From: Howard Jacobson <>
Subject: The magic of walking to the mailbox

How flipping the script gave Elizabeth her life back

One of the first marketing lessons I learned was, "Tell your prospects that if they buy from you, good things will happen without any effort on their part."

As in, "Take this pill and tomorrow you will wake up healthy, sexy, and rich."

Once they've bought, you can gradually reveal the much grimmer reality: "Of course, everyone knows you have to work hard to achieve what you want. There's no such thing as 'get rich quick' or 'lose 20 pounds overnight.'"

I never much liked that lesson. Promising ease and magical success will definitely get you customers, but they were never the kind of customers I wanted to work with. 

After all, they had unreasonable expectations and no sense of responsibility. 

So when I promote my coaching services and WellStart Health, I try to make it very clear that my clients will have to DO the work. 

Sick to Fit, the book I co-wrote with Josh LaJaunie, is basically a love song to consistent effort and discomfort.

Plant Yourself Podcast Episode 345: The Magic of Walking to the Mailbox with Elizabeth Bell

In that spirit, I'm thrilled to share today's podcast episode with you.

It didn't start out as a podcast - instead, I asked Elizabeth Bell if she would be willing to give a testimonial about her experience in the WellStart Health program. 

As we started talking, it became clear to me that Elizabeth's journey holds valuable lessons for all of us.

Elizabeth's Story

When Elizabeth first joined the WellStart program, she was more or less house-bound. A mysterious malady had taken her balance, her energy, and much of her eyesight. She was in danger of having to go on full disability, give up her professorship in astrophysics, and lose the apartment she had worked so long and hard to afford.

Her beloved pastimes – reading and playing cello and piano – were also out of reach due to her dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision.

It's easy to see how Elizabeth could have felt like a victim at that point.

As a highly trained and accomplished scientist, she always looked to data for direction. But here, there was none. One specialist after another proclaimed themselves clueless. Without a diagnosis, there was no treatment plan.

I was nervous when Josh and I first met Elizabeth on a WellStart coaching call. We're confident that we can help people with obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune problems – since they're typically caused or exacerbated by lifestyle, they're typically responsive to lifestyle improvement.

But a set of symptoms like Elizabeth's? We had no idea if our approach would help, and we told her so.

After a few months, something clicked. We could see it in her forum posts, in her text threads with coaches, and in her mood and energy on the group calls.

Elizabeth decided that she wasn't going to wait until she was feeling better to take decisive action toward healing.

She was going to take action first.

And it started small small small, as you'll hear in our conversation.

With a daily walk to the mailbox.

As one of the most active members of the Sick to Fit Facebook group, Elizabeth is now inspiring others on a daily basis. And as a certified WellStart Coach, she's expanded her toolkit and is working with clients to help them see what's possible when they take the first step.

Oh – and this is important – Elizabeth isn't “healed.” Or “cured.” She still doesn't know what happened, or why, or if the condition is ever going away.

She knows only that she can live a full, joyful, active life on her terms, even if the mystery disease never resolves.

And she relishes – and passionately preaches – the freedom that mindset affords.

I couldn't be prouder of Elizabeth, or more delighted at her progress, or more excited for the growing impact her coaching and advocacy are having on the world.

Listen here:

Become a WellStart Certified Coach

Elizabeth went from WellStart client to WellStart Certified Coach because she became passionate about sharing the message and approach that gave her back her own life. 

If you too are passionate about sharing the healing power of lifestyle, and you wish you had the skills and techniques to coach others to their best lives, have we got a program for you! :)

The WellStart Coach Training - - will make you healthy, sexy, and rich overnight!


If you do the work - watching the presentations, practicing the skills and techniques, getting feedback, asking questions, and participating in the group practicum meetings and forum discussions - you will develop the ability to move people from desire to sustained action. From wishing to DOing. From frustration to pride. 

And I can tell you, there's no better experience than hearing from clients that they're living a vibrant, joyful, meaningful life in part thanks to you. 

Josh LaJaunie and I often remark that coaching is the most selfish profession in the world - empowering others to thrive feels so damn good!

  • If you're a healthcare professional who believes in the power of lifestyle medicine to change your patients' lives...
  • If you're a coach looking to master a reliable process for helping your clients gain traction toward their cherished health goals...
  • If you're a plant-based "civilian" who wants to spread the practice as well as the word...
  • And maybe pivot into coaching as a hobby or new career path...

Our next coach training starts in November, 2019. 

If you're interested, read all about it at If you like what you see, click the button at the bottom of that page to schedule an enrollment interview.

Join Our "Healthy Scavenger Hunt" in New Orleans: March 5-8, 2019

Josh and I are so excited to announce the theme of our New Orleans Health Retreat: The Healthy Scavenger Hunt.

Imagine joining a group of like-minded, health-conscious, fun-loving people on a 3-day adventure to discover a healthy lifestyle in America's most decadent city. 

We'll be navigating New Orleans on foot, bicycle, and public transportation. Enjoying great food, music, history, culture, and nature. 

Building our capacity to live healthy and loud under just about any circumstances.

And forming community.

With Josh as our "camp director" and guide, you'll experience New Orleans - and the healthy, plant-based, movement-centric lifestyle - in a fun and creative way.

Read more and see if it's for you:

What I'm Reading Now

Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought, by Barbara Tversky, PhD. Recommended to me by friend and mentor and podcast guest Glenn Murphy. The basic idea: humans evolved to think in actions and movements, not words. As a coach, this has profound implications for the necessity of physical activity and not just mindset shifts when trying to enact change in our lives. 

The Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters, by Steven Hayes, PhD. The founder of ACT Therapy shares insights from this extremely old and extremely cutting-edge therapy. I'm drawn to the insight that we need to turn toward, not away from, our unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and sensations in order to heal and grow. 

Chi Marathon: The Breakthrough Natural Running Program for a Pain-Free Half Marathon and Marathon, by Danny Dreyer and Katherine Dreyer. The creators of the amazing Chi Running system have put together a guide on how to run a marathon without pain. Yes, even from mile 18 on! Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing the Dreyers for an upcoming podcast, and renewed my own study of Chi Running. This morning, I shaved a full minute per mile off my easy run (9:31, down from an average of 10:30), just by focusing on the form elements that Danny and Katherine teach in their books, videos, and live workshops. 

That's it for this week!

Be Well :)


PS Did you hear about the marathon runner who ran for four hours but only moved two feet?