On daily exercise

Is daily exercise possible?

Daily exercise is something I’ve always wanted to do. In my mind it’s what fit people do. The reality of the benefits of exercise is you don’t have to do it daily to get what you need out of it. But I want to exercise daily.

I was able to workout daily for all 31 days in January and most of April. But for the most part, I’ve been working out 3 days a week for years. This has worked for me to get lean, get pregnant twice, have two babies, and recover twice.

But what I want is to have a sustainable daily workout habit. I attempted it in the month of April…but it was so hard. First, I came down with bronchitis and each time I would try to workout, I would cough so hard that it’ll feel like my lungs were about to exit my body. I took a few days off and broke my streak.

But I’m still trying at it.

Here’s the strategy that I’m going to try for the month of May…it’s one that I heard author Greg McKeown talk about on Matt D’Avella’s podcast The Ground Up Show.

I paraphrase but here’s what he said:

When building a habit, set limits. For example, if you want to write in your journal every day you can set limits of no less than 1 sentence and no more than 5 sentences.

Greg McKeown via The Ground Up Show

What this does is it makes it easier for you to win. Sticking with the journaling example, on days that you are tired, you can remind yourself that all you need to write is one sentence and head to bed. And on days that you’re revving to go, you write your five sentence and know that you’re done.

I’m going to try that strategy in the month of May to see how it works for me. Here are my limits and why:

  • No less than 15 minutes: It’s a great amount of time, and it’s the least amount of exercise that I need to do for my Apple watch to register it as a workout.
  • No more than 60 minutes: Honestly, I’d rather select 30 minutes for my upper limit. But, with the nice warm weather is back and we take a walk as a family on weekends that lasts about an hour.

So far, I’m 3 for 3 on this and we’ll see how far this goes.

Do you exercise daily? If so, how do you keep the motivation to keep showing up and how do you stay healthy.

xoEJ

Wading through murky feelings

Handling murky feelings

There are days when murky feelings don’t seem to to want to go away. Nothing is going all the way wrong, but things don’t feel quite right either.

Today was one of those days for me. On the one hand, I wonder if it’s because my baby girl keeps waking up at ungodly hours of the morning (shouldn’t we be past this by now?). On the other hand, I think I’m just stressed out.

While it was a “murky” day, there was a difference. There was an intentionality behind how I handled the murkiness of it. I didn’t reach for my purse and head to the vending machine for a bag of cookies or a chocolate bar and I didn’t let it color the interactions that I had with other people. And the only way that happened was that I paused.

I walked over to a window seat at the office with my journal and pen in hand and wrote out how I was feeling. In that moment, here’s what I realized what was different about this time:

  • When feeling murky, it’s worth taking a beat. Breathe, write, close my eyes, walk, stare at the ceiling. Don’t ignore the feelings and soldier on even if it feels like the thing to do. Ignoring the stirring of murky feelings is like ignoring an important call from your heart and soul to stop and nurture myself.
  • Accolades, recognition, money, and power mean nothing if I’m not living my definition of a good life. But I need to answer the question “what’s a good life for me?” That’s my job to define.
  • I never win when I compare myself to anyone else, no matter how great they are.

How do you wade through murky feelings?

xoEJ

P.S. Today I write about the work I’m doing to be a good human while raising two lovely humans of my own, but I once wrote a book about weight loss…check it out.

I wrote Weight Loss for High Achievers to be your guide to lose weight with a healthy lifestyle. You’ll get a simple breakdown of the basics of healthy eating complete with the tools you need to get the results you want using a healthy lifestyle.

Get the book

Learning forward

Learning my way forward

Happy New Month!

What are you doing to push yourself this month? Here’s what I’m doing…I’m planning to write every single day this month.

You see…since having my daughter, I’ve been taking things easier with writing, blogging, and coaching. With two kids, a full-time job, and a client-based business…I had to be intentional with how I spent my time and writing moved to the bottom of my priority list.

As baby girl grows and big boy gets more independent, I’ve been thinking about what comes next for mama.

I love coaching

…it requires me to bring my best to the table to support the women I hold space for. I still enjoy writing, but my interests have shifted. I’ve written over 200 articles and a whole book on losing weight in a sustainable way and now, I’m more interested in reading and writing about:

  • saving up and investing enough money to consider us financially independent as a family. Having this type of money gives us options.
  • figuring out how to raise my lovely Gen Alpha kids to be good and successful humans.
  • learning and leaning into motherhood and what it means to be a working mom with dreams of being a writer.

Moving forward, most of what I anticipate that I’ll write would be unrelated to weight loss. You’ll still hear about some of the experiments/tweaks I’m doing like:

  • cooking tomorrow’s dinner tonight to save time
  • making my own almond milk because we use a ton of it for our smoothies and I don’t like wasting all that packaging

I’m super excited about writing more

Heck, I plan to join a local writers group focused on sci-fi/horror/fantasy.

This is not going to be me being the expert. I’m going to be bumbling my way through something somewhat new and I’m thrilled for a multitude of reasons.

xoEJ

Parenting and vulnerability

“Vulnerability is not about winning, it’s not about losing. It’s having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome.” ~ Brene Brown, A Call To Courage

I’ve bought every single book Brene Brown has written and I’m a huge fan of her work. So it’s no surprise that when her Netflix special, A Call to Courage, was released, I was right there on the couch to watch it while folding laundry.

The quote that I shared at the beginning of today’s article is her definition of vulnerability and right now it feels like the definition of what parenting is for me. There’s no winning or losing…there’s only walking into the arena and doing my best without guarantees that the results of my parenting efforts will turn out to be what I want them to be.

Right now I have a 4 year-old who knows his own mind and a 1 year-old who looks like she’s going to give her brother a run for his money. And most nights I go to bed with a long list of “I really shouldn’t have lost it there”, or “I should have done that instead” or the timeless “oh crap am I doing right by my kids?”

Parenting is hard. It’s harder on a control freak/recovering perfectionist like me, but thankfully the recovering part of me is there to remind me in these moments of late night worry that:

  • Kids are incredibly resilient and all they need is to know that they are loved…and I don’t need to be perfect to show them that I love them everyday.
  • If they are really hungry, they’ll eat. Parents of picky eaters will feel me on this one.
  • I’ll make mistakes as a parent and I need to focus on learning forward…there isn’t a parenting manual and we get to be better parents to our kids by showing up and learning with them every day.

And with that in mind, I lay my pretty head to sleep knowing that tomorrow will be a better day as far as I show up and love these two little humans…the outcome will be what it will be.

What’s your “pencil?”

“What’s your pencil? What is the one tool that feeds your creativity and is so essential that without it you feel naked or unprepared? ~ Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

While my son built a robot out of plastic parts in a kit and my daughter played with a plastic screw driver, I decided to pick up The Creative Habit from the shelf.

Picking up a book from the shelf is a new habit that has come with having a playroom. I don’t like to hover while the kids are playing and having a book to read gives me something to do.

In reading the book, this exercise came up in Chapter 2 and it took me a hot minute to come up with an answer that I felt halfway comfortable with.

My answer…my journal. Regardless of whether I write in it or not, I always have a journal with me. In my diaper bag, purse, work laptop bag…it doesn’t matter, it’s always there so I know that a new quote or an errant thought that feels poignant enough to record doesn’t get forgotten.

Second to my journal is Trello. I have boards for everything to help me;

  • Plan our weekly menus
  • Plan my daily work at the day job
  • Write out quotes and thoughts from the books I read, podcasts I listen to, and videos I watch

I like it because it’s a searchable journal that allows me to capture to many things I’m interested in or working on at one time. The only downside of using it is that I always feel like it could be more organized, but otherwise it’s a near perfect tool.

What is your own pencil.

Watch This: Step into Your Personal Power

I watched this 50-minute video interview of Abby Wambach on Marie Forleo’s MarieT and got so much out of it that I absolutely had to share!

P.S. Abby Wambach’s name came up in The Passion Paradox and it was interesting to hear her talk about her new book, Wolfpack, and the book is definitely going on my reading list. Here were some of the things that stood out and got me thinking.

Celebrate the good habits

What were the values that brought me to success?

Abby Wambach via MarieTV

This struck me because we tend to underestimate the good habits we already have and overestimate the bad habits that we’re working to eliminate. But for you to be at a point in life where you can afford the luxury of time to read a blog post, or in my case write one, something must have gone right.

In my case, the values of:

  • hardwork
  • maintaining integrity
  • continuous improvement

Have gotten me from where I was, a bright eyed 16 year-old who hopped on a plane with everything she owned in a single suitcase…to where I am today—a married mom of two with a thriving family life, careers that contribute to a positive net worth, and assets that make that suitcase look like a paper towel.

Something’s going right, and I invite you to think about the values and the good habits that contribute to the beauty in your life right now. Yes you need to make progress, but don’t forget to acknowledge what you’re already doing right.

You only fail if you quit the game

A champion never allows short-term failure take her out of the long-term game.


Abby Wambach via MarieTV

Oy! This quote can stand on its own. Sometimes we think that the people who succeed are the ones who go big or go home, who make the bold choices, and who knock down every obstacle in their way.

The truth is very different.

Those who succeed are the ones who:

  • take small steps in the direction of their dreams no matter how hard it is to take those steps.
  • avoid shiny objects that masquerade as bold choices. Instead, choose the unglamorous actions that’ll get them the progress they desire.
  • keep chiseling away at the walls when it makes sense to do so. And pivot in a different path, but in the same direction, when it no longer makes sense.

This was a powerful reminder that it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about staying in the game. You don’t have to go hard all the time and it’s okay to pause or pivot, but you only lose when you quit altogether.

Make your asks worth it

If you’re going to ask for something you gotta do everything you can to make sure your demand was worth it.


Abby Wambach via MarieTV

All the YESSES to this one!!! This is so relevant for me because I recently had a new role added to my plate at work. It involves doing work that I enjoy…writing.

As an engineer, putting together writing projects isn’t something that I have the opportunity to do all the time. But as soon as I got my current role and saw the opportunity to do content development, I raised my hand every chance I got.

And raising my hand paid off big time. This quote is going next to my monitor at work to remind me on the days it gets hard that I wanted this, that I asked for it, and I have to make sure that ask was worth it.

And finally…Own It

You can sit down and take a nap because I got this.

Marie Forleo

This quote makes me smile because I think it all time when it comes to what I do as a content development lead. I enjoy the fact that what I do makes my boss’s life easier and my company better because EJ’s got it. I know neither my boss nor the company will be taking a nap, but it feels good to be:

  • lightening the load,
  • contributing to the broader team,
  • and getting paid for the pleasure of doing work I love.

What did you get out of the video?

I tend to watch these videos when I’m working or cleaning or cooking…bottom line, I’m multitasking and pausing when a gem cracks my consciousness. Not the best thing, but hey, I’m a busy mom.

So I’d like your help…if you watched the video, what did you learn from it? Click here to send me a message and share. And don’t forget to check out other awesome content that Marie Forleo does, she’s amazing at doing the work and being consistent.

Planning 2019 with a Bullet Journal

Planning 2019 with the a Bullet Journal

With the New Year comes resolutions, plans, planners, and the works…and this year, I’m trying something new and wanted to share with you.

The Bullet Journal first came into my life via my best friend Peace. She has the most beautiful bullet journal filled with art, shapes, and gorgeous calligraphy…but more importantly, the evolution of her life shows that it’s helped her achieve her goals.

So I decided to give it a go for myself this year.

Continue reading

What If You’re Doing Everything Right 😇, But then…Weight Gain 😭?

What If You're Doing Everything Right, But then...Weight Gain?

You workout consistently, eat healthy, manage your stress well, and your sleep game is on fleek…but you’re starting to experience unwanted weight gain? How do you deal with this?

Let’s start with the fact that there’s no simple answer to the unwanted weight gain question. Your next step isn’t as simple as cutting more carbs, or going on a juice cleanse. Those types of steps might result in a temporary move in the scale, but the move is just that…temporary. Plus, it’ll cost you Continue reading “What If You’re Doing Everything Right 😇, But then…Weight Gain 😭?”