Lifestyle 22 March 2018
World renowned supermodel, Madeline Stuart is continuing to do amazing things in 2018. The world's first supermodel with Down Syndrome, we have watched her walk the runways of New York Fashion Week, the Art Hearts Fashion Week, Style Fashion Week, and Melange Fashion Week along with many other shows around the world.
On a mission to prove the doctors otherwise, who once told her mother that she wouldn't amount to anything, she's working to completely change the face of beauty and be the fittest she's ever been this year.
Being committed to healthy eating and exercising, working out 6 days a week with a personal trainer and sprinkling in time on the basketball court and on the cricket field has been her main focus. She's subsequently lost over 40 pounds (an especially challenging feat for someone with Down Syndrome), and has gained her access to the runways at London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week and in Istanbul - experiences she says are unlike any other. “There is nothing better than being on the catwalk, I love it, I feel my happiest when I am up there. I have found travelling the world so educational and have met some amazing people I hope I can continue to work with in the future," she shared with SWAAY.
Her accomplishments don't end with modeling though, as she's also busy with philanthropic work. She recently received the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, with celebrities such as actress and activist Eva Longoria, Jamie Foxx, Matt Dillon and more. The event helped raise more than $2.6 million for research and medical care for Down Syndrome and the Special Olympics of New York.
Sticking with a fitness routine is definitely not the easiest thing, but she's certain that even the women who hate getting up and getting to the gym or a class can keep with it.
If you're wondering how she even finds time to get to the gym, I'd say that we're having similar thoughts. But she makes time for it because she loves it and her health is so important to her.
With the next thing on her already pretty epic to-do list being a major bikini shoot, she's sharing how she keeps motivated to hit the gym those 6 days a week and never lose sight of the life-changing goals that she's made for herself. Sticking with a fitness routine is definitely not the easiest thing, but she's certain that even the women who hate getting up and getting to the gym or a class can keep with it.
Focus on the exhilaration of the workout
Getting up and putting those kicks on your feet is half the battle, but once you do, so many amazing emotions will wash over you as you get that adrenaline pumping. Madeline shared that she concentrates on the way she feels post-workout to help her get up and get moving. “I just hate sitting around doing nothing, I do not really watch tv or play on my computer, I have always been active and I love to socialize at the gym. The feeling after a workout is exhausting but exhilarating." We all know how good that post-workout glow feels, so shifting our focus could just be the key we all need to make fitness just as much of a commitment as we have with our businesses.
"The feeling after a workout is exhausting but exhilarating." Photo Courtesy of DMac Photography
Stick with your favorite classes
While most of us are on a mission to try new things in life, sticking with what you know you already love when it comes to hitting the gym might help you get closer to your goals than always trying something new. Madeline sticks to a few of her favorite classes to make the biggest impact on her body and burn the most calories. “I really love boxing, the battle ropes, and dance. These are definitely my favorite," she says.
When in doubt, think about the upcoming bikini season
There's nothing more motivating than thinking about putting on a bikini. With her upcoming bikini shoot in the works, this is a feeling that Madeline knows all too well and says she's preparing with “lots of Cardio, you need to get rid of the carbs and get moving on the treadmill."
Photo Courtesy of Wildflower Portraits
Madeline's three key tips
We've all had those sluggish moments when the last thing we want to do is get up and jump head first into a sweat sesh - but it's so necessary and so good for our bodies. Here's what Madeline has offered as her tips for pushing through those tough moments.
- You may hate work but if you want to pay the bills you do the job. Your health is way more important than the bills so you must work out.
- We look after everyone around us, women are always putting others first. Take the time to put yourself first, especially your health and go to the gym for you. It will relieve stress and you will feel great, especially after a few weeks.
- You only hate it if it is hard to do, once it is easier you will love it so get fit and fall in love with exercise.
Looking at everything that Madeline has accomplished over the years, has me motivated not only to get to the gym, but about life in general. She's persevered through so many moments where others might have just given up and there's a huge lesson in that.
Even through her success, Madeline is still the most down to Earth and humble woman and she reminded me to focus on simplicity and never underestimate the power of a smile.
“Never give up on yourself," she shared, “and always remember that a smile can make someone's day, sometimes we are so busy we forget that we all need someone and we all need to feel wanted. Life is short and is so much more than a big house and a fancy car, some of your best memories may come from the most simple things in life."
4 Min Read
When I first heard #OKBoomer, I cringed and thought — here we go again.
Yet another round of generation bashing, this time Millennials against Baby Boomers. This new social media conflict will not help workplace dynamics.
Throughout my career, I've heard countless rants about long-established workplace norms that younger generations perceive as overly repressive rules that subvert identity, familial obligations, civility, and respect for the environment.
I get it. I remember how I felt early in my career being told that I couldn't wear pants, had to wear pantyhose (even in 90-degree weather) and that I wasn't allowed to speak to executives. Seriously?
Gen X here to the rescue.
Sandwiched between the much larger Baby Boomer and Millennial generations, Gen Xers are often overlooked. Please allow me to build a bridge to the opportunity ahead.
For me, the generation challenge is a communications opportunity. And the stakes are high, because we spend about 70% of our day communicating. Within that timeframe, we spend about 45% listening, 30% speaking, 16% reading, and 9% writing.
By 2030, most Baby Boomers will have retired, and approximately 75% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. That gives us about a decade to continue working together to create a work environment that is better for women, people of color, and the younger generations.
As a multigenerational workplace scholar, I'm often asked, what is a generation, and why do they matter?
Karl Mannheim, the founder of sociology, concluded that key historical events significantly impact people during their youth. Essentially, when you were born and what was happening where you lived during your formative childhood years, help define what is important to you and help set your value system.
Think of it this way, if the games you played growing up allowed you to advance to the next level regardless of if it took one attempt or fifty, you might have a different perspective on what mastering a task looks like than someone who didn't.
If technology has almost always allowed you to be more efficient, you may seek to perform a job as quickly as possible, so that you are being productive, not because you are looking for a short cut.
If the answer to any question was always a Google search away, you might get frustrated when your questions go unanswered and are told to figure it out.
These examples begin to explain why Baby Boomers and Millennials value different things. However, there are always going to be outliers. I study generational-related values, because they frame how we show up and what we expect when we come to work.
In my recent study of 1,400 Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z women, I examined strategies for communicating. I was particularly interested in interpersonal communications — the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages. It turns about that the most essential characteristics by generation were active listening (paying attention to others), collaboration (teamwork), and empathy (showing understanding for others).
Baby Boomers believe they are best at "paying attention to others."
Given our hectic schedules at work, you may be tempted to multitask while speaking or try to get by gleaning the gist of a conversation in a conference call while working on a report at the same time. But this isn't deeply effective. Active listening is crucial because being highly engaged in a conversation helps everyone involved have clarity and alignment on the exchange. It also helps build rapport and trust between participants.
Some practical ways to demonstrate active listening include:
- Asking specific questions or paraphrasing what you've heard
- Using non-verbal cues such as making eye contact and not looking at your device
- Maintain body language that shows you are interested and the speaker has your full attention
Gen X believes they are best at "working with others."
Lots of us have heard the expression, "There's no 'I' in a team." Teams that collaborate well have a better chance for sustained and repeatable success.
Effective ways to demonstrate collaboration are:
- Establishing clear goals and expectations for the team
- Being accountable for the team and yourself
- Providing and being open to feedback
Both Millennials and Gen Z believe they are most effective at "showing understanding for others."
The workplace is more diverse than ever before. Some organizations may have a Baby Boomer, a Gen Xer, Millennial, and a Gen Zer, all working alongside each other. By showing empathy, we can demonstrate that we appreciate and respect each other's perspectives and are open to understanding how they feel about a situation, idea, or concept.
Effective ways to demonstrate empathy are:
- Listening without judging or forming an opinion
- Being slow to criticize
- Acknowledging the other person's feelings as valid for them
So, instead of dismissing a generation with a hashtag, try to open a dialogue. For example, next time you are working with a Baby Boomers demonstrate that you are actively listening to what they are saying. Try sending a summary email about your deliverables on an assignment to Gen Xers to highlight your collaborative skills. And take time to let Millennials and Gen Z know that you appreciate and understand their point of view.