Posted in Health and Wellness, Motivation, People who inspire others

Who Inspires You To Be More Of Who You Want To Be?

She calls me Pretty. I call her Pretty too. We don’t know each other’s names but have silently admired each other for over eight years since we first saw each other periodically at the gym. I admire her gorgeous, lean, sculpted muscular body – she is the envy of every woman who works out at the gym. 8 years ago she looked aggressive and I felt intimidated by that strength and aggression she exuded. Unknown to me, she wanted to like me – calm (as she says).

I  started working out again at the gym and so we meet each other…same gym after 8 years! Now, we talk to each other. She is calm. She smiles at me and my intimidation of her melts away. She looks happy. I want to look like her – sculpted and tough! I am curious about her and asked her about life. She shares with me that she is a single mom and raised 4 boys who are all young adults now. She told me that working out regularly kept her sane in the midst her own problems. She told me that 12 years ago, she was over 200 lbs and people teased her about her weight. She left an abusive relationship 10 years ago and she decided to get in shape.  She has kept her routine for 10 years – running and doing weights 5 times a week. She models for a magazine, is a certified hairdresser and a security guard. She loves the combination of things she does and does not feel that she has to choose only one career path.

“I am pretty…” she teases herself as she looks into the mirror. “I am 49. I have to take care of myself – as I get older, I realize more and more, my health is all I have… I am pretty…” I am amused by her teasing herself. She slips on very simple but sexy clothes. When she is dressed she looks 20 years younger. She is not the typical image of “Pretty” but somehow, the way she says it, she OWNS it! She OWNS who she is.

“You are pretty too,” she teases me too. “When you work out, you get even prettier!” She has this gorgeous smile!

It is a nice exchange. As we shared our own life journeys and our impression of each other 8 years ago, we both laughed at our own judgements of each other. She looked aggressive back then because she was fighting trying to save herself and her kids. She was unaware that she left that aggressive impression on others.

It is always interesting to mw how our body language communicated our thoughts without our awareness.

I look forward to seeing her at the gym. When she runs next to me on the treadmill, I push myself harder. I realize that I have “wishy-washy” goals about weight loss and working out but I am not consistent. Pretty makes me think of being consistent and keeping at something, even when I don’t feel like it. We laugh at each other when we both arrive at the gym and express how we did not feel like coming. She says “I come because I know I will feel prettier when I am finished.”

Everyday she reminds me that I look prettier after my workout. She looks prettier too. Exercise has that calming effect on our bodies….I feel prettier!

Maybe one day we will get to know each other’s names. For now, just thinking of myself and her as Pretty, pretty much does it for me.

Who inspires you to reach for more of what you want to be in your life? Sometimes, our heroes are the ordinary people in our midst.

TuneIn to see the support system  that you attract  to yourself. StepUp to be a support for someone who needs you.

Love,
Magdalene

Posted in Beyond logic!, Health and Wellness, Motivation

Lose 10 pounds by writing!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Writing helped me to lose 10 lbs! How can this be so when I sit to write?

I accumulated 20 extra lbs. over the last 8 years which seemed impossible to get rid of no matter how many diets and exercise routines I kept on trying. During that time period, I felt overcommitted, overstretched and overwhelmed  most of the time. I felt that I was constantly reacting to situations instead of being in control of my life.

With my LookGood!!!FeelGood!!! blog in 2011,writing provided a strong anchor for me to express my emotions and re-program my mind to some of the LookGood and FeelGood messages that I was writing about. I developed a habit to write each morning for about an hour and by the time I was done, I felt more grounded.  I felt that I had touched a part of my soul that was longing to be nurtured. I paid more attention to what I ate, drank more water and added more fiber to my diet. I developed a consistent exercise routine of running and light weights at the gym at least 3 times a week. On days I could not go to the gym, I walked for at least half an hour a day. Over 6 months I actually lost 10 lbs. I still have 10 more to go but I am quite confident that it will go away as well. Now I am not on a rush to lose weight – I am just taking more mindful care of myself and it feels great!

One can argue that I did physical exercise to lose the lbs and it is definitely true. But I think that the most important thing that led to better self-care was being able to ground myself emotionally through writing. That led to being consistent about changing a few of my daily habits. What I have learnt from this experience is that my soul needs creative expression. Actually, consistency matters when we are trying to change something in our lives. I had to push myself to blog several days a week, go to the gym, prepare my lunch and stop comforting myself with chocolate when I am anxious, until those things became a consistent part of my daily routine. It is harder than it looks but I know that it works and I am more proactive in making choices for my life and less reactive.

What nourishes your soul and gives you a strong anchor? It doesn’t have to be something grand – sometimes it is just the simplest things you do that leaves you feeling “Wow! This felt really good!” TuneIn to that feeling and Step up to do more of it.

If you are interested in writing as a daily activity, Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artists Way” provides some really good techniques. She too lost weight from size 16 to size 10, through writing.

Write your way to an amazing life!!!

Love,
Magdalene