Flexible Personalities, Weight Loss and a MizFit Quote

If my personality gets this flexible, will I lose weight too? Photo credit: Flickr / jessicamullen

At first glance, flexible personalities, weight loss and a MizFit quote can surely have nothing in common? Just wait and see. 🙂

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What got me thinking about flexible personality was Karen’s recent post where she mentions a discussion with her husband about addictive personalities and how easy it was for her husband to quit smoking and drinking coffee.

He just decided to stop and dropped the habit.

Very unnatural, if you ask me, but then I’m an addictive personality and can’t even play Angry Birds because I would get addicted before I have time to say “oink”.

I don’t know about addictive personality, but there is some research that suggests that people with flexible personalities are less likely to become slaves to their habits. Not only are psychologically flexible people less likely to get fat and stay that way, but they are also less likely to get stressed out or depressed. In a book published in 2005, Ben Fletcher and his colleagues argue (based on their research) that the secret of staying slim is the fact that slim people are more flexible psychologically than overweight folks.

If you wonder what psychological flexibility means, it’s responding appropriately to a situation. If your personality is inflexible, you always use the same tools to respond to a situation: you use a hammer even if it the situation requires using a saw.

Ben Fletcher has a list of list of fifteen personality dimensions (below). Ideally, you should be freely able to move along every dimension.

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Ben Fletcher’s theories aside, what has Carla/MizFit to do with this? Well, I was reading her post on clean eating the other day and was attracted to her clean eating step number three: Zero HARD AND FAST RULES.

‘Zero hard and fast rules’ is being flexible. Maybe it’s why MizFit has been able to maintain her weight loss when the rest of the world (and the blogosphere) is either stuck or merrily yo-yoing..

And because MizFit *loves* inspirational quotes, I made an inspirational poster / fitspiration graphic out of her step. 🙂 It’s especially important for perfectionists to reflect on this step. (I took the liberty to leave part of the step out. I left what I personally think is the gist of the step.)

If you like the quote and the graphics, feel free to share it.

Comments

  1. This is fascinating Satu (and thanks for the shout out, by the way). It’s funny because I have written about my husband and I and our differences many times. He’s tall 6’4″, thin, and small-framed and while I am not “short” I am stockier and have an extra large frame (my wrist is bigger than his). When I weighed 50 pounds more than I do now, I called us “spaghetti and meatball” 😉 We’re also pretty much opposites on the Myers-Briggs personalty type indicator. He’s ISTJ and I am ENFP (although I think I am more of an “I” for introvert). And finally, I remember seeing something that showed the differences between “thin thinking” and “fat thinking” and he was and is very much a thin thinker. Me, not so much, although I have changed quite a bit of that over the years.

    Anyway, I love the idea of exploring and practicing psychological flexibility in my own life.

    • Satu says:

      I must check the posts where you talk about your husband, just to see for myself. I find people who are the exact opposite of me (anxious, overanalyzing, perfectionist etc) fascinating because it’s so easy to start thinking that your own way is the only way to be…

  2. Satu, I’m an addictive personality like you… sadly!

    But I love the graphic and will use it (and Miz’s quote). As you know, the moment I start to think about ‘dieting’ is the moment I want to eat everything in sight!

    I’m not actually much of a rebel – in terms of wanting to break the rules – but I do obsess about things so that’s what gets me!!!

    Deb

    • Satu says:

      I think it’s the obsessiveness that is what is overwelming. And the constant tiresome chatter inside my head that distracts me of what I want to do..

  3. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Well, I have an addictive quality to my personality too. I know this because I like excess of many types of things. I like to binge on food, games, t.v. shows, internet surfing, etc… And I don’t seem to mind very much that laundry is not being washed while I give that area of the brain the zings that it craves.

    Regarding personalities, I think that a person’s biggest strengths are also their biggest weaknesses, and vice versa. There is the other side of the coin for every trait. But that doesn’t mean that we should stop having any of our traits. If we use our traits well, any of them can be an asset. And, I’m a dissent to popular opinion here, but I like and admire the “angular” personality much more than the “well-rounded” personality. I like that people get upset over things and have noticeable highs and lows. People who are too balanced remind me of the book, Stepford Wives. So don’t be too concerned that you aren’t balanced, I probably wouldn’t even enjoy you that way–best-y friend. 😀

    🙂 Marion

    • Satu says:

      Ha, I’m not too upset about the notion that I’m not too balanced. 😀 And I’m glad you find my angles entertaining enough to be my friend.

      I’ve often heard people talk about well-rounded personalities, must investigate what it entails..

  4. Miz says:

    OOH SO SO SO INTERESTING.
    Youre right.
    Im flexible and I dont have an addictive personality which sounds FANTASTIC but I covet facets of the addictive type.
    they’ve been shown to be far more successful in life with their accompanying TENACITY.

    LOVED THIS.

    • Satu says:

      Ok, tenacity is something else I must investigate a bit…

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