Radical (Yet Under the Radar) Shift in Identity

Last fall, I lived to write in my blog. Not only did I post pretty much daily, I was addicted to the stats feature, which I checked multiple times a day.

Lately, however, I haven’t been writing in my blog regularly. If I’m lucky, I might get to it once a week. And even then, it tends to be a recipe or something like that; a post of value, but of little substance.

At first I thought that it was because I was too busy. I’m back on the teaching merry-go-round. I have daily papers to grade. I’m also learning a new way to cook as I’ve made the decision to go raw.

And I’m sure that while all of those are valid reasons (if offered by someone else), I’ve come to realize that those aren’t my reasons.

Last year, from March until December, all I wanted to do was release (forever) that last ten pounds.

This year (including the last week of last year), all I wanted to do (and continue to do) is eat raw food.

I no longer see myself as a busy woman who wants to lose the last ten pounds and keep it off forever. I see myself as a busy raw foods enthusiast.

And since that’s happened, I literally have not thought once about those “last ten pounds.”

Now, it is true that I was back up after Christmas – in fact, I was back up by eight pounds! So, in one sense, I needed to lose eight of those last ten all over again.

But since I’ve started living a raw lifestyle – not only do I feel a thousand times better and have way more energy – five of those eight pounds pretty much just disappeared.

You heard me – without me stressing about it or killing myself at the gym, I lost five pounds – give or take a few ounces – in a little less than three weeks.

And that was with me eating ice cream (granted, raw ice cream) once – sometimes twice – a day!

There is a book called “The Power of Now,” in which the author (whose name I cannot recall) argues that sometimes people get so identified with their struggle that they become their struggle. In other words, being in that struggle becomes part of their identity.

Let me just fess up now: No doubt about it, I was identified with my struggle to lose that last ten pounds and to keep it off. Heck, that’s the tag-line of my blog.

According to this book, if you are identified with your struggle, then there is some part of you that will do anything necessary to keep the conditions in place so that your identity can survive.

As a social psychologist, I know this. Heck, I teach it to dozens of undergraduates each year. Had a applied it myself? Absolutely not.

Somehow, in the process of learning to “cook” meals in a blender, I forgot about the struggle to release the last ten pounds and simply became a raw food enthusiast. And, perhaps far more important and sustaining, for the first time in my life, I’ve felt comfortable in my body. In fact, I feel light. I feel healthy.

Instead of getting hung up on what I’ve done wrong (which used to be the pattern when I was trying to lose weight), I feel thrilled and happy every time I choose something raw over something cooked and not once – not a single day nor even a single meal – have I felt like I was missing out.

So, I think I may be changing the tag-line of my blog, as it no longer reflects my primary focus or my view of myself. I’ll be sure to let you know what I come up with and hope, for those of you following along, that I won’t lose any of you in the transition.

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