Put Yourself First

By Kenneth Selke

A few days ago, I found myself scrolling through the trending Connect posts in my Weight Watchers Mobile app while I sat at my desk, trying to take a little mental break from work, and one post really resonated with me.

It was a picture of a quote that said, “Sometimes you have to be selfish. If you can’t put yourself first, you can’t expect anyone else to.” The first thought that went through my head was, “I never want to come across as a selfish person, what a negative suggestion.”

As I read it over again, I realized being “selfish” wasn’t the point; the quote was trying to prove that someone could be unselfish to a fault. The funny part about stumbling across this was the fact that I was trying to take a “break” by sitting at my work desk, for fear of missing a call or an email. It stirred something in me. I immediately grabbed my headphones, started up Pandora, and headed outside for a real break. As I walked, I thought about the many other situations in my life in which I consistently choose something else over my own well-being.

For the last year or so, work has been extremely busy, and with my role as the director of operations, I have a lot on my plate every day. In my daily attempts to make progress on my seemingly never-ending to-do list, I had been regularly working through my scheduled lunch hour, not taking breaks, and staying late after the office closes. I knew it wasn’t the healthiest thing to do, but there was always work to be done, coworkers dependent on me, and clients to cater to. Ever since seeing that post, I have at least taken a 20- to 30-minute lunch every day, where I get out of the office and give myself a chance to clear my mind. I set a recurring alarm on my phone that goes off each day to remind myself to take a break. Since then, I’ve noticed my mood is more positive, especially in the later afternoon hours, and I’m still able to get my work done each day. No angry coworkers, no frustrated clients — just a happier me!

There are more situations in my life in which I’ve realized I need to start choosing me! Why? Because I’m worth it. One example is the fact that I don’t have a gym membership because of the monthly cost. How crazy is that? By doing so, I’m essentially saying that my health and weight-loss efforts aren’t worth the $35 fee. Today I called three gyms between my home and my work, and two of them offered me a free visit, which I’m taking advantage of this week.

I’m going to continue to work on choosing what’s best for me in my life, what makes me happy, and prove that I value myself more than anything else. I am worth it. I can still be a hard worker, financially responsible, and selfless, while finally putting my interests first. No one else can do this for me, it’s up to me to stand up for my right to a happy and healthy life!

Follow Kenny on Connect @kdselke

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