On "will power" and "personal responsibility" - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community


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Old 10-04-2014, 10:45 PM   #1  
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Hi everyone. I feel like this is going to be long. Apologies in advance.

I've just watched Fed Up and had an interesting/emotional discussion with my mother. Both of us have struggled with weight issues our whole lives. She obviously has been dealing with it for longer than I have.

My mother is an amazing cook. 95% of the food she has in her home is homemade and whole. She prioritises vegetables and lean meats. She has amazing will power and eats better than me everyday. But she's still obese.

After watching Fed Up, I talked to her about the food industry lies. About sugar being more addictive than cocaine. About how 80% of the contents of a supermarket is loaded with things that can make people sick. She got it, and she got that I understood it.

Then I asked her for help. I asked her for her support, because I'm still unhappy with my diet and because I want to change. I told her I'd love for us to do it together. And then it got personal.

I know I can't force someone to lose weight. I can't make her lose weight and I won't. I asked for support and she took it as "you should lose some weight too".

I feel really bad right now because I made her feel responsible about her weight and her health. What Fed Up has taught me is that we're really not all that responsible. There's a reason why it's an epidemic, and it's not because we all decided to be "lazy" and "irresponsible".
I'm heartbroken because I made her feel this way and I'm upset because she honestly believes its her fault, and my own fault that we're fat. She told me to be motivated. To have will power and to just do it.

I'm confused what will power is. I have will power because I honestly want to change. Am I making perfect food choices everyday? Definitely not. Is that lacking will power? I honestly don't think so.

I feel really bad for my mom and I feel really bad about myself. I feel responsible for feeling like crap and I'm not sure if that's okay. Because it feels really unfair to me.

Sorry about the emotional rant but thank you for reading if you made it that far.
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:49 AM   #2  
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I have not seem Fed Up. But I think responsibilities are with both us and the companies/businesses. Portion sizes are out of control - everything is super size that it is no wonder we don't realize that we are overeating. The other thing is companies put too much stuff in food that we don't need like sugar and some chemicals. Lots of food don't need it but can't seem to be able to buy items without the extras. They keep talking about making school lunches healthier. However, my dd can buy 5 ice cream treats for her school lunch and I can't put a block on it. Ds did something similar with his school lunches. Since I can't limit treats, I no longer will pay for school lunches. My kids have to bring lunch now. It's all about the money. I doubt they really care about what kids eat. Sure they provide a supposed nutritious lunch but they won't make kids buy/eat it.

However, we have responsibility also. It's too easy to pick up a donut every day or other fast food item. We need top make sure we make healthy choices.

I'm sorry that you are having issues with your mom. Even though I no longer live with my mother, I cannot talk health, food choices or exercise with her. It's hard cuz they are a big part of my life now which I have to hide from her. Hang in their and do what's best for you.

Willpower is making the right decisions, Even after making a bad decision. I think too many of us have given up in the past after having a bad eating day. We need to keep the willpower going and improve the next day. The longer you keep doing something the easier it becomes. Good luck and stay strong.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:03 AM   #3  
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We all have the responsibility to be aware of what we're eating. If we blame someone else, we can't make any personal progress. While I'm sure the food industry does take advantage of sugar being addictive, they don't control the fact that sugar is addictive; that's just nature. They might advertise something as "low fat" which is full of chemicals that make up for the fat, but the labels don't hide anything. I also don't think it makes us lazy or irresponsible to fall back on sugar (it makes us human), but there are plenty of healthier choices available in any grocery store.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:39 AM   #4  
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Originally Posted by muguet View Post
Hi everyone. I feel like this is going to be long. Apologies in advance.

I've just watched Fed Up and had an interesting/emotional discussion with my mother. Both of us have struggled with weight issues our whole lives. She obviously has been dealing with it for longer than I have.

My mother is an amazing cook. 95% of the food she has in her home is homemade and whole. She prioritises vegetables and lean meats. She has amazing will power and eats better than me everyday. But she's still obese.

After watching Fed Up, I talked to her about the food industry lies. About sugar being more addictive than cocaine. About how 80% of the contents of a supermarket is loaded with things that can make people sick. She got it, and she got that I understood it.

Then I asked her for help. I asked her for her support, because I'm still unhappy with my diet and because I want to change. I told her I'd love for us to do it together. And then it got personal.

I know I can't force someone to lose weight. I can't make her lose weight and I won't. I asked for support and she took it as "you should lose some weight too".

I feel really bad right now because I made her feel responsible about her weight and her health. What Fed Up has taught me is that we're really not all that responsible. There's a reason why it's an epidemic, and it's not because we all decided to be "lazy" and "irresponsible".
I'm heartbroken because I made her feel this way and I'm upset because she honestly believes its her fault, and my own fault that we're fat. She told me to be motivated. To have will power and to just do it.

I'm confused what will power is. I have will power because I honestly want to change. Am I making perfect food choices everyday? Definitely not. Is that lacking will power? I honestly don't think so.

I feel really bad for my mom and I feel really bad about myself. I feel responsible for feeling like crap and I'm not sure if that's okay. Because it feels really unfair to me.

Sorry about the emotional rant but thank you for reading if you made it that far.
I think you're getting caught up in a lot of things that don't have anything to do with you. First, your Mother - I know you love your mother but focus on yourself first before trying to change anyone. People don't want anyone to change them. You may need a buddy to do this with but she doesn't seem to. Secondly, you're playing into the conspiracy theory of food. Sure, there are a lot of things in the American diet that are out of control like portion sizes, over abundance of low cost sugary foods. But if you're aware of what not to eat you can't play victim to this. Nobody's forcing you to order a double cheeseburger or even walk down the chip aisle.

You ARE responsible for what you eat. The only reason you're facing an uphill battle is because you're expecting to make perfect food choices. What the heck are perfect food choices every day? Orthorexia is an eating disorder on the rise. Women are obsessed with making the right choices of food and sending themselves in a tailspin of obsessive food thoughts. The more you obsess about the right foods the more out of control you feel. That's why I don't watch movies like that anymore, they're ridiculous and instead of helping you open your eyes instead it's propping them open with toothpicks so that it's painful to watch. How can you feel good about what you eat when you're filled with angst and fear of the big bad food industry?

The only movie I think is worth watching is Food Inc. It let's you in on some industry secrets but doesn't make you feel like a jerk. The rest of these types of movies are all sensationalist that make people feel more out of control than not.

Using willpower to make food choices is a set up. You just can't put yourself in a position to make moral decisions with your food in every bite. I won't go into my IE spiel but there is so much noise made by outside forces. Someone is always telling you to eat this, don't eat that. Your body knows what it needs if only you would listen.

There is a blog called summertomato.com that if you sign up the blogger will email you the first chapter of her book. The chapter is about WILLPOWER and I found it a fascinating read, you may want to check it out.
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:11 PM   #5  
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I think of willpower in the same way I think of motivation: Both of them are going to be missing in action at some point, and I think they're both used as value judgments for a person's character, which is BS.

I find committing to setting yourself up for success to be of more value.

I make decisions the night before, not at 6 pm in the snack food aisle at the grocery store or the drive thru of a McDonald's. I choose delicious foods that I like and eat them in reasonable portions, so I don't feel deprived. I don't pin my hopes on willpower being there when I need it.

And if for some reason I do choose in a way that isn't supportive of my weight loss goals, I learn from it and move on. I don't beat myself up and say, " I'm an unmotivated slob with no willpower. "

What I'm about to say here ties into what you said about your mom.

Quote:
My mother is an amazing cook. 95% of the food she has in her home is homemade and whole. She prioritises vegetables and lean meats. She has amazing will power and eats better than me everyday. But she's still obese.
I eat what I like. Period.

I love to cook and I enjoy eating minimally processed, local and organic whole foods too. I prefer most homemade foods to the store bought variety because they taste better to me and it's more cost effective. However, I also enjoy Velveeta cheese and that stuff is the poster child for Frankenfoods.

Your mother likely eats the way she does because that's how she wants to eat. It has nothing to do with willpower. And she doesn't eat better or worse than you do. She just eats. She is obese because she eats more calories than she expends. Just like you and me and everyone who's ever been obese.

Regardless of the perceived quality of the types of foods one eats, a calorie deficit or surplus is what determines obesity. People have lost weight eating fast food and processed foods every single day. I've watched Food Inc, read Fast Food Nation, and I know the food industry is making food highly palatable and addictive. But that doesn't absolve me of my responsibility for my obesity any more than a crackhead has an excuse to keep doing drugs because his dealer is still selling them.

If you like the way Mom cooks, by all means have her teach you. Just don't expect her to be responsible for helping you with your decision making where it comes to food or expect her to join you in your weight loss efforts. A mom supports in a lot of ways, but I think expecting her to support you as a weight loss buddy, isn't fair to her. If you want to lose weight, then do it. Educate yourself about what it takes to burn fat ( PS:it isn't the types of food or the types of exercise you're doing ) and do it.

I'm sure Mom will be your biggest cheerleader.
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:36 PM   #6  
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I think there's a difference between responsibility and will power. Will power is a momentary, situation-specific type of thing. And using it takes sooooo much energy.

I may be able to decline some piece of cheesecake one evening out, but I doubt I would be able to decline every single night. So, I would rather avoid being confronted with having to decline it in the first place. Me avoiding these situations is me trying to take responsibility and control of my behaviour and choices. My will power over cheesecake has not improved. If I end up eating that one slice of cheesecake, I'll probably go and get another slice.

Honestly, I just dislike the whole term of will power. I don't drink not because I have all this will power over alcohol--I just don't like alcohol.

I haven't seen Fed Up, and I agree that western societies are set up economically, socially, physically, etc. in such a manner that obesity is an extremely likely result. But knowledge is power. We have responsibility to modify our personal environments to mitigate those factors.

Last edited by memememe76; 10-05-2014 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:49 PM   #7  
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Thank you everyone, every single one of your comments resonated with me and I really took the time to think about it.
After last night, I calmed down. I honestly think what I was thinking is a little bit dumb and to be honest, I'm embarrassed. I do feel responsible for my weight and my weight loss and know that I'll have to take the necessary steps alone because it's my body, and nobody else's.

I think how I felt yesterday is mostly because I felt overwhelmed, cheated and tired. My mom has nothing to do with that. What hurt me the most is that it got personal really fast, I didn't want it to get to that point.
My mom and I don't live together so she doesn't know how I eat on a daily basis and the same goes for me. I'm worried about her health but then again, she's smart enough to eat healthily and knows more about what she's doing than whatever I know. It's just worrying sometimes.
Now that I've gotten over the emotions, I think I'll just do my thing on my own. If that inspires her to lose weight too, then great. But that's not the point. I'm super close to my mom (think Gilmore Girls close) so everything tends to be very emotional (good or bad). I appreciate all of your comments and I'll suck it up and accept the fact that no, will power isn't everything but yes, I am responsible.

Thank you guys again, I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:21 PM   #8  
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Muguet that's a good attitude to have in my opinion. Hopefully you're open minded when it comes to information because I think you've got it all wrong when it comes to "Fed Up".

I've seen the movie and like most food documentaries the objective is not to inform it is to sell movies. Most people don't understand how documentaries are made. It's not some altruistic mission by the movie makers it's a business plan. Dr Mark Hyman? Just look at the crap books he sells on Amazon. Lose 10 lbs in 10 days by following his 10 day detox diet. Give me a break! Yes, there are some documentaries that do just try to inform you but "Fed Up" is not one of them. "Fed Up" is sensational and tells you many things which are true but don't tell the whole story so you ultimately are uninformed. Perfect example?

Sugar is not more addictive than cocaine. We are not rats. Allow me to elaborate.

There has been a lot of crap science done around this issue but when you look at incentive based studies that have been done the logic is pretty easy to follow. A large one was done by Jenny Craig. It had nothing to do with sugar or cocaine but it's highly relevant in my opinion. Stick with me here.

Study participants received free Jenny Craig food as long as they stayed on the program. It would probably come out to $100 a week. This was a study done on overweight and obese women. Over 90% of the women stayed on the diet plans for two years. How many cocaine addicts do you think would stay clean for $100 a week? This isn't a perfect anaology but the point is if sugar was 8x more addictive than cocaine or even equally as addictive the analogy wouldn't work at all. $100 a week wouldn't keep people on a diet if sugar was truly that addictive.

So .... is it your fault you're fat? This is not a simple yes or no answer for me but I certainly don't blame the food industry for trying to sell me as much food as possible. The obesity crisis is real but sugar is just the latest culprit in the blame game that we like to play. The obesity problem is a multifactoral issue. Too much sugar is just one part of the problem.
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:42 PM   #9  
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I never liked sugar or soda and still managed to get myself to 174p at one point in time. Too much of anything will do it. Red meat is my first pick over sugar any day.
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:02 PM   #10  
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This is a really great article about addiction and food. http://180degreehealth.com/addiction...lth-nutrition/
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:53 PM   #11  
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Sugar is not more addictive than cocaine. We are not rats. Allow me to elaborate.

There has been a lot of crap science done around this issue but when you look at incentive based studies that have been done the logic is pretty easy to follow. A large one was done by Jenny Craig. It had nothing to do with sugar or cocaine but it's highly relevant in my opinion. Stick with me here.

Study participants received free Jenny Craig food as long as they stayed on the program. It would probably come out to $100 a week. This was a study done on overweight and obese women. Over 90% of the women stayed on the diet plans for two years. How many cocaine addicts do you think would stay clean for $100 a week? This isn't a perfect anaology but the point is if sugar was 8x more addictive than cocaine or even equally as addictive the analogy wouldn't work at all. $100 a week wouldn't keep people on a diet if sugar was truly that addictive.

So .... is it your fault you're fat? This is not a simple yes or no answer for me but I certainly don't blame the food industry for trying to sell me as much food as possible. The obesity crisis is real but sugar is just the latest culprit in the blame game that we like to play. The obesity problem is a multifactoral issue. Too much sugar is just one part of the problem.
Nicely put, John. I always roll my eyes when I read that "the same parts of the brain light up when we eat sugar as when we smoke crack." What's left unsaid is that -- according to a neurologist I interviewed -- these same parts of the brain may also light up when we have sex, see a great movie, laugh at a good joke, or whatever. Which makes the quoted statement meaningless.

F.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:05 PM   #12  
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I always roll my eyes when web posters with no accountability whatsoever make sweeping generalizations in the name of "science". Maybe right, maybe wrong, but they are always 100% certain. OP, ultimately you will find our WOE that fits and it will be from listening to your own mind & body. Sometimes it takes some trial & error. Sending you best wishes for success--as you define it

Last edited by mars735; 10-05-2014 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:29 PM   #13  
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Nicely put, John. I always roll my eyes when I read that "the same parts of the brain light up when we eat sugar as when we smoke crack." What's left unsaid is that -- according to a neurologist I interviewed -- these same parts of the brain may also light up when we have sex, see a great movie, laugh at a good joke, or whatever. Which makes the quoted statement meaningless.

F.
Oh you're going to like the article I posted then.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:45 PM   #14  
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I always roll my eyes when web posters with no accountability whatsoever make sweeping generalizations in the name of "science". Maybe right, maybe wrong, but they are always 100% certain.
Looks like a lot of us are rolling our eyes in this thread.

I always roll my eyes when posters make passive aggressive statements that seemingly serve no purpose. If you disagree with something someone says why don't you join in the discussion.

Speaking only for myself I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when I find out I am wrong about something because this means I have learned something new.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:55 PM   #15  
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This is a really great article about addiction and food. http://180degreehealth.com/addiction...lth-nutrition/
I agree with most of that article except for the love of fatty food. I could easily binge on low fat food but got fat more from a love of starchy food. I've always eaten low fat milk, low fat cheese, lean meats etc. I think everyone has different tastes.
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