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 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