By Susan Howard
Most of us don’t want to be perceived as boring hum drum types.
I have a want, as many of us do, to be fit and eat well. However, there are unforeseen obstacles to this task and one is self perception. Beyond the struggles of passing up a yummy cheeseburger, fries and a Coke for lunch, past the I am too tired to workout, lies something less obvious.
As I have cleaned up my diet I have come to realize that sometimes I really want to mess up. Intentionally. It’s as if I don’t want to erase the old standby, not in as good shape, bagel and cream cheese eating me.
I think of myself as edgy, someone that wants a triple espresso, someone that may drink too much red wine at a party and stay up until two in the morning laughing with friends. And so, if I become the herbal tea drinking, steamed vegetable eating in bed by 9 pm person, I feel lost. So I rebel.
In addition to this, I have a funny mental trick I play that I want to be seen as someone who doesn’t care about anything. I want people to perceive me as a person that can get away with being bad and still stay trim by some miracle of the gods because I am just that cool. Which is totally wrong. I workout and eat well a lot of the time.
Do I still cheat sometimes? Yes. If I was a fashion model or an actor known for my body I probably wouldn’t. But for the rest of us we don’t have to be perfect.
One of my clients with serious food allergies is on a really strict eating routine that she calls, “The diet of little to no joy.” She is a punk rock rebel at heart and I get the feeling beyond anything else the struggle for her lies with the drinking buddies that knew and loved her as one thing compared to the person she now is.
How can one maintain their true identity and still make a meaningful change that lasts? It’s okay to go off the rails SOMETIMES, but it feels better to get the results you want. No? Crank up that music loud and dance around like a madman, just don’t rebel with food.
This is a tough topic, growing into the person you are becoming and leaving behind a part of the one that you’ve been…a tricky one that takes some thought.