To love ourselves is something so different. To love ourselves is to ask, “What are my needs? What makes me have a sense of purpose? What drives me to action and want to change?” We have to be careful here. We could ask easy questions like, “What do I want? What makes me happy?”
But we know that when we ask questions like what do I want at this moment and what makes me happy right now, we are asking questions for things that are short-term and often not beneficial, and they absolutely lack any growth potential.
When we are trying to care for ourselves, we need to ask deeper questions. We need to get to the root of what needs we need to care for now, and what needs we need to care for to grow in the future!
A great example of this is found when we begin to look at our health. We often look and ask questions that are focused on aesthetics. We want to be thin, lose 30 lbs, or look good in a specific outfit. And I do like those types of goals because they are specific, measurable, and attainable.
But looking good in a bathing suit does NOT push us daily! It’s not enough to push us past those feelings of laziness as we lay in bed thinking about moving in the cold morning hours. We need something that drives us to get out of bed, and that takes good questions and being honest with ourselves.
So what would motivate you to get out of bed daily? Well, that is different for everyone, but we should look at this example. As most of you know, I competed in a bodybuilding competition. Getting up daily to do the work to get fit, look right, and be at my physical best in a very tiny jeweled bathing suit isn’t what motivated me every morning.
Daily I got out of bed for several solid reasons. Why do I say several? Well, some days, it wasn’t just enough to have one. So here is a peek into my thought process of why I chose to compete. This isn’t to encourage you to compete, but it is to encourage you to set deeper goals and to get out of the cycle of being beach body-ready and then being disappointed year after year when the goal doesn’t come to fruition.
Why did I want to compete? It started out simply like any other goal. I wanted to look good. I quickly found that looking good wasn’t enough to keep me from eating a cheeseburger or having all the chocolate. I then began to think, what did I really want out of the end? Did I want big muscles? Did I want to have ripped abs? Sure, these are all good things. But I understood that looks were not enough.
I then got to thinking about what I wanted for my family. What is important about taking time away from them now? We have a history of osteoporosis in my family, and I know the cost of that later. Taking the time now to prevent issues later. That’s a good goal! Then I also thought about what I was teaching my kids. I tell them ALL the time they need to do hard things. Show up when they don’t want to, and DO the work. Well, as a mom, I know that more is caught than taught. So Show up, make smart food choices, don’t undermine my own goals, and push hard. I am a living example of what it takes to live out my dreams and goals. They even watched me fail one of the rounds. I fell, got hurt, and had to pause. Then I restarted.
As yourself, WHY do you want this goal? Come up with an answer that isn’t just about looks or things that are fleeting. Fitness is more than just a single goal. It is about lifestyle, discipline, and focus.