Episode 5: When “Finding Your Why” Is More Trouble Than It’s Worth

If you've been in the fitness world for any length of time, you'll know there's been a shift in what goals are seen as more popular and other goals are seen as shallow, or even fat phobic. 

There's a lot of pressure to "find your why", but what I've realized is sometimes this really means "find a why that's acceptable to everyone" or "make sure your intentions are pure and virtuous"...

It can create a whole new set of issues. 

This episode is my honest thoughts on this good-on-the-surface idea, and you'll hopefully come away feeling a little happier about the various goals you might have for *your* body.

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Hi, everyone, welcome back to The Equipped with Strength Podcast. My name is Marianne Kane. And today I wanted to talk a little bit about finding your why and why sometimes it can be more trouble than it's worth. And a lot of times, people become very focused on making sure that their "why" is pure, like, their true "why". And it's great. I get that that sounds like a great idea. But I feel, at least for me, something that I do is start thinking in black and white terms. And I start to question why my why is that? And also, should it be that? And how do I force myself to have a different why when the reality is, is not the thing that everyone thinks it should be? And it's actually something say, more superficial, or it just is, and I don't really know why I want something.  

So what I'm really talking about is when you want an aesthetic goal, but you're not sure why or what's driving you to want that. And there could be some confusion, and maybe stress about deciding to go for a more aesthetic goal than because you're worried that you're just falling for the ideal, the pressure, the socialization, of wanting to look good, you know, because that's what is expected of you as a woman. But at the same time, you still can't deny that for whatever reason, you still want to look good, you still want to chase that, you know, you still want to have that nice the shape, you want to have toned and maybe muscular arms you like when you see your triceps, you want more quad definition, you want a nice round butt, you want a tiny waist, whatever it is, like, I think sometimes we can get ourselves wrapped up. And when I say ourselves, I mean, yes, I mean myself, get wrapped up in really finding a pure answer that you're happy with, when the reality is that maybe there is no one answer. And maybe it's okay, if you don't know why.  

Are you going to stop yourself from going ahead with something because you're not sure if your motives are pure. I can tell you now, I have done this, I have literally been doing this for the last few years, holding myself back, because I'm afraid and this is what is ironic. And it's hard for me to admit. But I've been holding myself back because I worried I'd be judged for just going down that path, the predictable path again, off yet another woman wanting to look good, wanting to be lean and small and whatever. But isn't that also letting other people's ideals shape my behavior? It's the very same thing as on the other side of the coin is the very same coin. And what I had to realize was that it's not an either or, and that sometimes goals and the things you want, you will never know the real Why? After all, there's so many things that we do, though, that so many behaviors that we have, and so many things we do that we'll never really know why. But we put a why on it, we come up with a narrative that makes sense to us. And we piece dots together because, you know, we need to have answers. As people like we're humans, we love stories, we love putting reasons on things. And it's important for us to have that picture to make sense of our world. But the thing is, is that it's totally up to us individually to shape that narrative. And we can also change it.  

And so what I've had to do, because what I'm working on at the minute is a program which is more geared toward what would be seen as an aesthetic goal. And I was having trouble reconciling this within myself as I move forward with it thinking *gasp* again, the *gasp* what would people think like I'm having this whole other membership Equipped with Strength where I'm helping less is more like, just be fit for life and I can't have a program where I help people get a nice butt like, I can't have that because it's not an alignment. But who am I to tell you why you should do something or why you shouldn't do something who might say, okay, you want this? If I've a personal training client comes to me and says I want to lose weight. Why do you want to lose weight? I mean society because society is fat phobic? Like what's wrong with fat? 

Like, is that really my place to do that? And if it's really not, by the way, it's just not but it feels That's sort of a way that I am some kind of moral leader. And I have to make a statement with everything I do. But at the same time you can, you can hold your own values in alignment with also wanting to look better. Because ultimately, and even if you can say, Oh, I want to look better for myself, I hear that one a lot. And I've tried to say that and it's like, well, I mean, I guess? but well if I look good for myself, it's, it's also because I look, I'm getting compliments, or because I feel I feel just better because I fit in or, you know, whatever it is like I feel athletic again, I feel like I am a fitness person. And regardless of whether you think that's right or wrong, or there's been socialized towards internalized misogyny, or whatever it is, at the end of the day, you'll never really know. And it's probably a bit of both is probably Yeah, you actually maybe do want that. And yes, it's also probably because we've been brought up that way. And I think it's okay. And I sometimes get wrapped up in my why, and I need to have it pure and it needs to be or everything has to be aligned. But the reality is, is that we are people and we don't always make sense. The reasons we do things will never all line up.  

And so I want to just make the point of a talk a lot about my my dislike, and disapproval of ever being forced to have to do something because somebody else thinks it's how you should look. Right? I don't like that. But at the same time, I can't become that. That's not my I'm not here to tell other people how they should believe about aesthetic goals. So I just want to make this a very short episode, because otherwise it will turn into a ramble. But as I pursue, say, from my own, you know, my own fitness goals, if I do want to attain more lean physique again, and which I do, what was stopping me was questioning all but that would be hypocritical. But realizing that two things can be true, to some people, that may seem hypocritical. And I may never know really, what it is driving me, I just know that I feel better about myself. When I'm, I look more athletic, I can do more, when I'm leaner. I can do more push ups, I can do better pull ups, I can do pull ups at all, when I'm a bit leaner.  

So if I organize my thoughts a little bit before this, because I do tend to go off on tangents. So I wanted to come back to sometimes finding your why, your way isn't really helpful. I think it can be a little bit helpful. But don't get too focused on it.  

Don't let it hold you back from moving forward. Just like it's held me back a little bit recently. Be flexible (so this is your takeaways, now, right?) so be flexible about your why the reasons some motivations, and don't judge it. Okay, and don't force it to be something that's not.  

Here's the other thing, I've realized that you can and this is the third takeaway be open to having more than one Why? Or be open for that why to actually change over time, it will shift. And maybe you have several reasons why everyone will. And one will become more prominent certain times of your life, and then it'll fall away a bit, and then another one, and then it kind of just recycles. And maybe you'll come back around to one being more dominant than the other. If you think about it in those terms, really, there's a million different reasons why, but I think that sometimes we do tend to focus on what's the, I guess, more virtuous ones that people you know, wouldn't. It's almost like a virtue signaling thing, that my reason is to, you know, empower myself and others. And that may be a reason. But maybe you just want to have a nice, you want to fit into something that's sexy, like and?  

so there's kind of like a funny, either or, or like shame over having certain goals. And maybe it's just me, but I have noticed that a few a few people who approached me for training would be a little more reluctant to say that they want to lose weight, or that they want to look a certain way and when we It really got down to it, they've almost lost their entire motivation for, for training, because they don't have, they don't feel good about chasing that goal anymore. Because people say, they should be happy with how they look, the way that they just are. But just the reality is that they're not. And they kind of forced themselves to think and feel something that they that they don't. And I totally get that. Because even if I agree that yes, that's probably it's not nice feeling like you have to always be smaller, but at the same time, just be compassionate with yourself to fact that you still do want to be smaller, and then find a way to feel good about the journey that you're on, because ultimately, they're still being fit and healthy. The thing is, just if you're placing the sort of the say, or the judgment of your goals on other people, regardless of whether it's "good" or "bad" goal, then it's the same problem. Doesn't matter whether it's a good or bad thing, it's, it's more that you're placing that on somebody else.  

And that it really comes back to taking ownership and being unapologetic about your goals and not feeling like you have to explain yourself. And this is another pitfall that I tend to fall into. I know a lot of people do. And it's, I think it's okay, that we do this. But ultimately, to move forward. I think you have to have a different dialogue to yourself and a different story. And just telling yourself, this is really helped me, this is not a moral statement. Everything I do does not have to be a stance on something. It's just something I want to do. And if you don't like it, look away. So those types of things helped me is like, what am I really getting upset about? Nobody cares what I'm doing. nobody really cares. And so to think that they do enough to make me not do something is on some level, a kind of it is a narcissism. It is a kind of narcissistic way of thinking that other people are constantly waiting for me to do something or they're going to judge what I've done. And if they do, then it's really none of their business anyway. So what was I worried about?  

So have a think, not, I want you to think anymore, don't overthink it, okay, trip yourself up on it. But just think it can be flexible, don't judge it. And there can be more than one why. And sometimes just moving forward is enough to shift those things around, you really start to when you take action toward things, and when you just let go of trying to explain it. Just go for it, own it, and then see what happens. Be open to evolving because it ultimately will anyway, and hopefully you'll be a lot more happy on the journey if you just expect that all to happen.  

So hopefully you enjoyed this episode. Keep an eye out for an announcement if you're not on my email list, sign up at MyomyFitness.com or you can head over and subscribe for the next episode of The Equipped with Strength Podcast. I'm going to be back soon to interview my husband, Jonathan Fass. He's a physical therapist and expert in pain. And we're talking about pain because I know that's another thing that can hold people back and just ruin the journey when you constantly think there's something going wrong with your body. When you think that you're doing things wrong, you're going to hurt yourself more cause more damage. Let's talk about that a little bit more as a bit of an extension on the injury interview I did with Travis Pollen. Jonathan and I will discuss this more in terms of the realm of pain, and the bio, or the psychosocial factors involved in a pain experience. He's going to help us understand those things a bit more.  

So until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Tell me your thoughts on this idea like how do you do you struggle to reconcile and own your own goals? Do you allow other people's opinions and judgments of certain goals influence how you move forward in those and does that affect your happiness as you do?  And ultimately, I wanted to be honest with you that these are things that I think about and wonder and struggle with. And I think it's okay to constantly be questioning yourself to a point right? But like what's happened to me hopefully it won't keep you paralyzed and afraid to move forward.

So until Next time, think about it, let me know Comment in the section on YouTube or send me a message, Marianne@EquippedwithStrength.com. And I'd love to know your thoughts and I always reply to the emails personally. So you can always let me know what you think about this episode and I'll talk to you soon. Bye

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