Monday, May 08, 2017

Lonely for work

I'm sure anyone who was a regular reader of this blog would know that work is important to me. I even did a TED talk on this subject.

I've been in a transitional period for the last two years and I am still not sure what the final outcome will be. After a lot of soul-searching, I left what started out as my dream job because of the school's financial insecurities and my own desire for something more. Then I moved on to contract work, which although it allowed me to learn some new things, was by its nature temporary. I knew that it would end. I also launched two new businesses: Bright Spots, a consulting company, and a network marketing skincare business.

The two businesses are still going -- I was able to earn a promotion in Rodan + Fields -- but the contract work has ended. I'm exactly in the place I hoped to avoid by taking the contract work and leaving my faculty position -- without a full-time job.

I'm trying to use this time for all the things I said I wanted to do but didn't have time for because of my job. I am working my businesses and attending networking events. I'm trying to lose the weight I gained when I switched from faculty work with a flexible schedule to a full-time desk job, weight I definitely didn't need. I'm making sure to exercise every day. I'm taking time to reflect on what I really want to do and who I really want to be. I'm trying to get my house in order, literally and metaphorically.

I had not realized how long it had been since I wrote a blog post of any kind. I think it's pretty obvious that social media has shifted away from blogs to more in-the-moment stuff like Instagram and Facebook Live. I miss the writing, though, and I miss reading my friends' thoughts, so I thought I'd pop in. We used to have such a tight community and that seems to have faded. Maybe something better will come along.

I'm hoping something better will come along, and soon, in my work search. In the meantime I'm trying to make the most of this in-between time.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Rodan + Fields Preferred Customer Perks

Note: I recently became a Rodan + Fields consultant. All opinions expressed are my own. All links will take you to my consultant websites.

If you are interested in Rodan + Fields products, the best way to purchase is through the Preferred Customer program called "PC Perks." 


I was hesitant when I first ordered because of the auto-shipments. The default is for the next shipment to be the same products purchased on the last order. But once I created my account, it was easy to edit  my replenishment orders. 

As an example, my first order was the Reverse regimen. On the second month, though, I was either planning to order the Redefine regimen or go to a "mini-regimen" of the Microdermabrasion Paste and the Night Renewing Serum

Auto-ship orders have to be at least $80 to qualify for free shipping. All of the regimens easily hit this minimum, but if I had wanted a less-expensive product like the Mineral Peptides, I would have had to add something else, like they Eye Cloths, to meet that minimum.

As long as you continue to order $80 every 60 days ($40 per month) you retain the PC benefits. If you fall in love with the products, that's easy to do. But if it turns out that you don't, the products have a 60-day Satisfaction Guarantee (even if you have used all of the product), and the PC Perks account can be cancelled at any time. 

Please let me know if you are interested in becoming a Preferred Customer or a Consultant. I'd love to help you with any questions you have.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Christmas gift to myself


I haven't posted anything about my weight in a long time, and we know in fitness-blogger-land that this is because everything is great and I'm one pound away from my goal weight, right?

(pause for sad, knowing laughter)

Yeah. My weight is up since taking that not-too-exciting-but-pays-the-bills corporate job, and I was overweight before.  It's distressing. I'm not sure how long it will take to lose this weight but I won't give up until I've done it.

Something I did give up on is Weight Watchers. It worked well for me in 2002, but each new iteration of the plan got harder for me to follow. This last one was almost impossible. I know they are trying to compete with dramatic weight-loss programs, but it's a shame that such a sensible, supportive program got lost in the attempt to promise quick results.

For now I'm going to start with logging food on Lose It! and making small changes. Even today, on Christmas, because all I want this year is to feel more comfortable in my skin (and clothes).

Thursday, December 22, 2016

My first month on the Rodan + Fields Reverse regimen

Spoiler alert: I had a good experience with the products so I decided to become a Rodan + Fields consultant. All links are to my consultant page, http://jensader.myrandf.com, so if you purchase from that page I will earn a commission (U.S. and Canada only, though Australia is coming soon). The opinions described here are my honest opinions. 

My hair stylist does magic with my hair, so when she got interested in Rodan + Fields and became a consultant, I got interested. The first time we talked, I said no, it's too expensive. She didn't push. It planted a seed, though, and when I started seeing her Facebook posts with the before and after pictures, I thought about it some more. I see her every five weeks for color touchups, so the next time, I asked some questions. She recommended the Reverse regimen, since with all of my triathlon workouts outdoors, I had some brown spots from the sun. I had wanted to try Redefine, the anti-aging regimen, but she explained they were all anti-aging, and that Reverse would give me a nice fresh start. When she told me about the 60-day empty-bottle guarantee, I decided to try it as a birthday present to myself.

Once I placed the order, I couldn't wait to get my regimen. Following the directions on the box, I took a "before" photo.


I followed the instructions, which said to start with Reverse once a day every other day, alternating with gentle products (anything designed for sensitive skin would be great). I am a nerd, so I kept a little pencil in my regimen kit and checked off the days.


I didn't want to waste product, so when I was doing my facial regimen, I'd rub any remaining product on the backs of my hands. After a few weeks, I noticed that the skin there was brighter and clearer. I took a photo and posted on my Facebook page.


Around this time, I started thinking about becoming a consultant. And then, I did it. There are a couple of different kit options, and I chose the Big Business Launch Kit, because it had a lot of products in it I wanted to try, including the AMP MD System and Lash Boost.


I'm still learning the business. I'm excited and nervous. I've never really been successful at selling anything before, but I genuinely like these products and if nothing else, I have a lot of them now.  I have a couple of friends who are interested, but like me, the price is the big obstacle for them. 

The prices are comparable to the premium products I would purchase at Sephora, hoping for a miracle, but I never bought a four-step regimen at once. You don't have to buy a whole regimen either, but as a  Preferred Customer, you get free shipping on products if you purchase $80 or more, so the regimen starts to make more sense.

My first month's results have me a believer. Some of the things you can't see from the photo are how much softer and smoother my skin feels. These results are from one month of the Reverse regimen, plus a few days of the Multi-Function Eye Cream and Lash Boost.


Now, on my consultant's advice, I'm adding in the AMP MD Roller (just the roller for now, not the Night Renewing Serum, because both the serum and the Reverse regimen's step 3 contain Retinol and I don't want to double-up) for my second month. I'm hoping to erase the line in my forehead and deal with sagging skin on my neck. The dreaded turkey neck runs in my family and I am starting to see the first signs. If I can make that go away, this is was all worth it, even if I never sell anything.

I promise not to make my blog one big Rodan + Fields ad, but I will keep you posted on my progress here and there. I'm hoping to blog more regularly about other topics too. 

Have a happy holiday and a happy new year!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Coming out of the dark


If you didn't guess from my long silence, I was going through a tough time for a while there. It started a little before the election, and then the unexpected and (to me) horrible outcome really threw me for a loop.

Being a contingent worker for more than a year was really getting to me. I had a couple of glimmers of hope, and then big disappointments, and that didn't help much. I got a bit of tunnel vision and felt like if this part of my life wasn't right, everything was wrong.

Besides, everyone else seemed to be having a rough year too.

What has changed? I'm not really sure, to be honest. I did a lot of little things. I started working more on self-care. I feel more hopeful. I found my Happy Light, which had been packed with the Christmas things. I worked on giving myself a break.

I'm still searching for a full-time job, but I decided to start a couple of businesses. My Bright Spots business is still getting off the ground -- I am doing some social media marketing and some workshops.

I also started a new skincare regimen, and have had good results with the Rodan + Fields Reverse line. I'll be posting my before and after pics once I have a full month in. My skin feels softer and looks brighter. It's still not perfect, but I can see big improvements in the sun damage I get from spending so much time outdoors. I want to try the Redefine regimen next, which is the anti-aging line. I like the brand so much, I decided to try being a consultant.

Not having all my eggs in the job search basket has improved my outlook a lot. Something is going to work out, I just know it.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

I don't need more accountability right now... plus a podcast recommendation

 I'm sure you have seen stuff like this on your Facebook feed. A friend of mine posted it in a group and suggested we all try it and post our results for accountability. I thought about it for a minute and...

No.

I already don't drink soda. Check. I could work on my water consumption, sure. Good thing to do and I wouldn't mind that.

I already work out for 30-45 minutes most days.

The plank, maybe.

The squats are a "nah to the ah to the no no no." I work in a very conservative, straight-laced place. Doing squats in the bathroom would make me look like a total weirdo. Doing them at my desk even more so. If I'm drinking more water I'm going to be going to the bathroom a lot. And 25 squats 10 times a day, at least? It would be hard to do them with decent form and not seem like I was spending my whole day in the bathroom bouncing around like a crazy person.

Besides that, I don't need a whole pile of things to add to my to-do list. I feel like I have enough things on my Have-to-Do list and not enough on my Want-to-Do list already. I don't need accountability in my life right now, I need support and camaraderie and fun. I already feel way too accountable to everyone but me.

I did start a Monday night weightlifting group -- not for accountability but to make weightlifting fun so I would actually do it. I like group workouts, they're fun. I don't respond well to feeling like I have other people checking up on me, but if I can make something intrinsically rewarding, I'll do it.

If you're looking for something for your want-to-do list, a new season of Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons Podcast started up a few weeks ago, and it's great. If you haven't listened to Season One, you have a lot of great material waiting for you. She recommended putting things on your Not-to-Do list in a recent episode.

I'm hoping that soon I'll be in a little better place and will be posting here more often. I miss writing for this blog, but a lot of what has been going on has been the kind of stuff that takes up headspace but is not really shareable. Feel free to send any prayers, incantations, or positive thoughts my way.

via GIPHY

Hopefully it will get better soon.


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Monday, August 29, 2016

My experience with #TheGoal30

When I read about #TheGoal30 on No Thanks to Cake, I thought it sounded like a great way to step up my game on a few goals. I was really looking forward to making my own list, at least until I started the list.


The first few felt fun. Then I started to struggle to think of non-scale goals. Then I powered through the list, but when I looked at it, I just felt exhausted, not motivated. I'm going with my instinct to just forget it, at least for now.

I'm going through a rough patch, and maybe now is not the time for something like this. My heart wouldn't be in it. I'm starting to feel burned out on self-improvement projects.

I've decided to focus on one goal for September: Extreme Self-Care. I want to get better sleep, work my Weight Watchers plan, and get as much time in the outdoors as possible. Plus rest and get to water. Of course I'll do other things, like work and exercise and spend time with family and friends. 

This challenge was about self-care all along, so I guess I'm going with the spirit of it, even if it doesn't look as good on Instagram.
"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07