My Motivation Has a Name...Almost

On March 28, (give or take) I’m going to become a dad for the first time. This thought is inconceivable to me, yet seems perfectly natural.

Friends and family promise me that I’m in for the biggest and best adventure of my life. In the next breath, they also warn me that I’m in for thousands of the craziest, most maddening days I’ll ever hope to see.

And I’m cool with that. Because there’s a thought that calms me down and pushes me forward every day – he (for sake of discussion) only wants one thing right now. And I know that I can give it to him.

Sure, he’ll need a house and a room and a place to sleep. He’ll need Halloween costumes, birthday candles and hidden Easter eggs. When he’s 16, he’ll need me to get out of the car so he can pick up his Homecoming date alone. When he’s 30, he’ll probably need me to babysit his kids.

But for now, he really only needs one thing from me – to be at the top of my game. He needs a Dad who’s fit enough, healthy enough and happy enough to do what needs done and have fun doing it. He needs a Dad with enough energy reserves to light up Sioux City, Iowa. He needs a Dad who’ll be playing on the floor more than lying on the couch. He needs a quick, clear thinker, a heavy lifter, and an all-around fixer of things mechanical and personal.

I know that as long as I’m fit and healthy, I can give him anything else he needs. This is my main motivation for my fitness goals.

What’s yours?

Have you ever stopped to think about why you really feel the need to lose weight, get in shape or pursue any other goal? Where in your life do you need to be a "heavy lifter"? Is there something big you’d like to achieve? Is someone (your boss, kids, spouse, community) counting on you? Are you counting on yourself?

Your future depends on what you do today. Choices you make now can affect you (and others) for years down the road. Even the smallest decisions – when added up over time – will determine whether you wind up at the top of your game or struggle along with the status quo.

Skipping a workout may not seem like a big deal. But think of what is really motivating you to lose weight. Is it worth risking that for the sake of watching another "Frazier" rerun? Throwing in the towel after eating a few too many cream puffs isn’t hurting anyone – unless you count yourself and your loved ones.

For your weight loss goals to succeed, your main motivation should grip your attention like a new love. Your main motivation is the best reason you can think of for getting up, getting active and getting healthy.

Do you know what yours is?

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Member Comments

thank you Report
Being the only parent left for my two girls, being the only grandparent left for 3 of my 4 grandchildren, needing to be strong enough to take care of myself - my reasons. Report
Great article, great responses. Report
At my age, and after many years of postponing the healthy decisions, my motivation right now is to avoid the nursing home. Report
It's been 14 years since you wrote this. Hope you loved all those crazy parent moments. Thanks for the reminder of why health is so important. Keeping up with the kids and the grandkids is so important. Report
It's all by choice, SparkFriends and I choose to motivate myself. If I can watch TV for an hour, shop or be on a computer, I can use some of that time at the gym and still, make time for the things I prefer to do. No regrets in not getting it done. Report
Good article. Report
my health is my motivation Report
The name of my motivation is me. Report
My Motivation is My Granddaughter! Can't Get Better Than That! No Excuses! Report
Great article Report
WOW! Great blog! I'm way past the 'kid needing me' stage, but grandkids are in my future! Report
I used to live with external motivators. I choose to be healthy for my own self.

Selfish? It depends. In my case, it's not.

I used to live my life for others. Doing differently is simple. Not easy. Report
great article.
my motivators can change from one day to the next, yes, family, friends, my son, number one is my health and being here for awhile longer.
and some days its just trying to get my pants pulled up. Report
Thank you for your thought-provoking ideas, Mike.

I will admit, I had to think about it for a minute when you posed the question, "what motivates you?" I am new to Spark People and have spent the last hour or so setting goals and writing motivational phrases for myself. I set my goals based on events like an upcoming cruise, clothing like that cute white suit I bought 20 pounds ago that I only wore once because it barely fit when I got it and competition like my sister in law who can't weigh an ounce more than 120 pounds.

But are these motivations really enough? Do they get to the root of who I am and create lasting, substantive change? They must not, because I am still fat.

My children motivate, yes. I know they love me just as much at 186 pounds as they would if I weighed 140. I know they love cuddling up on my somewhat squishy chest and tummy. And I know they will always look up to me in one way or another, simply because I am their mother. But will they fail to live life to the fullest because I didn't set an example for them? When my daughter is 28 years old like me, will she feel the same shame I feel when I see a photo of myself or go shopping for a new pair of pants? I hope and pray not. Because I want my children to be the best, most confident, most productive people they can be and change the world -- because I know they can -- I must show them how.

Just as I know my daughters have the potential to do great things, I know that I have the potential to do great things, too. I am not living up to that potential now. And for some unknown reason my weight and the way I feel about myself affect the energy I emit and the way I relate to the world.

So, what motivates me? It is the power I now is locked inside that I must release before I can do what I am supposed to do in this life. It is my untapped ability to make others happy to motivate them to live their best life and be their best self.

If 41 pounds is all that stands between me and that kind of influence, then bring it on. Report


About The Author

Mike Kramer
Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.