how to be beautiful jennifer dene wellness

Rejoice In The Beauty Of You

I’ve always been something of an introvert; I enjoy spending time doing my own thing and tend to feel nervous in big social gatherings. But when I first moved to America in 2011 I told myself that I would become more outgoing, accept more invitations and basically just be more confident being me. If only the power of thought was enough.

As it turns out, I felt even more like a fish out of water. Stripped from the ease of living in Australia — where I understood the culture, the landscape, the ebb and flow of daily life — I found myself struggling just to fit in, much less be my most gregarious self.

My feelings of being disconnected to the people around me was not due to anything that they were doing, rather it came from my own negative self talk (you’re not as interesting; you’re not as pretty; you’re not as smart). Instead of spending energy building new relationships, much of my attention was focused inward, comparing how I felt about myself to what I perceived about others.

The more I played this game of “comparisonitis,” the less beautiful I felt. If only I could have understood that the power of knowing yourself and being comfortable in your own skin is far more attractive (to yourself and others) than any external physical feature.

This brings me to today’s topic: rejoicing in the beauty of being you.

The other day I was listening to an interview with Tera Warner, a body-image-detox coach. Like me, Tera believes that when women place too much emphasis on how they look, they take the joy away from how they live. 

Tera discussed how passive intake of body-obsessed media images (social media, advertising, entertainment and the like) is making women feel less at ease in their own skin. She went on to say that if women don’t stand in their own shoes and put their own mark on the world, then they’ll never escape the hamster wheel of negative body image.

And boy, do I agree with that.

Even after all the work that I’ve done on my own “body enlightenment” I can still catch myself scrolling through Instagram or watching other people’s YouTube videos and feeling less-than.

Such is the power of image and social perception.

I believe that you too play the game of comparisonitis (perhaps with other people you know, those you see online, or even with past versions of yourself) — so what are you going to do about it? Because you have to do something.

Doing nothing fuels the fire of self-doubt and keeps you focused on the fabricated media obsessions around body image.

Doing nothing keeps you small and means that you will never truly fall in love with your body and life (morbid reminder: you only get one of each).

Doing nothing diminishes a woman’s worth to believing that she is only as good as her appearance.

Obviously, you can’t do nothing.

In her interview, Tera shared a quote that I absolutely love: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first two syllables in beautiful are BE U.”

With that in mind, here are 10 things that you can do to not only love the skin you’re in, but to put your mark on the world in a way that shows other women that we, as a gender, are so much more than our bodies.

How To Be Beautiful You

  1. Live with compassion for yourself and others; be loving to those around you
  2. Be intentional about how you spend your time
  3. Achieve something every day that makes you feel proud
  4. Know your purpose in YOUR life…this doesn’t have to be exotic, it just has to be real
  5. Know what lights you up and brings you down; do more of the former and less of the latter
  6. Don’t spend too much time alone — real connections matters, social ones don’t
  7. Get offline as much as possible (your world won’t end if you delete some of those apps)
  8. Highlight your weird, unique differences — being the same as everyone else is boring
  9. Live in the now and appreciate who you are today, don’t try to be the person you once were or spend too much time wondering about the person you could become
  10. Spend more time and energy on creating things that you can put out into the world and less time on absorbing information and messages; be the curator of your own life’s photo album

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

What did you think about today’s topic? If you find yourself feeling deflated after spending too much time on social media, or comparing yourself to other people on a regular basis, what are you going to do about it? Which of these 10 suggestions, if any, feels like an area that you need to address? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With love,

The Key Weight Loss & Self Love

Hello again! I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for the last few weeks, as I spent a month frolicking in the beautiful Australian countryside. Taking that time away from my normal routine (and not feeling like I had to come up with all the answers to life’s questions) allowed me to have a good think about who I want to be in 2017, how I want to live my life, and how I can help you do the same.

During my month-long musings I noticed something about myself that, truth be told, surprised me a little. I realized that I’ve become a “when this will happen, that will happen” kind of person.

Let me explain…

Over the past few years I’ve taken to thinking that I need external circumstances to change before I can really accomplish the goals that I’ve set myself. I’ve assumed that it will be easier to achieve what I want to achieve once XYZ happens.

For example, I thought that:

  • When I got that job at the new Pilates studio… I would automatically become fitter.
  • When I reorganized my kitchen… I would happily cook more at home.
  • When I went on that holiday… I would return happier and more motivated than when I left.
  • When I relocated…I would naturally be more confident and make more friends.
  • When I reached my goal weight…I would love myself.

But it rarely turned out that way.

Saying that something will be different, doesn’t make it so. Nothing comes from words or thoughts that aren’t followed by actions.

I’ve known this, I’ve experienced this, but until now I haven’t truly internalized it.

The truth is, that for something in our life to change, we need to make a change first. You can’t think your way into a better body, a happier marriage, or a more fulfilling career, if all you do is think about it. Thinking, writing or speaking goals, aren’t worth a dime if they aren’t followed by action.

So, as we start the new year I want to ask you this: Are you ready to take action? Are you ready to take action to create a body and a life that you love, even if all the pieces of the puzzle haven’t yet fallen into place?

I’m ready to take that challenge, and I invite you to do the same.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You:

  1. Have you ever relied on external circumstances changing before you can become the person you want to be?
  2. Or, perhaps you’ve never experienced the “when this happens, that will happen” thought process. If that’s the case, what’s your secret to taking purposeful action?

I’d love to know your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

It’s great to be back with you.

With love,

JDW Signature

*PS Remember that massive blue planner that I lugged across the world? Other important items that made their way into my suitcase included: curry paste (a lot of curry paste), Kraft peanut butter, tins of tuna, leaf tea, and, somewhat awkwardly, three crushable boxes of salt and vinegar chips. I packed those in my carry on, of course. Now if I can just figure out how to transport a couple of legs of lamb…

How To Make Healthy Decisions - Jennifer Dene

How To Make Healthy Decisions (And Why We Don’t Like To)

I was at the supermarket the other day and I wanted to buy a bag of chips. I headed into the snack aisle, my eyes scanning the shelves, my hands not knowing whether to reach for potato or corn. (I adore them all.)

“Are we getting chips?” my husband asked.

“Ummm, maybe. I was thinking about it. Do YOU want some?” came my response.

Our conversation continued…

Him: “Sure, if you want them.”

Me: “I don’t really mind.” (I did.) “We’ll only get them if you feel like them.”

And continued…

Him: “Let’s not worry then, I don’t really feel like chips tonight.”

Me: “Are you sure? You might want some later. Maybe we should get them just in case…but only if YOU want.”

Can you see what was happening here? Despite the fact that I wanted chips I wasn’t willing to say the simple words “I’m going to buy myself a bag.”

Why?

Because I didn’t want to be responsible for making that decision.

I catch myself doing this from time-to-time, outsourcing my decisions so that it’s not my fault if things don’t pan out.

It’s a habit I don’t like and one that I’m changing, but it still catches me out every now and again.

Home cooking is a simple decision: you either cook or you don’t.

Exercising is a simple decision: you either do it or you don’t.

Drinking wine on a Tuesday night is a simple decision: you either drink it or you don’t.

These are some of the decisions that I battle with, and that I might pass off to someone else, even though the “right” choice is both personal and situational. Some days exercising is the best decision, other days it’s not. Sometimes getting take-out is great, other times it’s not.

You might not always make the right decision, but you do have to be willing to make a decision, especially if taking control of your health is important to you.

This month I’m committed to making my own healthy living decisions, with authority and without guilt, to see how the choices that I’m making affect my health, my happiness and the quality of my life.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

With love,

JDW Signature

stop feeling stressed

Stop Feeling Stressed: How To Manage Your Overwhelm

In today’s post I’m talking about overwhelm, and I’m going to share with you one simple strategy to help you stop feeling stressed right now. 

But first I want to assure you that if you’re feeling overwhelmed you’re not alone. In fact, according to a 2016 survey from the American Psychological Association, over 40% of Americans feel stressed on a regular basis.

And lately I’ve been one of them. (Well, I’m an honorary American I guess…)

Here’s a little glimpse into my life over the past 20 months. Here I am, a 20-something Australian woman with a degree in journalism, working in the health and fitness industry, husbanded-up, and driving a little red Mazda across the USs from North Carolina to Los Angeles.

A little interesting perhaps, but not too out of the ordinary. That is, until you take into account the following:

  1. We had never visited L.A. before deciding to move
  2. We didn’t know anyone there 
  3. Neither of us had jobs in California — Nate would continue to fly back to the East Coast (poor chap) and I would… figure it out.

Fast forward to 2016 and we’re happily settled in, loving life in our beautiful home and making great new friends. This is also when I decide to expand my business online — hello jenniferdenewellness.com!

And that’s where overwhelm kicked in.

In addition to my work in the health and fitness industry I had suddenly become… a web developer, a graphic designer, a marketing and sales director, a bookkeeper, and so much more. I’m also still trying to become somewhat fluent in social media speak >>> #progressnotperfection >>> #whydowehavetousehashtags

It would be an understatement to say that there’s been a lot to learn, and some days the stress levels have gotten kind of high. Like, 1960s flower-child-at-a-music-festival high.

But stress is just stress, and overwhelm is just overwhelm, and it happens to us all. The key is getting a handle on it before it spirals out of control, which is why I love today’s stress management exercise.

So grab some paper and a pencil and let’s do this thing. 

How To Stop Feeling Stressed NOW

This exercise works so well because it gets the mess out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Having all those thoughts bumping about in our brains, like dodgem cars at a carnival, can often make situations feel more overwhelming than they actually are. Seeing things written out allows you to logically categorize and start dealing with each individual item.

I definitely recommend that you do this exercise on an actual sheet of paper;  the physical act of writing engages different parts of our brain and helps us better process the information that we’re working on. Plus, taking a break from your computer is a quick stress-buster in-and-of-itself.

So let’s do it!

Step One – The Brain Dump

Write down everything you can think of that is making you feel stressed or overwhelmed. This might include actual tasks that you need to complete, goals that you’re working towards, and even less tangible thoughts and worries, such as feeling stressed about what the weather will do tomorrow. Spend no more than 3 minutes on this step.

Step Two – Make Four Categories

Take four different colored pens and circle your items according to the categories below:

  1. Must fix now
  2. Future self will deal with that
  3. Someone else can deal with that
  4. Not within my power

Be really clear about what items absolutely have to be done now, those that can wait for another time, and those that you don’t personally have to do. Items that are “not within my power” include worrying about the weather, worrying about the plane being delayed, or worrying about something else just for the sake of worrying. Spend no more than 5 minutes on this step.

Step Three – Consolidate Your Lists

Take a new piece of paper and write out only those items that you circled “must fix now”. This list should not be very long and only contain your highest priority tasks. Wondering what goes here? Ask yourself which tasks will make the biggest positive difference to how you feel about yourself and your life.

Then, take another piece of paper and write out only those items that you circled “future self will deal with that” — this is where all those non-urgent tasks go. You’ll probably notice that a lot of the items on this list are not really important… so why are you stressing about them? It’s likely that these are your procrastination-tasks, the ones that make you feel busy and productive but actually prevent you from completing items that really matter.

Spending too much time each day focusing on your “future self” list is draining your energy and limiting your potential for success. Focus on today, spend time completing the tasks that matter, and use that feeling of accomplishment to override overwhelm.

Step Four – Delegate:

Ask yourself which items from these two lists can be done by someone else. For example, if cleaning the house is a regular source of frustration then have a cleaner come in and help you, it’s cheaper than paying for a therapist! Make moves to outsource those tasks immediately. 

Step Five – Trash Your Stress

Quickly scan the very first list that you made, the brain dump, and read the items that you circled “not within my power”. Place your hand over your heart and say out loud: “I have no control over these situations and worrying about them isn’t benefiting anyone”. Then burn that piece of paper and let those concerns go up in flames with it. 

Step Six – Moving Forward (Calmly & Gracefully)

You’re now left with two lists, your high priority list, and your future self list. Read the latter and make a note of when you would realistically need to revisit the items here. Are they going to become important at a future date, or will they remain to be non-urgent tasks that you can complete at a later stage? You can make a note on your calendar to review this list in a few weeks, or just return to it if you find yourself with some extra time to kill. Now put it out of sight (and out of mind).

Finally, return to your high priority list. These tasks are the only items that have even the smallest claim on your stress levels, but we’re fabulous and feminine women, and a little to-do list is not going to get the best of us.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Choose the task that is the fastest to complete and make a mark next to it.
  • Choose the task that is most important to complete and make a mark next to it.
  • Acknowledge that these are the only two tasks that you need to focus on (not worry about) right now, and take action to complete them in the most timely manner possible.
  • Once both of these items have been checked off you can return to your priority list and choose another two.
  • Continue in this way until you’ve crossed off each item on that list.

In Conclusion…

Of course there are many other stress-management strategies that you can benefit from. Things like meditation, self-care exercises, coaching, physical activity, eating well, and spending time unplugged from technology should be a regular part of your routine. 

But there is a method to this list-making madness. Doing this exercise has hopefully helped you realize how many things you’ve been worrying about that you either can’t control, or you don’t need to worry about right now. It should also have cleaned up your mental clutter and shown you that even those things that might seem a little overwhelming at the moment can be tackled simply and methodically.

As you continue with your week I would encourage you to let go of stress for the sake of stress, and channel that same energy into being focused, productive and content.

See you next week!

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. I recorded this video on Facebook live, which is why it’s a little less clear (and why I said “hi Nate” as he popped into the live video recording!) Join me on Facebook here. 

FOLLOW THROUGH | JENNIFER DENE WELLNESS

How To Follow Through (& Set Goals That Matter)

I hear a lot of “failure” talk in my coaching business. Women will come to me after another failed attempt to lose weight. Another failed attempt to stick to a diet. Another failed attempt to strike work-life balance.

Which got me thinking about the concept of success and failure, and the clinical way in which we set goals and expectations for ourselves.

And I’ve realized that we’re going about it all wrong. It’s not the women that are failing, it’s the process they’re taking. 

You see, the standard way to set a goal is to think of a desired outcome (rather intellectually) and then take specific actions to get there. While being smart about goal setting is important, there’s a downside to being too strategic about the whole thing.

When we think too far ahead, and have a laser focus on how we’re going to achieve something in the future, we’re overlooking one of the most important aspects of success. That is: Will I enjoy the journey of reaching this goal?

If the answer is no, then you don’t have a hope of success.

Because successfully reaching a goal isn’t just about the outcome, it’s about enjoying the process that gets you there.

The key to staying motivated is to find joy in the journey. I don’t know about you, but counting calories, eliminating food groups or doing exercise classes that I hate is not going to motivate me to follow through on my health and fitness goals. If anything, it’s a one way street to failure.

But that’s the way we go about this whole goal-setting thing – we make choices that look good on paper.  It’s intellectual, but it’s not effective. And ladies, that’s what makes the diet industry a billion dollar business.

So What Can You Do Differently?

Instead of thinking about something you’d like to achieve and immediately asking how do I get there, start by asking why.

Why do I want to get to reach that goal?

Why do I want to make that change?

Why does this really matter to me?

Only after you’ve found your why, should you start on the how, which should be created in a way that’s realistic, sustainable and (most importantly) enjoyable.

Remember this: Goals aren’t reached overnight. Life is in the journey. Start with why. Build your own how.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Weigh in on this discussion by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Are you ready to break through walls of self-doubt and commit to reaching your REAL goals, once and for all? Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me via email: jennifer@jenniferdenewellness.com to schedule your free consultation.

3 Low Impact Leg Exercises | Jennifer Dene Wellness

3 Joint Friendly Exercises For Killer Legs

Mixing things up in the gym is important for your fitness AND your motivation. Today’s low impact leg exercises will be sure to catch your attention!

Having pin-up worthy pins is not only good for your confidence. Strong legs support your spine, increase your agility and condition your body to burn more calories (even during sleep).

Unfortunately many leg exercises rely on large ranges of motion, heavy resistance and high intensity, in order to be effective…which is not so hot if you’ve got wonky knees or a weak pelvic floor.

The three moves that I’m sharing with you today can be done back-to-back as a short workout, or included in your regular exercise routine.

TIP: Learn the moves now and then add them into your daily walk.

  • Walk three blocks and repeat three rounds of horrible lunges
  • Walk another block and do three rounds of crab walks
  • Walk another block and finish up with three rounds of pliés
  • Walk home (or, should I say, strut your stuff)

Yes, your neighbors will look at you quizzically — I suggest asking them to join you.

These leg exercises are terrifically effective and you don’t need any equipment. Here’s some things to keep in mind:

Pick Your Own Pace

You can do these moves as quickly or slowly as you like. I prefer to take things low and slow to keep the muscles under tension, but whatever gives you that burn, baby, burn kind of feeling.

Repetition Guide

Repeat each of these exercises for three sets. Beginners — aim for 10 repetitions per set; intermediate — 15-20 repetitions; advanced — 30 repetitions. Rest for 10-20 seconds between sets. Rest for 45 seconds between exercises. 

Need More Challenge?

Hold a heavy weight at your chest for each of these moves, I recommend 10 – 30 pounds.

Think You Don’t Have Time For Today’s Workout?

Think again! Join my free audio training Take Back Your Time To Create A Healthy Body & Life That You Love!

See you again soon!

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. When the burn begins don’t stop! You can absolutely do this!
How To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor | Jennifer Dene Wellness

How To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor & Reduce The Urge To Pee

I am having a chuckle to myself as I write this post.

I was at the gym this morning, sitting on a physioball doing my kegel exercises, eyes closed and deeply concentrating.

I was using my breath to contract my abdominals, and tapping my toes in a rhythmic beat that matched the lift and lower of my pelvic floor muscles.

That’s when I started to giggle.

You can imagine how strange it must have looked, this girl sitting, tapping, and huffing and puffing with her eyes closed.

Pretty weird!

Remember when I told you that we all feel awkward and out of place at the gym sometimes? Well, this was a prime example!

Want to know what I did? I started lifting and lowering my arms, just to make it look like I was exercising.

Talk about dorky.

But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Here’s why these exercises (and knowing how to strengthen the pelvic floor) is so important:

  • The pelvic floor muscles act like a hammock that supports the internal organs. A weak or damaged pelvic floor can lead to prolapse, where the pelvic organs actually fall out of the vagina.
  • Regularly doing kegels can reduce or even prevent incontinence, which is super important when you’re out-and-about and trying not to pee.
  • These muscles play an important role during intercourse and orgasm.
  • And they are one of the primary core muscles, meaning that they help to stabilize the pelvic girdle, strengthen the abdominals, and support the back.

Today’s video is important for everyone to watch (yep, men should know how to strengthen the pelvic floor too), and the exercise that I’m teaching you should be done every day.

With that in mind, here’s a tip to remember:

Choose specific daily activities that you associate with practicing your kegels. This will make it easier to remember to do them. Tweet this. 

Here are some of the activities that I use:

1. At traffic stoplights
2. When I make a cup of tea
3. And when going to the loo … you might as well feel them in action. (Too much information?)

Watch the video below to learn how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with kegel exercises, to support your internal organs, improve your sex life and reduce the urge to pee!

Questions, Comments, Insights?

This isn’t a topic to be embarrassed about, and the more we share the more we learn. If you’re finding it hard to engage your pelvic floor muscles, or have any questions about doing kegels or preventing leakage, I would love for you to leave a comment below so that I can help.

And, if you’re open to sharing, I would love to know what is your go-to activity to remind yourself to do these exercises each day!

Pelvic Floor Exercise: Lift, Hold + Release

  • Sit comfortably on a chair, with your legs apart and your spine straight up and down.
  • Keep your bum and abdominals relaxed, and then inhale through your nose.
  • As you exhale you will contract the pelvic floor muscles (imagine the feeling when you’re trying not to pee).
  • Hold on to that contraction for a full inhale, exhale, inhale and then slowly release the muscles on the next exhale.

Hint: As you’re contracting visualize a helium ballon, rising internally from the vagina to the naval, where it hovers as your cycle the breath.

Repeat this exercise twice a day, for 10 repetitions each time. As you get stronger your goal is to keep that contraction for a greater number of breath cycles, ultimately working up to 10 full total breaths (inhale-exhale) per lift.

It’s been such fun chatting with you today and I can’t wait to do it again soon!

Make sure that you’ve signed up for Jennifer Dene Wellness updates so that every new workout is delivered straight to your inbox. You can do that by clicking here.

With Love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget, you need to treat your P.F. like your B.F.
Live Boldly

How To Live Boldly & Increase Joy

When was the last time that you stepped outside of your comfort zone? 

Do you regularly have experiences that make you feel truly alive and inspired?

Have you forgotten how to live boldly and say YES to new opportunities?

While routine is important, to keep life buzzing along, it can be easy to get caught up in the humdrum of daily living. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we can do anything – be anything – if we just put our minds to it.

“There is enormous value in spontaneity, exploration, and living outside of your comfort zone.”  Click To Tweet.

And to live a life that you truly love you need to be excited, challenged, educated and inspired on a regular basis.

Which means reigniting the fire that allows you to live boldly and  burn brightly in everything you do.

And I want to help you do just that.

Today’s video will, hopefully, inspire you step out of your normal routine and embrace new experiences and opportunities with open arms. 

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you.

What might you say YES to, this week, that will reignite your creative and adventurous spark?

Please join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

This is the final video in my 7 part of my series: 7 Ways To Love Your Body & Life This Week. Catch up on all the previous videos here

7 Ways To Love Your Body (Cheat Sheet)

Just to recap, here’s your task for today:

  • Keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities or experiences this week.
  • Before you automatically say no, consider saying YES!

Thank you so much for joining me here on Jennifer Dene Wellness. Together we can create a bright, healthy and purpose-filled future for ourselves, and the women that come after us.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to download your Self Love Checklist. Here it is. 
Stop Dieting | Jennifer Dene Wellness

Stop Dieting And Live At Your Ideal Weight

Do you have a healthy relationship with food?

Are you able to eat intuitively, enjoying all kinds of food without guilt or shame? Or do you feel trapped by certain sets of dieting rules that tell you what, when or how to eat?

Would you love to stop dieting but are anxious about gaining weight if you do?

In today’s video I’m sharing the simple mindset shifts that allowed me to finally stop dieting, and changed my life physically, mentally and emotionally.

And it started with the realization that finding our ideal weight doesn’t start with the food on our plates, it starts with trusting in our bodies and experiencing our lives. 

If we spent more time focusing on how we want to feel, we could (quite easily) look how we want to look. Tweet This.

If you’re regularly eliminating foods that you enjoy, just because someone whom you have never met — and knows nothing about your lifestyle or body type — has written a book suggesting that you should, then today’s video is for you.

I hope that, by pressing play on today’s video, you will feel empowered to release the diet mindset and discover how to live at your happy weight, in a happy way, once and for all.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you. Answer one or both of the questions below.

  1. Does the idea of ditching the diets feel liberating or anxiety-inducing to you?
  2. Have you experienced an “aha” moment about eating for your lifestyle and body type?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Remember that this video is part of my series: 7 Ways To Love Your Body & Life This Week. Catch up on all the videos here.

Click the image to download your free Self Love Checklist!

7 Ways To Love Your Body (Cheat Sheet)

Just to recap, here’s your task for today:

  • Write down all the dieting rules that you’re trying to follow. Keep what serves you and ditch the rest.
  • Stop classifying foods and “good” or “bad”, and give yourself permission to eat all food.
  • Pay attention to the foods that make you feel great, and the one’s that don’t.
  • Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re comfortably full.
  • Enjoy a treat every day!

Then, dive into the next video, where we’re chatting about making exercise fun!

Thank you so much for joining me here on Jennifer Dene Wellness. I know that together we will create a bright, healthy and purpose-filled future for ourselves, and the women that come after us.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to download your Self Love Checklist. Here it is.