If you want to be fit so you can be worshiped like this, you’re in for more bondage. If your identity is in this, you’re bound to maintain it forever or you’ll cease to be who you think you are. Who are you when your body betrays you and you can’t maintain that image? Time is not your friend.
      
Wrong motive #3: Seeking happiness and contentment

Do you think that if you lost weight and looked like the cultural ideal you would be happy and content? You need to know that’s a big lie. Some of the most beautiful people on the planet are among the most insecure.

Think about it: if the reason people want to be around you is to bask in the glow of your outward appearance, don’t you begin to wonder if they like you for who you really are? If you didn’t look the way you do would those same people still be around or would they find someone else? Is that happiness? And then you become afraid to even go down to the supermarket without getting all dolled up lest someone see you looking less than perfect. Is that contentment?

Getting fit is a good objective, but if you’re doing it to achieve some kind of bliss you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Wrong motive #4: Trying to snag a mate

Now let me speak a moment to my single friends out there. Are you wanting to start a fitness program to look better so you can attract a mate? If so, that’s a bad motivation.

If you’re a man, are you comparing the girls you meet to the ideals you’re fed in magazines, movies, and television? Are you comparing yourself to the abs-of-steel men on the fitness magazines, thinking that if you could only look like those guys then a girl would like you? If you’re a woman, do you think that if you looked like the Cosmo cover then you could score a husband?

I don’t have to tell you this is not even close to being the right motivation. “Why?” you may ask, “What’s wrong with wanting to get in better shape and health to find a spouse?” Guess what happens when you do find that special someone: you stop doing all those healthy activities. Maybe not right away, but eventually. You figure, “Hey, who do I have to impress? I have someone now. My work is done. Honey, where are the chips?”

Don’t think I know what I’m talking about? Well, according to a study done at Cornell University and published in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine, researchers discovered that newlyweds gain more weight than singles or even people who are divorced or widowed. Interesting, you say. Another study, reported in Obesity Research, demonstrated an average weight gain of six-to-eight pounds in just the first two years of marriage.

Here’s the other thing: if the person you married wanted you for your looks and then you let your looks go, what’s going to happen? Do you really want to be married to someone who cares about you only for your appearance? How long are you willing to keep it up after you get your mate that way?
      
The right motive

Have you ever rented a car? I want you to picture a trip on which you get stuck with your least favorite car in your least favorite color. Now, even though you’re not exactly crazy about this car, you still exercise a certain degree of caution when driving it, right? You also you don’t get depressed over it because, guess what, you’ll be giving it back soon.

You take good care of it while it’s signed under your name. You don’t run into curbs, scrape the tires, bang it into things, or anything else. Why is that? Because the car is not really yours, and eventually it has to be returned. While you have it, it’s your responsibility, so you treat it well.