Earlier this week, I read this, written by my PT Chris, and it got me thinking that I talk about goals and my training on here and over on my Twitter, but probably never put into words why I do it and why it makes me happy.

I agree with Chris that it is really important to know WHY you are doing something. You don't have to take to public domain and broadcast why you are doing something (like me!), but as someone who has talked about my weightloss journey in the past, I thought it could be beneficial to others and possibly interesting to hear about why I have decided to undertake such changes!?

As you may or may not know, I started training and attempting to change my weight and lifestyle back in April 2013. I set myself the challenges of wearing #myfirstbikini in Summer 2013, the Herve Leger #adresstoimpress project over Christmas, running the 10k in May 2014 and now I am looking towards where I want to go next, which is to be healthy and in great shape by the time I turn 30 next year.

Initially, I have to be honest, the goal was to lean out and be happier with the way I looked.

Was I happier by looking better? In some ways, yes, in others no.

The same bumps in the road happened, I still had various things to deal with and I can't say that being lighter made me cope with the curve balls any better than I would have done back when exercise wasn't a part of my life.

However, I think one of the benefits of starting something like this was that the choices I made, when faced with a bit of a crap time, were healthier. I tried to not turn to food as a comfort and stuck with routine as best I could. I firmly believe this is what made me snap back quicker than I would have done otherwise.

So, in conclusion, being healthy is what has made me happy. The by-product of the healthier lifestyle is that my skin doesn't get me down anymore, clothes shopping isn't a chore and I am not restricted to the few shops that catered for larger sizes. My fitness has improved ten fold and I am genuinely so proud of myself for completing the Manchester 10K and the Color Run. That makes me happy. What started as probably quite vain goals has contributed to me taking my fitness seriously and working towards projects that push me to challenge myself.

In deciding what my next goal would be I had a long hard think about what would make me happy. What would make me stay committed and what would give me the satisfaction that I want, to justify the inevitable days ahead where I might have to make some sacrifices to achieve said goal. I am approaching a milestone birthday, the big 3-0.

When I look back to my big 2-1, I have realised that I wasn't happy. Don't get me wrong, I had a lovely time, I celebrated my 21st when on Holiday in Miami and then had a fancy dress party when I returned home. I had and continue to have fantastic friends and family around me, but the memories I have from that year taint the positive ones in all honesty. I had some personal circumstances that I won't go into, but I can't say that I look back on my last milestone birthday all that fondly.

This is why it is important to me to feel better about myself as I approach my birthday. Everyone wants to look nice on their birthday and obviously that is a big part of my goal, but equally I want to feel happy. Be happy with how I look, feel, the people around me, the lot.

Along with the fitness, joining a gym, eating better etc I have said yes to events and experiences that I would never have done back when I was 21. If you had mentioned a run to me back in the day I would have given you a death glare at such a stupid remark. I would never have gone to a festival, not just because of the 'no washing' element, but because standing all day would have seemed too much like hard work. I have friends and people around me who encourage me to be healthy and happy and 'get' why I feel the need to do this. It is important to me and I am committed to making it happen.

This to me is one of the biggest benefits of goal setting, the positive parts that come along with it. By having goals I have proactively put myself in challenging situations, and yes, at times I have had a crisis of confidence and not been sure if I can do it, but each time I have given it my best shot. I have also figured that a lot of the journey can be a 'happy' experience too. You just have to open yourself up to it, be ready for the challenge and know that your end goal will make you happy.

So I am now going to pass on Chris' question and ask 'are you actually happy?' What is your answer?

I think it's a thought provoker of a question!

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