Lost weight, gained perspective

Since January 1st, I am proud to say, I have lost 38 pounds. That looks so weird in black and white and yet it is 100% true. I never thought that would happen.

Let’s review my goals for the year, shall we?

More coffee, and face to face with friends, less Facebook. I am spending lots of face to face time with friends, still struggle with the less Facebook piece.

Read 10 books – I have now read 4

Lose 50 pounds. I HAVE LOST 38 POUNDS. Besides that, I feel great, rested and healthy.

So I have 12 more to go, I am really excited when the day comes to tell you I have lost 51 pounds because that is what it is all about. Making goal, Meeting that goal and beating it.

What are you working on? What kind of help do you need? How will you change one thing today to make a difference in tomorrow’s results?

Creativity? Piece of cake!

My cakeballs are important. I don’t make them often, and especially now that we are doing paleo 95.4% of the time cake balls are usually not on the menu. So it is special when I make them and my husband is always telling me how good they are. I love that man.

 I was reminiscing about when I was taught how to make them. I was a newly engaged lady and in preparing to be a wife I thought, well I am 34 and probably should learn to cook. I did learn a few things about roasting a chicken and cooking some casseroles but the one that stuck the most was the cake balls. For those who don’t know, they are little drops of heaven covered in icing and sprinkles. Utterly decadent and sweet, my favourite thing about them is that you can eat just one and feel satisfied. Unlike a slice of cake or pie, you don’t feel guilty after just one.. however after 6 or 7, well you are on your own.

I remember thinking at the time, I am not creative so this is going to be hard. You know what I discovered? That I, through my own thoughtless words had perpetuated my lack of creativity and it was just recently that I discovered this. I am in fact very creative, its something that makes me a good storyteller, speaker and coach. No one has ever told me that I was not creative, I decided that on my own and continued to believe this falsehood. No more. Just the other day, someone asked me, “Are you creative?” and my knee jerk response was to say, No. but I stopped myself and said,

“Yes, I am very creative”

What lie have you told yourself over and over? What truth do you need to embrace?

This is a question I have asked myself and others since reading Jon Acuff’s book START. This book is all about questioning the beliefs you have about yourself over which cause you to get in the way of your own success.

What truth do you need to embrace about yourself? It’s time to START


Everything you ever wanted is possible……

“Awesome is available like never before”

Someone, somewhere in our lives told us we were not allowed to be awesome, whatever that looks like for you. It wasn’t okay to pursue our dream of being a dancer, writer or actor. Until now.

The book is not about quitting your job to go pursue a dream. It is about pursuing your dream at your job, with your family and friends in mind.  Jon Acuff gives a very detailed analysis including some great action steps what you need to do to START being awesome now. So many books are generic when it comes to this, but Acuff gives you specific guideposts to implement.

“If you want to start a coffeehouse but have never worked at one in you entire life, you need to work at Starbucks first. Maybe you will come to hate coffee. Maybe you’ll get sick of retail hours. Maybe opening a store at 4:30 a.m. every morning will be a nightmare by month two. I’d rather you find that out in you part-time job than you full-time dream”

He is not casual about being awesome. It is a very serious business. As author

Twyla Tharp says, “Mozart was hardly some naïve prodigy who sat down at a keyboard and, with God whispering in his ears, let the music flow from his fingertips. It’s a nice image for selling tickets to movies, but whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won’t know how to harness the power of that kiss.”

The biggest surprise of the book for me was how Jon talks about how we can all be more awesome human beings by listening to other people or engaging other people. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the day to day minutiae that we miss out on truly incredible experience it is to know about another human being. All it takes is a sincere question, 

How are you, and a genuine desire to know, not just wait for our turn to talk.

So what does all this mean to you, dear reader? 

You need to read this book. If you are 20 or 60, or anything in between, this book will teach you to punch fear in the face and go from average to awesome. 

You just have to START!


The words you use matter…

As a person, the words you use matter. As a writer, they matter even more. I am still working on getting comfortable with the label of writer. I prefer speaking, but to speak, I must write first.

However whether you are a writer or not, if you say you are on a diet, means that you are expecting to achieve a result and then go off the diet. If you adopt a lifestyle change (oft quoted by my cousin the personal trainer) your commitment level is that much stronger.

If you say you “want” to read more books or “going to try” to learn a language  you won’t do it because before you start, you are already using passive language. Now I am all for having a realistic view of your goals but what does it hurt to say things in the affirmative? In fact, it helps you meet those goals.

I will learn to speak fluent French. I will read 10 books this year. I will lose 50 pounds this year.

These are examples of how to talk about what you will accomplish.

Now you can not Tony Robbins yourself into a positive bank balance when its at 0 but there are things we say every day that contribute to our success or our failure, so kick out the negative thoughts in your head and make room for the positive thoughts and notions that push you toward your goals today.  I have attached two photos of me from Jan and February as a before and after. I have lost as of today 32 pounds. Please let me know what it is you are GOING to accomplish and if you feel like you need help to accomplish it, I would love to hear about it and encourage you in your goals- Write me at jennifermckennasays@gmail.com


Never be afraid to ask for help…

At any stage and any age, support is a good thing. I said that to someone last week when they said, I shouldn’t need help at my age and I got to thinking about how needless that is.

Thought I know that intellectually, emotionally this remains a difficulty for me. I have a very hard time asking for help, I am working on this and my husband has made it much easier for me to ask and receive help graciously.

Case in point, we are working on gaining better health by eating better and exercising and he has been and continues to be an amazing resource for help, encouragement and love. This week is the first week I have lost weight in three weeks, he also decided that it was a good idea to measure the inches and I am proud to say I have lost an inch from my waist and my stomach which is extremely good progress and has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the process.

Putting yourself out there is very scary but I have been posting photographs on Facebook and getting the encouragement of friends because I couldn’t see I was making progress but the outpouring of support, and just loving remarks could not have been better timed to help move me forward so I wanted to say thank you and hope that my post will encourage you to ask for help if you need it, even if its difficult.

Choose Integrity and Excellence in all things.

We are the product of our decisions. It can be as simple as, I choose to get up to go to work today, or I choose to call in and take a “sick” day.

I choose to eat an apple, or I choose to eat a doughnut. One will cause you to be in great health and one will cause you continuing health problems including heart disease and obesity. I know its hard to believe just one doughnut could do all that, but continued consumption of really unhealthy foods lead to bad health and if you are anything like me one doughnut usually leads to two.

I choose to do my work and not be distracted by Facebook, Twitter and the like. A simple decision like this can boost your productivity because as much as you might think it doesn’t really matter, and everybody does it why can’t I, your word matters and when you go to Facebook on company time, you are breaking your word to your employer to stay vigilant to the task at hand. (the people who use Facebook for work, have it even harder because you have to use Facebook professionally while avoiding the “personal use” trap.  

On the flip side of this, we could all be a little more “mindful” on how we spend time in life, not just at work. How often do you text and drive thinking I will just send this one text, and I am at a red light so it is safe. NO it is not and besides that, if you are driving and texting you miss out on the lovely view on the roadside like the guy who waves at every passerby on my commute home next to St. Edwards, He is happy as a clam, just waving. How often do you ignore your friend who you spent weeks coordinating with to get a coffee date to take just one call or read one text as it comes in? The caveat is emergency calls of course, but stop and think, what constitutes an emergency to you? Are you letting the immediate become an emergency? 

How often do you just go through the motions of your day and not really appreciate traffic. Yep, I said appreciate traffic. Its your life, and its moving very quickly, be sure to keep your word to yourself to have a great life which means really living it!

What will you do to be more mindful today?