Saturday, October 6, 2007

Creating a "Weight Loss Identity"

Hello Everyone:

A main reason why losing weight and keeping it off can be so difficult is because you may have an “overweight identity” that leads you to inadvertently sabotage your weight loss efforts. Your “identity” may be thought of as the total way you’ve defined “who you are”: what you do, how you think and believe, and why. Generally, people end up overweight is because their identity somehow came to include being an overweight person, along with the ways of thinking and acting that preserve and perpetuate it.

How does one end up with an “overweight identity”? Where does it come from? Usually, through early-life conditioning. Perhaps parents role-modeled being overweight. Perhaps they called you names and put you down for your looks. Perhaps you were taught that you weren't good enough or worthy enough to be thin. In any event, you somehow learned that being overweight is “who you are”, leading you to perpetuate it—like it or not. .

The good news is that it’s never too late to modify and recreate your id entity into a healthy “low weight” you. When you do, you’ll find that thinking and acting in the ways thinner people do becomes much easier and more natural. Self-sabotage decreases and even disappears.

3 tips for creating a new lower weight identity:

1) First, write out your old negative beliefs and actions you’ve used to stay overweight, and then think of where they originated. From your parents? Peers? The media? Now, challenge these old habits by writing out detailed evidence against each tendency being valid or useful. Finally, write healthier ways to think and act in contrast to these old self-defeating tendencies. You may need to do some research and learn more what statistics say makes for healthy, thinner people and how they conduct themselves.

2) Second, brainstorm and write out your new “weight loss identity”: how you’ll choose to think and act now in relation to eating, exercise, and your lower weight lifestyle in general. Create a composite sketch of the new, healthier you. Continue to research, brainstorm, and refine your written “weight loss identity”.

3) Third, regularly practice visualizing the new you in sharp detail. Make the new you tangible, identifiable, and clear.

*With practice, continuing to brainstorm, refine, and visualize your new healthier, lower-weight identity will help you to actually possess such an identity and make your weight loss journey a success.

Best wishes,

Dr. Randy