What’s your why? Why do you do what you do? All of us have “whys” for things we do in our lives.
Let’s take that to our health and fitness goals.
Why do you want to do it? Or why are you out there every day going after it ?
More energy? Better health? To do something you’ve never done? To build your confidence? To daily activities easier? To be strong and empowered?
If you are like many I talk to, they want to but haven’t nailed down their “why” for getting fit or losing weight.
I think, it’s a reason many people start, stop, and quit.
I was talking to a young woman the other night. She’s half my age. The conversation started that she didn’t believe I had ever been heavier or not fit. ( my daughter had informed her of that 😛 )
I’ve taken pictures since I started my health journey because it tells a much bigger story than numbers on a scale. I showed them to her.
8 years ago I was a much softer, fluffier version of me. I was also quite a bit heavier. My arms were soft with no muscle definition as were my legs.
I hadn’t looked at the photos in awhile so it was like a rapid fire look through my transition of the past few years.
Change definitely takes time.
Then she asked me..
“So why did you do it? What made you start?”
I have my own “whys” for getting started on my health and fitness journey.
My check up with my doctor that year was my turning point. It became my “why”.
I knew I was packing pounds I didn’t need, and I knew I wasn’t getting the exercise my body needed.
I also knew my family history and that my mom and grandmother were both obese and had many health problems associated with being to fat. My grandmother had a heart attack at 50. Her and my mom had high blood pressure and diabetes. My mom eventually developed kidney issues, having two transplants and ultimately being on dialysis. My father, although having really no contact with him, I knew he was overweight and had diabetes. He ultimately died of a heart attack.
I was 46 the year of that check up.
Knowing I was still healthy and had the power to change things settled on me.
My “whys” became so I didn’t walk the same paths as family members before me. To be healthy for myself and for my family.
My “why” for starting was fairly simple and uncomplicated.
Lose weight. Stay healthy.
I had no idea the journeys I would go on in the upcoming years.
I guess the rest, is history. I made the choices I did and in that I found activities I love and have become passionate about.
Never, ever would I have thought I’d become a runner. Or a cyclist. Or that I’d be pursuing both at the same time for a race.
I’ve learned to eat more good foods than not. It’s all worked together.
My “whys” turned into, “why not’s”.
She started telling me her story, one that is familiar to me now as many people have similar ones.
She just wanted to lose weight. She wanted to get back to working out.
So I asked her… “Why? Why do you want to?”
One of her first responses was “well I want to get back to the weight I was in high school”
I told her that was great, but what was so wonderful about that weight? Did she think it would make her happier or more successful? Why did she think that was a reason for getting started? (And for the record, your high school weight was great when you were 17 but it might not be where you need to be today in the body you are in now)
Talking it out for a bit she finally admitted “well I know I was pretty thin and wasn’t taking care of myself like I should”
Maybe that isn’t a good why reason.
We kept talking and she said “well I would like to lose weight because I’ll just feel better about myself, and doing that makes me feel more confident”
Ok, good reasons. Now we were slowing getting somewhere.
She talked about her son and how she wanted to be healthy for him and how she wanted to be able to do things with him. She mentioned how she bought him all these healthy foods and she didn’t focus as much on her own nutrition.
I asked her why she thought taking care of herself wasn’t a priority. (note… you get no bonus points in life for putting yourself on the back burner)
We continued talking and brainstorming as I listened to her share her story with me.
She finally admitted she needed to consider her health as a priority as much as her sons was.
Now… now we were getting somewhere.
She was getting to her “why” for wanting to do it. More than just a vague acknowledgement of wanting to lose weight.
We all need to come to the point where we can answer our own “why” for wanting to lose weight and get fit. Then we must begin to remove the excuses that keep us from moving forward to our goals.
It might be fun to think of getting to your high school weight or losing 10 lbs before a class reunion but is that going to be enough to get you going?
To keep you going ?
You have to examine it beyond a surface thought of “I just want to lose weight” to a deeper level that will keep you motivated to reaching your goals.
Making your own list of why you want to get healthier and fit is a good way to move towards making it happen.
As you make a list think of how losing weight will help you. How will you feel? What will you be able to do easier that you can’t now? What health needs do you need to address? How will losing weight improve them? How do you feel about yourself right now? Would losing weight help you with a more positive attitude about yourself?
You can apply similar thoughts to getting fit and eating better. Losing weight doesn’t just change our bodies, but it changes how we feel about ourselves and that in turn affects the rest of our lives.
Getting to your own reasons for why you want to lose weight, get fit or stronger and healthier is a key step to actually accomplishing those things in your life.
What was your “why” reason for weight loss and getting in shape?