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Labels. We are all familiar with labels. Labels serve as indicators of what's inside a package.

We read food labels all the time…and rightfully so, its important to find out what we are eating to ensure the contents are wholesome and within the healthy limits for a well balanced bariatric diet.

Then, there are the clothing labels—washing instructions and size tags. I used to wear a 3X or a size 28. I knew that any other size would not fit. Just after surgery, I could wear a small or a size 6. It took a while for my brain to get on the same page as my body size, but soon it began to register.

It may just be a number, and although the information these labels provide are useful, they also set our limits.

Clothing labels let us know what fabrics were used in the clothing we wear. They guide us in caring for our clothes. 

Labels reveal something identity. We have even given labels to ourselves without knowing it. Have you ever been tempted to put “professional dieter” in the space on the medical form that asked for your "occupation"? But we never consider that the labels we use reveal how we view ourselves, our self image, and assign our limits.

Several years ago, I read The Difference Maker, a book about making our attitude our greatest asset by John Maxwell. When I got to this question I was stopped in my tracks. A quote by Dwayne Dyer relates: “If you are having trouble getting where you want to go, the problem may be inside you. If you don’t change your inward feeling about yourself, you will be unable to change your outward actions…”

Every thought we have shapes our life. After countless diets and years of failing, I must admit, failure was common, and I was at the bottom of the pit. I had gotten to the point of self-doubt and low self-image. I had to reprogram my mind and my thoughts.

I realized the need to change my inward feeling. I needed to examine my attitude towards how I viewed myself when it came to failure. This one was difficult. Do you believe you are a highly competent and successful person who sometimes fails, or are you basically a failure who is working to avoid mistakes? Ouch…as Garfield would say, “I think I resemble that remark.”

I had to take a good hard look at the labels I had placed on myself. The old attitudes just don’t fit anymore within the margins of my new lifestyle. I needed an interior change along with the exterior. I want the contents on the inside to be wholesome and within the healthy limits.

It may take some time to establish new labels for ourselves, but I believe we can change our thinking to attain a new vision of ourselves - so that the one in the mirror matches the one in our head.

Yes, we can…we have many more miles to go!

If things go wrong, don’t go with them.” --Roger Babson

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