Karla’s post shows one example of an Inktel employee persevering in the face of challenging circumstances. Her life long struggle with weight would cause many to give up, but Karla’s tenacity and determination served her in the battle to lose weight. Those same traits allow her to fight and win for Inktel as a Corporate Recruiter in the search for the best talent. Enter Karla:
Growing up, there always seemed to be a valid excuse for my weight being out of control. “Karla, you’re just thick-boned,” “It’s because you’re a Latina—your hips are meant to be huge!” “It’s just genetic; you just have to learn to live with it,” “It’s just baby fat and it will go away at some point…” And here is my all-time favorite: “You have to eat more to grow up to be a strong and healthy young lady.” Naturally, overeating and having your family’s approval for doing it is simply desirable. What teenager doesn’t love getting two grilled sandwiches instead of one, or getting a combo with large fries at the nearest fast food restaurant? Being 10 and overweight was cute; being 13 and overweight just made me unpopular. Turning 15 and being overweight just became unacceptable to me. So I tried what a lot of teenage girls do in order to achieve the look of a Victoria’s Secret model—I starved myself.
My weight problem became an extension of my identity. I was the smart, overweight girl who could do anything but lose the weight. During college, I stayed awake through seemingly endless nights writing the best papers, studying for the hardest midterms, and making sure my projects were worthy of an Ivy Leaguer; my health came in last place. This translated into me graduating in great standing, but absolutely hating all my graduation pictures. When I moved to Miami, however, I was determined to begin a new life, and I was determined to add “healthy” into my daily vocabulary. So, with utmost grievance, I gave up soda, refined sugars, fried food, and carbs (along with bread, one of my inherited passions from my 50+ relatives on my mom’s side). The first few days were a nightmare. Having to control my desire for sugar was nearly impossible, but I pulled through. I began to notice substantial changes in my body. I had energy throughout the day to run my errands and I was starting to feel proud of the clothes I was now able to wear.
Inktel’s “Mission Slimpossible” Challenge motivated me to continue to pursue my 60-pound weight loss goal. Now, 20 pounds lighter, I have come to feel much more comfortable in my own skin and this definitely translates in my performance as a Human Resources professional. How so? I am naturally an extremely shy individual when it comes to conversation and conveying a message properly. I could not convey the benefits of a fresh-out-of-the-oven prototype of the iPhone 6 even if I wanted to. So how can I recruit the best of talent if I can’t properly convey Inktel to them? The answer is you can’t. In order to convey a message, you have to wholeheartedly believe in it. Steve Jobs believed the Apple products would change the world— and they have! But in order to believe in the product you’re selling, you have to have an extraordinary amount of confidence; it all ties together and works as a domino effect. I began losing weight by my own determination, but Inktel’s “Mission Slimpossible” Challenge empowered me by providing me with the support I needed in my workplace. During my weakest times, my coworkers reminded me that this change wasn’t to last a finite period, but rather that this was my new lifestyle. I wasn’t on a diet; I was on the wellness track. But if you’re more into the physical incentives of the process, just remember: “A moment on the lips, and an inch on the hips!”
However, the most important lesson I have learned so far is that it’s not the external changes that matter, but rather the spiritual ones. It’s been a roller coaster, yes. I have gone through life living a vicious circle of obesity and subsequent unhappiness; I tried the anorexia shortcut. Both paths made me extremely unhappy; no path provided me with a genuine desire to neither enjoy life nor a solution to me weight issue. It wasn’t until I started valuing myself, with all my imperfections, that I began to realize why I really had to lose the weight. It wasn’t about being able to fit into a size 8 dress, or looking good in a hot office outfit. This desire to lose weight was my insides yearning to live life intensely, without feeling self-conscious. My weight loss hasn’t just become a mission—it’s my recipe for a happy, balanced life. And sure, the fact that I can rock the pencil skirt while I run up and down the office definitely makes giving up the late-night snacks and sodas a piece of cake.