Sunday, September 15, 2019

Interview with Sunny Lenarduzzi: Don’t put pressure to be everything to everyone

March 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Body Image

Please tell us about yourself and what you do?

I’m a social butterfly and a believer in the power of positivity. I love connecting with people, exercising, and laughing. I’m an entrepreneur, social media consultant and a digital lifestyle contributor for Hootsuite’s Social Update, The Huffington Post, CITY TV, CMS Connected, N3TWORK and the host of #SLTV on YouTube.

 

Can you tell us a bit about any upcoming projects or events that you are working on?

I’m thrilled to be working with Hootsuite on their weekly social media updates. I also have my own YouTube show called #SLTV where I cover the latest trending stories and technology. And on November 19th, I’m excited to be partnering with Booje Media and Notable.ca to host an event in Vancouver with Sean Gardner to launch his book, The Road to Social Media Success.

 

Do you find the pressures of working in your industry significant with regard to feeling the need to have a “perfect” body? If so, how do you navigate through that terrain? How do you “not” judge yourself when others (critics, audience members, producers, etc.) “judge” you based on outward measures?

I know those pressures exist, but I have always tried to focus on how I feel and how I want to present myself. I went through a time early in my career as a reporter when I let others dictate how I should dress and how I should wear my hair, and I found I didn’t feel like my authentic self when I changed what felt comfortable. It’s a slippery slope to take everyone else’s opinion into account, because it’s subjective. I’ve learned that I have to feel my best in order to perform my best.

I navigate that terrain by knowing you can’t control how other people react to you or what they think, so I really focus on keeping my thoughts positive and treating myself kindly.

Of course it stings when people are negative or say something cruel, but I truly believe that has much more to do with them than it does with me. When other people make judgments, it usually reflects an issue they are battling with. I’ve come to a place where I’ll react or respond to criticism when it’s necessary, but if it’s just said out of cruelty with no real merit, then it’s best not to respond. I actually pity people who take time out of their day just to spew hate, it seems like such a waste of energy to me.

 

To follow up with that question, how do you deal with bullying or people talking negative about you? Can you give any examples of bullying in your personal life and how you handled it?

I experienced pretty severe bullying in high school, particularly in the 9th grade. I begged my parents to let me switch schools, but to their credit, they wouldn’t let me. My family has been my biggest support system my whole life, and no matter how cruel other people can be, I always knew I could talk to them about anything and they were always there for me. Of course, through social media, I’ve also experienced bullying. However, from my teen years onward, I’ve learned to love myself enough to know that nobody can say anything that will break me because I have enough inner strength and confidence to know who I am and what I stand for. 

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 10.49.40 AM (Credit to Eyoalha Baker Art Photography)

 

What made you want to get involved with Mental Fitness, Inc. and what it is about the mission of Mental Fitness that speaks to you?

Mental Fitness, Inc.’s mission is one I wholeheartedly support. I was lucky enough to be immersed in the arts when I was a teenager and it was such a healthy outlet for me and my friends. I understand the power of building confidence through skill sets, and that is exactly what Mental Fitness is doing.

 

Who were the role models in your life?

My parents for sure. I have also been very lucky to have an incredible network of mentors and powerful women. Surrounding yourself with people you admire elevates your personal growth exponentially.

 

What do you define as beautiful?

Beauty is someone who walks tall knowing that they have a unique set of gifts to offer the world. Beauty is confidence and the ability to inspire those around you to be the best that they can be. Strength and resilience is beautiful to me.

 

How do you define inner beauty?

I define inner beauty as confidence and a strong connection to your soul. Working from your heart space, not from your ego, is what makes your inner beauty shine.

 

What is happiness?

Gratitude. Happiness comes from not wanting for more. Whatever situation you’re in, there is always something to be grateful for. It could be the smallest thing in the world, but just being alive and taking another breath is reason enough to be grateful for your life.

 

Would you be willing to take the Real Deal pledge?  Thoughts about that? (http://wearetherealdeal.com/about/the-real-deal-pledge/)

Yes, absolutely! I love everything about the Real Deal pledge. It’s a checklist for self love, and I think it’s important for everyone to take it.

 

How do you manage your stress levels in daily life?  Do you use music / art / dance, etc. as a coping tool? 

Music is a huge part of my life. I start listening to music when I wake up and I have a constant soundtrack throughout my day. I have a few routines I do every day to manage stress and keep things in perspective, including meditating every morning and writing a list of things to be grateful for every night. One of the best tools for managing stress is fresh air and working out. I love going for runs or taking a cardio class to boost my mood and clear my head.

 

Are there other things that you do to live mindfully? How do you find a work-life balance — as a woman, relationships, a professional — what are keys to balance?

I don’t love the word ‘balance’, because I truly think there is no such thing. I look at life as a game of experimenting with keeping all of the right elements in check. Sometimes finishing a work project will make me feel on top of the world, other times it will be hanging with my friends or going for a hike. It’s about being in tune with yourself to know what you need to feel at peace. When it comes to personal relationships, I recognize I have a lot going on and I prioritize as best I can. I make sure I check in with my friends regularly and schedule coffee dates or dinner dates well in advance so I know how to plan around them. Regardless of how busy I am I know that personal relationships are the foundation of a happy life, so I always make them a priority. I also have learned not to take myself so seriously and don’t put pressure on myself to be everything to everyone.

IMG_4957 (Credit to Ainsley Rose Photography © 2014)

On air and online. Sunny is a digital lifestyle expert, social media strategist and contributor to Hootsuite, The Huffington Post, CITY TV, CMS Connected and N3TWORK. Outside of work, Sunny is a passionate supporter of the Alzheimer’s Society of BC http://www.alzheimerbc.org/ and Mental Fitness, Inc. http://www.mentalfitnessinc.org/ and she encourages you to take the real deal pledge: http://wearetherealdeal.com/about/the-real-deal-pledge/.

 

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