Do you know what you really want? Like really want, when it comes to your health. And I don’t mean just the vague response of "I want to be healthier." Because what does that actually mean. What does healthier look like to you?
I believe when it comes down to any change in your life. You need to ask yourself one question… WHY?
I used to be 295 pounds. For year after year, I made a New Year’s Resolution that this was the year, I was going to lose it all. I was finally going to make a change. The problem was, I was so focused on WHAT I was doing that I never even thought about WHY I wanted to lose weight, to begin with. If you had asked me back then I would have said, because I want to be healthier. I didn’t have a clear image. So, I restricted all my favourite foods all day and would get home at night and binge. And then eventually give up entirely. If I can’t do it perfectly, then what is the point. Now I can clearly see that two things were happening, 1. I wasn’t properly fuelling my body during the day. 2. I was feeding my emotions. Numbing with food was my go-to.
In 2013, I got super clear on WHY I wanted to lose weight. It wasn’t just an arbitrary goal to be healthier. I realized that if I wanted to live the life I wanted, something needed to change. I have a vision of being 70 and climbing mountains. Running marathons well into my 60’s. And chasing my grandchildren around on the playground instead of watching idly from the park bench. Now at the time, I had never done either of those things, I lived in the middle of Saskatchewan without easy access to a mountain and I don’t even have kids. But nonetheless, that is my vision and I can still see it clearly. It is longevity. And I knew that with my weight and history of heart disease in my family, I was headed towards an early grave.
In “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, he goes into detail about how companies that are clearly defined in why they are in business and are able to effectively portray that WHY to consumers, do better. Because when you have an emotional connection to a brand you are more apt to purchase said brand and be a loyal customer. I know what you’re thinking... What does this have to do with me wanting to be healthier? Stay with me. In both, his TED talks and book, Sinek goes on to explain how leaders inspire action from their employees. And it starts with WHY, not how or what. Everyone knows what they do and some even know how they do it. But very few people know WHY they do it. Leading companies focus on WHY first. They inspire change. Sinek says “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”
Let’s apply that same principle to your health. Why do you want to be healthier or lose 10 pounds? Buying into the WHAT of dietary change can be un-motivating. The “I’m on a diet and I can’t eat anything I enjoy” mentality is not going to last in sustainable long-term health. Because I’m assuming that you don’t just want to lose 10 pounds for your Mexican vacation and then gain it back once you return. You want to lose the 10 pounds and keep it off, am I right?
Back to WHY. I encourage you to refine your WHY. What would losing weight mean to you? How would you feel once you lost the weight? Connect with that feeling. Feel the emotion that it would bring. Do you have a vision of it? What is that vision? Why do you get out of bed in the morning to exercise? Why do you go through the effort to prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family? Why do you choose nutrient-dense foods over refined processed foods? Refine your WHY.
Write it down. Post it somewhere that you’ll see it daily to remind yourself WHY you are making the choices you are. That could be in the bathroom as you prepare for your day, in the kitchen as you prep healthy meals, or maybe even the screen saver on your phone. Hey, it works believe me! My current screen saver is “Always Be Kind.” Not as a reminder to be kind to others but to be kind to myself. So every time I open my phone I am reminded of my message. You can do the same.
So, go ahead and refine your WHY. Then send me an email, I would love to hear it!