What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
I’m a writer and a storyteller. My passion and purpose is connecting with women and working to change the narrative around women’s bodies and our collective relationship to food.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
Being a journalist and a writer was the first thing I ever wanted to be and I held on tightly to that dream all through my childhood. From there I took a winding path of career ideas and ambitions but ultimately landed a job at a magazine my junior year in college. I knew it was the career for me from that first internship and I’ve never wavered—and that was a long time ago!
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
Someone told me to “chase the feeling.” The idea is that we get caught up in a very specific dream or goal and we can develop tunnel vision while we climb toward it, never taking our eye off the prize. But if we focus on the feeling we want to generate and the kind of joy we want to create in our lives and go after that, it will open up a lot of other opportunities.
My advice is that as much as the world has changed—especially in media–some “old-fashioned” rules still apply. Send thank you notes, bring a paper copy of your resume (never hand an interviewer your cell phone!) and look at entry-level positions as opportunities to learn and grow instead of focusing on how tedious things may be.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
Working from home and being able to create my own schedule is tough to beat. I have the freedom to be there for my kids after school and help them with what they need. There is nothing harder than working full-time with kids. I really feel like I can give all of myself to both my career and my children. Also, writing on a tight deadline has never been something I’m great at – which presents a problem in the fast-paced world of digital news. Having a more flexible schedule allows you to strike when you feel most inspired.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
My goal is to write a book and change the narrative of women’s bodies and their relationship to food. If I could dream big I would have book one completed and being sold, running retreats and workshops for women and be working on book number two.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
What drives you?
I really believe the worst mistake I ever made was going on my first diet. Instead of addressing the issues that made me feel bad about myself, I spent decades trying to get skinny. Those years of yo-yo dieting have hurt my body and my mind in a million untold ways. I want to stop young girls from making that mistake. I want all people but especially young girls to know that dieting doesn’t make you thin anyway—it only makes you hate yourself more. Loving yourself exactly as you are is such a radical concept but I’m driven to invite women to begin to consider it.
Any final comments?
Accepting rejection is the only way forward. This is something I drill into my kids and I wish I had learned sooner. I hear famous women talking about getting 15 rejection letters in a row and how they persevered. I heard no a few times and threw in the towel early on in my career. Step into your worth and believe in what you are trying to do. Have the grit to believe in yourself and keep going.
What does a normal day look like for you?
I have 2 kids, 11 and 14 and I get them ready for school in the morning and out the door. I work from home or out of The Wing in DUMBO, either on my blog or I might have a story due for a magazine or website. I love the energy of The Wing and working in an all-female environment feels really comfortable for me.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
My proudest moments are when women write to me telling me that they finally see themselves represented and relate to the story I’m telling about my own body and my journey to self-acceptance. I take a screen shot of every message and when I look them over I’m filled with pride and gratitude.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
Right now I’m so inspired by Lizzo. When she said “If you can love me you can love yourself” I got chills. I love that young girls can see a sexy, talented woman in a bigger body killing the game and loving herself.
What was your biggest failure?
Keeping myself small and not being my own advocate professionally. I’ve stayed in some pretty toxic work situations that didn’t align with my beliefs. It eats away at you!
What do you like most about yourself?
I’ve always had the ability to connect with people from all walks of life. I’m relaxed around almost everyone and I get genuine joy from meeting people and hearing their stories.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
Stop assuming that every woman wants or needs to lose weight. Fat phobia is real and deeply ingrained in all of us. If you find yourself judging someone by the size of their body, look inward instead and ask yourself what you are really feeling. If you say you are just concerned about a person’s health stop and ask yourself if that’s the truth. What makes you think you can diagnose them by how they look? We all know we need more women at the table, but let’s go a step further and have women at the head of the table in all sizes, colors and beliefs.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
I’m a great listener. I love to know everyone’s story and history— where they came from and where they are going. I can fall down a deep rabbit hole trying to get to the core of someone’s truth.
I’m also willing to learn from everyone including my daughter’s teenage friends who teach me more than I ever could have expected. Everyone put in our path has something to teach us.