Thursday, September 23, 2010

Responsibility vs. Blame

I've been working really hard on my weight loss lately.  Despite throwing my back out, and then a foot injury, I've lost 5.5 pounds in the last two weeks, and you'd better believe I'm feeling sassy about it.  The program I'm following is the Game On! diet, which is essentially the Body-for-Life program but tweaked to be made into a competition.  You form teams with your friends and see who manages to lose the most and make the most healthy choices.  You can read more of my thoughts on this unique approach to dieting and weight loss here.

As I've worked the program and paid attention to portions, balancing carbs and proteins, and watching how many vegetables I've eaten, I've had the opportunity to think back on choices I've made earlier in my life.  To be blunt, I wasn't nourished properly as a child, and that has affected a lot of my perceptions today.  I had very little dairy and protein growing up.  My diet mostly consisted of starches, with some fruits and vegetables thrown in.  Consequently, I've had to learn what it means to create a balanced meal, and it's been hard for me to turn away from some of the foods I love and choose healthier options.

I got to thinking last night.  To what extend can I blame my childhood for my current weight?  If I'd been taught as a child to make balanced choices, what might my life have been like now?  To what extent am I to blame for not rising above my raising?  And then I had an "ah, ha!" moment.  It's not a matter of placing blame.  It's a matter of taking responsibility.

It is very true that key factors, such as exercise, balanced meals, and proper water consumption were missing from my formative years.  That is a responsibility that belongs on someone else's shoulders.  And now that I'm an adult and have been taught better and can make my own choices, it becomes my responsibility.  Placing blame does nothing but create negative feelings.  It fosters the belief that we are victims, helpless to determine our own futures.  The very word "blame" brings up feelings of betrayal and injustice.

"Responsibility," on the other hand, brings up feelings of motivation and the desire to go to work to fix the problem.  It's empowering - when something is your responsibility, you have the authority to do it, and even if you don't have the ability, you can gather the tools you need to get the ability.  "Blame" says, let's sit here and feel sorry for our wretched state.  "Responsibility" says, let's get to work and create a better future.

Realizations like this may seem small and unimportant. Yet in the battle for weight loss, they are extremely important.  Emotional eaters base their reality on their emotions and their perceptions of how others view them.  If you can help an emotional eater change their mindset, even a bit, it can make all the difference.

I, for one, feel a little changed.


Christina Dymock said...

I agree with you. Blame does nothing to solve our problems. It doesn't just mean our weight either. But, focusing on our pasts creates a bleak future. Focusing on our furture makes it shine.

L.T. Elliot said...

Way to go, Tristi! 6 pounds is AWESOME! And I agree with you about feeling empowered by taking on the responsibility for yourself.

E. said...

Beautiful post! I too struggle with compulsive and emotional eating and thus a weight problem.

I have recently discovered your blog and I really enjoy it!


Tristi Pinkston said...

Thanks for your comments, beautiful ladies! And LT ... I noticed how you rounded my weight loss up. Bless you for doing that ... :)

Sandra said...


That is for the weight loss. But it is also for the realization. It is exactly what I was talking about at the beginning of the summer when i said, "I am the boss of me" and I believe it is what lead to my continued success.

Love you, Tristi.

Krista said...

Excellent! And great job. Blame vs. responsibility holds true for so many facets of life and, unfortunately, is often a missing key point in our dealing with others. Very good reminder. Thanks, Tristi!

mormonhermitmom said...

Good on ya mate!

kbrebes said...

Good things to think about, Tristi. I'm happy for you!

Jenn Wilks said...

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I've often blamed my poor eating habits on growing up in the "Twinkie Generation." And then on top of that, I blame myself, really, for perpetrating bad habits, which just keeps me stuck.

I need to start taking responsibility instead of assigning blame. Thanks for the reminder. :o)

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