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Finding inspiration

Last Sunday was a historic day thanks to the many records that were broken during the Super Bowl. The big story was about the winningest quarterback of all time, of course. This was the 7th time that Tom Brady played for a team who won the Super Bowl and the 5th time he was named the MVP, but because he was 43 years old, he became the oldest player ever to receive the honor!

Tom’s team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was coached by Bruce Arians, a 68-year-old man who now holds the record as the oldest coach to win the Super Bowl, too. And not to be outdone by her counterparts, Sarah Thomas was the first female to officiate at the big game and she also represented us middle-agers, holding strong at 47 years old!

“What do these people have to do with my weight-loss blog,” you ask? They all inspire me with their stories!

I can only imagine what they had to endure for the last 25+ years leading up to last Sunday’s game. The never-ending mental and physical stress, followed by relentless perseverance, dedication, sacrifice, hard work, and plenty of other attributes that frankly put me to shame, were all the ingredients necessary for them to achieve these heights. And, I bet if you asked them, they would say they are NOT DONE!

Winning one Super Bowl was not enough for Mr. Brady. Neither was 3, 4 or even 5! As for the 68-year-old coach, I even saw video clips of his much-older mother watching and cheering him on! Can you believe these people? They are fearless and living life with a passion that makes us all stop and take notice.

These outside stories alone are not enough to keep me on the straight-and-narrow, though. Each time I begin a new diet or “life-style change,” as I like to call them, it is triggered by something deep inside me. When you focus on one single negative aspect of obesity, like extra-large clothing sizes, it’s easy to ignore the problem and just deal with the clothes you have. But when you make lists of the things that bother you, you realize that they can all be blamed on one major cause – an unhealthy lifestyle!

The list is a long one and I truly believe in going over it in your head as often as possible so you never forget why you want to make major changes to your eating and exercise regimen.

Here goes:

  • Tired of being the biggest person in the room

  • Looking so big in photographs and being so embarrassed to see them!

  • Breathing heavy after just a couple of flights of stairs

  • Not being able to find boots or comfortably wear ski boots thanks to extra-large calves

  • Fitting too tightly into airplane seats and fearful of who might sit next to me

  • Afraid that my bad habits will rub off on my daughters and completely destroy their self-confidence in the same way

  • Waking up in the middle of the night with my heart racing and my body overheating due to snacking on high fat and sugary snacks before bed

  • Dealing with increased amounts of stress that lead to anxiety which brought me to the hospital on 3 separate occasions! (No – I was not dying of a heart attack!)

  • Feeling completely defeated and worthless after failing yet another diet or even after just one day of binge eating

But to counter those negative feelings, here is a list of positive things that have happened since I took control of my life. Talk about POWERFUL INSPIRATION!

- Waking up each day with a true sense of purpose

  • Believing in myself and knowing that I will continue making progress because I have already come so far!

  • Excited to get on the scale and see the numbers come down. - PSST: I have a secret. I entered One-derland yesterday when I weighed in at 199! This morning, I weighed 198.6. But I plan to write a separate blog post to celebrate the achievement and explain what it truly means to me.

  • Thrilled to pick out smaller clothes and so happy when they fit!

  • Hungry for the foods that fit into my meal plan and still amazed that I rarely feel deprived.

Focusing my attention on the events of my day, rather than worrying about what people think of me

  • Wearing clothes that make me feel good about me

  • Eating enjoyable meals that were planned

  • Feeling a sense of freedom because I am not constantly worried about my next meal

  • Ending most days with a nice hot bath that tingles up and down my spine and puts me into a state of true bliss and relaxation

Enthusiastic about going to the gym

  • Addicted to the adrenaline rush

  • Completely losing myself as I dance or step or lift weights to my favorite music, with some of my closest friends!

  • Still a little shocked to see myself in the mirrors because I am not used to seeing the hot chick that is looking back at me ;)

  • Wearing spandex leggings like the skinny girls and not looking half bad!!

  • Kicking ass and taking names! (Yes, I am THAT competitive.)

Going to bed each night and feeling completely at peace

  • My stomach is not sticking out from overeating

  • I actually need a blanket because my body temperature is low due to consuming the correct amount of calories!

  • Sleeping through the night with no insomnia problems

  • Closing my eyes and feeling ZERO guilt about overeating because I either tracked every calorie or made a conscious decision to eat outside my normal range but knowing I will get right back on track the next day

Both lists could go on and on but the main point is, inspiration is oozing out all over the place! You might start a diet because of the negative attributes of an unhealthy lifestyle but when you start to notice all of the positive changes that result, you will be even more inspired to keep going! These are those moments when you kick yourself and think, “WHY THE HECK DIDN’T I START DOING THIS SOONER!”

(Well, I have a list of excuses too, which span the last 25 years, but let’s not get into those – ha!)

The point of this blog post is that it’s NEVER too late and you are NEVER too old to make your dreams come true! The first step is to BELIEVE that you can do it and then you just need to put in the hard work and dedication that it takes to start seeing results. It’s not about perfection either, just consistency. Pay attention to your body. Track your results and adjust your plan when things are not going in the right direction. Forgive yourself. Celebrate your wins but never quit. Commit to this long journey like your life depends on it – because it does!

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