Wellness Forum Encourages, Inspires

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Christine Bollier held up a bag of apples and oatmeal to demonstrate that buying raw food has more nutrients and is better for you than packaged goods, which contain preservatives, food coloring, and for the amount you purchase, is less economical and not as healthy. She gave her talk during the Women’s Wellness Forum, Saturday, March 13.

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Melissa Clark takes a break and reads over some of the hand-out material at the Women’s Wellness Forum at Payson High School, while her daughter, Heather, got in some shut eye.

Encouragement and inspiration were at the heart of the 12th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum — and close to 300 women were the recipients of all the great information provided by the presenters and keynote speaker Ali Vincent.

Vincent was vibrant, sharing the story of how she won a spot among the contestants in the fifth season of the NBC reality program The Biggest Loser and went on to win it against the odds.

Vincent was eliminated in the fourth week; was given the chance to come back and won the contest with a loss of 112 pounds. She was the first woman to win.

She wrote a book about the experience “Believe it, be it — How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life,” published in 2009 (she won the contest in 2008).

Vincent said the Biggest Loser experience wasn’t so much about losing the weight, but the emotional and spiritual journey she traveled during the process.

“I fell in love with me,” she said.

The journey let her discover what she was creating in her life; what support from family and friends felt like for her.

“I started telling the truth about where I’ve been, where I was and where I wanted to be,” she said.

She said as she gained weight she had quit going for anything and living smaller than she should. She had quit setting goals in her life.

“You need to acknowledge that and then let go of it in order to create something different in your life,” Vincent said. She urged the audience members to start collecting the evidence of what is good in their lives, even go so far as to keep a journal.

“I thought my fat protected me … Nobody was judging me, but me. I held myself back,” she said.

“If I am so powerful that I can stop me from getting what I want; why shouldn’t I (have the power to) have everything I want.”

Vincent encouraged her audience to do as she did and start painting the picture of what they want and get clear on what success looks like and feels like for them.

“Get a support system. We can’t do it on our own,” she said.

Vincent said it is all about choices. Sometimes the choice will be the wrong one, she said, but that’s OK, “We have the opportunity to make a new choice every second.”

Following Vincent’s program, participants in the 12th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum went into breakout sessions with different presenters and topics. The presenters at the 2010 forum were Christine Bollier, Kevin Dick, Kathie Kelling, Simone Lake, Dane Owens, Nina Ray, Donna Steckal and Lori Vario.

This was the first year Bollier has been a presenter. Her topic was “Choosing the Right Foods.”

“I was excited they asked me to participate,” she said.

Bollier said she had a fantastic response, in fact, so many were interested in her program the organizers moved her from one of the Payson High School classrooms into the auditorium.

Among the most common comments she heard from the participants:

“They had no idea the food system had become so bad. They were grateful for the information,” she said.

Bollier said she thinks the response to her program shows there is a large hunger for knowledge about what is healthy and where it can be found.

Lake also had a response that surprised her. The ordained minister, Bible teacher and missionary spoke on “Balancing Your Healthy Soul.”

“I expected just a few at each session, so we had pulled the chairs close to the front. People just kept coming in. It was wonderful,” she said.

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