In Fort Collins, Yoga Studio

By Cheryl Hansen


We’ve all heard it before when it comes to goal-setting: know your “why.” Why do you want to retire at 55? Why do you want to earn a Masters in art history? Why do you want to be on “Naked and Afraid”? The reason, it seems, is that when your journey gets good and tough—like when you’re deciding whether to splurge on that boat… or eat a tarantula in the buff—you can summon your why and stay the course.


I have more than one why when it comes to my desire to lose weight, get strong and chill the hell out in my head.

There’s the shallow why: I’d like to be able to grab anything from my closet and feel good when I put it on. I’d like to walk around naked and feel good about it (not that I would, but it would be nice if I could).


There’s the practical why: I’m simply not as healthy as I should be. (This should have come first, probably, but that would be dishonest.)


There’s the parental why: It’s important to me to set a good example for my kids—my daughter in particular. I need to model good behavior—from eating healthy to exercising to dealing with stress in a positive way. With that comes the kind of confidence I hope my kids will find for themselves and carry into adulthood. I want to model that, too.


There’s the competitive why: I have a good job, a great family and love where I live. I am proud of my ability to make stuff happen in my life. But this? This whole long-term-fit-inner-peace thing? I haven’t figured it out.




But I’m working on it. I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety for the last few days—my mind spinning nonstop about how to overcome it. I’d find myself looking for some magic fix—the piece of information that would suddenly make the hard stuff possible when it wasn’t before.


But today I did three things: I took a walk. I took a yoga class. And I wrote down every why that came to mind.


And just like that, I’m staying the course.


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