I have a sister who is about 24 months younger than me. We are both very different…and we have similarities.
Growing up we would annoy each other until usually my sister ended in biting me or crying. Or a combination of both.
“MICHELLE!!!! WHY did you do that?” my Dad would interrogate
my response was always…I don’t know why…I damn well did know why I did it. I got a reaction. every.single.time.
In all of the decision for myself to re-access my relationship with my weight, diet and motivation I think there has to be a VERY distinct delineation between the WHAT and the WHY of a life change or life affirmation that we endeavor upon.
When I first started my fitness journey it was a chore.
Workouts were just another thing to get out of the way, something to check off the list.
Prepping a days worth of meals for the next day of work, school and gym before I could go to bed was a necessary part of my schedule.
I looked forward to weekends were I could sleep in, have a “free day” for my favorite foods and sit on the couch watching basketball or movies. I craved those unstructured, lazy days where I didn’t have to think about exercise or eating healthy.
Then somewhere along the way something changed. I started looking forward to workouts. I become a morning exerciser. I started to enjoy cooking. I got up before 10 am on a Sunday to hit the gym! It all started to change when I stopped focusing on the WHAT:
- WHAT do I weigh?
- WHAT size am I?
- WHAT do I have to do to get there?
I started to focus on the WHY.
In order for this fitness thing to “stick”, I’ve learned, you have to change your mindset about WHY you do it. You have to find a WHY that goes beyond the number on the scale or the size on a pair of jeans. You have to do it for reasons that align with the kind of life you want to live and the kind of person you want to be.
This post solidified so much of what I was thinking..or have been mulling around in my soul. WHY do you want to change. Not WHAT do you want to change or some external goal setting that you’ve placed before yourself.
I’ve changed for a man, or a diet program, of what I thought society wanted, to make my parents proud, to get accolades from work…or everything other than the WHY. The WHY is where change begins, it’s where the painful shit lives, it’s where we have to start to get any TRUE change. Of course you can lose weight or stop smoking crack, or spending too much money or living in clutter..momentarily. If you can muster up enough strength, guilt and motivation.
But change comes from the WHY.
Why do I want to change?
I have been thinking A LOT about this. I come from a family, generations of women who have yo-yo dieted their lives. Crash dieting for photos at an important event, then to binge it back during the holidays and unbutton their jeans at the end of the night. Where success was so external that sense of self is hard to find. It’s the backlash, I believe, of the can-do-it-all-have-it-all-look-amazing life. We can’t have it all and the moment that we drill down to the WHY of the pressure we put on ourselves..is where the pressure begins to get released.
Why I’m changing is for myself. For the reason that my relationship with who I am is more important to me now than ever. I’m marrying someone who loves me where I am, where I’ve been, and where I will be. I want that as well. I want my future children to love themselves intrinsically and be able to better able filter out the external pull of perfection and box ticking.
I’m asking myself A LOT about the WHY..that answer, the questioning, that conversation being the driver for lasting change. It will and already has directly impacted by previous obsession with the ‘WHATs’.