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Changing Your "Self Identity" To Better Your Weight & Health?

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Old 03-14-2014, 12:00 PM   #1
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Default Changing Your "Self Identity" To Better Your Weight & Health?

I thought this was a very interesting article. Where did you find (if you have) the changeover from overeater, non exerciser, whatever, to someone who intuitively makes the best choices? If you haven't do you think you will?



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Old 03-14-2014, 12:04 PM   #2
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It was when I turned 50. Hit me like a ton of bricks. The time was now. I wanted to prevent going on a statin or BP medicine. I wanted a trimmer waist. I wanted to hopefully keep a sharp mind until the end. I just decided I had eaten enough Oreo cookies to fill a couple lifetimes.

I decided instead of wishing I was an exerciser to just BECOME an exerciser. Even if I wasn't the "best" exerciser. Even if I was the "worst" exerciser. Last week I did my first 5K. No big deal, really. I already do more than that nearly every time I run now. Fast? No. But I just do it. I sort of have to. If I stop in the middle, there's no other way to get back home!
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:54 PM   #3
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Ha! Mad Donnelly, I love that-- you have to get home somehow right? That's what I SHOULD DO.

Jane, I hope to be that exerciser. It's amazing-- when I'm into it and doing it, I don't want to stop. But then... It just becomes so easy to let it slip away, though, those good habits. The constant exercise and moving. One day you don't feel good, or life gets crazy, and you just don't do it today. Then tomorrow. And on and on. I wish it were a good habit that after repeating (what do they say?) 21 times that you've created a new habit.

But just as easily as you can create a habit, it becomes habit NOT TO!!

Same with eating. Old habits sneak in even when you've created new ones. Creatures of habit? I don't think we are, unless that includes lifetime bad habits!! I want to fix this, too. And maintain forever. It's too easy to be bad instead of good and healthful.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:55 PM   #4
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I personally believe that my current identity was ALWAYS rooted in my past identity. My eating habits and exercise schedule are COMPLETELY different than in the past.
But here is the thing; While my habits have changed, I don't believe that I changed or that my identity changed. I always was this person. Even years ago when I was Class III obese (according to BMI).
My identity has not changed. At all.
I think we are just all in the process of becoming who we already are... like already are inside our minds or inside our souls... but we have make an effort to get there. That's what our struggles are about. It makes sense when I think about lol.

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Old 03-14-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
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This is actually something I'm actively trying to get away from. I've always tried to force myself to eat healthy- if I felt like eating pasta I'd eat chicken and vegetables, etc. I'd force myself to eat certain ways according to a diet plan- I'd eat a potato if I wanted protein, or I'd eat meat and cheese if I wanted carbs.

I got tired of forcing myself to eat what I didn't want, when I didn't want, the way I didn't want for the sake of a diet. I also think there is nothing more unnatural than counting things- carbs, calories, grams of fiber, whatever. I used to weigh my food on the postal scale at work so I could track it.

Now I'm reclaiming who I am. I eat nourishing, healthful meals most of the time but if I want to eat pizza for breakfast like I did this morning I will. I love food. That's who I am. I love the taste of food and I will damn well enjoy it even if it's not "healthy". I find that food is most enjoyable when I'm hungry and when I don't overeat it- I like feeling light after meals without a big full stomach.

So no, I don't agree with this article. I've tried the identity change to a healthy person. That's not who I am. I'm done with being pretentious and doing things just because they are "healthy" or "cool" or "good for you". I love to exercise because it makes me feel good. I love to eat but not overeat on the foods I love because they make me feel good. I'm done with following what others think is healthy.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthling View Post
I personally believe that my current identity was ALWAYS rooted in my past identity. My eating habits and exercise schedule are COMPLETELY different than in the past.
But here is the thing; While my habits have changed, I don't believe that I changed or that my identity changed. I always was this person. Even years ago when I was Class III obese (according to BMI).
My identity has not changed. At all.
I think we are just all in the process of becoming who we already are... like already are inside our minds or inside our souls... but we have make an effort to get there. That's what our struggles are about. It makes sense when I think about lol.
I totally get this! I know my looks have changed to everyone else, but inside I'm still the same person. It aggravates me for someone to insist that I've "become a different person." In my mind and in my dreams, I could always do the type of exercise I do now. Could I really? Probably not, but, then, I never tried. Or if I tried, I gave up immediately because it was hard and I looked foolish, or hurt myself! I do have an intense feeling of "yes! this is what living is supposed to feel like" when I'm exercising, now. I never really had those kinds of feelings before, but then, I really didn't know what I was missing... Not sure it makes sense, but I'm just so glad to have made the changes I've made. I'm truly me.

PS Haven't read the article...need to go do that, now.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:44 AM   #7
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I believe our thought patterns are a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I was a fat, ugly loser that didn't deserve much of anything. Fat girls don't have boyfriends. Fat girls aren't attractive so why bother looking for nice things to wear? Fat girls look stupid in makeup. Fat girls in gyms get stared at and ridiculed, you'll only make a fool of yourself if you go. It's next to impossible to lose weight so why bother torturing yourself through the agony of a diet and the embarrassment of exercise?

Now I'm not saying any of the above is true, but I honestly spent most of my life believing all of that about myself. I didn't go on a date or even get my first kiss until I was 25. Exercising scared the crap out of me. I always felt like I was being mocked of my weight wherever I went. And I envied all those around me that had more confidence in themselves.

Fortunately, time has a way of changing things, and I slowly learned to love myself, to think in more positive ways. I eventually convinced myself that I was a runner at heart, despite the fact that it was an activity I'd always hated. I also convinced myself that I loved fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables. I think I repressed the real me for so long out of the belief that my fat made me inferior as a person. So I actually let myself believe I was an inferior human being and continued to migrate to bad habits because I honestly felt it was hopeless to change.

I had to realize that I'm the one in control, that I can be anyone I want. And I want to be me! The real me that's been too scared to be herself but actually does have something positive to offer to the world. I'm utterly amazed that I'm able to run and that I actually love it! I'm shocked that I can find Veggies and fruit satisfying. It's fun to wear makeup. It's fun to shop for clothes. I'm in an amazing marriage and just had a beautiful baby. And I deserve to have things in my life that make me happy. But none of this happened overnight.

One day I decided that I no longer drink sugar; I'd always loved soda but decided that it was no longer a part of my identity. I also decided that I loved to move and would no longer live in fear of exercise. That's taken work, and heck, it's still taking work. But I vow to run my first 5k this summer because gosh darn it, I deserve to feel a great sense of accomplishment from working hard to achieve a goal! I also deserve to nourish my body and treat it well, no longer being ashamed of it or abusing it out of fear or spite. I deserve to make daily choices I can be proud of rather than coasting along in hopes of being saved . . .

I'm no longer the fat, ugly loser. And oh, I may still be fat, but that doesn't strip away the fact that I have as much right to be here as anyone else.

Sorry if this rambled a bit here, but it's been a slow, wandering work-in-progress for me. Regardless of how much weight I'd lost, my life had no chance of turning to something even remotely bearable until I forced myself to change my identity for the better. I can look at my early posts here (different account) and see just how hopeless and whiny I was with every word. It's no wonder I was struggling so much more back then; I was carrying the identity of a victim. But not anymore! My new identity is strong, accountable, and healthy. And someday my body might actually catch up with my mind.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:51 AM   #8
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I agree. I didn't read this article before I made my change. I was going to a counselor to talk about what was going on with my weight and in through those first initial sessions, I was outraged that other people around me were "naturally thin" -- and I began to really LOOK at my friends who were "naturally thin".

I realized that my friends had a certain type of lifestyle that was not my own. They didn't eat out during the week -- they were eating salads. They shared a dessert on the weekends when we went out, not every day at lunch and dinner!

The list was long. And they would even give me advice when I complained about my weight. But it took me a while to recognize that I had created an identity that supported my weight gain -- I needed to change my mind on what constituted my identity. I am still myself without eating dessert or any other items. I have also embraced a vision of myself as an athlete.

For me, it worked to change my mind around who I am and what defined me -- did soda really define me? etc. -- and it has helped tremendously in keeping the weight down.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Donnelly View Post
It was when I turned 50. Hit me like a ton of bricks. The time was now. I wanted to prevent going on a statin or BP medicine. I wanted a trimmer waist. I wanted to hopefully keep a sharp mind until the end. I just decided I had eaten enough Oreo cookies to fill a couple lifetimes.

I decided instead of wishing I was an exerciser to just BECOME an exerciser. Even if I wasn't the "best" exerciser. Even if I was the "worst" exerciser. Last week I did my first 5K. No big deal, really. I already do more than that nearly every time I run now. Fast? No. But I just do it. I sort of have to. If I stop in the middle, there's no other way to get back home!
Great post, MD. Made me smile.

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