This American Fitness Timeline on the New York Times Website inspired this post.
Isn’t it interesting to see all the different fitness icons America has looked up to over the past 60 years? And isn’t it sad that despite all our great role models, the percentage of obese Americans continues to climb? Even so, it’s fun to reminisce. As a child of the 80s, I can remember wearing out the Jane Fonda video with my mom and sisters as she showed us how to work up a sweat and rock the leg warmers! In high school I had Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo videos memorized.
So all this got me to thinking about fitness idols and who we’ve looked to for inspiration over the years. Nowadays, we have a plethora of diet gurus and celebrities to admire (or hate). I love it when an actress, singer or model is honest about her fitness struggles and tells the truth about how hard she works to get her body looking the way it does. When a celebrity says she eats whatever she wants and just chases her kids around to stay in shape, it absolutely drives me nuts. These people are either lying or very lucky, and either way I think they are evil!
As much as I love to read about what the celebrities are doing to keep their rock hard bods, I have to keep in mind that many of them have trainers, personal chefs and other staff dedicated to making sure they look fabulous at all times. That’s why some of my biggest fitness idols are people I actually know, like a great group fitness instructor, or people who are constantly training for marathons. Also, I’m always really inspired when I see those individuals who successfully lose lots of weight and keep it off WITHOUT using some kind of crash diet.
Two of my fitness role models are in my family, my sister Harmony, and my sister-in-law Shannon. Both of them have a few kids under their belt, but don’t let the carpool stickers on their SUVs fool you. These ladies are hard-core. They’re always training for the next race and make their workouts a priority despite basketball games and PTA meetings.
When I see people eating well, pushing their body to its limits and losing weight the RIGHT way, it really encourages me and makes me think, “If they can do it, so can I!” Some days, we need all the motivation and accountability we can get!
It’s only natural to be a little envious when it seems to come easier to others than it does for yourself. But rather than letting it get you down on yourself and the amazing body the Big Guy Upstairs gave you, let it inspire you and push you to the next level. It’s never constructive to think negative thoughts about ourselves (Believe me, I know!).
So let’s hear it! Who are your fitness idols of past and present and how have they impacted your health in a positive way? You never know, you just might be someone’s health role model!