We Are Who We Are

We Are Who We Are - photo by SonyaKamoz

Most of us who are looking to lose weight or live healthier lives are doing so because we are unhappy with an aspect of who we are. We think we’ll finally be happy with ourselves when we can fit into a size six. We think that the little voice in the back of our head reminding us that we aren’t good enough will go away if we make it to Soul Cycle four days a week. But the truth is, as soon as we fit into that size four we start thinking we should really be wearing a size four. As long as you’re striving for some kind of idealized perfection, nothing will ever be good enough. The first step toward happiness is acceptance. But acceptance doesn’t mean you can’t improve.

By far, the biggest factor determining our weight is genetics. It’s also the biggest factor in determining our health, happiness, intelligence, work ethic and even our sense of humor and political ideology. The truth is we come 90% assembled right out of the box. Most of who and what we are is hard wired into us. Sure, we have control over our lives, but we have to accept the truth of who we are to begin with. From there we can look to make positive changes.

When I started my weight loss journey I took up running because I thought that it was what fit people did. For a few years, I ran miles and miles every day. And I hated every single second of it. I read about the runner’s high and was baffled that anyone could experience anything but agonizing pain and misery while on a treadmill. One day I finally had enough. I quit running altogether, breathing out with the relief of accepting that, hey, I just wasn’t a runner.

Some of us aren’t meant to be runners. We can try—of course we can try—it just might never feel natural. Instead, maybe we’re power walkers (raising my hand high).

Some of us have a tricky time practicing moderation. We’re more the all-or-none type. And for us, simply abstaining is easier than having a sliver of cake.

Many of us can’t maintain 15% body fat, like the models we see. It just isn’t a realistic goal given who we are.

Still, we can always strive to do better—to be the best we can be, and to find the things that allow us to feel aligned, more energized, and a little more content. By knowing who you are, you can recognize your strengths, observe your weaknesses, and work from there. You’ll be a better you every day.



19 thoughts on “We Are Who We Are

  1. sarah

    YOU inspire me to do better and be better! Need this today as things are hard right now and my health and emotional well being is bottom of the list. Deep breath and onward.
    big hugs my love

  2. Hanro

    Hi Andie,

    YES, I resonated with your running comment. I used to run my ass off just for the results (which never came) but it ended up in injuries. I hated every moment of it. I instead now do activities I enjoy and the results are just a nice side dish.

    Strive for improvement not perfection.


  3. Jennifer

    Your articles always seem to hit home with me! I am not a runner, always feel like that’s what I “should” be doing because it’s what everyone who’s fit seems to do but then I think of you ;). I am striving to make lots of improvements while walking miles!

  4. Anne F

    Ding! Ding! Ding! You hit them all! I was just talking about how we think when we reach a certain size or weight that it will be the end all to alllllllllllllllllll our problems. Wrong! This whole article resonated with me. Well done, my friend! Hugs to you!!!❤ Have a great day!

  5. Katie Marini

    Hi Andie,
    Katie here again. Just wanted to say how much I liked your post! It’s true — we need to accept ourselves for who we are. Only when you truly accept and love yourself, can you improve. I remember when I first started to lose weight. It wasn’t because I saw a “fat picture” or thought about how worthless I was. It was because for the first time in a while I had enough faith and love in myself to tackle the weight. You need that self love/acceptance to power through the journey.

    I have to say, I miss your longer posts. I know you must be busy now, but you’re such a good writer and your recent posts have seemed a bit cryptic. I wish we could have longer, more complex posts. Tell us about life being engaged and living with Daniel. Tell us about the things that are bothering you. For instance, did something happen to you to motivate you to write this post? Did you have a dressing room meltdown and wish to be a size 2? Is moving stressing you out? What’s going on with Andie?

  6. Diane

    Well said and much needed reminder :) I always say I should speak to myself the way I would speak to a best friend – I would never hurt their feelings they way I’ve hurt myself – self love must come first or at least along this bumpy road called life!!

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  8. Kelsey

    Ahh I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief after reading this. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all of the things I’m doing wrong or other people are doing and I’m not, overthinking and totally unhappy has been my state for a few weeks and I’ve put on a some pounds which made me feel worse. Reading this has just reminded me to look at who I actually am. Thank you :)

  9. Kristin

    Hi Andie,

    I always appreciate your posts and I like your philosophy of doing what feels right for your body. However, I do not agree with the premise that we are 90% genetics. I think it is dangerous to give people the impression that they can’t overcome their DNA. I’m a sociologist working on my PhD and I can confidently say the research supports the argument that the social world plays a larger role in creating things like our political ideology. It may be a different ratio of genetics to social factors when we consider things like weight and ability to do certain sports (this isn’t my area of research). I hope all bloggers continue to research every claim they make (even if those claims are analogies) because people are more likely to read your blog, which is much more accessible than academic research.

    Thanks for reading.

  10. Lindsay

    I LOVE THIS POST!! I can relate so strongly to the idea of accepting ourselves and trying to give ourselves permission to not strive for perfection. I try everyday to show my daughter that perfection will not make us happy, just doing the best that we can and loving ourselves and showing others compassion and kindness is the most important thing. It starts from within! Thanks for the reminder.


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