Whatcha doing Monday Night?

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you likely know that last year when Lila started daycare and I went back to work fulltime, she got sick. And then sicker. Holy germs, batman.

She had five ear infections in four months, plus RSV, Roseola and too many colds to count. Oh, and the boogers…

I was exhausted, and kind of looking around wondering, is this really going to be my new normal? I was taking care of my own health with Beachbody products and Shakeology, but I didn’t know how to help my family. I was in a low place and couldn’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Fortunately I have this friend, this caring thoughtful and generous friend Jennelle. She gets me, and loves me even when I’m a mess. She saw me hurting and lost with my sick kiddo and drove 40 minutes across town to quietly drop off a care package of essential oils, specially blended for each person in my family, plus some other Young Living products and a diffuser to help my family get back on track.

I was touched, of course. But also hugely skeptical. Hugely. You all know I’m a health freak, but I thought oils were for hippies. So, I ignored them.

But a few weeks later, randomly I just decided what the heck, I’m desperate, so I picked them up and started using the oils slowly. I got comfortable and started loving them. And HOLY COW, Lila was HEALTHY.

Flash forward another six months and I now use oils daily for all kinds of things for our entire family. For Lila’s health, for my anxiety, for Jim’s congestion, to clear odors from home projects and to soothe sore muscles. I’m amazed at how much oils help me in my fitness and health. I mix oils into my sacred Shakeology and even use them to help muscle soreness.

Jennelle and I are both passionate about the health products we use, and have teamed up to put together a kickass event for this Monday night to share our passions for these products.

It’s online. You can join us from your living room, your treadmill, your dinner table – wherever you want to be. You can wear sweatpants, yoga pants, work pants, NO PANTS!…completely up to you!

What will this event be? Basically a low pressure way to learn about neat products that mioght help you achieve your resolutions (because I kind of assume most of us resolve every year to be healthier, and last about 8 days…). 

I love fitness. Jennelle loves oils. And there are some amazing ways to use these products together. Come hang with us online and find out how Beachbody, Shakeology and Young Living Essential Oils can help support your health, wellness and fitness in 2016 (and the rest of your life). You will not regret this choice. It is 90 minutes and it will change you. No purchases required, obligation or homework, just shoot me an email if you’d like to join us (jesstaylorfitness@gmail.com).

“New Year, New Me Bullsh*t”

I cracked up when a friend sent me this meme. People love to hate on resolutions, don’t they? I’m the opposite though, I obsess over them and in a sick way I love being held accountable to specific goals.

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When I was a teenager, I got super emo about the new year. Once, when I was 16, my best friend and I drove up this crazy mountain road, early in the morning, where we parked and stared into the sunrise, huddled under blankets, rehashing all the things that seemed SO important over the past year. Author’s note: I cannot remember a single thing we discussed – not one – but I guarantee 98% of it related to boys we liked who did not like us back.

I have no idea why I put so much pressure on this day and my resolutions, but I’ll chalk it up to being an old soul.

Nowadays, New Year’s feels a little different. It’s a time to reflect, sure, but my focus is more forward-facing. Partially because #momlife is exhausting and there’s way less time to sit around just thinking about things (what a luxury that would be!), but also because I’ve learned that you don’t need the symbolism of a special day to make a change in your life. It doesn’t have to be a holiday or a new month or even a Monday, it just has to be your time. Maybe Groundhog Day resolutions are more your thing.

This past year I made a decision to take control of my health. It wasn’t a quest to be skinny or wear a size 2. It wasn’t following a special diet or training for a marathon. It was just a series of small changes and choices that I hoped would help me as a new mom. I was exhausted from sleeping in 3-hour intervals, constantly sick from daycare germs, stressed at a fulltime job and surviving on whatever sugary treat or caffeinated beverage I could find. When I made the choice to change, it was out of legit desperation.

Begrudgingly, I purchased Shakeology and the 21 Day Fix.

Begrudgingly, I started the half-hour workouts.

Begrudgingly, I began following the guidance for clean eating and balanced portions.

And then euphorically I saw the most amazing changes in how I felt. I had energy (without coffee!), my post-partum hair started to regrow. My immune system was back on track. I had new muscles.

ALL THE THINGS happened, my friends. No chemicals, no gimmicks.

If New Year’s resolutions are your thing, then go forth. Ain’t nothing wrong with any road toward positive change.

But if you’d rather skip the pressure and fanfare and just get some amazing results, I’d love to connect you to these products. They’re on sale all during January, they’re simple, and they work. Promise.

It takes a village (to lose your ego, raise a baby, get healthy, etc.)

The older I get, the more I recognize the absurdity of trying to power through things on my own (which I still stubbornly do) for the sake of pride or ego. 

You know that old saying, “If you want to go fast go alone; if you want to go far, go together?” So. painfully. true.

I learned this lesson forcefully when I became a mom last year, starting with the moment I went into labor. My exact thoughts before giving birth were along the placid lines of, “I’ll breathe through it,” “Everyone does it,” and “Whatever, it’ll be fine.”

Oh, Jessica. You sweet, naive little rosebud.

I’d received plenty of offers of birth plans, classes, coaches, etc. and naively poo-pooed it all. “I’ve got this,” I told myself, and I guess I did – in a way – but golly, if I’d been less obstinate and let my guard down to take some of that advice and support, things would’ve been a lot less overwhelming.

Same thing during those first few months of parenting. Even with an outpouring of offers of help, even in the throes of post partum depression and anxiety, I still declined help because I wanted to do it myself. 

This was dumb. 

You know what else was dumb? When I wanted to start working out again after baby, when my whole world was upside down and new, and I thought I could do that on my own, too. I didn’t realize that with the right support, the process would be easier, more effective and FUN. I was fortunate to find this community in the least likely of places (online!) but thank goodness I did.

There’s a beauty in the support we find in the right tribe and community. It creates an environment where we become stronger by showing our weaknesses. We can be ourselves and learn to be brave. That process – the softening of walls we build around ourselves – is vulnerability, and it’s the most amazing thing. 

Today, after all the challenges and wonder inspired this past year, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to guide other women through the process of finding their strength. As a health and fitness coach, I get the awesome privilege of seeing firsthand the magic that happens when we let our egos take a hike and rely on each other. What we can achieve when we come together. That’s when changes happens that we can’t always make on our own. Not because we’re weak, but because we are stronger together.

Every month I lead free, private, online groups full of help, support, accountability and humor. If you want to buy products, I’ll connect you, but no purchase is ever required – that’s not why I do this. 

If you’re wondering if change is possible, let me tell you it is, for all of us.

 I’d love to talk and share more; please reach out if you are interested in joining a group or have any questions. It’s never to late to find your village: jesstaylorfitness@gmail.com 

 

Let that be your motivation.

  
This wording really hit close to home tonight. All my whining about trivial stuff lately, when I could look at the same “problems” and be grateful. 

Health is an amazing gift and it’s really a privilege to help others find ways to improve theirs, while finding a bit more happiness and confidence, too. If part of you thinks, “I can’t do it,” “I have injuries,” or “I’m too far gone,” it’s never, ever too late. 

Everyday, people make decisions that are uncomfortable and that require hard work, but those people are never disappointed they decided to try. 

I’d love to help you find your way. 

Shoot me an email jesstaylorfitness@gmail.com.

Real talk for a sec.

In a moment of spontaneous madness I posted this photo and stream of consciousness on social media last night, and decided to share it here, too, since I know some blog friends aren’t Facebook peeps (weirdos) and vice versa.

Friends. Real talk for a sec. Never in a million years did I think Beachbody coaching was for me. I think most of you think it’s as silly as I once did, and that’s ok. I scoffed at this opportunity and figured it was a scam (queen skeptic here). And hello, I have a full-time job, I’m a busy mom, and what business did I have telling others what to do when I’m still on my own fitness journey? It seemed ridiculous, but at the same time, I was lost in mom life and the daily grind, and I needed something to be excited about. What I found was a way to meet new people and become way more accountable in my own health. I knew I needed something for ME. So I took a risk, and jumped in ready to laugh at myself, but geeze. I am THANKFUL every single day I decided to pursue this. In six months I’ve made new friends, been pushed to grow way beyond my comfort zone, learned a ton and while no one likes to make stuff about money, I’ve built a business (in about a half hour a day) to cover our mortgage and then some. Are you kidding me? All by helping people?? I kind of can’t believe this is real, but I also feel like I need to tell everyone how possible it is. This is me – straight up sitting in my car in a parking lot (alone time!) feeling so blessed and inspired that I am typing without proofing (talk about terrifying) to share it. Because if you’re ready for a change from the blah, and for something to do just for YOU, this is your sign. I would love to talk your face off about this and welcome you to my team. It’s so fun and so possible. Shoot me an email: jesstaylorfitness [at] gmail [dot] com.

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#momlife

Being a mom is hard. 

Allow me to repeat myself: being a mom is HARD! 

And I think it’s hardest when we don’t feel our best; when we’re tired or moody or feeling like we are our own lowest priority.

I know because this was me as a new mom: working full time and exhausted and sort of awkward in my new identity. It wasn’t until I started taking small steps to focus on my health that I finally felt like “me” again. Nothing drastic or rash, just short workouts at home everyday, and smarter food choices. 

I did this surrounded by a community of supportive women and was so moved by the experience I now lead my own groups – and because I know how much this lifestyle can help mommas, I decided to make my next group a very small private one, just for moms. The group is free and I’ll provide support, meal plans, guidance for working out and overall motivation. 

If you’re reading this and any of it hits close to home, or if you’ve been waiting for a sign to get into better health, I’d be honored if you’re willing to trust me and jump into this journey with me. Send me a message or email (jesstaylor55@gmail.com). 

  

The struggle is part of the story

I used to be the girl who got anxious in meetings when my peers were all furiously taking notes. I would sit there silently wondering what they could possibly be writing down, and what was I missing?? But, since I was in the thick of my must-rapidly-ascend-corporate-ladder days, I caved to what I thought the right thing was, and began the habit of taking mindless notes in meetings. You know, to appear more engaged while being less engaged. This then became a platform for advanced doodling. And I wasted a lot of paper.

But then a few years ago, I listened to an executive coach whose guidance was less traditional. She kind of rocked my world when she suggested bringing a notebook and a pen to all meetings, and keeping the notebook open to a blank page, but to never actually take notes.

This woman, who is wildly successful (and has coached many, many successful leaders), argued that taking notes while someone else is speaking can actually make you look insecure or disengaged.

Find the happy medium in all of this and send me a postcard, k?

My point is, you’ve gotta do what works for you, but after filtering what works for me through the advice of others, I lean toward having meaningful direct interactions with minimal note taking.

I do ALWAYS have a notebook with me though. Shoot – I probably have 10 or 12 half-filled ones right now, between my house, car and office. I’m constantly writing things down that I want to remember: quotes, book recommendations, cards to mail, things to do.

When I do on rare occasion take formal(ish) notes, it’s because something really resonates with me.

This happened a few weeks ago at a regional event for Beachbody, the company my health and fitness coaching is affiliated with. I not only took notes, I then TOOK A PHOTO of my handwritten notes so I’d have constant access to them on my phone.

In typical motivational event fashion, speaker after speaker got up that morning to share a personal story, describe her path to success and how she overcome various obstacles. It wasn’t a new format, but something about this particular event was unique.

Because…None of the presenters gave out magic advice. There was no secret sauce, rules to live by, or list of “three simple habits” to find success. No one told me to lean in.

It was quite the opposite, actually. The presenters were forthright about NOT having any answers for us. They candidly shared that there wasn’t one thing different about any of them that allowed them to be successful. That looking back, none of them was cut out for this business if you looked at experience and skills.

Each presenter stated in her own way that the only differentiator contributing to her success was that she kept going. That was it.

She kept going.

When people told her no, scoffed at her ideas or closed doors on opportunities.

When there were really bad, discouraging days, and huge setbacks.

When it would’ve been way easier to quit and walk away.

She just kept going. And sharing her story.

This simple piece of advice was mind-blowing. I guess because I’ve never really considered success to be an equal playing field. There’s always someone who knows someone, or went to a better college, or was so-and-so’s sorority sister. Someone who was willing to sacrifice more or play unfairly. And to a certain degree, success is never a truly even game. But to consider that maybe all you need to do to succeed is just keep going – to throw away ALL your doubts and just do the next right thing at any given moment – is so freeing.

I am someone who always plays it safe. I take the expected path and make the “right” choices. My venture into coaching is the only area where I’ve ever been independently accountable for my own success without a smidge of a guarantee. It’s scary and humbling every single day, and a lot of hard work, but it’s the most rewarding thing to be a part of. My work matters for the first time. And right now, I’m starting to see that the struggle is part of the story, and I’m thankful that this is part of mine.

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