A True Inspiration

What does it mean to inspire?  According to one definition in the dictionary, inspire means “to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on.”  There are lots of things that can inspire someone.  One of the most inspiring things I have ever seen is my buddy, Stephen Vinson.  His friends had the tremendous opportunity to celebrate with him last night at Momma Goldberg’s Deli in Birmingham.  What did we celebrate?  I’m glad you asked!

As of a couple of weeks ago, Stephen achieved a tremendous milestone in his weight-loss journey that started at 632 pounds.  He has now lost over 300 pounds!  You can read all about his weight-loss experiences over the last three years on his blog.  The best part about Stephen’s blog is his blatant honesty.  He doesn’t sugarcoat anything.  He exposes his vulnerabilities as he documents both his successes and failures along the way.  As a reader, you get a true picture of his struggles but you also get to see the joys as he achieves many non-scale victories (NSV).  In many cases, these NSVs are something many of us take for granted.  At no point does Stephen pass blame on anyone for his situation.  He knows that a number of bad choices in his past resulted in him becoming dangerously obese.  What is so cool about Stephen’s story is that he shows it is never too late to start making good choices and turn your life around.  Another key to Stephen’s story is that he set definable goals that he wanted to achieve.  Even though he got off course on occasion, he was able to right the ship each time because he knew exactly where he was trying to go.  As a result, he was able to regain his focus each time and has now hit his “main” goal of losing 300 pounds.  Is that not amazing?

Many people may think this is just a nice story about someone losing a lot of weight.  If you’ve ever met Stephen,  you would know that it is much more than that.  He is one of the coolest and nicest people you would ever meet.  Because of that, he has developed a huge following during the last few years.  The local NBC affiliate recently aired a story about him as part of a Spirit of Alabama feature.  There have been numerous other instances where the media did a story on him.  You can’t watch any of these stories without becoming a big fan of his.  If you have the pleasure of meeting him personally, you will be even more amazed and impressed at what a great person he is.

Although we celebrated with Stephen last night and commemorated his reaching the 300 pounds lost milestone, his journey continues.  You see, he still has many more things to accomplish.  I am confident that he will reach each and every goal he sets for himself.  He has relentless determination and doesn’t let setbacks, regardless how much they take him off course, completely derail him.  I am looking forward to seeing all that Stephen will accomplish in the months and years to come.  I find some inspiration every time I read his blog at www.whoatemyblog.com.  If you need motivation to achieve a goal, I suggest you read hiss blog as well.  You’ll realize that, much like Stephen, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

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