“To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredible”
From the very first day my wellness journey began, I became focused on my own body, my every day choices, and my quality of life more than I ever had in the past. My success depended on it, and I was determined to be successful. I had to keep my mind set on the goal and push myself more and more each day. I had to dedicate a lot of time, put in a lot of hard work, and learn to have patience for the long term results I desired. I now know that it was this focus and dedication that got me where I am today, and I am a completely new person because of it. But while I was in my zone focusing on getting myself better and learning how to make healthier choices every day, something was happening that I hadn’t stopped to think about….others were watching me. Some I realized at the time, others not until very recently, and some I may never even know about. Today I want to talk about the joy in inspiring others.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides this simple definition for the word inspiration: “something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create; a force or influence that inspires someone”. Of course, I always understood the meaning of the word, I just never knew how powerful it could be…until now. I mentioned in my post One Choice, Forever Changed that it was my doctor who inspired me to change my life, to make better food choices, and to exercise every day. Just through his words and his encouragement to self-reflect, he inspired me to make a complete lifestyle change. This inspiration he provided me with changed my life, and specifically, the quality of my life, in ways I never thought possible. But this was only the beginning, for now I know firsthand that when you inspire someone, it becomes a beautiful domino effect. You may never know the number of lives your bit of inspiration reaches, but I assure you, it is powerful, meaningful, and real.
Every day that I was running, reaching new goals I had set for myself, eating healthier, and accomplishing my day to day tasks with a newfound amount of energy, my husband was taking notice. Here’s the thing, you can offer your advice to others all day long, but it doesn’t mean they will take it, or even believe it to be true. But when they actually see something happening…working…and changing someone’s life for the better right before their very eyes, that is more powerful than any advice your words could ever offer them. I never shoved healthy foods down my husband’s throat or forced him to get out and run with me, but he was definitely paying attention to my journey, and he was able to see that it’s possible to take control and change your life for the better. He saw results, he saw happiness, he saw health, and halfway through my journey, my husband began a journey of his own. Being overweight combined with having a strong family history of heart attacks, my husband already had a very good reason to make a lifestyle change. Without even realizing it, I had been giving my husband the inspiration, hope, and belief that he could do it, and before I knew it, he was changing his diet and joining me on evening runs. After about 8 months of his own dedication and hard work, my husband had lost a total of 50 pounds and brought his triglyceride level down from a high 402 to a normal 149. Oh, and I should mention that he out paces and outlasts me on the running trails most days now! Today, we inspire each other; inspiration has a way of working like that. While I continue to inspire him by constantly setting and reaching new goals for myself, he does the same for me in return. We push each other, cheer each other on, and together, we are gaining a new level of wellness every single day. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time since I was focused on my own journey, I inspired my husband to turn his own life around, and because of that, we should have many more years together. I cannot think of a better gift we could have given one another.
Eventually, I realized that in addition to my husband, others were paying attention as well. People were starting to talk to me about my journey and were letting me know that they were following me on social media. I received messages from friends asking how I got started, and letting me know that I was inspiring them. I thought about how I was able to inspire my husband to make changes that were life-changing and life-extending, and it began to sink in that I could have that same powerful impact on others (and in fact I already was). And so this blog, With All My Sole, came to life. My goal is to inspire, uplift, encourage, and help as many people as I can on their journey to better health and wellness, and to let the domino effect spread as far as it possibly can. I received a very special text message from my sister-in-law last week that completely made my day, and reminded me why I sit down for hours each week to research, write, and motivate those that read my weekly posts. It said “You have totally influenced my way of thinking about food. I am grateful to you for that”. Maybe I have been able to inspire her along her own wellness journey, but I hope she knows that she equally inspires me back. I have watched her set new goals, achieve them, and continue to reach for more. Hearing about her first 5K and witnessing the excitement she has to do even more inspires me to continue on with my own goals, and to keep spreading even more inspiration to others.
Inspire, and be inspired, for you never know who is watching you, and what gift you may be giving them. What an amazing thing we can do for each other in this beautiful thing called life.