The Power of Your Identity

POD #13: The Power of Your Identity

What a timely prompt, because I was really thinking about this today as I did my water jogging class.  Like, Tara might have been in my brain when she wrote it out, because even her example is spot on.  I love the quote from Tony Robbins “The #1 way to change your behavior is actually to change your identity.”

A year ago I decided that I was going to lose weight.  I am morbidly obese.   I am healthy, so I have justified that despite my weight, I really have no reason to change.  Until last year.  I purposed in my heart that it was time for me to eat healthier and be more active.  I had played around with dieting for decades.  Read the book.  I knew the tools. I analyzed the why behind my weight.  I even knew what I should be doing.  Yet, I didn’t consistently do it.

Last year, January 4th, I joined Weight Watchers.  I was committed to the program, and it helped that each day and then each week I go to start over.  I am task oriented, so really it helped.  I was very diligent to use my points to the fullest, and although I could have something, I quickly learned that I didn’t like to waste points for certain things.  I lost thirty-three lbs. before I took the next step and started exercising.

In April after my mother passed away, I joined the gym.  I reasoned that I could take the time I had spent with her, and at least use 30 minutes to an hour to step up my weight loss.  By September, I had lost fifty-three pounds.  I was in the pool at the gym  regularly – two deep water running classes and swimming other days.  I was walking a lot more and taking the stairs at work.  One month I didn’t take the elevator at all.  My husband and I would go for walks around the community walking trails.  I was enjoying things.

fitness-1677212_1920But I never changed my identity about it.  And so for the past eight months, I have been loosing the same ten pounds over and over.  The gym cancelled one of my classes, and my schedule got busy so Saturday morning is the only time I exercise.  I walk a lot at work, but I do good to get 8,000 steps and my goal is 10,000.  And food, well I tell myself the point amount, but there are weeks I don’t track and days I binge my whole weeks points.  Then I tell myself, I will start back over tomorrow.

That is what I was thinking about this morning as I did my water jogging.  I was questioning why I got of track and why my behavior is not lining up with what I say I really want.  But the truth is I do not identify myself as a fit person.  Yes, healthy but not fit.

As I think about the identity aspect of change, I am reminded of an assignment I had in college to attend an AA meeting.  As I sat there at an open meeting, the lady sharing shared my story.  I mean her experiences mirrored mine, as if we had done it together – yet the difference between us – I had never identified as an alcoholic.  It never crossed my mind, until that moment.  I realized in that moment the power of how we see ourselves.

My identity is wrapped up in roles – a mother, a wife, a Social Worker, a volunteer, a Christian.  My life activities are wrapped around those identities.  Only recently have I even begun to explore what I like outside of those things, but even those are tied to activities – writing, reading, relaxing.

Right now the shift in my identity that I want most is to be fit. I don’t just want to be healthy, I want to thrive.  I want to be active and enjoy activities that are physical more than I enjoy sitting in front of a television with a bag of popcorn.  I want to run a 5K instead of just barely finishing it because I had the keys to the car and couldn’t call the people waiting for me at the finish line to come get me.  I want to wake up early and start the day with exercise in addition to my time with God.  I want to be in tune with my body.  I want to increase my endurance, my strength and my flexibility.

I want to enjoy healthy food.  I made a lot of changes when I joined Weight Watchers, changes that have stayed.  I want to like vegetables more and be more adventurous with my food instead of eating the same things every week.  I want to practice portion control and eat slower instead of filling my plate and racing to be the first one done.

I want to stop talking about it, and do it.  I want to do it with consistency and with discipline.  I want to make being fit a priority instead of an option.  I want “fit” to be part of my identity instead of something I am striving for.

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About Jackie S

I have been through a lot in life, but through Christ I am more than an overcomer. I am not perfect, I will never claim to be. Praise God I am forgiven though. I am rather opinionated. I see most things in black and white and believe honesty is always the best policy. This combination sometimes comes off harsh. The truth is I love people. I truly love helping others and try the believe the best about others. It is easy to find faults, but focusing on strengths is more my style, but I also shoot it straight. If it sounds harsh, know my heart is for something better for you
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