Here’s why today’s episode of the Finding Our Hunger podcast is amazing, summed up in one quote from our ridiculously eloquent guest: “You never know everything–and as soon as you do, you don’t anymore.”
Is how you eat or exercise an intrinsic part of your identity?
This is a very big question I’ve been asking myself in the last several months. When I talk to fitness people, I introduce myself as a former bodybuilder, wearing that title like a little badge (in the shape of an arm doing a bicep curl, no doubt). It’s this weird piece of myself that I can’t seem to excise–even through I no longer have the shape (or the desire for it) that would define a figure competitor.
Moreover, since adopting a more-or-less ancestral/real food style of eating, I’ve had to claim “Paleo” when trying to explain how and why I eat the way I do. And, in making that claim, I’m effectively asserting not just “this is how I eat,” but “this is who I am.”
This week on the podcast, Ito and I had an absolutely incredible conversation with Abel James, aka the Fat Burning Man. For Abel, his internet celebrity is tied into his associations with the food and fitness community that he has built. As he put it, “Part of being a healthy person is having people recognize who you are.”
But what happens when something fundamentally shakes the foundations of who you claim you are–who others acknowledge you to be–by changing the way you have to eat, move, or behave? What do you do when you’re injured, when your shape changes, when you take the leap and put butter in your coffee for the first time?
In today’s podcast, we cover so much ground–but one of the points that really hit home for me was how, when the thing we identified with changes, we have to ask ourselves: does this change who I am?
We got such an incredible dialogue going on this particular episode.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Is your identity tied to how you eat, exercise, or behave? What can you do to untangle that knot and build a different identity that isn’t tied to food or fitness?