Monday, September 15, 2014

What Oprah Knows For Sure

What I Know For Sure
By Oprah Winfrey
228 pp. Flatiron Books. $18.62

Essays written by Oprah Winfrey for  O The Oprah Magazine have been gathered into this small, yet powerful book.

Part memoir, part inspiration, this book contains lessons Oprah has learned throughout her life.

Recounting important moments from her talk show-- interviews, friendships she formed with influential people, what she learned from the guru's on her show-- Oprah relays important information that anyone can learn from.

These essays have been edited by Oprah in 2014 to reflect how she has grown since writing the original essays.

Reading this book has made me wonder what I know for sure.  One thing I know for sure is when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

We can  learn new things that will improve our lives from any number of sources, and in any number of ways if our eyes and ears are open.

What do you know for sure?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weight Loss Inspiration

Weight loss can be difficult to achieve and even more challenging to maintain. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to see stories of other people who have lost weight and kept it off.

Seeing these people have success with their weight may be helpful because:

A) It shows that it's possible. Sometimes when you've been overweight for so long you fear that you will never get down to a healthy weight.

B) It gives you a visual to cling to, an image to keep in mind as you workout and make healthy food choices.

Here are some inspirational sites I've come across lately.

  • The Weigh We Were-- This site features people who have lost huge amounts of weight through diet and exercise alone. Each featured person tells their own story in their own words.
  • Black Women Losing Weight-- Featuring success stories, motivational articles, and monthly challenges, this site shows people who have lost weight both from diet and exercise and/or weight loss surgery.
  • Huffpost Healthy Living -- This site features various articles about people who have lost weight. At the end of each article is a slideshow of other weight loss stories to choose from.
  • CNN Weekly Weigh In -- CNN showcases weight loss success stories. There are video segments to accompany the articles. 

If you have been struggling with your weight, I hope these sites motivate you to get up and try again.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Begin Boldly

Pick an actor...any actor who is successful in his career, but  is actually not that great at acting. Got that image in your mind? Now imagine that actor never attempted to follow his dreams because he felt like he wasn't good enough. Where would he be now?
One day I decided to read a book written by a world famous author. I was ready to dive into the book and learn. I wanted to learn what made this writer's writing so good that she's sold millions of books in many different languages. What I found on the pages, however, was writing that broke every rule a new writer learns in Creative Writing 101. I was shocked! This writer's books are loved all of the world, and yet the writing isn't actually good.
What if this writer never submitted her first manuscript to a publisher because she thought she couldn't write as prolifically as Toni Morrison? Where would that writer be? What would her career look like today?
I admit to being hard on myself. I never think I'm ready to launch out and go after what I want. Always thinking that I need to know more, be more, have more, and I end up holding myself back.
"Start before you're ready." -Steven Pressfield
There's this notion that every person who does something great is confident, fearless, and perfect. What if they actually are afraid, but they go for it anyway? What if they know they aren't the best but they go for their dreams because they know they have something to offer?
"Every professional was once an amateur.  Every expert was once a beginner." Unknown
It's okay to not know learn as you go. Whatever you want to do, change careers, start a business, go back to school, get healthy, or complete a creative project, go for it!
There is no benefit to sitting on your goals and dreams.  You never know, the outcome just might be great!
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." -W.H. Murray

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

10 Ways to Avoid Giving Up

This is a repost from last year on April 15th. I hope you are still hanging on, and making progress.
If you are currently struggling, as we all are from time to time, keep reading.

Don't throw in the towel just yet. I know, I's hard. You feel like you've given your all and it is still not good enough. You aren't seeing the results you want and you wonder if the fight is even worth it.

It is.

Faith is a concept I love, but I often struggle with it when it comes to my own life. Oh you can relate? Yes, I thought you could.

So as I sit here contemplating all of my reasons to give up, I think of you. I think to myself, what would I tell you, if you were contemplating the same thing.

 Since giving up is not an option, here are 10 things you can do instead of walking away when things look bleak. None of these are groundbreaking or new, but it's good to be reminded.

1. Pray- Overly simple. Prayer I have found, can bring you back from the brink of despair. It can help you to find peace where before there wasn't any.
2. Meditate- Meditating or even just sitting quietly helps you to see and hear things you couldn't when you were fretting.
3. Journal- Writing down what you are feeling is a great way to get clear. Write it down and get it out without censoring yourself.
4. Be Grateful- Whenever I feel like everything is going wrong, and all hope is lost, if I say even one thing that I'm grateful for aloud, I notice that my attitude begins to shift for the better. Try it.
5. Run- Ok you don't have to jump up and run a six minute mile, but moving helps you to stay sane. Sometimes just sitting and thinking negative thoughts robs you of all of your energy.
If you get up and do even one active thing like unloading the dishwasher, or taking out the trash, or doing a workout dvd, it helps to elevate your mood.
6. Find a friend- Sometimes you can feel like you don't have anyone to talk to. A friend can be anything, from your higher power to a pet. Find a friend and lean on that friend when you are having a tough time.
7. Look to your list- When you are in a good mood, come up with a list of things you can do if ever a sad, stressful, frustrated, or angry mood comes on. Then when the mood does come, use the list.
8. Read or Listen- A lot of mood elevation can come from reading something positive or listening to it. Just seeing positive words can help you to feel more positive.
9. Work- Your problems aren't just going to solve themselves, you must do the work. In what areas can you improve? Work on those. Anything worth having, takes work including peace of mind.
10. Enjoy the good times- It is important to live in the moment and be excited about the good times. When things are going well, revel in it. Store up the memory for a down day-- which is sure to come around again-- and perhaps it will help you to remember that tough times don't last.

The lotus is one of my favorite flowers because it grows up through mud and blooms in the sunlight. I hope that you too will be able to rise above the muddy areas in your life and bloom in the sunlight.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Guest Post--New Reasons to Quit Smoking from the Surgeon General

Bad news for smokers: your habit might cause even more health problems than you previously believed.

According to a new report released by the Surgeon General, smoking increases the risk for diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction, impaired fertility, colorectal and liver cancer, and immune system weakness.

The news isn’t great for people who spend a lot of time around smokers either: according to the report, second-hand smoke increases the risk for strokes in non-smokers.

It’s been 50 years since the U.S. Surgeon General released a report officially linking smoking to lung cancer, and the knowledge of just how much damage smoking can do to your health has helped a lot of people kick the habit. We’ve come a long way, but smoking is still a popular habit in our country, and roughly 20.8 million people have died of smoking-related diseases since that original report in 1964.

For many of those people who smoke today, knowing the additional risk for the diseases outlined in the Surgeon General’s report won’t be a strong enough motivation to quit. After all, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who believes that smoking is actually good for them. People don’t smoke for their health; they smoke because it’s an addictive habit they get into, and trying to quit can lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

In addition to knowing the health risks, many people need a stronger motivation to quit smoking. Here are just a few that have worked for some former smokers:

Parents sometimes find motivation by telling themselves they don’t want their children to pick up the habit, and that they don’t want to die before their time of a smoking-related disease and miss seeing their children (or grandchildren!) grow up.

Recent studies have proved that exercise temporarily reduces cigarette cravings, and getting into a regular exercise routine has helped many people quit smoking. It also motivates people to stay smoke-free so that they can get in better shape and enjoy an active lifestyle.

One company now produces smoking cessation software that shows smokers what they would look when they’re older if they continue to smoke regularly. Since smoking a pack a day causes a person to take on the wrinkles of someone 1.4 times their age, some people are successfully able to scare themselves into quitting after seeing how their habit will impact their appearance.

A researcher from the University of Georgia recently found that smokers who use social media as a motivational tool during their quitting attempt are more likely to stay smoke-free than those who don’t use social media. Many people update their progress on Facebook, Twitter, or health-specific social media sites to give themselves a support network and greater accountability.

When it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter whether people give up smoking because of health concerns or because of another motivational factor. What matters is that people find a tool that empowers them to kick the habit and live a healthier lifestyle.


Juliana Weiss-Roessler is a freelance writer and co-owner of Weiss-Roessler Writing with her husband Josh. She writes about a wide range of topics, including health, fitness, and running a small business. She currently lives in Austin, TX with Josh, her 20-month-old son, and two rescue dogs.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is Grad School Necessary?

In my latest article written for Monster College I discuss several things students should consider before applying to graduate school.

When students first finish their undergraduate degrees, they feel a strong sense of accomplishment. New graduates often are optimistic about embarking on a new career.
A few months after graduation, however, some students get frustrated by their inability to find a job in their chosen field.
As a result of chronic unemployment or being dissatisfied with the job they do have, many people choose to continue their education in graduate school.

Here are some things to consider before going back to school:

Read the rest of the article here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Intern to Employee

I'm a huge proponent of students working internships. Internships allow students to apply what they've learned in the classroom to a real job.

Some students are able to turn their internships into their first full-time job.  It is a great thing to be able to graduate college, and immediately be able to work in your chosen career field. Many college graduates aren't as fortunate.

In my latest article written for Fastweb, I give some tips for turning your internship into a paying job.

Find out what you can do to make your first job out of college a job you love by checking out my article here.