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: I met Kirsten through blogger friends, and as a stylish tech consultant, she was instantly my role model. The more I get to know her, the more I admire her grace and compassion towards everyone. She’s so sweet and full of fervor for life, and I absolutely love following all of her travels, for both business and pleasure. She runs her world, and looks darn good doing it!
Name: Kirsten DeYoung
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Current City: Chicago
Occupation/Business: Managing Consultant at IBM
In one sentence, what does it mean for you to run your world? Finding balance and purpose in your personal, work, and spiritual life.
Acknowledge Your Past: What’s one lesson from your past that has really influenced your life?
The comparison game is a confidence killer. I used to be so caught up in what other people had or what other people were doing that I lost track of how awesome my life actually was. It’s so important to focus on yourself rather than others to truly be happy.
Find Your Fit: What are your favorite ways to move and exercise? How did you find your fit?
I love going to Orangetheory classes – It’s a great combination of cardio and strength, and they have studios all over the country which is important for me since I travel a lot for work. If I can’t find one around where I am traveling, I also love doing the Sweat with Kayla app. That thing will seriously kick my butt!
Fuel Your Body: What is your favorite meal to fuel your body? What is your favorite meal to fuel your soul? My favorite meal to fuel my body is a grilled piece of chicken, brussels sprouts, and some hummus and veggies on the side. Simple, but it gives me energy and makes me feel good after eating it. The meal that fuels my soul is a big burger, fries, and a large chocolate milkshake!
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 went to a college where a lot of girls had eating disorders which in a way made me have a very “yoyo” diet. I would go from counting calories one week to overeating the next because I decided I “didn’t care”. Today, I just try to eat foods that make me feel good and always make sure to treat myself in moderation because I LOVE sweets!
Practice Mindfulness: Do you meditate? If so, how? How do you try to be mindful on a daily/weekly/monthly basis? I don’t meditate, but I do spend a lot of time with my thoughts when I’m alone traveling. One of my favorite places to gather my thoughts and think about myself is on a plane looking out the window – sounds corny, but I feel so at peace when I’m up in the sky.
HIIT vs. LISS: Tell us about your work-life “balance.” How do you manage planning/productivity while being a straight-up hustler? My work-life balance is sadly not the best because I am always on the road and always working. If I am not working on my day job, I am dreaming up content for my blog. I hate the thought of being average, so I constantly push myself to learn more, work harder, and strive to create the best life I can for myself. I don’t consider working all the time being “unbalanced” as long as I spend part of that time working on something I am truly passionate about.
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 done? One thing I did this year that was WAY out of my comfort zone was talk about promotions and salary with my manager. I realized that if you want something in life you need to ask for it, no matter how awkward you may feel when you bring it up.
Something I want to do in 2018 that scares me is reaching out to brands for my blog. There are some brands I would LOVE to work with but I’ve been way too nervous to reach out to them and get rejected.
Tell us a travel experience that pushed you out of your comfort zone. When I was studying abroad in college, my history class took a trip to Berlin for a week. The morning of the trip, my alarm never went off and I missed the train that my entire class was taking from Luxembourg to Berlin – meaning I had to find my way to Berlin all by myself. I had always considered myself independent but having to travel 11 hours through multiple countries as a 19-year-old was a little much even for me. Thankfully, I got over my initial shock and made it there in one piece. I always think of that day when I feel like I can’t do something.
Shine On: What accomplishment makes you most proud? I have worked extremely hard to save money and already have six figures in my retirement fund!
What’s a big, hairy audacious goal (BHAG) that you’ve been contemplating and want to speak into existence? I would love to make an actual steady extra income off of my blog within the next three years and save enough money to buy (and re-do) my dream apartment in Chicago.