Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Inspiration

Where do you find your inspiration? What moves you to want to do better, eat healthier, and get up and move? Is there something... or someone... that you can turn to for strength when you are struggling? Or even when you are feeling okay but just need a little boost?

Lots of people have asked me these and similar questions. We all need inspiration and hope and courage, because none of us are bottomless pits of energy and optimism. Personally, I draw a good part of my inspiration from two places: other people's blogs, and YOUR comments on my blog.

I have had this post "in the works" for some time now, but I knew it was time to finish and post it when I got the following comment on my last post:

Anonymous wrote: "are you a fan of other blogs re losing weight? It's just that I read a lot of blogs, and I see that you have some great supporters who leave you wonderful comments, but I never see your name in their comments sections. Likewise many blogs list you in their blogroll, but you don't have a blogroll. Maybe I'm just not reading the ones you comment on ... "

When I read this comment, I sort of thought, "Oh my gosh! I hope people do not see me as some kind of support-leech who takes and takes but never gives back! That is SO not what I am trying to do here!"

I am SUCH a fan of other people's blogs! I read them daily for inspiration. I have a list of about 20 blogs that I check on several times a week, and often comment on. (You know who you are!) I know how important it is to feel supported, and know that someone out there cares about what you are writing, so I try to give support back. But with 5 kids, a dying marriage and several health crises in the works, I admit I do not track down and comment back to every blogger who comments to me. If anyone is upset by this, or feels slighted, I do apologise. Sometimes I barely have time to squeeze in a post. This blog is here to help me lose weight, AND to (hopefully) in some small way help others lose weight too. I hope it serves that purpose even if I cannot keep up all of your blogs, all of the time. Even if I have never commented on YOUR blog, I do very much appreciate you taking the time to leave support here. I get every comment via email. I read them first thing every morning and they set the tone for my day. Some make me laugh, and some bring tears to my eyes that someone out there really relates to this journey. I save many of the comments in a special file on my computer, and when I am down, I can go back and read them over and over. This is my inspiration. YOU are my inspiration. Thank you.

As far as a Blogroll... well, I guess since I have been a blogger for a year now, I ought to start paying more attention to stuff like that. When I started this blog, it was just a place to write. To vent, to say what I think, to put down what I am going through. I never thought anyone would read any of it. I mean, look at my blog. It's just basic. No "design" or graphics or anything. Which reminds me... a couple of times other bloggers gave me "awards." At first I had NO IDEA what that was about or what to do. I even have an Awards page where I listed all my awards and linked back to those who gave them, but I haven't added it to my blog yet! I never put a blogroll together because, well, I never really thought about it. I have been sort of preoccupied with things like trying to lose weight, taking care of kids with medical issues, stuff like that. Does that make me an ungrateful blogger? Does it mean I am bad at Blog-etiquette? I dunno, I hope not. I am just trying to do the best I can.

A long time ago when I started this "inspiration" post, the main idea behind it was to pass on some inspiring websites to the rest of you. So, with that in mind, let me list some that I look to for a specific purpose: eating inspiration.

I am one of those people who sees a Pizza Hut commercial on TV and then all I can think about is eating Pizza Hut pizza. I see an ad in a magazine for cinnamon rolls and then I want them. I see a kid on the street eating a Snickers bar and then I want one. Bad. I guess that makes me a visual eater. Seeing food triggers me. What I see, I want to eat, a lot of the time. So the best thing I can do is look at healthy food! When I see a beautiful salad with chicken and olives and cheese crumbles, oh boy, I want a salad. When I see a picture of a juicy plum, I want one! And this is a good thing. So I try to make sure I input healthy food images into my brain on a daily basis. It makes me want to eat healthy, and it inspires me with great meal ideas.

My very favorite sites for food inspiration are:

1) Kath Eats Real Food. This lady is incredible. She eats the most amazing looking stuff, and she is healthy and thin. I love her photos and her life is interesting to read about!

2) The Incredible Shrinking Katschi, aka *Fitcetera.* A fellow weight-loss blogger who shares her meals and snacks on her blog in photo form. She makes some gorgeous salads and gives me ideas for making healthy eating more interesting. And she is a wonderful, caring person and friend!

3) Eat, Run, Live. Another great "meal" blog where you can see what someone healthy is eating. She makes veggies look so yummy that I want to run to the kitchen and make some for myself! That's what we all need...

4) Kalyn's Kitchen. Okay, this is primarily a cooking or recipe type food blog but I just love it! Lots of great healthy food ideas here, with nice pictures. And Kalyn seems to be just a lovely person.

5) Green Lite Bites. Roni is a very cool mom who posts recipes, pictures AND videos of healthy food choices. And she lets her toddler help in the kitchen! Very cool :) Always makes me smile.

6) Ahhh! And how could I forget My Daily Nosh? SpunkySuzi has more healthy food than you can shake a stick at!

If you are triggered visually like I am, these are some great places to get your fix of healthy food inspiration. I hope they help you as much as they help me.

Feel free to leave links to your favorite inspirational blogs in the comments. And thank you, fellow bloggers, for being the best inspiration of all.

19 comments:

Emily said...

Check out noshtopia.com! It's one of my favorite food sites, gorgeous pictures and good food.

new*me said...

I love Katschi's site too and Roni really rocks! I try to comment back to all my commenters but I have a busy life too and sometimes I feel guilty when I miss some. I try visiting their sites because there is such a variety of inspirational posts out there. I am working on a blog roll as we speak. Your blog was what got me started on my journey. You and a couple other friends inspired me. I love to read other blogs......I wish I had three hours a day to do it in but my twin tornados keep me from that! Please visit my blog anytime and see how you have inspired me to lose 53 pounds so far in about 4 months. Lyn rocks!

spunkysuzi said...

www.pastaqueen.com is always good for a chuckle ;)
But there are so many that i love reading i wouldn't be able to begin to list them all!!

Deb said...

Thanks for sharing these blogs. I am always looking for another great blog to help inspire me.

Lola said...

lyn, you are a big inspiration for me (also is katheats.com and heather from settingherfree. we don't weight the same, we don't even live in the same country or continent, we don't have the same first language... but we have similar struggles and i really like you even if you don't know that i exist :)

thank you for being you and being so supportive. you don't have to comment or anything. i prefer you being here and writing than spending you precious time commenting and commenting and not having time to upload the blog.

i am so sure you will get there. so sure.

cheers,

ranaesheart said...

Lyn ~ Blogging, writing posting new articles, reading comments and keeping everything up to date within the constraints of a busy life, losing weight and facing life's challenges, is a daunting task. Hey kiddo, if you figure out all the blogger etiquette and the time to manage all of it, will you kindly share with me?

As for the visual cues, I actually quit looking at the newspaper, turn the channel at every commercial and purposely turn away from signage. Best wishes for visualing healthy food and a healthy Lyn!!

Ranae

Twix said...

your welcome & thank you! You are an inspiration to me! :)

Vonavie said...

I'm really enjoying this post because my latest hobbie is reading weightloss blogs. Now I have a couple of more to add to my "favorites" list.

My blog, which is more non-graphic than Lyn's is www.healthfulorbust.blogspot.com. I'd love to have more readers. Lyn's my only commenter so far BTW so I know she comments LOL.

Hide those cookies said...

I love to read pastaqueen.com. She's a riot and she does post pictures of healthy food-especially in her "lick the produce" posts.

Anonymous said...

new*me, I don't think Lyn actually said she tried to comment back to all her commenters like you do, she said there's 20 she comments on. I think it's good to try and give back to people who routinely give you support. I know there isn't time to comment on everyone's posts all the time, but the odd post on the blog of someone who's given you continued support would only take a minute. It's not blog etiquette, it's simply common courtesy.

Once Upon A Dieter said...

I need to learn how to do photo uploads (I'm such a non-techie type), cause I love Fitcetera's daily pics of what's eaten. I find that loads of fun. I love when people do food pics. How food-visually-oriented am I?!!!! hah

Roni is great, too, and, well, ALL of those are great links.

The P

Sheri said...

Hi Lyn,

Great post, and I can understand your time constraint. My dearest friend has five kids, homeschools, an volunteers and I worry about how ragged she gets sometimes. I have my favorite blogs too, yours being one of them. I have only been blogging since December, and sometimes I wonder if I sound like a freak, I'm definitely a multi-level person. I don't always post on other blogs, but they stay with me in thought. My blog is quiet in the way of comments and messages, so I don't know how many regular readers I have, if any. Maybe when you do find opportuntiy you could add a sidebar of your favorite blog list. After all, you find inspiration from those, and I find inspiration from you. Maybe some of those will be good to see often. Personally, I'm more on the attitude and emotion in my journey. I struggle more with the mind and those wavering thoughts.

Lyn said...

Anonymous,

I think I explained myself pretty clearly here... There really isn't much more I can say to appease people who think I should be doing more, doing something differently, etc. I created this blog to lose weight. The wonderful friendships that have developed (and are developing) are a great unexpected blessing. When I do comment back on other blogs, I try to make it meaningful and heartfelt. I read their recent posts to get a feel for how they are doing. Sometimes I email them instead of commenting because I have something personal to say. I also get about 15 personal emails every day, and I make a point of writing a personal response to each and every one, even if it takes me a week or two to do it. Sure, it would be easy for me to just take a half hour a day and click links and post "Way to go!" and "Hope things get better!" on everybody's blogs, but that's not how I do things. But really, my commenting or lack thereof is not up for judgement. I do the best I can, and right now, my children's health has to come first.

I want my blog to be a positive place, and when I write a post I try and write TO the people who comment. I guess over time, the people who really care will hang around and the ones who are just here to "make connections" or get on a blogroll will fizzle out. To those of you who comment and support me, I appreciate it greatly. If any of you feel ignored and would like more support back from me, please email me your blog and I will make a point of checking in when the kids get back to school next week.

And in the interest of keeping this blog positive and on the topic of health/weight loss, any more "anonymous" comments about this topic will be deleted. I like to know who I am talking to, and if there is a personal issue going on you can always email me.

You guys mean a lot to me. Thank you for caring.

Chris77 said...

I do get some inspiration from your blog, even though I'm a dude. Guys deal with a lot of the same issues that you talk about on here - I relate to so much of what your write - but we tend to hide it or not be so open about it. But whenever I need to give myself a swift kick in the ass on eating write, I come here. And I send other people here, too.

As for the visual stuff, nothing pisses me off more than busting my ass on the eliptical machine at the gym and having a commercial for a Big Mac come on on the tv that's attached to the machine!

Cathy said...

Hi,

I have commented on your blog in the past and I think you are doing amazing. It is not easy. You keep it real, and that is what I appreciate.

I think you should check out my own personal blog. I have lost 88 ish pounds since the birth of my sixth baby November 16, 2007.

Keep up the good work!

Cathy

www.findingcathy.blogspot,com

Vonavie said...

Lyn, awesome response to "anonymous"! I was going to suggest you delete his/her comments, but you are right to leave the original post and give your response. You can't please everyone all the time. You are a huge inspiration to a ton of people. DO NOT let that person discourage you! PLEASE! I need you to succeed! It inspires me so much!

Heather said...

I cannot agree more..I get my inspiration and support from all my blogger friends. glad that you are able to draw upon this as well. and sometimes, I think too many people get caught up in how many comments they have or leaving comments all over the place, and this isnt really about how popular a blog can be or if you are able to get to everyone. I write becasue I write, and if only 1 person comments, so be it.

JennP said...

Wow, who knew people were out there watching...
You are a great inspiration, and as a blogger i surely don't expect people I comment to to comment back on my blog!

Anonymous must truly have a lot of time on their hands to check out every commenters blog to see if you have commented. wow.

On another note... this is a website I enjoy reading. It is not only on weight loss, but on other issues regarding disease as well. It is more "informational"
http://www.diseaseproof.com/

Farah said...

I really enjoy your blog. When I write on my blog, I have a tendency to just brain-dump. So my posts are often a sort of play-by-play of my day, which I know isn't very interesting for readers. But I think that's okay, because I don't think I really have any readers. :)
I really love how your posts are so thought-provoking and sincere. And I firmly agree that your blog is for you first, and you don't need to spend your time commenting just to comment, epecially just to placate people. Have a great weekend, and go on doing what you do!
Oh, and I was going to saw skwigg.com has some interesting photos of the stuff she eats. :) I find her blog fun, and I look to her for a perspective from someone who has achieved a great level of fitness and a great attitude about it all.