12/05/2011 08:02 pm ET Updated Feb 04, 2012

Gaining a Child's Perspective


Photo provided by Nikki Stone

After my second Olympic Games, I was invited to visit several children's hospitals. I still remember my first tour of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital just outside Boston. As an Olympian, I couldn't wait to inspire the young patients. I wanted to do more to raise their hopes than any celebrity they had ever met.

I was handed a mask as staff there explained the children's vulnerability to germs and diseases. Then I walked from room to room, activity to activity and conversation to conversation, expecting to find a bunch of somber faces. But a somber face was the one thing I couldn't find. These children had the most amazing outlook on life, though many weren't expected to make it through the year. They had all gained a new perspective on life and weren't going to let the adversity of ill health take away the time they had here.

I'd met everyone from celebrities to Olympians to the president of the United States, but I walked out of that hospital feeling more inspired by those children than by anyone I had ever met before. Since that day, I visit children's hospitals and cancer wards every chance I get and never cease to be inspired.

Sometimes we need to be reminded to focus on what we do have rather than what we don't. Here's to finding your inspiration and perspective this holiday season!

Motivational Weight Management Tip

I've had the great honor of working with some of the "Biggest Loser" contestants, and it has inspired me to leave motivational diet, health and wellness tips at the end of all of my blogs. These tools have been driven from actual advice I've shared.

This week's tip:

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not. -- Author Unknown

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