WellStart Health - Bcp

Make a Big Change

Is This Your Year to Get Healthy, Fit, & Lean?
Finally, Support and Guidance For Your Big Change

Dear Friend,

Have you spent years meaning to get fit and healthy, but there always seems to be something standing in the way?

Have you tried dieting a hundred times, to the point where you're just about ready to give up?

Have you read the books by plant-based authors like T. Colin Campbell, Garth Davis, Joel Fuhrman, John McDougall, Neal Barnard, Rip Esselstyn, and Michael Greger – and you still find yourself “cheating” and giving in to temptation?

Are you confused about what to eat, how to shop, when to cook, and what to do at restaurants and on trips?

Or worse – do you know what to do, but can't control yourself when it comes to saying no to the temptations all around you?

Are you too overwhelmed and exhausted to think about starting an exercise program?

Do you long to say YES to yourself, your health, your values, and your life – and finally take that “Step of No Return” toward the Big Change you still (barely) dream about?

This Was Exciting:
Josh LaJaunie, co-creator of the Big Change Program, won Runner's World magazine's 2016 Cover Search Competition. Here's his story:

Imagine Josh as one of your guides as you take the next step on your own epic journey! Can you think of anyone better qualified to take you by the hand and lead you step-by-step to excavate that joyful, fierce, authentic human you were meant to be?

What's Been Stopping You?
The 7 High Hurdles

You can change the pattern, you have to understand what's been holding you back.

Based on our experiences with our own big changes and through helping thousands of others with theirs, we've identified 7 common High Hurdles that trip up most folks.

Believing in Unicorns

Hurdle #1
Believing in Unicorns

We're talking bad nutritional advice, like Atkins, paleo, American Heart Association – the mainstream stuff and the carnivorous fringe.

Or the barrage of marketing from supplement makers, MLM magical potion pushers, and the co-dependent Junk Food and Pharmaceutical Industries that own most of our politicians and scientists.

Or the mystical, coconut-oil-worshipping, well-meaning and totally misled “alternative medicine” crowd.

If you get hoodwinked by nonsense, you can have the strongest will in the world, but you aren't going to get where you want to go.

But that's probably not your problem, if you're reading this. You probably know pretty much what you should be eating and what you should be minimizing or avoiding, right?

Which brings us to…

Drowning in the Mainstream

Hurdle #2
Drowning in the Mainstream

We don't always think about it, but the incredible abundance and comfort that we get from our civilization is not how humans have always lived.

I love my supermarket and my car and my air conditioning – don't get me wrong – but all that ease and abundance makes it really hard to be healthy.

If we were living in a natural environment (the one we've evolved in and for), we'd be hungry a lot, because food would often be scarce.

We'd have to move and sweat and exert ourselves all the time, to hunt, to build shelter, to move to greener pastures, and occasionally to avoid being eaten.

Nature realizes that we could easily take in too few and expend too many calories – an imbalance that could easily snuff us out as individuals and a species. So we're biologically programmed to eat as many calories as we can get our hands on, and rest whenever activity isn't necessary for survival or reproduction.

(For a lot more where this comes from, check out Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer's book, The Pleasure Trap.)

The problem is, in our current situation, eating as much as possible of the richest foods we can find and being a couch potato whenever we can – those are behavioral recipes for obesity, disease, disability, and premature death.

So in order to become fit and well and lean and happy, we have to break away from the mainstream and hang out – mentally and emotionally – with a totally different tribe.

How cool would it be to find your healthy and fit tribe online, and then develop the skills to create a similar tribe all around you in your regular life?

Drowning in the Mainstream

Hurdle #3
Relying on Willpower and Motivation

We're told that people are overweight because they're weak-willed, or lazy, or undisciplined, or unmotivated.

Ever heard this: “All you gotta do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more.”

Now that's a setup not just for failure, but for feeling totally crappy about yourself after that inevitable failure.

Because it says, “You're overweight because you can't force yourself to do these two simple, unpleasant things.”

The secret of motivation is that you can't depend on it.

If you're trying to tough it out through sheer grit, you'll lose. It's a biological certainty.

The secret of willpower is that you have to create an environment – inner and outer – where you need as little of it as possible.

I'll prove it to you.

Do you need willpower to keep watching an exciting movie, or to keep playing an engaging video game?

Do you need willpower to spend time on Facebook or Instagram?

Do you need willpower to stop yourself from robbing convenience stores and beating up senior citizens?

The answer to all three questions is no. (At least, I really hope so.)

So why don't you need willpower in these examples? It's because the forces that compel you to do things you enjoy and avoid things you find morally repulsive are far deeper than willpower.

And once you understand how to play that deeper game around your food and movement habits, everything gets a lot easier.

A lot easier.

Drowning in the Mainstream

Hurdle #4
Staying in the Same Growth Medium

Josh didn't get to be 420 pounds unilaterally; it took an entire community of friends and family to teach, reinforce, and reward the habits and behaviors that led to morbid obesity.

Think of the social systems you live in as your “growth medium.”

Just like a plant grows strong and healthy in good soil, or weak and diseased in poor soil, we too are products of the growth medium that we find ourselves in.

While we can't undo the past, we can choose new and better growth media to feed and reinforce our own transformations.

And if you're thinking that means abandoning your family and community and moving to Los Angeles or New York and becoming a yoga-loving hippie, just look at Josh today.

He's still incredibly close to his family (who, following Josh's lead, have lost over 900 pounds over the last five years), and socially active in his community.

He's still a loyal Louisianan, a proud Cajun, a diehard Saints fan and season ticket holder (he claims to bleed black and gold).

He managed to stay a part of his community of origin while unplugging from the systems that made him fat and miserable.

And plugging into a new and different and much more positive growth medium (starting with the Rich Roll Podcast) that produced plant-based athletes and caring citizens of the planet.

And while he does admit to doing yoga, he still drives a pickup truck and wears a backwards Saints cap and talks like a genuine swamp dweller.

Imagine what it would be like to stay enmeshed in your community and family of origin, if you so choose, while no longer having your behavior determined by their unhealthy norms and expectations.

It's more than possible; it's likely, once you understand how to replace one growth medium with another, and how to use the inevitable pressure from family and friends to strengthen, rather than weaken, your commitment to positive change.

Drowning in the Mainstream

Hurdle #5
Getting Overwhelmed by Plate Spinning

You get the new cookbooks, start watching YouTube cooking demos, throw out the junk food, and commit to cooking healthy, plant-based meals. And it feels like you've just taken on a second (or third!) job.

Who has time to make oatmeal with blueberries and flax meal from scratch every morning when a microwave waffle takes just 30 seconds (and you can eat it during your commute)?

And then, on top of the food thing, you decide to start exercising. That's another bunch of hours each week. Geez, this is getting overwhelming!

And of course, it's not just the time and effort and unfamiliarity. The big challenge is that these new behaviors — aren't YOU. It feels like you're living someone else's life. And doing a terrible job of it.

Hence the “plate spinning.”

This new healthy lifestyle is confusing and complicated and exhausting, and it takes more skill than you've currently got, AND you've got to maintain it in the face of all the forces of friction and gravity.

So you lunge from save to save, and the plates slow down and clatter to the ground left and right. Until finally the last plate stops spinning, and you've just given up, with a mixture of momentary relief and profound disappointment.

Lapsed again!

How in the world do you take this admirable, ethical, important, lifesaving lifestyle, and turn it from 24/7/365 circus act into a natural and peaceful part of your everyday life?

Drowning in the Mainstream

Hurdle #6
Cowering Before the Inner Bully

You know the voice inside your head that starts shouting as soon as you eat well for a single day? It goes, “Who are you kidding? You know you'll never stick with this! Why not just give up now and eat some junk? The longer you succeed, the more disappointed and ashamed you'll be when you fail yet again!”

The Inner Bully is a jerk and a psychopath, trying to ruin our lives. All it wants is cheap pleasure now at the expense of long-term happiness, success, fulfillment, meaning, and purpose.

And it will say absolutely anything – stoop to the lowest of dirty tricks – to get you to give up on your goals and eat some junk, or skip your workout, or drop your meditation practice, or stay up too late so you can't wake up on time.

The problem with the Inner Bully is not that it exists, but that we listen to it. And believe it. And obey it.

Imagine if that voice belonged to another person who just followed you around all day and all night, urging you to indulge all your bad habits, and try to make you feel bad and weak and stupid and ashamed and guilty and hypocritical and pathetic.

How long would you allow this person to hang around? And why on earth would you believe what they said?

In the WellStart Program, you discover proven, powerful techniques for relegating the Inner Bully to the dustbin of your consciousness. It can scream and whine and wheedle and curse and cajole all it wants, but you no longer obey, believe, or even listen.

In fact – and I know this may be stretching my credibility, but it's 100% true and you'll see for yourself – you will start to use the Inner Bully to strengthen your commitment and your success, rather than be sabotaged and undermined by it.

And that's when growth starts to snowball in ways you can't currently imagine.

Drowning in the Mainstream

Hurdle #7
Buying the “Falling Off the Wagon” Fallacy

This hurdle comes from the 12-step world, where one drop of alcohol is supposed to set you all the way back to the rock-bottom where you started.

Just the image of falling off a wagon that goes rattling on without you – it's dispiriting, isn't it?

There you are, bruised and muddy, and the wagon you were on disappearing in the distance. And all because of one drink, or slice of cheese pizza, or skipped workout.

But wait. What wagon? Where has it gone? Who says there's a wagon at all? Maybe you're on foot, and you just tripped, and all you have to do is brush yourself off and start walking again.

Think about it:

When you change a bad habit into a good one, you feel all empowered and proud, right?

And for the first two or three days, or weeks, you're on top of the world.

Going to the gym every morning. Eating that oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast. Meditating for 10 minutes. Whatever.

You look at other people who aren't doing it, and you think, "God, why don't these people just get their crap together?"

And then, one day, things go sideways again. You oversleep. You have a fight with a friend or spouse. Your bank balance dips into the red.

You skip your morning workout – just this once.

You find the last pack of frozen Eggo waffles in the back of your freezer and eat the entire box for breakfast (slathered in raspberry jam and almond butter, no less).

You feel so angry and hurt that the thought of sitting down to meditate almost makes you puke.

And once those old bad habits regain a toehold in your day, they hang on like squatters with a good lawyer. Good luck trying to dislodge those idiots!

And just like that, all the good intentions, all the successful hours of exercising, or eating healthy, or meditating – it's like they never happened. You're back on the old misery-go-round of disappointment, shame, and feeling bad.

You've “fallen off the wagon.” And that good habit, that you thought you had mastered and totally incorporated into your daily routine, bites the dust.

What if you could anticipate that pattern and get right back on track, easily and cheerfully, so that momentary blips no longer turn into goal killers?

The “Falling Off the Wagon” mindset can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sure, eating a “forbidden food” can awaken cravings that had subsided into the recesses of your memory. Sure, missing a day or two of movement can trigger slothful feelings and thoughts.

But nothing's really changed that you can't handle the moment you recognize that you've stumbled.

In the WellStart Program, we deal with Falling Off the Wagon by reframing it as a fight that you lost. It made you tougher, stronger, more motivated, and more capable of dealing with the next fight.

There's no wagon. There's just us and our habits, and we don't have to bow down to power-sucking metaphors that make us feel helpless in the face of the occasional and inevitable screw-up.

Big change can occur easily and predictably once we stop going about it the wrong way. If you've never experienced this, you may find it really hard to believe.

We're not asking you to believe, not yet. Instead, try to suspend disbelief long enough to give us – and yourself – a chance.

the WellStart program

Make a Big Change

The WellStart program consists of all the information and support you need to take charge of your health, your body, and your fitness.

It's based on real science, not the “Bro Science” strutting across your Facebook feed. So when you do make changes, they pay off immediately and big time.

It's grounded in proven principles of Behavioral Psychology, not the “Get Thin Quick” philosophy of The Biggest Loser.

And it's based on creating goals that are not only desirable, but magnetic: the closer we get, the stronger their pull.

The Basic Program

The Program is an intensive 12-week program whose sole purpose is to get you to incorporate healthy habits into your life in a powerful and sustainable way.

No matter what the world throws at you, no matter how low or agitated you may feel in the future, you'll have the tools, the skills, the awareness, and the confidence to live your values and priorities.

No more giving in to temptation. No more bingeing. No more sleeping in when you've promised yourself a workout.

The keys to the program are


All strategies are evidence-based and proven to bring about the changes you want. No “bro science” or vegan wishful thinking here.


If you're looking for hundreds of pages of details on macronutrient ratios, FODMAPs, and the fine details of interval training, this isn't the program for you. The fine print is fine, but only after you've starting DOing something. So we keep it ridiculously simple, so you can DO without needing a PhD in biochemistry and biomechanics.


You can do pretty much anything for 12 weeks. It's the weeks, months, years, and decades that follow that will determine your destiny. So everything we do in the program sets you up to build on the fundamentals, recover from setbacks, avoid “falling off the wagon,” and continually improve your habits and your results.

  • The WellStart program includes

  • Video Classes (6 weeks)
  • Weekly Implementation Huddles led by either Howard, Josh, or coaches who were trained by them (12 weeks)
  • Daily Check-ins via Text
  • Daily Video Inspiration and Guidance
  • Online Forums for community support and coaching from program leaders
  • Action Library of short, actionable reports that show you how to deal with the most common pitfalls and challenges of Big Change
  • Access to the Big Change Movement Club on Strava

1. Video Classes

Six weeks of recorded classes and live Implementation Huddles. You'll listen to one class per week, and you'll also get the accompanying slides. Your job is to DO one thing from each class.

Topic #1

  • What to eat, and why, for a fit, healthy, and lean body (really brief recap)
  • Simple and inexpensive shopping lists
  • Delicious food prepared quickly
  • The easiest transition foods
  • Breakfasts, lunches, dinners
  • Eating while out and about
  • A strategy to prevent bingeing
  • How to stop listening to your “inner glutton”
  • Recovering from setbacks

Topic #2

  • Why humans need to move
  • How to get started, even if you've been a couch potato for years
  • The magic of running and walking
  • How to stay motivated when exercise starts feeling like a drag (and it will!)
  • Keeping injury free while training
  • Dealing with the inevitable soreness, aches and pains
  • How to ramp up movement if you're overweight or obese
  • Becoming an athlete, even if you've never used that word to describe yourself before
  • How to balance movement with food intake

Topic #3

  • How to flip social pressure from a negative to a positive motivator
  • The secret reason CrossFit is so popular (and how to harness it for yourself without their crazy diet advice)
  • The missing nutrient: Vitamin P
  • Setting and achieving the right kinds of goals
  • How to build self-esteem through temptation
  • How to convert self-pity into self-reliance
  • How to recover from slips, setbacks, and binges

2. Implementation Huddles and Webinars

During the 55-minute Implementation Huddles and Webinars (similar format, but not as confidential, so recorded for those who can't attend live), we'll debrief your successes and challenges, and create your plan for the following week.

We use Zoom video conferencing for weekly video meetings with a structured agenda. You bring to each meeting:

  • Your successes from the past week
  • Your challenges from the past week
  • Your implementation commitment for the coming week

Using these three items, you receive coaching to do better each week than the one before. We'll practice five powerful techniques over and over again, so you can master and use them independently:

  • FAST assessment for Pre- and Post-mortem
  • Trigger Analysis and Implementation Intentions
  • RAIN
  • NBA Rules and Squeals
  • Neuro-breathing

3. Daily Check-ins

The “Daily DO” is the heart of the Big Change Program. Every morning you'll receive a message inviting (that's a gentle word for it) you to check in and let us know what you commit to DO today. If you miss more than a couple of days, we will be in touch to make sure you're OK! No WellStarter left behind!

Your check-ins appear in the group discussion board, where you can encourage, support, and celebrate each other's victories, and debrief and learn from each other's challenges.

4. Daily Inspiration

A short video to keep you focused and motivated and inspired until you get to the point where you can generate focus, motivation, and inspiration internally. Think of these as Mindset Training Wheels.

5. Online Forum

A place to ask questions, connect with other participants and alums from previous cohorts, and share your successes and challenges. No WellStarter left behind!

6. A Complete Library of Short, Concise, Instantly Actionable “How-to” Guides

You don't need another cookbook with 200 recipes, or an in-depth discussion of the nuances of willpower. You need short and simple nuggets of useful information, filled with tips and tricks that can help you power through your next meal, your next workout, your next week.

The Big Change Action Library contains many such How-to Guides, with more added all the time (some based on your requests!). Examples include:

  • How to Read a Food Label
  • How to Build a New Habit
  • How to Crush Your Cravings
  • How to Shop for Healthy Food in Grocery Stores, Convenience Stores, and While Traveling
  • Inexpensive Summer Meal Templates
  • Josh's Famous “Spuds and Greens” Go-to Meal Template
  • Howard's Morning Muesli
  • Daily Weighings: How to Use the Scale to Lose Weight Without Driving Yourself Crazy
  • How to Stop Early-Stage Self-Sabotage

7. Movement Club on Strava

If you don't know Strava, it's a social network for athletes. I know you may be thinking, “Wait a minute! I'm not an athlete – I don't belong there.”

We'll deal with that objection in the program, I promise. We'll obliterate it, in fact.

The important thing right now is that Strava provides a place for all of us to do our “waggle dance” – you know, the one the honeybees do in front of their hive to tell their sisters where the “Good Stuff” is:

“Hey, I found some amazing pollen in this field of lavender, two miles southwest. Here's how to get there.”

As we start moving like authentic humans, we naturally want to share the good news with the other members of our tribe (remember Hurdle #2, “Drowning in the Mainstream”?) And when our fellow honeybees share their waggle dances with us, we can then go out and grab some of the good stuff for ourselves and our loved ones.

Post-Program Support

The 12-week WellStart Program is designed to be the most powerful, motivating, and “get you DOing” experience you could possibly have outside of a 24/7 residential program. But we understand that while three whole months is a great timeframe to initiate big changes, you may not undo years or even decades of suboptimal Menu and Movement habits in 90 days.

So if it feels like a push to overachieve in the 12 weeks of the program, you can select the Gold program to give yourself a full year to make big changes to your inputs (habits and choices), and to see big changes in your outcomes (weight, fitness, health, happiness).

Make it Stick

9 Additional Months of Support via Weekly Text Messages, Forum Access, Video Touchpoints and Webinars.

When you join the WellStart Program, you get a full year of support and accountability via webinars, on-demand videos answering your questions, inspiring emails, weekly text check-ins, and an active support forum.

The ongoing coaching and homework assignments are designed to take the knowledge you gain during the kickoff phase and turn it into unshakeable capability.

The Post-Grad Forum is where we come together for that kind of support. It's where you post your questions and challenges, as well as your ongoing homework assignments, and your instructors (Josh, Howard, and select alumni from past programs) and fellow participants offer advice, support, and coaching via forum posts and comments.

Program members also share experiences and connect with accountability partners from around the world.

This is where we gang up on the Doubt-Bully and make it cry Uncle.

Let's face it: most of us developed our dysfunctional behaviors under the influence of a community, and most of us need a strong, supportive, functional community to help us create and maintain and master positive healthy habits.

Who are We and Why Should You Listen to Us?

That's a fair question.

After all, any idiot can write a diet or fitness book. (And many have.)

Anyone can claim to have the answer – and because weight loss is so hard to achieve in this society, people desperate to lose weight are favorite targets of con artists and self-deluded pretenders.

Josh LaJaunie


Josh LaJaunie is a plant-based ultra-runner from Thibodaux, Louisiana. He recently placed second in the Gamelands 50k Ultra in North Carolina (that's him on the right, makin' a muscle, in the photo below), and came in third in his first “hundo” (that's ultra-runner slang for a hundred mile race) in October 2016. He's preparing to Boston Qualify (achieve a 3 hour and 10 minute marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon) and is also training for the famously grueling Leadville 100 mile race in August 2018.

That would be cool all by itself. But there's way more to Josh's story. As in, check out this photo of Josh taken in 2009 (Josh is the one on the left, holding a cup):

Josh knows a thing or two about Big Change. About transforming his menu, his movement, and his mindset.

And doing it all while working a couple of full time blue collar wake-before-dawn jobs and dealing with a series of family- and business-related stresses that would have served as perfectly good excuses for most people.

Josh is famous for his “tough love” – the hundreds of people who reach out to him for inspiration and advice on Facebook and Instagram know that he calls them out on their excuses as readily as he does on his own.

When you meet Josh, you will be absolutely blown away by how much he cares about you – about everyone.

When we're on the phone, he gets so passionate that he literally cries when talking about people he's helped, and people who are just now reaching out to him.

He wants so badly to show people that it's possible to get out of the pit that he found himself in – or even better, to avoid that pit in the first place.

If you aren't familiar with Josh, check out his story on Forks Over Knives (it will open in a new window).

He's also a two-time guest on the amazing Rich Roll Podcast:

Rich Roll Podcast #63 (December 2, 2013)

Rich Roll Podcast #152 (June 14, 2015)

And, as you saw from the video above, Josh won the Runner's World 2016 Cover Search Competition:

Also, Josh is increasingly in demand as a speaker, media guest, and coach. Here he is on Good Morning America:

And on the Today Show:

And in People magazine.

Howard Jacobson (that's me)


I'm a plant-based author, coach, and podcaster from rural Pittsboro, North Carolina, as well as the host of the popular Plant Yourself Podcast.

I've co-authored books with two of the biggest stars in the plant-based world: T. Colin Campbell, and Garth Davis.

I'm also a professional marketer and performance coach. I'm the author of Google AdWords For Dummies, and I've helped businesses sell their products, services, and ideas for over 15 years. I know how unscrupulous companies prey on our weaknesses, and how we can “tempt-proof” ourselves by using their tricks against them.

As a coach, I have helped hundreds of people, from startup entrepreneurs to Fortune 1000 executives, get massive traction toward their most important goals. I'm on the Board of Advisors of the International Coach Certification Academy, am a certified Bregman Leadership Coach.

I know how to help you make rapid progress toward your wellness and weight goals.

When Josh and I met earlier this year and began talking about collaborating, we were struck by how well our personalities, experiences, and skill sets complement each other.

And Josh inspired me to reclaim my own inner hard-core athlete. Since we met in person, I've dropped 25 pounds, run two 50k races, three marathons, a half marathon, a 10 mile race, two 10ks, and a 5k, and am now training to quality for the Boston Marathon (in my age group, that's a 3 hour and 30 minute marathon).

Together we make a powerful team to guide you to your weight, health, and fitness goals.

Your Next Step

If you're ready to make a big change to your health, your fitness, your physique – click one of the buttons below to join the WellStart Program.

Then click one of the buttons below and take a stand.

Join the WellStart Program and choose a different path. A new destiny.

You know that thing they say when advertising stock funds: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

That’s what we’re all about.

Rewriting our life stories from this day forward.

Becoming our best selves.

Making the big changes that most people don't even dare to dream about.

Won’t you join us?


Josh and Howard

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