We had been out to dinner with fabulous friends and had gone back to their house to play Sequence, laugh, and have fun together.
And they had put out a lot of snacks. Cookies, candy bars, and bowls full of pretzels, dry roasted peanuts, and peanut M&M’s.
We’d already eaten a full meal and had shared a dessert at the restaurant.
As they put out the snacks, I joked with them that they were evil for providing such temptation. And then I continued to think that as I snacked away, along with thoughts like:
“I just can’t help myself.”
“If it’s in front of me, I will eat it.”
“I have no self-control.”
That’s when I realized I was in Victim Mode.
I was “at the effect of” the food. I was giving away my power and indulging in behavior that was not moving me towards my goals. And I was blaming it on my friends, the food, my weakness, etc., etc.
In reality, no one else was in my head. No one was lifting my hand and forcing me to put the food into my mouth. The food was certainly not having its way with me and forcing itself into my mouth.
The truth is no one and no-thing is making you—or me—eat anything.
Even when it feels like that cookie is moving towards your mouth against your will, it is still you doing it to you. Even if you are stressed out and are comforting yourself with food, it is still you putting the food in your mouth. Even when someone cooks a special treat and puts it in front of you, it is still you making the decision to eat it or not—based on putting someone else’s wellbeing ahead of your own.
You have the power to take back control.
Being aware of what you are doing is the first step. Recognizing that you have a choice is the second step. And making a conscious decision is the final step.
It doesn’t even matter what the decision is. The important thing is to Decide what you want and the best way to meet your needs and goals, and follow through by aligning your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
I had already eaten enough last night that it had become my free meal of the weekend. (I give myself a free meal—or sometimes a free day or weekend—so that I never feel deprived. That if I ever have a craving, I know that I will be able to enjoy it later.)
What I decided last night was to continue to nibble so I felt like a part of the fun, but to watch how much I ate and what I ate. After that, I ate a few pieces of pretzels, a couple of peanuts, and three peanut M&Ms. I declined the offered wine and stuck to sparkling water. I ignored the cookie that was dropped in the bowl in front of me. And fortunately we all ignored the candy bars.
By taking back control over my thoughts and empowering myself to make a decision and follow through with action, I felt good at the end of the night. And this morning I made a new decision to give my workout my all, and to plan a healthy choice from the menu tonight as we head out with other friends.
When you take full responsibility for the foods you eat, the exercise you do, and the thoughts you think, you truly begin creating the body—and life–you want.
Together we can do it!
I was thinking about this just this week after an appointment with a doctor. When reciting family history, etc. it almost puts you in the victim mode of “My genetics are against me so why should I even try.” It takes a conscious decision to take back what you can control from that mentality. I know that I can control many variables that affect my health so that is where I will concentrate.
Thank you for your wonderful blog and writing style. It has helped me take my experience this week and put some order and focus to my thoughts.
Have a great weekend Hanna! -Tracy
Awesome, Tracy! Way to go on recognizing that even with your genetics, you are not a victim. There is a lot you can control! Another helpful question to ask yourself is, “How likely is it that there are people with similar genetics who are trim and healthy?” Congratulations on using the words you read to help you order and focus your thoughts. I’m grateful my blog was helpful, but you are the one who did the work! Cheering you on! And sending you much love and appreciation!