Helping you become all that you are capable of becoming!



Tools for a Balanced Lifestyle:

A Manual for a  Guilt Free System of Healthy Living

By: James J. Messina, Ph.D.

Chapter 8:  Strategies for Success in Maintaining a Balanced Lifestyle

Going for the 3 Increases:

Increase in Health,

Increase in Happiness &

Increase in Energy

Who is this Program aimed at?

  • People who need to work on improving their relationship with food
  • People who need to improve their body image
  • People who allow their weight issues interfere in their daily functioning
  • People who consistently yoyo Diet
  • People who have not made exercise a regular part of their lives


Goals of the Program

  • Develop a healthy relationship with food
  • Develop a healthy exercise program
  • Reduce the strength of triggers for relapse
  • Creation of new self-scripts which keep you targeted and reduce stress and anxiety
  • Letting go of need for approval and focus on personal health as rationale for new lifestyle
  • Improved Body Image
  • Reduced compulsive behaviors


Support System in Program (if conducted in your community)

  • Peer support of the weekly group meetings
  • One to one support outside of meetings with fellow group members
  • Support by email during week with program facilitator
  • Ongoing communications bulletin board on this website for program


Program Design

  • Can be a year long continuing program or can begin with 14 weekly meetings of 1 1/4 hour in length and the decision to continue
  • Same: Day of week, hour of day, and location
  • Daily Progress Reporting by email to program facilitator
  • Weekly homework assignments off of Tools for Balanced Lifestyles and Tools for Coping which are on this website


What is expected during Program?

  • Participant will follow a Intuitive Eating Model which is suited to person’s personality, attitudes, temperament, motivation, and lifestyle
  • Participant will develop and follow an exercise program which is suited to person’s personality, attitudes, temperament, motivation, and lifestyle
  • Participant will participate in group and outside of group support sharing
  • Participant will participate in the accountability of daily reporting while in program


Principles of the Balanced Lifestyles Program

  1. This is a lifestyle change program to modify your relationship with food, exercise and body weight
  2. This program requires accountability with daily reporting by email 
  3. Success in program is not dependent on how much weight lost but rather on how well you manage to change your lifestyle into the Intuitive Eater Model
  4. You are not asked to compare your success with others in program
  5. You are expected to follow Intuitive Eater program which meets your needs
  6. By end of initial 14 weeks in program you will be fully engaged in a planned program of exercise
  7. This is a guilt free program, we do not use guilt to motivate your new relationship with food or exercise
  8. You are only to enter this program because you want to, not to please someone else, or to gain the approval of someone else.
  9. Do tell others you are involved with this program so that they can assist you to stay on your new programs of relating to food, exercise and weight management 
  10. Set realistic goals for yourself in program
  11. Be realistic in your expectations of yourself in this program
  12. You are in this program for yourself, do not try to fix or change anyone else in program
  13. Keep an open mind to all suggestions offered in program, try to get rid of the “yes…but” knee jerk response to new ideas offered.
  14. Let go of critical, judgmental, and controlling attitudes so you can hear messages of hope, encouragement and support offered.


Accountability in Program

  • Daily Email Facilitator
Daily reporting on level of:
  • Honoring Hunger of eating only with hungry
  • Honoring Fullness by stopping eating when full
  • Experiencing Pleasure & Satisfaction from Eating
  • Experiencing Pleasure & Satisfaction from Exercising
  • Dealing with Emotional Triggers


Why Accountability?

  • Insures your personal commitment
  • Identifies patterns or cycles which may be unconscious and not easily self-identified
  • Encourages facilitator to identify what is working or not working for you
  • Individualizes the program to fit your personal needs
  • Encourages personal recommendations which will address your specific concerns


4 Topics to be covered in Weekly Programs

  • Part 1: Overcoming Triggers to Relapse
  • Part 2: Developing New Relationship to Food
  • Part 3: Developing a Healthy Exercise Program
  • Part 4: Personal Testimonies and Sharing Time


Personal Testimonies and Sharing

  • Sharing success stories from past week or from your current program
  • Sharing concerns and issues which have come up over the past week
  • Sharing strategies you have found which help keep you on track with Intuitive Eating, exercise etc…
  • New ideas, articles, program, you have found which you think all could benefit from

Program's PowerPoints

Program Description

  1. Program Description
  2. Program Orientation

Overcoming Triggers to Relapse

  1. Introduction to Triggers
  2. Silencing the Trigger Voices in our Heads
  3. Sustaining a Healthy Outlook
  4. Overcoming Perfectionism in Changing Your Lifestyle
  5. Determining Your Ideal body weight
  6. Implications of Waist-to-Hip Ratio Measurement
  7. Managing Your Cravings
  8. Beating the Buffet Trigger
  9. BMI
  10. Body Image
  11. What’s Wrong With Weight Charts

New Relationship with Food

  1. Overview of - Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works - How it fits our Program!
  2. Introduction to Developing a Relationship with Food
  3. Honor Hunger
  4. Making Peace with Food
  5. The Food Pyramid
  6. A Critical Look at Food Pyramid
  7. The New American Plate from AICR
  8. Model Calorie Food Plan
  9. Importance of Food Portions
  10. Physiology of Food Cravings
  11. Kicking the Junk Food Habit
  12. The Case Against Super-Sizing
  13. Obesity Epidemic in America
  14. Nutritional Guidelines Over the Years
  15. Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load
  16. Metabolism
  17. Leptin
  18. So What is Ghrelin?
  19. Benefits of Fiber
  20. Benefits of Water

Developing a Healthy Exercise Program

  1. Introduction to Exercise Program
  2. Rationale for Exercise Program for Weight Management
  3. Benefits of Exercise over the Lifespan
  4. All About Stretching
  5. All About Walking
  6. Steps to Avoid Injury in Exercise
  7. What it Takes for Permanent Weight Loss
  8. Why the Fat Stay Fat
  9. All About the Heart Rate

Maintaining a Healthy Support System while in Program

  1. Introduction to Your Social Support Team
  2. Open Admission to Support Team
  3. Your Support Team as a Healing Environment
  4. Strengthening Your Support Team