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Emerging Philadelphia Organization "Just You, Only Better" Empowers Philly-Area Women

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“Every woman wants to look and feel better. We need to learn how to look inward, so we can love ourselves more and so we can instill self-esteem in our children.” - Molly Napolitano.

I was honored to be asked recently to cover a workshop presented by one of Philadelphia's emerging organizations Just You, Only Better, whose founder, President, Molly Napolitanoand CEO is Molly Napolitano (photo on the right). In response to this era of high stress and challenging economic times, her group offers women specialized one-day workshops and 30-day programs. 

“I wanted everyone to walk away with something valuable and to think, 'This was the best day I have had in a very long time.' Our mission is to improve health, happiness, and confidence …one woman at a time,” Napolitano said.

Napolitano earned her Master's Degree in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Florida. She then specialized in exercise prescription for the elderly, developing and directing physical therapy centers in Florida. Currently, she is the Fitness Expert for GlobalFit, a leading provider of fitness and wellness programs for multinational companies and insurers. Expanding on the writing contributions she makes for GlobalFit's website, she also created mollynap.com. That blog focuses on women's fitness, confidence, fashion, beauty, and health issues.

Just You, Only Better's recent one-day workshop, at The Pyramid Club inside the Mellon Building in Philadelphia, included a distinguished group of speakers. They engaged a large gathering by providing expertise on a wide array of important topics.

Karyn Pless, a working mother with two children who lives in Malvern, said, “I learned something different from each of the presenters today. Part of that was learning to be kinder to myself. I'm trying find time to quiet my mind, to take care of me, and to do the things that make me feel good.”

Dawn Kraut came from New York to attend the workshop with her sister Karyn. She said, “What I hope to take from this event are ways that I can improve the quality of my life, without changing it dramatically. The talk on meditation and yoga was fantastic! Yoga gives you a chance to breathe and to think about things.”

Denise Kelly, a veterinary technician from Philadelphia said, “If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of anyone else. It's so important to take time for yourself and to relieve stress, even if it's just for just 30 minutes per day. I'm going to go back to work and to rave about this workshop.”   

Napolitano also hosts free, self-esteem, workshops for young girls and their mentors sponsored by the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Originating in the 1990's, the campaign emphasizes the image of real women with different body shapes. The goal is to get women to embrace and love themselves. 

Noted entrepreneur, author, and television contributor, Jen Groover, joined forces with Napolitano, hosting a webcast preview of the workshop the night before the event. 

Groover said, “The perspective that Molly and Biana offer to women is uniquely holistic and adds a deeper value to understanding women's issues and empowerment.”

Napolitano who has spoken both nationally and internationally on women's topics, will be speaking at an upcoming event in San Francisco. She began this workshop with a presentation of how the media impacts the confidence of women and young girls.

“We, as a collective force, need to reverse the trend of how women are presented in the media. So many people compare themselves to what they see. But, women are setting themselves up for failure because what they are seeing isn't real. There is no such thing as perfection,” Napolitano said.

Vicki Lukert, a physical therapist from Florida, spoke about the importance of women's health issues. Alice Dommert, co-founder of Deliver Me Yoga, discussed various ways to relieve stress. Sandy Weston, owner of Weston Fitness, made a presentation that was called “Train Your Head...Body Will Follow.” Her positive energy inspired the entire group to stand up and have fun by exercising just prior to lunch. She also offered all participants a free Zumba class after the event.

“The easiest thing is just to do simple things and make little changes. Your mind gets use to doing something and it becomes part of your everyday life. I get energy from the people that I train,” Weston said. 

Biana DimarcoAfter everyone enjoyed a shrimp salad lunch, Biana DeMarco (photo on the left) offered “Fashion Tips to Help Reveal the Stylish and Sophisticated You.” DeMarco's fashion savvy was first tapped by Napolitano when she was asked to contribute to the Just You, Only Better website. Due to the strong response her Fashion Friday's segment created, the blog phillyfashionistas.com was  born.    

“The blog began with a core group of friends following it and then formed a persona of its own, gaining fresh new readers. I have people telling me now that reading my blog has become a Friday morning ritual. They grab a cup of coffee and read my posts. I try to keep it current and entertaining and from the feedback that I have been getting, it reads like a magazine.

“We are all creatures of habit. I help women identify their personal style, but also encourage them to step out of their comfort zone. I provide options on how to maximize their current resources. I show them how to obtain the essentials in a cost-effective way, making small wardrobe changes to achieve big sartorial results. I often discuss the necessary accessories and show ways on how to incorporate new trends,” DeMarco said.

Melinda Engel, a holistic nutritionist, spoke about a balanced diet. She also showed how to make amazingly nutritious shakes by using healthy ingredients. Janet Indorf, a top makeup artist who works for Bobbi Brown, demonstrated proper techniques for makeup application. Award-winning hair stylist Jeffrey Moffett, from Pileggi on The Square, provided advice on hair products and how to select a proper hair dresser. 

Celebrity chef Brian Duffy, known for his creation of the “New Celtic” cuisine and a member of Chefs for Humanity, concluded the event's presentations. Duffy, who has been seen on the Food Network, The Today Show, and elsewhere, discussed healthy cooking, demonstrated creative knife techniques, and prepared a fabulous salsa.  

Everyone who attended this five-star event was certainly inspired by it. But, they are also certainly inspired by people in their personal lives, as well as by other well-known individuals.

As for Molly's inspiration, “My husband, Frank Napolitano (President and CEO of GlobalFit) inspires me everyday. He believes in me more than anyone and urges me to take risks in order to be the best that I can be. Even when his schedule is completely full, he is always willing to help others to learn and grow.

“And I love Ellen DeGeneres. She is always happy and has so much FUN on her show. She's authentic, real, and not afraid to be herself in front of the world. I would LOVE to be on her show someday,” Napolitano said.

For information about Just You, Only Better, simply click on their website.

http://www.justyouonlybetter.com

Contact Sean O'Brien at sobrien@philly2philly.com