HOW TO MIND YOUR MANNERS

Hello and welcome to week two of my How To Series. This week is all about Business. And today’s topic I would like to discuss is Manners. Please and Thank You’s is a very important subject so let’s dive right in…

It does not matter if you are working digitally or in person with people every day.

Please please please use your manners.

Please, Thank You, Your Welcome. No Thank You. My pleasure. I’m not interested.

This all matters!

Are you with me?

Proper spelling of names, texts and voicemails are definitely included when it comes to manners. If you are texting make sure a happy tone is felt through the text. Not the bad mood you may happen to be in at the moment. However, make sure a text is the proper way to connect. I would prefer an introductory email then if the situation feels right move to text. This in my opinion is the right way of contact. However, every situation differs.

I know we’ve all received an email or text with “that tone”! Wasn’t it awful? Absolutely! So please do not be the person on the other end sending them because they are awful to read when you are the one in a happy mood. No one needs a Debby Downer especially when it comes to your business.

Have you ever had multiple that feels like hundreds of emails go back and forth with a client/customer? With my experience those emails are usually regarding the budget or creative. Did you then loose the deal? I have definitely been there a few times. You put in all of this hard work and then nothing!

I am telling you this is a good thing and it is all ok. Each deal lost will in turn create the possibility and opportunity for a better one. I am telling you the honest truth. However, it was hard to take the first few times. I am not going to sugar coat it!

We live in a crazy crazy world right now so let’s just be happy and kind towards one another. Speaking of HAPPY! Check out what I posted on my Instagram Stories this morning. 

First impressions are everything and keep in fact the six degrees of separation. In Vegas it is more like one or two. Everyone is connected here! And so is everyone in the digital world. Make sure to always leave a lasting impression. You never know where you or that contact will end up next.

If you make a mistake just admit it and honestly is always the best policy. If you lose that deal always thank them for their time and that you look forward to seeing or hearing from them soon.

Lastly, once your emails have led to that Zoom video call or an in person meeting always ALWAYS introduce yourself by your first and last name. It’s sooo much more professional and proper. It’s never “Hey! I’m Kelly” it’s “Such a pleasure to finally meet you. I am Kelly Ann Gorman”. See that? Sounds much better.

Question! Have you ever been in an uncomfortable position where someone did not use their manners? Have they spammed your inbox? Did they still harass after you politely declined?

Sharing is Caring. “Please” leave your story in the comments below and Iet’s talk about it.

Until tomorrow…

KAG

Want to learn more and be the first to know? Join my VIP Newsletter Email List. You’ll get an email delivered to your inbox every Wednesday sent by yours truly. Sign up right here: VIP List

And speaking of Business this week…

My LEVERAGE YOUR LINKEDIN VIDEO SERIES has begun. If you are in need of some LinkedIn training then come on over and watch right here…

 

 

HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED

HOW TO CATALOGUE YOUR CLOSET

Hello and Happy Happy Friday!

I hope that you are enjoying this How To Series as much as I love talking and writing about it! Today’s topic of organization is your closet. Some people dread this area while others simply look forward to it.

Winter is right around the corner so this weekend could be the a great time for you to complete this project!

As I said in yesterday’s blog you need to be able to see what you have in the fridge and pantry so it doesn’t go to waste. This is so it doesn’t go bad. Well the same thing goes for your clothes. I like to to see everything in a clean and organized fashion. Pun intended.

There are so many ways to put together a closet and depending on the style and size of your closet will depend on how you catalogue it aka put it together.

I have put together many closets for clients over the years so I can tell you that I am an expert in this department. And when I tell you that I once spent three 12 plus hour days putting together two closets I am not kidding. Literally truck loads of clothes and accessories. So I think that all this experience qualifies me to be an Expert in this field right?

Let’s get to it. I want to be able to help you from the very beginning but if you don’t have the time then just pick up from where you would prefer to!

Here are my steps in creating the perfect closet…

First take everything out. I mean everything. Shoes, belts, hats. All of it. Lay it on your bed or sofas in an organized fashion.

Give it a good clean. I know this may sound annoying and a bigger project than expected but if you start with a clean and fresh smelling closet you will feel ten times more accomplished by the end of this.

Hangars. If you don’t have all of the same. Eventually invest. It looks and feels better. I prefer black hangars for a more sleek look but feel free to choose YOUR favorite.

Before you start putting together your closet go grab a few boxes or large trash bags and a garbage can. These will be for donating the items you no longer need and the garbage can so you don’t make a crazy mess. Hello…You know you have to stay organized while you organize. Honestly, if it is too much then just do it at the end. These are just my tips.

When you begin to put your pieces back into the closet you want to group all of your pieces together. I prefer them to start at tanks and work my way up to heavy jackets. I also like to color code them. I lay sweaters flat on a shelf because they are too bulky to hang and hangar marks are awful! By the way if you haven’t worn a piece in a year and/or it doesn’t fit this is the time to drop it in the donate box!

Other items I fold are yoga pants, shorts, bulky sweatshirts and t-shirts. Although if you have the space feel free to hang. Again this is just how I prefer styling a closet.

If you have capsule wardrobes this project just became a lot easier. A capsule wardrobe consists of a limited number of items in your wardrobe. They usually consist of denim, grey, beige, black and white. Neutrals that you can rotate the pieces within your little collection. This wardrobe isn’t for everyone but is becoming more popular by the day. This is wardrobe is great for someone who travels a lot or a minimalist.

As far as pants, skirts and athletic wear I like to hang in half on a hangar and put to the left before my tank top section starts.

Before that I have all of my scarves. I have quite a large collection of those so they take up about 6 hangars worth.

If you have lots of behind the door space or extra room you can always hang belts and scarves there. If you are using hangars you can usually fit 4-6 on each. Use less space.

Now on to shoes. Shoe trees are the best for flats. I also love clear shoe boxes again so I am able to see all the pairs that I have. If you have a great shelf space line up the heels color coded of course. If not, stack them up on the floor under hanging clothes.

Sneakers always on a shelf or somewhere you won’t mind germs. I’ve had mine in an empty laundry basket before. This space was designated just for that reason. See I used what I had again. By doing this it will allow you to be creative as well as spend a lot less money.

If money is no object or you need some personal tips for your closet then lets talk! I can help you create a list of must have pro organizing equipment from on a budget to no budget costs.

Always set aside a formal section apart from your every day wardrobe. I prefer to have them after my coats. formal gowns, suit jackets, pant suits etc. If it is something like fur or vintage; cedar blocks are great for keeping them fresh!

I know this is a lot to read so if you made it to the end congrats!

Wishing you a wonderful Friday and if you have any questions just leave them below in the comments…

KAG

 

 

HOW TO KEEP YOUR KITCHEN TIDY

I absolutely love spending time in the kitchen. Cooking and entertaining no matter what occasion is truly a passion of mine. Therefore keeping the kitchen tidy has always been top priority in the house. The kitchen can never ever be a mess. Especially when I am cooking. I clean it up even before I begin to cook. I just need a clean kitchen!

I know you are probable shaking your head and thinking… Is she OCD or what? Well I can definitely tell you that working on over 20 yachts has made me that way. I still q-tip clean my silver but that story is for another time.

OK now back to your kitchen. I have a few tips that I would like to share with you so that you feel better and less stressed out about how your kitchen may or may not look right now!

The first area that you will notice is your counter tops. Are they cluttered? Are there papers everywhere?

If you answered yes then here is what I like to do…

First off papers can get oil, cleaning products and food on them. And that is just gross! Keep a separate drawer in the kitchen with a nice folder in it. This is where you can store those papers. Permanently or until you have time to file them in an office area. I recommend the second. I know you need a junk drawer but eventually it becomes just that. Junk! So either organize or throw that stuff away.

I am a huge collector of vases. Crystal and glass and all shapes and sizes. Guess what I do with most of them? I use them as decor, yes but also to store things and keep them clean and all together. I love to use them for spatulas and cooking utensils. I used to have candles in a few scattered around the counter too! Mason jar or old bar ware also work great for this! The also come in handy when I entertain. I use them to hold utensils for guest. It look pretty and keeps everything clean for guests.

Now lets talk about all the mismatched Tupperware you have. You know you have them! Organize them together to where all tops and bottoms match. Then put aside the ones that don’t match. You can now use these to store misc. items in your kitchen. Recycling these items will keep your kitchen nice and organized and you won’t have to go out and buy anything else for finish this project. Use what you have! I say this to everyone!

If you have a pantry or some sort of food closet you want to organize it to where you can see everything. I really don’t like boxes. So this is another place where you can recycle those Tupperware as well.

Just think if you open your pantry and saw everything that was in there then I’m sure you wouldn’t go out and spend more money on food you just didn’t even need.

This trick goes for spices as well. You definitely want to rotate these out as they also have a shelf life. A few months or so at the most to keep for the freshest taste in meals.

I like to have all the dishes organized together by size. Most kitchens I’ve organized I will say are pretty good in the dish department. Again the better organized the more free room and cleaner the shelf looks. Just pretend that all your cabinets had glass doors if they don’t already.

Pots and pans are simple. Keep the same style together and stock them up inside each other or hang them on wall or in a deep cabinet space if available.. This will definitely free up a lot of space for you. For those of you that have an abundance or lack of space to begin with I would suggest hiding them in the oven. Just don’t forget to take them out prior to turning on the oven. We’ve all been there.

Now lets go back to my love for cooking. One of the things I do every morning is organize the fridge. I know it sounds crazy! That’s what I get for being a “yachtie” aka someone who works on yachts!

Every morning we had to make sure the fridge was in tip top shape just in case a guest were to see it and I still do that! Any way it does have good reason.

Most of the meals I create come from me looking at the fridge to see what I have in there. It’s exciting to me to be able to put together new dishes this way! Be creative with your food! Be proud and allow yourself to enjoy it!

I have everything organized to where I can see it. Everything. Just like I have the pantry, I have the fridge and freezer. I usually prep meals one week ahead so I can grab and go. The more leftovers I use to create meals the more room I have. Try this!

I can promise you that pepping your meals in advance will save you time, calories and money! It has for me. You need to use what you have and store it in matching sized containers so that you can save room for larger items in both fridge and freezer.

I know that when I make a batch of veggie burgers and protein pancakes they each fill up two freezer sized Ziplocs and that’s an entire shelf in the freezer! And that is just for me not a family. If were talking 3 or more then you will definitely need more room available to accommodate for your next shopping trip.

Make sure you eat these prepped meals of yours. You don’t want all that time you spent and meals you prepped to go to waste.

Well those are just a few of my tips and tricks for you on how to keep your kitchen tidy. If you want to see my behind the scenes pics just head over to my Instagram Stories today…

Have a question? I have an answer. Leave it below for me in the comments…

Until tomorrow…

KAG

 

 

BEFORE YOU FORGET…

How many times have you heard this? I know for me I am constantly telling/reminding myself this…

Before you forget write this down. Before you forget call this person. Before you forget put this in notes. Etc. etc.

If you follow me on any of my social media pages you may have noticed that I have been silent over the last week and I am here to fill you all in before “I” forget. PS Forgetting is becoming a fun part of the lovely little disease I have called NMO so thank god for “notes” on my iPhone. I could not survive without that! Or my wall and cork boards full of post-it notes of course!

Here is what I posted on Instagram yesterday…

I have been waiting to hear about my next NMO (Neuromyelitis Optica) Treatment so for my own sanity I chose to stay silent until everything was confirmed. That by the way is so hard considering almost everything I do is online! I also needed time to decide if I would share. Today I made the decision that I WILL share because I know it will keep me stronger knowing that I am able to help just one other person by being vocal and sharing my own personal journey. I started the Just For Us Community on Facebook to help as many as I can and create a positive community for anyone going through anything health related as well as heartache or just in need of some happiness! So my goal is to stay strong for everyone as well as myself when I post in the group!

So here are the deets of my next adventure…

The treatment for my NMO Autoimmune Disease will be a Chemo. As of today it will start next week and once a week for the next four weeks. And after that once a month for maintenance. And I also get to have a port installed in my body! Fun times! Obviously, this could all change depending on how my body reacts.

I will be sharing my updates on all the below pages so please feel free to click those links to follow if you are in need of some daily inspo, laughter or just want to come along for the ride. As “they” say, laughter is the best medicine. And that is one I will surely take as there are no side affects for once! lol.

Blog (which you are reading now)

The Happy Workaholic Podcast

IG Stories

Just For Us Community Facebook Group

I want to be (and stay) strong for anyone else that may be going through this or may have to in the future. So that’s the short version. I hope I can continue to keep you motivated in your own journey whether personal or professional by sharing my own set of stories that is up next. And prove that there is always hope and healing ahead…

If you want to know who or what keeps me in check you can check out my IG Stories posted earlier today.

I’ve been up since 5am! New Month. New Goals right?

One more thing before you forget…

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE with the right mindset and positive attitude.

One more thing before “I” forget…

To make the I Chose This Life Series THE BEST I changed the launch date to Wednesday 9-6-17 which you can read about right here…

Why did I do this? To be 100% honest I am a perfectionist. And I have no idea how I am going to react to this month of chemo or how my voice will sound, so to push it back made the best sense for everyone involved. My Lady Bosses I’m interviewing as well as my listeners!

As always thanks for reading and sharing…

Until next time…

KAG

THREE YEARS AGO TODAY…

It was exactly three years ago today that I decided I really needed to start writing down my thoughts on a daily basis. I had tried to journal before but my constant traveling around for work made it impossible for me to keep a consistent schedule. However, I was ready to try it again…

So three years ago on July 1st, 2014 I went out and bought a book filled with an abundance of blank pages and started to fill them with my thoughts. After a year or so I decided that some of those entries were going to become part of a docu-series which in the end did not work out. As I always say…Everything happens for a reason and I am thankful that it did not pan out. In all honesty, I wasn’t really ready to let the world in just yet. Side note: I had some serious NDA’s I was still locked into and would not be able to (legally) share a lot of my stories.

Once I confirmed the show was a no go I decided I wanted to turn these pages into a self-help book for others. So I then started that process. It was incredibly exhausting trying to piece together this insane puzzle (aka my life). I gave the book editing process a rest but continued to write every single day. It honestly became an addicting type of therapy. A good therapy. And one that I desperately needed! I also had decided on a name. I would call it The Happy Workaholic. The title alone described me and would fit others perfectly. It would be a name that others could relate to!

Cut to today…

July 1st, 2017. Three full years of writing. I know! It is crazy! I cannot even believe I have accomplished such a task as I am telling you about it now.

If you have been following me over the past year you would know that I have an autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO for short). This disease can leave you blind and paralyzed in the blink of an eye. Literally! You don’t know when it will happen which is honestly the scariest sh*t I have ever had to go through in my entire life. The best way to explain NMO is that it’s like an earthquake! It can hit hard and cause severe damage or smaller and more frequently with treatments in hopes of preventing another relapse (earthquake).

Throughout this past month of June I have taken time to give my body the rest it needed after 12 months of scans, lab work, hospital trips and treatments. I also needed to give my mind a rest as well as it is constantly going at full speed. Going through anything health related can take a serious toll; not only on your body, mind and spirit; but your relationships with others too. Your thoughts can become dark and your visions unclear. It’s quite scary to feel like you are becoming a different person. Almost like an outer body experience. And your stress level is always at an elevated level which is the worst thing for you. So I needed the time to be at peace with everything and stay as positive as possible with the changes that I have been having to make in my life. I needed the time to just be still and only worry about ME!

As someone who has always been extremely organized and scheduled; the hardest part of this new journey of mine is to learn how to just live each day because you never know when it can be your last and if a relapse with this disease will happen. I needed to give myself a more go with the flow mentality. Which by the way I am still working on! Ugh…It is SO HARD! I will admit each day I’m getting better. I think! I hope…

The reason why I am telling you this is because my everyday thoughts and journal writing that would eventually turn into a book is not in the cards for me right now! The process of writing a book could and would be incredible but not so much if I loose my vision and need to hire a ghost writer. And that would take even more time to explain to someone the last ten years of my life’s work. I’m not saying it will never happen. Just not at this time…

I want to be able to help others now! I want to use my voice and be heard for the ones that are not ready to do so. I want to share my stories and have a platform for others to be recognized for their work. That being said The Happy Workaholic Podcast was born. All of my stories are coming to life for you to hear rather than read…

I had to think of a Plan B just in case my health took a turn for the worst. See. That’s me! Always planning ahead! With a podcast I am still able to record (if something changes for me health wise) and I won’t have to wait to share my stories in a book. This is just one of the next steps in my life that I am able to move forward with and cannot wait to have you along for the ride and maybe even on my show!

The Happy Workaholic Podcast is…

A HAPPY, HEALTHY, POSITIVE AND PRODUCTIVE SHOW ABOUT LIVING LIFE IN THE FAST LANE, LEARNING HOW TO SLOW DOWN (PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY) AND HOW TO BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF THROUGH INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION AND DETERMINATION.

As I browse through my social media this weekend I see so many friends enjoying the pool, beach and parties. Spending time laughing while out and about. As half of me wishes I was there I have set deadlines for myself for the weekend in order to create something SO SPECIAL. Hence, why I am on my computer right now and not in the sunshine. The other reason is because Las Vegas is hot as hell right now and being in the AC is a dream. Not to mention being in my comfy clothes on the couch checking off my to-do’s feels fantastic. A glass of wine in hand doesn’t hurt either! I’ll be having one of those shortly. I have had to make so many sacrifices over the last few years so missing out on a holiday weekend for me is a piece of cake! Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining as I chose this life and to set these deadlines myself because I want the bigger picture!

I CHOSE THIS LIFE…

Remember those four little words just mentioned. I Chose This Life…

As I sip on my third iced coffee of the day to power through a SERIOUS work session I have scheduled…

I wanted to share three things that are happening with ME right now!

  1. I am spending more time on Instagram and Stories and would love to connect with you there. I have been sharing a lot of behind the scenes pics and videos you will not find anywhere else. So don’t be shy. Click here to follow me @kkinvegas.
  2. I am recording my brand new podcast The Happy Workaholic all weekend. I have been working on this for a very long time now and thrilled I can finally share it with you. If you would like to hear the first few episodes you can sign up right here!
  3. Lastly, I am preparing my VIP Newsletters to go out for Wednesday July 5th! If you have been following me for a while and/or already receive my weekly email then you would have known that I took the month of June off in sending these out! This past month was the time I needed to spend preparing for the remainder of the year as well as get my health and wellness back to a somewhat normalcy after the year that it has been through. What am I talking about? Well, rather than go on about it here you can read all about on my website.

You will definitely want to sign up for my VIP Newsletter because that is the only place where I will be sharing the “good stuff”.

Business, Lifestyle and Luxury Travel news…

Well folks, that is it for me. I hope that you will join me on my new journey this second half of the year as it is going to be SO GOOD! Seriously! It’s going to be GREAT!

I have prepared so much for you and so excited to finally be able to share it and connect with so many more of you.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, positive and productive weekend!

KAG

 

 

WHY I’M GETTING PERSONAL ON LINKEDIN!

Every now and then you will see a post on LinkedIn that you know belongs on Facebook’s feed. Am I right? And you have also seen those posts from LinkedIn members asking why selfies are here on a “business” platform. It just doesn’t make sense when you are networking. This I agree with…

However, I will admit I have my Instagram account connected to my Facebook Page which then posts to LinkedIn. Why do I do that you ask? Well I know it doesn’t make much sense for many brands but it does for mine. The reason for that is because I AM MY BRAND. I want my LinkedIn connections to know about and visit my Facebook and Instagram and see a more personal side of me. It also builds more of a trust with my audience especially when I am pitching or coaching and growing my clientele. It shows I am real and also love to cook! lol

Not everyone will agree with this technique but it is what works for ME! When I coach clients and help build their brand some of them ask me if they should do what I am doing. And to be honest, most of the time I say NO! The reason behind that is because it just doesn’t make sense for their brand. You have to do what makes the most sense when building your business and not follow a trend etc. Everyone is different and this is what I do when I work with clients. I create and customize a very specific outline for them to follow which in the end will bring them more sales. And that is what we all want right? If you want to learn more about my Business Coaching feel free to contact me here…

Now…The reason why I am getting REALLY PERSONAL on LinkedIn lately is because I have an extremely rare autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). And long story short I started posting LIVE videos on Facebook to bring awareness to it as soon as I found out. After a few videos, thousands of views and hundreds of messages I realized that what I needed to do was bigger. I needed to create some sort of platform for others to share their voice to be heard too! Not just NMO patients but anyone going through any illness or heartache. I also needed this space to be available for friends and family members to visit when looking for information or answers for their loved ones.

That place I created is called the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY. You can learn everything about JFUC at www.justforuscommunity.org.

Why am I writing about this on LinkedIn? Because this is not just going to be a space on Facebook. This is going to be something bigger. And I need your help!

The JUST FOR US COMMUNITY is something that I know is needed because I have lived through some serious health issues over the last year and with my experience of going through these circumstances, staying strong and fighting I know I am able to help so many other people. Plus the feedback and messages I have already received from complete strangers around the world proves to me this is needed.

I am bringing awareness to this community for not only patients and families but doctors, hospitals, researchers, non-profits, press, foundations and many more outlets. I am putting this community together because it is something that has to be available and also because my gut is telling me I can’t stop here. It’s telling me more is needed. I always go with my gut and follow my heart so here we are today.

So this is why I am getting personal. I am telling you my story today but tomorrow it will belong to someone else. I am sharing the good, the bad and the unsettling sometimes but guess what? That is what is needed to bring awareness to some of these diseases your everyday person may be fighting whether they choose to share or not. It is the real deal!

So back to why I need your help! I would truly appreciate if you would share this post for me. I am looking for those doctors, researchers, labs, technicians, nurses and average Joe’s to help me share this community in order to help others who are in need of the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY. I want everyone out there going through something to know that there is a safe place available for them to share their feelings, tears and of course get a dose of a little laughter. As that is always the best medicine.

That’s it! All I am asking for is a simple LIKE and SHARE!

Again to learn more about the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY click here.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading and sharing and helping spread awareness of the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY.

KAG

Want to follow me on LinkedIn click right here…

THE COMMUNITY JUST FOR US

There is something I really want to share with all of my connections this week as I feel like it is something that was really needed (especially after being sick for the past year) therefore I created it…

The Just For Us Community

My blood, sweat, pain and tears over the past year have been worth it to create this for everyone!

I always say “Everything Happens For A Reason” so I guess this is my reason.

Learn about The Just For Us Community here…

KAG

JUSTFORUSCOMMUNITY.ORG

***The JUST FOR US COMMUNITY was created for anyone going through a tough time in life. Health, heartache or just in need of some happiness. A place for everyone to share stories and bring awareness to their diseases, illnesses and feelings through video and voice. It is a safe place for you to share your thoughts, find a few friends and most importantly know that you are not alone!  Trusting that there is power is numbers and always hope ahead. A place to meet others. A place to find hope. A place where tears and laughter are appreciated and allowed. A place Just For Us.

STAYING HEALTHY WITH AN ILLNESS

The Universe works in such a crazy way sometimes. Ironically this blog post had already been scheduled as the How To Series Refresh post for the day. If you saw my Instagram post earlier today then you will understand how I am feeling right now and why I am talking about the Universe.

As you may or may not know I was originally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in August and now know that I do not have MS. I actually have an extremely rare autoimmune disease called NMO aka Neuromyelitis Optica.

You can learn more about it here…

Since then my personal and professional life has had to completely change. One thing I refuse to change is my positive attitude. Yes, I have those days that I cry and I am curled up in a ball in bed. But you will never see me posting a negative comment about it on Facebook. I just don’t want to bring negative energy or comments into my life! Although today I am human and was definitely heading in that direction…

My advice to anyone with a medical condition is to surround yourself with the most positive group of people. That includes your Doctors! Seriously even them! You have to be strong for yourself in order to get better and stay healthy. My mantra which you’ve probably seen me post before is Positive, Productive, Happy and Healthy. And this is how I choose to live my life…

The first thing I did when I found out I was sick was search for other patients online. I needed more information. I needed to speak with others that knew exactly how I was feeling. I was just thrown into a world of unknown and needed to find answers and others going through the same experience. And that is what I continue to do every day. Now I use my voice to help spread awareness about all of my recent diagnosis in the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY.

There are so many people out there that think they are alone. But they are not! They just need to want to find others out there. They need to be extremely proactive and want to do it. That is a must! Trust me it’s a full time zero paying job being your own advocate. I know my voice matters and can help others if I use it. I realized this when I started posting videos about my chronic illnesses. I’ve received hundreds of messages and emails from others wanting more info as well as providing me with info that I am so grateful for and messages thanking me because I made the video in the first place. That part is and still is crazy because I was just doing it for me! I needed an outlet…

I remember the day I got diagnosed. I cried my eyes out. My friends hugged me and told me I was going to be OK! I called my family and then posted on Facebook for the world to know. There is no way I could hide this! I needed everyone to know so I could find others that were going through the same thing. I needed help and answers as this was the one thing I just could not fix or change. I was so frustrated but thank god for social media because that is where I found everything and everyone I needed to know! Part of me didn’t want to post because of clients finding out. But then I thought if they think I couldn’t handle their workload then they didn’t really know me. Everyone knows I am a Happy Workaholic and always have been. And they know my personality, which is I NEVER EVER give up!!!

After my post on Facebook I went to Instagram. I began to search every hashtag looking for friends, a community and more answers. That is how I found my friend Jennifer Finney. She caught my attention right away! She had a spunk and positive energy about her that I know I could relate to! There was no “Negative Nancy” vibes about her which I loved. Everything in her feed was positive so of course I introduced myself and followed her. I then decided we needed to be friends on Facebook! Thank god she accepted! lol

I mean if she were in Las Vegas I’m pretty sure we would be besties by now! Although I think we are online…

Right Jennifer? lol

We’ve messaged each other all positive notes and she always answers my questions. We both also love to cook delicious healthy meals. I mean obviously I was sold! lol.

Thanks Jennifer for always being there for me especially when I needed it the most!

I am so lucky to have found you.

FYI…If you are one of those people that cannot understand or comprehend how you build relationships with others online this right here is a prime example. Contact and engagement!

When I started putting together the ideas and concept of my How To Series I created lists of friends and clients who were amazing at their job, career, achievements and those who inspired me!  A list of friends that I wanted my readers to learn and know about! Jennifer was the first one I added on the Health and Wellness list.

I asked Jennifer to share her story as it is truly remarkable. I also asked her to share her tips on being healthy and fit while having Multiple Sclerosis.

These tips go for anyone going through a health situation so please know that it is not just for MS patients.

Also we are not doctors. We are just two women sharing our story and journey with you today.

Here is Jennifer Finney’s story…

I wasn’t always fit and healthy. In fact, most of my life, I was obese. Until a few years ago, exercise and eating a healthy diet were way down on my list of desires and priorities.

I often used MS as an excuse to NOT take a walk with girlfriends or learn to cook healthy meals.

But four years ago, that all changed when I decided to overcome my excuses and just see what would happen if I changed my diet and started exercising again, in spite of my MS.

After making regular exercise and eating a diet centered on whole, unprocessed foods a priority, I’m happy to report that I’ve lost weight, gained energy and stamina I didn’t even realize I could have, and gained more mental strength than I ever dreamed possible.

Of course, having MS definitely has its challenges when it comes to exercise. For myself, I typically have a numb right leg and foot, I struggle with stamina in heat, and my bladder has a mind of its own.

But, as the experts say, exercise is vital to our overall health and well-being, so I’ve figured out how to “do it anyway.”

Remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. But most doctors will tell you that the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt. So if you’ve got the clear, and you’re ready to get started, here are a few tips for you that I’ve learned over the years and apply on the regular for myself and my clients.

Tip #1: Know your body and don’t be afraid of it.

It’s okay to push yourself beyond what you think you can actually do. I started exercising by walking on the treadmill, later moving on to the elliptical when I built up enough leg strength and cardio vascular stamina.

I did as much as I could in the gym until my bladder problems and wonky right leg started making it difficult. So I switched to the lap pool where I could pee with abandon and it didn’t matter if my leg was numb. When I injured my shoulder I had to find another way to work my body and my heart.

That’s when I found spinning. Tough as nails, spinning strengthened my legs and my cardio vascular endurance by leaps and bounds. Plus, I was able to lock my feet into place so again; wonky leg was not an issue. Yay!

I’ve since moved on to doing many different at-home workouts, being mindful of my body.

Working out at home is a great solution for me, because I can control the climate and my bathroom is seconds away. I also try to incorporate stretching and some sort of yoga practice, which has helped a ton with balance and flexibility.

Tip #2: Listen to your body.

It’s important to be mindful of what your body is telling you during and after, exercise.

If you’re in the middle of exercising and you feel pain or feel like you need a break, it’s totally okay to take one! Stop what you’re doing, wait 10 minutes to recover and then start up again if you can.

I try to be very aware of the signals my body is giving me all the time, not just during exercise.

If I have muscle soreness, I take an Epsom salt bath. If I am exhausted after several days in a row of strenuous exercise, I take a day off to rest. If I need a nap, you guessed it, I take one!

Tip #3: Have fun!

If exercise is something you dread, then you’re doing the wrong thing. Try different types of exercise until you find the one that really is your sweet spot.

For example, you may need to get off the treadmill and call your girlfriend to go for a walk in the neighborhood. Or try the elliptical machine or swim laps the pool.

Switching up your routine isn’t just good for your body, but your mind, as doing the same thing all the time gets boring and your body gets used to it.

Also, put together a playlist full of your fave pump-you-up tunes, or listen to a podcast while you workout.

I used to LOVE listening to a Comedy radio station in the gym and found myself LOL’ing and getting the “what are you laughing at” look by other gym goers more than once. haha! Which made everything even more hilarious!

The important thing is, do what you love! If you don’t love it or enjoy it, then it’s time to do something else.

In the end, the most important thing to remember, no matter what, is that you just can’t quit altogether. The way I see it, the day I quit taking care of my body, with how I exercise it and how I choose to nourish it, is the day I decide I’m not worth it.

It’s the day I decide to let MS win.  And I’m not about to let that happen as long as I can help it.

So to recap, know your body and don’t be afraid of it, it’s capable of a lot more than you think. Tune in to your body and do what it’s telling you. If you need a break, take a break! And finally, have fun! You’ll be much more apt to keep going if it’s something you enjoy, not something you dread.

And, of course, whatever you do, DON’T QUIT!

You CAN totally do it!!!

About Jennifer Finney…

Jennifer Finney has had MS for 12 years. After losing over 100 pounds by changing her diet and exercising, she now coaches women who desperately want to lose weight without dieting.  She gives them the tools they need to jump off the diet roller coaster once and for all and live a life they truly love.

When she’s not busy helping women transform their lives, you can find her indulging her inner rock star on a Sunday morning singing with the church band, enjoying a movie night with the fam or savoring a grande soy latte, no whip. And of course, chocolate will forever and always be her love language. ❤

Find Jennifer on her pages below and be sure to tell her I sent you…

Website

Facebook

Instagram

As always if you have a question or something inspirational to share please let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages.

Until tomorrow…

KAG

PS If you are someone who is looking for a few friends online I have started a community called JUST FOR US.

The JUST FOR US Community has been created for anyone going through a tough time. Health, heartache or just in need of some happiness. This is a safe place for you to share your feelings, find a few friends and most importantly know that you are not alone!

For more on my health journey visit my page here.