I raise my hand and admit that I get sucked into how things "look" as a huge part of my motivation. Is my house organized, the car clean, my rear-end looking OK, my skin clear, hair shiny, teeth white? Do I look happy? What is everyone thinking about me?

I have to stop and back that bus up. Being concerned with what others think, and how things appear to them, is completely human. However, there comes a time when we have to ask ourselves, “What makes me happy?”

I think the same goes for exercising and trying to eat healthy. We shouldn’t be striving to do these things just to be thin or look good. How about striving to have more energy and emotional happiness, which are increased by eating well, stabilizing blood levels, and exercising? Why not be a lifestyle role model to your kids and friends? Or focus on treasuring and taking care of the gift of good health? These sound like reasons one can believe in.

When I look at most successful people who are fulfilled, they are doing something because they are passionate about it. As an added bonus, they may have stumbled upon recognition, money, or other opportunities. I’ve found that if you are going just for the mighty dollar, bragging rights, or power, you will either fall short or get it and be miserable.

Why? Because isn’t so much of life about intention? I can be in a heated discussion with my husband, and if he isn’t trying to go out of his way to make me angry or hurt I don’t get that upset. When I see he is deliberately pushing my buttons, I react so strongly to his intention.  If the kids spill something on accident? No problem. If they do it on purpose? Don’t you get mad?

How about finding something you enjoy (or can bear to do) in the exercise arena that makes you feel good? Start here: Don’t eat food that tastes like cardboard to you, but find something that you enjoy eating that is doing something good for you and your health. Will you ever enjoy it as much as cheese pizza or ice cream? Do I need to say it? In the end, and overall, you will feel so much better; and, as the added bonus, your waist will become smaller, skin clear, and smile wider.

If we only focus on the drag idea of “I have to lose weight,” who can sustain that as a motivation for a lifestyle change? Love yourself and learn enough about the importance of good health to become passionate about the continual pursuit of improvement.

Oh, and on the days you can’t get out of bed to do your workout, then sure, think about how great your butt is going to look. Hey, on certain days it’s just about getting the work done.

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