What Is Your Why?

Too often in life we have the wrong reasons we want to do certain things, especially in the area of fitness. Motives like, “I want to look good at my high school reunion to make everyone jealous” have a negative tone to them and will never lead to lasting results. Other things, like “I want a 6-pack” or “I want to look hot in a bikini” are all superficial and vain and usually aren’t good enough reasons to attack the fitness lifestyle with vigor and tenacity.

You must drill deeper and enter an emotional space that you may not have explored for years. You may be surprised by what you dig up. This process of discovery will hopefully reveal emotions that have been buried beneath the protective layers of justification and forgetfulness, and need to be exposed to help you experience success in the true sense of the word.

If this seems silly to you, or difficult, or meaningless, that’s totally fine. Give it a try, and as you open yourself up to the process of self-discovery, come back to it again and again. Things that mean nothing to you today can suddenly come to life for you. That’s exciting stuff!

Here’s what I suggest you do. When determining your “why,” go at least 4 to 5 levels deep with your answers. It might look something like this:

I want to get in shape because:

  1. I want to look better in a bathing suit.


Now ask yourself why do you want to look better in your bathing suit.


2). I want my spouse to be attracted to me!


Why do you want your spouse to be attracted to you?


3). I feel like we’ve been growing apart.


Why do you think you’ve been growing apart?


4). My spouse flirts with other people and I’m feeling jealous.


OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Why do you feel jealous?


5). I think my spouse is attracted to other people because I’m overweight and I’ve been grumpy every day because I hate the way I look.


See where I’m going with this? This type of emotional exercise has brought up some deep things with my clients. Things like:

  1. Sexual/Emotional Abuse
  2. Rape
  3. Buried Emotional scars inflicted by spouses

Once you get to this level of determining your personal “why,” it becomes more important to stick with a program and see it through until you get significant results.

Understand this, however…If you don’t love yourself now, losing weight won’t change things. Accepting who you are and how special and unique God made you is more important than you realize. It’s like that saying, “If you’re not happy with one dollar, then you won’t be happy with a million.”

Chances are, most of you will discover the best motivation to change is so you can be a shining example of what good CHOICES produce for your loved ones.



Clark Bartram has earned his reputation as "America’s Most Trusted Fitness Professional." In everything he does, Clark puts forth 100% in the hopes that he can benefit men and women who care enough about themselves and the people they love to do what it takes to "Live the Lifestyle." As a professional fitness model, Clark has appeared easily on the cover of over 130 fitness publications and is considered one of the most successful models in the industry. As a personal trainer, Clark has helped thousands of people transform their bodies and their lives, and is an ISSA Master Trainer. He is also the author of the how-to guide, You Too Can Be A Fitness Model, Spiritually Fit, A Fitness Program You Can Have Faith In and his most recent best selling book called Where Your Mind Goes, You Go.

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