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Issue 1 - Spring 2005

Formwell Newsletter

New in the news...pedometers.

There are hundreds of health and fitness products marketed through the media that claim to be the “solution” to weight loss. It has become a billion dollar industry that takes advantage of the consumer and the professionals that are truly alarmed by the growing epidemic of obesity in our country. Unfortunately, there are no magic pills or gadgets that provide an immediate solution. The answer is simple, but not easy...EAT LESS, EXERCISE MORE.

What’s new in the news?

Recently, two large corporations have initiated campaigns focusing their efforts on the importance of physical activity and living a balanced life style. In May 2004, McDonalds “I’m loving it”™ campaign spotlighted a happy meal for adults featuring their new Premium Salads and Stepometer. Several commercials were released that reinforced creative ways to add physical activity to our day, regardless of our hectic lifestyles.

Kellogg’s 10,000 Step Challenge was another campaign that initiated a lifestyle change using a Special K pedometer you could order by collecting tokens on promotional Special K products. The Kellogg challenge encouraged individuals to monitor our daily walking habits using the Pedometer and increase our steps by 10% each week until the 10,000 a day challenge is met.

What is a pedometer and why are companies latching on to this new initiative?
Pedometers are body motion sensors that count the number of steps you take per day. They are readily used by researchers and practitioners to assess physical activity behaviors. Current research has been conducted to translate existing physical activity recommendation into steps/day equivalents. The following indices have been proposed for healthy adults.

<5000 steps/day = sedentary

5000-7499 steps/day = low active

7500-9999 steps/day = somewhat active

>10000 steps/day = active

Are pedometers worth the investment?
Pedometers are an easy and inexpensive approach to monitoring daily walking/running activity. The steps-per-day approach has been found to motivate individuals because they can visually see the amount of physical activity they have accumulated throughout the day allowing them to be accountable for their behavior.

“Rebound ability”: An Essential Skill for a Successful Life!
An article from FormWell’s Life Coach: Dr. Shawn Byler

Do you have difficulty recovering from mistakes, failure and disappointment? Do you find yourself reliving these setbacks over and over? Do certain life situations or challenges have you stressed to the max?

Was that a resounding YES? If so, you may want to invest some time into acquiring the skill of quick “reboundability”.

Reboundability is essential to leading a successful and happy life. Life is full of change, disappointment, failure, illness, and loss. What does it mean to “rebound quickly”? Rebounding is the ability to quickly recover from perceived loss and failure. It means breaking old mental patterns and behaviors that keep you stuck and miserable.

Individuals lacking great “reboundability” skills engage in destructive patterns of self-punishment, which inevitably results in loved ones suffering as well. This may come in the form of irritability, sadness, depression, physical, emotional or even physical abuse, alcoholism, and over-working just to name a few! These negative habits make it virtually impossible to maintain a truly joyful and contented life.

Read more on how to break negative habits at...
The FormWell Triathlon Team

The Formwell Triathlon team is taking on a new look this year. As off-season training begins, a special new triathlon class is in the process of being developed. The team is also in the process of bringing sponsorship to the team. A sponsorship packet will be available to all those who are interested in bringing new market exposure for their company. More information will be available soon. If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this update, or if you are interested in joining the team, please contact Chris at

My “Aha” moment...a success story

Liz Scull, Formwell client

In July of 2002, my elderly mother-in-law suffered a diabetic crisis and I attended diabetic education classes with her. Watching a dozen people get instruction on blood testing and insulin injections certainly got my attention. Then, we all watched a video about managing your diabetes that included testimonials from people who had lost limbs and gone blind when they ignored their condition…my “aha “ moment! At that time I weighed 270 pounds and I was certain I was going to become a diabetic if I didn’t change my lifestyle. I took over all the cooking for my mother-in-law and during the next three months I lost 25 pounds just eating a diet designed for a diabetic. In November during my annual physical my doctor referred me to the Northside Hospital Weight Reduction Clinic. In two weeks I lost 10 pounds and then I met Rami Odeh!

In December of 2002, Rami paired me up with Chad Smith and a devout sedentary woman began the transformation into a fitness freak! The idea of working out in a gym was totally distasteful to me but Formwell was not at all what I expected. Because of the atmosphere of sincere personal training I was able to incorporate workouts into my daily lifestyle. Chad patterned my workouts to challenge me but miraculously they were also enjoyable! Three months later when I took a two-week vacation I found myself longing for my workouts! Definitely a sign of a fitness freak! To celebrate one year of exercise Chad changed my workouts to 45 minutes four days a week! Another “Aha” moment! Adding 15 minutes to a workout is a lot more than just 15 minutes!

When Chad left in August to return to school, he arranged for Sara Price to be my personal trainer. Lesson #1 - Do not make the mistake of thinking working out with petite Sara will be a cakewalk! Sara knows how to target a muscle group! Incredibly, she also has an uncanny knack of motivating you to try exercises you’re sure are impossible to perform! And while you are working out, Sara engages you in conversation that challenges your mind while distracting you from the pain! On a more personal note, during September of this year I had surgery twice and Sara aptly designed workouts in accordance with my doctor’s instructions. And instead of six weeks of reduced activity as I expected, I was back to 100% in four weeks!

And in case you are wondering…I’ve lost 80 pounds since I sat in that diabetic education class. But there are other victories beside the scale…my cholesterol is down 62 points…I don’t wear plus size clothes anymore…I take absolutely NO prescription drugs (was taking 6 the day I met Rami)…and best of all I have new friends! It is certainly my pleasure to be part of the Formwell family.

Holiday Weight Gain—should we be stressed?

With the holidays around the corner, the last thing we want to stress over is weight gain. So, I am here to deliver good news. A report released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that Americans only gain approximately one pound between Thanksgiving and New Years. Of the 195 volunteers, fewer than 10% gained more than five pounds.

So, what is all the fuss about? Problems result when added holiday weight gain is not lost before the next holiday or “food focused” event. Over time, these extra pounds contribute to the obesity epidemic.

The following are suggestions to help you cut back during the holidays, without cutting out any holiday fun:
1. Create a plan. Evaluate your holiday schedule and then determine how much time you can realistically devote to working out and/or eating healthy.
2. Do not put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year! Schedule holiday activities around physical activities such as walking around the neighborhood to look at decorations or take the family on a skiing trip.
3. Choose healthier items first! In addition, on the day of a party, eat regular all day long and consume a snack before leaving for the party.
4. Schedule your workouts! Mark them in your calendar and consider them as important as any other appointment or prior commitment.
5. Avoid wasting calories! The average alcoholic drink contains 150-200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2-3 drinks and you have drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal. Try mixing a half a glass of wine with sparkling water or diet soda.

The key is moderation! A moderate approach will allow you to enjoy and participate in the holiday season.

“A Note From The Owner”

With this being our inaugural newsletter, I thought it appropriate to share the history of my background and our company. I began personal training in 1992 in South Miami, Florida while I was in Graduate school at the University of Miami . My two years of training in Miami solidified two important things for me personally 1) my passion for this career & 2) my frustration with the lack of educated, professional trainers in our industry and the lack of gyms that appreciated and compensated the best in the industry.

FormWell was incorporated in 1996 as an in-home, online, and in-gym private training company. We expanded in February of 1999, upon opening the doors of our current studio with one trainer and 12 clients. We have since grown to an amazing team of 11 trainers, added another 1500 square feet of training space, and have over 200 active clients! There have been many ups and downs along the way, but we have never wavered in our commitment to quality and providing affordable, safe, and effective workouts to any level of exerciser, with any special needs!

I would like to take this time so say a big thank you, first to God, without whom none of this would be possible, to my loving wife who has supported me and helped me grow our business in many ways, to our oldest clients (many of whom are still with us), to our most recent clients that are just joining the FormWell family, and of course, to our amazing team of trainers.

Rami Odeh, M.S.


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