What’s Your Excuse?

Recently on social media I got called out for telling a woman feeding her child TimBits (for those of you not in Canada, this is sugared donut holes) and chocolate milk at 7am in the morning for breakfast to not feed her kid garbage.  Apparently I’m not an empathetic trainer since I don’t know the background and I’m just judging a mother for feeding her kid garbage for breakfast and I should lay off.  This bothers me for so many reasons.

Here’s the thing.  There’s a whole lot of overweight people out there and they aren’t getting any thinner.  In fact, obesity continues to climb, and along with it degenerative disease and drains on our health care system.  Now the problem is that kids are growing up overweight because of terrible parenting – yes, I said it – if you feed your child garbage and they grow up fat and unhealthy, that’s your fault as a parent.  You ultimately have control over what your child eats and whether or not they get any type of physical activity.  Making the excuse that you don’t have time because you work too much or you’re just being a lazy parent isn’t an excuse in my world.  My two year old has literally never had sugar (unless it is from fruit), and she eats a ton of vegetables that we prepare for her, so she doesn’t even know what she’s missing and hopefully never does.  The lack of responsibility in today’s parents is a topic for a whole other rant, but you can imagine how little patience I have when I see an obese child.

Recently I read about an FDA approved device that is surgically implanted into obese people in order to allow them to control hunger signals from their stomach and make them feel not hungry.  This takes gastric bypass to a whole new level.  Now people don’t have to actually cut off part of their stomachs because they have no self control, they can use a remote to help them out.  I’m quite sure that surgically implanting electrodes into your stomach and throat is much better for you long term.  My immediate thought was why not just implant something right into your brain to prevent the pleasure response from food, that way all of the emotional eaters can have their feelings removed and lose weight that way.  It would be much more effective.

Why is it so difficult for people to prepare meals themselves, buy groceries from the vegetable section of the grocery store, and not overconsume regularly?  Or get in 15 minutes of physical activity every day?

Well, I’m way too busy at work.

Well, my kids are a handful.

Well, House of Cards was uploaded last night and I have to watch it.

Well, eating healthy is too expensive.

Well, my partner didn’t do the dishes and I have to cry about it.

Well, it’s only one time.

Well, I’ll do it tomorrow.

Well, it’s none of your business.  Lay off and stop judging me.

Well, I could look like that but they’re just obsessed.  I’m not like that.

Well, I’m embracing my curves.  You’re fat shaming you horrible person.

Well, it takes too much time to cook that.

Do any of these sound familiar?  Guess what they are?  Excuses.  That’s all.  When you really break it down, people will justify whatever they need to in order to feel okay about their decisions.  And if something isn’t going the way that they want?  It isn’t their fault.  It’s definitely someone else causing me to behave that way.

It’s way too easy to not do anything about it.  And that’s the problem.  Something that is actually quite easy to do is also quite easy not to do.

If you feel like crap, if you’re overweight, if you’re unhealthy and you actually want to change it then you don’t need a surgical device implanted in you, and you certainly don’t need to embrace it.  What you really have to do is realize that ultimately you’re happy being that way otherwise you would probably change it the easy way, which is by taking really simple steps.  If you want to own being unhealthy and unhappy then that’s fine, but don’t have the audacity to complain about it or say that it is someone else’s fault.  It’s not.  It’s yours.  Nobody held a gun to your head and told you to go through the drive through instead of buying something else.  Nobody lit the cigarette in your hand.  And your poor child has no idea what you’re doing to them because they don’t have a choice – you do.

Where I want to come from with these harsh words is that I know people can change.  I’ve helped people do it many times over the years, but really when it comes down to it as a society in general we need far, far more personal responsibility for our choices and to stop blaming others for our issues, whether it is obesity or anything else.  You have the power to change and it’s right inside you right now.  Just go do it.  Start by making a choice to do something different if that is truly what you want to be.

And don’t feed your kids garbage.  They deserve better.

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