When I was a kid and I had a problem, or I wanted something, I would seek out my dad. I would usually find him, reading, at the kitchen table with a book spayed open with densely worded pages. A cup of coffee to his right, and a cigarette burning orange in a ceramic ashtray to his left. His dark eyes cast downward taking in whatever the book was offering. Even though reading is a sedentary activity, he always seemed so engaged he would laugh, nod, or say the occasional, “Huh-huh”. He was both interested and content all at once. I would watch and wait, standing there waiting, to catch his gaze; eventually, he would look at me over his reading glasses and beneath his bushy eyebrows and say, “What’s the story?” Then he would focus all of that same intensity that had been reserved for reading on me. Whatever my story was at that moment, I’m sure he helped me figure it out.
This memory came back to me as I considered how well my identity matches up with my weight loss goal. My internal dialogue began with, what’s the story? Today (more than once) I found myself thinking, “I’m living a healthy lifestyle.” That little shift in mindset has really brought me some relief. It’s not about weight loss, but I will lose weight. My story is one of the small habits that contribute to my identity – I am a person who cares about her health and well-being.
Behind every system of actions is a system of beliefs.”James Clear, Atomic Habits p 37