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Serving hospitals, healthcare and women's groups

The Right Start

February 16, 2006, Vol. IV Issue 4

Dear Friends,

We all know the drill. When the first of the year rolls around, it’s time for a fresh start. It’s time to lose weight, start an exercise program, etc. St. Francis Weight Loss Center had a better idea for an event emphasizing overall health. We share their ideas in this issue.

The health headlines have been plentiful the last two weeks. McDonald’s fries have more trans fats than thought, as well as wheat and dairy ingredients. A study reported that less fat in the diet and more fruits and vegetables may not substantially cut an older woman’s risk for breast cancer, colon cancer or heart disease. An estrogen study said that the risks of using estrogen may not be so bad. What’s a person to believe? My advice would be to read past the headlines, between the lines and look for multiple sources of interpretation, always.

Meantime, the Go Red for Women campaign has come up with an online assessment tool well worth spreading the word about.

On the other hand, the “Death-Risk Quiz” that caught my eye on yesterday’s front page is another story.

Yours truly,
Barbara

The Right Start

On Saturday, Jan. 21, three weeks into the new year, just about the time the freshness of the new year is beginning to tarnish, St. Francis Weight Loss Center, in Indianapolis, IN, held their third annual “Start the Year Off Right,” motivational event.

“We wanted to create a motivational seminar to encourage participants to pursue overall health (as opposed to extreme New Year’s resolutions) as we start the New Year,” according to Rachel Nix, RD, CD, coordinator of the event.

Associated with St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers, the Weight Loss Center is in its third year of operation. They offer group and individual weight loss programs/health improvement, bariatric surgery, cooking classes, exercise classes and have just started getting into corporate wellness and speaking.

The day started with breakfast and Eve Olson, MD, the medical director talking about “Mind Over Matter,” followed by a cooking demonstration with samples. Then a panel of six successful weight loss patients took the stage, sharing their stories.

“We try to do something different every year, incorporating something interactive like the cooking demonstration or an exercise activity,” Rachel said. “We wanted our keynote speaker to be motivational, rather than diet- related.” The audience of 160 was 99% women, 25 -80 years old.

They selected Barbara Badolati as their luncheon keynote speaker, to share her ideas about “The Wellness Connection.”

“For so long in health promotion, we have looked at fixing people, trying to get them healthy once they’re sick,” Barb says. “We’ve emphasized behavior modifications as the answer: eat right, exercise, drink water, stop smoking, etc. These things are good, but research is showing there’s something more that is at least equally important. I call it the happiness connection and it has to with humor, purpose, pleasure, connection and gratitude.”

Barb didn’t just talk about it. Her presentation was highly interactive from the hugs (she demonstrated the good, the bad and the not-so-good of hugs), to the props she used to make her points and her audience laugh. “My mother lived to make people laugh,” Barb says. “She was fun and creative and used costumes and props to teach us how to see things differently. I learned from that and take great joy in sharing it.”

It shows. “Barb was so much fun,” Rachel said. “She had an automatic rapport with our audience.”

It wasn’t all fun and games, however. Barb recognizes that making the choice to give heartfelt hugs, laugh at oneself and share our gifts, takes courage. “To live authentically and be a conduit of joy is a gift you choose to give yourself as well as others,” she said. “Oh, and by the way, you’ll feel better, you’ll beat colds faster, and your immune system will be stronger.”

Following Barb’s program, Rachel, along with Wayne Zinc, a chocolate specialist, presented “Health Benefits of Chocolate.” The day also included wine tasting and a relaxation room where green tea was served along with free paraffin dip/hand massages and body massages accompanied by healing harpist music. Participants also received a bag full of food samples, coupons and brochures.

About our services, Rachel said, “Both Barbs (Badolati and Christenson) were so great to work with in arranging this event. Very helpful, organized and professional and also delightfully upbeat!”

Barbara Badolati holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in health education and has earned certification and recognition in the arena of yoga, fitness, health and behavioral sciences. Her special interests in holistic health, humor, mind-body medicine, and movement therapy, along with a passionate and compassionate approach to life, have effectively guided her to assist thousands of people in experiencing greater self-esteem, health, balance and wholeness.

To book her, email me at Barbara@speakwellbeing.com or call me at 503-699-5031.

Go Red Heart Check: Getting Beyond the Numbers

While the Go Red For Women campaign’s original purpose was to raise awareness about heart disease as the #1 killer of women, the emphasis is now shifting to taking action to fight women’s heart disease. A recent study showed that one-third of women underestimate their personal risk of heart disease, and a majority don’t know what cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels are healthy for them.

In our last issue, I noted that the Go Red for Women website is now an easy place to find those all-important benchmark numbers for blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. (if you’re like me and you just can’t remember them). I’m very excited to report that they have now taken this whole concept a giant step further, by creating a tool women can use to assess their personal risk for heart disease. This is grass roots and it’s really cool.

It’s an online interactive assessment tool. You enter your own numbers for things like weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as information about your lifestyle such as frequency of exercise. This generates a report that reveals your risk of having a heart attack or suffering from cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.

Not only that, it also identifies the risk factors you can change and provides a personalized action plan that you can print out and discuss with your doctor. That might include suggestions such as losing weight, reducing stress, stopping smoking, or managing blood pressure.

The tool was designed to help women take action. Previously, women were encouraged to know their numbers but interpreting them and determining what to do about any risk was left up to them to figure out on their own.

Don’t know your numbers? That’s no excuse. You can simply download the Blood Test Approval form found on the website and take or fax it to your doctor to order a blood test. Once the blood test determines your numbers, you can enter them into the tool and get your personalized heart health checkup.

The Go Red Heart Checkup is designed to motivate women to take action and to encourage them to talk with their doctors about their long-term heart health. It can be used by individuals or in a healthcare setting.

I encourage you to try it out at: http://www.goredforwomen.org

Dying to Know Your Odds?

“How much time do you have? Take the death-risk quiz,” was the headline that caught my attention. This AP story, which was based on serious research published in yesterday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, reported on it as a game where a low score is definitely the goal. The actual study, however, is much more complex and has other implications. In that sense the AP story is an over-simplification. The quiz is fun, though, and taking it gives one an untraditional look at one’s own longevity chances.

The quiz is designed to give older people (over 50) a reasonable idea of their survival chances. It could actually be used with doctors and families to help plan their healthcare. Rather than focus on traditional indicators like cholesterol levels, it poses questions about whether you can push a chair across the room and keep track of family finances.

Take the test here:

Here’s how to score it:
0-5 points Dying risk: less than 4%
6 – 9 points 15%
10 – 13 points 42%
14+ 64%

Until next time, be good to yourself for your good health and those you love.

Yours truly,
Barbara

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ABOUT OUR SERVICES
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The Speak Well Being Group specializes in providing exceptional speakers for health, wellness and women’s events. Because we’ve worked with so many hospitals and healthcare groups around the country, we speak your language. Our hand-picked speakers are attuned to your needs and adept at addressing the issues while delivering information in an entertaining way, or simply providing a good time with a light message when that’s the ticket. When you work with us, you’ll come back for more “How are we going to top that?” speakers.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.
Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031
The Speak Well Being Group, 4261 Collins Way, Lake Oswego,Oregon 97035
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