As a former U.S. Marine, I have always led an active lifestyle and remained in great physical shape for most of my life. In 1999, after ten months of marriage, my 27 year old wife was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. We were told that it was very aggressive and she needed to start chemotherapy immediately. The effects of her treatments were devastating. To have more time as her caregiver, I left my job and started a career in sales. One of the side effects of her treatments a violent reaction to the smell of food. To make sure that she did not encounter this problem, I started to eat out more often, usually at fast food restaurants in between my sales appointments.

In addition to eating poorly, I had stopped exercising due to how hectic my schedule was. After months of taking care of my wife, I had realized that I had stopped taking care of myself – I had gained over forty pounds. I began a ninety day program that I created called, The SCALE Factor. I began eating three smaller meals consisting of a protein, a fruit, and a vegetable. I drank mostly water. In between each meal, I ate about a ½ cup of granola cereal (with a glass) of water.

I started a small amount of exercise, which only included about seven minutes of cardiovascular training, three days per week. My initial goals was to lose 16 pounds. At the end of my 90 days I had lost 42 pounds. I looked great and felt even better. The goal-setting process was a huge part of my success. I identified my initial goal of losing 16 pounds and attached many powerful reasons to it: I don’t want to die early, I want to be around to watch my daughter grow, I want to feel good about myself, etc.

During the first week, the least fun part of my program was cutting out the junk food that I had gotten used to. But after the first week, I was starting to see results. I had lost nearly seven pounds and I knew that I would not only hit my first goal, but I would exceed it.

The top four habits that I adopted to accomplish this goal was:

1. Stay focused on my goal – instead of being focused on my challenges

2. Eat healthy foods – instead of eating fast food/unhealthy food

3. Drink a lot of water – instead of drinking soda

4. Exercise – instead of staying stagnant

But the most rewarding part of accomplishing my goal actually had nothing to do with me. I inspired other people to lose weight also. In fact, I have been asked so many times about my weight-loss program that I actually wrote a book called The SCALE Factor, which provides a detailed account of my story and my program.

For me, losing weight enabled me to regain control of my life in so many ways. It also allowed me to impact the lives of other people!

Author's Bio: 

Erik Therwanger is one of the nation's leading thinkers on issues of personal growth, professional development, and organizational excellence. Understanding the challenges faced by businesses striving for greater results, Erik focuses on the skills he honed in the U.S. Marine Corps, the financial services industry, and the entertainment industry, to impact growth-oriented companies.

Erik is the Founder and President of Think GREAT, LLC, a specialized consulting firm focused on accomplishing corporate goals through a unique combination of leadership, team building and sales training. Erik draws on his twenty years of experience as a leader, entrepreneur, and presenter, in multiple fields, to accomplish his mission – to help organizations achieve greater results.

As a speaker and consultant, Erik teaches individuals and businesses how they can exceed the expectations of their own potential. His strategies provide team members with the tools needed to achieve new levels of success. With a lasting message of inspiration, he empowers audiences as he describes his life-changing experience of being his wife’s caregiver, during both of her battles with cancer.

Erik's interactive and entertaining style allows audiences to connect and relate as he shows them how to open new doors to success in their personal and professional lives. More than just a presenter, Erik provides consistent coaching and training to ensure that organizations exceed their expectations. His dynamic 90 Day Run is designed to help accomplish corporate goals by developing a solid plan, initiating the appropriate actions, and providing detailed accountability of performance.

Erik conveys many of his insights through the writings in his book The GOAL Formula. The strategies and techniques offered in this book provide organizations with the competitive edge for accomplishing corporate goals and are a powerful component of his keynote speeches and executive seminars.

Committed to helping in the fight against cancer, Erik dedicates his time to raising money through the Relay For Life. He also serves as a Legislative Ambassador with the American Cancer Society.

Think GREAT and Achieve a Greater Life!