What is Your Healthy Identity?Feb 20, 2023
Sometimes the biggest changes come from the shift we make in our mindset.
Our identity is more than just our DNA, fingerprints, physical features. Identity on a personal level refers to a person’s sense of self, meaning how they view themselves.
Some people when asked who they are will list roles they play in their lives. I am a wife, a mother, a pharmacist, a coach, blogger, entrepreneur. But I encourage you to dig deeper into who you are as a woman.
As I move into this new phase of my life I have been thinking and working a lot on identity. The opportunity to recreate things from a new perspective. A perspective that includes adult children and more time with my husband. It is more than how others see or perceive me, it is truly becoming who I want to be in this next chapter.
I choose the identity of a healthy woman. When I visualize a healthy woman, she is active, energized and vibrant. She thrives in social situations and has confidence, grace and style.
Now that I know what I want to embrace as my identity I take a step back to see what characteristics, habits and choices a healthy woman makes. These habits and choices truly shape the identity that I am striving to be in the future.
My healthy identity includes eating nourishing foods that fuel my body. To do this, I have to have a selection of healthy ingredients in my pantry and fresh fruits and vegetables available. Sounds easy, but I need to back it up even further to know what foods I need to purchase when I go to the store. To accomplish this I make a plan for my meals for the week. I use this plan to purchase the groceries I need and identify anything I need to prepare or batch cook. Meal planning is not for everyone, but it is something that I have been doing for years based on our families schedule and activities for the week.
My healthy identity includes a woman who moves her body. She enjoys taking walks on a daily basis outside with her dog. She loves nature and enjoys the scenery on her walks. She also moves her body in healthy ways, including daily yoga and routine strength and cardio training. Because health is a priority in my identity I plan my workouts and put those in my schedule along with my other commitments.
What else does my healthy identity embody? I know that she prioritizes hydrations and drinks plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking more water and less caffeine and alcohol sets her up to be vibrant and energized.
This new healthy version of me prioritizes rest and recovery because she knows that going to bed early is not a luxury or sign of being lazy, it’s part of her self-care to ensure she is recharged for the next day.
One final priority of the healthy woman that I intend to mirror is a woman who manages her stress through regular meditation, journaling and self-kindness.
The vision of this identity for me also values connections with friends and family. She will rarely say no to the opportunity to spend time with others and cherishes time spent with others.
All these habits sound like things that we know we should be doing on a regular basis. To emulate a healthy lifestyle, focusing on nutrition, movement, hydration, stress and sleep. These habits are so interconnected and we all know they are important. However, assuming the identity of a healthy woman is more than just acknowledging that these habits are important. It is truly adopting a mindset and lifestyle that prioritizes these things over everything else.
I really feel compelled to reevaluate and incorporate these things in my life at this time in my life because I feel like I have closed more than just a chapter, but a whole book. With a big change in how I live and view work, family and life, comes the opportunity to shift my perspectives and identity.
I loved raising my kids and be on the go. We enjoyed the connections that the activities and sports they played brought to our lives. But I also enjoy a little bit slower life that being empty nesters has delivered. It is a true privilege to choose what we get to do with our time.
It’s not just changes in our social environment that have led me to really reshape my identity but also changes in my physical health. Moving from a body that is young and always feeling energized to someone who is in menopause and has to really work at my health and energy on a daily basis. I am very selective about the things that I elect to participate in. Maybe it is an evening out when I know I can sleep a little later the next morning. Or perhaps it is a lunch date with friends with a nice glass of wine, when I know the evening will be a quiet one at home.
I am much less go go go. I still push myself during a hard workout, at least I perceive that I am pushing myself….but truthfully it is probably much slower than I was in my 20s. I am also kinder to my body. Doing more yoga and walking more than I previously would have in my younger days. (Honestly I probably could have used a little more yoga back in those hectic seasons.)
When I think about my nutrition I know I can make improvements. A little less chips and salsa on the weekends and a little more protein with every meal. But I also know that there is enjoyment and connection around some of the choices I make that are not as healthy as they should be. So on those days when I am electing to not follow a strict diet I evaluate how I feel the next day. And ask myself if it is truly worth the pain…. Joint pain, stomach pain or just general feeling of malaise. Typically my answer may be NO but I frequently forget that stance and will most likely have the desert when I am out to lunch with my mom.
I encourage you to really take time to evaluate your identity and who you want to become in this next phase of life. When you imagine your healthiest self how do you picture that women? Does she exercise daily? Go for long walks outside alone or with others? What type of foods does she select to fuel her body? How does she feel at the end of the day. The options are really endless and there are no rules. Heck if I don’t like who I created in the future I am at liberty to shift and make changes in my identity. But for now I am embracing the healthy woman identity.
I try to eat less and move more. I try to give more love and less criticism. I try to extend grace to myself and others when disappointments strike. And I really try to remember that life is a journey. There is not one perfect path that everyone should follow. Your choices and identity may be different than mine. And that is ok.
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