What I love about myself: My mind, even though sometimes it’s my enemy. I love being a quick thinker, a problem solver and able to come off with a witty retort. I also feel really fortunate to be healthy and happy, and to enjoy my work.
My biggest challenge in accepting my body and beauty: I don’t really like getting wrinkles and gray hair as I get older. Some women are all about growing old gracefully, but I’d rather preserve my appearance! In the last few years I’ve become obsessed with sunscreen, antioxidants, exercise and regular sleep.
My biggest support in learning to appreciate myself: My husband is very supportive of me, which is great, but I’ve put in the effort to learn to appreciate myself. This is a little embarrassing, but I do check in with a counselor occasionally, which helps me to keep on track emotionally. I also take time out to meditate, do yoga, take a soothing bath or go for a jog when I need to unwind, and I try to give myself plenty of rewards. I’ve decided that I need to be my own cheerleader.
Beauty is: Nebulous. I think it changes — what society calls beauty, what I think is beautiful and what appeals to me, and what sort of beauty has meaning in the world at a given moment. Physical beauty is fleeting, but inner beauty, self-confidence, creativity, intelligence, compassion and a sense of humor are undeniabale and totally worth cultivating.
Why I am strong: Because I work out! No, seriously. Lifting weights, staying fit and being physically strong is a great moral boost. I like to be able to take care of myself. It’s also important to have good emotional health, to be prepared and to reduce stress as much as possible.
Why I am beautiful: I’m still working that one out. For me, feeling beautiful has a lot to do with feeling successful. I feel best when I’m doing meaningful work, when I’m connecting with people and when I’m excited about plans and looking forward to the future. A good hair day helps, too, but good health and a sense of well-being are my real beauty secrets.
What women must know: This is totally un-glamorous, but what I wish all women knew was to invest in themselves. Take care of your health now, drink lots of water, get pleny of rest, get your alcohol consumption under control, get regular screenings and seek out supportive, nurturing relationships. Don’t cast your pearls before swine, ladies, and that goes for bosses, too — not just boyfriends! And equally important, start putting away money into an IRA, the sooner the better. Plan for your future and be wise with money. Ultimately, a secure retirement and a little something for a rainy day is a lot sexier than a new purse, and being financially solvent is such a great feeling.