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The Next 50 Lbs: Enneagrams and Weight Loss - Who Are You?

 

When you read the title of today’s blog post, did an answer pop into your head?  When you read “Who Are You?” did you immediately think of the different roles you play or the different qualities you possess?  Sure, those are part of who you are, but there is so much more.  There are strengths and weaknesses and ways of behaving that are as much a part of you as your limbs.   By identifying your personality type, you may be better able to find a methodology for losing weight and keeping it off for good.

If you haven’t done a personality test before, I’d like to introduce you to the Enneagram system. One of my dearest friends and I had a conversation one weekend about understanding others and why they behave as they do.  He mentioned enneagrams, which launched us into a lengthy discussion about this particular system, what personality type he is, what he thought I was and so forth.  I have another friend who is very interested in the enneagram system and asked if I could borrow a book on the subject.  She loaned me three and said she had plenty more.  I have been devouring the books daily ever since.

In doing some online research on enneagrams for the blog, I came across a transcript of a Dr. Oz segment with his wife, Lisa Oz.  Here is an excerpt that I think you’ll find interesting:

To help discover your real self, Lisa recommends the Enneagram, an ancient system of personality typing. Although its exact origin is unclear, the Enneagram is thought to have been used by the Ancient Desert Fathers and Sufi mystics thousands of years ago, and was brought to America by the spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff in the early 20th century. 

The Enneagram's purpose is to help you see yourself more clearly; it reveals both your strengths and weaknesses, which paradoxically, are often the same thing.

"By identifying where we are on that chart, we see how we behave habitually, how we may not be living the most conscious life we can," says Lisa. 

You can read the full transcript at http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/ancient-power-enneagram

In discovering my own personality type, I began to understand why I feel most comfortable doing some of the things I do while other things make me so uncomfortable, and how I habitually deal with certain issues.  I am Type 7, The Enthusiast (some books call it The Epicure).  I like to experience and learn many different things.  I have an exuberance and enthusiasm about life, I’m upbeat and positive and I like to serve as an inspiration to others.  I want to go everywhere, do everything, know everyone.  I hate the thought of missing out on any experience that life has to offer.  I despise boredom and I do my best to avoid sadness and emotional pain.  My greatest vice is gluttony and over-indulgence.

Wow.  Just…wow.  When you read a book that tells you exactly who you are, confirming all of your great qualities and all of your downfalls, you just sit, open-mouthed, understanding slowly seeping into your consciousness.  Yes!  I despise boredom!  THAT is why I have had such a hard time with weight loss!  I get bored counting points, weighing food, writing things down.  I get bored eating the same things day after day.  Now I understand why The 4 Day Diet worked so well for me!  Every four days, I got to move on to a new module…a new plan.  It was like starting a new diet every four days.  Perfect for someone like me who gets bored so easily.

I want to avoid sadness and emotional pain.  Hmmm….nothing can stuff down pain as well as a big vat of mac and cheese.  Comfort eating, numbing pain through the comfort of food.  That’s me.  Now I know that I need to make a conscious choice to allow myself to feel sadness and pain and know that it will not kill me.  I might cry a lot or I might take to my bed for a day.  I might seek the comfort of a friend or an experience that lifts my spirits like browsing through a bookstore or antique shop.  I will just let the feelings wash over me and live through them, not try to hide them or bury them under a mountain of food.

I have said in previous blog posts that it is imperative to find an eating plan that is right for you.  I believe that knowing yourself is the first step in finding a plan that you can buy into, stick to and follow through on for the long haul.

I really encourage you to learn more about your personality type and how it plays a part in your weight loss journey.  You might discover things about yourself that you never understood before.  Knowledge, indeed, is power.  In the words of Aristotle, knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

You can take your own enneagram quiz at http://www.enneagramquiz.com/