Lately, I’ve been thinking about the difference between what we think we want, and what we actually want.
- We say we want to be “in show shape”
- We say we want to lose 10 lbs
- We say we want to stop eating sugar
- We say we want to fit into a smaller dress size
- We say we want to be lean and fit
Well, that’s all well and good, but I want to challenge you to go deeper with this, and ask WHY you want these things.
For example, being “in show shape” on its own means nothing. It is what being in show shape REPRESENTS. It’s what we MAKE IT MEAN. So ask yourself, “What am I making it mean?” Ask, “How am I, in show shape, different than I am now?” What is it about “show shape” that means something different?
When we say we want to lose 10 lbs, why? What does a 10-pound weight loss REPRESENT? What can we do or be at 10 lbs less that we cannot do now? Ask WHY.
When we say we want to see our abs…why? What does seeing your abs mean besides the fact that you can now see your abs? It’s the subjective meaning that we give something that makes us miserable. How are you, with a 6-pack, better or more worthy than someone who doesn’t have one? Ask why. Why is this important? What does it mean?
And then when you come up with your why, ask yourself if you can just skip it all and simply be that RIGHT NOW.
Here’s an example from my own life:
When I was thick in competition mode, and had my on-season and my off-season, I lived for the few days of being in show shape because I felt on top of the world. It sounds shallow to me now, but I felt more disciplined, I felt envied, I felt confident, I felt better than (!!!!??) and I felt like I could do anything. Which is ironic, because what could I do in show shape that I could not do when I was walking around looking normal? Couldn’t I have just decided to be confident when I was not in show shape? Is confidence an objective thing that once I reach a certain body fat %, I have the right to be that? Or could I be confident at any size? How about feeling “better than?” Ugh. Better than who?? It’s an absurd motivation (not to mention incredibly shameful to admit right now :)). How about feeling disciplined? Couldn’t I still practice discipline at a normal body fat percentage? I could still wake up, it the gym, eat well. And on top of that I wouldn’t have to sacrifice my happiness for the handful of days of being in show shape. HANDFUL OF DAYS!!? :)
The bottom line is that the story you tell yourself about what you think you want and what you think you NEED is really not the case. What you really want is always a layer deeper. It’s always right below the surface. It’s always beyond the question, “Why?”
I encourage you to find your WHY and then DARE to ask, “Could I be that right now??” without having to be miserable, call yourself names and self-hate yourself into dietary submission?