“You’re the reason you’re fat.” Yep, you read that right. “You’re the reason you’re overweight, unhealthy, and not fit.” That, my dear friends, is the harsh reality that I had to come to understand today. I’m not talking about the person reading this; I’m talking about the writer writing this…me.
You see, for years I’ve been making excuses and placing blame elsewhere. For approximately 11 years, since my oldest is 11, I have been blaming pregnancy for my weight issues. You know the typical “well, I had children, but I couldn’t lose the weight” excuses. My youngest is 7; I think that excuse has expired.
I blamed my thyroid. Evil medical tests proved that wasn’t an excuse.
The only time that I had a valid reason was when I injured my ankle, took a year before the military hospital would do the reconstructive surgery, and I had a long recovery time. Okay, that one was valid.
Finally, my latest set of excuses was that I am too busy. Sure I’m a military spouse, homeschooling mom, post-graduate student, work from home, tutor, and I value having my own personal time. Guess what? We are all busy. There are moms busier than me that still can do it all
and be an annoying Pinterest mom. Wait…I am one of those annoying Pinterest moms; scratch that out. (I inherited my crafting abilities from my mom and grandma.)
However, here’s the kicker, none of those excuses are the real cause of my weight issues. The real reason is me and the choices that I made. I did not have to eat the unhealthy food. I did not have to lay on the couch for an entire afternoon and binge-watch Gilmore Girls. (Sick days, it’s totally okay.) I did not have to order pizza or shortcut it through the drive-thru so often. I made those bad choices. Choice theory, developed by William Glasser-a renowned psychologist, encourages individuals to own their choices.
“Choice theory explains that, for all practical purposes, we choose everything we do, including the misery we feel. Other people can neither make us miserable nor make us happy. All we can get from them or give them is information. But by itself, information cannot make us do or feel anything. It goes into our brains where we process it and then decide what to do. As I explain in great detail in this book, we choose all our actions and thought, and indirectly, almost all our feelings and much of our physiology. As bad as you feel, much of what goes on in your body when you are in pain or sick is the indirect result of the actions and thoughts you choose or have chosen every day of your life” (Glasser, 1998, p. 3-4).
Medicine supports this. If you eat bad food, you will get sick, unhealthy, and the weight will increase. The media is packed full of mixed messages “be healthy” vs. “don’t body shame.” I would be the last person to “fat shame” someone. This is not about me getting skinny or telling others to be skinny. It’s about being healthy. I am very much aware that family heritage and genetics play a vital role in body build. Go to your doctor and find out where you are physically inside and out. (My doctor gave me an unpleasant look.) Medicine tells us that excess fat on the body is linked to a host of health issues. I want each person to live a long and vibrant life.
Sadly, I have seen the health problems associated with weight and poor diet in my own family. I want to cry, yell, and scream about the fact that many issues with my family members could have been prevented if only they had changed when the doctor told them to change. I know my dad will die from bad lifestyle choices that lead to obesity and caused many health problems. I have watched the strong man who raised me, taught me to be independent, and was my champion for gender equality* become sick and slowly deteriorate. I don’t want that for anyone. I also know the feeling of being ashamed of photos of me because I’ve got a little extra padding. I’ve learned the art of selfie angles. I make excuses for being too busy each year to avoid taking family photos. I have cheated my family out of six years of family photos because of my insecurities.
*He always said, “If a boy can do it, you can do it and do it better.
I could go on, but the point is I finally reach a breaking point. I had hit this point before, but there was nothing there to empower me. I’ve used groups before, and they work. But I needed something that I could anchor around my choices; I happened upon Choice Theory because my dissertation (working on my doctorate in education) involves choices parents make in education. I still use support and accountability groups on Facebook, DietBet, and My Fitness Pal. These are helpful in weight loss and lifestyle goals. I have started to follow fitness experts and trainers on social media. I search Pinterest for motivational quotes like the one below. I have a pair of medium Wonder Woman leggings that I hope to be able to fit in by my birthday as a goal. I am hypothesizing that I have my formula for losing the weight: breaking point + empowerment + goal = weight loss.
See I am the reason I am fat/overweight/unhealthy, but I will also be the reason I will get fit and healthy.