If you’ve ever struggled with losing weight or body issues, you’ve probably found yourself saying, I am overweight. Being overweight is not who you are and it doesn’t define you as a person. It’s just a story you’ve been telling yourself over and over again that you now believe is true.
You’ve made the thought, I am overweight, define your identity. The truth is you should say, I am a woman who weighs (fill in the blank). This is a fact and it allows you to separate your weight from who you are as a person. Don’t let your weight define your identity. You are so much more than a number on the scale.
Whether it’s the story in your head or a number on the scale, your weight identity could be what’s holding you back from achieving your current weight loss goals. So what is your personal weight identity and how can you change your story?
Your weight identity is a thought or sentence in your mind that you believe is true about how much you weigh. If you continue to ignore your current weight identity, it’s just going to follow you into the future. You’ll end up sabotaging your weight loss journey again and again and you could end up gaining back weight you’ve worked so hard to lose.
Take a moment to think back to when you first started thinking you were different. That something was wrong with the way you looked. Maybe it was something someone said, an awkward situation or just a general feeling that you had and held onto.
As a child, I remember being a lot taller than all of my friends. I was never skinny but at that stage, I wasn’t what I’d consider fat. I’d just developed earlier than my friends so looked bigger and taller than everyone else. This made me feel like the big girl so that became my story.
I thought I was doing a good job of ignoring this story but looking back now, feeling different and like something was wrong with me is likely what drove me to overeat. Food helped to dull the pain and it made me feel better in the moment, so I ended up turning the big girl story into a reality.
My weight identity is that I’ve always been a big girl. See how having that thought is going to hold me back from losing weight long term. I’m fighting against a belief I’ve been telling myself for as long as I can remember.
Your weight identity story is tied to your current weight. That number on the scale you’re not happy to see. You make that number mean things about you as a person like you’re useless, lazy and that you’ll never figure it out. You feel ashamed and out of control. These thoughts and feelings then lead you to take actions to confirm them and it becomes a vicious circle.
If you’re ready to change your own weight identity, the first step is to describe your current weight identity in one sentence. Then ask yourself, is this a fact? It’s likely not a fact and it’s definitely not who you are. How do you know it’s not true? If you ask yourself, is this true for everyone, the answer is no. Have you ever considered what you currently weigh could be another woman’s goal weight, who longs to weigh what you weigh now?
Now you know your weight identity is just a story, it’s time to dive a little deeper and start doing the work to release it. Ask yourself, what has been the benefit of having this belief? Maybe it’s allowed you to stay in a comfortable place without having to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Think about the drawbacks of having this belief. Maybe you feel stuck, like you’re ready to give up or that you never make any progress.
Do you want to keep your current weight identity or are you ready to let it go? Is it getting you closer to becoming the person you want to be? Everytime you notice yourself thinking about your old story, remind yourself that it’s just an old belief and you’re writing a new story. You’re doing the work to release your old belief that’s been holding you back from losing weight all these years. Then pat yourself on the pat on the back. You got this!