Category Archives: Community

Embrace the power of community to turn a dream into reality. Thoughts, observations & strategies on how the community of Polk County, Florida has rallied together to fight childhood obesity.

An Audacious Plan to End Childhood Obesity, One Family at a Time

#Start Now

#Start Now

A few months ago I began developing an intentional plan to eradicate childhood obesity. As a member of Jon Acuff’s first ever, Start Experiment, I was asked to identify a risk. I almost played it safe but I was feeling froggy that particular day and decided to just do away with the #1 health crisis in the world today, obesity.

This is the point where I could lay out a bunch of data on why this is such a problem but, if you’re really curious, I encourage you to do a bit of research both online and by simply walking around in public. I’m not talking about a vanity crisis, I talking about a Health Epidemic!

3 main factors led me to identify this as the risk I wanted to tackle:

– I grew up in a time when my television was filled with graphic images of swollen-bellied children who were starving. I learned recently that there are now more obese people on the planet than starving. Both break my heart but one of those is efficiently claiming my friends lives even as I type this.

– I learned that my county, (Polk County, Florida) is ranked 7th in the nation for childhood obesity. As a former youth pastor & 15 year veteran of the school system I am compelled to serve children. Read the rest of this entry

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Where Dreams Come to Happen: Success Stories from the Start Experiment

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

More than just a bunch of quirky, world changers but quirky nonetheless.

30 Days ago I joined a movement that I’m pretty sure is going to get this world’s attention eventually. It all started with an email sent by best selling author, Jon Acuff, that simply said, “Adventurers Wanted.” That’s it. There was a form to fill in.

I have an odd affection for vague adventures, and I respect Jon, so I just went ahead and drank the kool-aid.

This online, Facebook group is called ‘The Start Experiment’ and is based on Jon’s best selling book, START. All participants are asked to identify a risk.  My risk for the first 24 days was to create a blueprint for a program that would eradicate childhood obesity in my county 1 family at a time.  I completed it.

My new 24 day risk is to implement the program I created and begin training to get on the cover of The Challenge Magazine. So far, so good!

All this may sound pretty insignificant until you realize that there are nearly 3,500 other starters in the group of varying ages, demographics & interests!

Here’s the thing…We are making a ‘ding in the universe’ and I wanted to share just a few examples of the Awesomeness that happened in just the first 24 days:

Read the rest of this entry

When Fear Wears Lipstick

ImageFear is my enemy.  I’ve heard it said that I should keep my friends close & my enemies closer so I like to study my opponent any chance I get.  I discovered something about fear this morning that I never realized.  It turns out that fear can be your loudest cheerleader if that’s what it takes!

If I asked you what fear whispers to you  our answers would, no doubt, be similar:

-Who are you to do that?

-What will your friends & family think if you attempted that?

-You have failed every time you’ve tried that before?

-You’ll do that one day. Now’s just not the right time.

Oh, yes, Fear can be a bully!  Read the rest of this entry

Christians and Ambition: The Struggle

Audacious: Bold; Daring; Marked by originality & verve

I don’t think I struggle with fear near as much as I do laziness.  I came to this realization about myself this morning so the weight of it is still sinking in.

There is an advantage to hiding behind fear…people excuse you because they can relate and now you have something in common to talk about.  Giving fear too much credit however, is a slippery slope.  The problem, of course, is that when you blame Fear for your lack, you’ve just given it tremendous power.

This morning I dropped my fears to the side and wrote down some Audacious goals in my journal.  I mean just downright silly stuff!  It was fun and freeing.

As a Christian I’ve always struggled with Ambition & Success.  Read the rest of this entry

Stuck? Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself & Read This!

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5 Simple Steps to Get Unstuck

20 Days ago I embarked on a 24 day challenge called the Start Experiment.  I set a goal:

My risk: Identify a child in my area who is struggling with obesity and is willing to take action towards better health.  I will also identify a personal trainer & a nutritionist who are willing to walk alongside this child (family) for 90 days.  Pretty simple.

Each day at 5am I’ve been getting an email from Jon Acuff with a very brief & doable task to help me in getting my risk accomplished.  I realized this morning, however, that I’ve taken my eyes off of my risk and had my gaze shifted towards getting each daily assignment finished instead.  Have you ever done that?

I had sacrificed the important on the altar of the urgent.

Here’s a quick exercise I encourage you to do if you feel like you’re not making progress toward whatever your goal is.

1.Write your goal down

2. Break it down into segments

3. Set a deadline

4. Make it Public

5. Take 1 Deliberate step EVERY day:

A rule of my life is to never challenge others with what I’m not willing to do myself.  Here is my Plan with only 4 days left:

 

1.WRITE YOUR GOAL DOWN:

-Help a child struggling with childhood obesity over the next 90 days.

2. BREAK IT DOWN INTO SEGMENTS-

– Speak to the personal trainer

-Contact the child/family I’ve selected

-Set up a first meeting with me, the nutritionist, the personal trainer & the family of the child.

3. SET A DEADLINE:

-Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

4. MAKE IT PUBLIC:

-Um…thanks for reading my blog LOL

5. TAKE 1 DELIBERATE STEP EVERY DAY:

-Call a few personal trainers to see if & how they are willing to participate.

Friends, don’t beat yourself up 1 minute longer.  I encourage you to take deliberate action towards making your dream a reality today by applying the 5 steps above.

Together, we will change the world!!!

What’s your risk?  Share it below and go public today!!

So You Think I Just Sell Milkshakes and Cereal, huh?!?

fb_share_quote_bigThink again…..Here’s the BIG Picture:

FACT:

For the first time in the history of the world there are more overweight people than there are malnourished people.

Upon hearing this news I was shocked.  I grew up in the day of television specials that revealed a pandemic of malnutrition & poverty.  When did the tables turn? How did we get here?

Our enemy at Visalus is NOT other companies, diets or lifestyles.  For the record, I support anyone who is taking a proactive step towards better health and there are many good options out there.

Our enemy at Visalus is the number 1 health crisis in the world: OBESITY!!!

FACT:

We are now the 2nd largest weight-loss product sales company in North America, right behind Weight Watchers after only THREE years!!!!  We now have the largest army ever assembled who are singularly focused on the war against obesity.

The Challenge is not just another fad diet whose time will pass.

The Challenge is a Lifestyle!

So before you get to criticizing the method, model & means by which we are making such a profound impact on the health consciousness of North America I just wanted to direct your eyes to the BIGGER picture here.

You see, we don’t simply seek to be the best company in our industry or in the world for that matter.  Our mission and vision as a company is to become the largest provider of healthy, fast food in the world!!!

To our critics may I simply suggest that YOU go out & create something beautiful with the same passion & vigor with which you try to destroy the beautiful things others are building.

Milk Shake Peddler & Cereal Entrpreneur,

Rob Beaudreault

How a Chiclet toppled the Empire State Building – The Power of Starting Small

Start Small if You Must...But Start NOW!I think many people get discouraged by the SIZE of the impact they are making on the world. I know I certainly get tired from time to time.  I wanted to take a quick minute to encourage you to not lose sight of the SCOPE of the impact you are making!

I came across a video today that gave me a real awakening as to the power of taking small, seemingly insignificant local action on HUGE problems.

It helped me to remember our story. 3 years ago my wife & I decided to take control of our personal health by starting a simple 90 Day Challenge.  That simple decision started a chain reaction that has effected 1000’s of lives!

Watch this brief video & be encouraged!

You just never know whose life you will impact!

If You Can’t Post Anything Nice.. – How to Avoid & Resolve Conflict on Social Media

ImageAdmittedly, I know more about Facebook than I should.  I could wrap it around something noble but honestly, I’m just sort of addicted to the whole thing.  I love to interact with people and play connect-the-dots with relationships in an effort to make this world a bit more Awesome!

I’ve noticed several trends regarding Facebook statuses lately and they’re not helping you. I’m writing this post in an attempt to help some folks out. While there are many breeds of toxic updates I’ve chosen to address 2 of the most prevalent.

Let me first start out by saying that your Facebook persona is more powerful than you probably realize.  It casts either a light or a shadow upon your audience about who you are and what you stand for. If you’ve made it this far in the post then you are probably open to even caring about this so let’s proceed.

Unhealthy Facebook Statuses:

-Posting a status that is derogatory about someone directly.  You tag them, you’re angry, you feel better (for now).

-Posting a status that is angry in tone & vague as to who it’s intended for.  This person is actually hoping that a specific person sees it or that someone makes sure he/she does.

Why These Posts are Toxic:

I’ve had several conversations with people about this topic.  I’ve heard many give me the justification that it’s important to ‘be real’ on Facebook.  It’s interesting to me that the defense of ‘being real’ is only given to justify negativity.

Here’s why these posts are toxic.

The problem with social media is that it gives every voice & opinion equal weight into YOUR life. By airing out your problems to the world you are opening yourself up to a barrage of negativity wrapped in a cloak of concern.

While Facebook may not be ‘real life’ I can assure you it will find it’s way into yours…sooner or later.  I say later because by choosing to air out your rant you cannot control who among your friends thinks it was intended for them.  Perceived confrontation is more damaging than literal confrontation because one has time to fester while the other is over & done with. Like I said, not scientific but true nonetheless.

The Antidote:

Instead of deciding to air out your anger & frustration to the world I encourage you to pick up that smartphone of yours and ‘phone a friend.’  I’m totally aware that this is old school but I’m am determined to bring it back and can accomplish it with your help! You may choose to contact the person you are upset at or call someone who you respect and admire to give you advice on how to best proceed with this conflict.  Opening yourself up to the advice of those who don’t have your best interests at heart is toxic.  Keep your drama off Facebook!

Letters on a screen lack emotion. You know it’s true.  How many times have you misinterpreted what someone meant?  How did that make you feel once you found out the truth of the matter that you misread their emotion?

Relationships are too valuable. 

Don’t put yours at risk because you forgot an emoticon! :/

Social media is a beautiful and powerful thing but it cannot replace the authentic interaction of two souls.  There is a valuable substance contained in the human voice that Facebook & Twitter simply can’t compete with.  Here’s my Challenge to you:

Take the Facebook Challenge:

Identify 1 friend or follower on social media who you feel at a distance from because of something that happened on Facebook, Twitter etc.  It’s really hard for me to explain what I mean by this but, chances are, you know what I’m talking about.  This next part is the real challenge.

Call them just to say, Hi.  Simply to catch up.  They may not even know that you perceive a conflict so don’t mention it.  Whether this call ends awkwardly or with exuberant tears of reconciliation from years of neglect doesn’t matter.  You are not picking up the phone because you have an agenda but, rather, because you have a friend! 

I give you permission to be scared about taking this first step but I encourage you to take it anyway. If you do not value the relationship enough to make a phone call or the other person refuses to speak with you then I encourage you to ‘unfriend’ or block them asap.  Drama has a way of distracting you on your pursuit of awesome and ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!

Please let me know what I missed & how your challenge went in the comments below.

How 90 Days Changed My Family Forever- Our Story

If you’ve ever set a New Year’s Resolution you know the feeling of forgetting what you even committed to by February 1st. Almost 3 years ago now I started setting goals a different way and it has transformed my life and the way I live it.

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I know. I’m sorry but this is horrible.

If you’re like me you probably tend to set goals when you are frustrated. Maybe the buttons of your pants is screaming for relief or that yellow dress is beginning to make your back look a lot like a croissant! At any rate, you realize one day that something about your life is out of control and your are ready to do something about it! The problem with this approach however, is that frustration lends itself to desperation and desperate people resort to desperate measures. Here’s my story:

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Don’t you love when friends tag you in a Facebook photo?

I was the heaviest I’d ever been and one of my friends posted a picture of me on Facebook and was kind enough to tag me in it. I didn’t know how to remove that tag and I was embarrassed. Now normally, I would make a vow to start eating ‘right’, begin exercising & vow not to eat anything sweet until…well, ever again!!! I would make these decisions as a punishment for letting myself get so out of control. In September, 2010 however, I learned about a 90 Day Challenge.

My wife & I were frustrated. We had tried over and over again to change all of the factors at 1 time that are necessary to achieve weightloss and had failed miserable. For our first 90 Day Challenge all we did was replace 2 meals a day with a delicious shake, eat a normal, non-diety 3rd meal and snack when we felt like it. She lost 23 lbs & I lost 27. Success happened when we focuses on just 1 thing…It’s a concept called ‘Narrowing Your Focus’.

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Because of her success on her 1st Challenge my wife had the confidence to run her first 5K ever!

My crossfit friends frowned at my method and my ultra-healthy friends tried to explain their better way (again) but we were having success and decided to do our own thing for 90 days. Here’s the crazy thing. For my wife’s second 90 Day Challenge she committed to training for her 1st 5K. She partnered up with a few other women and our daughter and actually finished the Iron Girl 5k!

After losing a total of 42 lbs in my 1st 2 Challenges I actually returned to the gym! I put on my 14 lbs of muscle in 90 Days using a Challenge Kit designed for folks who wanted to achieve those results. 3 months ago I actually did a juice fast with my friend who has a phenomenal Facebook community called ‘Juicing with Jill’.

Sometime, experts mean well but they underestimate the power of gradual changes over time. They are so passionate a out what they do now that they fail to remember that they didn’t get there overnight.

Here’s a fact: The Body by Vi Challenge is the path of least resistance to becoming a healthier person because the products taste amazing, they are simple & very affordable (ie. FREE) Over 100,000 a month start a 90 Day Challenge of their own!

In the almost 3 years I’ve been sharing the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge with folks we have helped 1000’s of people not only reach their health goals but maintain them. On the surface, many folks dismiss The Challenge as some fad but here are some numbers for you:

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For more Facts, just click the picture

Simply put, the Body by Vi Challenge is not a diet but a lifestyle IF you allow yourself to implement it for 90 Days. Many folks make a couple shakes and then just move on to the next lotion, potion, pill or powder that comes along. They continue to approach as a punishment instead of a Challenge and let me tell you, punishing yourself is toxic.

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And we’ve KEPT the weight off for over 2 years now!

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My wife actually posted a picture of me shirtless on Facebook. The Challenge has helped in several aspects of our marriage 🙂

I encourage you to take a close look at what exactly the 90 Day Body by Vi Challenge powered by Visalus Sciences has to offer. Everyone will NEVER agree with the same thing but here’s what I know: Our family has been transformed by the power of 90 Day Challenges and you can NEVER take my story from me.

Are you up for a Challenge?

At the Edge of Starting

ImageI’ve joined a secret society of folks seeking whatever their own flavor of awesome may be.  This all started when I answered an email that referred to ‘Taking on a Challenge’ which was sent by my friend, Jon Acuff. I say friend because he follows me on Twitter & I actually met him once. He wrote some words in a book I was holding. Since his name was on the cover I think he felt entitled. I digress.

I find myself on the edge of starting and I don’t even know why I’m excited.  It’s not like I wasn’t already headed somewhere.  This month is already geared to be one of the greatest our home-based business has ever experienced.  So why am I so jazzed right now?

I think I’m excited because over 2000 other people responded to that same email.  We’re all jockeying around in the Starting gate waiting for the doors to bust wide open. We’ll be separated in groups of 24 and partnered with 1 other Starter to begin a journey on our distinct road to Awesome.

Details would be great right now but I sorta’ like this nervous energy.  A pilgrimage is about to begun from the land of Mediocrity towards the valley of Trying on our way to the mountaintop of Awesome and I am ready.

My plan is not to really mention this  experiment while I’m traveling these next few weeks.  I’ve been advised to put my bullhorn down by Jon & just go out and DO Awesome instead of talking about doing it.

We stand ready at the edge of Starting.

May Average be left on the shore

Our sails billow forward with Awesome

Toward a Challenge for those who want more!

If you haven’t read Jon’s book, START , yet I fully recommend you do. It’s THAT Good!