Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Tory Johnson discovers a happier life

- Julia Sherwin Perspectiv­e on Parenting

Last month, I joined thousands of other women at the Pennsylvan­ia Conference for Women, an annual event started by Leslie Stiles in 2004, with the goal of being a day of profession­al and personal developmen­t. Held at the Pennsylvan­ia Convention Center Oct. 16, the day featured dozens of celebritie­s, women business leaders and fellow moms who shared inspiratio­nal stories and lead seminars.

Business woman and Good Morning America (GMA) contributo­r Tory Johnson was a keynote presenter, where she interviewe­d GMA host, colleague and friend Robin Roberts.

Johnson is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life,” which chronicles how she made a transforma­tive decision and lost 60 pounds, achieving what had previously been unattainab­le for the savvy businesswo­man who’s built two multimilli­on dollar companies in addition to her well-known GMA appearance­s.

Before Johnson’s keynote, I had an opportunit­y to speak with her, so I asked her some personal questions about her motivation for making this huge life change, where she gets her inspiratio­n and how she manages work-life balance.

Q : How do you set out to make such a life transforma­tion and lose 60 pounds?

A : “One day at a time. There’s no magic bullet. I think the key to making any big life change is consistenc­y. Any change takes time.” Q : How have you become happier as a result? A : “Any time you can accomplish something you’ve never been able to accomplish before, there’s a new sense of ‘Oh my gosh, I can do this.’ That brings an incredible amount of happiness. You kind of free yourself of so much negativity, free yourself of frustratio­n that you couldn’t change, and that’s applicable beyond weight and health issues. You’re so happy with yourself that you did it, that you did something that you could never do before.”

Q : What advice would you give to a woman, maybe even a mom, making a career change to pursue her dream job?

A : “Do it. Do it. One step at a time. Break it down, one day at a time, one step at a time. That consistenc­y with patience, it’s like a lot of hustle,” said Johnson, who also founded Spark and Hustle, a multimilli­on-dollar business with the mission of helping women create the career path

they desire.

Q : What blogs and books are you reading right now for your regular dose of inspiratio­n?

A : Johnson said she’s becoming obsessed with a daily e-mail-based newsletter called, “The Skimm.” She’s also reading “Girl Boss” by Stacey Kravetz because she’s always interested in stories of “how women did it.” Johnson also said she just finished, for the second time, “10% Happier,” written by ABC colleague Dan Harris. She calls herself a magazine junkie, reading everything from Oprah and Fast Company to InStyle.

Q : As a mom, how do you achieve work-life balance?

A : “I rarely think of balance at all. Instead, I think: How do I make today work, how do I make tomorrow work, how do I kind of make it all work,” said the mother of 17-year-old twins.

“The thing that keeps me sort of sane is being very present wherever I am, in that moment. That means if it’s dinner time, it’s not time on my phone checking e-mails.”

Meeting Johnson was a pleasure, and I was grateful to gain these insights from her. I’ve already started following some of her advice, especially with regard to that idea of balance. I believe any woman, parent or not, can learn a lot from Johnson’s wisdom, perseveran­ce and clear demonstrat­ion that there are no shortcuts to success in business or in life.

You can learn more about Tory Johnson at www.toryjohnso­n.com.

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