Then I read in his book: "This question may seem simple, but take a moment to consider what it takes for you to stand on the precipice of change and truly take responsibility to make that change."
And I thought "What? Take responsibility for myself? I blame my mother, my father and everyone else for where I am today with my health. If my parents had just made me exercise more, and if my family wasn't such terrific cooks, and if my doctor had just given me diet pills...." My turning point to start this change came when I was diagnosed with diabetes but was it enough to keep me motivated and take responsibility for my health.
Bob said this:
So how do we get ourselves to take responsibility for our lives, our health and our destiny? First, we have to get our baggage under control, get past our fear of the great unknown, and stop blaming everyone else for our problems. But if you don't stop and take in who you are -- your history, your weight, your strengths and your weaknesses-- then you inevitably will find yourself back where you started.
I wanted to skip this step so bad. I knew that I had been using food for the majority of my life to stuff down feelings I didn't want to feel, to soothe my hurts, disappointments, celebrate the joys, and also as a way to block the boredom with my life. As I read the stories of others' experiences with letting go of the baggage I realized that I too had used my weight or "fat suit" as a protective barrier to stay on the sidelines of my life. As Bob says: "Until we are able to look ourselves fully in the mirror, whatever we've been through will remain heavy baggage, acting like a terrible anchor, weighing us down in unhealthy, deep waters. We need to separate ourselves from our baggage, to see it instead of be it."
Well, I was ready and I started to take charge of my life. I started eating better and exercising and I even lost some weight. But getting rid of the baggage takes a lifetime of letting go. Many people start off doing great and then something happens and they start to slip back into their old habits. It happened for me when the class ended with Justin. A lot of things changed around that time and I had to ask myself "Are you really ready to take responsibility for your life?" Bob says that,
"most people get caught in one of two things: Fear of moving forward, which usually stems from a fear of leaving what's familiar and a fear of what lies ahead (the unknown,) or tendency to blame others for their situation."
Both of these things almost stopped my journey. I kept reading Bob's book (which I highly recommend - no I am not getting paid for this - I just believe there is power in his words) and each day I keep trying to move beyond fear and blame.
So be gentle and kind with yourself, and remind yourself that every time you resist the urge to eat out of fear or resentment or a sense of injury and consciously make a different, more positive choice to improve your health, you are taking responsibility for yourself.
So for today I try to make sure I am eating because I am hungry not as way to soothe or comfort myself. I am not always successful but each new day I begin again taking responsibility for my health. I get up at 5:15 a.m. so I can get my exercise in after taking my husband to work. I have been walking/jogging up hills lately to get a better workout. It makes a difference in my life. I make better food choices and drink lots of water. It's working for me. I am still working on letting go of the baggage but with each pound I lose I let go of another piece of baggage.
So ask yourself, "Are you ready? Really ready to change your life and take responsibility for your health and move beyond fear and blame?" I hope the answer is Yes for you. In my next post I will share Bob's three R's and how they are changing my life.