What Success Looks Like

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I’m a morning person. The type that pops out of bed with no alarm at 7 a.m. on a lazy Saturday. From the second my eyes open via my internal alarm clock, I feel like I’m missing out on something if I lie there another second!

However, when I began my early morning workout routines… that was another story. Even for me, 5 a.m. was considered night. With a little pushing, though, I was able to conquer my alternating morning barre3 and spinning classes. I read through some great tips via @KateUpdates and pumped myself up with the help of @MissMissyGlee.. and voilà! A morning exerciser was born.

I’m more dedicated now than ever to my fitness routine, healthy eating and listening to my body. As I get older, I realize that it’s what’s keeping me here. Also, it’s going to need cared for even more than right now as I age! If I don’t get enough rest, if I fill it with junk food and alcohol, if I don’t exercise- I’m ruining it, and I’m stacking the cards against myself. Sounds a little crazy, right?

Of course, it’s not always easy- which is why I love the image above regarding success. When looked at from the outside, it does seem like a straight upward climb. I look at those around me conquering health and fitness goals, and I’m jealous! I think, “How is this so EASY for them?”

But it’s never quite the same from the inside- especially knowing the path I’ve gone down to reach some of my own goals over the past few years. I can vouch that it isn’t always a straight climb to the top. As I said in a previous post, it’s the ability to get back up after you fall, and keep trying that allows you to reach success (however you define it).

Whatever goal you have, don’t get discouraged. Keep pushing through the tough spots. There will be valleys and hills, but once you reach and surpass the goals you set for yourself, you’ll look back in amazement. And the best part? You get to define another new set of achievements to reach for!

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Chili Season Kick-Off

It’s officially my favorite time of year: fall! That means hot apple cider, pumpkin patches, blueberry donuts (from my beloved White House Fruit Farm) and CHILI!

Chili is one of my go-to meals when I don’t have a ton of time. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and most of that time is letting it sit on the stove and heat. The chili recipe I’m sharing also includes Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles. I’m not a big fan of ground meat and actually tend to steer toward vegetarian options when I can. You can’t taste the difference with this stuff. It looks (and tastes) like ground beef. My husband even loves it! See?

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Anyway- here’s the recipe and everything you need. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

What you need:

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Ingredients (serves 3-4 people)

  • McCormick Original Chili seasoning (or whatever seasoning you prefer!)
  • Kidney Beans
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles (found in the freezer section – Vegetarian Options)
  • Cooking spray (or olive oil)

Instructions:

  • Spray your pan with cooking spray or mist with olive oil to prevent the crumbles from sticking. Heat for 1 minute on medium.
  • While your pan is heating, stick the Boca bag in the microwave for 45 seconds on high. This will thaw the crumbles just enough to separate them.
  • Open your Boca bag and slowly dump the crumbles into the pan. Be sure to l heat thoroughly (usually 5-7 minutes) and stir often.
  • After your crumbles are thawed and warm, add in chili seasoning, kidney beans (undrained), and diced tomatoes (undrained). Bring mixture to a boil, then let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve and enjoy!

I love trying new recipes- so if you have a chili recipe you love feel free to send it my way. Happy fall!

When Enough is Enough

I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to write this post. I want to share one of my past experiences with other job seekers looking to break into the PR/media world. Or any job world for that matter.

I am generally an upbeat person, which works well because everyone says to focus on the positive and forget the negative. But I don’t think that’s always the case. If this post can help just one person, then it’s doing more good than harm.

In November 2011, I left a position at a company I loved. However, I recently transitioned into a non-communications based role and I missed the writing, talking and, well, communicating! So when an opportunity came along at the Columbus-based emerging food brand advertising/PR agency, RMD Advertising, I jumped.

During the interview it seemed like a great place to work (friendly interviewers, a dog in the office, couches to work on, music blasting) and I didn’t see any red flags. However, a quick Google search would have helped raise some for me (Glassdoor.com reviews, two blog posts [one and two] from former employees.) The negative reviews must have been brought to their attention, with a recent influx of positive reviews. It’s easy to see the glaring differences between the two. Nobody speaks negatively of a company just for the fun of it.

Below, I will describe what I encountered there. Every day was a struggle, everyone was talked about behind their back and nobody was treated with any ounce of respect. It was unethical, immoral and awful behavior that no one should ever have to deal with.

  1. Lunch break? Think again. You ate at your desk (if at all) while working.
  2. The expected hours were Monday through Friday 7 a.m. – 7:15 p.m. You were then to go home and get online. And work over the weekend.
  3. Interns were not there to learn- they were there to clean the kitchen and office mess, and it was normal to hear “I want (fill in food/coffee choice). Intern, go get it for me.” They were talked down to constantly by owners and employees alike.
  4. You were required to listen to religious and motivational speakers on your iPod on the way to and from work, in addition to going into the office early on Fridays and listening as a group.
  5. The owners constantly berated and put down the people who worked for them. It was normal to hear crude jokes, screaming, swearing and yelling multiple times a day.

Here are a few specific events that opened my eyes, and ultimately led me to quit:

  1. One of the owners was late for a media segment I secured for him, after he spent the day before reminding me over and over not to be late. I spent 45 minutes calling him with no answer, and he arrived 50 minutes later. His wife (the other owner) blamed it on me.
  2. We were told to “watch” as one of the owners embarrassed and berated an intern in front of the group. After the intern left the office, the owner smiled at us and said, “That’s how it’s done.”
  3. I watched a co-worker break down in a meeting after we were yelled at for not attending a 5K run that the owners decided the company would participate in (not sponsor, not for one of our clients.) Through tears, a co-worker explained she had family obligations that weekend. The owner gave her a dirty look, told her to “stop being a baby” and said “bring your family with you next time.”
  4. They unfairly docked my paycheck during the holidays, claiming I was new so they didn’t pay out for holiday time-off. I was (a) on salary and (b) had worked through every holiday anyway. After I let them know I was quitting, the owner then told me I would be paid for that time. A huge red flag.
  5. I received a call from my mom one morning on my way to work, letting me know my uncle had unexpectedly passed away. When I built up enough courage to ask my boss for two days of unpaid time off to attend the calling hours and funeral, the owner lectured me on professionalism. I had to beg them for unpaid time off.
  6. On a related note, that same day one of my co-workers, when referencing the situation, told me to “suck it up.” This still makes me sick to my stomach.

I can’t believe it took me 3 months to say “enough is enough!” I resigned in January 2012, with no job offer or at that point solid prospect. It was the smartest decision I have ever made. It wasn’t easy, and I can’t thank my husband enough for supporting me in that decision.

Nobody is going to look up to you for sticking out this type of job. And nobody will want to hire you for having these people as “business contacts.” If you find yourself in that situation, get out while you can and never look back. It’s just not worth it.

Special note: I’d also like to thank my old employer, who provided me with a contracted position on an interim basis after I quit until I found something permanent. Which I did! And it’s amazing.