Find your “Why?”

Several times a week I have people ask me how I lost all the weight. Really, you’re in the gym and you want to know how to lose weight? Is there any subject in the world more analyzed than weight loss? The truth is that everybody knows how to lose weight and live healthier. Eat less, eat better, exercise more, blah blah blah. You’ve heard it all a million times before. Everybody knows how, and everybody is capable of doing it.

So when people ask me how to lose the weight, I ask them, “Why?”

Seriously, why do you want to lose the weight and get in better shape? Isn’t it more fun to eat hot wings and watch the football game than it is to eat edamame and bust your ass in the gym? Wouldn’t you rather spend your time at the ice cream parlor than the spin class? Personally, I enjoy Peanut Butter Cups and caramel-flavored ice cream Drumsticks… but I like looking good more than I like either of the two.

For the last five years I’ve heard many different “whys.” “I want to look awesome for my class reunion.” Excellent! “Our company is having a biggest loser contest, and I want to win.” Perfect! “I want to play catch with my grandson.” My personal favorite! It doesn’t matter what your “why” is just as long as you have one.

Five years ago when I entered the gym wearing pj bottoms, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a bandana, my “why” was to find a “hot chick.” I figured I needed to get into great shape before a “hot chick” would want to date me. (Hey, I never said I wasn’t shallow) Over time my “why” has changed. Nowadays, I want to be an excellent role model to my two kids and empower other people to get into the best shape of their lives.

It’s the people that don’t have a defined “why” that fizzle out and give up after three weeks. You know them, all the people that show up on January 1 and are long gone by February 1. Each day I’m in the gym I stay focused on my “why,” and my workouts are always intense because of it. I may be listening to Motley Crue and Van Halen, but my mind is on my “why.” It is the “why” and not the “how” that will keep you moving closer and closer to achieving your goals.

So next time you want to lose weight, first focus on the “why” — you already know the “how” part.