Monday, August 25, 2008

(People, images, things, ideas that keep me focused and keep me going on this journey; what I'm reaching towards...)

QUICK GLANCE... Oprah Winfrey, Janet Jackson, Niecey Nash, Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Rabbit, My Brother, My Husband, Ezra Masters


OPRAH WINFREY-Anyone who can make a come back from being known as a signature plus-size icon and now be half their size and maintain a healthy lifestyle and fitness regimen for years, after not even starting the health quest until well into adulthood deserves my attention. And Oprah got mine in her December 2001 O magazine. In it, she and Gayle King speak candidly about what has been and continues to be the fight of their lives- to tame the body (and emotions). This was the article that propelled me into saying goodbye to the freshman 15 that had hung around 4 four years of college. This was also where Gayle made it very clear that LOSING the weight is the EASY part, but maintaining weight loss is where the real work begins.

At the back of this magazine, there was a contract to sign between you and yourself, to establish a healthy lifetime weight maintenance RANGE and to work toward achieving that goal and staying within it for life. I DID achieve that. I would work on it and fall off and work on it and fall off. Finally, in 2004 I got to my maintenance goal of 148-152 and remained there, that is, until 2006 when I went to grad school. Freshman 15 ALL OVER AGAIN! Ooops... But that's ok, I am back on it and I STILL own that magazine and when I need a little push, I take a look back at it to remind me where I started. To Gayle & Oprah, inspiring so many people in so many ways- You GO girls!

JANET JACKSON- Have you seen her abs?! In 2005 I realized why guys post half naked women on their walls in college. I was mesmerized by Janet's larger than life sized 6-pack- true work of art-staring at me when I was visiting a friend's dorm room. I didn't know how she did that, but I went on a quest to find my abs. Ok, it didn't last very long and I wasn't particularly diligent, but it DID get me back in the gym and summer 2006, I could see a 2-pack for the first time in my life. I wish I still had that pic from my picture phone.

What MOST inspires me about Janet is that she is not a genetically "thin" or for that matter even lean person. She has also had her bouts with weight going up and down, but she has kept at it for decades. That's a real trooper with great discipline and determination. Gotta love that because it's not always about not falling, but about getting back up. Way to go Janet.

NIECEY NASH- Her humor, style, sass and pizzazz all first caprtured my eye. But then her body make over- va-voom! But wait there's more! We are the same height and she's the size I am working towards! I just love her spunk and live out loud spirit AND of course am inspired by her having achieved and now maintaining her health and fitness goals... Read for yourself (WARNING not rated G or for easily-offended sensibilities)

BEYONCE KNOWLES- Ummm... Have you SEEN her curves?! If not, check out my photo gallery. She is a lady's lady. Hard and muscle-bound bodies are fine for those who prefer, but I really appreciate and aspire toward the sultry femininity of the figure-eight, S-shaped silhouette of a body. (Ok, maybe I'm partial- 8 is my favorite number and S is my favorite letter; oh yeah, not to mention I am naturally endowed with my own set of curves, but still)... Maybe she's born that way? Maybe it's Maybeline? I don't know but there is something aesthetic to me about balance and symmetry-top to bottom, left to right-and she's got it. I'd say the same of Nia Long and some others...

JESSICA RABBIT- What? Can't a girl have dreams?!


MY BROTHER- He's a personal trainer, but that's not why he inspires me on this journey. It's because he is always good for a laugh, keeps me from taking myself too seriously and shows me how to have a good time with health, fitness and weight management, whether climbing or falling, gaining or losing. Above all he reminds me to live and let live and in it I learn acceptance, which somehow does not breed complacency for me, but determination and self-will. Go figure?

I am also inspired by his ability to be borderline chubby then take 3 months of focus and show up 30 lbs lighter with a 6-pack. Now THAT'S magc!

MY HUSBAND- The idea of being in shape, physically fit- my best me, mind, soul and body, so that I can share my life with the love of my life, being able to live long, active, full, vibrant lives together, rather than ones riddled with stress, headaches, protruding bellies, poor postures, sore backs, overeating mouths and under-used bodies. Did I mention, I'm not and never have been married? But I probably will be some day, so ya know, I gotta get in that dress. Ha! But seriously what greater inspiration is there than the pending gift of love and life in love and loving life and life being good (healthy)?

EZRA MASTERS- Randomly stumbled upon him this week reading an article online or something to that tune, and I kept thinking- "this face is familiar." So I went to his website to read more and am inspired by him because I AM SURE I KNEW THIS GUY WHEN WE WERE KIDS! We used to ride the bus together, and though I don't remember much about him (in fact, I thought his name was "Eddie") I PROMISE, his physique did NOT look like that... He had to clock some hours to get there. So I don't often, but I DO seem to be having right now an "If he can do it, I can do it" moment. Moreover, besides his words on the discipline and focus of keeping towards goals are also inspiring.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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