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9: How to Get Active and Feel Great (with Jodi Danen)

In this episode I chat with Jodi Danen, who was once an overweight stay-at-home mom who never exercised, pouring all her time and energy into her children. One day Jodi realized she wanted to do something just for herself and made the decision to get active by running a 5K with her sisters.

She says,”I downloaded a couch to 5K program. I stuck with it and did it and learned that it was my boost out of that low spot. It made me feel better about myself. I wanted to eat better and my attitude improved. It was probably the best thing I'd accomplished in probably forever because it was something I did for myself.”

Jodi went on to complete the Chicago marathon, which she describes as the happiest moment of her life. Jodi shares several inspirational tips, including a favorite book on how to get started running and feeling really good about yourself in the process.


Nuggets of Wisdom from Jodi:

  • “Mind over matter. You can do anything that you put your mind to.”
  • “If you take small steps you can accomplish whatever you want.”
  • “The exercise component of weight loss is so big. It changed my mindset because I wasn't out there to lose weight, I was out there to accomplish a goal. And that goal made me feel good. And the benefit was weight loss.”
  • “The average person can do so much more than you think you can do. It's changing your mind on how you see yourself and what you can do.”
  • “I find so much more joy getting out there and getting active than I do when I try to restrict everything I eat.”
  • “I was schooled by many women who were much older than me, much heavier than me. That did not play a role at all.”
  • “Every time I feel anxiety, stress, or upset about something, when I go for a run or a walk I come home feeling much better. So I know I need to stay active.”
  • “It's not your body. Your body can do it. It's what you mind does, and trying to train your mind to deal with the distress that you're going to feel.”
  • “I hate it. I don't love running. I actually dislike it very much. But the feeling when you are done, knowing you're doing something good for yourself, it's like free therapy. The feeling that you get from it is why I keep doing it.”
  • “The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” ~John Bingham


Some of Jodi's Favorite Things:

  • Personal habit: Not overthinking. “Just do it. Calendar it. Do it. Check it off as done.”
  • Easy meal: Crock Pot Mexican Quinoa Chicken
  • Possession: Kureg coffee maker
  • Book: The Courage to Start by John Bingham (He is an adult-onset athlete, previously an overweight smoker, and he and his followers run in races at the back of the pack. He explains everything you need to know about running and tying it in to life).
  • Bucket list item: Bike & wine tour of Italy
  • Best advice received: “Start before you're ready. If we waited until we're ready, there's so many things I would never have done. Do it before you're ready because you learn so much.”
  • Happiest memory: Running the Chicago Marathon in October 2015. “I have never, ever felt the joy and happiness that I felt at that time. Just doing something that I never thought in a million years that I would do.”


Jodi's Happiness Formula:

Stay active, eat well, connect with family.


A Challenge from Jodi:

“Sign up for a 5K race. You don't have to run it. You can walk. But look around and see all the people out there who are there for their health and their families. It's such a cool community. And if that's not something you're quite ready for, just grab a pair of tennis shoes and go for a walk. Go a block further than you did the day before. Small, small challenges are what get you out the door. It doesn't have to be a marathon. You start with that first 10 minutes.”




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About jen

Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.

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