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Connecting with your WHY is fundamental in setting goals for your health and all other areas of your life. In Element 01 of Your LifeBook, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen explains how understanding your WHY is essential to making lasting change in our behavior and habits. Your WHY is your intrinsic motivation and highest motivation for change. 

An intrinsically motivated goal is easier to maintain and will eventually become a habit. Answer these questions to understand your WHY and determine your intrinsic motivation:

  • What is the root cause? Understanding the root cause for change is a key factor in achieving our health goals. Perhaps you’re ready to take charge of your health or you want to create sustainable healthy habits. Write your own description of WHY you want to change and include positive reasons that motivate you to create health in your life.
  • Why is this goal beneficial for your long-term health? Make a list of all the potential benefits of reaching your goal. You may discover some additional takeaways that could also have a lasting impact on your health.
  • Describe your future self. In as much detail as possible, describe something you would love to do in the future that you cannot do in the present. It can be as simple as wanting to take the dog out for a walk without feeling exhausted or being able to fit comfortably in the seat of an airplane.

Identifying your WHY is the first step in your self-discovery journey. Continue to remind yourself of your reasons for change by writing them down in a journal or pinning them to a place where you will see them regularly, like your bathroom mirror or computer screensaver. That way, you’ll have the confidence and momentum to achieve success.

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, for additional tips on defining your WHY and identifying your fundamental motivation on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time®.

Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter featuring Element 02 of Your LifeBook in the new Habits of Health Transformational System—knowing what you want to accomplish.

Join this week’s Habits of Health® Webinar, Element 01: Being clear why you are here on Wednesday, August 14th at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. PT, hosted by Independent Certified OPTAVIA® Coach, Leslie Begin.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

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And Enter the Pin: 113312513#

Back-to-school time can put pressure on both parents and children. Simple plans for keeping your kids healthy and happy as they return to school are the keys to a smooth transition. Here are some tips for establishing healthy back-to-school habits and putting your best foot forward for a healthy and productive new school year:

  • Get enough sleep. Many kids shift their sleeping patterns in the summertime to staying up later at night and waking up later in the morning. In the days leading up to the first day of school, get in the habit of having an established earlier bedtime and so your kids are well rested and ready to go. Put away all electronics at least an hour before bedtime and encourage your child to read a book.
  • Cook healthy meals. A healthy breakfast can contribute to increased concentration and alertness during the school day. Start your student’s day off right with a nutritious breakfast and pack a healthy lunch that includes whole grain, lean protein, fruit, and vegetables.
  • Prep the night before. Make your back-to-school morning a little easier by preparing the night before. Have school clothes ready and lunches packed. Get a jump-start on breakfast by making a mental note of what you’re cooking and prepping ingredients in advance.

While you can’t keep an eye on your child throughout the entire school day, encouraging these healthy habits at home will help children make healthy choices all the way from preschool to graduation day!

1 Leaner | 3 Green | 2 Condiments | 1 Healthy Fat

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 30 minutes


1 tbsp canola oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 scallion, chopped

2 celery ribs, diced

1 small green bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, diced

1½ cups diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)

2 cups water

¼ tsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp cayenne

1½ cups chopped okra

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups cauliflower “rice”

¾ lb. peeled and deveined shrimp

¼ tsp each: salt & pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large pot, and add the garlic, scallions, celery, and bell pepper; cook until translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, water, thyme, bay leaf, and cayenne; simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the okra and chicken, and continue to simmer until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower and shrimp, and simmer for 3 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. If gumbo is too thick, add water as desired. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.

Per Serving: 320 calories | 40g protein | 15g carbohydrate | 12g fat

Visit our OPTAVIA Pinterest page for an extensive assortment library of Lean & Green meals.

Creating Optimal Wellbeing

“I was 37 years old and I was at a low point. My life was completely out of balance. I was working more than 10 hours a day and I began using food as my reward to get through those long shifts. After gaining 50 pounds, I was obese.”

Greg was burnt out physically, emotionally, and financially. He had no time for social gatherings with his friends and only saw his family on holidays.

“I was so out of shape that I couldn't do my favorite things like surfing, yoga, and snowboarding. I was embarrassed and frustrated because every single diet I tried didn’t work. I had even tried training with a triathlon coach five days a week with no success.”

Greg began to attribute his obesity to genetics and didn’t think there was anything he could possibly do to achieve a healthy weight.

“When I heard about OPTAVIA and saw the science behind it, I decided to give it a try. I was blown away. With some dedication and the support of my OPTAVIA Coach, I lost 50 pounds in 10 weeks*. I had a Coach that kept me on track, I wasn't hungry, and I had tons of energy.”

By continuing to implement the Habits of Health, Greg has been able to maintain his healthy weight.

“Today, I feel like I can do anything. I can partake in activities like yoga, surfing, and wakeboarding again. Even though I’m in my 50s, I feel like I'm in my 30s.”

Greg wanted to help others find the same success he found so he decided to become an OPTAVIA Coach.

“Not only has becoming an OPTAVIA Coach been rewarding for me personally by helping others improve their lives, it has also kept me accountable to my own lifestyle.”

Now my mission is to help others who feel like they're stuck when their life is out of balance. I love helping people get healthy and creating optimal wellbeing.”


Kathy Glazer
3 Washington Circle N. W. #303, Washington,D.C. 20037, Also Falls Church,VA

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