How the Full-Filled Program Works
To get the results you’ve spent so many years desperately fighting for, I encourage you to fully immerse yourself in this program for the next six weeks. Jump right in, and give it everything you’ve got. I mean it—everything.
The tools in this program are extraordinarily effective, and they work faster than any others I know of to get you the body and life you desire. But they work only if you use them. Over the course of the next six weeks, apply them to every situation you can in your life.
This may sound like a heavy-duty commitment, but now consider how much time and energy you’ve spent struggling with your weight over the years. Six weeks is nothing, right? Once you’ve made the initial investment of getting set up and charged up about permanent, reliable weight loss, I’ll ask only that you spend about ten minutes a day fine-tuning your progress.
How easy is that? You’ve been on diets that have demanded much more, I’m sure. All I ask is that you open your mind to a new way of thinking and that you put your health and happiness at the top of your priority list. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to permanently transforming your relationship with food, your body, and yourself in a month and a half. In fact, substantial changes, even dramatic ones, might happen sooner than that.
The Full-Filled program is divided into six weeks, or cycles, of continuous progress. Subtle changes begin happening quickly and
immediately, and the long-term benefits extend far beyond the pages of this book. From the very first day of the Full-Filled program (that’s today!), you’ll begin to think in a completely different way that will, ideally and more than likely, inspire you to change how you eat and live forevermore. In that respect, the progress you will make over the next six weeks is limitless. Furthermore, your progress along the way will become the basis for your long-term maintenance.
Most diet and weight loss programs save maintenance for the end, when your willpower is all but exhausted. Some don’t even provide a long-term plan, naively assuming that you will stay on the diet forever.
The Full-Filled program is different. I address the maintenance piece of the program up front, because if you finally lose the excess weight you’ve been carrying around for so many frustrating years and have no realistic plan for keeping it off, what’s the point of losing it in the first place? On the Full-Filled program, long-term motivation and maintenance are built in from day one. You may find that at the end of the six weeks, you’re exactly where you want to be. Or you may find that you want to repeat some key exercises or rework the entire program for additional benefit. However you individualize your experience, the Full-Filled program allows for a continuous cycle of progress and reward.
The Full-Filled Weight-Release Journal
Before you jump in and begin Week 1
of the Full-Filled program, I encourage you to get a journal that you will dedicate to your weight loss journey. Keep it by your side throughout the next six weeks. Your journal can be as plain as a spiral notebook or something more elegant. The simple act of writing your thoughts down as you progress through the program will keep you in the present moment and help you become aware of how you feel from week to week. A written progress report will also keep you accountable for your actions and help you better track your thoughts and eating habits as
they change. Clients often tell me that journaling allows them to go deeper into the Full-Filled program and stay focused on their long-term intentions. So even if you’re not the journaling type, make note of your insights and progress. You’ll be glad you did.
Put In to Get Out
In addition to encouraging you to fully engage and participate in the Full-Filled program from day one, I also invite you to—no, actually I insist that you—seek out or create a support community of family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers who either have been where you are now or are currently where you are now and would like to accompany you on your weight loss journey. Your community could be as small as a party of two—you and your BFF—or a larger group of ten or more. Either way, research proves it: when you enlist outside support, you create for yourself a system of encouragement and accountability, which will dramatically accelerate your progress and keep you on track towards reliable, permanent change.
Reaching out to others with whom you reveal your deepest, darkest eating secrets might be the last thing you want to do. When I was still at war with my weight, sharing the details of my late-night binges felt scary and shameful. I was the superwoman who could accomplish anything alone and quietly if I only applied the right amount of will and determination. Yet hidden underneath all my go-it-alone bravado was fear that others would see how weak and truly weird around food I was. I was absolutely convinced that if they knew the truth, they’d reject me.
That skewed thinking was why letting others in became absolutely key to my progress. I discovered that when I confided in others who similarly understood the weight struggle, they accepted me. They did not judge me harshly when I made admissions such as “I ate out of the trash can last night.” That acceptance and nonjudgmentalism gave me the superwoman strength and motivation I needed in order to push forward on the days when I felt powerless
and incapable of solving my weight problem on my own. As my teacher Dr. Robert McDonald says, “We are wounded in community and healed in community.”
So buddy up, open up, and stay connected throughout the next six weeks with people who are positive and kind and who are likely to provide you with valuable encouragement and insight. You’ll be glad you did. If you aren’t quite ready to reach out and connect with others, no worries. Begin to work through the Full-Filled program on your own as a “warm-up,” and when you’re ready to ratchet up your progress, share your stories, and receive outside support, you’ll know just how to do it in the ways I outline below.
Here are a few ways to build your support group.
Create a Community Offline
Recruit your sister, your best friend from school, your coworker, your neighbor. Ask if they struggle with their weight and tell them you’ve found a new program that heals your underlying food issues and transforms your current cravings, so that you lose your desire to overeat while you gain an appetite for a more healthful lifestyle. Invite them to get a copy of this book and join you in building a support group. Make a commitment to one another that, no matter what, you will show up, especially when you screw up (which is a big part of the program, by the way). Designate a place to meet or a time to talk on the phone or correspond by e-mail. If you’re going to meet, choose a place where you feel safe and comfortable sharing the ups and downs of your weight-release journey.
How you conduct your meetings is entirely up to you, but here are some suggestions to get you going. First and foremost, I recommend that you kick off your meeting time by setting and sharing your intentions for yourself and for the group. Scientists have proved that intentions have the power to set your mind to act towards a desired goal or outcome. Setting intentions is like telling your life where you want it to go. Imagine hopping into a taxi and when the
driver asks you, “Where to?” you answer, “Anywhere but here.” You wouldn’t get very far, would you? To move forward, you must be very clear and specific about where you want to end up.
Setting an intention for every week of the Full-Filled program will give you direction and focus as you work towards a new, slim, and healthy you. It’s not quite the same as setting a future goal, because setting your intention begins the process of transformation in the present. By simply stating your intention, you jump-start change now.
Know, too, that when two or more people set an intention together—a collective intention—it becomes much more powerful. This is why I recommend that each member of your group write out his or her intentions before your meeting and share them aloud with the group.
After you set your intentions, let each member take a turn answering the following questions and receiving support and feedback from the group. If time restrictions are a consideration for your group (if you only have a half hour to meet, for example), ask everyone to write out his or her answers before the meeting.
I encourage you to really dig in when answering these questions. Bring your honesty and your emotions to the meeting. Cry, laugh, and stamp your feet. It will significantly accelerate your progress and bring you and your group closer together.
1. What positive shifts and changes have you noticed in yourself since our last meeting? Be sure to focus on the positive here.
2. What do you want to happen between now and our next meeting? For example, “I want to feel relaxed around food at the party I’m attending and focus on the people instead.”
3. How will you know when you have it? For example, “I’ll know because when I get home after the party, I’ll feel just right in my tummy—neither too full nor too hungry—and renewed by the connections I’ve made.”
4. What’s stopping you from having it now? In other words, what’s scary about having it?
Create a Community Online
If you can’t meet your group members in person, not to worry. Technology lets you connect with people anywhere in the world anytime you wish. Try any of the following methods. Yahoo! Group
Join an online group you can immediately plug into for valuable support and advice. I have a thriving Inside Out Weight Loss Yahoo! group available through a link on my website at www.insideoutweightloss.com Note:
This is not a collective bellyache group. It’s a decidedly positive, upbeat place where you are likely to meet others who, like you, are just starting the program and who are willing and excited to go through the steps with you. This group is a safe place for you to share your experiences, track your progress, and ask for support. It’s run by volunteers who are working and living the Full-Filled program. Private Group
Create a private online group you can immediately plug into for valuable support and advice. Amy, a client of mine, recruited a girlfriend to join her on her weight loss journey. They didn’t have time to meet every day or even once a week, so they corresponded through daily e-mails and text messages. By connecting regularly, they were able to support each other every step of the way, sharing their progress, challenges, and breakthroughs. Their partnership played a key role in Amy’s ability to lose more than 70 pounds and regain self-confidence and a positive body image. Conference Calls
Set up a conference call with your support group. You can find a variety of free conference call services by searching for “free conference calls” online. I’ve made some of my closest friends through virtual mastermind groups, where people with different experiences and ideas hop onto a group line to collaborate with, brainstorm with, and provide support to help others in the group achieve their purpose. Videoconferencing
Use Skype or a similar program to make free Internet calls using your computer or mobile phone. The built-in webcam on most devices turns a standard call into a videoconference. Renée Stephens on Facebook
“Like” Renée Stephens on Facebook (facebook.com/reneestephens
fanpage) fan, where I regularly post tips and personal stories, and where I encourage my followers to buddy up and support one another. Renée Stephens on Twitter
Follow me on Twitter (@StephensRenee), where I regularly post motivational thoughts as well as links to supporting articles on the subjects of health, fitness, and weight release, and where you can easily connect with others living the Full-Filled program.
You have many ways to connect and feel supported. Find the method that works best for you and your lifestyle.