What Inspires You?


I am often told that I am inspiring.  Merriam Webster defines inspiration as "the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions." It humbles me to know that my journey, full of triumphs and struggles inspires other people.

The idea of “inspiration” is a crazy thing to comprehend. Something that one person may not even notice could be the most inspiring thing in the world to someone else — and inspiring in what way? Does it inspire them to do? To say? To think about? To create? I’m always curious to find out where people draw their inspiration — and today I'm showing you where I draw mine. 

In the beginning of my journey, I drew my inspiration from my dreams. Quite literally. In my dreams I was fit, I was healthy. I was never overweight in my dreams. I never struggled with breathing or walking. Upon waking it usually took me by surprise to realize that I was a fit girl trapped in a fat girls body.

Dreaming of being fit and healthy made me realize that it was up to ME to take the necessary steps to live the life that I dreamed of. It was up to me to take RESPONSIBILITY for the body I was living in and the body I wanted to live in. I didn't feel like I was my authentic self.

I hear a lot of other weight loss folks talk about how they loved themselves when they were overweight/obese/morbidly obese. I'm happy that they had that in them. I DID NOT. I did not like the person I was when I was nearly 400lbs. I did not love myself. I was merely living and existing.

To find my authentic self and my inspiration I had to to ask myself a question "who am I?" In 2008 I was a mom, a wife, a graduate student, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, and a friend. But none of these things got to the core of who I was. I was merely living on the surface of my identity, and not in touch with my deeper self. I was spending my time looking outside of myself to create a sense of who I was and that was bringing me further off track. How can we know who we truly are when we spend our time and attention trying to be something other than what we find ourselves to be? I knew who I was truly meant to be. I met her in my dreams nearly every single night.

For me, my truest purpose in life began when I sought to seek the answers to the deep questions of  MY life and then living in accordance with what I found to be true. It was like I turned on an inner light, and something inside me woke up. Once I did that, my inner self seemed to have a voice that, if I listened to it, guideed me in my daily choices. This is not the voice of personal opinions, judgments and preferences. It comes from a deeper place than that, and with practice and time I learned to tell the difference between the voice of my ego and the voice of my authentic self. For me, it took a lot of time and experimentation to distinguish between these two voices. Now, the difference is very clear to me. The challenge is in choosing to listen to my true self rather than to my ego when they don't agree.

Now, I know that I am being authentic when I am making a choice that creates a resonance of affirmation inside of me. Alternatively, I have learned to recognize the lack of resonance as well -- even for simple things. For example, yesterday my son enthusiastically proposed that we buy a dessert at Sam's Club.  He was very excited, smiling from ear to ear at the idea of a dessert. His proposition went clunk inside of me, so I said no and suggested something else that passed my inner test of resonance. Ultimately, we were able to find something that worked for us both (angel food cake with fresh berries and low-fat vanilla yogurt, compared to the Key Lime Cheesecake he had wanted.)  I've learned that if we had tried to force it, BOTH of us would  have been out of sorts, him because he didn't get something that he was so excited for, and me because I would have eaten the Key Lime Cheesecake. Tongue OutWhen I listen to my inner feedback system, I find my life is easier, more graceful and I am more peaceful inside. When I fight against it or ignore it is when I get into trouble and find myself disconnected from what I am doing or who I am with and I become irritable inside. It's like having an internal GPS that tells me where my truth is.

Living in a place of authenticity involves being rooted in your deepest beliefs, values and truth and living a life that is a true reflection of those beliefs. It is about being true to yourself through your thoughts, words and actions. It means being willing to sacrifice any relationship, situation or circumstance that violates your truth. My example, if you are living in a body that requires you to function in a way that is not in accord with your truth, you need to change it. Does this mean you will live a charmed life? No, you will still have your share of sorrows as well as sweetness in your life. However, you will have the wisdom of knowing who you are to guide you. The more you practice listening to your inner wisdom, the less friction and discord you will find yourself creating in your life.

Once I started to listen to my true self, inspiration started coming at me from all different directions!  I was inspired to LIVE! To LOVE! To be AUTHENTIC! This meant that I had to change a lot of things about myself that were not at the core of who I really was. I had to remove people from my life. I had to apologize to other people who I hurt with unkind words and thoughts. And I had to forgive myself.

So what inspires me???



Ronin as a cover model?

A few weeks ago an email came across my desk about the 2014 Cover Kid Search for Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine. I quickly scanned the email, and then moved on to other items in my inbox.

As I was cleaning out my email earlier this week, I actually took the opportunity to read the email and I immediately thought of Ronin. Ronin is a special little dude, full of quirks, hugs, kisses, questions, spunk, and he's dang cute to boot!! Whenever we go out, someone always compliments him on the color of his hair and eyes. He's so blond, with the most beautiful blue/green eyes. And it's not that my girls aren't as deserving as Ronin is, they certainly are, but Ronin NEEDS this.

Having Autism means that he struggles with a lot of things in his day to day life, things that normal kids take for granted. Having this opportunity, I believe, would give Ronin some confidence to try new things, to step outside his comfort zone, to realize that he is more than a boy that struggles with simple tasks. He is a NORMAL boy with some extraordinary challenges.

CLICK HERE to go to the voting page and since the page is dynamic his location changes with each new view, so you'll have to scroll through and find his picture and he is listed by his name: Ronin H.

You may vote once every 24 hours.



I am not going to say anything to Ronin about this contest because if he is not selected it will not go over well. So fingers crossed that people think he is as cute and deserving as I do. Smile

YMX by Yellowman- A Review of my favorite workout tops!!

 What’s your favorite brand for workout clothes?

 Up until recently I didn't have a favorite—I just tend to try different things and wear whatever feels best that morning. However, since my box (like most boxes!!) isn't air conditioned, my cotton t-shirts haven't been cutting it! I walk in to the box and immediately start sweating, which isn't a problem because I love to sweat. What is the problem is that the sweat just gets soaked up in my cotton shirts. YUCK!

I was floored when I opened the YMX package and saw these two beauties just waiting for me to workout in them!  The one on the left even has a pocket in the back! Perfect for those days on the bike or for a run!

I couldn't wait to put them on, though I initially thought that they were much too pretty to get all sweaty! My mom even commented that the one on the right would look great for a night out on the town paired with a pretty necklace! She missed the memo that it was a workout shirt. See, they are THAT pretty!

I woke up bright and early on a Friday morning to head to a 5:15am WOD. I was tired, I was dragging, but I put on one of my new shirts and my mood immediately lifted!

 I had so many compliments on my shirt from my fellow workout buddies! They all wanted to know where it was from!!

During my workout I got so hot and sweaty, but my shirt remained cool, though it was wet. So weird. How did it remain cool? More on that later!

Here I am post-workout, and see, the shirt looks GREAT! Can't even tell that it's drenched in sweat!

I came home from my WOD and immediately grabbed my other YMX shirt because it still had the tags on it and I wanted to see if it explained anything about the cool feeling while soaked with sweat! And you know what...IT DID!!

YMX uses MadKool Fabric. From the MadKool website:

"MadKool® efficiently moves sweat away from the body to the outer layer of the fabric, where it dries faster than with other fabrics.  In addition, MadKool® fabrics regulate your natural body temperature so you will stay warm in cool weather activities, and cool when your heart is pumping. Some MadKool® fabrics, such as those used in YMX cycling jerseys, offer UV protection so you can wear them on your next outdoor excursion without having to worry about exposure to the sun's harmful rays.  MadKool® fabrics have a lot of stretch, hold their shape and are abrasion resistant. Although they feel delicate, they aren't. Wear YMX garments hard, they can handle it just fine.  As an added bonus, MadKool® fabrics are engineered to receive prints with vivid clarity and permanance, so you don't have to worry about wearing your garment hard. Once you experience the comfort and performance of MadKool® fabrics you will never want to take it off."

True. Seriously. I never wanted to take the shirt off. It didn't even smell post-workout!

The next day I wore my other shirt! And again, it garnered a ton of compliments, people feeling the fabric, and it remained cool during my workout!


And of course I took another opportunity to wear it when I went cycling earlier this week with my friend Denise from RunDMT.

We got rained on while we were cycling, but just like with sweat, this shirt remained cool, comfortable and let me remain focused on my ride.

 Seriously, I want more of these tank tops! They are my FAVORITE!!

I know I posed this question at the beginning of this post, but I'm asking again. What is YOUR favorite brand for workout clothing??




Disclaimer: I was sent 2 tops by YMX to wear and review on behalf of Fit Fluential. I did not pay for these. All opinions are my own.