Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
Losing weight didn't make me a better person. Maintaining weight doesn't make me a better person. Gaining weight didn't make me a worse person. Maintaining 500 pounds plus for nearly 20 years didn't make me a worse person. Struggling for so long didn't make me a failure.
For the longest time, years actually, I did attach my self-worth and identity to my size and weight. Disconnecting the power cord between self-worth/identity and weight/size was an important step in helping me see things from a different perspective.
Finding the core of who I am and have always been required a simple question:
What are the qualities in me that do not change? If I'm 500 pounds or 210 pounds, what positive attributes do I possess at both of those weights?
The same question can be applied to other things, for example: If I won the lottery tomorrow, what positive qualities about me would remain from my previous financial existence?
These core qualities are the ones with us through it all--the stability and certainty, instability and uncertainty. The list includes not only the way our brain works through compassion, empathy, sense of humor, intelligence, etc., it also includes our likes and dislikes, our roles as parents and grandparents--the things that bring us joy and peace, love and laughter. These things are often overlooked because identity and self-worth have been attached to something that fluctuates.
My identity and self-worth were always hooked onto my weight. Someone else's identity and self-worth might be tied to their bank account. And another's might be tied to whether or not they perceive their current station in life as stable or unstable. Still, another's might rely on the progression of their career. All of these things fluctuate. And through it all, we're still who we are within our core qualities.
In order for these core qualities to flourish and enrich our lives to the fullest, they must be loved and nurtured like watering a plant. If they're neglected, they wilt and wither. I believe this is where the expression "I feel dead inside" comes.
And when identity and self-worth are attached to anything else, these positive attributes get neglected on both sides of whatever is fluctuating.
When the changing source of identity and self-worth is moving in a positive direction, we feel great about ourselves. And when the source is moving in a negative direction we feel worse about ourselves. Then we get into a tug of war, constantly battling to feel good.
We've all heard, "Happiness must come from within." Now I understand how that can happen and I understand how it doesn't happen when we rely on external things that change.
Money doesn't buy happiness. Losing weight doesn't magically fix us. Getting the big promotion or settling down into a relationship doesn't do it either. We're truly free when our identity and self-worth is authentically attached to the core qualities of who we are.
And the best thing??
It can NEVER be taken away from us, no matter what.
Summer peaches with lunch- oh my, yes! pic.twitter.com/ua24ua2hgf— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) June 28, 2018
Thank you for reading and your continued support,