The Inspiration

I have been getting a ton of positive compliments and great feedback and support from my friends and family members. They say they are proud of me. They say that I’m looking great, ask me how I’m feeling and wonder about my food plan. They talk with me about my workout routines and ask for updates.

Recently, I have been getting a new kind of compliment, one that is a little overwhelming for me, as this whole lifestyle is a completely new development for me. I have been hearing some combination of these 3 powerful words:

“You inspire me.”

All at once those words are humbling, encouraging, and they feel like a contract that is being signed. You inspire me, keep inspiring me. All these words are awesome tools for good motivation to keep in my back pocket (which is hopefully harder to reach into because I want a big butt).

I have been pushing myself harder than I ever have before in my life. and it feels SO AWESOME. Lately my workout routine has been mostly made up of 45 minutes on the elliptical on medium-high resistance with a decent incline (some less high impact breaks thrown in there as well). I had started lifting last week and decided it was time to get serious. Today I had a 10 minute elliptical warm up, then I followed that up with:

  • Leg Press, 100 lbs, 30 reps X 2 sets
  • 45 lb Bar Squats (just the bar, not ready for more yet), 15 reps, 10 reps
  • Abdominal Machine, 55 lbs, 20 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
  • Chest Press, 55 lbs, 10 reps X 2 sets
  • Seated Row, 55 lbs, 10 reps, 7 reps, 5 reps
  • Shoulder Press, 55 lbs, 10 reps, 7 reps, 4 reps
  • Bicep Curl, 40 lbs, 8 reps (ran out of energy!)

I feel so amazed that I can do that kind of physical activity. I was limiting myself for so long based on what I THOUGHT I could do, or could not do, as the case may be. Furthermore, I would get so far along on what I would try, and then never push past that. You know, now that I look back on it, I think part of the reason I quit is because NOT pushing yourself is BORING.

I saw a great inspirational graphic today on Pinterest:


I have a full on laundry list of all the people in my life who have inspired me to get fit and challenge myself. Every single one of them is instrumental in my life’s walk to get where I am today. But it’s not enough.

YOU have to be enough. There will be times when there aren’t enough compliments. Sometimes people will get sick of hearing about the changes you’ve made, and you will feel the urge to stuff your dirty gym socks in your mouth to stop your verbal fitness diarrhea. Often, you will wake up, put your feet on the scale, and it won’t tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes you’ll be lazy. Sometimes you will want to eat the cupcake. Sometimes… it will all feel too hard.

There are a couple of voices that swim around in our heads. The negative voice will always be there. It’s like a family member that shows up to holiday gatherings and embarrasses and alienates everyone. You can’t get rid of that voice, but you can shout back at it, just like you would your drunk, offensive uncle: “NO. YOU’RE WRONG. YOU DON’T GET TO TELL ME HOW TO FEEL OR WHAT TO DO, AND I AM A FABULOUS UNICORN.

By Michele Melcher
By Michele Melcher

We also have the BUSY voice. “You are much too busy to take 1.5 hours for yourself at the gym 4-6 times per week.” “There is no way you’re going to be able to handle cooking everything you have to eat from scratch.” “Isn’t it so much simpler to just grab something at a drive thru? Do you really believe this is all worth it when you’re soooooo busy?

Dude – I have to work out because I’m busy. I have spent so many years running around with my to-do list with zero energy to complete it. I have been depleted, worn out, and overused. Working out gives me the energy I need and the strength I need to get stuff done! I am a much better and more effective person when I work out, and that includes time management.

Lastly, and most importantly, we have the positive voice. The loving voice. Do you know what I have realized? You can have a relationship with that part of your inner thoughts – you can trust yourself and your positivity. Even if you mess up (you will) and what you thought you could handle was too much, or you weren’t any good at it, your positive voice will continue to say, “Hey, good job trying that out. Let’s do something else.” Don’t let your negative voice get in there and say you’re a failure. Don’t let it crowd out your positive voice by ganging up on it with the busy voice. The positive voice is the STRONGEST and MOST POTENT of the three voices – if you give it life. Refuse to let the other two voices kill your greatest asset.

I am my own inspiration, for now. I will fail, which is why I keep other forms of inspiration around, and why I surround myself with loving, healthy people. However – I challenge you to light a fire in yourself, a fire of hope, and grace, and positivity.

I don’t write much about my faith here much, but I will tell you that as I begin to care for my body the way I wish I always had, that innate sense that I am worth it grows more and more. I promise you – you are worth it too.


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