June 1, 2020

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Owning Up

No One Ever Is To Blame

One night, the family and I were headed back from a nice weekend with the in-laws.  We planned on stopping at a town and eating out at a place that wasn’t too expensive and would allow the kids to stretch a little.  We soon found a little fast food place near a park that we thought would work great.

We went through the drive thru, and I wasn’t too impressed with the salad options.  Josh saw a BLT chicken salad, and that sounded good.  So, I requested a GRILLED chicken BLT salad with the ranch dressing.  After waiting a while for our food, we finally drove across the street to the park to sit down and eat.  By this time, it was around 8 p.m., well past our normal dinner time.  The kids were a little cranky, and it took AJ some major convincing to start eating her dinner.

I finally pulled out my salad, and noticed the first thing wrong: my chicken.  Even though I’d asked for grilled, I was given crispy chicken.  I figured there was nothing I could do, so I just went ahead and ate my salad.  I had been eating good, but have learned that can all be undone with one bad meal.  Wanting to make sure I was still eating right, I pulled up the nutrition info for my meal online – and about spit fire.  That salad I had just eaten was about half of my daily calorie goal!

With this new discovery, combined with a long car ride, late dinner, and cranky kids, my patience had reached its limit.  I became frustrated to the point of being irrational.  I was upset with the restaurant for not giving me the correct chicken.  I started yelling at the kids for not eating.  It finally cumulated with me getting upset with Josh for recommending the salad.  He just patiently looked at me and suggested I go for a little run around the park to cool down.

So I set out for a little jog, trying to calm my brain down.  Several thoughts ran through my head.

“How dare Josh recommend that salad!  He doesn’t support me in eating right.”

“How could that place not listen!?!  All I asked for was grilled chicken!”

“Why can’t my kids just obey and eat their dinner!?!  Why do they like to make me mad?”

As I finally calmed down, I took a step back and realized something about my thoughts – I was blaming everyone around me for what had happened.  However, I was the one who placed the order for the salad.  I was the one who chose to eat the fatty, crispy chicken instead of putting it to the side.  I was the one who put the dressing on my salad, knowing how many calories were in it.  I went back to my family and apologized, because there really was only one person to blame –  me.

Recognizing A Problem

I’ve gone with a friend to a few classes of the LDS addiction recovery program.  Going to these classes, I’ve realized that there are a variety of addictions.  People can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, smoking, inappropriate websites/movies, social media, and even food.  I realize now that I am addicted to food, and I have been for years.   When I started college, a quart of cookies n’ cream ice cream was sometimes gone in a day.  In 2005, when I went through a very bad case of depression, I gained at least 20 pounds finding joy in a juicy cheeseburger and waffle fries with sauce every day at lunch.  I’ve usually felt better with things such as a nice cookie, a bowl of ice cream, or a great big helping of Red Robin steak fries.  Whenever I felt down or bored, that small taste of food would give me some joy, even if for a brief moment.

The first step in the recovery program is Honesty.  Something said in the manual really hit me: “Even though people’s addictions are different, some truths, like this one, never vary—nothing begins without an individual’s will to make it begin.”  My mom talked to me about my weight.  My sister talked to me.  My doctor talked to me.  But all the talking and coaxing didn’t do any good until I had my own talk with myself.  I had to admit to myself that there was a problem, and that I wanted to do something about it.  

Power To Choose

After Abby Rike was eliminated from The Biggest Loser, she gave an interview and said it perfectly.  “You choose how you respond to the things in your life. It doesn’t mean it’s easy or you feel happy every day — but you have the power to choose differently.”  

I’ve not only recognized that I’m addicted to food, but I’ve also had to own up to the fact that it’s my fault for the situation that I’m in.  Yes, some things have happened that may have influenced my addiction with food.  However, I’m still the one who chose to put the food in my mouth.  I’m the one who chose to sit down and watch TV instead of going for a walk.  There is no one to blame for the bad choices I make except one person – me.  Once I realized it was my fault for where my life was , I had two choices: I could sit and wallow, or I could do something about it.  I chose to do something about it and take control of my life.

I had to make the decision to make a change.  No one could force me to do it.  Before you can make any changes in your life, two things need to happen.  First, you have to realize where the responsibility lies: with yourself.  Once you’ve accepted that, choose to take control and do something about it!

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