Monthly Archives: November 2012

Beyonce Challenge – Week 3

The “Single Ladies” video is physically demanding.  So if I’m going to pull this off, I need to get my body strong and flexible.

I’ve done some research on this subject.  I’ve read articles, talked to doctors, personal trainers, athletes and more to determine the best type of exercise for me.  My research has resulted in a simple yet phenomenal discovery.

The cool thing is the best type of exercise for me is also the best type of exercise for YOU!  Yes, you!  All of you.  Want to know what it is?  OK, here is my revelation.


The best exercise is the one that you will do.


It seriously is that simple.  If you love to hike.  Hike.  If you love to play hockey.  Play hockey.  If you love to lift weights.  Lift weights.  What are the activities that you love to do?

For me, I love Zumba and Pilates. I know if I commit to doing the activities that I love, that I have fun doing, I will stick to a weekly schedule.   I know if I do the work, the results will follow.

Beyonce Challenge – Week 2

Just to be clear.  Yes.  You read the blog post right last week.  I will be dancing with Beyonce on April 11, 2013.   I’m going to “green screen” me, Karen, doing the whole “Single Ladies” video with Beyonce in the background.  Oh God!  I told you again.  This is truly happening and yes panic and fear are bubbling up, but like I told you, I have a plan.

The first part of the plan is I want to make sure that when I shake my hips to the left that all of me stays there.  I know you ladies out there know what I talking about.  So, I made the commitment to lose some weight.  To accomplish this, I decided to join Weight Watchers on-line PointsPlus system.

Do I really need to join Weight Watchers?  That was my initial thought.  I mean I know what to do to lose weight.  Move more.  Eat less.  That truly is the secret formula.  So why wasn’t I doing what I knew I had to do?  As I sat to contemplate this question I was ready to learn a great mystery.  I got my heart and the head lined up ready for the big revelation.  Want to know what I got?  The big insight was “I don’t know.”

Well that’s a big help, I thought.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don’t know why I’m not losing weight.  I don’t know where my motivation is.  I don’t know why I am not holding myself accountable.  And I am slowly learning that I can’t do everything myself.  Sometimes we need outside support.  With my traveling schedule, Weight Watchers on-line seemed the best fit for me to keep my eating in check.

The program works on a point system.  All foods are given a point value.  Based on your weight, you are given a certain number of points for the day and week.  When you eat something, you determine the point value and record it.  What I love is everyday you get an allotment of points. So if you eat more on a given day, say like Thanksgiving, you use your daily points and your weekly points. But even if you use all of them up its OK because tomorrow, you start all over again.  You wake up and on-line is a fresh set of points ready to be tracked.

When I’ve tried other diets, if I over did it one day, I would feel like I ruined the whole week.  Here’s how it would go.  I would start a diet on Monday and on a Tuesday I would have to go to lunch with a client who would inevitably pick the restaurant with the worst food choices.  OK, maybe I said yes to the BBQ place too, but still I would feel like the whole week was ruined.  I would give up on Tuesday and even convince myself that I should get desert too because Monday I was really going to commit to a diet and there would be no excuses.  But guess what, next week there was a birthday party to attend.  The next week a business trip.  The next week, vacation.  I think you get the picture.

So far I like the program and am seeing results.  I am planning on indulging a bit this week.  Just need to exercise a little more (you get points for exercising too on Weight Watchers).  Speaking of exercise, I’ll let you in on my plan for that next week.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Do you sit at work dreaming about your dream job?  Do find yourself googling about things that support your dream while you are at work?  Do you resent the fact that you even have to go to your job?  A job that is nothing like the job you really want to do?  Well, do I have a good book for you.

In his book, Quitter, Closing the Gap Between You Day Job and Your Dream Job, author Jon Acuff explores that gap and presents the path that worked for him.

While working full-time, Jon started a successful blog Stuff Christians Like.  He starting to land speaking gigs and even published a book.  Being an author was his dream job, but Jon didn’t quit his day job when he got that publishing deal.  For him, the time wasn’t right.  The gap was still too wide.  So in the meantime he learned to hustle and learned to appreciate, be grateful for a job that supported his family and in turn his dream.

The book gives the reader some tools and a different way to think about your day job.  “Removing the I’m from your But,” “Falling in Like with a Job You Don’t Love,” and “Learn to Be Successful at Success,” are some of the chapters that really resonated with me.

So perhaps, like me, you have the gap.  Pick up Jon’s book.  It will especially help you on those days when the gap seems bigger than the distance between the rims of the Grand Canyon.  Quitter, will help you to acknowledge the gap, appreciate where you are in the process and provide some inspiration that someday the gap will be gone.

Beyonce Challenge

I created SOUL to inspire people to live their vision of excellence.  I did it for you, but also for me.  I feel the best leaders, the people who can be the catalyst for change, are those who lead by example.  So if I’m going to tell you to be your best, I need to be as well.  I found myself feeling a bit hypocritical a few months ago, especially in one area of my life, my physical health.  I could not inspire myself to do the things I need to do to get me into great shape, mainly eat better and exercise more.

When I feel frustrated about something, I have learned to recognize it and sit with it.  I need to literally sit with that feeling of frustration and see what is going on.  I’ve also learned that there are two conversations that I need to have, one with my head and one with my heart.   For me, my head always wants to go first and my head was being rather critical.  “You don’t look good in most of your pants.”  “You ‘ve got to always hide that roll with a blazer or big shirt.”  “You are looking old and not very attractive.”  Ouch!

Now it was time to listen to my heart.  My heart is much more soft-spoken than my head and will only talk when it knows I’m really ready to listen.  That particular day I was ready.  Here’s what my heart told me, “You need to commit to your health and physical fitness because when you do you are more powerful and confident.  You need this because your world is about to expand.”  Wow!  That was just what I needed to hear because I know for me that is the truth.  When I feel good, I am more confident, more powerful and more me!

So now I have my vision of this confident, powerful me, but how am I going to get there?  Again I know what to do.  Eat better.  Exercise more.  Why wasn’t I doing it?  I needed motivation.  I felt like I needed a challenge.  Something I could work towards so during those days when my Portuguese colleague brings in those vanilla custard thingies, I won’t eat half the box.

As followers of my blog, you probably know that I believe the universe is always sending us messages and I’ve learned over the years to pay attention.  Well I got a dozy the other day.  I’m driving with my husband when a song pops on the radio, Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”  As I listened I was picturing the video.  I love that video.  Beyonce looks so sassy in that video.  The moves are fun and sexy.  She exudes power and confidence.  Then it hit me.

On my 45th birthday, April 11, 2013, I am going to be Beyonce.

Yep.  That’s what I said.  Sixth months from today, I’m going to make my own video, sexy costume and all, of “Single Ladies” and post it here.

Oh God!  I told you.  Breathe, Karen.  It’s OK because I have a plan.  I’ll share the plan with you next week.  In the meantime, here’s what I am aiming for.  Enjoy!