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Question of the week

I was digging in my archives today. Partly because I needed inspiration and partly because I needed a lift. I’ve been a little out of sorts but that’s whole other story.

Anyway, I came across an old question of the week that struck a cord with me. Especially considering the new site I’m involved in that’s all about body image and spreading a message of self love. Since joining, I’ve been contemplating my relationship with my body and reflecting a lot on how far I’ve come.

The question I came across was What do you love about your body? It’s a tough question to answer and although many did, some comments reveal a lack of self-esteem.

"The only part of my body that I like is…"

"That’s a hard question. Guess I’d have to say…"

"This is a tough one for me as I’ve been stuck…"

The best one was..

"Hmmm…this is actually a really hard question for me to answer. Which is incredibly revealing about my self-confidence level right now. So, although I don’t have an answer for you just yet, thanks for giving me something to think about."

I totally get that and I still struggle with the body image thing. Then today something hit me like a ton of bricks. Self-love doesn’t have to start with what we see in the mirror. Why do we hinge so much of our happiness on that? Let’s focus on non-appearance accomplishments for a change.

One thing I’ve always been upset with my father about was his focus on my appearance all the time. He never recognized any of my other accomplishments. It was only about how I looked or how much I weighed.

I believe confidence is the key to many things in life, including weight loss. But does confidence have to be tied to the way we look? I don’t think it should be. So let’s do this. Let’s really think of all the things we are most proud of in our lives. Have you ever paused to really think about it before? Or do you hinge all your happiness on some magical number or the "perfect" size jeans like I used to?

Ok, so I’ll start. :)

  • I’m proud of my degrees. I don’t come from a privileged family by any means. I not only had to pay for the majority of my college education, I’m STILL paying for it. ;) I’m the product of a hard working single mom who taught me very early that education is important.
  • I’m proud of my marriage. It’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. The husband isn’t perfect. But we have a great relationship. Why? Because we work hard on it. We compromise. Staying married isn’t easy. Staying happily married is even harder but I’m proud of the work I (we) put into it.
  • I’m proud of the son I am raising. I’m doing the best I can teaching him how to be an empathetic, caring, healthy, active person.
  • I’m proud of my sites. I work hard on these sites. I’ve developed them myself. I designed them. I write them. I produce all the content. It’s so ingrained in my routine sometimes I forget all that I have built.
  • I’m proud to be a person who takes chances. It’s easy to talk the talk but I try my best to walk the walk. It was hard to take a chance in this housing market but I did it. It was hard to start my own company but I did it. I try hard to follow my dreams.

There’s a combination of pride and gratitude in my list. Some of those things are out of my control (being blessed with an amazing mom for example) and I’m thankful for them but I’m also proud I recognize that fact. Does that make sense?!? :)

Not one of those accomplishment have anything to do with my size. It’s important for me to recognize that.

Ok, don’t leave me hanging… it’s your turn… What accomplishments are you most proud of?

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  • http://briannefranklin.wordpress.com Brianne

    Good call on this post, Roni. I’ve been dwelling on some negative stuff lately. What a great reminder that I have some stuff to be proud of, too. You’ve inspired a blog post for me to write!

  • http://notime2weight.wordpress.com Michelle at No Time to Weight

    Great post Roni! I am most proud of my girls and being able to stay at home with them. I know it’s not a job for everyone and I manage to keep it all under control – most days at least because Lord knows I am not perfect either. They are wonderful girls and I know my hubby and I are doing something right with how we are raising them :-)

  • rollercoaster

    Roni, such a wonderful post. I would add to that – inspiring countless men and women across cyberspace to challenge themselves to follow their dreams and love themselves, leading by example. At the very least, you inspire me :)

    I am most proud of making an effor to figure out what I need and then asking for it or going out and getting it when necessary. Specifically I mean learning about normal eating and taking the risk to try following it. It’s led me on a tough but exciting journey of discovery. I am proud that I am seeing it through.

    I am also proud of reaching out to others to figure out what I want to do with my career, what masters program I want to apply to, etc. A big part of this is feeling like I am worthwhile enough for others to take the time to talk with me.

    I feel proud of the example I am to the people around me. I hope that I inspire them just a little by living my life as honestly and thoughtfully as I can.

    This might sound silly but I am proud of the dog-mom that I am! Maybe one day I will be able try them out on some kids. I guess I do it already with my nieces and nephews!

    I am proud of the wife that I am and my marriage. Much like you, Roni, we aren’t perfect but we work hard to make what we have wonderful and to be loving and tolerant, even when we are fighting!

    I got pretty teary writing this comment. Thanks for the great questions, Roni, sometimes we forget all that we are and do. It feels good to reflect and take a step back to think about these things. :)

  • http://www.fatbridesmaid.com Fat Bridesmaid

    Awesome post! I’m proud that I’m 26-years old and about to buy my first house on my own. I’m a little scared but so, so excited and impressed with myself. GO ME!

  • http://www.blogtolose.com/profile/Sabrinalicious Sabrina

    This is a great post! The things that I’m most proud of are:
    1. My degree from Kutztown University. I never thought I would be able to get through college, let alone graduate with a 3.5 grade point average. This is a big accomplishment for someone that is dyslexic.

    2. I proud of the marriage that I have. Like you said no one is perfect, but I’m madly in love with my husband and we make it point to have good communication with one another.

    3. I’m proud of my baby girl. She is the light of my life and I truly am enjoying have her in my life. I didn’t think it was possible to love some one so much!

  • http://www.imadedinner.net Mara @ What’s for Dinner?

    Im incredibly proud of my success I’ve had at my job. I have been told that I’m excellent at it, and while I may not love my body at all times, I am definitely proud of and good at my job. I’m proud of my relationship with my fiance, as it’s the healthiest one I’ve seen in a long time…

  • Courtney

    This is a great post! I think we get so obsessed over the number on the scale that we lose all perspective on life in general.

    The number one thing that I am proud of is my darling son. I overcame 4 years of infertility to have him. I endured 174 painful shots and two surgeries to conceive him. I laid in bed for 4 months to give him time to gestate and be healthy. He turned one last week and is the most amazing miracle.

    I am proud of my degrees. They were tough hard work. Like you, Roni, I am still paying for my graduate degree.

    I am proud of the book that I wrote and published.

    I am proud of my strong, healthy marriage.

  • http://www.eatmovewrite.blogspot.com Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write

    Great question and good point. We have so much more to be proud of than our physical selves.

    What am I proud of?

    Well, I have to say, I actually am very proud of my physical self. I’m proud I had the courage to lose 200 pounds and that I workout every single day to maintain it, while battling my eating issues. It takes alot of work, and my journey isn’t perfect, but I’ve done it.

    I’m proud of my courage. I’ve had to face alot of weird circumstances in my life. My divorce, my giving up everything I owned to move to California with nothing. I’m a survivor and I’m proud of that.

    I’m proud that I’m going back to school to get my dietetics degree. It’s something I’ve wanted (and been afraid of doing) for a long time. I’m proud to have the courage to do that.

    I’m proud of my relationship with my husband. I have learned so much in my life so far that has allowed me to be what I believe is a really good wife and partner. Live and learn has certainly been true to me.

    Thanks for the question. :)

  • Sarah

    Roni-

    I am not a blogger (blogher?) but I am a lurker. Thanks for posts like this, they are thought provoking. It is very important to recognize one’s own accomplishments. And no, it isn’t bragging. Especially when it make other take the time to stop and take stock.

    I love your site. Thank you. And a huge congratulations for your many accomplishments!!!

  • http://allveggedout.wordpress.com Rebeca

    This is great!

    I’m proud of myself- in the last year I’ve lost 40+ lbs and even though I’m not done, I am so proud to be where I am today. I cannot believe that I have done this in a healthy, lasting way.

    I’m proud that I haven’t had a bulimic episode in over a year… while there have still been a few binges I haven’t allowed them to trigger that ED crap again.

    I’m proud of finishing school while working full time.

    I’m proud of being an educator in a system that is so full of flaws and hardships around every corner that most people don’t make it past their first year.

    I’m proud to just BE ME… too often in the past, I would hide behind the image of what I should be, or what I wanted people to think of me as, but now I just AM… I am the person that I was meant to be and yes that means that some “friends” are gone because they don’t like the girl who is not a doormat, but the real ones have stayed and that’s a gift itself!

  • http://blogtolose.com Jill

    I am proud of myself for NOT eating that Reeses chocolate bar tonight to smother away the tough day I had today.

    I am proud of my 5 awesome kids….I am blessed to have them, grateful they are such good kids, and proud of the hard work and time I put into raising them.

    I am proud that I am a good friend and so grateful to have so many great friends that are good to me.

    I am proud to have been married nearly 17 years! Got married at 19 (crazy!), and against all odds, made it through college together and 3 babies before we were both done with our schooling. Yikes!

    I am proud that I’ve lost 9 pounds so far. :)

    I am proud that my house is relatively clean today!

  • Tina

    This could not have come at a better time as I struggle through many challenges in my life at the moment….. It has helped me reflect on where I was, where I am, and where I am going in my life.

    1. I am most proud of my decision to change my life 2 years ago after being diagnosed with pre-cervical cancer and 2 fibroid tumors the size of soccer balls (that was the doctor’s words not mine). After radical surgery, I joined WW and finally lost the final 50lbs I have needed to lose since I was 15 yrs old. I have gone up and down from 225 to 150 but never getting back to my teenage weight of 135 and after a year of hard work I have been able to maintain it for the last year.

    2. My education and career change at 33. After 4 yrs of private art college and 11 years in a male dominated industry I realized it was not for me. At 33 I left behind the life I knew in Manhattan for those years and started over as a freshman in college again to become a teacher. At this point I have completed my Assoc. and I am enrolled in a Masters Accelerated program. And the best part of all is I am teaching toddlers and I LOVE IT! I get up everyday loving my job…..

    3. Finally, after 11 years in a stressful unfufilling job, working to only pay the mortgage on Long Island, my husband and I made the radical decision 4 years ago to liquidate our lives and run to the mountains to live a simpler life. We have had our ups and downs and question if we made the right decision. Just the fact that I sleep at night not worrying about money and work where I want to for the job not the paycheck says alot….

    4. And hopefully as of Sunday afternoon I can add running my first 5k race! Roni, you inspired me to work towards that goal and I set my mind to it back in February and the day has arrived….. I am nervous but I think I can do it!

    Wow! I look at my progression in the last 5 years and I am a different person and I am happy with who I am becoming…..

    You are all an inspiration to me and I enjoy reading how we all are alike but different in so many ways. Even though we have never met I feel like we all have such a connection.

  • JenLesky

    Awesome, encouraging post and comments!! Today is my six-month marker of joining Weight Watchers and I’m 65.8 pounds lighter than when I started — I’m very proud of that! And to me that’s not really an appearance-related accomplishment so much as a commitment-related one! Am also immensely proud of the woman I’ve become! Thanks so much for encouraging us all to look at the non-scale, non-body victories!!

  • http://watchmybuttshrink.blogspot.com Jenn

    This is a great post! I have been thinking more about how I think of myself (which is usually in a negative way). So here’s my list!

    I am proud of the eBay business I started last year. I’m actually making money, not much, but it continues to grow and I actually LIKE doing it.

    I am proud that my family has been trying to eat better and move more since I started this journey three months ago.

    I am proud of my girls, they are my life’s joy, and I love it when they show they’ve learned something positive from me.

    I am proud that even though I’ve tried to lose this weight a million times before, I have NOT given up, and I know that I will get to my goal eventually!

  • http://dianasbodyjourney.blogspot.com diana

    I haven’t commented on your blog, but have been reading (or viewing!) for a little while.
    I loved that quesiton on watrd and this one as well. It’s amazing that as a gender we are all (most of us) so insecure and hung up on body image issues, but also taught to down play accomplishments.
    I’m proud of my education (PhD school right now). School never came easy or natural to me, but I’ve worked hard and will graduate next year :) YAY.

  • http://itallchanges.wordpress.com Cynthia (it all changes)

    I love this! It made me think of all the things I should be proud of besides just the physical.

    1. I’m proud that I changed careers from teaching to ministry. Both made me happy but I know that God has me where he wants me in His service.

    2. I’m proud that I’m so stubborn and determined. Sounds dumb but it helped me to get through illness as a teenager and through major back surgery as a 26 year old to be completely recovered and better than ever.

    3. I’m proud of my marriage. Neither my husband nor I are perfect but we work at it. We love each other and work as partners in life and ministry.

    4. I’m proud that I put my trust in God because through all of life’s ups and downs he’s got me through.

  • http://www.whereisjaye.blogspot.com Jaye

    Oh Roni,

    How did you know i was sitting on the couch unemployed with an injured knee feeling sorry for myself. Reading all these comments helps lift of spirts so much.

    I am proud of myself of my courage. The fact that I went to live in Europe for a year. It was my first time to ever get on a plane. It was so hard leaving my family, but the experince was unforgetable.

    I am proud that I am going back to school to learn web design.

    Most of all I am proud of my marriage.

    Jaye

  • http://www.runeatrepeat.com Runeatrepeat

    I am proud of my blog…I am not perfect and post some embarrassing things about myself, but I think it helps my readers see that imperfection is okay :)

    I am proud that I took a huge chance, moved across the country (leaving my fam) and took a reporting job. I’m proud that I’m following my dreams no matter what ends up happening.

  • DLAOKC

    Roni,
    Once again thank you for leading by example (the best way!)
    I am proud of my college degree – I went to school for 13 years part-time to get it, working full-time and being a single mom.
    I am proud that I get up and go exercise five mornings a week, and two evenings, to boot! (My sister says that she knows lots of people who talk about exercise, but I’m only one of a couple that she knows that actually DO it!)
    I am proud that, at 53, I am still learning, changing, growing – looking for new opportunities for my life.

  • Sheila

    Hey Roni! Thanks for making us all think about something other than they way we look to measure our success.
    For me, I am proud of myself that I have raised a wonderful, caring daughter by myself for the last 14 years.
    I am proud of myself that I put all of my inhabitions aside and went back to school while working full time (will be graduating in the spring!! woohoo)
    I am proud that I have been focusing on making better choices and have lost 30 lbs because of it.
    I am proud of myself for finally dropping all of my excuses and quitting smoking…13 weeks and counting. =)

  • http://www.melsboxofchocolates.com Mel

    This is a terrific question and one that I want to dive into so I’m going to write a post and link up here for a more in depth answer. But, right off the top of my head…

    I’m proud that I have kept both of my kids alive since they were born and that they seem to be turning into pretty good kids, if I do say so myself.

    I’m proud that I will be celebrating my 10 year anniversary on Friday. In days where people get divorced left and right it is a great feeling to know that my marriage is strong. Like you said, not perfect by any means, but definitely a good thing!!

    I’m proud that I got my bachelor’s and master’s degree and did it while working and raising my kids. It was hard work, but I did it!

    I’m proud that I received my National Board Certification. Not that I needed a piece of paper telling me that I was an effective teacher, but it was still an awesome feeling to pass on my first attempt when 50% of the people fail on their first try. I was ecstatic!

    I’m proud that I have lost 40+ pounds, feel so much healthier, and have ran freakin 5K’s. Still shocked over it all!!

    Thanks for making me take the time to look at what I’ve accomplished and be proud of who I am.

    I’m proud of you and how you manage to keep all your balls in the air while you juggle with a smile and great attitude!!!

  • http://www.fittothefinish.com/blog Diane fit to the finish

    - I’m proud of my 150 pound weight loss
    - I love to say I have seven children
    - I feel proud that I’ve been married 22 years
    - I’m happy I finally did a website and a blog
    - I’m so lucky to have had a successful reunion with my birth family.

    Thanks for this post!

  • Linda

    What a great question!! I am proud of so many things about myself :) I am proud that I have stuck to what I know will make me happy. I am almost a 35 year old woman and my lifestyle is quite different to what most other 35 year old woman are doing (?) I work as a Park Ranger in Yosemite in the summer and live in Jackson Wyoming in the winter where I work with 3rd-5th graders. It’s so much fun and I move every 6 months or so. I don’t own a home, I am not married but have been with the same man for 5 years and we are blissfully happy, I don’t have kids nor do I plan on having any, I don’t own any furniture, I have ZERO debt. Yes that’s right no credit card debt no mortgate and I just finished off the payments to my car. . .it is 100% mine! I feel very lucky. I reallly don’t have to work all that hard and have plenty of money to pay my bills which are minimal. Life is good and I am so happy that I chose this path for myself. I am learning the art of self love everyday and I do LOVE myself fully. My flaws are my flaws and they are there for a reason, to learn from. Thanks for all your inspiration Roni, You’re great!!

  • http://randomlynne.blogspot.com Lynne

    I am proud of my education. It wasn’t easy (or cheap) getting that degree, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
    I am proud of the career that I have and the hard work I’ve put in to get there.
    I am proud of my 127 pound weight loss.
    I am proud that I have stopped being too scared to live the life I want.

  • Christie

    I love the idea of taking the focus off the weight and giving ourselves some recognition for something we else we can be proud of.

    I am proud of my relationship with my husband. We have disagreements like everyone else but we never stay mad long and we don’t yell or degrade each other when we disagree.

    I am proud of the financial position we made for ourselves. We bought a house when we were 19 & 20 and people thought we were crazy but we are doing great now.

    I am proud of my position at work. I started out at the bottom but in less than 3 years I am a supervisor/trainer.

  • Nina

    Wow, good post! Especially now that I am back on my old weight-loss program which has similar exercises about keeping you going and thinking positive. But I haven’t yet started those, therefore I should begin with them NOW:

    1. I am proud and thankful of having survived a very bad period of burn-out and depression and mostly without medication – which just made me feel I was sweeping things under the carpet. At the beginning I did not take it serious, but now that I’ve left it behind I can see that it was a major piece of work. I still have my moods sometimes, but it is nothing compared to where I came from.
    2. I am proud that I’m not a quitter. It may take me a little longer, but I never give up.
    3. I am proud of having helped so many friends through their exams.
    4. I am proud of my cooking skills. I know so much about food, I should just use it for myself. ;)
    5. I am proud of my dancing skills.

    Thank you very much for making me remember that, Roni! I get so distracted over the whole weight loss that I forget about making me feel good as a person, regardless of my weight.

  • Sandy

    I am proud of my three kids – all National Merit Finalists (2 of them homeschooled through high school).
    I am proud of my home of 24 years that my husband and I have worked hard to make comfortable and welcoming.
    I am proud of my relationships with girl friends, some for more than 30 years and some new ones.

  • http://hlcaterpillar.blogspot.com/ Lynn C

    It’s so much easier to be proud of the “mental me”… it’s weird, but while I’ll brush off compliments on my looks with a “yeah, but..” my response to “wow, you’re really smart/talented/determined…” tends to be “Yeah, thanks. I know…”

    Despite a marriage and divorce, I did get my degree. It’s vaguely useless (Victorian Literature and Russian History) but at least I have one. I’m proud of getting it done, even when – especially when – I didn’t think I’d manage it.

    I’ve written two complete novels, one of which I think is worth salvaging, and I’m going to try to edit and get it ready for submission as soon as the kiddo is off for school.

    I’m proud of my marriage and recognizing that I’ve finally found the right person for me.

    I’m proud of my daughter; she’s a daily joy… even if I often wonder if her good nature and even-temperament is anything I *did* or if I just lucked out.

    I’m proud of myself for making the attempt to salvage my relationships with cousins and aunts that I haven’t been on speaking terms with for seventeen years. Just recently I had an afternoon with my cousin and it was fantastic. Well worth the amount of apologizing I had to do to get back in her good graces. (Which really wasn’t all that much…)

    I’m proud of myself for working on improving my self-esteem (even if it’s not always going well… ) I now give blood regularly, donate time and effort to local charities, and am doing the 60-mile 3-day walk for Breast Cancer Awareness. (http://tinyurl.com/SGK3day) Even if it’s not always helping my self-esteem, I’m doing a lot of good, and that makes me feel good. And even when it DOESN’T, I’m still doing good. Which does tend to make me feel good. Weird how that works.

    I’m proud of myself for making an effort to make new friends and socialize more outside the house. I’ve been hiding in this apartment for too long, sticking with just the people I’ve known since college. Just today, I got together for coffee with a Twitter friend. Go me!

  • Marie

    Well it’s been really hard for me these past few days. I’ve gained a few pounds (5) and can’t seem to get it off.. I associate happiness with being thin and i’ve miss out on alout because I am ashame of what i feel about myself. You are right achievement does not have to be about what you look like.
    I’ve put myseld threw night school, while working full time and got my bachelor degree.
    I am successful at my job and love what I do
    I purchased a nice fourplexe in a beautiful city
    I lost 40 pounds and was hable to keep it off for last two year
    I have a great family

    I need to concentrate more on my achievements and less on what i did not do.

  • http://thewomaninsideme.blogspot.com Kimberly

    I am proud that I seem to have conquered my years long inability to put clothes away after they’ve been washed. It has been about 3 months now and all of the clothes either go on the hanger or in the drawer.

    I am proud that I have eliminated about 95% of my previous usage of plastic store bag by carrying a green bag in my purse at all times.

    I am proud that I did not dive right back into binging when I recently had my heart broken by someone that I thought was at the least a friend. This is HUGE!

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