FITSPO. Love it or hate it, this word is here to stay. If you haven’t come across it yet, it’s the latest hashtagged term that covers fitness inspiration. Personally, bathroom selfies and filtered sixpack shots aren’t things I enjoy, but I do believe in the finding the right kind of fitness motivation – it’s a huge part of this site and my search for truths in fitness.
As part of my work with Mens Health, I collect and edit Belly Off stories (and have done for years). These are success stories of men with jobs, home loans, kids and real-life stuff that most carb-starved models and famous athletes don’t have to deal with. I’ve had guys that have lost up to 8o kilograms along their journey, some almost half their body weight. All these individual stories have shown me that it’s not just flab that these guys have lost: they’ve become better men. They treat their families better, have more energy and time for kids and spouses, do better in their jobs, influence their friends and family to live healthier, and generally become happier men. These stories are my kind of FITSPO, the ones that deserve the hashtag treatment and the pushes on the like button.
Next time you feel like skipping a session or you feel like you’ve lost the fire, watch one or two of the clips I’ve collected below. Granted, they’re emotional. Actually, they’re full-blown sentimental, and more than a little cheesy at times (especially some of the music – there’s a whole lot of Coldplay), but most of these stories aren’t professionally edited, slick productions – they’re just honest and powerful. The footage is real, gritty and free from Photoshop. There are no supplements or crazy diets involved. The men and women below have worked hard to change for the better, and with more obstacles than you’ll ever have to face. It’s not about excuses and comparisons, it’s just finding your own kind of FITSPO. This is what fitness and training should be about – making your life better – not something you’re forced to do.
1. Ben Davis and his running journey. He’s now a Runner’s World cover model, author, motivational speaker and has his own blog: Ben Does Life.
2. The story of a ex-Gulf War paratrooper named Arthur.
3. Always A Fire: The Chad Jones Story
4. The Man Who Never Gave Up: Jon Calvo.
5. Team Hoyt: the dad and son story.