Yesterday I was talking with someone who wanted me to give them some advice on how to get back to the gym, how to get back into working out, maybe even an exercise routine. I could have answered him with the usual list of reasons why it’s important to exercise and take care of ourselves, but the truth be told, I think we already know those reasons. Instead, I turned the question back around and asked him why he wants to get back into the gym, back into a routine of working out. If slim summer bodies and six-pack abs were really what inspired people to workout, we would be some of the fittest people on the planet. It’s pretty much guaranteed that every month, every fitness magazine on the stands promises us the newest (not to mention easiest way to get cut, ripped, jacked, and sculpted) but it turns out that getting cut, ripped, jacked, and sculpted are horrible, extrinsic motivators. Soon after we realize our genes weren’t sewn together by supermodels, and that in the real world we can’t be constantly airbrushed within an inch of our life, we give up on the whole “working out” thing because it’s too hard and we’ve already set ourselves up for failure by making unrealistic expectations our only goal for doing it.