Motivation Articles

''How I Found My Inner Spark''

One Member Shares Her Life-Changing Moment

I will never forget my first New England winter. Despite stories of the relentless snow storms and unbearably icy winds, it came to represent an unforgettable time in my life. Not the most confident person then, I was surprised to find an inner strength I felt I had been waiting my whole life to discover and had unexpectedly found.

I stumbled out of bed on a cold November morning and fought off drowsiness with a cup of black coffee and the morning forecast. Inspired by a prediction of a two-foot snow storm, I rummaged through the hall closet in search of a coat. Another casualty of other moving days, I realized my winter coat had joined the ranks of other sentimental, lost things like a ring left behind in D.C.; my rollerblades forgotten in Kansas City; and my 11x14 framed photographs in Philadelphia. Luckily, this particular possession was less sentimental and more easily replaced than the others.

Still unfamiliar with the area, I chose the department store closest to my apartment. I was never picky about clothes. So long as it fit, wasn't utterly ridiculous, and on sale (my mother always told me to never to pay full price), I would take what was available at a reasonable cost. With the storm coming, I had little time to waste. Mid afternoon on a weekday, the store was nearly empty. It was my favorite setting in which to shop. In crowded places, my imagination assured me that everyone's eyes were silently fixed upon my most obvious imperfection. My size. Draping several discounted XL's over my arm, I claimed the narrow fitting room furthest from the door. After a deep breath, I slipped my arms into the sleeves of the first coat, black pea coat with a faux fur collar. I felt the fabric pull tight across my back. Gripping the front panels, I struggled to fasten the middle button. Convinced that the size tag was mislabeled, I moved on to the second candidate. Ten minutes later, I sat defeated. Staring down at a heap of polyester-wool blends, I realized how much my body had really changed.

Memories of back-to-school shopping with my mother surged into my mind. I was fourteen years old and unpleasantly pudgy. I imagined that most mothers and daughters look back on such times endearingly. I remember sitting in the car on the drive home. Arms folded. Head down. A shopping bag full of resentment on my lap, probably headed straight for the back of my closet. “This wouldn't be so difficult if you weren't fat,” she said nonchalantly. Her words stung more than the tears I quickly turned my head to hide. I didn't know it then, but those words would stay with me forever, always creeping to the forefront of my mind in uncomfortable situations. And even sometimes when I thought I had perhaps become more content than was deserved.
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Member Comments

  • Thank you for the article. I like you was pudgy as a teenager and my whole adult life has been a roller coaster ride of scales moving up and down, (mostly up).
    I'd like to accomplish that same goal, 65 lbs and like you, I need to do it alone. It's an autonomy thing, I think.
    Best regards,
    Reenie - 10/4/2014 1:35:57 PM
  • You have a great story! Wishing you even more success on your future goals! - 10/4/2014 1:32:54 PM
  • RESTART1125
    Thank You,
    I know I can do this. Your story is great!!!
    - 2/19/2014 1:24:40 AM
  • Thank you for sharing your story. We all need that one thing that motivates us. Yours is your coat. I still need to find that thing that will inspire me to go all the way with my health. You gave me something to think about. - 1/25/2014 11:27:02 AM
  • Thank you! I needed this today. - 1/20/2014 1:43:48 PM
    Nice poem! :) - 11/23/2013 11:32:04 PM
  • Thank you for taking the time to write this. It really did inspire me to do this for me! - 9/27/2013 9:13:25 AM
  • This article indeed has lifted my spirits. Thank you so much for such an uplifting story. - 8/23/2013 9:17:57 AM
  • Great article, lifted my spirits on a day when I felt a little down.
    - 8/10/2013 9:01:05 AM
  • Loved it! Great job! - 7/31/2013 9:12:10 AM
  • Great motivational article., ty Good job and congrats! - 7/17/2013 3:22:03 PM
  • Wonderful success story!

    You are an inspiration to others, showing us that anyone can do this!

    Isn't SP wonderful? - 7/16/2013 10:49:25 PM
  • The young lady's comment at the end of this piece was an eye-opener for me. She said: For the first time I feel very comfortable with who I am and with what I will never be. It reminded me very much of the advice our pastor gives newlyweds when she performs marriage ceremonies. She says: Enjoy each other for who you are; forgive each other for who you are not. I spend more time with me than anyone is, of course, so I'm thinking that's the kind of relationship I need to have with myself. And I think that's a piece of the puzzle this young lady found. Great story. - 7/13/2013 11:08:13 AM
  • That was a great story. Thank you for sharing...and congratulations! - 5/7/2013 10:11:35 PM
  • wow! I feel like you might just be my clone! I had a very similiar experience....mor
    e than once I should add. Now, here I am...over 20 years since my last discouraging day....when I notice i'm packing on a few lbs, I start working on it right away. I don't want it to get out of control again. I'm getting to old now to keep going backwards. - 4/21/2013 6:30:53 PM

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