Well, if you’ve been keeping up with my 30-Day Self-Esteem Challenge then you’re probably wondering how everything ended up. At the beginning of July, I wrote my first post and said, “I want to wake up each day ready to work towards my goals, no matter how big or small they are, and I want to go to bed each night feeling peaceful and confident that I gave the day my best. I want to find the good in bad situations and face the bad things in life without desperation. I want to feel better about myself, my scars, and my story, and I want to learn to use my “bad” qualities to help not only myself but to also raise IBD and ostomy awareness, help others in situations similar to my own, and help create a stigma-free environment for future patients and their peers.

Looking back over the past month, I can confidently say that I feel good about my journey. I realized the truth in the saying “success happens when preparation meets opportunity” and I embraced the realization that sometimes you have to create your own opportunities. I learned that all of the bad qualities I listed about myself in that first post are really not so bad after all – so long as they are “practiced” in moderation. But most importantly, I realized that I’d succeeded at my original, root goal: to have higher self-esteem.

Now when I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t pick out my physical flaws. Instead, I note the things that I think are nice, such as my hair or how my outfit flatters my figure. If I feel a negative thought surfacing, I squash it and replace it with something positive. The same goes for the way I talk to myself. I now try to eliminate negative vocabulary from my thought stream. Instead of being upset with myself for not giving 100% during a particular workout, for example, I just say, “I’m glad I at least did something today and I’ll do better tomorrow.”

I’ve also become more comfortable with my ostomy. I am now much less concerned about whether or not other people can see it through my clothing. The truth of the matter is, most people are probably not even paying attention; they’re wrapped up in their own world. And if someone does notice the bottom of my pouch or its outline, then SO WHAT? My ostomy gave me back my life – where is the shame in that?

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7 Responses to 30-Day Self-Esteem Challenge: The End

  1. Hilary Gutierrez says:

    I do not know if you have ever heard of a stealth belt. I to have an ileostomy and found this amazing piece. It actually hds your bag in place. Keeps it tight and secure. I can’t live without it! Look it up! It change my life. I am a young mom of two and it has allowed me to become even more active.

  2. lizzy taylor says:

    You are truley awsome and a winner to me

  3. Adam Lefever says:

    Charis, live with no shame and feel great! All things in life are about the journey; getting there is what makes the end so fulfilling. Thanks for sharing your inspiring thoughts.


  4. kerriann clark says:

    Thank you Charis-I am a newbie to this site and would love to write my ostomy story but I am so sick of hearing my story I’ve held back. Thank you for all that you share. The negative self-talk I must do away with. It is destroying my esteem. I don’t goout anymore really unless its a family event, thank goodness I have a big family. But they all know about it but they don’t “GET IT” like they claim to!!!!!!! I have so much to talk about I don’t know where to begin. I want to help others because I an 41 and got this at 38. I am young for my age though (people tell me all the time) and I don’t look 41. I just want to help people so I can get the help I need to lead a life way better than the one I show up in. Thanks Charis

  5. nancy says:

    You have helped :) I thank you for the journey of 30 days that you took me along on. You made me think and on some days function :)

  6. Cary Gossett says:

    No shame there at all. I try not to guess what people are thinking of me, because I can’t, and if I could, I’d likely find that most are wrong. So well done on completing the 30 Day Challenge and rightfully claiming your Self-Esteem. It was an enlightening journey for this ostomate too.

    Now, you should have time to answer my week old text! ;^)

    All the best,


    Great post Charis, have to say I enjoyed reading this one the most. Love to see people achieving their goals.. Awesome. Keep being you your great!

Hi, I’m Charis!

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