To my FIT friends,

In my 25+ years in fitness industry, I have experienced many triumphs and struggles. Triumphs from winning competitions, magazine features, Beverly International cover girl, and how to tweak diets to reach high levels of performance. I’ve recorded 25+ talks on fitness, health, nutrition and helped coach and inspire women for over 2 decades. Struggles have been with comparing myself to others, food challenges, addiction, and even depression!

Struggle with Food

One of my favorite ways to learn is by listening to books using the Audibleapp. I have read over 700 books in the last 15 years, but most recently I went on a binge, reading every book I could about controlling the yo-yo weight gain/diet game.

Here are a couple of tips that I have learned and put into practice over the years and feel like they were very instrumental in helping me gain control in this area:

The Thin Woman’s Brain by Dilia Suriel. This book gave me a visual that altered my food eating habits. I grew up in the restaurant industry and learned to eat fast and when you had time. That usually meant that you had to eat fast, really fast. In this book Dilia said, “if you have stains on the front of your shirts, you’re probably eating too fast and have an unhealthy relationship with food”. Well let’s just say I had many shirts that had stains on them from eating too fast. This book also taught me that I most likely never needed to have seconds and that one round of food was enough. I came to the decision that food would not be my first priority. I realized that I could make the people that I was with more of a priority than the food, and therefore slow down and also more thoroughly enjoy my food. This enabled me to focus on the food that was on my plate and not have a need for second servings! I mean come on, did I really need to taste my favorite brownie again or did I already know what it tasted like? I had to keep my palate in check. I became more focused on creating relationships with people, not foods!

Struggle with Esteem
The biggest struggle, hmmm, embarrassing! I heard it from nearly every speaker. At FITposium it was “don’t worry about your critics or comments from folks, follow your heart, create your own niche, and your brand is worth being authentic”.  This hit me like a semi-load of heavy metal. Why? I always seemed to have someone else’s idea of me in the front of my mind. Thinking (to myself) “if I do this or I do that, what will “so and so” say?”. If I wear this or wear that, what will “so and so” say. If I post this or post that, what was “so-and-so” going to say? “So and so” was always ruining my life. It was taking away my spirit. I was so consumed with the judgment of “so and so’s” that I was watering down my message and my brand and it left me feeling sad and defeated. It all felt horrible. I’m not saying I’m completely over this. I feel we do need to take some people’s comments into consideration. But now I realize it’s about discerning who to listen to and who to block out. I can still hear the FITposium speakers saying “there is no one path to your success that we can give you, all we can do is let you know where we’ve been and where were going, and you can find your own way”. I think that’s the hardest part. We have to find our own way to building our fitness brand. I really love the many books by Brene Brown but specifically – Rising Strong and Daring Greatly – a must read on the journey to building your brand and yourself simultaneously.  Boundaries – by Cloud and Townsend, to help keep others in proper perspective to our goals and dreams.

Victory in Association!

I find that associating with other fitness amateurs and professionals makes this journey even more amazing. Attending FITposium in 2017 helped me much realize that we are all on our own journey, but it is a similar one that we can share. I was able to meet women younger and older than me, smaller and more muscular than me. Some that weighed more and some that weighed less. It was a sea of beauty in all different shapes and forms. I found myself relaxing within the first few hours, and I started to really feel really comfortable in the surroundings. The power of associating with like-minded people, away from your normal environment, stretched me in ways that became such a blessing. Friendships were formed, learning was maxed-out, and I gained enough inspiration to start my branding road to success. Come prepared to FITposium 2018 (get your ticket now if you don’t have it yet)! Ask yourself now what questions you need answered from the speakers or attendees in order to move on. Have your list and be ready to get them answered. Bring a stack of business cards too! The other thing I remember James saying in one of his podcasts was this: “don’t be the girl that shows up to FITposium and does nothing with the information”. I made sure I was not that girl and I signed up for everything that I could. I did things way out of my comfort zone. I was the most energized, charged and alive, that I had been in a long time. Leaving my comfort zone in the dust and blazing a trail to my new fitness brand JennPaulFit.com.  See you all at Fitposium 2018!