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.