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.

2 thoughts on “The Power of Your Identity

Add yours

  1. An impressive share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing just a little evaluation on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If doable, as you develop into expertise, would you thoughts updating your weblog with extra details? It is highly helpful for me. Large thumb up for this blog post!


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