Weight Gain=Personality Change?

Did you know your weight can affect your personality?  Really.  Though it's gaining weight that does it.

"If mind and body are intertwined, then if one changes the other should change too,” Angelina Sutin, author of a recent study, said in a newswise.com article.

According to the Web site, Sutin's study found that participants who had at least a 10% increase in weight also showed a rise in impulsiveness, "with a greater tendency to give in to temptations — compared to those whose weight was stable."

The data didn't show whether increased impulsiveness was a cause or an effect of gaining weight, the story reported, "but they do suggest an intimate relationship between a person’s physiology and his or her psychology."    

A surprising additional, and, to me, exact opposite finding was that, though those who had gained weight were much more impulsive, they also had a greater tendency to think through their decisions, compared to those who stayed the same weight.

So what are we to make of this?

Sutin and colleagues speculated that this increase in deliberation "could be the result of negative feedback from family or friends — people are likely to think twice about grabbing a second slice of cake if they feel that everyone is watching them take it."

The researchers concluded that though people who gain weight gain may be more conscious in making their decisions, they also have a hard time resisting temptation.  I am a perfect case in point.  Recently after major surgery, I became depressed and in order to feel better, ate anything and everything I could find.  I just wanted to do anything I could to soothe this sad, empty place inside me.  Oreos on the counter?  Let's eat the whole bag.  M&Ms?  We won't talk about that.

I even found myself eating things I never liked, and still don't, like peanut-butter-and-cheese crackers, french fries, candy corn.  Anything to fill up that hole.

But over time I started to need less soothing and slowly, slowly, began to cut back the calories.  After a 15-pound weight loss, I feel like myself again.  Did my personality change?  I don't know about that, you'd have to ask my husband!  But I know I did.  I started liking myself again.


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