5 Conversations that Influenced Who I Am Today

Influential conversations

Me, getting ready for work

Recently I was thinking back on some of the people who have had the biggest impact on me as a person. We are all connected and we all influence each other more than we realize.

So here are a few of the conversations or sayings that have really opened up my mind, changed my perspective, and got me where I am today.

“Have you ever tried making cookies from scratch before?”

The situation: My instructor and I had just finished a grueling day-long Tae Kwon Do competition, and I was famished. I reached for a box of “home made” cookies and we both dug in. She asked me how I made the cookies and I gave her a puzzled look.

I had never made my own cookies from scratch before, I always bought the premade dough. These days I obviously make my food from scratch… all the way from whole mostly raw foods.

“Practice every day, so that you can make your weakest move into one of your best moves.”

I was training for the US National Tae Kwon Do competition, and I was practicing a tough pattern with my instructor. There was one move that was bringing me down.

The simple thought that I could practice this move until it became my best move changed my life.

I was able to stop fretting and start doing, which put me miles ahead of my competition. And more importantly, it showed me that I can do the same in other aspects of my life too.

“Oh, you just got those interviews because they need to fill their female quotas.”

During my first year of University, my female Software Engineer friends and I were discussing how many interviews for internships we got when a professor overheard us.

Instead of giving us any advice on how to ace those interviews, he made us feel like we didn’t deserve them by saying outright that companies had to fill their female interview quotas.

Luckily I didn’t take it personally, I just got even. I practiced a lot and asked for advice from more experienced friends. I aced those interviews and got a great internship right off the bat.

“Mandarin will become one of the most widely spoken languages on the planet.”

My grade 7 math teacher was awesome at teaching math, but he also introduced me to learning Mandarin. At the time I didn’t know the difference between Chinese and Japanese languages, let alone cultures. I was a small town girl with little “real world” experience.

After hearing that Mandarin was the next language to learn, I made it a goal. I already spoke French and English, so Mandarin didn’t seem too crazy.

My goal didn’t manifest right away, but bit by bit situations in my life arranged themselves for it to happen. In University I was able to take Mandarin classes, and in 2008 I traveled to China for 4 months with my boyfriend Robin.

“Are you sure you want to eat that?”

This question will probably haunt me (and possibly you too) for a long time.

As some of you know, I used to eat a 100% junk food diet… lots of processed stuff, tons of soda, candy and sugar like you wouldn’t believe. I ate cookies for breakfast. (Do you notice a theme with cookies yet?)

Well my Tae Kwon Do teacher couldn’t believe I was going to compete by fueling myself with nothing but fake food. At the time I didn’t get it. Now, I’m on board with the lesson… and I’m sharing it with you.

What conversations affected you the most?

We all have events and conversations that shape who we are as people today, share yours in the comments below!

Remember that no matter what, your actions and words do have an influence on others, so don’t be shy! Each word is a seed planted that might not grow today but that will help others over time.

Love, Nathalie

Interview: How to Get Motivated to Work Out!

Today I have a very special guest video interview for you to watch.

Please welcome Amber Zuckswert of Epic Self, who writes about fitness and nutrition, while traveling and living the good life. I got to ask Amber some of my personal exercise related questions that I’m sure will help you as well!

Video Interview with Amber Zuckswert

(Click here to watch the embedded video.)

I hope you enjoy this interview with Amber, she’s got loads of fitness expertise. We had a great time filming, and hopefully the audio quality isn’t too much of a deterrent for you to watch this interview.

Recap of the interview

Question: What is your number one workout tip for people who are busy but want to make exercise a part of their lifestyle?

Amber’s answer was spot on. She recommends that we make moving a part of our day throughout the day. For example by taking the stairs, walking places, biking to work, getting up and taking breaks throughout the day and just moving your body more. I think that’s great advice and I think that all of us can really appreciate it and make happen it in our lives.

Question: What is your advice for people who need help getting motivated to work out?

Amber recommends that we take a look at ways to make exercising fun for us. She mentions that taking a class or doing a fun activity as an exercise routine is the greatest way to really embody this type of exercise. Also getting a buddy or having a friend exercise with you is a great way to keep you going.

Question: What keeps you motivated to work out what you love about?

Amber explains that dance has been part of her life since she can remember. She loves the idea of dancing and moving and she loves the way it makes her feel. She says it’s just something that has become a part of her lifestyle.

Question: What is your diet like and how do you feel on a daily basis?

Amber mentions that her diet consists of a lot of fruits and vegetables and she is moving more towards a plant-based diet. She avoids processed foods. She still consumes meat or fish about twice a week, and she also enjoys experimenting with all kinds of new foods. She mentions that she is always experimenting with different ways of eating.

Amber and I share a very similar point of view when it comes to health and nutrition, and I hope that she shared a lot of interesting tips to get you moving again and exercising for fun.

Let us know your motivation and fitness tips…

You can check out Amber’s blog at Epic Self and be sure to leave a comment and let us know what your favorite motivation and fitness tips are…

Love, Nathalie