Source: Lift Up With Raun Shephard
Today on “Lift Up,” I am lifting up Raun Shephard.
In November of 2015, Raun tipped the scales at 330 LBS and decided at that moment to make a change. He challenged himself to lose 100 LBS within a one year period. By June of 2016, he weighed in at 229 LBS. He did it in 7 1/2 months, and helped 116 people in the process to lose 40 LBS each.
His story is a masterpiece in Self-Discipline and perseverance. I caught up with Raun and asked him a few questions.
Ricardo: What factors contributed to your weight gain and what factors tried to persist as you started your process of changing your lifestyle?
Raun: Your last three words were the key. The difference was lifestyle. One lifestyle led to brain fog, fatigue, back pain, and knee problems. The other lifestyle has led to mental clarity, abundant energy, and physical strength. There were poor decisions I made, because I said, “Just this time.” Just this time slipped to occasionally, then often, and then lifestyle. I found that some things are best not touched.
Ricardo: What motivated you to lose 100 LBS? What adjustments did you make to your mind-set to get it done? Was it a smooth ride or did you at times revert to old unhelpful habits?
Raun: Being healthy to play with and protect my kids was the motivation. Mind-set wise, I believe it is easier to act your way into a feeling, than feel your way into an action. So, I did research, and then act. It was challenging. Lots of false starts, but I advanced.
Ricardo: I noticed that you gave a lot of motivational talks, while you were engaged in it. Did that help?
Raun: Indeed. The talks were a form of accountability for me.
Ricardo: Besides your regiment of exercises, did any other products or diets contribute to your weight loss?
Raun: I’ll give you the principles. Detox Tea. Intermittent Fasting. No sugars. No wheat. Under 50 grams of carbs daily. Those principles work even if you don’t have products.
Ricardo: Your life took a dramatic change in that you married your beautiful wife, and had three wonderful princesses within a 5-year period. What does family mean to you? And how do you balance your life to accommodate family?
Raun: Family is important to me. As far as balance, I treat it like walking that is, always moving forward rarely in balance, but never too long on one side. When you arrive at your destination of choice, others may assume you had balance. You’ll know you were constantly of balance, but never too long. I also average about 2 months off during the year. When considering balance, a person’s tune perspective matters. Some look at days, some months, and some years. That impacts what should be done in those time frames to feel balanced.
Ricardo: You are an excellent communicator whether it is, training someone, or giving a random speech. Do you still do toastmaster? What level did you achieve in toastmaster? Do you still coach speakers?
Raun: I just visited a toastmaster in Cheyenne, WY. I became a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). Less than 1% ever reach that level. I still coach weight loss and leadership.
Ricardo: What advise will you give to someone who is going through a down period in life?
Raun: Reflect on three events: 1. When you overcame past down-periods. 2. List 5 things you’re grateful for now. 3. Imagine how you’ll feel on the other side of this down period, and spend 5 minutes basking in that feeling.
Raun is currently pursuing his Masters in Leadership. He Spends his spare time learning life enhancing principles, and practices that allow him to live to the fullest, while contributing to others at the highest level.
Ricardo Williams is the author of “Unchained Mind, Powerful Life Changing Thoughts On Peace, Love, And Success. Also author of “Dear God, An Impatient Conversation With A Patient God.”
Visit : “The Self Development Authors Classroom Club,” on Facebook.
Conversations With The Author Ricardo Williams:
In Unchained Mind: Powerful Life Changing Thoughts On Peace, Love, And Success, Ricardo Williams, who wrote the book by living and writing every experience that brought him peace, love, and success, admits that it was not an easy journey. Life has a way of reflecting every thought and every act either in a positive way with positive returns, or a negative way with negative returns.
One of the reasons for writing the book is that he wanted to help people who struggled with issues of anxiety, rejection, and depression. He had a friend who he watched struggled with anxiety almost to the point of being suicidal. He felt a need to go deeper into understanding the workings of the Mind with regards to thoughts. He started the journey of tracking the effects of his thoughts. The book explains in more details how thoughts affect the kind of life experience, we subject to ourselves. How it affects our peace, love, and quest to succeed.
He spent a lot of time in silencing his mind, and his emotions in the process. Most of his meditation, he did in the shower. “The feel of water falling on my head, and face, and disrupting my breathing while I remain calm is a great experience in focus for me,” He said. “When I was a kid, I had long hair until I was age 4, I believe. I remember, Mom washing my hair, and the feeling of water and soap running down my face made me panic. I would kick and scream trying to do anything to get away from her firm grip. Today, I can sit comfortably under water in the shower for hours.”
Growing up in Grenada, he didn’t know what he wanted to do. At one point, he thought he was going to be an actor. “My mom had named me Ricardo after that popular actor Ricardo Montalban, so that always stayed in the back of my mind,” He said. “I was a good artist and won a lot of friends by my ability to draw. My classmates used to gather around me as I drew cowboys. They would ask me to draw for them. Cowboy movies were big in the 70’s, and I was the go to guy when it came to art.”
His first major experience with writing came when he was 14. “My English teacher asked us to write a letter. I can’t remember the topic of the letter, but I was shocked when he asked me to stand up at the start of the class. I wasn’t an A student, so I was nervous. I thought he was going to ridicule me. But he didn’t. He said it was one of the best letters, he had ever read. He said it was to the point and effective. He used it as a model for the class. I took that to mean that I should be a writer.” He said. “Then someone, told me that if I am going to be a writer, I would have to read a lot of books. I hated reading. I found it difficult to read and concentration. I was the type of person who would read and sing at the same time. Music always took preference over the lines I was reading. Sometimes I would read the line in a book repeatedly until I grasped it. It was tedious because of my lack of focus.”
Later when he was getting his Business Management degree, while working full-time, he still had problems reading. He developed a strategy that instead of reading books, he scanned chapters for the important points, he needed to learn. He became an A student in the process.
Besides writing books, Ricardo also wrote songs. He did Stand-up comedy, and even performed in a play with Heritage Theater at an International Theater Competition in Aruba.
His hope is that the book helps others achieve peace, love, and success. He is hoping also that it inspires others to become writers.
“I try to share a lot of my writings to inspire other Grenadians to engage in the writing process. We are a talented people and we are blessed with an island that is spiritually fulfilling due to its numerous white sandy beaches and blue,clear, waters. Combine that with its many hills, mountains and lush green vegetation sheltering numerous rivers, and waterfalls, and you have the perfect environment for great writing.
This is his second book. His first being “Dear God, An Impatient Conversation With A Patient God,” was a personal journey in spiritual development. His new book, “Unchained Mind: Powerful Life Changing Thought On Peace, Love, and Success,” is available at AuthorHouse as a paper back or eBook. It’s also available at Amazon, and Barnes And Nobles.
Thought of the Day:
Your smile is the most valuable gift to the world, but the value of your smile is magnified by the obstacles in your life you’ve overcome to be able to smile.
Smile today and don’t take others smile for granted for you may never know what they’ve overcame to muster a smile to you.:
An Excerpt from Unchained Mind
Our thoughts are the seeds of life, and the thoughts we plant bear the fruits we sow.
Thoughts of fear bear fruits of fear. Thoughts of hatred bear fruits of hatred. Thoughts of love bear fruits of love. When we plant seeds of love where seeds of fear and hatred exist, we are potentially growing a beacon of hope for love to exist, even in the most barren of soils.
If we treat our thoughts the way we treat food, we digest what’s good and reject what’s bad. We take in enough to satisfy us and dispose of waste. When we eat a fruit, seldom do we eat the entire fruit. We eat the pulp and may discard the skin and the seed. Similarly, when we absorb our thoughts, we can differentiate among the pulp, the seed, and the skin. We can discard the thoughts that bring negativity to us and embrace thoughts that bring happiness, joy, peace, and tranquility.
If we embrace thoughts that say we’re unworthy, not good enough, or have no future, we may be consuming the skin and the seeds of doubt that should be discarded and not absorbed.
There is a Buddhist quote that says, “We are what we think. All that we are arises from our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” We can refocus on the thoughts that uplift us and ignore the ones that bring us down. Let’s spread seeds of love in everything we do today.
From the author of Dear God, An Impatient Conversation with a Patient God and the new book Unchained Mind: Powerful Life Changing Thoughts on Peace, Love, and Success.