If you are someone who, like me, has struggled with their weight, either in the past or present, you know how being overweight makes you feel.
I am not talking how it physically makes you feel. I am talking how it makes you feel on an emotional level.
We in our society tend to be pretty nasty toward those with a few extra pounds. You’d think since two out of three of us fall into that category we’d be a little nicer, but so far that isn’t the case.
However I am not here to talk about self-esteem either.
I am here to talk about identity.
If you are someone who, like me, has struggled with their weight, you have probably thought in the past, “ugh look at me I’m fat!” However, while this is a particularly nasty thought to have toward oneself, subtly mixed in with that statement is a statement of identity. Notice the statement is not “ugh, I have fat,” but rather, “I am fat.” You are making a statement about who you are.
And the funny thing about this is it can become so intertwined with your identity that you can literally be afraid to lose it. Yes, even though you desperately want to be thinner, to lose that spare tire, to get in shape and be healthy, there is a part of you that is scared to lose a piece of how you see yourself.
If you have been overweight for more than a few years, this identity is likely so intertwined in who you are that you cannot break free from it.
Imagine spending three decades interfacing with the world in a certain way — overweight. While you might not like this status, or the way society treats you because of it, it is safe. It is predictable. It is what you know and who you think of as who you are.
You don’t know what it’s like to be you but 30 pounds lighter. Rationally you can tell yourself it will be the same, maybe a little better. But underneath the surface, you have to fight a real battle, an identity crisis, so to speak.
And like I said, for many people, they are too afraid to lose this piece of their identity, even if it is a piece they despise. For many, this is why they lose their battle with weight loss.
They’d rather hold onto a familiar identity (I am fat) than face the unknown of a big change.
So, I am proposing a linguistic change!
(In fact, I cannot take credit for this idea, as I first heard it from a popular vegan YouTuber, named Freelee The Banana Girl — Check her out!)
Instead of saying “I am fat,” tell yourself (and the world, if you so choose) that you have fat. It is not who you are. You are the person inside the body, irrespective of what it looks like on the outside. On the outside you may find some fat that you might want to try to get rid of. But no bother! Doing so won’t change who you are on the inside. You still get to be you.
You used to be you with fat, and now you are you with less fat.
Simple, easy, no need to get our identity all wrapped up in our body type. We can be free of the labels, and free to go confidently in the direction of better health and wellbeing!
You are not fat. You have fat. And you are free to get rid of it and still be you.
One final note: the real secret is that while you are still the same person when you lose weight, you may find a boost in confidence accompanies the change. This is welcomed, and only adds to the joy of the transformation 🙂
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