Inspiration can come in many forms. It can come in the form of a memorable Van Gogh painting, a thoughtful gesture, a simple smile or possibly an act of God. I guess when it comes to me, perhaps I'm just easily inspired or just plain lazy - however you want to look at it.
It all started with my sister, Erin. The same sister who claims to have middle-child syndrome, "Oh, my gosh, my life is so horrible!" Yeah. That sister.
Growing up, Erin has always had a weight problem. She has struggled with her weight ever since we were little kids. I can remember teasing her about it and calling her names.
I look back on that now and think about what a big jerk I was, and how that must have hurt her feelings.
Well, I can see how her life may have been horrible at one point in time. A little more than a year ago, Erin was hospitalized with a serious medical problem.
While she was hospitalized, the doctors basically told her that if she didn't lose weight, "you will be dead by the age of 25." Well, that's always reassuring. She was 19 at the time.
I think that would be a big wake-up call for any teenager, and it certainly was a huge wake-up call for her. Needless to say, Erin was motivated.
Little by little, Erin cut certain foods out of her diet and began to exercise. She began making what she likes to call "a lifestyle change" to her daily regimen.
And when she says lifestyle change, she truly means it. She was no longer drinking sugary sodas, or eating salty fast food and high calorie foods. Now she was eating healthy foods such as carrots, apples, oranges and yogurt.
The last time I checked, my sister hated yogurt. She wouldn't even touch the stuff. However, she was so used to eating all that fatty food, her taste buds had to readjust.
The other day I was walking my two dogs, Lilly and Pedro, with my fiance, Jeremy. I had my daughter a little more than three months ago, so I was thinking maybe I could start losing some pregnancy weight.
With my sister always goading me about how much weight she has lost in the months prior (don't get me wrong, I am very proud of her), I found it necessary to go out for a power walk.
Well, after about 500 feet, I found myself huffing and puffing, and I realized how out of shape I really am.
And then it just hit me - the sister who always had a weight problem probably was healthier than me at this exact moment. I realized that if I continue on my wayward diet of fast food, soda, chocolate and a long list of other unhealthy foods, I may find myself in her exact dilemma later down the road.
To this date, Erin has lost a total of 132 pounds and counting. I think she looks very good for her build right now; however, her goal is to lose a total of 160 pounds.
I have suddenly found myself inspired - by my laziness and by her accomplishments. Richard Dumb said "Don't follow your dreams; chase them," and that is my plan.
Tara Maguire is a Sentinel reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.