Episode 252: Letting Go of a "Fat" Identity, Part II

Run time: 23:50

Filed under: Self Care

Episode 252: Letting Go of a "Fat" Identity, Part II

What becomes possible when you stop identifying as either "fat" or "thin", and realize you are so much more. Plus, the real effects of people pleasing.


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On today's show, what becomes possible when you stop identifying as either fat or thin and realize you are so much more. Plus, the real effects of people pleasing.

Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I'm your host Renee Stephens and together we're accessing and adjusting the control panel of your mind, body, spirit system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life.

This journey isn't about food plans and calorie counts, by the way, it is about learning to love and care for you from the inside out so that it becomes natural and easy for you to be slim and healthy. Join me. As a former compulsive overeater I've been where you've been and I'm here to help you create exactly what you want.

Now, as you begin becoming present with this episode of Inside Out Weight Loss and present with yourself, which of course is the most important kind of presence to experience, and that is a very simple process. So simple that all you have to do is notice, bring into conscious awareness, your current experience noticing whatever it is that's going on for you in this moment. Now that could be a sensation or a series of sensations. In fact, it could be a whole song of sensations. Feelings of movement, perhaps there's an energy buzzing around you, perhaps you can even feel your own aliveness, the movement that is inherent with being alive in a body.

Can you feel and experience your own consciousness, I wonder? Consider that for a moment. Can you observe the fact that you are conscious? Can you observe the fact that you can observe? And what it the experience of observing like? How would you describe it to someone? Interesting stuff.

All I want now, or I suggest right now is that you become increasingly present to this moment and that requires or invites you to allow all of those other thoughts and feelings and busy mind stuff that everybody has, by the way. Every mind. A lot of people say "Oh, I can't meditate, I can't do that because my mind is so busy." Well, that's normal. If you haven't had the experience of meditating, if you don't have a regular practice of quieting the mind, that's the beginning point, that's where we all begin. And some of us it takes a very, very long time to move beyond that, that would be me, my hand is raised here.

But never mind, there's hope for us yet because it's really quite simple if for even for a nanosecond just turn that attention, that awareness, turn your lens to this moment. There will be a temperature to the air that's going in and out of your body. Perhaps you could notice that the air on the in breath is somewhat different than the air on the out breath. Is it moisture on the out breath? Is it warmer on the out breath?

And we do all of this because naturally slender living, being naturally slender begins with being present to ourselves, to our bodies, to our body's signals. And that can begin in any moment because in fact being naturally slender is something that you can be right here and now, no need to wait, so to speak, ha-ha, being naturally slender is simply the practice of honoring your body and eating according to its signals of hunger and satiety. So if you do that for five minutes a day, you've got five naturally slender minutes. If you do that for half a day you've got half a day of being naturally slender. You see how easy it is to start racking up those easily slender moments?

And if you've listened to this podcast or any time at all, you've probably figured out that I'm all about making naturally slender living, making being slim as easy as possible because easy equals sustainable. Easy equals what you might call, quote unquote permanent, which as we discussed several episodes ago is kind of a funny and difficult word, but really easy means long lasting. Because if it's easier than any other alternative then of course you will continue doing it, that's just the way that we are. So that's what you're creating now just by listening, paying attention and being present with you.

Last episode we were talking about identity and how it is that you can update your identity so that it allows you to be slim because for many of us we see ourselves a certain way. We catch our reflection and we are either horrified by how fat we are or we are surprised by our size, typically. Sometimes we'll have an identity that fits reality and sometimes we'll have an identity that differs a great deal from reality.

If we were to survey 50 people and say, "How do you see me?" the consensus if there were one may or may not match your own image. Perhaps you've seen that, I think it's the now famous, Dove commercial where they ask a artist, an artist who creates sketches from people's descriptions, the kind they use in police departments, and so someone would describe physically a woman and the artist would sketch that woman based on the description and then the women would describe herself to the artist and the artist would then create that image based on her own description. And the artist didn't know who was describing whom and then they compare the picture based on the woman's self-description and based on the description of someone else.

And, of course, it was quite powerful when we saw the description based on someone else's comments, or the image based on someone else's comments was of a much more attractive person. Pretty much universally. Dramatically more attractive. The perception of others versus the perception of yourself.

So your own identity there's a good chance that it doesn't match reality very much. And the point that we were exploring last time was about well what the heck is your identity? Do you need to have an identity as a skinny person in order to be skinny? Well, that's problematic because there's quite a few people who see themselves as slim as they used to be or they want to be, and are not.

And, in my experience, those people until they let go of that identity which in some ways is, this is a strong word, but it's a delusion because it's not reality and that is a way that they systematically deny the reality because it would be too painful to admit that they are the way that they actually are, that they're the weight that they actually are.

That doesn't mean that it isn't helpful to visualize yourself as a slimmer person. You certainly can do that to help create that reality, but the important aspect is that you recognize the reality of yourself now and that that visualization is of something that you'd like to become.

So your identity can actually be something very different than what you may have thought. I invited you last time to explore having an identity that transcends your physical appearance. That is more about your awareness, your presence, not what your body happens to look like at a given moment in time.

If your body happens to be what you would call fat in a given moment of time or thin at a given moment of time, or young or fit or smart or whatever, all of these things are changeable, but isn't there a quality to you that seems constant throughout your life? From childhood through old age there's some quality there that is constant. And surely that quality, that presence, that awareness, is the real you. Just mull that around a bit if you haven't already. I'm curious to know where you arrive.

It's time for us to take our break and this is your host, Renee Stephens. We'll be right back.

If you're new to Inside Out Weight Loss, I suggest you begin at the beginning. You'll hear my story in the prologue, and learn the key steps to the program in the early episodes. You'll find a link to the archive at Insideoutweightloss.com. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "podcasts."

We've been talking about the whole identity question and how we can be more than our appearance at a given moment of time. So let's take it a little bit further. I was introduced to a concept that I really liked recently from a woman named Christina Dunal [SP] and she was sharing the idea of your unique soul note. In other words your identity is your awareness or presence and to that identity you bring something unique, there's something unique about your identity as you, as a unique individual. And that is your soul note.

There's something that was created once in you and shall never be repeated and has never before existed that is you, that is the person that you are. A unique expression of the divine, if you will, because if you believe that some divine power, something created you, then you are a unique expression of that. And if you believe that it's just random, that there is no divine creator, you're still unique, like a snowflake unique, except many, many, many orders of magnitude more complex.

So if you accept this notion that you have a unique soul note, then you could argue that your job is to express that soul note. Your job is to define it, in fact, you could even go that far. And that means all of your preferences, all of your opinions, all of your experiences are unique to you and your job then is to own them, to have them, to not eat them. I don't know if you're like me, but for many years I was scared to show my true opinions, especially if they differed from someone else I was talking to if I thought that it wouldn't please my audience to give those opinions, to have those preferences that I figured they would like. Because, of course, I know what they would like, I can see exactly into their minds and I know what they're going to like and so I think that my job is to bend towards what they're going to like to make them happy.

Now this put me in all sorts of trouble and sent me careening down a path that did not suit me at all. It's really quite funny when you think about it. I was busy trying to be the person that I thought that my father wanted me to be. I was trying to impress him through my accomplishments professionally. And yet when I actually talked to him he would say that he didn't have those preferences that I thought he had for me.

For example, I had a momentary delusion that he wanted me to be a lawyer like he was, even though he had specifically told me that he didn't care if I became a lawyer or not, he really didn't necessarily want that for me. But I thought, "Ah, I know better" until of course I took the L-SATs, the entry exams for law school and was quickly rectified of that notion. Thank goodness because I'm definitely not suited to that profession anyway.

But I did in fact find other types of work, perhaps another type of work that I was even less suited for which was computer programming. You have to admire my creativity don't you in terms of finding things as little suited to my brain and my personality as I could possibly find.

I mean, really, there's a certain amount of arrogance in people pleasing, don't you think? Because we assume that we know what they want and what is best for them. How arrogant is that? How do we know what is best for them? In fact if you think about your own life, it may occur to you that some of the most difficult experience, experiences that were downright painful may have been the experiences from which you grew the most, experiences that made you a better person, a person who is more resilient, for example.

And so, therefore, how on earth are we people pleasers to know if the experience that we are trying to avoid the other person having by doing something that we think they would like wouldn't in fact be the experience that would benefit them the most, even if a little bit painful?

You know, they say the truth shall set you free and I really believe that. At the very least it's the only reasonable and humble position to take because by delivering our truth, our truth meaning our feelings, our opinions, our experiences, that is our truth and only our truth, the truth of our unique soul note is our opinions and our experiences. I learned this very deeply when my husband and I had a profound marital crisis and I learned that the only way through it was to open up the parts of me that I was most shameful and embarrassed about and to show them, and to share them. And that was the seed of what bloomed into a much more connected, deeper and more wonderful relationship, I have to say.

So you may think, oh, people pleaser that you might be, that by telling the white lies, by doing the people pleasing, by being the good girl or the good boy that you think others want you to be, that you're doing the right thing, that you're doing them a favor. But the reality is that you don't know. You don't know the big picture. You don't know all of their history. You don't know what lies ahead for them. It is not your position to judge or determine that, that is not your job. Your job is to be aware and to express your own opinions, your own preferences, your own desires. That is your job, to speak your own truth.

Now that doesn't mean that you need to go blabbing at the top of your lungs to anybody who will listen on any topic that you feel like. Certainly, there are times when it is appropriate to open up and times where it is not appropriate for the situation, absolutely. I'm just suggesting that if you are going to open up, if you're going to share something the truth is a much better bet in my experience, you try this out for yourself. That's the way I feel about everything on this podcast, in general, is that you need to have your own experience. I'm just telling you what mine is based on my lived experience and my experience with lots of clients, But you may have something different, which would be fascinating to me.

Now it takes a little practice, maybe a little bit of releasing our fears of rejection because ultimately that's what it really comes down to, this whole people pleasing business, is our fear that if we are honest about who we are, about expressing ourselves, about really being ourselves, if we're truly honest about who we are, then we'll be rejected. And how painful would that be to be rejected for who we really are?

Much easier to be rejected for the façade that we create because that's a little distance from who we really are, buy oh my God, if it's who we really are that hurts. Jeez. So being who you really are involves that risk, I suppose.

On the flip side there's a very rich reward or rewards which are that it's easier and it's cleaner and you will in fact attract to you people who really love who you actually are. Who respect it. Who you are really suited to Because you're presenting some kind of version that is not you, yes, you do not run the risk of being rejected for who you really are, but you also don't get the experience of being accepted for who you really are, which is pay dirt. That is frigging awesome to feel truly accepted for who you authentically are.

Imagine for a moment what that would feel like. Imagine that sensation of being accepted and loved for you in all of your magnificent imperfection and all of your magnificent uniqueness. Being truly accepted and loved for that. And living that way all the time. Frigging awesome, don't you think? You tell me.

That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present.

Inside Out Weight Loss is produced by Andrew Frame of bafsoundworks.com.

This is your host, Renee Stephens, and I am on a mission to end the weight struggle and enable you to develop and share your abundant soul's gifts. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care.

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