Sunday, January 13, 2008

Whose Fault Is It, Anyway?

Whose fault is it we are so fat? I sure would love to find someone else to pin this on. Maybe it's my Mom's fault. After all, she was fat FIRST. Maybe it's my Dad's fault, since when I was a kid he was the one who ate greasy, grilled reuben sandwiches, dripping with melted swiss cheese and warm thousand island dressing, with a side of potato chips and a Coke. Maybe it's my kids' faults. I never got fat until I had them.

Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? But that's the kind of thing we hear all the time. "I am fat because of my lousy childhood." "I am fat because no one taught me to eat right." "I am fat because I had 2 kids in 3 years and I don't have time for myself anymore." I wonder, though, if your lousy childhood is currently shoveling brownies into your face, or if your little children are pinning you to the floor and forcing peppermint patties down your throat. I would wager not. There are very few people who absolutely CAN NOT lose weight, because of some health issue or genetics or whatever, so for the rest of us, we have to take that responsibility ourselves. WE are making ourselves fat. WE are putting the food in our mouths and swallowing it, over and over. WE are responsible for our own health.

Of course, some circumstances can make losing weight much more difficult. Maybe you live with someone who does the cooking and shopping. Maybe they are not considerate of your desires for healthy meals. Well, you have two choices. Throw up your hands and say "I am destined to be fat! There is nothing I can do!" or take control of YOUR OWN eating. There are many ways to do that. You can do whatever possible to move out and support yourself. You can stay with them but buy and make your own meals. You can eat what they buy, but count calories. Sure, it is healthier to eat fruits and veggies, but if all they do is bring home cheese, bread, cereal and lasagna, you can still check the calorie counts and stay in a healthy range. You will lose weight eating 1200 calories of lasagna just like you will lose weight eating 1200 calories of apples. You won't be as healthy, but if you are giving control of your food choices over to someone else, that's something you gotta live with. But you can still lose weight.

Sometimes it's coworkers who are pushing you to eat junk. They bring you special treats, or they have office parties with all kinds of fattening junk. They leave boxes of donuts around for you to see (and smell). And you give in, at least sometimes, because IT'S HARD not to! But it is still your choice. You know which people are bringing you junk. Tell them to stop. Next time they do it, say, "please, this is a matter of my health, and I need your support so I can feel well." Say "I cannot accept this gift but I really appreciate the gesture." If you absolutely cannot say no, take it, but understand you are just reinforcing them bringing you junk. Take it out and as soon as you get a mile down the road, stop at the nearest gas station and throw the whole thing out. You don't have to eat it. If someone is really insisting on you eating it in front of them, THEY have issues. Do not enable them by bowing to their warped demands. Say no, politely, over and over, until they get it. Bring some healthier snacks to work. Take charge of your health.

The same goes for pushy friends who want you to eat out with them all the time or bring you junk. You can say no thanks, or you can suggest a restaurant with healthier choices. You can ask them for their support because you NEED to lose weight for your health's sake. What kind of friend would insist that you eat cake with her if you are a diabetic?? Same thing. Your health should matter to them.

For me, the big struggle has been with my husband. He brings home junk that he knows I don't want in the house. He eats potato chips and dip and ice cream in front of me. It makes is harder to lose weight. In fact, from August to November I lost over 30 pounds, while he was away on business for 3 months. He came home for 2 months and I only lost about 5 pounds! I would like to blame it on him, but more and more I am realizing it is ME. It is MY mental block that keeps me from losing as effectively when he is home. It is ME giving in to my cravings more often, exercising less often, mimicking his bad eating habits. It is MY choice how much I eat, not his. He is not tube feeding me DQ Blizzards and chocolate custard. I have to take control of MY life.

And so he is gone again, this time for just a few weeks. It's time for me to practice what I preach, start counting calories again at least for a short time, and get this darned weight off!!! I have plateaued long enough. Time to get down into the 230's.


Heather said...

that is all very true! so often I joke that my boyfriend made me fat because we were always together and I would keep up with his eating. but I was the one making the choice to do that. I think that it is very hard to say no in social settings with friends or at work, but there are ALWAYS hard situations to be in, and if you always give in, then yes, you will never be successful. that was always my problem in the past. I wanted to lose weight, but couldnt pass up the brownies the coworkes had made, or would binge eat with a friend who was also overweight. as soon as that stopped and I realized I could say no, I started losing weight.

Lauren said...

Great Post. You can totally do it.

Hanlie said...

Another post that resonates with me. Sure, some people are enablers, but the final choice still lies with you!

Knock yourself out while hubby's away!

justoofat said...

I'm up a pound and a half this week and have spent much of the last 24 hours, in my head at least, blaming my husband for all of the same reasons you listed in your post. But when it comes right down to it, you're right, it's my fault, not his. It's funny, but he often calls me the most stubborn person he's ever met... guess I need to start focusing all that will power onto something more productive. Thanks for an honest and eye opening post.


Lidian said...

Another great post, Lyn. I love reading your posts. And I totally agree with wat you said.

And also, when we lose the weight it has to be for US and not all those other people out there.

Ms Ingrid said...

The most important words in your post are and I quote: "take control of YOUR OWN eating".

That's the key. That IS the answer.

You prepare your own meals, you plan and decide what to eat. And whoever interferes with your food plan, will be pushed off the balcony or down the stairs. And I mean it. It is your life. It is THAT important.

Honi said...

I swear you simpley have to write a book .. I love your writing and you are so honest and true.. this has been something i have had a hard time understanding in other people with weight issues how they let other bully them into over eating almost..i.e. aww u will hurt my feelings if you do not eat this piping hot gooey cinnamon roll i bought you.. truthfully if said freak was really your friend they would bring you a basket of fresh fruit... or they might bring you a reduced calorie version of what everyone else is having.. ( I had a friend once who would do that for me at work) we always had bday parties etc.. and she went out of her way to find reduced calorie versions for me.. or if she could not find that she would bring me fruit or something similiar. that was a good friend.. that was also a long time ago.. with her help I lost about 30 pounds that year.. here I am about 10 years later with the same struggles the good thing is.. my boss is a good influence and it is just she and I here.. always.. so that makes eating better. .however last summer and part of last year when she was pregnant roughly 18 months ago.. well.. she was pregnant with twins and I ate like I was pregnant with twins I must have gained 25 pounds.. I have never in my life eaten that freely or poorly I went up to 211.5 pounds.. as of today I am 183.4 time for my 4 foot 11 inch self to get out of the 180s.. Fabulous post my friend ..

Ms Ingrid said...

If your dear friend is allergic to peanuts, will you give him/her peanuts? NO.
Because it might kill them.

Why is is any different if someone is a food-addict? Yet our "friends" push foods that are not good for us and might actually kill us (excess weight -> blood pressure, heart problems etc.)

Enough said, tell them "no" and make them understand it.