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At 40, This Women Was Overweight And Broke. But Pursing Fitness Goal Has Made Her Millions

At 40, This Women Was Overweight And Broke. But Pursing Fitness Goal Has Made Her Millions

It might not be easy to lose those extra pounds but it is not impossible. The excuses we give ourselves of busy schedule and not-that-fat rant are never ending. However, what if you lose everything else and just have yourself left to work on?

Natalie Jill, an entrepreneur who lost her marriage, house, and retirement at 40, had nothing left for herself. She was overweight and a mother of a new baby. She even had some serious debts to pay. She decided to not quit and lose her mind but instead she began to get back her life and has inspired many since then.

Who is Natalie Jill now?

She is now a popular online personality, fitness goal trainer, a licensed master sports nutritionist, and USA Today bestselling author. She owns Natalie Jill Fitness and helps others like her.

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Jill told Entrepreneur Network, “I can’t control anything else, but I can control my body. If I can just move every day, if I could just start eating better foods, I can control that — and everything else has to start getting better.”

She is an inspiration and motivation to many in the most simple and truest sense. The life lessons that can be learned from Jill will get your feet moving to make your life wonderful.

1. Be yourself.

Jill’s journey had not been easy. She learned her lessons the hard way. She got to work on her dreams when she almost lost everything. She decided to not lose herself in the process. She gained over 50 lbs while she was pregnant, and is now 60 lbs lighter. She did it by not starving herself or going on strict diet regimes but simply by listening to her body and requirements. Natalie Jill’s motto is straightforward: “Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be Fit.”

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2. Face reality.

Natalie Jill’s world came crashing down after her divorce. She did not anymore have fancy big house and nice salary cheques to hide behind. She faced the bitter truth and started to fix things. She made a clear vision to get the negativity out of her life. Jill made sure to not try anything intense or fad. She provided herself time to work out things.

“I made this vision board and thought to myself, If I could just stare at this vision board a few times, maybe I can start to believe that this is who I can be and work toward it.”

3. Always learn.

The fitness trainer describes her rock-bottom phase as ultimatum time. She took up the challenge but kept a clear mind in learning things from scratch. Natalie Jill suffers from autoimmune disease that does not allow her to consume gluten so she made gluten-free diets. She also has back pains at times so her exercises and workout plans are designed to prevent them.

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Apart from learning from herself, she advises entrepreneurs to keep learning from everyone. She believes that by learning, you will know your strengths and something new that you can try out.

“Every entrepreneur out there — we leave trails of stuff. You can see what we did. We have products. We have blogs. We have videos. We leave all that information out there. Be a student!”

4. Share your story.

In hard times, we all think that we are the only one who is suffering such turmoil in life. When Jill started to work out and exercise to look her better self, she started to share her journey and diet plans over social media. Soon, she had a following and that is how Natalie Jill Fitness was born.

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She shared her story and efforts without adding anything fancy to it. Turned out that her fitness lessons and weight loss strategy does wonder to not only her but many others.

5. Don’t get offended.

There will be many instances when someone or the else will try to pull you down. Do not let your life and success be offended by those who just wish to play the blame game.

“Walking on eggshells and trying not to offend people does NOT work because those people who are constantly ‘offended’ are not ready to be their best selves…yet. They are still in the blame-game mentality and they feel it necessary to place blame outwardly onto others, instead of being real and looking at themselves.”

Featured photo credit: Picography.co/ Pexels via pexels.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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