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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    wow what a great blog!!
    439 days ago
    I love this. Yes, it is a struggle to re-form identity to include the fit and healthy self, but it is so worth the sweat and tears.
    457 days ago
    emoticon Powerful Blog! Showing some fancy footwork there, as you athletically bob and weave, the challenging inner journey to health! Good for you, Susan!
    459 days ago
    462 days ago
    What an awesome blog, I think I need to look at it like that Susan !
    462 days ago
    I'm trying to find the me that took care of God's temple he loaned me.
    462 days ago
    emoticon Great blog... I totally understand this. I've been questioning lately what my purpose is... What should I be doing?... I need to find a purpose for being here, otherwise I just feel like I'm wasting this life that God has blessed me with. It kind of falls in the same category you are talking about with regards to our identity and who we are. I haven't honestly liked myself for a long time. Just like you speak of, I've always been the largest Mom in the room at school events. I've always turned down any invitation by other Moms to do things, because I feel they're just inviting me to be nice, but not really wanting me to come, because I'm the fat & old one. (I'm 53 with an 8yr old. All the other mothers of my daughters friends are in their 20's & 30's). When really, maybe they weren't seeing me that way, who knows. I'll never know if I don't take the chance and accept an invitation someday. These are things I need to work on. It basically boils down to my self esteem. Which I can tell is already improving with the weight I have lost so far. I'm looking forward to feeling good about myself around others, and finding my purpose.
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    463 days ago
  • _BABE_
    This is a good reminder for me because it's how I attacked not smoking 25 years ago. I did not feel like I was losing something but gaining the identity of a health conscious non-smoker.


    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    463 days ago
    I remember through my journey in life that there was a time period when I felt the same as you..I was told a lot negative stuff about who I was and took on the labels that others made for me. i came from a background of abuse and neglect and abandonment.. I remember while sorting through my pain in therapy..there was a time when i felt just like you.. give up my pain and identity ...what would be left..who would I be..that was then.. I have sorted through all that stuff and realized that those labels were the labels someone gave me and I do not have to accept someone else's truth for who I has taken a lot of years to shed some of this stuff and frankly everyday is a new day and i am still sorting through ( I think it will be a lifelong process.. I once lost sixty pounds and was not ready for how other people responded to me.. I quickly gained it all back...weight loss is not just a number on the is a mindset also.. I liked your blog. I could relate to it and I thank you for such a honest expression of your feelings
    463 days ago
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