Self Appreciation

So I thought I’d join Sheila Viers from livewell360.com, and Mary Bess and Anne from my RCR Forum on their 25 day count down to Christmas and Self-Appreciation – I got a late start, so I started on day 15.

Day one and two were a breeze. I think most of us can come up with 1 or 2 things we like about ourselves – right? Day three, right in the middle of my pedicure – BAM – I thought, how am I going to come up with 13 more things I appreciate about myself? and Why is it so hard? Is it because we are taught from a young age that speaking highly of ourselves is thought of as being self-centered, selfish, or dare I say it – conceited. I guess if a person went around telling everyone how great they are it may come across that way, but that’s not what I am talking about; I’m talking about quietly acknowledging the uniqueness of ourselves, the things that make us special.

So what is Self-Appreciation?

Self is defined as the entire person of an individual while appreciation is defined as a judgment or evaluation; an expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude. Self-appreciation is about saying: ‘I accept myself exactly as I am.’ It is about acknowledging our unique gifts. Self-appreciation is not about putting others down or thinking you better; it is about loving ourselves the way we are and in turn loving others the way they are.

I love that last line, “… it’s about loving ourselves the way we are, and in turn, loving others the way they are.” – Every single one of us has special gifts that we can share; maybe it’s out thoughtfulness, our kindness, whatever it is, it sets us apart from others. My sister Marilyn has a heart of gold and is a fantastic cook. My brother Scott would give you the shirt off his back, and is one of the best finish carpenters I have ever seen. My baby sister Jenn is fun, adventurous, and light and easy to be around. My husband Mark is thoughtful and compassionate. As a personal trainer he truly care about the women he works with, and I have a sneaking feeling they feel the same way about him. And lastly, my daughter Chrystal – Chyrstal is the best friend a person can have, she is always there for everyone, almost to a fault.

As I was thinking about what I appreciate about others, I was finally able to see what I appreciate about myself. I am kind, I am loving, I am supportive and I am caring. Not a bad start, right. Then I thought about the physical appreciation and remembered a picture that Sheila from livewell360.com had re-posted. I love what this women did. Instead of looking at her body and focusing on the negative,she decided to appreciate her body for what it is.

Can you do this for yourself? I know, it’s hard isn’t it. For me – my problem area has always been my lower body. I remember “someone”, not to be named, commenting that I looked like I had two different people’s bodies, which was probably true. I mean really, I’ve always had to buy bottoms two sizes larger than my tops, but I have to wonder, why do people feel the need to comment on others imperfections? I mean really, what is wrong with people? The crazy thing is, I had no idea there was anything wrong with my body until someone pointed it out to me. How sad.

So, if the above picture was me, it would be of my whole lower body -my butt would say “cushy seat for me”, and my calves and thighs would say, ” sturdy”. Pretty boring I know, but regardless of their appearance, my legs do get me to where I need to go and I appreciate every single inch of them. Fortunately for me this was something I could change with consistency, a bit of sweat, and a lot of hard work. Now I am a “size chart” size 4 – top, middle and bottom. My butt is down 5 1/2 inches and may not be as cushy, but looks darn good in my size 4 jeans – my thighs are down 3 inches each and are quicker, stronger and have a more athletic look to them, and my calves are down 1 inch each, still sturdy, but definitely leaner – not to mention the cellulite on my thighs is slowing starting to disappear. Woo hoo!!

So take a minute and think about what you appreciate about yourself. Not only physically, but what make you, you on the inside. It’s not easy, but it is definitely the first step to appreciating and liking you, and after all, what is more important than that.

2 Responses to Self Appreciation

  1. anne December 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Hi Leeanne,
    Since I'm also doing the Self-Appreciation Challenge – and will continue on after that because it's so powerful for me personally….here is my list of physical things I appreciate about myself:

    1. Belly – I am amazed and thankful that it expanded to house my little girl for 9 months…and then magically shrunk back to a normal size. I still can't believe that initial month or 2 when you watch your body go back to "normal".
    2. My hips for supporting the weight I often impose on myself and feel starting at my shoulders all the way down.
    3. My legs for getting me down the stairs in the morning to make breakfast for my family.
    4. My abs for being able reshape once I removed most of the junk out of my diet.
    5. My Brain which keeps me inspired and focused on living my best life.
    6. My hands that still seem to be able to open any jar!
    7. My arms for holding my daughter when the rest of me wants to give out and sleep.

    Love you Leeanne…thanks for being one of those reminders in my life to take care of myself and be thankful for the health I have.

    P.S. Shout out to Michelle. We love you and are all praying for you right now.

  2. LeeAnne Hebert December 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    Thanks Anne!! I love this!!