a diet book or support group can be; neither is designed to accompany your personality into the recesses of your mind (where your "reptillian" or "caveman" brain center lives) and switch it to manual override. And as long as that part of your brain – the limbic system – is not included in your weight loss program actions and reactions, you will not be able to live the rest of your life off the obesity rollercoaster.
 
Read my earlier blogs to learn my history with dieting, going back to age 4, if you want to. But know this: what I applied to myself and, since 2005, have coached others to use, has NOTHING to do with "understanding WHY" you sabotage yourself. Why? Because "knowing" why does not change your behavior! You will continue to sabotage yourself; only now, you’ll know WHY you’re doing it!
 
What makes EMBODY SUCCESS!(r) coaching work over the long haul is its effectiveness at identifying and removing the triggers and reconfiguring the part of your mind responding to your reptillian brain, so that it no longer identifies your weight loss and the healthy lifestyle changes as a threat.
 
But wait! There’s an added bonus! These behavioral skills are transferable to any area of your life in which you have identified a pattern of self-sabotage! Relationships wrecked? Career crashed and burning? If self-sabotage is at work, EMBODY SUCCESS! coaching will transform your ability to enjoy achievement and go on to new achievements!
 
I realized that I was more than a weight loss coach when clients began asking if their spouses could work with me on their job histories; or, their bestfriends were tired of experiencing the same let down in the romance department. I’m happy to coach them, too**.
 
Still, I am so alarmed by the medical epidemic of morbid obesity sweeping our nation that my mission is to give enough chronic dieters, be they "merely" obese or "super morbidly obese," the knowledge and experience to maintain a healthy, strong, normal-sized body! When the majority of chronic dieters master these changes we will lose the right to claim asterisk status because longterm successful weight loss maintenance will be the norm!
 
It begins with my exclusive FOUNDATION PROGRAM – 12 weekly private coaching tele-sessions with email support in-between, as needed. This is not simply hypnosis. This is not about following any particular diet protocol. This is about freeing you from the behaviors that doomed all your previous diets and weight loss protocols. In other words, learning how to EMBODY SUCCESS!(r) is about identifying and achieving the way you want to live the rest of your life! Most of my clients have no further need of weekly coaching after that; though they know I’m always available to assist them if some new situation creates a new doomsday response.
 
If you’re ready to learn specifically how this would work for you, contact me! Now! I mean, seriously! What have you got to lose?
 
 May 2010 by the year you enter the life of your dreams!
Lauralyn
 
**Another category I’m an asterisk in: Jim & I have been married 40+ years and continue to find more love and intimacy in our relationship.
 
 HOW LOSING WEIGHT IMPROVED MY PHOTOGRAPHY!(c)
By Lauralyn Bellamy, MA, MDiv, cert. Dreamcoach(R)
 
For most of my first 56 years (at least, from age 6) I spent much of my waking life living "up in my head." I was an imaginative child, intellectually curious, mystical, artistic and, growing up on Manhattan’s "Upper Westside," an avid, easily enchanted audience member at the theater, ballet, symphony & opera, as well as the annual circus, rodeo and Ice Capades.
 
When I was introduced to the world of photography as a graphic arts major at R.I.S.D. it was as if I had finally found a way to be at home on the planet. The excitement and yearning to see with greater clarity, appreciation, and meaning the world through my lens was intense. The years I didn’t allow my camera to lead me out into the world were years of varying degrees of mild-to-moderate depression.
 
One of the aspects of photography that was so comforting to me was that it didn’t seem to matter whether I was waddling around under the weight of almost 300 lbs., or (for me) a svelte 175 lbs. The relationship between the camera, my eyes, hands and aesthetic sense were operating harmoniously. I’ve reviewed photos taken at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim in 1996 (in a size 3X) and the photographs continue to please me. But it was only because we were on vacation that I had my camera with me. Once home, it was a smattering of snapshots of family or church events.
 
In Feb., 2003 I began the process of not only losing weight (I’d done that before), but learning how to live the rest of my life consciously in a healthy, strong, slim (NOT "skinny") body. The following month I began weight-lifting and working out with a personal trainer 3x weekly; 61/2 years out I still enjoy 2 one-hour private sessions with my PT weekly. I also take yoga classes and do daily brisk walks with my greyhound. I like feeling strong and resillient!
 
Another important component of integrating my body image with self-identity was having my picture taken every week (in the first 6 months) and every month after that, for 18 months. Once, when I realized too many weeks had gone by without a snapshot, Jim was out of town and it was the 5th anniversary of my gastric bypass surgery, I picked up my camera, stood in front of a full-lentgth mirror and took my own picture!
Self-portrait, 2-11-08. (c) Lauralyn Bellamy
 
You see, one way to test whether or not you’re consciously living IN your body is to notice your reaction to a photo of yourself. If you can’t believe that’s really what you look like (whether the image looks too fat or too thin), that’s confirmation that you’re living "from the neck up!"
 
I remember a photo taken of me celebrating my birthday at a restaurant with Jim and our son, Luke, almost 18months out. When the waiter presented the Polaroid in a little cover I was amazed. "Do I really look like this?" I asked Jim showing him the picture.
 
He looked alarmed."Don’t tell me you think you look fat in this photo," he almost pleaded. "No! I mean, am I really this thin?" I was wearing a hot pink summer top with little cap sleeves and I marveled at how normal and attractive "she" looked; she being memories of me in my "glamor days," working for Group W Broadcasting, for example. It felt like I was looking at a snapshot from my past. By Christmas I’d settled into my then-size10 body and no longer dissociated from the self I saw in photos.
 
The integration process took two years as I got psychologically comfortable with being a size 10. Still not experiencing any of the old sabotage triggers, I left congregational ministry to become a full-time, certified life coach.
 
But how did losing weight improve my photography?
 
It’s taken me 4 years to notice and figure it out, but it has! In early 2006, when I was being trained as a certified Dream Coach(r) Group Leader, I realized how important it was, if I was going to live the life of MY dreams, to resume being a photographer. My "Doubter" immediately informed me that I didn’t have the time to do photography on a daily basis. I countered by challenging myself to spend :30 of our next lunch hour "finding" photographs right around our hotel in Novato, California. I went across the street to a CVS, bought a disposable camera and began shooting. In 30 minutes I’d shot the roll. After classes late that afternoon, I drove into town and had the film developed and printed. Here’s a few examples of what I saw at the entrance to the hotel:
Photo: Lauralyn Bellamy (c)2006    
   Photo: Lauralyn Bellamy (c)2006              
                                                 
 
In that half hour, it was like flipping a switch: as soon as I had the camera up to my eyes, I saw the extraordinary in the ordinary world around me.  I allowed the lens to lead me without a second thought; I was squatting and twisting, climbing and lifting the camera over my head to get the shot.
 
But I didn’t  get the realization about the relationship between the kind of photography I was shooting and my lighter, healthier, stronger body until after I conducted my first "PRAYING IN PICTURES: Digital Photo-Journaling" workshop recently. As I led the participants down our garden path toward the lake (a route I take daily with our greyhound), the brilliant sunlight was hitting some wild holly bushes and the picture/thought popped into my mind, "I wonder what those leaves look like to an ant underneath?" Without a second thought, I squatted down, then knelt and twisted my way underneath, looked up through the lens and clicked:
 
 

Photo: Lauralyn Bellamy (c)2009

After the workshop, as I reviewed what I’d photographed, I realized how impossible it would’ve been, prior to losing the weight, for me to create the photographs that were the answers to my curiosity; that, as an obese- morbidly obese photographer, I was restricted to shooting at standing eye level with minimal tilting up or down. Now, the health and strength of my body makes it possible for me to shoot where my camera and imagination take me!

If you are a photographer, professional or amateur, who is obese or morbidly obese, or overweight-and-out-of-shape – think about the way your body is restricting your ability to "get the shot." Imagine how your photography could be liberated to develop your vision!

Being a physically engaged photographer has supported the expansion of my vision of the world around me and my participation in it!

Call or contact me now to learn how my unique coaching can revitalize your life as a visionary artist/photographer! What have you got to lose?

 embodysuccess@msn.com  404-394-3900    Lauralyn

Lauralyn in Loveland, CO 8-04-09; photo by Heather Emig 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

What Does It Look Like?

What Does  "PRAYING IN PICTURES"  Look like?
One workshop participant shares 2 of her photo-journal pages with you!
Thanks, Sheila, for permission.
Lauralyn
 
PS To learn more about Sheila, visit her inspiring website:
 
 
 

From: TheWholeTruthInc.com
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 22:10:43 -0400
Subject: Praying in Pictures I
To: lauralyn@embodysuccess.net

Photo: Sheila K. Smith (c)2009

 

 

I’ve always thought of the road less traveled as being dark and lonely. 

I was wrong.

It is bright green and clean summer air.

It is the sound of water and busy bugs.

It is the place where I have found health and peace.

It is the path that has returned me to home.

 

–Sheila K. Smith 8/16/2009

 

 

 

 

Photo: Sheila K. Smith (c)2009

 

What am I trying to understand?

 

I see quiet in this peaceful place.

 

How did I forget?

 

Wherever I am, God is.

 

Well, here I am and all is well.

 

Here I am breathing in the beautiful lake.

 

Taking breath step by step.

 

 

–Sheila K. Smith  8/15/2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Sat., Aug. 15th in metro ATLANTA ~

  2-hr. workshops: choose 10:45AM or 2:00PM 

Photo: Lauralyn Bellamy (c)2009

combine nature-walking mindfulness meditation,

digital photography, journaling & collage to expand 

your access to inspiration, intuition and imagination!

Sharpen your vision of a future worth dreaming about

in this installment of the "Praying in Pictures" workshop series. 

 Photo: Lauralyn Bellamy (c)2007

  • Bring your digital camera (or cellphone camera)
  • Blank journal provided for your images, collage & reflections
  • Art materials supplied, your photographs printed immediately
  • Only 5 participants per workshop
  • Private lakeside retreat center in Roswell, close to GA 400,
  • Tuition only $55; pre-paid registration required
  • E-mail for registration form ASAP to

   

 

 

 

 

My photos & feature story on the day NBC-TV’s "THE BIGGEST LOSER" held an OPEN casting call in ATLANTA!

Just click on the magazine story’s title: "LOSING at WINNING at LOSING!"

Let me know what you think?

IF YOU’RE A TBL ALUM and are
GAINING BACK the weight you lost, you need my
Embody Success! coaching program to STOP SELF-SABOTAGE!
email me now!

This is The Ansonia Hotel, designed by architect Sanford White at the beginning of the 20th C. She is a protected Landmark building and takes up the entire block on Broadway between 73-74th Streets. The Turrets on the 17th floor used to be sheathed in iron that had deepened to a beautiful green patina. My Dad’s first office for his new architectural practice was in the turret nearest the camera, 73 St., with curved windows that faced Central Park & Broadway looking south to a dazzling view of the Empire State Building (now blocked by newer buildings). I love her dearly and am so grateful she’s protected from the wrecking ball!
 
You’ll see more of "my" New York in the days to come.
Photo: Lauralyn Bellamy (c) 2009 -Taken 7-16-09  
547 INTERVIEWED IN ATLANTA FOR 30 SPOTS ON SEASON 9 OF
NBC-TV’s "THE BIGGEST LOSER!" By Lauralyn Bellamy
 
PHOTO: Lauralyn Bellamy

There were already over 100 on line when Tracey and Michelle arrived just after 7AM, as the announcements had directed. Interviews would begin after 10AM. By 9AM the line snaked in 3 long loops in front of DAVE & BUSTER’S, Duluth. No shade, but temperatures were bearable at first for the thousands who would wait for hours. Most applicants came not only with their team member (this being the "couples" version of "The Biggest Loser"), but a small army of supporters, as well!

Casting Directors Ian Young and Barbara Wulff were pleased with the turn-out.

I’ll be filing more in the next couple of hours; but, right now, my deadline for the AUGUST issue of ORACLE 20-20 magazine comes first!

TO BE CONTINUED!

PS Casting directors Barbara Wulff & Ian Young really take their job to heart. Shown below with your humble correspondent.