Many are quick to point the finger and blame you for whatever troubles have come your way—whether financial, relational, or health-related. In their opinion, where you are is a direct result of your decisions and actions. Period.
Though I certainly think we should take responsibility for our health and all other aspects of our lives, I do recognize that other factors come in to play besides our choices and good intentions.
You can’t pick your parents: We all know that we are born into our families and that we didn’t get to choose our biological parents. For better or worse, the genetics of our parents and their parents before them have a lot to say about how we look, act, and eat. The “nature” side of the argument is the genes that predispose you to have high blood pressure, weigh more than the BMI charts say you “should”, and like fatty foods. The “nurture” side can either counteract those genes by teaching you a health-promoting lifestyle of movement and nourishing food, and providing you with an environment that promoted healthy emotional growth and development. If that doesn’t sound like your home growing up, then maybe you were “nurtured” to be easily uptight, cope with life by eating, and spend your evenings snacking while watching TV.
You didn’t know: Despite the best of public health initiatives, it can be difficult to education the entire population on not only the basics on good nutrition, but also the specific approach to the various nutrition-related diseases. It is not uncommon to find that people don’t know what foods fit into the three main food classifications (carbohydrate, protein, fat), what a portion size of that food is, or how many Calories they need or actually consume each day.
You’ve tried: I don’t think we can even begin to imagine the amount of people who have tried one or multiple diets but without lasting success. You may buy every new book that comes out promising to help you shed pounds, beat your diabetes, or lower your stress and blood pressure. You may have attended classes, seminars, and webinars, but nothing worked or was sustainable. You’ve made the effort, so where’s you’re “A”?
Instead of trying to find the guilty party, how about trying something new? Accept that we are all affected by our genes, upbringing, experiences, and personal choices. Out of all these things, we can control what we do from today forward—what and how we eat, how we spend our time, how we talk to ourselves, how we deal with difficult situations…how we live.