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My unsung heroes

This past week, I spent time talking with people who look to me for hope and inspiration on their transformation journeys. I have been called a “hero” by some, and find myself  uncomfortable with that label. But, the truth is, if I can be a hope giver, an inspiration, and even a hero to others trying to put themselves in the equation and change their lives, I’m in. Let’s go!

We all need heroes – not the comic strip kind, but real people who inspire, motivate, and challenge us to be better, stronger, braver… And sometimes we find those heroes in unlikely places. This past week, my path crossed directly or indirectly with at least four people – most in early- to mid-journey who have inspired and motivated ME! Indeed, they are my heroes as I head into this upcoming week aiming to execute my own plan at 100%.

Hero #1: One of those heroes, I met for coffee about a week ago. She shared her frustration that the weight-loss plan wasn’t working as quickly for her as it did me, and she wasn’t achieving the kind of results she expected. She was frustrated that the effort and the sacrifice were there, but not the results. She went on to describe that she is executing the plan at about 90%.

We discussed how 90% execution does not always/or often equate to 90% results. The customized plan we are on works with the body’s chemistry. Each person/body is different and deviations from the plan have a different impact on different people. But most often 90% effort does NOT equate to 90% results. We also discussed the frustration that comes when you give so much personal effort and experience deprivation for less than desirable results. It’s easy to get discouraged and that can be a slippery slope leading to even more deviation. Trust me, I know!

My advice was to do what I did when I was struggling and wasn’t seeing the results I desired: Start executing the plan at 100% with absolutely no deviations. I encouraged her to try this experiment – even if just for three days – and see what happens. That means weighing and measuring everything according to plan, eating every meal on schedule, drinking the water, absolutely no snacking in between meals, and full execution of the fitness aspect of the plan. I went on to say that every time I did this experiment – EVERY TIME – the plan worked like a charm. I lost weight and usually garnered a surprisingly high fat loss number. And, I am certain that it is execution of the plan consistently over time that got me to 18.5% body fat, a 43% drop in 16 months. In other words, it was not the plan that was at issue, it was me!

Well, I am thrilled to report that this friend not only took my advice and executed at 100%, but inspired me to do the same. We messaged and supported each other throughout the week. She nailed it and lost nearly 5 lbs.! I, on the other hand, let emotional stress pull me off plan and my results showed less than 100%. So, she inspired me! And she is my hero for asking good questions, being willing to put her challenges out there and ask for help, and stay the course when the going gets tough.

Hero #2: My second hero of the week is a woman who claims that I am her hero, bar none. She talks of being on a very similar path to mine and was brave enough in our conversation to express her fears about a number of things, including the fear of failure. In hearing her story, I was struck by what an incredible and courageous person she is. Like me, she has battled her weight her entire life and has had to overcome emotional pain and anguish to put herself in the center of her life and change one day at a time.

Fear can be a show stopper, and often we have good reason to be scared. But to overcome that fear is an incredibly powerful and empowering thing. Life changing! Her ability to push past the fear, combined with her courage, strength, perseverance, and sheer determination are the qualities that will make her wildly successful in this journey.

This past week, she also executed the plan at 100% and the results showed. She is my hero…not just for her hard numbers, but for her honesty, authenticity, passion and determination to succeed despite incredible odds. I feel blessed to support her along this journey and am thrilled about the transformation she is seeing every day – like me – both inside and out!

Hero #3: Another woman that I don’t know personally, except online, just ROCKED the transformation journey in big and bold ways this week. She not only had a BIG number (double-digit fat loss this week), she hit a significant milestone in her own journey. She is truly an inspiration to all who are privileged to know her personally and to those that support her and live her journey vicariously through social media.

She not only embraced a new and (some might argue) tougher plan, but she posted about it frequently and in the dialogue we all learned something about the science behind specifics of the plan AND about this woman’s incredible strength, tenacity and determination. She is a shining example of what is accessible to us all when we execute the plan, even and especially when, the going gets tough.

I am so inspired by her incredible results and determination that I can’t wait to see what happens next. She, too, has inspired me to execute at 100% this week – NO EXCUSES. Ironically, something I am struggling to do at this late juncture in my own journey.

Hero #4: My fourth hero of note didn’t have the results she desired on the scale and is struggling big time. But she is my hero because of her positive outlook and perseverance. As the primary caretaker of an entire household of people, and faced with challenges every day that take the focus off program, she continues to keep an attitude of strength and determination with an eye on the long-term goal. Every day she reminds herself and me that she WILL succeed, and she keeps her composure and strength overall despite incredible emotional pressure and with sometimes little control over her time and her schedule.

I am impressed, heartened and inspired by these four woman. Although they reached out to me for help and support, each in their own way has become my unsung hero. They remind me that we are all constantly learning, growing, evolving and simply doing the best we can. And, sometimes without even knowing it, we inspire others. That is the greatest gift.

Thank you A, L, K, and S. You are my heroes.

Who are your unlikely heroes and what are they teaching you?

*To protect anonymity, I am not using names but these unsung heroes know who they are!

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lori, You so bless me! Thank you for sharing this with me…I agree with you, the title of “hero” is hard to accept…but that is what we are…heroes for each other! lets rock it this week…I get to do this plan again!!


    June 4, 2012
  2. Pam #

    Lori, I think you are living this advice from Nora Ephron and you inspire me to want to do the same:

    “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

    July 14, 2012
  3. We all have our own heroes. My 2nd most hero after Him is my my mom. She really inspires me a lot. Even that I have my own life now. I find your heroes so interesting by the way. They are so mysterious coz you haven’t even mentioned a name.

    July 17, 2012
    • Lori Schaefer #

      Thanks for your post Lily. I can’t think of two better heroes! 🙂

      July 17, 2012

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