TAMILY TALES: Issue No. 2

TAMILY TALES: Issue No. 2
November 4, 2015 Aja Johnson

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7ed9f5d0-65f6-4f53-b775-4199d0b2279fConsistency. Generosity. Honesty. Understanding. Compassion. Loyalty. Support. Delight in what makes someone else smile. These are just a few of the characteristics I consider essential to building meaningful relationships. While I champion independence, I believe that means being an individual, not a loner. I’ve had to learn the hard way that being an individual who loves to see other people shine has its downfalls, for every stick you pick up on your path has two sides. Unfortunately, both sides are not always the same; one could be sharp. This lesson had to be laid out for me after years of picking up too many sticks with incongruent ends. I have finally become more careful in choosing those “sticks” as I approach my wiser years. Luckily, life has sent some pretty amazing people my way.

I was trying to remember the first time I met one such person, the wonderful Alicia McMahon, as I sat down to write this, thinking it was at the first of several ViTAlity weeks she attended in August 2014. When I texted Alicia to verify, she said it was actually back in October of 2012 and sent me a pic she took with me and another she took that day with my lovely sister-in-life Maria Kelling at the launch party for my Pregnancy Project. I feel so fortunate that Alicia not only stayed consistent with my method, but has been consistent with showing up in my life as well. We have become friends through these layers of connection—not to mention she is doing my life insurance policy, because she is also remarkably intelligent!

One of the benefits of turning 40 was feeling like my voice started being heard a little clearer. Friendships and deep mutual respect—like the one the amazing Maria Kelling and I have had for nearly a decade—are incredibly powerful. When you really know the place someone is coming from and they prove it to you, that sisterhood is true, strong, and unbreakable. Alicia has steadily shown up for me, both as a student and as a friend. I am so proud to now also be a client of hers! She is beautiful, sharp, loving, giving, sentimental, fun, and a real pal. Alicia has a heart of gold—and beautiful eyes of blue steel leading to that equally gorgeous heart of hers.

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MY GOAL IS TO MY LIFE’S WORK FOR OVER 15 YEARS HAS BEEN TO CREATE PEACE OF MIND THROUGH FINANCIAL SECURITY.  Those who engage in their plan consistently will gain confidence on their way to becoming financially fit. We are born with LIMITLESS opportunities and it is my mission to live this life BIG. To be authentic. To have courage and be kind while following my heart and intuition and empowering others to do the same, especially my girls.

I want the world to know that everyone has the opportunity to become financially fit.  I want to take the intimidation factor away. CONSIDER THIS: FINANCIAL FITNESS IS JUST LIKE PHYSICAL FITNESS. WHY? Because your physical health and your financial health are arguably the most important factors affecting your well being, security, and quality of life (and your family’s).

Being physically fit and financially fit are so very similar. Being physically fit isn’t just about reaching a magic number on the scale and being financially fit is also not about a magical number on a net-worth statement. It is more a state of mind than a specific level of wealth. Most of this audience probably has physical fitness goals and it should be no different for financial fitness. To become financially fit, you should define your financial goals, have a financial plan and work towards them…does that sound like your physical fitness plan? I bet it does! To remain physically fit you should consult experts like Tracy who can guide you  on your individual mission to be the best version of YOU. Similarly, for financial fitness, you should consult a trusted adviser who can guide you on your specific goals to be your best financially.

Achieving long-term financial fitness is no different than truly OWNING your physical fitness. It takes courage, discipline, sacrifice, and consistent effort, but the rewards are limitless.

2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5SOME #TAMILY MEMBERS WORKOUT IN THEIR LIVING ROOMS IN IOWA, OTHERS ON THEIR BALCONIES IN ITALY. WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU START #TAREALTIME?

4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9 I started on day 1! I actually have a workout room but since it was winter and so cold when we started streaming, I started in my bedroom in front of my fireplace just to sweat as much as possible! I now mainly use my workout room but will literally do it anywhere to get it done.

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2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5WE ALL FACE CHALLENGES WHEN IT COMES TO BEING OUR HEALTHIEST SELVES—INSIDE AND OUT. WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR JOURNEY?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9Fueling my body with the right foods consistently when I am constantly on the run. I actually found a chef to make my meals for me by giving her the recipes out of the 30 Day Method and from one of my favorite websites for recipes Oh She Glows.  She now has an amazing business that we can buy meals from when our schedule is just extra crazy.

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2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5HAS BEING PART OF THE COMMUNITY OF #TAMILY WOMEN HELPED YOU TO OVERCOME THIS? HOW SO?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9Yes! How so? I am so much more aware and find so many great ideas/reminders of better choices.  It is really quite amazing!

2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5ONE OF THE COOL THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THE #TAMILY IS HOW IT CONNECTS WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD. HOW ARE YOU INSPIRED BY OTHER WOMEN? WHO IN THE #TAMILY INSPIRES YOU?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9 I am so inspired by the amount of women I see showing up for themselves to be their best and who empower others as well. It is so powerful for us each individually to show self love to be able to give that love back to everyone else that depends on us.

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How much room do we have? I mean, really?!!! You know I can not pinpoint just one. Besides Tracy and the amazing trainers, I am inspired every day by someone different. I have to say that I really think Oprah needs a comeback show with Tracy and Gwyneth that highlight the impact that this method has had! I already have the first panel of ladies ready for you Oprah!   I am lucky enough to say that I have connected with so many amazing women over the last 6 years but there are 3  ladies specifically that I am extremely close with.  I originally connected to these ladies because of our shared love for the method and we have now had a friendship for over 5 years that transcends way beyond the workout! We text daily and besides helping each other stay accountable to our workouts we have been a huge support to each others success in our businesses and personal lives.  Can we take a moment to think about that?? I sometimes have to pinch myself.  We have been there for each other through so many life events and I could not be more grateful for their friendship.

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2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5HOW DO YOU CONNECT WITH OTHER WOMEN IN THE #TAMILY BOTH ON INSTAGRAM AND IN REAL LIFE?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9Instagram and Text are the best! And meeting at a vitality week is a must!

2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5LIKE MOST WOMEN I KNOW, YOU ARE BUSY! WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR FITTING WORKOUTS INTO A HECTIC LIFESTYLE?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9 You have to schedule it. It really is as simple as that.  You can learn a lot about someone and what’s important to them just by looking at their calendar!

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2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5ONE THING THE #TAMILY HAS IS STYLE. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE OUTFIT TO EXERCISE IN?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9A tank and right now it would be a tie between Pam&Gela “you’ve got a friend” tank and The Upside “Be You” tank.  I love to find meaning in things.  It is motivating to me. The Upside ballet bra is my most favorite under the tank and I am a big fan of Koral Activewear leggings.
2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TA MOMENT?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9My initial one on one at my first vitality week. I felt like Tracy was talking to me exactly how I talk to my clients. It was deep and connected.  She took the time to get to know ME and my situation because our stories are all so unique.   I do the exact same with my clients on my mission to help them find peace of mind thru financial security and I just felt a deep connection through her process.

 

 

 

 

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2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PRE-WORKOUT MEAL?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9I usually workout early in the morning so just have a warm lemon water or if I am needing a boost, I love the TA Ignite protein shake!

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2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5FAVORITE INDULGENCE?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9I would say chocolate but I don’t consider that an indulgence that is really just a must.  When I go back to my home town, everything gets thrown out the window. I will never pass up a opportunity to eat pizza and tacos from Manny’s or Sieverts back home and I will most certainly follow it up with a blizzard! cue…Just a small town girl..

2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5HOW ELSE DO YOU FIND BALANCE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9I have an amazing team! Support at home and in my business is so key! First and foremost, my husband is my biggest supporter and always has my back.  Our nanny is amazing with our kids and makes sure we never miss a single event our girls are in.  Our assistant has been with us for over 12 years and I don’t know what I would do without her!  A team all on the same mission is so important and  consistency in our day is so grounding. Kids need it. We need it. Consistency thou art a jewel, truly.

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2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5 CAN YOU SHARE YOUR FAVORITE POST-WORKOUT RECIPE FOR THE REST OF THE #TAMILY TO ENJOY?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9Ok, I am super simple. I love the Vanilla Revitalize shake post workout with 8oz of water, a little coffee, 2 scoops of powder and 1 scoop of ice blended in the vitamix.  If I am feeling crazy I will add a date. And in the summer I love organic mint leaves and organic cherries mixed in but I am truly happy and find the simplicity of the coffee, powder and ice to be super satisfying.

2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5ALL RIGHT, HERE’S A FREE PASS TO BRAG: IN ADDITION TO THE SUCCESS OF STICKING WITH IT, WHAT PROGRESS HAVE YOU MADE SINCE YOU STARTED #TAREALTIME AND BECAME PART OF THE #TAMILY, BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9I feel very connected to my body and to these amazing women who are such a positive impact in my world. I am re-engaged mentally, which feels amazing. I own my transformation (never yo-yo!) which is such a great place to be(not going back!) but what I really love, is that I see opportunity instead of negativity towards a part of my body. This opportunity to be MY best. Our words are so powerful. I do not see that my body has this problem or that problem. I see an amazing body that birthed two beautiful girls that I am responsible for. When I talk about my opportunity to tighten my belly, I truly mean, opportunity.  Opportunity is an amazing thing. And I am so up for the challenge.

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2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR BODY?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9I am in awe of a women body since having children.  I love that it gave me my two girls.  I love how smart it is and how it responded to the method. I feel better than ever.

2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR INTERNAL SELF?
4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9My self awareness and my drive to be my best.
2351f61d-8416-4edb-a9ee-2921a88335b5WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THEIR HEALTH AND BODY IMAGE?

4aeae3b3-463d-4e54-ae75-6ec592a9b7c9I would want to give them a big hug because somewhere along the way words, messages, experiences transformed them. You are not alone but if you choose to love yourself(it won’t be perfect)) and choose to connect with others, specifically, the tamily, it’s just not possible to not find your best, unique, you. You can change your whole life thru connecting with the world. We truly are limitless.

I recently heard Jess Weiner speak and she said …
“We can help redefine what is beautiful by using our social media platforms to spread positivity and acceptance. Within our families, friends, classrooms, and communities, we’re constantly shaping the world by what we post online.
It could be one word or comment. One image or video.
Being mindful about what we communicate is what creates opportunities to shift our culture in big and small ways.
We all have the power to #ChangeOneThing.”
I really love that and I feel a huge pull to help. If you are on social media, really think about this…What if we didn’t just consume, but we choose to participate? Empowered women empower. Don’t sit on the sidelines when you can lead.
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ALL PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ALICIA. FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM @A_S_K_MCMACHAN.

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cdf93844-7d59-4a76-a9d4-c0505a83ea8d-1Favorite November Recipe
THIS AIN’T GRANDMA’S SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
ADAPTED FROM OH SHE GLOWS

INGREDIENTS: 
•    4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
•    2 tablespoons organic valley butter or Kerrygold
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    5 tbsp pure organic maple syrup
•    1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
•    3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
•    3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

TOPPING INGREDIENTS: 
•    1/4 cup Organic Valley butter
•    1/2 cup Organic Sucatant (or brown sugar)
•    1/3 cup gluten-free flour
•    I don’t use but you can add 3/4 cups chopped pecansDIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish with canola oil. Peel and then boil sweet potatoes until tender.  Mash the sweet potatoes with the butter until smooth. Add the vanilla, maple syrup, sea salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour into casserole dish. Next, mix the topping ingredients together until well-combined. Sprinkle topping mixture over the casserole and bake for approx. 50 minutes, checking it every so often.

ALICIA”S CURRENT FAVORITE QUOTE:

“…YOU HAVE TO BE WHO YOU ARE. AND YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT WHO YOU ARE IS MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH FOR JUST ABOUT ANYONE, REGARDLESS OF AGE OR FINANCIAL STATUS. FOR THAT IS THE GREAT SECRET; IT IS THE KEY TO ALL SUCCESS, AND INDEED TO ALL HAPPINESS.” – NICK MURRY
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ALICIA’S  FAVORITE QUOTE OF ALL TIME:

“…OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS NOT THAT WE ARE INADEQUATE.
OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS THAT WE ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE.
IT IS OUR LIGHT, NOT OUR DARKNESS THAT MOST FRIGHTENS US.
WE ASK OURSELVES, WHO AM I TO BE BRILLIANT, GORGEOUS, TALENTED, FABULOUS?
ACTUALLY, WHO ARE YOU NOT TO BE?
YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD.
YOUR PLAYING SMALL DOES NOT SERVE THE WORLD.
THERE IS NOTHING ENLIGHTENED ABOUT SHRINKING SO THAT OTHER PEOPLE WON’T FEEL INSECURE AROUND YOU.
WE ARE ALL MEANT TO SHINE, AS CHILDREN DO.
WE WERE BORN TO MAKE MANIFEST THE GLORY OF GOD THAT IS WITHIN US.
IT’S NOT JUST IN SOME OF US; IT’S IN EVERYONE.
AND AS WE LET OUR OWN LIGHT SHINE, WE UNCONSCIOUSLY GIVE OTHER PEOPLE PERMISSION TO DO THE SAME.
AS WE ARE LIBERATED FROM OUR OWN FEAR, OUR PRESENCE AUTOMATICALLY LIBERATES OTHERS.”
– MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

 

f15932e3-0eb0-4b20-afe3-c13e8ad360aeALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK: RHINOCEROS SUCCESS BY SCOTT ALEXANDER

This book has so much meaning to me and was given to me the day I took a leap of faith to start my business. The person who gave it to me has made one of the biggest impacts on my life and this book will always hold a special place in my heart.  I don’t know where I would be with out my rhino thick skin!

9d0e24d4-0880-481a-9919-cbf5c111a1e7CURRENT FAVORITE BOOK: THE MOTIVATION MANIFESTO BY BRENDON BURCHARD

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ALL-TIME FAVORITE FILM: SLIDING DOORS (1998)
All time fave Sliding Doors!! (Duh) and I even cut my hair!

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CURRENT FAVORITE FILM: CINDERELLA (DISNEY)
Cinderella because I loved the message so much and pretty much only watch kids movies now haha. Toy Story non-stop!

ADVICE ALICIA WOULD PASS ONTO YOUNG WOMAN THAT SHE WISH SHE HAD KNOWN EARLIER ON IN LIFE:

1. Don’t be so hard on yourself. 2. Perfection is not reality and what other people think of you is none of your business. 3. Follow your instincts, have thick skin and keep charging.

Categorized under #TAMILY TALES, Blog