"Throughout my adolescence, teenage years, & early adulthood, I held tight to the ideal of perfection. I was only good enough if my test scores were 100%, my bed was perfectly made every morning, & I made excelled at every endeavor. There was no room for failure - or even for permission to "just try your best . This goal of perfection contributed greatly to an unhealthy relationship with food and my body. I developed a binging-compulsive exercise disorder. I would strive to meet the "perfect" 1200 calorie day while also pushing myself to run the fastest 10k and burn 2000 calories on the elliptical. I would obsess over my body - the cellulite on my thighs, the jiggle in my arms, how I would never get a flat stomach . . About 5 years ago, a fellow runner inspired me to commit to a regular yoga practice. I began taking once a week. Yoga class was always at the end of my week - at a time when I was physically and mentally exhausted, I would show up on my mat and do my best. I was blessed with a supportive instructor, who echoed reminders that "every day our practice is different", "give yourself permission to fall", and would encourage us to become observers rather than judgers . Slowly, this regular mantra seeped into my everyday life: This is PRACTICE...not PERFECTION . Letting go of perfection has empowered me to take chances on myself. In yoga, my patience and self-acceptance has allowed me to grow stronger in my poses and appreciate the time it takes to grow more flexible. In my work life, I've let go of perfection in my small business - dealing with problems as they arise (because they inevitably will) in the best way I can, letting go of judgement . . In my relationship with my body and my loved ones, I've learned how to let go of high standards for perfection - discovering how freeing it can be to embrace growth and forgiveness 🙏 Katie"