People often ask “why?” you’ve decided to get fit. Sometimes you feel what can only be described as pressure to give the ‘right’ answer. Do you know what I mean?
The fact is that if you’ve decided to take steps towards becoming a healthier version of yourself, then it doesn’t matter what the motivation is. There is no wrong answer!
Whether your reason is that you want to fit into clothes better, sleep better, live longer, feel sexier or whatever, it doesn’t matter. There are countless reasons to get healthier and numerous motivating factors too. Whether you're fit and healthy or not, we all know that being healthier is a good thing. The problem comes in that we all have to start somewhere and if your somewhere is 2 stone heavier than your ideal bodyweight or 20 stone heavier, should it matter what's driving you? If you're heavily overweight, things can be challenging enough anyway and so having any pressure on you to lose fat or get fitter can actually have the opposite effect. If your own personal goal is that you want to be able to buy clothes off the rack again then that's your goal. Yes, obviously health benefits come hand in hand with being a healthy weight and not carrying exess fat on your frame, but we all know that anyway. But if that were a strong enough motivating factor then surely nobody would ever get fat, no? We all know that obesity carries some seriously heavy diagnoses with it, but people still aren't addressing their relationship with food, or prioritising their health. It's obviously not enough to just know that "being fat isn't good for you". We all know that smoking isn't good for you either but almost 15% of the UK population still smoke and over 60% are overweight or obese. That's frightening isn't it?
The point I'm getting to here is that being told "you need to be more healthy" evidently is not enough to motivate people to lose the weight. As I've mentioned in a previous article (Which fads? What fiction?), motivation is an emotion like any other; it comes and goes. So whose place is it to tell you your reasons for getting healthy? It isn't anybody's, that's who! There is so much negative judgement in today's society and I've found that it can have a significant impact on people's reasons for behaving the way they do. So if you weigh double what you should, and you're aware of that, and let's face it your GP may, quite possibly, have spoken to you about your weight by this point; if what's going to give you the push to lose those extra layers is that your knees won't hurt anymore, or perhaps that you don't need to take that daily medication - that's great. But what if your motivation for losing weight is something a bit less medical and a lot more personal? Do you want to feel sexier? Would you like to be able to fit into clothes without having to stuff yourself into them like a badly packed sausage? (the words of a friend of mine, not my own!) Or would you generally just feel more comfortable and happy in your own skin if you lost a few pounds? Those reasons are just as legitimate as the ones surrounding your physical health.
On that note; doesn't it seem odd that the battle to lose weight and get fitter is mostly psychological, yet the focus is always on the physical stuff? What about just feeling better, more confident and relaxed in the way you look and feel. Confidence isn't a physical attribute, it's a mental one and so why shouldn't the same theory and practice apply to motivation?
Don’t be made to feel shallow or negative about yourself if your decision to get healthier is driven by aesthetics. Don’t be made to feel like you’re being ‘too serious’ if you say it’s because you’d like to add years to your life. Remember that you’re doing this for yourself, it affects you first and be confident in that fact. So, whatever your motivation to improve, it’s positive.
If you'd like to hear more about this sort of thing, get in touch here and ask away. I look forward to hearing more from you all and thank you to those readers who've already been in touch and have chatted to me; it's always a pleasure.
Stay well everybody.
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