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Guilt or taking responsiblity?



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I have been told, correctly, that I tend to beat myself up about bad decisions past and present. I know the choices I made to end up overweight were not good ones. I know that if and when I behave in ways that will not help my weight loss that it is self-defeating and I feel very guilty about this. I also know that I have the ability to learn from these mistakes. The question is, when am I being overly harsh and when do am I simply accepting responsibility for my own actions?

I can spend hours whining about how mommy and daddy didn't hug me (or feed me, or nurture me, or encourage me, or ......) but that won't accomplish much of anything. I need, or I think I need to face my issues as my problems and change the ones I have not tackled already.

How does one know when we are blaming others or our failings?

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It's a great question, but one that I certainly feel inadequate to answer for you. YOU have to figure this out for yourself.

And if guilt is a significant barrier to your emotional / psychological growth (and it sounds like it is), I'd encourage you to explore these issues with a therapist.

Good luck.

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Learning to treat ourselves with kindness is a very important skill. Self-talk is so important. Issues like self-blame, boundaries, and taking responsibility for our actions are things we all have to deal with as we mature and become functioning adults.

I would suggest you consider talking with a counselor or therapist if you really want to explore these issues. A bariatric support group and/or a twelve-step recovery group like OA (OA.org) might also be helpful for you.

In addition, there are lots of books you might want to read. Brene Brown's books come to mind off the top of my head.

Good luck.

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For me it depends on what the outcome becomes. You have to change your behavior because ultimately that's the only thing you can control. Change the behavior going forward and move on.

For example, I goof up. I eat the wrong thing. Guilt is I feel bad about it and do nothing or wrose yet, contnue to eat the wrong thing because I decide I am hopeless. Accepting responsibility is me saying to myself, "I ate this wrong thing because of xyz, next time I will do abc instead." Blaming mommy/daddy/others is "every time I am with them, I end up eating xyz". Accepting responsibility is " So & so like to eat abc, I will bring a Protein bar/RTD shake, or plan to meet them later.

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I think what I am trying to avoid is spending my whole self-learning adventure into a "mommy, Daddy and Aunt Peggy fed me" issue instead of simply saying "I got fat because I ate garbage and too much of it". It seems like society wants us to do that. I think, in my humble if not misguided opinion, that I will or could do better by claiming responsibility for my girth.

Was I taught the wrong eating habits? Do I eat because happiness has got to be the main ingredient in a lasagna? Heck yeah! I also need to face that (which I think I am) and fight it.

And also face the fact that no matter how far I come, I still have to learn more.

I am currently working with someone who is teaching me to feed the psychology properly and is doing great things to keep me from eating my past.

Edited by Blamo

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Another book you might want to read is EAT IT UP! It is excellent and the author works with people who have had weight loss surgery so it addresses many things that we all experience.

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I have thought a lot about why I am fat and how I got fat and so on and so on and it really comes down to this.

Yes... I was born a poor white child.....not on assistance but very close. My parents had all they could do to keep us fed and clothed. Being poor was probably what saved me from being fat as a kid and teenager. The parents did control what was in the house to eat and I had no money to sneak and buy crap.

However they had no control of me once I got knocked up and married at 17. From that minute on I was the one that got to decide what food went into my mouth and usually I picked anything that was sweet and carby. I was a kid. My hubby and I were poor too but instead of making money saving good choices. I generally chose to shove candy and crap into my mouth.

Then I whined and cried about being fat. Over a period of 25 years I went form 127 to 325. I have lost the same 100 lbs at least 6 times and the failure is always mine.

I guess if I blame anyone for my failure it is the advertising world because you can't watch tv, read a magazine or drive the streets without being accosted by some luscious looking high fat item that is easily affordable and leaves me hungry 2 hours later.

I have been on a somewhat low carb diet now for 6 months and even though I know how to eat there are days that I think of food to much of the time and mostly bad food.

In the end, the choice is mine. I am now 62 and fat and worried about being a burden on my husband and children. I want to be healthier and I can't be that and be 300 lbs. I have to do something and I am hoping this gastric sleeve will be my back up on my weak days.

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Thanks Inner Surfer girl, I will look for that book.
Mimisan, that is exactly what I am asking about. There is probably a pile of reason why we got here. Poor, cheap food certainly added to my issue. I had a disscussion with my nutritionist about how cheap, high carb, high calorie food is all around us. I spent a lot of time (but not money) on fast-food, Instant noodles and such. It's cheap and easy. I had a high stress/low pay job that had a Burger King, Wendy's, Dangelos, McDonalds, Taco Bell and a ChineseBuffet all within walking (and smelling) distance. Not that I would actually walk to any of them.

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You can't change what happened decades ago. My mom taught me bad eating habits, but I've been out of her house for over 15yrs. By now I can only blame myself.

With that said, ok I figured out who to blame, but that doesn't fix anything either. What fixes/changes things is action. You take each day at a time and focus on the present. What are you doing/eating today to accomplish ur goal.

Focusing on the past or who to blame takes time and focus away from what will get u results, and that is action.

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I see a psychologist for help with this. In my first appointment he said counseling would not be about blaming others. It would be about figuring out things about me. Taking responsibility is one thing. Beating yourself up and feeling guilty is something else. If someone apologizes to you and you accept it and move on, that's great. If you cannot forgive yourself this turns to guilt and we beat ourself up for our shortcomings, flaws and food issues etc... Counseling will help you figure out why you do what you do. It has helped me.

Edited by cindi gant

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OH, I have put all.....well most of my past in the past. I have learned to eat correctly.....or better. When I fail, I take the blame for it myself. No one persons influence to eat a block of cheese is stronger than my own. Granted, I am unable to eat a block of cheese these days and have little desire to do so but at least I know why I DID have and worked fairly hard at NOT doing that anymore.

I had the classic Food=Happiness issues from childhood. My parents didn't fight when we went somewhere to, usually grandmothers. Here I was fed and loved. On Sunday nights we all watched TV together and ate junk foods. It was pleasant. Very little fighting and we felt loved.

This Pavlovian conditioning did wonders to me. Feed the stress. Lonely? pizza will cure that. Happiness might be at the bottom of that sack of tacos. Break up? Go to the buffet. Take three plates and call me in the morning.

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My Mother, bless her heart, is 91 years old. She spent a lifetime feeding us as an act of love, all the while asking us why we ate so much. My sister was over 400 lbs when she passed away. It is a crazy brain strain to try and figure it out. It could have been part metabolic, but it was mostly learned behavior that led to our problem. Both of us tried multiple diet programs and before she died I would never do this surgery because she was so insistent on the dangers of it.

Here's the funny part of the story. My mother is so proud of my success on this journey (37 lbs lost so far) that she thought we should Celebrate with her homemade egg noodles cooked in chicken fat. :)

She can't help it, as she is showing me love in her way.

We have to take responsibility for our issues, and still realize there will be circumstances that will not be easily navigated. I will eat a 1/4 cup of the noodles so she can feel good but I WON'T eat two large bowls to show my appreciation. We're BOTH gonna have to give a little here.

Edited by BobbyD

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Please! books are a great and wonderful thing. I read quite often and if I can learn about myself all the better.

Have you read Genene Roth's WHEN food IS LOVE?

Sorry for all the book recommendations, but what you are observing/experiencing is SOOOO common, there are lots of books that address these issues.

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Yeah BobbyD, My grandmother is the feeder in the family, she KNOWS I need to lose weight but wants to feed everyone. I guess that is the Italian thing. interestingly enough, I am the only overweight person on that side of the family. But to her credit she is amazingly supportive.

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