Happy International Women’s Day! Lovely Jan blogging over at Sprouts n Squats organised this celebration link-up and when she emailed me asking if I joined I was keen to be part of the party. This year’s theme is Inspirining Change and equality for women. I think we all want to inspire people to live a healthier life and I have to say that there are a large number of (not only female) blogger’s out there who certainly inspire me on a daily basis.
As keen as I was to join I had a bit of a struggle to nail down about what I should write today. I really hope I can give a little back on my own blog though I am not sure that I am inspiring at all.
What inspired change in me
I feel inspiration is not the right word in my case but my health conditions at some point were so severe that things just had to change. I am not going into detail here and if you’re interested you can read about it here and here. It was a rough time for me but over the years I have learned a few things:
- Nothing is more important than you health!
- A huge part of being healthy is being happy!
- Only you decide what makes you happy!
- If you don’t take care about your health and happiness nobody does!
- The most important power to spark change comes from you!
- We’re all unique. Comparing us to others in not helpful it’s harmful!
How I try to inspire other people
I really gave this question a lot of thought. Then I realized that I have to start with my job. In my position I am responsible for a Mentoring program for female PhD students. I see my biggest challenge in empowering those ladies to decide what makes them happy job-wise. I want them to find out if this career is a path worth following beyond other people’s expectations. I want them to take responsibility for their needs, goals and (though I don’t like the word) work-life balance. I’ve seen enough people neglecting their health, happiness and social life in order to fulfill anticipated expectations without asking themselves what they expect from life. In the end they end up miserable and burned out. I hope the program I am creating helps them to find the power to change their attitude towards their job according to their own expectations and that they realize that they deserve what they want and make a leap to achieve it! And most important that it’s not always necessary to give 120 %!
Friends and Family
Okay I am going to show off here a little but I am really proud of all those people and that I could help them in which way ever to change their food choices, eating habits and hopefully overall health!
First of all of course there is Stefan. As I changed my eating habits he had no choice but to follow. First he was a bit reluctant but he enjoys the food I make and he has adopted my food philosophy. He feels better than ever before and his body has certainly changed in the best way possible. He is really happy and proud about it and I think that’ s the most important thing.
My cousin and her boyfriend decided that they wanted to go on a one month vegan challenge in January. I was really touched when they asked for a lot of advice regarding what products to buy and which recipes they could try as well. They sent me their food pictures and told me how yummy all the food was and texted me about their progress. And in the end my cousin’s boyfriend send me a message thanking me for all the inspiration.
And the one inspiration that I can hardly give myself any credit for is maybe the biggest! I told you I have been pretty heavy until my mid-twenties. A family friend of ours hadn’t seen me in a while and when I came back from London we met for the first time in maybe 2 years. He was a person that let’s say knew how to enjoy life. My skinny appearance shocked him so much that he changed his lifestyle completely. He lost about 40 kg and is now a marathon runner! So proud of him!
My soccer girls
These girls really are me a matter of the heart! They are between 14 and 18 years old and I witness insecurity, body image issues and disordered eating every time I am with them. It almost breaks my heart. These girls are all perfect absolutely slender and perfectly normal. But some show up for practice in the evening and haven’t eaten anything than a banana and a yoghurt because they “were not hungry”! Bollocks! Some o them asking for advice regarding nutrition and it was only last week when one of them looked at me with huge eyes saying she never eats dinner after practice because she thought it would make her fat! I was so shocked. From time to time I almost lecture them about what they should eat and more important that they HAVE TO EAT! But I am not sure if I am helpful at all. In their eyes I am ancient 😉 I really really hope they will realize that there is absolutely nothing to be insecure about and that those are just the normal puberty issues that disappear eventually.
My current source of inspiration
Well no surprise here. It’s you of course! The whole community! I just love to read all these beautiful blogs from amazing real people who spill their hearts and spark motivation everywhere. I love to see the real people and their yummy recipes and wonderful workouts. I myself have not one of those glossy blogs where the person behind almost seems inhuman as she never seems to eat a cookie or never misses workout. I actually don’t even read those blogs anymore. As I said comparison can be very harmful!
I hope I can submit a few things I have learned about health and happiness here on my blog. I really do! It might prevent others to be as idiotic about my health and happiness as I was!
Happy International Women’s Day
Tell me, what inspires you the most!