Finding Inspiration, and Not Jealousy
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Often when reading the message boards, you'll find posts from frustrated Sparkers with comments like this:
"I hate my skinny friend. She eats whatever she wants, and never gains weight."
"I hate going to the gym because of all the skinny people. They don't understand what it's like to do everything right and not lose weight."
Many of us can sympathize with similar feelings at one point in our lives or another.
This is not the first time I've lost and gained weight. It's an ongoing cycle. Yes, I was/am annoyed. But getting things in perspective, I've lost 30 lbs and regained 8. The important thing is, I'm not going to let it slide. I'm not going to regain 30 lbs. 8 lbs, it stops here.
I remember a girl at my old gym. She was about the same height as me, with very toned muscles, but not bulky. She had muscle definition, but not like a bodybuilder. She was lean, sleek, and toned, like a cheetah.
She was usually on the stairclimber machine while I was usually on the elliptical. She worked hard on the stairclimber, usually dripping with sweat by the end. It would have been all too easy to jealously think, "I hate her." But I didn't.
I wanted to be her.
She was my inspiration. I suppose she still is, because I'm writing about it now. For some reason, she has stuck out in my mind.
The thing is, I don't hate her. I admire her. I know that she worked very hard for her trim, lean body. The stairclimber is no joke. Even in my top physical form, the stairclimber machine kicks my butt. It kicked her butt, too. That's why she was always on it. She was always sweating, breathing hard, and checking her pulse after a workout. She earned it.
I once read either an article or a book - I don't remember which - that said the secret of success for millionaires is they don't hate other millionaires. They admire them.
There is a whole philosophical debate we can get into about the downside to this (the keeping up with the Jones complex), but for the moment, I just want to illustrate finding inspiration in the success of others. Not jealousy.
Find someone who inspires you. A friend, a stranger at the gym, Jillian Michaels - whomever. Learn from them. Try to be them.
For me, I have the mental image of a very athletic, beautiful girl at the gym, earning every drop of sweat. Not because it was easy. Because it was hard.