Modesty Ain’t A Virtue

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Modesty Ain't A Virtue by Antarix from FlickrI found this photo on Flickr a long time ago. I checked it as a favorite and then promptly forgot about writing about it. You can see the full image here:

I love this pile of race medals hanging on a doorknob. They are tarnished with age, but they are an easy way to measure how much has been accomplished.

How do you measure your accomplishments?

Unlike race medals, I find it hard to measure my accomplishments in the marathons of my life. If I weigh less today than I did last week, is that an accomplishment? If I go on a binge this week and gain that weight back, does that invalidate my success of last week? How do I measure my achievements?

The Scale

The scale is a pretty undeniable measure of where I am at any particular moment. It doesn’t lie to me as often as I’d like to imagine that it does. Sure there are fluctuations, but over the course of dedicated weeks, I almost ALWAYS see results. When I haven’t seen results on the scale, I have been able to track what I’ve been doing wrong, even though they seem pretty hidden to me.


When my clothing is tighter, it’s pretty obvious that I haven’t achieved my goals, but when it gets loose and baggy, it’s an incredible motivator.

Daily Achievements

Setting goals every day and week help me notice when I’m doing well. Sometimes it takes weeks for the scale to tip or for my clothing to get looser, but if I track my daily achievements, I can feel a sense of accomplishment regularly. Here are the forms that I use to track my daily and weekly goals:

External Validation

This can come in the form of compliments from people. It can also be as subtle as a look from a stranger. I recommend writing down every inkling you have of a compliment in a journal so you can go back and remember them when you are feeling down or when things feel hopeless.

External validation can also come in a more structured form. That is part of the reason that Weight Watchers (and other weight loss programs) are so successful. There are little goals to strive for and when you achieve them, you get a little reward. When I was attending Weight Watchers, they gave out these award star magnets.

Weight Watchers Award Stars by Laura Moncur from Flickr

The Dark Side

The dark side to these measurements of achievement is failure. If you slip back to a higher weight, those stars from Weight Watchers are a reminder of how heavy you have become. If your clothes start to get tighter, they are a constant disturbance that are hard to ignore. Even those running medals can feel like a stain if you can no longer run as fast or as well as you did in the past.

Don’t let these symbols of your past achievements haunt you. Instead let them remind you that you did it before and you can do it again. Cling to the knowledge that you can achieve this and all it takes are simple and steady actions every day.


2 Responses to “Modesty Ain’t A Virtue”

  1. iportion Says:

    I find I do the best when rewards are for exersizing not wight loss

    I need to start this again

  2. Ernie Says:

    I’ve been paying attention to a couple of things.

    1. I try to mentally take stock of my energy level. It’s just higher when I’m doing well. I noticed last night that I stood most of the evening. I couldn’t even imagine sitting down last night, for whatever reason.

    2. I fit into my clothes better – but, mostly, I fit into my wicker chair. I have this wicker chair that I’ve had for years. For sometime now, I haven’t really felt comfortable in it. When I’m thinner, I fit. I look forward to that.

    3. My watch fits me better. I’ve already moved it from the 4th notch to the 5th notch. The anticipation is killing me!

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