You might think a successful loser/former fat girl like me doesn’t struggle anymore, that my cravings for Hershey’s kisses and bowls of fettuccine Alfredo have been replaced by cravings for bottles of water and barely dressed salads. Not so. SO not so. I am in as much need of inspiration now as I was over 20 years ago, when I was in full-on weight loss mode. And not just inspiration to eat well and work out, either. As a working parent of an eight-year-old, I look to other working moms for ideas on how to balance the needs of a job and the needs of my family, now not to blow up over messy rooms and forgotten homework, and how to treat myself gently and with compassion when I feel like I’m not doing anything very well. As the daughter of aging parents and a dad going through chemo, I look to the example of other caregivers for ways to cope through the hard times. As a woman in midlife, I look for the inspiration of elders who have continued to reinvent themselves, salvage their youthful spirits, and view life as the adventure it is.
So … how/where do I get my inspiration? And where can you feed your soul with a bit of inspiration too?
Read Spry/spryliving.com. OK, a shameless plug for my own magazine. But … one of the things we try to do at Spry is showcase everyday people with inspiring stories. For instance, this month we feature three women who found different fitness passions later in life (relatively, anyway)—including a 64-year-old who finally took up softball after years of dreaming about it. As someone who still thinks she may have an Olympic career ahead of her (hey, I can dream), I love this kind of story. Read about our fitness first-timers.
Troll the Internet. I’m privy to lots of “success stories” from Spry readers and writers hoping to share them via our magazine and website. But finding healthy living and weight-loss inspiration online is almost just as easy. Check out the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Gallery, the success stories on Weight Watchers whenever you need a nudge.
Join a club. You don’t have to look only to “success stories” for inspiration. Sometimes what inspires me most are the women in my little running group that meets several times a week, or in yoga class. Just being among people—even people I don’t know personally—who are active, who have similar goals and interests, who are making it through a workout without quitting, spurs me on.
Start an Inspiration Scrapbook. If you’re an HGTV addict like me, you know that designers use “inspiration boards” when they’re working on decorating a space. They pull together fabrics, photos, colors, objects, you name it, all with the purpose of sparking their creativity. Well, why not borrow that concept and create a scrapbook of inspiring stories, quotes, photos … you get the picture. Of course, you can bookmark favorite websites and message boards, but I like the idea of something tangible and visible you can keep on your desk or somewhere handy—something you can flip through and add to over and over.
Open your eyes—and your mind. On my way to work today, I passed an older couple—possibly as old as their 80s—walking in their sneakers, she in her housecoat, he in his long gray pants. I see them every day, doing their morning walk, despite the 80-degree heat at 8 a.m. The fact that they’re out there, every day, together, fuels my resolve to stay fit and healthy for the long haul. I have found that once I started looking for inspiration in the everyday, there it was, as if it were waiting all along for me to recognize it.
OK—I’m inspired now! Hope you are too.