First off-- hey... I have followers. I have comments. People are actually reading this. Whoa, this blogging thing is kind of cool... like your personal journal but you can get other people's opinions and input that you don't even know. Thanks to all those of you who took the time to comment! It really brightened my day, I was beginning to feel a little like the blogging world's version of the geeky kid in the corner of the schoolyard that no one talks to... and since I was that kid in the schoolyard, it was not fun thinking history would repeat itself.
One of the things about my religion (Wicca) that has really helped shape me as a person and improve my life over the year is the emphasis on personal responsibility. And it's this same emphasis that is helping me with this major transition in life right now.
(Disclaimer-- I cannot speak for all Wiccans. I can only speak as to the tradition in which I was trained.)
I have noticed that some people love to play "the blame game."
"I'm fat because..."
.... I don't have time to eat right and prepare better meals, I eat on the go
.... I don't have enough money to buy healthy foods
.... genetics; my parents were fat
.... I have a slow metabolism
.... I tried; I can't lose weight
.... none of the diet plans I tried have worked
.... etc., ad nauseum...
I don't understand why, oh why, did it ever make any of us feel better to blame other forces or people for our state of being. Assigning blame keeps us powerless, because basically when we blame it all on others, we are telling ourselves I have no control over my life and actions-- I am only a victim.
Well, only one person can make you a victim in life-- yourself. And if you make yourself a victim, you are not really a victim of poverty or genetics or weight-loss products that did not live up to their promises-- you are a victim of yourself and your way of thinking.
I learned this about myself in so many ways when I was younger and first became Wiccan, when I first began training in the Craft. I was really poor, working a crappy job (and doing a crappy job at it), I had dropped out of high school very early, I was a single parent and going no where.
I learned that no one was doing me a favor by giving me a job, that I had to work for it, and if I wanted better things to come I had to make the choice to work harder. I learned that I could get an education if I wanted to, that I could pass if I sacrificed the time and effort to study, and I got my GED and went to college and got a degree. I learned that I did not have to live with my mother who has some serious control issues-- I could work harder and get my own place.
For the first time in my life I was waking up to the realization that, yes, I grew up with problems (as most everyone does), but that by the time I was in my early 20's, the vast majority of the problems I had were not caused by my upbringing or the people around me, but the choices I made.
You have to understand how amazing this revelation was for me... ME!!-- who thought life was just unfair and that everyone was always picking on me or getting in my way-- to be able to sit there and trace every single thing I didn't like about my own life to some choice-- some action or inaction-- on my own part.
Was I proud of myself?... no, I wasn't. I was kind of ashamed of my track record.
But with this realization came the realization that I was in much more control than I had ever thought.
For some reason, it took far to long for me to be able to apply this mentality to my health. Probably because of my skewed perspectives on food. Lets just say, I had a lot of things to blame my pounds on.
There are always circumstances... always contributing factors. You can't really deny that. Look at me-- my parents fed me absolutely horribly. It's in my genetics. My mother screwed my head up over my body image and started me yo-yo dieting on supplements as a young teen. Overeating, food addictions, depression, low energy, etc. are all symptoms of my neurotransmitter deficiency. When I was at my worst-- having panic attacks and severe mood swings and a bit of delerium, my husband, God love him, thought he was doing a good thing by pacifying me with bad foods. I was laid up for a year in a car accident. The odds were stacked against me, sure.
However, it was me myself & I-- the choices I made-- that tipped the proverbial scales here.
It was me myself and I who did not take this bull by the horns sooner. It is me myself and I who, even when completely in control of my senses, decided to eat junk food. It is me, myself and I who made everything in my life about food. It is me myself & I who put every bite into my own mouth, who asked for seconds when I was full, who saw the numbers on the scale and the size on the clothes going up and did not do enough to stop it.
Yes, I made myself fat. It's my fault. You don't get to 375 pounds by someone else's fault-- unless they tied you down and held a gun to your head and stuffed buttered bread down your throat until you were about to burst.
With the exception of just a few medical conditions or medications, weight is largely due to the choices people make every day.... choices that have consequences that build up over time. Almost any person on the planet, if dropped on a deserted island for a couple of months, would lose weight, no matter what their condition. Because it's biology.
But this is not bad news... it's actually a good thing that our weight is largely based on our choices. Because that means we can start making different choices. We can choose to change. We can make one choice at a time. We can lose. We can keep it off. We can improve our habits.
Today I am lighting a candle and meditating on choices. I'm not going to dwell on the choices I've made in the past. I accept responsibility for them. I am going to look to the choices I make in the future. I am going to chant to remind myself, whenever I am faced with a choice about food, to remember who is in control, to remember there will be consequences-- for better or for worse-- to my every action and inaction. I want to permanently burn this thought into my mind and never forget. If I want to make a choice to eat a Big Mac, it should be just that-- my choice-- not because someone or something or some circumstance "made me do it."