Obesity and Your Fitness Identity

On today’s news there was a report that said the by 2050 half of the adult population will be obese, I’m not talking about a bit overweight here I’m talking about full blown obesity. This means that half the people you know in 2050 will be really fat! And you could be one of them unless you take action. This news report got me thinking about how people could do this to themselves. At the end of the day a person is obese due to the lifestyle decisions that THEY MAKE, it is not forced upon them, they CHOOSE to be obese through the actions that they take. Everyone is control of there own actions.

When personal training obese people, over time I notice a shift. This is a shift in their identity, the way they see themselves. Let me explain a bit more about identity, your identity is a set of “rules and beliefs” that you comply to and act out in your life. Here are a few examples about identity:

Take the school shootings that happen is America, the killer has a set of beliefs in their mind that everyone is out to get them, everyone hates them, everyone is evil and they hate them. They believe these things so intensely that they are forced to act upon these beliefs. What you believe tends to manifest itself in your reality. Lewis Hamilton has a set of rules that state that he must give is 110% in every race he is in. He has beliefs that say he is an excellent driver and among the best in the world. Can you imagine where Lewis would come in a race if he only put in a bit of effort each race and he thought he was a below average driver?

I personally have specific rules that state I must workout Monday to Friday, I must only eat healthy and nutritious foods. I believe that I am a fit and healthy person. The things I do conform to my beliefs, I won’t eat fast food as it breaks one of my beliefs, but I will push myself hard on every workout I have.

Think about the beliefs that you have with regards to health and fitness, take some time to do this, then write them out and see what you have, you’ll probably notice that you have been behaving true to you beliefs. I get my personal training clients to do this form time to time, it highlights areas that are holding them back.

For example I was doing fitness training with on lady client and she believed she was a fat overweight person. So we set about to change this. She started doing personal training three times a week and after a couple of months I asked her “What type of person works out three times a week?” she replied “I suppose a fit and healthy person does”, “Congratulations you are now a fit and healthy person” I said.

Through her new actions of working out regularly, that she considered being fit and healthy, she now saw herself as a healthy person and started to believe she was fit and healthy too.

She now believed that she was a fit and healthy person, as apposed to a fat overweight one, this new belief empowered her to start making healthy changes in her life towards getting slim, these changes were easy to make because they were congruent with her new fit and healthy identity. If her identity was still a fat and overweight one, making healthy changes would be hard because they would not be congruent with her identity so the changes would be rejected and she would act and do things that reinforce her fat overweight identity, i.e. sitting on the sofa eating cake.

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