Thursday, February 06, 2020
Who do you think you are? By that I mean, when you think of who you are, what are the bits and pieces that come to mind?
Are you a parent, a sibling, a friend? Are you the job you do? How about your hobbies? Is that who you are?
I heard a statement a while ago relating to identity, and how that plays out on a weight loss journey. It was that the key to changing your body, is to change your identity.
For some reason, this hit me pretty hard. I got emotional, had a little cry, and then started thinking about why that was.
It comes down to who I think I am and I was afraid that changing my identity might somehow result in losing my "self." I'm 62, and have a pretty good idea of "who I am." However, as I thought about it, did my identity include fit and healthy? If parts of my identity are my relationships, does that include my relationship to food and exercise? Do I really think of myself as a fit and healthy and am I a person who uses food and exercise as my keys to being fit and healthy?
I realized from the beginning, that a lot of this journey was going to be mental in nature. That what the brain believes the body will respond to. I knew that I'd have to make a lot of changes, both in the kitchen and in getting the body moving. I guess I just thought those things lived outside my sense of self.
The pitfall is that if they live outside of me, are not a part of my identity, then it's easy to let them go when that next bit of temptation comes along, whether it's driving through for fast food, or deciding I can't exercise for some reason.
Re-crafting my identity is tough business. I've always been the heaviest one in the room. Even 90 pounds down, I'm still the heaviest one in the room. But I'm telling myself that fit and healthy and not the heaviest one in the room ME is inside, working her way out. Some days I'm more successful at it than others, but I'm determined to keep plugging away until I have shed the fat that hides fit and healthy me from the world.
It's not so much losing myself as finding the new improved version of myself and that's not an identity crisis, that's an identity victory.