Eda Schottenstein of Multi-Role Woman: “Keep a day or time log.”

Keep a day or time log: This is amazing for accountability. When I write down the things I am doing, I can review it at the end of the day and see if there’s anything I could have done differently (i.e., less social media). In general, having an accountability journal is huge. I created one that […]

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Keep a day or time log: This is amazing for accountability. When I write down the things I am doing, I can review it at the end of the day and see if there’s anything I could have done differently (i.e., less social media). In general, having an accountability journal is huge. I created one that has worked wonders for me, and It will be available soon.

As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eda Schottenstein.

Eda is the founder and CEO of Multi-Role Woman™, personal wellness and lifestyle brand that supports women in creating healthy, happy, balanced lives. She is also the author of “You Got This: 21-Day Mental Wealth Challenge” — a step-by-step action guide and journal anyone can use to transform their experience of personal wellness in just three weeks. Learn more at www.MultiRoleWoman.com.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

Inthe last 10 years of study and research in the field of psychology, I discovered the tools and strategies that I knew could help people shift from where they were to where they wanted to be. Having seen the benefits in my own life, I wanted to share these life-changing tools with others.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Shortly after I launched multirolewoman.com, I went to a social media conference assuming no one would know me. I was surprised by the number of people who approached me and knew about Multi-Role Woman. It was also interesting to discover that although my platform was initially dedicated to women, teenage girls and boys are signing up to my newsletter, and men as well. Seeing four thousand visits in the first two weeks post-launch was pretty amazing. Clearly it’s resonating.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I generally try to avoid using the word mistake. When you’re doing something that hasn’t been done before, any setbacks can be reframed into learning opportunities. I don’t know that this was very funny when it happened, but I certainly learned from it and can laugh about it now. When I launched, I didn’t have an “elevator pitch,” something I later discovered is extremely important when you start any company. We were having dinner with a top-ranking executive, and when he asked me what I do, I literally froze and couldn’t find the words, and then suddenly I started rambling — almost defensively. This voice inside my head kept saying “stop talking, stop talking” but I just kept going. Luckily, my husband rescued me by chiming in to brilliantly describe my work. He later helped me work on my elevator pitch, which is not as easy as one might think!

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I don’t consider myself an authority; however, I do believe I have something to share that can benefit others, and in that regard, I offer a unique perspective that I think will add value to the lives of others. I have been immersed in the study of psychology, mental health counseling, and coaching. I’ve also read dozens of self-help books, and through this, I have acquired knowledge and insights that can help others improve their lives. I also think it’s important to debunk the myth that you have to be an expert to share information with others. For years, I held onto a treasure trove of information because I didn’t think I was worthy of sharing it. In other words, I was no expert. Then one day, I was preparing for a lecture on ethics of our fathers, and I came across a foundational life principle that has stuck with me: the verse “He who is wise is one who can learn from everyone.” We all have a unique contribution that we can make. When we hold back and don’t share our knowledge, we are depriving others of potentially benefitting from what we have to share.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Yes. Watching my husband build a business inspired me. He didn’t go to business school, nor did he really know what he was doing at first. It was all trial and error for him, and he was always open about that. He built several successful businesses and is considered a trailblazer in the business world. When he speaks to young entrepreneurs and at business conferences, he is always open about his failures along the way and the importance of embracing setbacks. Most of us see the success side but not the behind-the-scenes grueling work that goes into achieving success. It is because of him that I decided to risk failure for the sake of the greater good, and so far, I have no regrets.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Great question. What you’re highlighting here is a strange phenomenon of self-sabotage. Why do we engage in behaviors that we know are not good for us when we know what we should be doing? I’m sure there are many theories on this, but here’s what I have seen in my own research and interactions with others that explain why we might engage in self-sabotaging behaviors.

1. Fear of change: According to research, we are more comfortable with the status quo even if it makes us slightly uncomfortable. We don’t like change because change means we might have to confront inconvenient truths (i.e., we are overweight, unhealthy, not living fully). We prefer the discomfort of familiarity because it’s what we know. Changing our habits means we also have to acknowledge that something is wrong that needs to be changed, and many of us are not willing to go there

2. Negative hardwiring: Human beings are hardwired for negative thinking. If I give you five compliments and one insult, which will you still remember a week from today? We are more prone to think negative thoughts than positive ones, which means we often prepare for failure faster than we would for success. This can lead to an attitude of “Why try and waste energy if I won’t see results, or I might fail?” These thoughts undermine our ability to bring about positive change. Our thoughts create our reality, and the more we think negative thoughts, the more that mindset will perpetuate. Challenging maladaptive thoughts is a crucial step in creating lasting change.

3. Motivation / action myth. We often say things like “When I have a milestone to reach, then I will lose weight.” While creating goals and deadlines can be helpful, sometimes we rely too much on “motivating factors” to get us going. Action should precede motivation. We underestimate the power of the little things that make a big difference in getting us to where we want to be. For example, if you want to exercise more, put your workout clothes on in the morning, even if you don’t plan on working out. If you want to lose weight, replace the cookie jar with a bowl of fruit. These are the small action steps that people who have reached their goals all had in common. They did not underestimate the value of every action taken.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

Multi-task whenever you can!! The best way to describe this one is with some examples:When I know I have a phone call that will last 30 minutes or more, I go for a walk. When I need to cook or bake, I will turn it into an activity with my kids. I save podcasts for traffic jams, I charge my phone far away from my bed, and I keep books on my nightstand so I get reading time in. I get the best workouts when I’m with my kids; giving a piggyback ride to a 40-pounder beats a visit to the gym any day! Lastly, when I cook, I double almost every recipe. This saves me a ton of time and allows me to do more of the things I want to do. For example, most of my soups have the same basic prep ingredients, so I will often make a few soups at once and put them in my freezer. This saves me a lot of time. When my kids get home from school, I can spend more time with them because I know I have a week’s worth of dinner in my freezer.

Keep a day or time log: This is amazing for accountability. When I write down the things I am doing, I can review it at the end of the day and see if there’s anything I could have done differently (i.e., less social media). In general, having an accountability journal is huge. I created one that has worked wonders for me, and It will be available soon.

Create boundaries to bring you closer to the people around you: For many years, I thought I had to give fully in order to have authentic relationships. Research shows the opposite to be true. It is only by setting boundaries that you can truly give and share in authentic relationships. This needs more unpacking, but in a nutshell, if you know who you are and recognize when you need to say no, you will be able to show up fully when you do say yes because you mean it.

Practice gratitude: Every day, write down three things you are grateful for. Do this for 21 days. This can change your brain. I’ve seen a ton of research on this and it works. There’s something about writing it down that makes it more effective.

When in doubt, do something: We often think we need to know what we are passionate about before we take action, but this is counterintuitive. Often times, action precedes passion. Most of us are not born with one passion. As we evolve, our interests may evolve too. When I was younger, if someone had told me I would be a writer, I would have laughed in their face.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

Exercise has holistic benefits. People who exercise have lower rates of depressive symptoms, report better relationships, and live longer — to name a few. The benefits of exercise are huge and backed by a ton of research. Just 20 minutes a day can make all the difference. It doesn’t have to be in a gym; as I mentioned earlier, I will give my daughter a piggyback ride and run around the house a few times and that in itself is a great workout.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

It would depend on what the individual’s goals are. For someone who wants to lose weight, the exercise routine would be different than say an individual who wants the lifestyle benefits of exercise, but I would say a good power walk coupled with some core exercises is a good place to start.

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

I would defer to a medical professional on this one.

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

The diet I follow is not necessarily the diet I recommend, but I’m working on improving my eating habits. I still drink coffee with a biscotti or cinnamon bun every morning (not ideal but hard to give up). I do cook a lot, and I will often include a lean protein, veggies, and fiber in every meal I make. I would highly recommend lean protein, healthy fats, fiber, and lots of water. (You should drink half your weight in ounces; a 150-pound person should drink approximately 75 ounces of water per day, which amounts to roughly 9 glasses of water). Eggs, salmon, chicken breast, whole grain or spelled bread, and veggies are a good place to start.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

There are so many, but I would say “Seeds of Wisdom” by Mendy Kalmenson, which is a compendium of encounters between the Lubavitcher Rebbe and people who sought his counsel on various life issues. It offers amazing insight and universal life lessons. “The Gift of Imperfection” is also one of my favorites. The author, Brene Brown, gave a Ted Talk that generated millions of views. It speaks to our belief that we are not good enough and shares research on the myths that lead us to believe we can’t achieve more. We were all created perfectly imperfect, and once we embrace that, we can move toward meeting our fullest potential.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would get people to talk about mental health the way they talk about physical health. One in four people in the world will be affected by a mental or neurological condition in their lifetime. Globally, 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, which means mental illness has become the primary cause of disability in the world. Most of these people do not seek treatment because of the stigmas that persist. I would start a movement that promotes mental health education as a required part of the basic curriculum in all schools, and I would integrate mental health care into primary health care.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I love the famous quote by Hillel the Elder “If not now, then when?” I used to push things off and make excuses (i.e., I’m not ready; when I … then I will….). I learned that there is no better time than now to get started, even if I don’t feel ready.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would say Oprah or Lady Gaga (or both☺). I used to watch Oprah when I was a kid. She has this authentic energy that allows her to be assertive and direct without losing her poise and balance, even in difficult conversations. I also dream about having Lady Gaga sing one of my songs. I’m a songwriter and I mostly write about real-life issues, mostly relating to mental health. Lady Gaga recently opened up about her mental health issues and having her sing a song I wrote about finding your voice would be a dream come true for me.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

@edaschottenstein on Instagram

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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