WHY power versus WILL power by Tandy Gutierrez

Know Your WHY.

Be in love with your WHY.  

I am constantly guiding clients and M&K members to know your 'WHY'.

What the heck IS a WHY?

Why do you want to be healthier?
Why do you want to be more fit?
Why are you doing the Reset?
Why are you getting on the mat?
Why did you become an M&K member?

Your WHY is the thing or things that keeps you so emotionally connected and bound to your actions that you cannot fail and will very rarely falter. Your WHY is the thing you've taken time to think about, to journal about, meditate on, pray for, cry and scream over. It’s the thing you may really never want to tell anyone out loud. 

Your WHY is yours. It motivates and terrifies you at the same time. It is your hearts true wish and greatest fear. These two things are always so closely intertwined. When you know your WHY it's simply a matter of changing patterns, practices and habits to get to your goals. (Which is where I come in). 

Knowing WHY you are doing something is far more powerful than just feeling that you 'should' do something. You can 'should' yourself endlessly and never connect to your body. If you never connect to your body in a genuine and real way you simply won't make progress or get to your results. If you're only working out or eating clean because you know you 'should' or because your doctor, mother, best friend, partner told you need to.....it'll never stick. You have to do things for yourself, because YOU want to. You need to feel and taste it and be so 'in' your WHY that there is no derailing the step-by-step and day-to-day. Or when you do derail, you IMMEDIATELY hop back on, minus the guilt and ugly self-talk. You simply say ‘Well, that happened. I’m human. I’m learning. I’ll continue to practice. I’ll start again, now’.

Know your WHY. Get emotionally bound to it. Journal, post, email it to me if you are so inclined.  Dig into yourself and know why you're doing what you do. Make an active choice rather than simply filling time and marking off days.

Originally when we launched this business my WHY was to thrive, not just survive for my boys. I was terrified that I'd die and that my boys would no longer have a mom. I didn’t tell anyone this for an incredibly long time. I'd lived my life in limbo of feeling motherless (I'm adopted) and I didn't want any portion of that story for them. I kept loosing weight no matter what any doctor or practitioner or nutritionist advised. I was getting to the place of jitters, heart flutters and I was terrified of organ failure. Keep in mind, I didn’t look ‘that sick’ on the outside. After a life of ups and downs with my health pre and post kids, I finally snatched up my WHY (my boys) and committed to following my instincts, knowledge and intuition. I wrote the M&K Food Reset, I only did my own 30 minute workouts 2-6xs a week, I took momma 'time outs' when I needed to, rested with my boys more than I felt comfortable with, even when it hurt to ask for help and I let myself heal through self care, connection, awareness and listening to my gut instincts. 

My health had taken such scary twists and turns. It was not simple. It was not a straight forward 'success' of bells and whistles. I had emotional meltdowns, arguments with family members about all of it, the food, the results, all the tests that came back negative of ‘real’ issue. There weeks I felt terrible and felt like a failure and I had setbacks. But each time I went back to my WHY. I thought about how sad, hurt and alone they would feel minus a momma for all the parts of their lives and I warriored on. Slow. Steady. Committed. And eventually, healing happened. My energy levels increased, depression came less frequent, anxiety just didn't crop up, I started to put on a little weight, my acne cleared up, stomach distress lessened and 1.5 years later...I was at my healthy goal weight, with clear skin and far less bowel issues. 2 years later there was more upswing, stronger, more muscle on my body, better bowel health and if I stick to the foods I knew worked for me I had zero belly issues. 3 years later I’ve added in many foods that I couldn’t touch most of my adult life, I can workout past the 30 minute mark without complete wipe out the week following, I don’t fear anxiety, panic or depression. I can focus on the incredibly deep and challenging experience of being a mother and be present for their experiences rather than being consumed by mine.

I had finally figure out how to not only manage my lifestyle and issues but to make progress in a calm thoughtful, consistent manner. My WHY won. My WHY saved me.

My WHY now changes from time to time. So will yours. That's normal. But I always have one. I still go back to the original one. It's the strongest. It's the WHY that makes me smile and cry at the same time. It's the one I'm bound to at my heart and therefore bound to in m actions.

Fitness is just like life, it's continually evolving. But the things that wake you up inside with equal joy and fear are the things that will guide you to your successes. 

Once you really connect to your WHY try writing out 10-50 reasons WHY you want it. By the time you finish you literally won't have room for excuses, you'll be so engrained with your WHY. Your choices and habits will simply be what you do rather than be a struggle. 

WHY power allows you to make choices and proceed with care rather whereas willpower forces your had to avoid things but never rewards you with you long term goal.

For years you have tried to push through with willpower. You pushed. Forced. Held strong and resisted 'breaking'. You white knuckled through a 'diet' or workout for 30, 60 or 90 days. Willpower is rigid and short lived. Willpower is forced. Willpower is actually weak. It can't bend and curve and navigate with education. It simply stands stock-still. Holding its breath till the short term time is up. Willpower doesn't last. It's mean spirited and disrespectful to your body. It forces you through things that aren't comfortable rather than educating you to twist and turn with the ups and downs of life. Willpower causes stress. WHY power soothes and calms because it carries the care of the bigger picture.

Willpower is a noun. It means the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action. Willpower is inherently based in the short term decision making. It doesn't teach you how to adjust, choose, embrace, or evolve for the long term. Willpower says 'NO' whereas WHY power says, not right now because 'insert goal here _______' is worth far more to me in the long run then this 'insert food, tv show, beverage, inertia here ________' will never mean to me and the life I want.

Willpower delays instant gratification, by definition. WHY power ensures long-term gratification.

WHY power instills that you have a hold on the bigger picture and are willing to live by your moral compass rather than your reptilian response for immediate pleasure. 

Final note: You've got to simply not care what anyone else thinks about you. Not your family, your partner, your teachers or even your friends. You have to love and want your best self and know that by taking care of you, you can better take care of others, be a positive force in the world, create, solve, assist better. Do what you need and want for you to be at your best. Tune out the junk, the grumpy gusses and the nay-sayers. This is your journey. Not theirs. If you don't stand up and hang on to your WHY no one else will. WHY power lasts a lifetime, Willpower lasts 30-90 days. Which power are you claiming for your fitness & wellness?


Gutierrez is an internationally recognized Pilates and fitness instructor to celebrities, athletes and everyone in between. Former regional director of Pilates for Equinox Fitness Southern California region, co-founder of Mat & Kitchen (matandkitchen.com) and mother of two boys. Tandy has a background as a professionally trained dancer with 20 years of injury and movement to draw from. She has been featured in Elle, Seventeen, Allure magazines and many more. Consistently ranked as one of the top Pilates instructors in the U.S. In over 15 years of study, practice and teaching she has honed a unique style of Pilates, Yoga and strength infused fitness that is both kind and intelligent and extremely effective. She has also developed a complete food and self-care lifestyle that supports her fitness regimen known by her member community around the world as "The M&K Life".

Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/modify_lightbox_snippet.liquid Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/modify_lightbox_snippet.liquid