About 3 years ago after a nasty breakup and an empowering decision to walk away from alcohol, drugs and the party scene, I dove headfirst into learning about and implementing exercise, health and nutrition.
At first this felt out of desperation to occupy my mind and time with something now that I wasn’t spending every weekend at the bar, slamming shots and snorting lines.
It wasn’t long into this new lifestyle that I started noticing a drastic change in my body, a change that I liked and a change that didn’t take long for other people to start noticing and commenting on.
My stomach was slimming, my butt was becoming more noticeable and my arms started looking sculpted and lean. I was loving it and quickly found myself wanting more.
So what did I do?
Well, I went harder of course! Exercising more and becoming increasingly more obsessive over what I was eating, controlling and restricting my food choices and how much I ingested.
While this approach did give me the look I wanted, it most certainly didn’t leave me feeling very good. I had completely abandoned my social life, not wanting to be tempted by the food and drinks that so often accompany outings with friends. I spent around 2-3 hours in the gym every day, leaving me no time to spend doing anything else I loved, like reading, writing or spending time with my dog and friends.
As I looked around at the life I was now living, that I had created for myself, I still didn’t feel happy. While I had achieved the body I wanted, I felt like I had lost everything else that was important to me in the process.
After much panic, agony and internal conflict, I decided to stop calculating every morsel of food I ingested and not follow such a strict and structured workout routine. In my mind I now had a free pass to eat whatever the fuck I wanted and skip workouts whenever I didn’t feel like exercising, all personal responsibility flying out the window.
Inevitably, I started to gain weight again and lose the body I had worked so hard for but, worse than that, I was feeling sluggish and weighed down by the sugar and other heavy foods that tasted good, but weren’t leaving my body feeling very good.
Again, the internal battle reared up in my mind.
I felt like I had to choose between following a strict workout and food plan or eating anything and everything and working out only when I wanted.
Not wanting to accept either of these options as the answers, I searched yet again for a better way.
And I’m excited to share with you just what that answer is.
I’ll give you a hint…
It’s in the title of this blog…
You got it!
It’s the WHY!!!!
You might know what your goals are, your desired end result, where you want to get to and what you want to accomplish.
But… have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you want these things in the first place?
Could there be more than one reason why you would want whatever it is you want anyways?
The truth is that there can be a million reasons why. Even two people striving for the exact same thing… the same house, car, body, job or romantic partner might have completely different reasons for why they want that thing in the first place.
You yourself could have multiple reasons why you’re reaching for the result you desire. Even though the final destination can be reached either way, how you get there and how you feel in the process could vary greatly.
Asking yourself the why of any decision you are making or any goal you are striving for will be an absolute game changer.
It was for me.
You see, after the initial act of looking for something to do with my time to distract myself from partying, the primary reason I continued working out and eating well was because of how it made me look and what I thought other people would think of me based on how I looked.
When wanting to steer away from the strict exercise and food structure, in my mind I was making a trade-off of other people thinking I looked smokin’ for freedom. Freedom to spend my time how I wanted and eat what I wanted.
But then, when I had this freedom, I still felt crumby because my body didn’t look or feel the way I wanted it to, at which point I knew that I had to eat healthier and exercise more to change this.
Dreading going back to square one, I started asking myself WHY? What was the why that was actually making me want to work out and encouraging me to be healthy?
When I started, my why was simply to look good. To look good to attract male attention. To look good to be better than other women. To gain some form of external significance and confidence.
The second main reason previously was because I was scared. There was this fear lurking in the back of my mind, driving all my decisions. The fear of getting fat. The fear of being unaccepted or worse yet, rejected because of my body. Rejected by men and sex. Rejected by other women.
Rejected by myself.
Those were the forces driving me to exercise and eat healthy. So, it’s no wonder I still felt like shit after dropping the exercise and meal plan because in my mind I had surrendered to the very things I was so afraid of… Not looking good and ultimately being rejected.
Now I stand in a very different pair of shoes with a much different perspective than I did during either of those previous decisions.
I now stand with a new found clarity on my why.
This new why is that I do want a body I look good in but even more importantly, I want a body that I feel good in. Part of feeling good in my body is looking good in my body. But not for anyone else. Not for the male sexual attention I otherwise felt unworthy of. And not for the acceptance of other women whom I assumed were judging me. And most certainly not to be accepted by the standard society has led me to believe is the only way.
I now work out almost every day and eat a mostly whole food based diet of tons of veggies, fruits, fish, nuts and grains but, I do it because it gives me energy. It not only makes my body feel strong and useful, it actually improves my mood, my libido and my ability to process my emotions.
Exercising and moving my body everyday takes me out of my head where I have a tendency to over-think, over-analyze and create unnecessary stress for myself. It helps me to get grounded in my body, tuning in to recognize when I can challenge myself to build strength and when I need to back off, be gentler and nurture myself.
My why now and moving forward is that I want to live the absolute best life possible, busting through all physical and mental blocks that might be holding me back.
My why now is that I want to look and feel sexy and feminine in my body, totally embracing and loving who I am.
My why now is because I want to live a long and healthy life and not ever have my desires limited by the condition of my health or body, especially where preventable and I have a choice.
What is your why?
Not just for the shape and conditions of your physical body but for anything you desire, any goal you are setting or anything you are striving towards. Because when you can get clear on the why, it can make the action steps to get there a heck of a lot more enjoyable or at the very least, less of a struggle. It can push you through when you feel like giving up.
It can make you come back alive to live and feel the life you came here to be a part of.
This one, simple shift can change everything.