Written by Raquel Renda, Fitness & Wellness Expert, Mind and Muscle Advocate Dedicated to Helping Women Unleash Their Strength and Embrace Their Potential
Photography by Paul Buceta
Hair & Makeup by Monica Kalra

Celebrating you may not come naturally. For many of us, the idea of pausing to recognize our own achievements feels foreign, even indulgent. But it doesn’t have to be. Celebrating doesn’t always need to be grand, visible, or involve calories. It can be as simple as a positive thought and a smile to oneself. Rewarding and acknowledging yourself is important, and it’s high time we embrace this practice.

Invest In Yourself

When I started writing this, I realized that I had never really embraced the thought of celebrating my small achievements. I looked at everything as a to-do list, a completed task, or just another step toward improving. To be honest, it was like the glass was always half full. The drive to get better or be better was so paramount that I did not take time to embrace and feel the success of the small victories. I realized that I did not acknowledge my “wins” or improvements. I kept moving, striving to be productive and make progress. At some deeper level, that gave me “perceived” value. I looked at my gains as reinforcement—reinforcing my focus on the grind to achieve my goals and dreams, and my will and determination.

If I had consciously celebrated all the little moments, I would have found more fulfillment along the journey—more moments of joy and positivity. It would have taught me to be in the moment more and relish the journey. It would have improved my mindset, allowing me to view life as abundant instead of through a lens of scarcity.


There are many areas where we can celebrate small victories, especially in our health and fitness.

I remember in physical therapy, when I tried to do an exercise and failed. I was so frustrated. This one particular movement took me five weeks until I could finally do it with just my body weight. That victory got me so excited; it gave me hope. It gave me the strength to keep going. I had a smile on my face the entire day. Gradually, I regained my ability to perform functional exercises that were once beyond my reach. Each movement became a triumph, a step forward in my journey. Over time—actually, a lot of time—I found myself lifting weights heavier than I ever thought possible. These moments of strength were not just physical but deeply empowering.

Metabolic Health

Another road of small victories was improving my glucose levels, a crucial step towards better overall health. I wore a continuous glucose monitor for four months to learn about my metabolic health. Every meal, sometimes every bite, became a small victory as I learned to adjust my foods and find options that worked better for my body and strengthened my willpower. It was like I was wearing my conscience on my arm because I knew that if I made an unhealthy choice, the results would show up almost immediately. The continuous glucose monitor was a good support for me to break habits that did not support my goals and develop my discipline for positive achievements.

"If I had consciously celebrated all the little moments, I would have found more fulfillment along the journey—more moments of joy and positivity.”

Recovery and Balance

It wasn’t until I was recovering from being bedridden and unable to move that I learned how to put myself first and balance boundaries. This period of recovery became a catalyst for change, teaching me the importance of acknowledging and celebrating small victories. Life hit hard, but the path of small victories helped me soar. 

These small victories might seem insignificant to some, but to me, they represent monumental achievements. Acknowledging and celebrating these moments now, has taught me the value of self-investment and the importance of recognizing and rewarding our own progress. So, here’s to all the small victories—may we never overlook their significance.

STRONG Fitness
STRONG Fitness Magazine is a trusted source of cutting-edge fitness and health information for the modern woman who lives to be fit. STRONG’s sophisticated editorial voice combined with raw, powerful imagery and a modern, athletic design reflect the direction fitness has taken in the last decade.