What Inspires You?

April 23, 2008 · 19 comments

I have been thinking a bit about inspiration tonight as I read through some of the recent blog comments. What I am realizing is I don’t know that I know what truly inspires me.

Andrew wrote that I have inspired him:

You can get back on the horse John. Back when you posted about running 2 miles in a row you really inspired me. I ran 6 miles in a row the other day and I owe a lot of it to you and this website.

So did Violet:

Thanks for this post, John. It inspired me to go out and do a 2.5 mile run - my old cross country race route. I have been cheating the runner in me by walking a lot - it feels like I’m still doing something, but you’re right, it’s not as effective for weight loss.

In the first case the inspiration was an action that I took, and presumably how I wrote about it. In the second case the inspiration was not a direct action, but rather really calling out to the reader to reflect on themselves.

Metroknow wrote about what inspires him:

One other thing on the “inspiring” thing that JoLynn mentioned — a couple of weekends ago I watched the movie “300″, and although its quite graphic in its depictions of warfare, all of the actors who were the Spartans were pretty ripped, which totally inspired me to get my workout act together. Because I can tell ya, I ain’t no Spartan…

As I read this I realized I don’t get inspired from seeing “ripped” guys, but I suppose that may be because I am not at that point in my journey, I’m still at the losing weight part. So that tends to be what I like to read about, and to see, are dramatic changes like what you see on Biggest Loser, for example.

But does it inspire me? Has it caused me to go out and take action? To stop myself when I go to the pantry to fill up a bowl of Gorp (like I did tonight, for no reason).


I think I need help finding inspiration but then more importantly taking action on it. Knowing your weaknesses is half that battle.

What inspires you? Would you be more inspired by someone who went from obese to normal or normal to totally ripped? Is it only a function of where you are in your own journey?

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kate April 23, 2008 at 11:19 pm

What inspires me changes from day to day. Some things just hit me some days… while other days they don’t even make a dent. In general, I don’t want to see hardbodies. I don’t expect or aspire to that anyway. All I crave is a little normalcy.

Sick of Being Fat April 24, 2008 at 12:13 am

Hi John,

It is an interesting point that you make about whether or not something actually inspires you take action. I know a big turning point for me was when it truly sunk in that I was passing bad habits onto my children.

For me at least, nothing is more motivating than wanting to set a healthy example for my babies.

IAAdmin April 24, 2008 at 12:40 am

If half the battle is knowing your weakness, do you know yours?

I find inspiration from a variety of things. One that hit me tonight was http://www.andrewisgettingfit.com/2008/04/24/how-to-reduce-your-cholesterol-by-over-50-without-drugs/.

Anytime someone proves that diet and exercise can make real health changes, from the inside out, I’m impressed and inspired.

It’s amazing the power of blogging……………..:)

Cammy April 24, 2008 at 7:25 am

I was inspired inititally by other people’s successes, but I think continuing inspiration comes from my own successes. It’s that “energy creates energy” thing, or the snowball effect, or whatever you want to call it. While I do have my difficult moments, I now know that I can get right back on track and keep going. (Pssst! I know that you can, too!)

Angie Hurst April 24, 2008 at 11:33 am

I enjoy hearing success stories, but honestly, that’s not enough to get me up off the couch. (or out from in front of the computer) I have to have something more tangible. A ‘reason’ always helps me. For instance, when I was having heart arrhythmias I freaked and started working out more. Or, now that I know in a month I will be riding my bike for 11+ miles over hills, I have the motivation to go out and ride. And when I do see results, it motivates me to do more. But it changes constantly, and I do go through slumps, I never know what will get me out of them until it does.

JoLynn Braley April 24, 2008 at 11:39 am

What inspires me is the human potential - that’s always been my main inspiration in life - the only limits you have are the ones you place on yourself.

So, I’m inspired by the vision I hold of where I’m going, of what I’m manifesting in my life, not only in the physical sense, but also in mind and spirit. I’m going for a whole body, mind, spirit transformation, which I think is needed (basically a lifestyle shift) to keep the weight off.

I also get inspiration from feeding my mind the positive every day, and specifically re: weight loss, I find inspiration in positive success stories of people who made lifestyle changes to get and keep the weight off.

Hey, I could have just said that the shining sun inspires me (which it does). :D Inspiration is everywhere, we just have to look.

Susie April 24, 2008 at 4:25 pm

I am inspired by those who follow their desires and dreams, and know what the “basics” of life are. They don’t waiver from what is truly important.

Steve v4.6 April 24, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Seeing others overcome adversity, improve themselves, and help others is outrageously inspiring. Converting that inspiration into motivation and action has been my challenge and goal- before desperation sets in.

john - from fat to fit April 24, 2008 at 11:42 pm

@kate - I hadn’t considered inspirations changing from day to day but I think you are right, good point. Normalcy would indeed be good!

@sickofbeingfat - I have also noticed habits being passed to my kids and I am not happy about that.

@iaadmin - yeah, andrew’s blood work results were awesome and very inspiring I agree! I know many of my weaknesses, yes. Doing something about them is another matter.

@cammy - drawing inspiration from your own success is a good point, and it’s a reason why I think blogging is so good - when you are down you can read the archives to get re-inspired.

@angie - “I never know what will get me out of them until it does.” - I really like this quote, and it’s a good reminder why it is important to just stick with it.

@jolynn - “I find inspiration in positive success stories of people who made lifestyle changes to get and keep the weight off.” - this is probably my biggest inspiration as well.

@susie - inspired by inner strength, that’s a good one.

@steve - “Converting that inspiration into motivation and action has been my challenge and goal- before desperation sets in.” - yep, that’s me too.

Alexa Cooper April 25, 2008 at 12:46 am

Humans are socials. We like to do things with other people and we like to do what others do. We even get inspired watching other people do something. So, everyone here reading about your running, inspired them to go running as well.
You do tend to become like the crowd that you hang with. I’ve been reading you blog for some time now and it did make me think about going out and run or walk a little more as well. I would say your blog has inspired me. It is good for me to think this way. Great Blogging.

justoofat April 26, 2008 at 8:05 am

Although I’m sure I draw inspiration from a variety of sources, one thing that I think works for me is the idea of a challenge. I’m not much into winning or competition, per say, but if I feel I’ve been challenged or that someone believes I *can’t* do a thing… well, that’s when I’m going to do everything in my power to prove them wrong.

When I think about it, that’s part of what finally got me moving towards a healthier life in the first place — knowing that several people, including myself, had given up on me. At that point, the desire to prove them (and myself) wrong became so strong that I (finally) began what would eventually turn into a whole lifestyle change.

I don’t know, perhaps that’s not the most healthy or noble of ways to draw inspiration, but I’m well aware of the fact that I have a healthy stubborn streak, and if it helps motivate me to keep at this, well… I’m ok with that.

This was a very thought provoking post. Thanks for getting me thinking about this.


Kenny April 27, 2008 at 11:34 am

Hey John, I just found your website. Congrats on the weight loss so far. I know how hard it is with the diet and exercise. I got to a certain point to where I enjoy working out and eating right because I know that I will have something to show for it. As for inspiration, I was always on the pudgy side since I was born. Probably because I ate fast food everyday. Forty Mcnuggets when you are 13 probably isn’t the best way to stay in shape or the healthiest. I always wanted a six pack and never thought that it would be attainable. One from when I started, I finally saw those little lumps under my stomach. That was a good day :) . Good luck on your weight loss!

Heres my transformation

baldeagle April 27, 2008 at 4:47 pm

For me, inspiration/motivation comes from the recent acknowledgment that I’ve lost something I valued. I was fit. I used to be… And therein lies the rub. I just started a blog like this one, challenging myself and my girlfriend to get back as much of what we lost as we can.

We just completed week one and both of us are doing well. I’m sure there will be setbacks. When it happens, I’m going to remind myself I don’t want to be the Fat Bastard anymore.

AndrewE April 28, 2008 at 5:45 pm

I find inspiration in reading about other people’s journeys and knowing that it can be done.

metroknow - AlmostFit.com April 29, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Just a follow-up note to my little comment in the article that you quoted: While I felt like I was inspired by being in the virtual company of fit-looking people via a movie, the truth is I have not worked out (other than a few runs) since then. So was it truly inspiring to get me to take action? Doesn’t look like like it. . .

I will second AndrewE’s note though. I think for me, THAT is the biggest inspiration that actually works - and as part of that journey, being active in the communities of folks that are on the same path via my own site, commenting on others sites, and just generally participating.

Cynthia April 30, 2008 at 8:31 pm

I think what inspires me most is seeing other people commit and stick to their plans. It’s reading about that ongoing daily battle that others face (as well as myself) that just helps keep me going.

Of course, I like challenges and progress also inspires me. Feeling healthier helps keep me on track too.

Nico May 2, 2008 at 9:38 am

When I started my weight loss journey my main motivations was to have an easier life.

My allergies, caused by being overweight and unhealthy eating, were really annoying the hell out of me.

Being overweight also made me sweat like a pig all day long and make me tired just when climbing stairs. At this point I’m not even mentioning the negative attention people often gave me.

It was all just to have a normal life. Of course, when I finally was there. I was still not satisfied. I wanted more, I wanted single didget fat percentages, etc… It’s all a mind game really.

For now, I’m glad with where I am. I’m not starving myself and I’m not overweight. I could benefit from some more exercise again, but I’ve got that planned for within a few months.

Great post John. I will definitely be coming back later.

MizFit May 8, 2008 at 5:12 pm

very interesting and thought provoking post.

for me it’s my own potential to be better than I currently am.

in all aspects of my life.


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