How do you find time for yourself?

How do you find time for yourself - Team by EJ

Short Answer: You don’t find time, you need to make the time.

One thing that’s a given, no matter how busy you get with building your dream business or engaging in the business of living in general, is the fact that you need to set aside time for yourself to achieve your personal goals.

If you don’t put yourself on your schedule, something will always come up to take the little time you might’ve had for yourself.

Here are some ideas of how to carve out time for yourself:

Wake up a bit earlier

I know the whole “wake up a bit earlier” thing is so common that it’s a cliché. But clichés become that way because there’s some truth to them.

From my experience, I have come to find that the best time to make time for yourself is first thing in the morning.

This is a time when the world hasn’t started making demands of you, so it is good to get a jump on the day.

Ask for support from your significant other

If you already wake up as early as is humanly possible, get support woman!

If you and boo don’t live together, then let him know that you might need some of your after work time for yourself.

It’s kind of counter intuitive, but I’ve found from hanging with my guy friends that men like a woman who has something going on outside of them.

So if you’re worried that taking time to hit your workouts or meal prep over the weekend will make him feel like he’s taking second fiddle to your fit life, have a conversation about it.

Help him understand that you need to make time to be fitter and healthier, and that’ll benefit your relationship because it means that you’ll be happier. And let’s face it, everybody is happy when you’re happy 😉

And if you live with your significant other , ask him to take over some of the duties that you have on your plate.

As a couple, you have a partnership and that means sharing everything – even chores.

Sunday (my husband) and I lived together for 2 years before we got married, and having him help out in certain areas was the only way I could get things done. And this has paid dividends even today.

Having him help out is the only way that I can find time to do half the things I do, because I have learned to let my partner take some of the load.

Take a lunch break, even if it’s a short one

Building your own business might sometimes mean that you’re so in love with what you do that you forget to take a lunch break, but it’s worth it to step away from the work even if it’s just for a beat.

Even if this is only 10 minutes, you need to show yourself that you are a priority. If you don’t do this, no one will

Women carry a lot of responsibilities. We hustle, we take care of the home, we bear and take care of children, and we pull it off making sure we put our best face to the world.

Looking beautiful & capable to the outside world isn’t enough though, we have to feel it. And if letting something else slide to take 10 minutes to make time for ourselves, then by all means lets do it.

Because we are only able to give the best of ourselves only when we are at our best ourselves. 

It’s time to take action…

Take some time today with your schedule and identify where you can make a few minutes for yourself.

Make sure you put yourself in that time slot and not another commitment, remember you need to make yourself a priority so that you’re taken care of enough to handle the other things life and business throw your way.

P.S. If you need to figure out how to make the most out of the time you do make…

In the free eBook, You Don’t Need a DietI break down the core tools to help you get healthy and lose weight without dieting. You can spend some of the time you create making sure you have your tools up and running to get you the results you want. Click the button below to get your copy.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

Photo by Rachael Crowe on Unsplash

I Got Results and Didn’t Have to Battle Lagos Traffic

I Got Results and Didn’t Have to Battle Lagos Traffic...Client Testimonial - Team by EJ

One of the pleasures of doing the work I do is getting to work with amazing women to reach their body health and beauty goals. I derive even more pleasure from sharing their success stories, here is our first Celebrating Success feature.

Meet Oyebola

After: Beautiful Oyebola Today
After: Beautiful Oyebola Today

All my life I have been conscious of the fact that I was not made to be skinny. As a curvy girl it means I need to have some weight to carry the curves.

These are curves that I developed early. So I have always been watching what I eat. Three years ago I decided to add weight to see what I will look like being a bit heavy.

So I added weight thereby increasing my hip size from my comfort zone of a size 40 to a size 44 (in inches). On getting to the size I didn’t like the way I looked. Last year with diet I was able to bring it down to 42.

Getting it back to 40 became mission impossible till I met Ejiro. Before I met her, I thought using gym equipment (treadmill, elliptical machine cardiovascular machine etc) were the only equipment you can use to exercise.

The idea of hitting the gym after work sounded suicidal because of the stress of work and driving in Lagos traffic, thereby making me believe that I could only do exercise on Saturday, which isn’t what I wanted to lose the 2 inches round my hips.

Before: Oyebola in December 2012
Before: Oyebola in December 2012

Ejiro & I met on one of my jobs and she became my  Lifestyle Coach and Personal Trainer. Ejiro is one of the most tenacious, supportive and entertaining personal trainers I have had the pleasure of working out with.

She changed my perspective of thinking that I need to go to the gym before I can exercise and taught me how to exercise in my bedroom and with little home appliances, and each time an exercise is too hard for me she is always ready to find a modified move for me so I don’t hurt myself and I still reach the same goal.

She also helped me changed my diet into healthy eating habits. We were able to do all this over the phone and the internet, so battling Lagos traffic was a non-issue.

She always said that all I need is 30 minutes of my time in a day in order to stay beautiful, so far she has been right because after 3 months of working with Ejiro, I have not only  lost the 2 inches round my hips, I have experienced a massive transformation in my whole body. I am at my best.

Above all I feel and look better physically than I have in my life.

~ Oyebola Koyejo

Ready to start getting results like these for yourself? Then you’ll want to download You Don’t Need a Diet.

In You Don’t Need a DietI break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

Will Lifting Weights Make You Look Like a Man?

Will Lifting Weights Make You Look Like a Man? - Team by EJ

Short Answer: No! As women we don’t have enough testosterone to get the bulky muscle that men typically have.

Let’s start with what lifting weights is – it’s a form of resistance training that requires your muscles to do work to lift the load (the weights). Because it’s an activity that’s mostly associated with guys, there’s this idea that you’ll manly if you lift weights. 

So where does the idea of looking manly come from?

The idea that weight training will make you look bulky might have come from what happens when you add resistance training to your exercise program. If you lift loads that are heavier than what your muscles are used to, you’ll gain more muscle.

The muscle gain comes from the repair of muscle tissue that breaks down when you put it under stress by lifting these weights. This repair means that you’re increasing the strength of the muscle tissue in your body.

Normally this repair will lead to an increase in size, but women don’t make enough testosterone (a male sex hormone) for this to translate into a big size change. Instead, it’ll help you get leaner than you would be if you focused exclusively on cardio.

But what about those women in the fitness magazines?

If you’re thinking of the women in bodybuilding magazines, they look like that because they choose to, i.e., with the use of supplements, specially-designed exercise regimens, and super specific diets designed just for that look. Bottom line, the everyday woman lifting weights to stay healthy, look great, and lose weight won’t look like the women on the cover of muscle mags.

You don’t need to worry about looking manly when you lift weights. You don’t need to be afraid of activity that will help accentuate the best parts of your unique body. The only person you’ll look like is your natural self with your natural curves.

Why you do want to lift weights/resistant train to build muscle

So now that we’ve established that lifting weights won’t make you look manly, let’s look at some reasons why lifting weights or resistance training, in general, are an essential part of your training program:

  • If you don’t exercise in a way that at least retains muscle, you’ll lose it as you get older. And this will have a negative impact on your quality of life because you won’t be as strong as you were before to do the things that you love to do
  • At rest, muscle burns more calories than fat, and this translates to more weight loss over time
  • Muscle takes up less space than fat, and this is how it helps reveal your natural curves in your favorite clothes
  • Lifting weights or resistance training will help you build confidence as you get to see what your body is capable of first hand. You get into doing complex movements that are so much more than putting one leg in front of the other on a treadmill or elliptical machine

Here’s how you can get started

You don’t have to start hitting the gym and pumping heavy iron to do resistance training. In fact, you can start with the resistance of your own body.

Body weight exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups will help you start resistance training in the comfort of your home. As you get more comfortable, you can decide to add more complex bodyweight exercises or join a gym where you can explore different types of equipment to level up your results.

Whether your reasons are health-related or you just want to look good on your big day (pick one wedding, graduation, first day at work), I highly recommend adding weights or bodyweight resistance training to your arsenal.

Exercise is an important tool to help you live a healthy lifestyle, but there are more…

In You Don’t Need a DietI break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

4 reasons exercise will help you level up your results

4 Reasons Exercise Will Help You Level Up Your Results - Team by EJ

Healthy eating is a great foundation for any weight loss plan. As I like to say, if you’re going to eat, you might as well eat healthy. But there are many reasons why you want to make exercise a part of the picture. The primary reason is that it’ll help you level up your weight loss results, and here are four concrete ways it can help you do this

#1 Exercise will help you lose weight without starving yourself

When you consider the fact that you need to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight, it is always good to have exercise in your toolbox. To lose weight you’ll have to alter your eating pattern by eating higher quality calories, but less than what your body needs on a daily basis to maintain your current weight.

And since exercise burns calories, you can eat a little more than if you focused on eating healthy alone or it can help shorten the amount of time it takes to reach your goals.

Caveat Alert: There are two caveats to pay attention to with this

  1. When you exercise to burn calories, your body will demand more energy, and that could make you feel hungrier. Your increased hunger is why more exercise isn’t always better. The fix is to do just enough exercise to preserve muscle while using healthy eating as your primary tool for weight loss.
  2. There’s a finite amount of calories that you can burn in a day or even a week, so don’t use the fact that you burned calories as an excuse to overeat. When I started my weight loss journey, I started with exercise because it burns calories and I would eat a honey bun and down it with a vanilla coke to reward myself. Of course, I gained weight instead of losing! So learn from my mistake and don’t compensate for your calorie burn by overeating.

#2 Exercise will help you get stronger even as you get smaller

When you incorporate exercise into your weight loss plan, you’re setting yourself up for a world of good health now and later in life. For now, your muscles will get stronger, and you’ll be able to go about your daily life without being prone to hurting yourself doing simple things like picking up a heavy box of supplies that the FedEx guy dropped at your door.

It’ll also make you physically stronger by being the support structure your bones need to keep osteoporosis at bay.

Now there’s physical strength, but there’s also mental strength.

Exercise can help you feel more confident because the satisfaction you get from completing a session is like no other. With an exercise plan, you’re committing to show up for yourself at a particular time and you’re taking time to take care of you while you take care of others.

And that’s a very empowering message that you’re sending to yourself. You’re saying “I’m as important as my other priorities,” and I promise you that the feeling you get will increase your resilience and your badass-assery (yes it’s a word). And you won’t need someone else to tell you your value; you’ll own it wholeheartedly!

#3 Exercise will show off your beautiful shape

Our bodies are composed of muscle and fat (among other things). When you lose weight, you lose a combination of both.

You want to lose fat rather than muscle because muscle is what creates that sexy shape in your favorite dress and it burns more calories than fat when you are at rest.

The results you’ll get from exercise means that you’ll:

  • look great in just about anything you want to wear,
  • spend less time at the store and in your closet trying to find an outfit that actually fits you,
  • and you won’t have to work as hard to get weight loss results that you want, which is what I call the smart play!

Since exercise keeps you from losing muscle and can build muscle, wouldn’t you want to do it?

#4 You just might like your exercise sessions

Our bodies were made to move, and a lot of us have lost sight of that because we have an idea of what exercise should and should not be. Choosing an exercise routine that you like helps you commit plus you get to sweat and revel in the beauty of what your body can do.

To give you a personal example, I came upon HIIT when I wanted a way to stay consistent with my workouts without taking too much time away from my life. And I’ve found it to be the most efficient way to stay healthy using exercise and to feel strong & capable of taking care of me and mine every single day.

So while you can lose weight by eating healthy, you are better off combining healthy eating with exercise.

Take Action

Answer these two questions and hold yourself accountable for the answers by setting goals and tracking your actions:

  • If you plan to stick to healthy eating alone, how do you intend to make it a consistent habit?
  • If you’re going to add in exercise, write down when you’re going to add it in and a few ideas on the types of exercise you’re going to start with?

Exercise is an important tool to help you live a healthy lifestyle, but there are more…

In You Don’t Need a DietI break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ