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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Who are you?

Image from Flickr, by kevin dooley
Everyone has an identity.  You identify yourself in one way, while others may have a different identity for you.  In your mind, you may be "mother" or "father", "accountant", "nurse" or whatever.  To others you might be "funny", or "great listener".  These make up your identity.

Maybe it's time to shake things up on that front.

In my mind, I've been "journalist", "political pundit", "blogger", "father", "husband", and "smart ass"...in no particular order.  These are a huge part of who I am.  Generally, it's what I'm see as by the general public as well.  There's nothing really wrong with that either.  However, I'm trying to shake things up.

You see, I have years of study behind this diet and fitness things.  The problem is, it's not part of my identity.  That's my fault.  A fat boy like myself is hardly where you go for fitness advice, and for good reason.  Yet, here I am, dispensing advice.  I'm not as fat as I was by a long shot.  Just think, a 35 lbs weight drop can gets you on a commercial for whatever program you used (along with a caption that says "Results not typical"). 

What I'm doing, and you should look at doing, is to shake up your identity.  What that what people use to identify you will probably not change a whole lot.  If they think of you as a devoted parent, that's not likely to change unless you change.  For something like that, don't.  Don't change a damn thing on that front.  Unfortunately, that's not your whole identity.  "Loves sweets" is also a part of many identities. "Beer drinker" is another.  Those?  Yeah, those have to go.

For me, this is one of my goals.  I need a new identity.  You may as well. 

This spawned off of Craig Ballantyne talking on the Fat Burning Man podcast about using rules instead  of willpower, but Abel Jenkins pointed out how other people will use these rules to essentially identify you.

A new identity has to start from within.  YOU have to take on that identity and embrace it with everything first.  If you're going to be "fitness freak" or "paleo eater" to the world, you have to be it to you.  The outside world picks up things that are part of your very core.  If you want them to see it and pick up on it, then you need to make it such a part of you that no human being could possibly miss it if they know you at all.

Those two examples in the paragraph above?  Those are mine.  So now the question is, how am I going to make them part of my core being?  I'm glad you asked (even if you didn't).
  1. I do not eat grain products.
  2. I do not eat processed foods.
  3. I do not eat legumes, with the exception of green beans and snow peas (as what you are eating is primarily the pod)
  4. I limit my dairy intake.
  5. I eat real foods.
  6. I eat fresh vegetables.
  7. I eat lean meats as my primary form of protein.
  8. I train a minimum of three days per week.
  9. I will share what I have learned through the years with the world in hope it will help someone else.
  10. I am an athlete.
Most of those probably make a lot of sense if you read this blog.  A few may not.  After all, why say I'll only work out three days a week if I want to be "fitness freak"?  First, that's a minimum.  Second, kettlebells are strength and conditioning training in one.

Some folks may be really scratching their heads on number 10.  I can't say that I blame them either.  It doesn't make a lot of sense in the grand scheme of things.  However, this is about identity.  All of these rules are about my own identity to myself and, in time, the world at large.  Anyone who wants to be a great athlete balances all aspects of their life around their goals.  It's a focal point that serves to make me balance everything in my life.

Now, I'm not saying that this list is what you should do.  If you believe a vegan lifestyle is healthier, then your rules would probably be built around that.  If you want to run a marathon, then your rules would be built around that. 

These are my rules, because they're for my identity and my goals.  Unless you share my goals - and that's kind of flattering - then you should probably come up with your own rules.  Your rules are for your identity.  So...what are your rules?

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