Surrounding yourself with positive role models can have a dramatic effect on your attempt to lose weight and get fit.
My 85-year-old grandmother recently lamented having to give up water aerobics due to back pain; she broke it five years ago. Rather than retreat gracefully into retirement, she told me she now jogs daily laps of the pool instead and walks everywhere she can. I am very fortunate to have such a positive role model in my life.
I haven’t always followed her lead. Following the birth of my second child, I was hospitalized with health complications. During recovery I was overweight, unfit and very down on myself. I associated with other new mums who felt the same as me. Unhappy with our lives, we ate together and whinged together, but never exercised together.
My life changed after my husband arranged a trial gym membership for me. I provided every excuse not to go. My baby would miss me, I was too fat, I didn’t fit into my gym gear. But my husband was insistent. He wrote me a note that said, “Use this to rediscover just how beautiful you are.”
I couldn’t refuse such sentiments. My family was extremely supportive and encouraging. I think they knew I needed this, even more than I realized myself. I’m glad they gave me a gentle push to send me on my way.
That first visit to the gym was like an epiphany. Five minutes into my first Body Attack class, with the endorphins starting to kick in, I felt better than I had in a very long time. After that class, I was hooked. I’d forgotten how the music made me happy and how the exercise made me feel alive.
When I joined the gym permanently, I made sure I signed up for personal training for that extra motivation and a positive role model to guide me. There’s nothing like the friendly wrath of a Personal Trainer (and the threat of extra push-ups) to get you to the gym regularly.
I am back at work now and, with the local women’s gym just around the corner, I have decided to encourage other beautiful ladies in my workplace to join up. We now have enough members for a corporate membership. We try and motivate each other to attend the gym – it’s hard to come up with an excuse not to go when your gym buddy sits next to you! Our office has recently put on a weekly meditation class, so now we have the opportunity to look after our minds as well as our bodies.
Whilst I am not yet the svelte size twelve I aspire to be, I am the healthiest I have been since I was in my early twenties. Had it not been for the encouragement of positive role models among my family and friends, I would probably still be an unhealthy, unhappy person.