The Senior Director of Shared Services shares how one mindset shift has strengthened her self-esteem and her relationships with others.
In 2020, after almost 20 years of dieting and weight cycling, I began my journey with Health at Every Size and self-acceptance. I started dieting at a young age and the idea that my body was a problem became ingrained in me. I internalized a lot of shame. This fixation on my weight kept me trapped in cycles of anxiety and low self-esteem well into my twenties.
After seeking support through talk therapy and learning from body positive advocates, I slowly began to detach my worth as a person from my weight. Shifting my perspective from trying to become a certain size or hitting a number on the scale to focusing on nourishing my body, moving in ways that made me feel good, and pursuing other non-scale goals have all been incredibly positive changes for me.
Being able to show up and live my life with more self-acceptance and self-love has not only drastically improved my own quality of life, but it has also had an impact on those around me. I'm able to be more present with friends and loved ones and less anxious about food and what I look like. I hope to inspire those around me to accept themselves as this has brought me so much peace after so many years of feeling anxious and inadequate.
Once I was able to live with more confidence and self-acceptance, I found that I was able to welcome new well-being practices. About a year ago I adopted my dog Louie and taking care of him day to day has been so meaningful for me. Living in New York City and working from home often, it can be easy to get sucked into work and stuck on back-to-back zoom calls. Having Louie forces me to prioritize getting outside for walks, which is great for carving out short breaks throughout my workday. Over the last year, I've doubled my average daily step count and am able to move through stress faster because I'm getting more movement, sunlight, and taking time to get some fresh air and breathe. This practice of caring for him also reminds me to take care of myself. When I fill up his water bowl, for example, it's a reminder to pour myself a glass of water to stay hydrated. These small, simple habits have truly made such a difference in how I feel every day.