“To love oneself allows you to love others and to seek relationships that are healthy and fulfilling” with Dr. Ronna Krozy and Fotis Georgiadis

Fotis Georgiadis
Sep 16, 2019 · 7 min read

Feeling unattractive can lead to feeling unworthy of love. Self love promotes confidence and the tendency to make good choices, especially in relationships. To love oneself allows you to love others and to seek relationships that are healthy and fulfilling. Self love leads to high self esteem…where you can enter a room with people you don’t know and feel at ease, where you can state an opinion and be open to disagreement without taking it personally and where the physical imperfections that we all have are accepted as “That’s just who I am.”


had the pleasure to interview Ronna E Krozy, EdD, RN. Dr. Krozy (or Ronna), a retired university professor of community health nursing with a doctoral degree in Health Education. She has lectured and published professionally on many topics related to her field of nursing.


Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

As a nurse, health educator and parent, I have always believed that the body is an amazing machine and beautiful in the many forms it comes in. Unfortunately, we live in a society that judges body beauty in ways that are unreachable for the vast majority. Supermodel images of men and women have made many people…including girls as young as 6!….unhappy with the way they look.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?

Growing up, my family was poor and I was chubby and self-conscious. Even when we moved from the inner city to a ‘better neighborhood,’ I never felt I could compete with the well-dressed, athletic and pretty girls. In high school, despite being an excellent student, I socialized with the rough crowd and got into petty mischief. Fortunately, I also decided to become a nurse and my grades got me into a hospital nursing program. Academically, I did quite well but I never thought people liked me and I didn’t join the clubs and social activities others did. Then, before finishing nurses’ training, I married someone I’d known only 5 months. I was just 19 and ended up divorced at 22 with a 2-yr-old. This upset my family (no one had ever divorced!) and crushed my hopes of further education…but only temporarily. This time I didn’t give up. I knew juggling parenthood with school and work would not be easy. It would take time, energy, commitment and more but I began seeking and winning scholarships and at age 27, I was accepted into a BS program in nursing. When I graduated with top honors, having overcome many roadblocks, I finally realized that I could achieve my goals…lofty as they were. I had decided I would earn my masters and doctoral degrees as well as eventually owning my own home…something my family was never able to do. I achieved all of these through strength and perseverance, attributes that I realized came from within. Along the way I was hired to teach nursing at a prestigious university where I remained for over 45 years and was able to help young students develop confidence and competence. Self assurance and experience have allowed me to live the life that I see fit without the need for approval from others.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

In our society, the standards of beauty and the personal attributes upon which people are judged are unattainable by most. Supermodels, whether male or female, are showcased as the ‘beautiful people.’ Even their pictures in magazines are altered. From the clothes that you wear, the car you drive, your symbols of wealth…people are rated on external characteristics. Body shaming and weight bias are ever present. Youth is venerated; aging, something to fight against at all cost.

The consequences are many. Weight loss programs, special diets, diet pills, cosmetics, body altering surgery and fat-reducing gadgets command billions of dollars from people trying to conform to these unrealistic standards. For some, improvement of health is warranted. But for many, it is an attempt to look differently or appear young. When one is dissatisfied with one’s appearance, it can be self destructive. Poor self image can foster depression, anorexia, steroid taking, bulimia, anger, jealousy, and suicidal ideation. It can lead to perfectionism and fear of failure, to using drugs or alcohol to numb one’s feelings and to destructive, risky behavior because one may act in unhealthy ways to win the love or approval of another.

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

Feeling unattractive can lead to feeling unworthy of love. Self love promotes confidence and the tendency to make good choices, especially in relationships. To love oneself allows you to love others and to seek relationships that are healthy and fulfilling. Self love leads to high self esteem…where you can enter a room with people you don’t know and feel at ease, where you can state an opinion and be open to disagreement without taking it personally and where the physical imperfections that we all have are accepted as “That’s just who I am.”

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

As noted before, poor self esteem or negative self image can make one question the worthiness of another’s love. It can cause ‘settling’ because seeking a higher quality person isn’t seen as possible. It fosters insecurity and the fear that you will lose your partner. It can interfere with personal or sexual intimacy and trust. Some ideas to combat this can include consciously stopping negative thoughts, having friends who encourage you, reading self improvement ‘how to’ books, focusing on and identifying your good qualities, and counseling.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

1. When you can be your genuine self, you do not have to waste energy pretending to be someone or something you are not.

2. You will be more trustworthy and more empathetic in the eyes of others.

3. Self love leads to self respect and others will respect that quality in you.

4. When you can do an honest self appraisal, you can admit your mistakes and forgive yourself.

5. You will also be better at tolerating disappointment and not giving up.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

When we feel good about ourselves and accept others for who they are, such as occurs in the naturist world, we create a healthy environment of like-minded folks who care about one another.

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

1. I have reached a balance between thinking about who I used to be and who I am now.

2. I try to eat well, stay active and live a healthy life. But I know that I cannot stop time from creating changes to my body. So I embrace the wrinkles, bulges, stretch marks, scars and varicosities as a sign that I am still alive, albeit aging. I have earned those badges of life and if others find them ugly, well, who cares!!

3. I reflect upon the love of my family, especially my grandchildren (3 grandsons in their 20’s have participated in our camp activities). I spend as much time with them as possible and stay connected with friends, whether near or far, whether newer or older.

4. I give freely of my time and advice (wanted or not!) to those in need. For example, everyone at Solair knows I am a nurse. I have provided first aid, shots, dressings, information about medicines and diseases, and looked at lesions in all sorts of places!

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

I enjoy reading about strong women such as Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Michelle Obama and The Help. It is always inspiring to learn about their challenges and how they have overcome them. I also enjoy books with a cultural perspective such as The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Bedani that tells a poignant story about a traditional woman’s role in India. As for psychology, I recommend Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People…it provides much food for reflection.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

This is difficult because there are many! And they are my own! And I have foisted them on my family, friends and students! So here’s a sampling………

1. It is better to try and to fail, than never to have tried because it would be far worse not knowing how it would have turned out. I have learned to be a positive risk taker because unlike the Megabucks, there are usually just two outcomes…you win or you lose.

2. There are two ways to create change: Influence the leadership or become the leadership. Taking leadership however requires accepting the responsibilities and reactions that come with it. In many of my endeavors, I have spearheaded action for difficult causes (i.e., promoting smoke- free environments, instituting seat belt laws, changing educational policy)

3. Nothing’s impossible with the right approach. I am the eternal optimist. Rather than giving up because something seems difficult, I enlist people’s help when necessary and try to think creatively and outside the box until finding a solution. And if after concerted effort something doesn’t work out, I revert to the first quote.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Fotis Georgiadis

Written by

Passionate about bringing emerging technologies to the market

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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