Last week, in a session with America’s Weight Loss Catalyst, Pat Barone, I was given an assignment – to answer a couple of questions about my self-worth. And while I thought it would be easy at the time, I realized (after a few days of forcing myself to think about this) that I really don’t like some of my answers.  I’m going to share them anyway in an attempt to improve myself because that’s the whole point, right?

The first question: List the ways I look for self-worth from the outside.  It should be easy to answer this even if I don’t like the answers, right?  I mean, I definitely look for self-worth from the outside.

  • I often base my self-worth on the amount of attention I get from guys…not all guys…specifically, tall, driven, successful men who don’t typically show interest in other overweight women.

It’s as if I am subconsciously saying “See? This guy could have any girl he wants, but he wants me.  I’ve done this so. many. times.   I’ve even said it out loud so it’s not just subconscious.

  • I definitely have a history of basing my personal value on the value of my things (i.e. latest tech gadgets, designer bags and shoes, etc.)

Growing  up, we usually had what we needed, but spending $1000 on a handbag wasn’t on the radar.  It’s still not something I do all the time, but I have done it in the past just to prove (not sure to whom) that I could do it.

I’m probably most disappointed in myself over this realization, but I’m also most proud for working through this one.  At some point over the last year I realized that I don’t need all of those things to make me happy.  And people who disagree are people that I just don’t need to be around.  I still like pretty things, but they don’t define me in the way that I wished they did previously.


  • I feel worthy when people think I’m creative or talented.

I remember the feeling of giddy pride I had last month when I started singing and my long-time friend, Kent, looked at me as if he was seeing my for the first time.  I’ve mentioned on my blog that he was blown away, and thinking about that moment now makes me smile.  =)  Side note: Kent is currently across the globe helping homeless, orphaned children who literally have nothing…How awesome is that? Digressing, I know…I’m just so proud…

And something similar happened with my dad (he reminded me recently in a blog comment) when he heard me perform in a vocal contest  in 8th grade.  Dad obviously knew I sang, but he didn’t know I sang like that. Note: I’m decent, but these are just examples of  moments in which I found self-worth from the outside.


And now, the second question: List the ways in which I look for self-worth on the inside.  This is much more intimidating to answer. Hmm…

  • This is probably obvious, but I find self-worth in knowing that I’ve lost over 100 pounds.
Losing the second 100 is proving to be much, much more difficult, but I’ve gotten very comfortable with the fact that I reached such an awesome milestone.  And it was me…not someone else, not a pill, etc.  Pat and I also spoke about the idea of re-framing my view on losing the next 100.  I’ll post about that soon.
  • I know I’m creative and talented, and it makes me feel worthy of self-love.

I’m not sure why I feel so compelled to add a disclaimer about how I don’t think I’m that great…just a little great.

  • I fight for myself.

I no longer sit quietly and allow people to treat me like garbage.  If you read my blog, you’ve seen some pretty staunch examples of this.  I stand up for others too even when it’s not easy.

  • I am not a quitter.

This is the most difficult thing to post without feeling like a total fraud, but it’s true.  Giving up on making myself healthier and happier is not even on my radar.  And I’ve been tested many times…this makes me feel worthy of every bit of self-love that I’ve whined about trying to find on my blog in the past.


I feel like my lists should be much longer, but it has taken days of thought to come  up with these short lists of answers.  What does this say about me?

Now I’d like to hear your answers to these questions. Where do you search for self-worth from the outside?  And how do you find it on the inside?


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  • Reply
    June 28, 2011 at 1:03 am

    I’ve always derived the majority of my self-esteem from the inside, partly because I had issues with the outside, but also because at my core I am deeply uncomfortable with basing my sense of self worth on how I look. As an adult, I realize this is largely a reaction to a misogynist culture that, well, values women (and asks them to value themselves) based on how they look.

    Regardless, outside-wise, I’ve always coveted the bits of me that have nothing to do with my body — hair (I’m soooo lucky with color & condition), eyes and my skin tone. I’ve always felt some sense of pride that I had lovely skin & hair naturally — no sun tanning (no wrinkles in my future!) and minimal dying/fussing. I’ve come to value and derive a sense of self-worth from my womanly/curvy figure — I really really like it. (nevermind that sometimes I feel guilty b/c I know many women are treated poorly for not being considered “womanly” — double-edged sword!)

    And I also value, and often OVER value what others think of me. Sometimes to my detriment — I considered other people’s opinions about my body & appearance more than I should have. In the past, I’ve taken criticism poorly — I worry about upsetting people with my opinions.

    Inside, I’ve always had very high self-esteem, and a sense of self-worth. I’m smart and I know it (and I like it!). I’m creative, and think I’m pretty talented at some things. I approach the world differently than some, and I like that a lot. I try to balance this self-esteem with as much modesty as possible, and frequent reminders that I need to get over myself 😛

    • Reply
      June 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      You do have awesome hair and skin…so true. And we both believe we’re crazy smart (and we are.) I think we see some of the same good things in ourselves in spite of our differences…I just <3 you.

  • Reply
    June 28, 2011 at 6:06 am

    such a thought provoking post as even as old as I am and as much as I know my true sense of self worth comes from the inside—-I still related to a few of your points above.

    when people think Im a good mother.
    when people think Im smart or well read or, yes, funny 🙂

    you also nail it for me in that when I KNOW IM A GREAT MOM or I KNOW IM A STRONG WRITER and/or CREATOR no matter what the external forces say (hello lit agent! greetings mag publisher!) I know I am worthy.

    • Reply
      June 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      You absolutely are worthy Miz…and you’ve helped grow my self-worth in ways you may not realize…so thank you.

  • Reply
    Grace @ Healthy Dreaming
    June 28, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Great post! Self-worth is so important because loving yourself and knowing you deserve to be happy is equally as important as working on the physical stuff. It took me a while but I think the weight is finally off and I’m not yo-yo cycling because I also took the time to work within.

    • Reply
      June 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      I look back at the last several months thinking that my weight hasn’t changed that much…thankfully, it hasn’t gone up..but my body and brain are adjusting to so much..and I’m really, really happy with the progress I’m making on this inside…and I think the results will show themselves on the outside soon as well.

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Finishing the Hat
    June 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Those ARE big and scary questions! I’m considering answering these as a blog post sometime soon – because I will need to ruminate on my answers.

    • Reply
      June 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      I know! I agree! I’m still ruminating..I feel like I should have more to say, but I had to start somewhere..

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