Why Do You Do It?

Last night, I was browsing through a few blogs on my favorites bar, and I came across a post called What Keeps You Paleo Motivated?  that really struck a chord with me. 

Whenever you decide to make a change in your lifestyle – whether it be to eat better, exercise more, quit smoking, get more sleep, or whatever else – it takes some serious motivation.  The post above talks about a few peoples’ individual motivations for choosing to eat paleo: they want to lose weight, fit into their jeans, succeed at living healthier, stop farting at work (seriously), ease their stomach pains… 

Clearly, it’s different for everyone (be thankful you’re not the guy who wants to stop farting audibly in front of his coworkers), and this motivation certainly changes over time.   At first, you may decide to eat better because you want to lose weight, but once it’s off, you may also realize that you’d felt crappy for a long time and now see that you never want to go back there. 

The piece of the article that really resonated with me though was this:

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For me, the answer to the question about what motivates me is feeling good.  When I eat better, drink water, and work out regularly, I feel better.  If I want to eat a bagel or an ice cream cone, I can… but I know what the consequences will be.  And when I don’t eat those things, it’s not because I can’t because I’m on some diet, or because someone told me I couldn’t… it’s because I choose not to. 

Of course, this mainly applies to eating for me, but it could apply to anything that you’re needing motivation for in your life.  Do you want to lose weight?  Then make the choice to eat healthier and do it.  Do you want to have more energy, stop bone loss, and get stronger?  Then make the choice to exercise at least a little bit every single day and do it.  Do you want to live longer?  Then make the choice to quit smoking/limit drinking/stop tanning/etc. and follow through.  Do you want to be happier? Then get out of that bad relationship, quit that dead-end job, or move to an apartment on the beach and get happy

Framing things out in this way really does help me feel less like a victim and more like a success story.  I don’t want to have stomach aches, so I choose to eat well as often as I possibly can.  I want to be fit and healthy, so I choose to get up early and workout.  I want to live a long life, so I choose to forego tanning, drink a lot of water, and learn about things that are good for me. 

Sometimes, it’s not easy.  Sometimes I say to myself ‘why are you bothering with all of this?’  Most people don’t spend half their Sundays cooking food for the week.  Most people don’t research restaurants before they go to make sure they can find something on the menu that won’t upset their stomach.  Most people don’t skip the bun on a burger.  Most people don’t get up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym and run around like a maniac.  So why should I make my life so much harder to do all of these things when I don’t have to? 

The answer is: because I choose to!

So, friends, what motivates you?  You may not eat paleo, but there has got to be something that you choose to go out of your way to do because you know it’s worth it. 

So… why do you do it?

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One Comment on “Why Do You Do It?”

  1. I can totally resonate with your last paragraph….I constantly feel like im theodd one out, the only pne who doesnt eat the pizza or cookies at a conference…the only one who doesnt grab a treat in the faculty room….i wonder if its wasted stress and feel left out. But then I remember why I do it!


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