Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
February 20, 2012    

Personal accountability

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Amy Culver

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Personal accountability

Learning to take responsibility for our actions can be difficult.  But doing so is a perfect first step toward making a true lifestyle change.

A long time ago, I had a habit of pointing fingers.  No matter the situation, I tended to look for blame elsewhere, especially if there was a mess to clean up.  For example, I could have been standing across the room from my husband, dropped a glass of milk, and then found some reason to consider it his fault.  I mentioned this to him one day and he agreed that I used to do that.  I asked him why he thought I did it, and he said he didn't know.  So, I pondered it a bit and determined that I was somehow reasoning that if the mess wasn't my fault, then I didn't have to clean it up!

I also realized I had been using the same reasoning with my eating habits and weight loss.  If only I could blame someone or something else for my weight, well then, I didn't really have to do anything about it.  After all, if forces outside of my control were somehow making me eat, there was nothing I could do.  But that was a lie, and an easy one to buy into.  I came up with all the excuses in the book:  my mom/daughter/boss/husband was upsetting me, if only we had enough money I could go away to a weight-loss camp, my metabolism was too slow, there was no time for exercise, and many, many more.

It is a big step to start taking that personal responsibility.  At first, it seems as though it might make life harder and more limiting.  But the truth is that it is incredibly freeing.  When I learned that I was the only person who determined what I ate, how much and whether I exercised or not, I was suddenly empowered to accomplish my goals.

No one can really make you do anything, especially eat.  You can choose to eat in response to something they do, but that is a choice.  You can also choose NOT to eat in response to a particular situation, such as stress or boredom.

One way to make better choices is to stay in the moment.  Think of where you are and what your goals are.  Is that candy bar or bag of chips really going to help, or will you be better able to focus on the situation at hand if you don't give in to the emotional call of the food?  You CAN make that choice in that moment.  When you do make the better choice, you will learn from that experience.  You will gain insight into the things that tend to lead to unhealthy food choices and you can better avoid them in the future.

Some alternative options to eating could be taking a walk, calling a friend, or even just a few deep breaths.  Take those moments to refocus on why you want to lose the weight.  Consider what that unhealthy food is going to do to your body.

Life is full of stress and emotional ups and downs.  That is never going to stop, and you can't control many of them.  What you CAN control is how you react to them.

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