PART THREE: Finding Your Why.

Before We Talk Weight Loss…  (A 3 Part Series)

PART THREE: Finding Your Why.

By Karen Gasparick

Before We Talk Weight Loss… is a three part series about reframing and defining how we look at losing weight.  Read Part One  and Part Two in the series today.  Get more ROBOT Blogs and other great stuff delivered right to your email by signing up for our newsletter. 

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In this series, we look at Before and After photos in Part One and we repackage change.  In Part Two we reframe time and our perception of “fast” when it comes to transformation, as well as the age-old dilemma of “never having enough” time for ourselves and our goals.   In the final installment, we’re going to look at taking the step to beginning the quest for lasting vitality and “ROBOT Level Strength” in our lives.

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Everyone wants to know how to lose weight.  Such a simple question does not have a simple answer.  Every human's story makes the answer uniquely individual to the asker.  And, there are a lot of individuals.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics and the CDC in Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health., :

  • Percent of adults aged 20 and over with obesity: 37.9% (2013-2014)
  • Percent of adults aged 20 and over with overweight, including obesity: 70.7% (2013-2014)

Here are the stats from the same report on children aged 2-19:

  • Percent of adolescents aged 12-19 years with obesity: 20.6% (2013-2014)
  • Percent of children aged 6-11 years with obesity: 17.4% (2013-2014)
  • Percent of children aged 2-5 years with obesity: 9.4% (2013-2014)


(And the kids are along for the ride.)

The trend shows increasing numbers in the future.  Also from National Center for Health Statistics and the CDC in Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health., :

National Center for Health Statistics.  Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health. Hyattsville, MD. 2017.

National Center for Health Statistics.

Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health. Hyattsville, MD. 2017.

So we can see that there are a lot of people who are struggling with their weight, and overall vitality, at all ages.  We also know that there are tons of weight loss, fitness products and services on the market.  A google search for “weight loss and fitness” yielded About 38,400,000 results.  According to the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health,

 Americans spent $2 billion on weight loss supplements alone.    

That statistic does not include the billions of dollars that Americans spend on diets, processed “diet” foods, meal plans, and equipment for dieting.  The product market includes, scales for people, scales for food, food journals, smart trackers like Apple Watch and FitBit, phone apps, drink shaker thingies, and on and on.  

As a unique human just doing some googling, you’ll be bombarded with countless options for losing weight fast with varying amounts safety and efficacy.  You’re also going to be blasted with the top ten latest technology items you NEED and ads for all the cute leggings you must wear while you do it.  Deciding to make a profound change in your life feels impossible and terrifying when millions of search results and billions of dollars in products are blasted at the one and only human you.  


Take time to find your "why."

Our "why" is what stays with us through it all.

Starting on the path to feeling great doesn’t have to feel like drinking from a fire hose though.  Remember, you’re that unique human.  Your unique “why” or motivator, is already a part of your programming.  When you look at “why” you want to make a change, you’ll find that you don’t need to overhaul your whole life 100% on the first day.  The focus from “I need to do so much…” shifts over time to, “This is so fun.  I love this [fill in your activity here]!”  

The “why” is what will bring success that is real and lasts.  The “why” is often related to passion for an activity, love for our family and friends, and feelings like confidence, vitality, camaraderie, and strength.  When we look honestly at the “why” until we get to the root answer, we find motivation in a whole new way that outlasts the outfit you’re trying to fit into, and will be there after the event you trained for is over.  The “why” is what we learn when things go well and we achieve our goals.  The “why” is also there for us when we struggle and reminds us that we can do it and that there are others that believe in us.



In The Power of One Year I talk about how my journey began with biking.  Biking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and any kind of outdoor adventure led me to my "why."  Exercising and moving outdoors gave me a new freedom from severe panic and anxiety.  The feeling of freedom I have when I’m on a bike with no ceiling above me as I move in all directions with the air around my body - that sensation of having no limits - that is my “why.” The sensation that I am free and don’t have to feel trapped or scared is there for me as I train for each kettlebell teaching certification, it’s there for me on mile five in -2 degree cold hauling gear through the snow, it’s there for me when I achieve a max lift, it's with me when I help others learn about fitness, it’s there for me when I am stressed out about work and money and tired from an avalanche of real life.  It’s always there.  

Karen receives her RKC Certification.  Her "why" is the feeling of freedom, and it all started with just one bike ride.  Now, Karen's mission is to share what she's learned.  What's your "why"?

Karen receives her RKC Certification.  Her "why" is the feeling of freedom, and it all started with just one bike ride.  Now, Karen's mission is to share what she's learned.  What's your "why"?

That feeling of freedom was something that I found from taking just one step out of my comfort zone.  One mile on a bike was all it took.  I wasn’t eating a Paleo diet.  I wasn’t working out… ever.  I was in grad school and I was eating all the candy.  Riding one mile on a bike - taking one step into “what if…", was attainable.  I did it, and because I didn’t have to worry about millions of google results or billions of dollars of products while on that bike, I was freed up to feel how good it felt to have no ceiling over me and no fence around me.  I was able to enjoy feeling free.  

I was able to experience thriving in my life even before I’d lost 10 pounds.  I was able to take time for myself and not feel like it was being selfish because I saw right away how my improved mood was positively impacting my family, coworkers, and friends.  

Everyone’s “why” is unique.  I learned from talking to Jennifer, Nicole, and Beardy is that they are motivated by feelings and experiences rather than tangible objectives.  We see how positive experiences tend to build on each other, and how that framework for “just starting” leads to continuous learning and growth as a person.


Adventure inspires...

Enjoying nature to the fullest.

Jennifer Farr, age 42, is a Senior Art Director in Visual Merchandising.  She’s is inspired by the outdoors.  Jenn says:

I love to kayak, bike, run and so much more. Setting running and fitness goals allow me to pack up my kayak, paddle for 2-3 hours and unload gear on unpredictable terrain while still having energy to set up camp! 

Being confident as well as calm are a by-products of her dedication and training, and the feeling of independence and safety in changing outdoor environments of any kind allow Jenn to enjoy nature to the fullest.  As a working professional in a demanding job, Jennifer’s training also benefits her professionally.  She says:

Increasing and maintaining fitness also allow me to keep my mind clear, reduce my stress level and achieve challenging goals that require dedication and training.
Jennifer is confident and ready for anything.

Jennifer is confident and ready for anything.

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Inspired by travel...

Modern day explorer!

Nicole Sullivan is a 27 year old Store Planner and Designer.  Nicole is inspired by new experiences, especially travel.  Nicole says:

I love to travel because it fulfills other major loves of my life – food and adventure. Traveling allows me to be the foodie I am at heart as well as explore the world and take in new experiences. Often times when we are in a new city, or even a city we’ve visited before, we will walk EVERYWHERE.

When Nicole talks about fitness and also nutrition, she never talks about what she can’t do. What inspires me about Nicole is that she always talks about what fitness and nutrition ALLOW her to do.  Nicole says:

Fitness and health give me the freedom to get the absolute most out of my travels. I’ve been keto for 2 years now and I am no longer a slave to my stomach & I get to eat all the bacon I want. Strength training and CrossFit have become major components in my life because I want to be able to do that amazingly fun looking obstacle course 5K (adventure). Training has allowed me to not think twice about walking up and down the Las Vegas Strip all day. Like “hmmm I’ve got 20,000 steps and it only noon. Let’s keep walking!”

Like Jennifer, Nicole is also a busy professional that works a demanding schedule.  Nicole seeks out the wonder and amazement of the adventure and that is what motivates her to train and eat well.  She says:

Basically – fitness and health empower me to fulfill my desire to try new things with confidence. I’m constantly impressing myself with the things I am doing now that I couldn’t before.  I do this on weekday nights instead of going straight home to my PJs because I love being able to say “I’ve never done that before. Lets do it!”
Nicole achieves ROBOT Level strength at the Rugged Maniac Race.

Nicole achieves ROBOT Level strength at the Rugged Maniac Race.

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Nothing Holds Beardy Back.

Inspired to reach new heights...

James “Beardy” Gasparick is 43 and a BIM Designer.  Beardy is also an RKC Certified Kettlebell instructor, has lost ~100 lbs., and is a Contributing Editor The PurpleROBOT Network.  Beardy talks about his “why”:

I train to be functional so I can do whatever I set my mind to. I know that I don’t have anything holding me back if I want to try something that I never tried before. Or, if it’s something I tried before, I know that I can participate in that activity fully.

The feeling of confidence frees up Beardy’s mind to accept the challenge to take time for himself.  In years past, the thought of ALL THE STEPS AHEAD would have been overwhelming and stressful.  The feeling of confidence that Beardy finds from strength training opens up doors that may not have even been apparent behind the clutter of millions of search hits and billions of dollars worth of products.  Finding motivation from feeling confident also makes nutrition, rest, and mindfulness attainable for Beardy, even with a busy professional job and "real life" commitments just like everyone else.

Beardy and Jenn make training fun!  Testing out the hand crafted sled & snowshoe gear in preparation for an epic trek.  

Beardy and Jenn make training fun!  Testing out the hand crafted sled & snowshoe gear in preparation for an epic trek.  


Snowshoe on a REAL mountain?

One bike ride led to an adventure on Mt. Hood in Oregon.  

Where could one bike ride lead you?

I’m optimizing the transformation that my life is going through, and will continue to go through.   I’ve learned to  live a life full of opportunity and potential. I can have more fun.  I don’t have to worry if gear will fit me, I don’t have to worry if I will break the equipment at Lazer Tag, I don’t have to fear not participating in fun events because of my age, immobility, pain or just my physical size.  It started with just one bike ride.  Now the things that I love in video games and movies are things I can do in real life.  

Transforming my life to optimize strength and fitness has reinforced my belief that everyone deserves to be happy, everyone deserves to be well, and that every human machine has unlimited physical potential.   

What is your “why?”

What is one tiny, small thing that you can try in the face of millions of search hits and billions of dollars?

How will you share that with others?

You’re not alone.

I believe in you.

About the author.

Karen Gasparick worked for 20+ years in design offices.  While slaying PowerPoint presentations and bringing bad-assery to the holiday potluck lunch, Karen also found fitness and real, honest wellness.  Karen lost 130 pounds, and gained ROBOT Level Strength!  

Karen is now “H.R.I.C.” (Head Robot In Charge) at The PurpleROBOT Network.  Contact us to learn about workplace wellness workshops, seminars, and training today!  Karen is an RKC Certified Kettlebell Instructor, loves outdoor adventures, and lives in Milwaukee, WI.  She can be reached via email at:

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