In February 2018, I self-published my first book, Run My World: How I Empowered Myself Through Fitness. It would not have been possible without the support of incredible friends, mentors, and role models, and now I’m highlighting some of the amazing people in my life that run their worlds.
Empowered (wo)men empower (wo)men, so now I’m raising a glass to some of the best people I know. I’m so grateful to share their stories — I promise you’ll be even more inspired to run your world!
Mary’s note: When Jess was at DePaul and I was at Loyola, we had mutual girl crushes on each other through social media and became best friends — see, social media can actually connect people! She’s one of my favorite people to travel with, and I’m so grateful for her honest advice in every facet of life. She’s the Blair to my Serena, and we’re 100% going to be business partners one day. You’ll love her story and her wisdom to being a serious boss! With her determination, hard work, grace, and straight up style in addition to the most thoughtful kindness, she will continue to rise. ICYMI — she recently began working at freakin’ Vogue. Bow down, bishes.
Name: Jess Riffle
Hometown: Oberlin, OH
Current City: NYC
Occupation: Associate Manager of Branded Media Strategy at Condé Nast Co/Lab
In one sentence, what does it mean for you to run your world?
Fully owning my goals and holding myself accountable to my timelines to fulfill them; trying as much as possible to keep my eyes on my lane and not everyone else’s
Acknowledge Your Past: What’s one lesson from your past that has really influenced your life?
There are friends that will give you genuine constructive criticism and then there are people masquerading as friends who are miserable and want to bring everyone else down to their level – learn how to tell the difference and don’t feel guilty about cutting people out.
Find Your Fit: What are your favorite ways to move and exercise? How did you find your fit?
I get really self-conscious about exercising in front of people (leftover middle school gym class anxiety) so I’ve focused more on what makes me comfortable and less on particular results. I feel really safe at Pure Barre, but have a hard time making time to get to the classes, so I’ve learned some exercises that work for me at home with a foam roller and some light weights. I also use a bike share.
Fuel Your Body: What is your favorite meal to fuel your body? What is your favorite meal to fuel your soul? Have you had any struggles with your relationship with food? How do you try to fight/challenge the cultural standards around dieting and disordered eating?
I LOVE Indian food to fuel my body and my soul. I mostly eat Indian food and was happy to see on my last bit of blood work that I have above average B12 levels and everything else is really good as well, which is a feat as a vegetarian.
I have had over a decade of struggles with food. I actually still remember the day I put myself on my first diet in 5th grade and the principal came to me at lunch and asked why I wasn’t eating, and I told him “I had already maxed out my 500 calories for the day.” I have had some very very low points with my eating disorder and just try to avoid anything that is too triggering, even now. If we’re being honest, I don’t think I have enough capacity to try to fight cultural standards just yet – I’m just trying to be okay and take care of myself and avoid falling back into my ED tendencies, and that’s 100% okay. You have to put the mask on yourself before helping other passengers.
Practice Mindfulness: Do you meditate? If so, how? How do you try to be mindful on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?
Meditating actually really stresses me out. I think I must be doing it wrong because I just sit there worrying about not doing it correctly. I think I’m better at letting myself get lost in a hands-on task for a few hours on a weekend. I recently started making candles.
HIIT vs. LISS: Tell us about your work-life “balance.” How do you manage planning/productivity while being a straight-up hustler?
I actually just quit a really intense job I didn’t love for a much calmer one I do. This year I started creating boundaries at my old job and it ended up creating a really hostile environment where I was no longer seen as a team player. I think setting and sticking to your boundaries early on is really important. Set your precedent. Even if you can turn something around in 24 minutes if you said 24 hours let it sit in your outbox for a day.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: What have you done in 2018 that is most out of your comfort zone? What is something you really want in 2018 that you’re a little scared to do? Tell us a travel experience that pushed you out of your comfort zone.
I quit a job I was really good at to go after my absolute dream job, which is really terrifying because it feels like so far to fall if I slip up. I guess this year I want to put myself out there and be really great in this new role.
As far as travel goes – that is my comfort zone. I love getting on a plane and don’t mind traveling alone at all. I think it’s one of the most relaxing things you can do for yourself. That being said, I’m also an only child and have an over-appreciation for quiet time.
Shine Like a Bad Bitch: What accomplishment makes you most proud? What’s a big, hairy audacious goal (BHAG) that you’ve been contemplating and want to speak into existence?
I am going to be a CMO by 35 – watch me. I also have a countdown clock, to the second, of how much time I have left to make Forbes 30 Under 30. I lived in a housing project with a single, sick mom growing up and I’ve already made it this far; nothing seems unattainable anymore.
Blog: Green Juice Pink Life