I’d like to know.
It’s easy, with your fingers pinching at your hips and your twin smiling back from the mirror, to break it down like this: you want to look better naked. I want to look better naked. That’s been a running joke from the earliest days of this blog, but let’s just call it a humorous twist on the truth — I want those abs.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
But I do think, now, when my designed Vanity Time rolls out in front of me, that there’s a little more to the story than might meet the eye. My reasons for doing this have expanded beyond the vain, I’m happy to report, and have brought some sentimentality along for the ride.
The realization got me thinking. Why are you doing this?
Why did you set out on this path to better health? What is pushing you forward, driving you onward, even when the scale doesn’t budge and you’re pretty sure you’ve lost the pounds everywhere but your butt?
Why do you do what you do?
Here are my reasons (in no particular order).
1. Abs. Always abs.
2. I want the confidence to go shirt-to-skin in approximately zero seconds.
I used to be the fat kid. I wish I could say that with a smile, but that’d be pretending I wasn’t cripplingly aware of it for the duration of my childhood. The teasing and insults didn’t help, but mostly I was struck by the thought — even back then — that I was the shirt kid down at the pool. I was the boy too afraid to take his shirt off even in one of the few situations where it’s socially acceptable to run around half-naked. I was the kid too self-conscious to be a kid — to have no cares in the world when my head was under the water.
Now, though, I want to strip free and run laughing down the sand — no hesitations, no second-guessing, just confidence in my body and the knowledge that I have absolutely no reason to try and hide it. I’m getting there.
3. I want to be healthy.
For me, certainly, so I can experience every part of life without any medical issues holding me back, but also for my future family: my wife, kids, pets and potted plants that might one day come down the pipes. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, sure, but I want to be in the healthiest shape of my life for when it does.
I want to be the kind of father who can keep pace with my children while we’re hiking up mountains and pounding along the trails. Most importantly, I want to be the father who lives long enough — and lives well enough, with no medication and no outstanding health complications — to see those kids grow into amazing human beings.
I want to be healthy for them. If you have a family, now, I think you’ll understand why.
Why Do You Do What You Do?
That’s my list. What’s on yours?
Put it all out on the public forum, here, and come back to this comment list whenever you’re feeling blue. Let this be a reminder to you, for now and in the future, of why you made the commitment to live healthy, and let it prove all the encouragement you need to keep going for the rest of your long, happy life.
Why do you do what you do?
Think about it. The answer might just be the most important part of the whole process. And once you have that answer, don’t let it go.