As my three week vacation to Greece is slowly coming to an end, I’m really excited to share with you a post from one of the girls that is on this trip with me. One of my best friends, Agnes, blogs over at Carpe Diem about life, family, and her challenges with weight loss. I adore this girl beyond words and I’m so incredibly happy to be taking the trip of a lifetime to Europe with her.
We met back in elementary school when we were just 7 years old, and although we lost touch for a bit when I changed schools, we became close again in High School and have remained that way ever since. It’s been a solid 10 years now that we’ve been best friends and I’m so grateful to have her in my life! She’s also a fantastic writer so I was so excited when she agreed to come up with a post for me while we were gone to Greece together. Enjoy!
You can also follow Agnes on Twitter right here!
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
Remember when you were a kid? You were young, innocent, afro-haired (or was that just me?) and bursting with creativity and curiosity. You were carefree, and the simplest things made you happy. When I was in kindergarten, my elementary school was having a craft fair during the holidays. One afternoon, my teacher took the class down the hall to the gymnasium where the fair was being held, and gave us some time to browse through the many trinkets for a Christmas present for our parents. I seized the opportunity to buy my Mom something pretty. Spending my 50cents that I was given for my lunchtime snack, I bought my Mom a pink (albeit quite tacky) necklace. I was so happy with my purchase, and was anxious to give it to her on Christmas morning. I remember the feeling I got that day when she opened up the package and saw what I had bought for her. I was proud to have made her smile, and even happier when she offered to wear the jewellery all day.
17 years later… Just a couple of days ago, my Mom was cleaning out a drawer in her room, and she came across a box of old souvenir-style jewellery. The pink-beaded necklace that I had bought her at the age of five was amongst the collection. When she showed it to me, she had a sparkle in her eyes, and I was brought back to the moment when I gave it to her. I remember feeling genuine happiness on that day. I was proud that I made my Mommy happy, and that I had bought her something special. Why is it so hard nowadays to experience the joy we did as children?
As I grew older, I never really knew what it felt like to be proud of my accomplishments. Despite the fact that I consider myself an optimistic and driven person, I am often quite hard on myself. I try my hardest to keep a positive outlook on life and embrace what I have been given, but sometimes life’s twists and turns get in the way and I am thrown off course. Then one day, you just have to wake up and say “This is it. I’m done with the excuses. Let’s do this.”
I’ve always been a fan of the reality show “The Biggest Loser” but it was only lately, while I was sweating-it-out on the elliptical, that I took the time to listen to the lyrics of the song ‘Proud’ by Heather Small. The song thrills, excites and inspires me. So many of the themes contained within the lyrics- overcoming fears, grabbing freedom, believing in possibility – resonate with the deepest parts of me to this day. I also think it’s a timely reminder to do something significant every day. I mean it, every day. This might seem like a daunting task because we all have routines that we follow on a daily basis, but I want you to take some time out of your day to do something to give you that proud sensation. The same feeling I got 17 years ago when I gave my Mom that necklace.
Lately, for me, I am incredibly proud with my change in diet and incorporating exercise in my everyday routine. I have been fighting to lose weight for the longest time. I have tried fad-diets and detox regimes, and nothing has ever worked permanently. I am the poster-child for “yo-yo” weight loss, and I can honestly say that I was ashamed to admit it. Then one day, I made a decision to change. Change is good. I’m not on a diet, I’m altering my lifestyle. When people ask me what’s my secret, you know what I answer them? “Nothing. The secret comes from within you. Eat well, exercise, sleep and smile.” For once in my life, I am proud of myself. Things can only get better from here. I may have lost the battle here and there, but I have won the war.
Whether it be from helping an elder cross the street, having a successful day at work, getting a good grade on an exam, seeing the numbers drop on a scale, or making a loved-one smile, be proud of what you have accomplished, and the journey it took to achieve what you set your mind to. So what if you have one bad integrity day? Don’t tell yourself you’ll do it again and just succumb. Make the next day better. Commit to something and follow through. That will raise your integrity and self-esteem and the feeling that it brings will make you want to continue on that path. Be proud of yourself; you’re all you’ve got.
“I’m on my way
Can’t stop me now
And you can do the same”
–Heather Small, Proud