A Life-Saving Journey Toward Wellness

by Jana Hunter

Sarah Josselet

Growing up, Sarah Josselet liked anything outside, anything with animals, and anything with a little speed and excitement.

When she retired from a 38-year career in nursing, the Haskell native could hardly manage to get out of bed, much less make rounds, walk through the grocery store, or tend to her garden.

Now, a year later, the healthy-living convert has lost 89 pounds, 21 medications, eight pant sizes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, leaky gut, allergies, depression, and a great deal of hypertension.

“This is a new chapter in my life,” the 64-year-old said. “I’m able to walk and work and think. I’m more active than I’ve been in a long time. And I’ve lost 89 pounds, which is even more amazing. I was almost starving myself and still not losing weight. Now I’m not starving at all and I am losing weight.”

Sarah’s health decline began about 30 years ago with persistent and pervasive joint pain. Trips to the doctor resulted in the newest medication for arthritis, which would help a little bit for a little while, but it wasn’t solving the problem.

“I believe that was the beginning of my fibromyalgia,” Sarah said. “They called it chronic fatigue syndrome. Nobody knew what it was, so they just treated me for arthritis.”

In the intervening years, Sarah also contracted Lyme disease and cytomegalovirus; suffered from allergies, IBS, and leaky gut; and in a 12-month period had nine surgeries. Her doctors began addressing her digestive issues, first with shots to desensitize her from certain foods. For two years, a gastroenterologist further medicated her.

“He was trying to slow my gut down, and in doing so he slowed me down to the point where I just really didn’t care if I got up or not,” Sarah explained. “My body was absolutely falling apart.”

Add to that the stress of her job—director of nursing at a busy facility in Marble Falls, at which she took care of everyone but herself—and it became more than her body could handle.

“The main reason I retired (in December 2013) was because my health was such a severe situation,” Sarah said. “I wasn’t taking care of myself—I wasn’t getting adequate rest or exercise, I was eating poorly, I had very bad habits. My body was toxic, poisoned. It was just too much.”

But at the end of her rope was pforymWELL. A years-long friend of co-owners Melody Ogletree and Cheryl Benoit, Sarah accepted their invitation to move to Lubbock temporarily in March to work with them on two fronts. She joined pforymWELL professionally, but more importantly, she joined the movement of transforming her health through lifestyle changes.

The lab work told them what they already knew: her cellular inflammation was off the charts, causing most of her digestive issues. She began taking Clear Change™, a medical food program designed to detoxify the body and provide adequate fuel for cleansing, daily activities, and overall well-being. She received coaching from the staff on what to eat and what not to eat. She read a book on IBS.

And she began to feel better.

“We started seeing some improvement and began leaving out foods that may be bothersome to me,” Sarah explained. “I basically was on a Mediterranean diet and didn’t eat wheat or dairy. It just took off from there.”

After the detoxification program, Sarah started the Healthy Transformation weight-loss program and continued her shift in lifestyle and education, and her progress toward wellness. She went from skipping breakfast, not eating lunch until late afternoon, and eating leftovers from unhealthy family meals to eating breakfast, grocery shopping, and watching her sugar intake. She shifted from medications to supplements, saving money and side effects. She gave away her now too-big clothes.

And she began to feel energetic again.

“Changing my whole routine was difficult,” she admitted. “I gave up 12 cups of coffee a day, Dr Pepper, and almost all processed foods. I started taking responsibility for what I ate and how I felt. I learned to drink water for the first time in my life and to use lemon, olive oil, and vinegar for salad dressing. I’ve learned how to make great choices with food and portion control.

“I was somewhat overwhelmed in the beginning, but the more I learned and the more I studied, the easier it became. It’s just a way of life now. I go to the grocery store with a totally different attitude. I buy most of my food in the fresh fruit and vegetable section, with just a few things from the outer edges of the store.”

The transformation isn’t just anecdotal. The lab tests provide scientific proof that her body is healing.

“In March, every category on my report card was red,” Sarah said. “In October, exactly six months later, it shows that my body is responding. My hemoglobin A1c and bad cholesterol have dropped. My lipid panel is improving. My weight and body fat are decreasing. It’s still not perfect, but all are changing and improving.

“I just turned my life around, and they’re the reason, they’re the support, they’re the coaches who said to do this and drop this. I really feel like I owe them my life.”

And she wants to pay the inspiration forward.

“It’s been great being here in their office, meeting some of the people who are just beginning this journey, and being able to talk to them. Hopefully I can be as supportive of them as Melody and Cheryl have been to me. It’s pretty exciting.”

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Troy Ogletree Creates in Expected and Unexpected Ways

Troy OgletreeBy Jana Hunter

(Yes, the name rings a bell. Troy is the nephew of pforymWELL co-owner Melody Ogletree.)

Troy Ogletree needs thick skin. The junior radio-television-film major at the University of Texas pours his heart, soul, creativity, and talent into a transparent vessel of entertainment for all to see, knowing full well the audience may overflow with naysayers, critics, and consumers poking holes in that container.

Cheerful-faced, bright-smiled, dancing-eyed, and with short hair that swoops up to one side on top like he’s walking east with a north wind blowing, it’s easy to envision the 20-year-old performing in films or television shows. In fact, he already has. The San Antonio native played Romeo in Walking with the Dead (set to release in 2015), a spoof on the zombie craze written by his brother, Tim, and appeared in Supernatural Activity, a 2012 comedy of an adventurous paranormal investigation.

Less expected, Troy raps.

“Three or four years ago, rap started trending toward more intellectual lyrics, more wit and humor,” he explained. “I started writing a little bit but never really had the confidence to start rapping. It’s tough to do. About a year ago I put my first video on YouTube. Since then it’s kind of grown a lot, which has been really cool.”

By “kind of grown a lot,” the burgeoning rapper means his channel is up to almost 90,000 total views. Next on his list are live performances.

“I haven’t performed live in front of an audience yet,” Troy said. “I’m starting to try to do live rap shows and concerts, because we’re in the Live Music Capital of the World.”

But Troy also wants his thick skin to be clear, a goal he shares with every teen in America. So when what he was using wasn’t working, he turned to his wellness-care aunt.

“I was talking to Mel about my skin and trying to get it better,” he said. “She told me about SophytoPro and how it was almost entirely organic and how they don’t put all the chemicals that a lot of companies use. And it was cruelty-free, and that was cool. She sent me some, and it definitely improved my skin a lot. I’ve used it for four or five months now. When I ran out, I ordered more from her.”

With a bit of nudging, Troy rapped about SophytoPro.

“I took the product description to see what was in it, what their slogan or theme was, what they took pride in, what separated their product from others,” he said. “I tried to make it not cheesy—kind of witty and fun. I think writing is my strong suit, so I’m glad I got to write it and put my own spin on it.

“Hopefully I’m the first rapper to market this product—breaking down barriers!”

Rap Lyrics
SophytoPro, the best product that I know.
Matter of fact, it’s so good I wrote a flow.
Oh so unique ‘cause it’s cruelty-free.
How many steps? Only 1-2-3.
Wash your face, dry it, and then spot treat.
Don’t forget to moisturize, so fresh so clean.
Smooth like velvet, I just can’t help it.
Not only have I seen results but I’ve felt it.
Try it if you want skin soft like snow
Better than the rest: SophytoPro!

You can follow Troy on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
Learn more about SophytoPro.

Sunny Side Up Is Good for You

fried eggWhat do 15 minutes of sun exposure, egg yolks, and salmon have in common?

They all provide the body an essential dose of Vitamin D, which has racked up a lot of publicity in the past few years.

Its benefits are as varied as its sources, which also include tuna, mackerel, cheese, and some mushrooms. (Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D, but because that means they’re highly processed and include lots of stuff that is NOT good for you, try sticking with the natural sources.)

OK, so why all the fuss? The Mighty D helps maintain a healthy body weight and healthy bones, decreases the risk of heart disease and cancer, and aids the immune system and cognitive brain function. Also, new studies indicate it reduces the risk of developing MS and the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

But wait, doesn’t sun exposure cause cancer, and aren’t egg yolks fattening? In extremes, no question. Don’t go crazy on us—pforymWELL does NOT advocate sunbathing! Fair-skinned people need only about 15 minutes a couple of times a week. Those with darker skin need as much as 40 minutes twice a week.

As for the fat in egg yolks, fat is essential to the body’s function—but that is a blog for a different day!

By Missy Darden and Jana Hunter

Yo-Yo Dieting Is Bad for Your Heart (and Your Emotions)

desert-tortoiseWeight cycling, more commonly known as yo-yo dieting, can cause serious damage to your body—not to mention your emotional distress.

First of all, it’s very stressful on your body (not to mention your emotions!). Our bodies are amazingly adaptable, but they function best when they’re in a routine. When we are on-again-off-again with fad diets and semi-starving ourselves of calories, the body works extra hard figuring out when to store energy and when to burn energy.

That strain causes increased levels of cortisol, a hormone that, among other tasks, helps the body use protein (your muscles) and glycogen for energy in stressful situations. High cortisol itself is not harmful. In fact, it can reduce inflammation. But prolonged periods of elevated cortisol levels can cause a litany of problems in the body, such as increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and a decrease in lean muscle tissue in the body.

But cortisol is not the only way yo-yo dieting increases the risk of heart disease. Eighty percent of people who use weight cycling to lose pounds gain all of it back—and usually more—within two years. The weight fluctuations increase your body fat percentage, which damages the blood vessels, which leads to high blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular event, which is not good!

If you want to lose weight, take the same sensible approach as the tortoise did: slow and steady. Create a gradual plan to make real lifestyle changes, not just starve yourself or go on an exercise binge. The changes you make will benefit your overall health and well-being, not just your waistline.

by Missy Darden and Jana Hunter

Wake Up and Smell the…Water?

glass of waterIf you’re one of the 54% of American adults who start the day with coffee, let’s start with the good news: one to three cups a day of coffee is good for you! In addition to the energy boost, it does everything from make you smarter to protect your liver. In fact, unless you’re drinking more than that, there really is no bad news.

But there is other news.

Did you know that drinking coffee first thing in the morning is the equivalent of punching your digestive system in its figurative face every morning? OUCH!

After processing the previous day’s intake, your digestive system got some well-deserved sleep. Unless you’re a sleepwalking eater or drinker, you went six to 10 hours without food or drink. When you start your day with a jolt of coffee, you’re subjecting your digestive system to a rude awakening.

Why not let it wake up with a glass of water instead? It’s just one glass, and then you can move on to your coffee. You see, you’re going to be dehydrated when you wake up. Dehydration causes sluggishness in the short-term (and an unbelievable list of issues in the long-term). Coffee, a diuretic, causes dehydration, which just exacerbates the problem.

So give this experiment a try for week. Start the day off with a glass of water (squeeze in the juice of a lemon, which has its own benefits). Drink your one to three glasses of coffee. Then drink another glass or two of water. Let us know how you feel!

by Missy Darden and Jana Hunter

Gain Valuable Weight But Lose Dangerous Inches

Evaluating your body basedStop Sign on your weight doesn’t work. It’s like evaluating a pillow by measuring its weight—it tells you something, but not the most important thing(s).

Gaining muscle will not make you lose weight. In fact, gaining significant muscle mass without losing fat will make you actually gain weight. (But if you’re not lifting weights for hours every week, chances are you won’t gain significant muscle mass.)

Yet muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does, at a ratio of 5-6 calories (per day per pound) to 2. While it’s not the end-all to improved body composition (we’re only talking 50 calories per day per 10 pounds of muscle), it’s a fantastic begin-all.

Gaining strength increases your ability to be more active. Moving more means feeling better about yourself. Feeling better about yourself means better choices in the kitchen. And better choices in the kitchen is really what transforms body composition from dangerously sedentary to vibrantly healthy.

Take Your Dog’s Advice–Go for a Walk!

dogs on trailSometimes all it takes is a suggestion, an idea planted in your head. Maybe you see a Facebook post about parking your car at the farther from the store door and think, “Yeah, I can do that.” So you start to get a few more steps in every day, immediately feeling better about yourself and, soon, feeling better physically as well.

Sometimes all it takes is a gentle nudge. Your friend invites you to go for a leisurely bike ride around the neighborhood. You dust off your Schwinn and feel like a kid again, your hair flowing behind your beaming face as you wonder why you ever stopped riding in the first place.

And sometimes it takes a literal nudge. Of the nose. Or noses.

My two dogs associate the sound of my quick-laced shoes being cinched directly with going for a “w.” (Please, please, please do not say the “w” word in their presence unless you’re already headed toward the leash closet.) It doesn’t matter the time of day, or my routine up until that point, or where I cinch the shoes. The equation is simple: cinch=w. I often find myself hiding in the closet or bathroom to cinch my shoes, or doing it so slowly I don’t make a sound.

But not today. This morning, for whatever reason, as I sat working at my computer, I absentmindedly cinched my shoes. The dogs immediately appear in the office, tails flapping, tongues panting, bodies bouncing around like a cross between a rabbit and a bucking bronco.

“No, no, no,” I said in an attempt to squelch their expectation. It’s a remedy that usually works. After a moment or three, they accept the false alarm and return to being the loads they are, sprawled out on the couch, under the bed, or beside me in the office.

But not today. For 30 minutes they pestered me with their noses, their paws, their longing eyes, until I finally said the “OK” word. (Another forbidden phrase unless you’re serious about the “w.”)

It didn’t need to be an hour walk, like I sometimes tell myself. They just wanted to go outside and explore for a bit. Twenty minutes later, we were back home, and all was right with the world. They were panting happily, and I was clear-headed.

Do yourself a favor today: let your dog take you for a walk.