Take Responsibility For Your Body

Look at your body.

Are you happy with the way it looks?

If not, why not?

It might be tempting to blame someone else, or some external force.  

It’s easy to say “I have bad genetics, I can’t gain muscle” or “my mom fed us like shit, and that’s why I’m overweight”  but they are not the right paths to go down.

It’s really hard to admit “I make more bad dietary and exercise decisions than good ones.”

You may have been placed (or born) in a bad situation, with people who do not care about their body or yours.  That does not mean they are the ones driving your decisions.  You always have the capacity to say no, or to lead everyone in a better direction.  You can always dictate the path of your life.

You probably have bad genetics, most of us do.  That is not a reason to stop striving for your goal, or to whine.  The beauty of life is finding joy in the daily struggles.  You can still optimize your non-Arnold genetics and look fantastic, even though you may never look like a chemically enhanced instagram model.

Blaming something else for your current bodily situation does nothing but take your power away.  

By blaming your family for your eating habits you are indirectly saying that only your family has the power to change your eating habits.  By blaming your genetics for your frame you are admitting defeat That is bullshit.  

It doesn’t help you at all.

It also does not help the people you are blaming.  You’ll end up resentful or angry towards them, when in reality they are not acting with maliciousness.  They are only acting out of habit, ignorance or laziness.  It’s a terrible idea to harm a relationship over a controllable situation.

For you to truly change your body you must fully accept responsibility for it.

Once you accept full responsibility you’ll realize that you are, and always have been, the only one responsible for your body.  It can be difficult to come to terms with the bad habits you try to ignore, or blame away.  It’s not fun to discover a personal weakness.

When you stop blaming other people for your shortcomings you take your power back.  

You have the power to change anything about your life.  You cannot access this power if you’re always looking for someone else to blame.

It’s easier to believe a comforting lie than it is to confront an uncomfortable truth.  Coming to these realizations hurt.  It causes us to second guess all of our decisions, and even feel a little down on ourselves momentarily.  This discomfort is worth it, as it will lead to a true evaluation and lead you to change your behavior.  Pain can lead to great change.  

Own Your Behavior

What do you do once you claim responsibility but you still mess up your diet or let laziness win?

Well, the first thing you do is own it.  

You say “there is no excuse for my behaviour, but I did it anyway.”  That is a recognition that you had the power and wherewithal to make a better choice, but you didn’t.  There’s nothing wrong with that every once in a while, we’re all human and perfection doesn’t exist.  

Then you let the emotions clear.  You take an unbiased a look at yourself and choices.  Try to turn yourself into an observer and find what is driving your choices.

Bad decisions don’t happen in a vacuum.  

There are always contextual clues and situational keys that lead us to feel like shit, and make us want to escape.  This is something psychologists teach addicts who are trying to get clean.  Look for the clues in yourself and in your surroundings.

Maybe you overeat after a stressful workday.  Maybe you skip a scheduled training session after a fight with your spouse.  

Your actions always have a driving force behind them.  Sometimes it’s an insecurity you don’t want to confront, sometimes it’s an inability to deal with stress or anger.  Again, these are fine and human.  You want to find your personal driver so you can predict when its coming.

You will never have control over every external factor in your life.  No one does.  You do have power over every internal factor in your life.  While you can’t control every situation you’re put in, you can always control your reaction to that situation.

Once you have observed and performed an honest evaluation on yourself you have a blueprint.  This information is extremely valuable because the same stressors, triggers and situations will inevitably happen again.  

Now you can react accordingly.  The next time you have a bad day at work, you’ll recognize the feelings and situations deteriorating.  You’ll know what to expect, and can put a plan in place to not let the situation get out of hand and to stay on track.

Stand Up For Yourself

Taking responsibility for your body comes with the realization that no one else really gives a shit about your health or your goals.  You need to be ruthless.  You need to stand up for yourself anytime someone tempts you, teases you or tries to make you break your diet.

Standing up for yourself does not mean you have to fight anyone who tries to derail your plan. It just means you need to be disciplined and firm.  

You have to say “No” and mean it.  

This is a very, very difficult thing for a lot of people to do.

How many times have you gone off the tracks simply because one of your friends suggested something? How many times have you broken a diet because your friends wanted to go get pizza? How many times have you skipped the gym because your husband or wife wanted to do something else?

The truth of the matter is that the people who love you will respect your choices, as long as you’re firm.  They might tease you, and they might push their choices but once you are resolute in your standing they will back off and understand.

If they don’t understand, cause a scene or fight you they probably aren’t worth your friendship anyway.

Independence is not possible without personal responsibility.  You cannot be a free, self-reliant person unless you are able to hold yourself accountable.  

Personal Responsibility is the single most important personality trait you need to develop to change your body, to get in better shape, to lose weight or to put on muscle.  Recognizing and claiming responsibility for your decisions will free you from destructive thought patterns.  It will allow you to be a stronger person mentally and physically.

The short term difficulties of claiming responsibility for your body are far outweighed by the long term benefits.  

Less bullshit, more training.

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Patrick Henigan