Motivation Articles

''How I Found My Inner Spark''

One Member Shares Her Life-Changing Moment


Was the devastating hurt congruent to the truth behind her words? Had I robbed my mother of a fond experience fit for a more attractive daughter? A single tear slipped from the corner of my eye and coaxed me back to reality. Organizing the jumble of ill-fitting outerwear, I returned them to their respective racks and rushed back out. I surveyed the neon signs lining the modest plaza, looking for a suitable distraction from my dilemma. My eyes came to rest on a bright orange marquee above a fitness center. “This month only – Membership sale – $19.99 a month.” I absentmindedly watched the words scroll by several times before skittishly stepping into the spacious lobby.

The clanking of metal and the echoes of swift footfalls greeted me as I stood wringing my hands nervously, shifting my gaze from side to side. I felt painfully out of place in my faded jeans and dumpy sweatshirt as I forced myself up to the counter. Caught off guard by the bubbly greeting that fiercely contrasted my glum disposition, I struggled through several long, speechless seconds before expressing my interest in the offered tour. It was just a formality, as I had already made up my mind to sign the two-year contract, no matter what the strain on my already scant budget. I needed to do this.

I don't know where I found strength that day—perhaps in the desperation of my circumstances. Room was made inside me for something new when I suspended my pride and admitted to having a problem. Hope? Bravery? Ambition? Perhaps my bridled pride now allowed space for all three. That night I sat with my laptop next to an open window, absorbing the chilling air and the lyrics of Depeche Mode's “But Not Tonight” emanating from my headphones. A favorite of mine for years, the song suddenly made more sense than it ever had before.

“The moon
Is shining in the sky
Reminding me
Of so many other nights
When my eyes have been so red
I've been mistaken for dead
But not tonight”

I started my day three or four times a week with a sixty-minute workout. It became as much a part of my day as waking or sleeping. I loomed over my laptop every night, reading anything and everything about nutrition and the human body. Frequenting SparkPeople's weight loss forums, I found myself offering advice to others and effortlessly answering their questions. It consumed me, and it became my passion. My mornings at the gym were the only time in my day that was one hundred percent devoted to me. I did not seek a gym partner. I did not join a weight loss group. Despite the difficulty, it was important to me that I did it alone. I needed proof of my sustainability. I needed to know that it was forever. And that it was for me.
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Member Comments

  • Your story inspired me today. Thanks - 10/24/2014 10:05:49 AM
  • 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

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