What have you done today to make you feel proud

It is 10 years since London hosted the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games…in my home town of Stratford, East London.

Today it is exactly 10 years since I was asked to pop into my bosses office and told, “We are making your role redundant”

For context, I had been working on the build up to the London 2012 games for more than 8 years, and the previous evening I had sat in a local park watching the Opening Ceremony with thousands of local people on one of the many big screens that were dotted around the capital.

I was gutted.

Not just that my job was coming to an end, but that I had been made redundant during the games, meaning I couldn’t even enjoy what I had worked towards.

Now of course, I could feel proud about the award winning volunteer programme I had managed, the work I’d done involving young people in the architectural design of the post 2012 park, or the 100 old age pensioners I’d involved in the celebrations…but it still felt like a kick in the teeth not being able to fully feel like I had done a good job.


Yesterday I got a lovely card and note from one of the ladies who came with me to Sierra Leone to run the marathon out there.

She spoke about how special it was to be told that I was proud of her…I recently sent all 7 of the ladies a lovely little card that read “I couldn’t be prouder” and I couldn’t. The words she shared with me made me cry…words really do mattter.

Pride is a weird old thing.

We should be proud of the things we achieve, and yes it feels really good when other people notice our accomplishments too…and yet we still somehow feel a bit icky about it.

Like saying you are proud of yourself is somehow egotistical…or looking for other peoples support is about external validation.

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs he acknowledges the power of having our esteem needs met, that of recognition, status, strength, self-esteem, and respect.

And for some of us, this need to recognition is as important as food or shelter is.

We know that plus-size women are judged harshly in this world, and I wonder if…

A. We were kinder to ourselves and praised our efforts more and

B. The world gave us a bit more credit

We would see better and more consistent results with our health and wellbeing goals.

We’d be a lot happier that’s for sure.

The theme tune to London 2012 was Heather Smalls powerful song, Proud.

I look into the window of my mind
Reflections of the fears I know I’ve left behind
I step out of the ordinary
I can feel my soul ascending
I’m on my way, can’t stop me now
And you can do the same, yeah
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
Mmm, mmm
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
Yeah, let me hear ya
What have you done today? What have you done today?
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
Oh yeah, yeah
You could be so many people
Just make that break for freedom
So what have you done today to make you feel proud?

It is so easy as women, as plus size women to focus on the stuff we haven’t done, the areas of our lives that are not working, the things we are yet to achieve, instead of paying attention and being proud of the things we have.

And so today I encourage you to not only think about it, but to share publicly the things you are proud of.

  • I am proud of turning my blog into a business after being made redundant
  • I am proud of the 12 books I have written in the last decade
  • I am proud of the 6 marathons and the hundreds of other races I’ve taken part in
  • I am proud of the number of times I have bounced back after injury, heartache and depression
  • I am proud of the impact of my work
  • I am proud of the thousands of pounds of money I’ve raised for charity
  • I am proud of my parenting
  • I am proud that the blog is still going after more than 12 years
Now it’s your turn, what are you proud of today?
Get into the habit of recognising where you have done well, and owning it.
You are amazing, and I am proud of everything you have achieved.

Julie Creffield is the founder of Too Fat to Run and author of the popular book The Fat Girls Guide to Marathon Running, and her most recent book Half Crazy

She is a running, and life coach on a mission to help women Stop Playing Small, and in September she will be running another LIVE round of her most popular life coaching programme which you can snap up for a heavily discounted price of just £49 (payment plans available too)


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