Personal Responsibility and Health

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rjenkins27

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 830

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Posted: 10 Jul 2010, 12:34
I've been noticing people more lately. Specifically, fat people. We are all aware of the "obesity epidemic", but it is usually presented as something outside of people's control as if it just happened. Our first instinct is to feel sorry for them(us).

Barring a medical condition, or drug side effects, I believe the majority of fat people are that way because of the choices they have made. We choose to not eat right, or choose to not fight the temptation that the food industry presents us with.

In a way, we could say we are victims of the food industry because they spend so much money on convincing us that high calorie, high sugar, highly processed foods are "normal" and will enhance our eating experience.

The restaurant industry has convinced us that normal portions are not a good deal and that it is better if we eat all of our daily calories at their restaurant in one sitting. What they don't tell you is that it costs them very little to double the portion to get you in the door so their profit margins soar. The free market being what it is, other restaurants must also increase their portion sizes just to stay in business.

We could say we are victims of this, but this would mean that we have no part in falling for these ploys. That we are not smart enough to see it for what it is - a strategy to get us to spend our money on their products.

I have noticed over the past 20 years a significant lack of personal responsibility in many areas of life. I don't know when this started to happen or why, but it is obvious that people would prefer to be "victims" rather than take responsibility for their own actions.

Maybe it was the lawyers who started the lawsuit lottery whereby any harm done to us is always the fault of someone else (usually whoever has the most money). Maybe it was the government who is always there to "help" whenever a disaster happens or to be there to provide a retirement check or to pay for our health care.

Blaming something other than ourselves seems to be our first instinct. Blame can be found for most of our problems - our jobs, our spouses, our children, stress, emotions, cravings, finances, etc. The list can go on and on.

This can be summed up by filling in the blank "I am miserable because of _____________". Today, the answer seems too often to be something external. If the answer isn't "me", then what power do I have to do something about it?

I became fat and unhealthy because:

I was lazy.
I didn't learn.
I didn't listen.
I wasn't responsible.
I didn't care.

I lost weight and am becoming healthy because:

I am more active.
I am learning about health and fitness.
I listen to those who have been successful.
I am solely responsible.
I care.

I care a lot. Primarily about me and my family. Selfish? Absolutely. I also care about others who want to improve their health, but that is not my primary motivation.

My health begins and ends with me. External factors and genetics play a big role, but it is my responsibility to do whatever I can to overcome them as best I can. Saying "high cholesterol runs in my family" while I'm eating a big mac makes me a victim. Acknowledging the reality that high cholesterol runs in my family makes it even more important to watch what I eat. It is my responsibility.

The words of wisdom that help me solve the majority of problems I face in life are:

"If I'm not the problem, there is no solution."





*note: if this comes across as somewhat controversial, that may or may not have been the intent. Lively discussion about weighty topics makes for good reading. Learning about how often one should have a bowel movement while on Atkins is fine, but sometimes its good to think about stuff that doesn't involve bodily functions or whether injecting urine from pregnant movie stars is worth the extra cost.


I work for the Department of Redundancy Department
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 10 Jul 2010, 12:41
Amen.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
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Debinator

Joined: May 10
Posts: 71

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Posted: 10 Jul 2010, 13:27
I agree whole heartedly rjenkins!! I am the only one responsible for the condition I am in, whether it is positive or negative. It's funny that when we are fit, and feel healthy that we don't give credit to the same things we blame our weight/poor health on ie "Oh its just my good genes, or "it's my medicine" or "I was neglected as a child" etc. Granted when we are healthy we have a lot less negatives in our lives (or have at least dealt with the ones we had) but one thing remains true. we are healthy because we choose to be healthy. We make responsible choices on a regular basis. We understand cause and effect. (eg. If I eat 1500 calories and burn 2000 every day I WILL lose weight)I for one am not only concerned with JUST losing weight. I want the whole enchilada! I want to be fit, healthy and strong. I want my cardiovascular system to be in good shape so that when I hit my 50's and 60's that it doesn't give out on me like my mother's did. I want to be able to do all the things I love doing now(Karate, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Hiking etc.) well into my 70's and beyond. I have learned that sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and make responsible choices, and it doesn't always just pertain to raising kids, paying the bills etc., it also has to do with how we treat ourselves. Love yourself- that means taking care of yourself. It is my responsibility to myself and those that I love to get and stay fit so I can be around for a very long time to enjoy life. The weight I lose along the way is what my body needs to be fit. My body will tell me when it's happy, and I have finally learned to listen to my body and do what it tells me makes it work best. Its a shame it took me so long to do what is best for me, considering I learned long ago how to suck it up and do the right thing. Sorry for rambling but you got me started on a topic that has actually been on my mind a lot lately.
The secret to success is to WORK HARD, and NEVER, EVER give up!
NinaV

Joined: Nov 09
Posts: 13

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Posted: 10 Jul 2010, 18:02
I would have to disagree with you on a couple of points... sort of. I don't believe that all people have a tendency to blame others for everything. In fact, myself, as well as many people I know tend to lean the other way - we are always too hard on ourselves. Especially when it comes to our dieting and other health related things. We slip up and indulge in a tiny square of chocolate and next thing we know it's guilt central - we not only feel guilty for slipping up, we feel the need to punish ourselves by skipping a meal or working our butts off on a treadmill. I find that sort of mentality very damaging and counterproductive. Guilt is not good for my soul.
I feel a lot better about watching what I eat if I constantly remind myself that I'm not perfect and that it's ok to eat that piece of chocolate/bite of cake/serving of ice cream [fill-in-the-blank] whatever it is that I'm craving as long as I don't eat the whole box/bag/carton... you get my point. And I find I get a lot more joy out of exercise if I do it out of love and respect for myself and not because I have been a bad girl and ate a piece of chocolate.
Saying that it's all our own fault is also bad because it perpetuates this attitude of "All these fat people need is for Jillian to screech at them like a demented little banshee and whip them in to shape." Believe you me, I have seen what that attitude leads to and it's not pretty. Fat people are the only group these days that everyone is not only allowed to discriminate, but in some cases the discrimination is even encouraged.
You may enjoy thinking that it's all you, but in truth the reasons some people gain weight and others don't are not that simple.
Check out this documentary on the subject if you are interested:
why-are-thin-people-not-fat

There are various complicated things involved like genetics, environment, culture, etc. Fighting all that to stay slim is not easy. I think taking responsibility for your own health is good, as long as it doesn't lead to the constant feel guilty/repent/repeat cycle, which can be very self destructive. In reality, whatever else you might want to think, we don't exist in a vacuum and other things/people/companies do influence out choices and decisions. For me a good way to look at it is to be aware of those influences and manage them accordingly.

I have my own words of wisdom when it comes to getting healthy and many other things I deal with in my life. In fact I borrowed these words from a pretty well known advertising campaign: "Just do it!"
In other words, I may have been dealt a bad genetic card. I may have waited too long to educate myself in nutrition. A whole bunch of other forces may be aligned against me, but screw it all! Just get up and do it. Go for a walk, cook a nutritious meal, give your body love and respect. Just do it!
ellyfranklin

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 190

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Posted: 10 Jul 2010, 18:14
LOVE IT!

Personal responsibility is highly underrated.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 10 Jul 2010, 19:57
NinaV wrote:
.
I have my own words of wisdom when it comes to getting healthy and many other things I deal with in my life. In fact I borrowed these words from a pretty well known advertising campaign: "Just do it!"
In other words, I may have been dealt a bad genetic card. I may have waited too long to educate myself in nutrition. A whole bunch of other forces may be aligned against me, but screw it all! Just get up and do it. Go for a walk, cook a nutritious meal, give your body love and respect. Just do it!


Love this Smile
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
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anapdc

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

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Posted: 11 Jul 2010, 06:03
Exactly. Excluding medical and psychological issues, most people are fat because of eating habits and denial. I realized I am the driving force behind my wheel and I am able to change it. I control the food and how much of it, not the other way around. That is how I am succeeding without being obssessed or feeling deprived. Taking responsibility is the number one factor to success. I understand what it takes now.
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto
anapdc

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

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Posted: 11 Jul 2010, 06:04
NinaV, you said it all.
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto
TaniaMarie

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 98

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Posted: 11 Jul 2010, 06:34
I've always blamed myself for the weight gain. My lack of discipline in the face of my sugary companions over the years is the reason I put on so much weight.
I wouldn't eat a bit/piece of cake I'd eat the whole darn thing. Why dunk AN oreo when I can dunk a whole bag.
My excuses to start dieting tomorrow or Monday or next month or how about I'll start at my next birthday all sound utterly ridiculous now.

My excuses in the last 20 years,
1> I had three kids what do you expect?
2> I had three c sections I'll never lose the belly fat anyways
3> I'm too buzy
4> If I've eaten one piece of cake what will three more matter
5> I'd look funny thinner
and the list can go on and on

I'm a self sabotager. My way of thinking and my constant excuses is the reason I haven't done a darn thing to change or did it only to have it last a few days.
With all the bad excuses I used over the years I finally realized that I've become responsible for my own past and my own future.
This is only day 6 but to me that a big accomplishment because I said NO to many things and actually threw a bag of Oreos in the trash, when I caught the kids munching them, in the garbage.
For the first time in my life I feel I've finally said this is all my fault and only I will be able to turn it around.
Seeing my kids pick up my bad habits is heartbreaking. I have a 12 year old who barely tips the scales at 60lbs but eats like a horse then I have an 8 year old who is well over 80lbs and my baby who is 5 is picking up on my all day snacking habit.
Who's fault is it? Not theirs. It's my fault for allowing it to go on for so long. My fault for not being educated enough about nutrition and fitness.

Oh and lets not mention my partner who is 6'5 and over 300lbs. He loves his beer and his HUGE MEALS. I'm sneaking veggies in his lunchbox every single day. After a week he finally noticed what I was doing and said he actually enjoyed it. Very Happy

In the past I've always been afraid to tell anyone I was dieting. Afraid that if they knew they'd say something snide. Afraid that if I failed I'd get a big fat I KNEW IT staring back at me.
This time everyone I know and love knows what I'm trying to do. I think in some kind of sense it just may help in success.

I would love to blame others like McDonalds for making meals so simple or KFC for making their chicken so uttery finger licking good. But I can't I got in my car, I drove to the restaurant and I used my money to pay for it.

By the way, people say eating healthy is too expensive. I went to the grocery store the day before yesterday and for the same amount I spend on a meal at McDonalds my kids and myself ate VERY healthy for two days. Very Happy

If I could blame and sue someone for my weightgain I'd have to haul my own rear end in court. Laughing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Philosophy for all women:
Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil shudders and says, "Oh Sh#t she's awake!"


Patrick...

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 19

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Posted: 11 Jul 2010, 07:44
This is a good blog about weight and for me personally I have lost over 50 pounds and need to lose a minimum of 30 more in order to get my BMI in the right percentage. It is a slow hard process and we all have to live and learn how it is to be done and just be ok with it. My goal is 1 pound per week and I don't care how long it takes as I am not motivated to look cute in an out fit or to have a date on Saturday night. It is all for my children and the health issues that being over weight has on a person. Good luck to everyone and I am right there with you. The one thing I love about this is seeing some of the big success stories.
rjenkins27

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 830

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Posted: 11 Jul 2010, 13:06
Quote:
We slip up and indulge in a tiny square of chocolate and next thing we know it's guilt central - we not only feel guilty for slipping up, we feel the need to punish ourselves by skipping a meal or working our butts off on a treadmill. I find that sort of mentality very damaging and counterproductive. Guilt is not good for my soul.


You are right about this Nina. My original post was about blaming external factors for many things that are ultimately our own responsibility.

The other side of the "guilt" is to go the opposite direction. "I had some ice cream, feel guilty, might as well eat more ice cream". Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

Both responses to a diet detour - trying to make up for it by eating significantly less going forward and/or more exercise, or harming ourselves by stopping all healthy habits don't make sense. It's illogical and irrational, but yet we still inclined do it.

This is still an "inside job" and my responsibility. If I can acknowledge that it is irrational and illogical, it is up to me how I handle it.

A logical, non-emotional response might be to enjoy a responsible portion of whatever it is and factor it into our daily eating objectives. Just accepting it and going over on calories for the day is not the end of the world either.

Guilt is certainly optional.

I may not be responsible for my initial thought on any given issue, but I am responsible for what I do about it.



I work for the Department of Redundancy Department
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 17 Sep 2010, 13:23
Bump.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
http://www.facebook.com/notadiet



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