Not everyone lives this pretty perfect picture of success. From the outside looking in some might assume I’ve always had all my sh** together, but really that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yes, I’m a doctor, and a dietitian but if you had asked me 10 years ago where I would be today, I couldn’t have told you. I sure wouldn’t have believed that the girl who struggled with her weight her whole life would be teaching women to find food freedom and peace with their bodies. I sure wouldn’t have believed that I would have PhD in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness either, but I do. I persevered through being called fat, through massive anxiety that caused me to binge eat and isolate myself, through struggling to find my focus in life, and through the hurdles that life puts in front of each and every one of us. I made it. That means you can too.
There’s a quote I heard from Tony Robbins a couple of years ago, “We overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in a decade.” When I heard him say this it really hit me how true it is. It took me 15 years of working, failing, trying something else, and fully committing to my passions to really find out who I am and what I can do for this world. If there’s any advice I could give to you or my younger self it would be this…
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your life. It’s unbelievable what we can accomplish in 10 or 20 years but we far to often short change our long term goals for short term rewards. We lose sight of our end game because it’s too far away. It took me a solid 10 years to achieve my educational goals, and that doesn’t even count the 7 years of figuring out who I was and what I wanted to go to school for in the first place. Now that I look back, all that time is just a distant memory. 10 years sounds really long but I promise you it goes by far too fast.
Never let someone else tell you who you are.
This is a hard lesson to learn but there really is something to sticking to your guns and doing what’s best for you even when the rest of the world thinks your crazy. I was out of college for a long time and when I decided to go back at 26 everyone around me thought I was nuts. They also thought I was crazy when I left years before. When I decided to stay for two graduate degrees after my bachelors I still had plenty of push back but I made it work. While I was inside of the PhD I had professors pulling me in all kinds of different directions. They wanted me to be their version of successful, and it wasn’t what I wanted. It was incredibly difficult to tell them no, but now that I’m on the other side, I’m so glad I did. If I hadn’t dug in and made sure my goals for me were before theirs I wouldn’t be helping all of the amazing women I get to help today. I’d be stuck in a cubicle somewhere unhappy and unfulfilled. Always be you, it’s the only way you’ll be happy.
Embrace the twists and turns in your journey.
Being bullied and overweight growing up was awful, but it gave me the strength to help other women. I first started college when I was 18 and I had no idea what I wanted from school, but I knew I didn’t know myself enough to stick it out at the time. I started in business management, then communications, then I tried on fashion design…well I think you get the idea. By the time I finished my bachelors I had gone to 8 different colleges and changed my major at least as many times. All those twists and turns taught me something different and I wouldn’t change one thing about it now. All those turns brought me to a place where I can help others.
Perseverance is being strong when things are hard. It’s dancing in the rain to music only you can hear. Find your beat.
Fine Claudia here