Taking Responsibility for Your Eating (and lifestyle)

One of the most difficult things I’ve found about Intuitive Eating (and life in general) is taking responsibility for your actions.

Intuitive Eating is all about letting go of rigid rules and being gentle with yourself. But it is also about discipline–not in the sense of being “so good” for cutting out sugar or having “so much self-control” by not having any birthday cake; but in the sense of having the discipline to listen to your body, treat it well, and honour it’s cravings.

Discipline also comes in the form of commitment–being committed to the Eating Guidelines, to being wise with your overall nutritional habits, and being consistent (rather thank “yo-yoing”).

I am the type of person who finds it difficult to stay committed to a certain behaviour or lifestyle choice.

The irony of it all is that I have an addictive personality and I find it very easy to get stuck in ruts of bad decisions, negative thought patterns, and other harmful behaviours and activities. But when it comes to lifestyle choices like staying active (moderately, of course) or eating well (i.e. following the Eating Guidelines), I find it difficult to be consistent.

All it takes is a simple change: a busy week, a short trip, a new social circle, and suddenly I’m “off the wagon” as they say and it takes a lot for me to find my way back on again.

I am also incredibly hard on myself–it would almost seem I take great pleasure in beating myself up. Now some may think in light of this that it’s strange I would not be good at committing to things. The reality is, however, because I am so hard on myself, I find it difficult impossible to take the responsibility for my own negative actions and behaviours. This is because I am not yet good at holding myself accountable without expecting absolute perfection. (I’m sure I’m not alone in this…)

So what happens when I begin falling away from the healthy, balanced lifestyle that I know I not only need but also want? I have one of two choices: 1) beat myself up (what a great distraction) or 2) blame someone else.

Notice, in both scenarios I am actually not taking any positive or productive actions in getting my life back to a healthy place. Rather, I am simply avoiding the main issue.

It’s simple: life happens, and I fall off track sometimes, and I can either sit around blaming myself or blaming others while not actually making any progress or I could take responsibility for my actions, not beat myself up, and simply get back on track–because that’s where I know I want to be, anyways.

Confession time: lately I have not been taking responsibility for my actions. And while it is true that people around you can influence and affect your lifestyle choices and behaviours, at the end of the day, it still comes back to you: what you do, where you go, what you eat, how much you eat, and, even, who you hang out with.

Here are some things I need to constantly remind myself of, my “Taking Responsibility Mantra,” if you will:

  1. Nobody has control over what I eat but me.
  2. Nobody has control over how much I eat but me.
  3. Nobody (for the most part) has control over where I eat but me.
  4. Nobody can force me to remain sedentary but me.
  5. Nobody can force me into a lifestyle without my consent.

 I do realize there are some exceptions to some of these rules and extenuating circumstances such as immediate responsibilities, medical circumstances, and recovery accountability/management; however, I do believe for the most part the final rule to be true (and the most important).

At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own behaviours, patterns, and lifestyle choices–and when we pass off the responsibility (either positive or negative) onto someone else, we are, in essence, denying ourselves our own voice.

And so the time has come for me to start taking responsibility for my actions–my eating, my activity levels, everything–and to move forward neither beating myself up nor passing off the responsibility to someone else, because I have a voice, I have control, and at the end of the day, there is no one else behind my behaviours but me.

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Twitter: @lauren_b_sag

4 thoughts on “Taking Responsibility for Your Eating (and lifestyle)”

  1. Thank you Lauren…this popped up on my newsfeed early this morning on a morning where I didn’t feel I had the reins in my own hands and was letting Ed take the power again.
    Your words resonated with me so much….particularly the bit about not holding oneself accountable without expecting absolute perfection! This ones a constant struggle!

    Your words alone cleared my fog today kicked me into action….and I got up n had a yummi breakfast instead of engaging with the Ed restrictive monster voice!

    The wise words, beautiful truthful writing and inspiration on Libero network are proving an invaluable tool for me in advancing my recovery. Thank you to you and all the team! Keep up the good work!!

  2. I just started this huge comment on this post and now it’s gone…. do you have it?? 😉 It wasn’t finished. So if it’s in the pipeline for your approval, please do NOT approve of it haha 😉 I am just going to omit all the rambling and cut right to the core: I love your thoughts, I share so many of your feelings, and I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Feel free to decline; if you are happy to accept, please visit http://inwardmarvels.com/2014/10/10/one-lovely-blog-nomination/ for more information 🙂 Keep it up!

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