Article by Wendy McCance
I know what you are thinking, how can a diet magically give you career success. What type of hocus pocus mumbo jumbo are you trying to promote here? Well, it’s not hocus pocus or mumbo jumbo, but, this last month has proven to be an incredibly beneficial month for my body as well as for my career.
If you are not familiar with the keto diet, start here: I’m on the Ketogenic Diet
So if you are familiar with the keto diet, you know that this is not an easy diet. You cut out carbs and sugar and focus on eating more protein and fat. First of all, pasta and bread and ice cream are favorites of mine. I mean I could live off of these three items for a lifetime and never get sick of eating them. So, deciding that I was going to cut out carbs and sugar was a big step for me. HUGE actually.
I began the diet because I was unhappy with the weight I had gained. I was still relatively slim, but my middle always seemed to look bloated and I felt uncomfortable enough that I would pay special attention to what I chose to wear based on what would hide my middle sufficiently. It wasn’t the way I wanted to live my life. I had recently read about how carbs turn to sugar and how cancer (which I have) feeds off of that sugar. Kill sugar from your diet and shrink the cancer cells. The keto diet specifically cuts the sugar. In fact, it is such a strict plan that you have to pay attention to the carbs and sugar in your fruits and vegetables. You only get 20 grams of carbs to work with a day and if you have ever looked at a label, you could kill your daily intake in one cup of yogurt with no problem (although yogurt has sugar so it’s not something you can eat anyway).
Okay, so I began the diet and went through all of the basic struggles. What would I eat each day? What can I eat in a social setting? Crap, what would I eat at Easter dinner (which is very difficult when you don’t want to offend the hostess and the majority of Easter food tends to be carb heavy. Plus, it was an even bigger challenge as it was only a week into the diet).
I struggled to overcome of all of those years of hearing how bad it is to eat meat and how fat should be avoided. Sure, I could get protein from eggs, but this diet encourages eating bacon. I could nibble on some walnuts or avocado to get my healthy fats, but this diet encourages using heavy whipping cream in your coffee or tea. Hmm, whipping cream and bacon? Yeah, in that respect the diet does have its perks.
As the weeks went by the weight came off. I was sleeping better, my stomach felt wonderfully light, yet not hungry and I had smashed through those carb and sugar cravings. A big sign of progress was going to the grocery store and picking out bakery bread and treats for the kids lunches without flinching. I got the food home, put it in the cupboard and promptly forgot about it. I just didn’t care about that stuff anymore (I’m still in a state of shock at being so unaffected by the stuff I used to crave so heavily).
So, you get the picture. I am still on the keto diet and although I am still learning to master the plan, I have felt quite a bit of success so far. My weight is down, I feel really good and I don’t feel like I’m missing out (which is excellent).
I’m sure you are at the point where you would like me to get to the business success already. Okay, here goes. I began feeling empowered. I mean really powerful to have conquered what felt like such a monumental goal. It gave me so much confidence that I began looking at other things in my life that I would like to improve upon. There was one thing that I’ve been desperately wanting to do for years now, but was too scared to attempt. I was a writer who wrote for clients, but I was terrified of writing a query letter and pitching my writing to any type of publication.
Over the last few years, I have studied how to properly form a query letter. I wrote up letters and then discarded them on several ocassions. I dreamed about seeing myself as an actual honest to goodness professional published writer with articles I had written littered throughout several top-notch writing websites, magazines and newspapers.
All of that diet confidence began spilling over into my career life and I began to reinvent parts of my business. I began by polishing up my social media profiles, then I started writing on my blog again. I reached out to several people I was connecting with about work opportunities and I looked into doing some sponsored posts again (I hadn’t done a sponsored post in quite a long time). And, finally, with everything in motion and running smoothly, I began pitching ideas to some writing sites.
Now, you have to understand, I never go small. When I make a decision, I always go big. I decided to put out query letters to writing websites that were mentioned under The Writer’s Digest as one of their Top 100 Websites for Writers. If I wanted to see one of my articles anywhere, that’s where I wanted to begin.
In one week (I swear to you) I got an opportunity to do a sponsored post on the skin care line, SK-II. I received a serum worth $99.00 and a facial mask worth $17.00 to test out and write a review about. Not too shabby. Then I connected with three different potential clients, wrote out three proposals and am still in negotiations (although one person has already agreed to work with me). I wrote two query letters. The first letter went to Angela Hoy at the Writers Weekly and the other letter went to C. Hope Clark at Funds for Writers. Believe it or not, both pitches were accepted! I will be doing an article for the Writers Weekly and a reprint of one of my most popular articles, How to Find Writing Assignments as a New Freelance Writer for Funds for Writers.
I have only put out two queries so far. I now plan to write one per day. All of the insecurities I had felt about writing a query letter vanished once I was established on the keto diet. I got brave and I just got to work. It’s amazing how one area of your life can have such a strong effect on the way you handle other areas.
What I’ve taken away from this experience is how important it is to challenge yourself. It’s so easy to become complacent. Things become comfortable quickly and the ambition to shake up what feels nice and easy is difficult to want to do. Now I know that there are such incredible benefits when you stop, reassess and look at what comes next. What are your goals? What would you love to have happen in your life? Anything is possible if you have the guts to do the work. And, the best part is that there will always be additional rewards to working towards your goals that you can’t even begin to see when you plot out your course.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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