Archive for January, 2010

What a GREAT weekend

I’m buzzing.  I’ve just been at the Polaris Media Group’s Kick Off / Foundation Live event – held at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast on 16 and 17 January 2010.

What a GREAT weekend!

Lots of really practical business information at Kick Off on the Saturday.   I’m just starting to go through my notes now, and will be making a few changes to my business as a result.

I discovered how true it is when they say that Polaris Media Group is an “international community of successful men and women who believe in social responsibility through sharing and the development of the entrepreneurial spirit”.  I was very impressed by the friendliness and openness of everyone I met, and their willingness to share from their experience.  I found it amazing to have such free and easy access to the Executive Marketing Council, Top 10 Income Earners, Rising Stars,  Conference Call Committee, “A” Team, company founder and guest presenters.  It was also wonderful to be immersed in two days of positive vibes with highly motivated successful people who evince a high level of belief.

The Foundation Live speakers included Polaris Media Group’s founder – Shayne Krider and a life-changing talk by Scott Burrows, as well as some truly challenging thoughts presented by  Oz Sanchez.

Scott Burrows’ story is AMAZING – almost everyone cried at one point.  It made me feel very small to see what he has overcome and been able to achieve – my problems are nothing by comparison. Here is a picture of me with Scott: 

“Scott Burrows has an incredible life story. A nationally ranked young athlete, he stepped into the passenger side of a friend’s car and awoke hours later in the emergency room, diagnosed a quadriplegic. But rather than a cautionary tale, his life is an inspirational story of perseverance and triumph.” read more on Scott’s web site

The documentary “Unbeaten” was wonderful, and it was fantastic to have one of its stars, Oz Sanchez, tell his story live on stage.  Oz won Gold  in Beijing, China at the 2008 Paralympic games. His Gold medal for the  Time Trial gave him the title of the “world’s fastest man on a handcycle.” Oz told us to not wait for a SEE (Significant Emotional Event) as a prompt to action.  “Unbeaten” tells the story of three wheelchair racers, Chris Kohler, Geoffrey Erickson and Edwin Figueroa  who with 31 paraplegics make their way over 6 days in wheelchairs and hand cycles in what is known as the toughest road race in the world, “Challenge Alaska.” The course winds 267 miles though the mountain passes of Denali National Park between Fairbanks and Anchorage. The story transitions midway through as the filmmaker follows the elite racers of the US Paralympics squad, Oz Sanchez and Alijandro Albor  in their quest to medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.  These men and women show the entire world what can be done and words like “disabled” and “obstacle” are only that…words!!


January 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

Weight loss – it’s complex, so DON’T JUDGE

It is so easy to judge others when you just look at the situation from the outside and don’t know the underlying factors involved.  I think of the old “walk a mile in my shoes” song by Elivs Presley:

Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes

The Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing reported that overweight and obese people can be perceived as “lazy, bad, weak, stupid and lacking in self-discipline”.  One witness told the Committee of her ‘overwhelming sense of shame and hurt’ at the remarks passed by strangers, friends and work colleagues about her weight.

A small, seemingly insignificant energy imbalance results in weight gain over time. In their submission, the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) told the Committee that over the past 20 years the average weight of Australian adults has increased by 0.5-1kg. This gain is caused by a daily extra energy intake of as little as 100 kcal, equivalent to one slice of bread, a soft drink or 30 minutes of sitting instead of brisk walking.

There are a number of factors that influence the ability of individuals to control their body weight. These include:
biological reasons;

  • the obesogenic environment;
  • psychological factors;
  • socio-economic levels; and
  • knowledge/education.

BIOLOGICAL REASONS:  The body is designed to store fat as an energy reserve for lean times – a feature we developed during the thousands of years when a regular meal could not be guaranteed. It explains why weight is relatively easy to put on – but hard to get off.  A related biological factor that influences a person’s ability to lose weight is the body’s homeostatic regulation. When we change our dietary or activity habits, the body may react to maintain or increase its current weight by adjusting the basal metabolism. (Our basal metabolism is the amount of energy we use to maintain our bodily functions, like breathing, when we are at rest.) This response is linked to our survival mechanisms, allowing the body to protect itself from starvation. If you eat less, your body will use less energy. If you exercise more, your body will stimulate your appetite so that you eat more.  The body can really fight to maintain its weight making big changes to the basic metabolism that you cannot consciously control.

THE OBSOGENIC ENVIRONMENT:  Societal changes have created an environment where we are time poor, rely on cars, walk less and have increased access to convenience foods. Maintaining healthy weight has ceased to be a by-product of everyday life, and instead has become a personal project requiring constant vigilance and resistance to widespread cultural and social patterns.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS:  People suffering from anxiety, depression and low self-esteem will find it very difficult to make the behavioural change necessary to alter their eating and exercise habits. Psychological factors and obesity often operate in a cyclical fashion so that someone who is overweight becomes depressed, or someone who is depressed puts on weight.  It can be difficult to distinguish which is the root cause.   The emphasis on body image in our society exacerbates the mental and emotional problems associated with being overweight. Many individuals spoke of denying their condition while at the same time being ashamed of their body image. One witness told the Committee she had been able to ignore her body image while she was obese but, once she took control and began to successfully lose weight, she was overly focused on it, worrying about how much she had lost each week.  “You look at yourself and you think, ‘How can I have gotten like this?’ I think it becomes a much bigger issue than people realise. Psychological support is crucial.”

SOCIO-ECONOMIC LEVELS:  There is a direct link between lower socio-economic status and obesity.  People in lower socio-economic groups may not be able to afford to buy good quality food and do not have easy access to recreational activities.

KNOWLEDGE/EDUCATION:  Individuals need assistance to negotiate the abundance of information, some of which is conflicting.  The confusion over food choice is compounded by the loss of basic food skills such as cooking. Evidence suggests that cooking is no longer learnt in the home and is not taught in schools, so people are unsure how to prepare nutritious meals. Food is often marketed to us on the basis of convenience of preparation rather than true nutritional value.


Throughout the course of the inquiry, the Committee repeatedly heard that ultimately individuals must take responsibility for their own health, including their weight. Obesity is caused by an imbalance in energy intake (from diet) and expenditure (from activity). Individually we make the decisions as to how much we eat and how much activity we undertake.

While putting weight on can happen gradually over time without us noticing, getting it off usually requires concerted effort.  So don’t judge others. We haven’t “walked a mile in their shoes”.  We don’t know the complex interaction of factors that may be affecting their ability to achieve health and wellness.

Let me encourage you:  Don’t give up when change proves difficult and results do not come quickly enough.  The end result is worth the effort.  Continue with your quest to be the best that you can be.

Sections of this article have been taken from the report Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia.   The full report can be found at

January 6, 2010 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

Jim Rohn – 4 Questions To Ponder

In this video Jim Rohn asks 4 simple questions:
Why not?
Why not you?
Why not now?

Great questions to ponder as we start a new year. What will 2010 have in store for you? I suggest you make your mind up about what you want, and go for it.

January 1, 2010 at 6:21 am Leave a comment

Unbeaten Trailer

“Unbeaten” is the second documentary film by Polaris Media Group (the first was Kids with Cameras), and the official premier of “Unbeaten” will be in San Francsco, on 10 January. Having just watched the trailer, I can’t wait for the film to come out. There is so much negative media in the world today, it is fantastic to see stories of courage, strength and determination that inspire us all to be the best that we can be.

January 1, 2010 at 3:08 am Leave a comment

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