My Eats

How "The Accidental Fat Chick" Hatched...

Welcome to The Accidental Fat Chick's new online home!

During the summer 0f 2008, I woke up one morning with a drive to live a healthy lifestyle. Since then, I've made many changes and lost nearly 50 pounds. Many of my friends and family members have come to me, asking about what I'm doing & how I'm doing it. While I certainly would never claim to be an expert, I'm happy to share what I've learned along the way.

So after careful thought... "The Accidental Fat Chick" has hatched... with the hope of helping at least one person and to be the accountability I need to finish what I started. :)

Thank you for visiting!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stop Being a Victim!

Just an observation from my personal experience here: As I've been losing weight and people have talked with me about it, one common thing always creeps into the conversations. They all have excuses or reasons why they "can't do it." Have you noticed this? Sometimes it things like "I don't have time for exercise" or "its too hard to eat healthy." Those seem like the excuses of someone who isn't ready for a change or someone who hasn't had that critical some thing's gotta give moment yet. Then there's the reasons that give me a moment of pause, such as "I had a really bad childhood" or "my divorce almost killed me."

Now before I go on I want to share a little of me with all of you. I don't want anyone to think I'm some cold, heartless person... because I'm not. I have great compassion for people & it breaks my heart every time I hear about someone who is suffering in some way. This is me, who still tears up if I think about the people in the WTC and more recently those people trapped in earthquake rubble (ya know the people that survived, but couldn't be rescued in time).

Beyond the challenges of my daily life... being a military wife, raising a special needs child, my own health issues, living with an alcoholic... I have been a victim.

I have been a victim of sexual abuse. Not a subject I care to go into graphic details about... but I will say it was at the hands of a "trusted" youth group leader from Church (not a Catholic one) and went on for years.

I have been a victim of abandonment. Someone whom I believed would ALWAYS be there chose to walk away with no warning & no explanation. That damages in a way that even the death of a loved one can't.

I have been a victim of domestic violence. This too went on for years. Everything from yelling, screaming & name calling to choking (more times than I can count). I actually have permanent damage in my back from this.

I was very nearly the victim of rape. Thank God for a random motion-sensor light that scared the guy off. This man was the husband of a family member, so its a secret I keep.

My family has suffered the effects of senseless murders... something we are each victims of in our own ways.

So you see... while I know there are others that have experienced tragedies far greater than anything I've dealt with... I have had my share of painful life events.

This is where I say to myself - and to anyone who will listen - STOP BEING A VICTIM! Bad things happen to all of us. Yes, these things cause us pain & can change us in profound ways. Yes, its easy to see how these things can make taking good care of ourselves feel like one task too many when we are carrying the burdens of these painful life events around with us. After awhile, its easy to fall into the "I'm a victim & this is who I am" mentality. Trust me, I know, I did it for years.

For the longest time I refused to believe that any of these life events were a factor in my weight struggles. I mean really what does something that happened 15 years ago have to do with the chocolate bar I'm putting in my mouth today? But its more than that... its when you're feeling emotionally icky because you can't get the memory of something out of your head... and emotionally icky leads to low energy... and NO trip to the gym... the drive-thru for dinner because it would take too much energy to prepare a meal. Put this cycle on repeat day in and day out & it becomes easy enough to see how it can impact an attempt at a healthy lifestyle.

Then one day I was talking to my nephew & I realized that the very things I was telling him I needed to apply to my own life. He's only 18 months younger than me & his Mom passed away when he was five. Things happened to him after that that he uses as his "excuse" for all of the poor decisions he makes now. We were talking & I told him that even though I knew all of the bad stuff he had to deal with growing up that in my mind he could only use that as an "excuse" for so long. At some point, he had to realize he was an adult & responsible for his own life... and he could CHOOSE a better life for himself despite all of the bad things that happened to him as a child.

These are the things that can directly - or indirectly - impact our efforts to take care of ourselves and they must be dealt with. These are the things that you have to deal with or they will eat you alive. These are the things that we so often let become the "excuses" for not living our lives to the best of our abilities.

I said it the other day and I'll say it one more time... nothing in my past is worth sacrificing my future!

If you have things in your past that have become your "excuses" or "crutches" for not taking care of yourself and not living the life you deserve, I encourage you to take some time to explore ways of coming to terms with them & putting them to rest. A little thing called closure can go a long way toward a happier, healthier life. It can be a painful process, but its so worth it... in ways that can be more profound that you would dream possible.

For myself, most of the things I had to put to rest, I chose to do without confronting any of the people involved. I wrote lots... journal-like entries... letters to the individuals (that were later burned). I went for walks and talked to the "air"... yeah I probably looked funny, but voicing my thoughts, hearing the words spoken aloud helped. Doing this took time & caused many tears (I probably could have kept Kleenex in business)... but doing the emotional work left me with a sense of freedom that is hard to explain. Freedom to take care of my family.... Freedom to take care of myself & focus on my health... Freedom to be me! Freedom to enjoy all that life has to offer... without all of the baggage.

Someone near and dear to my heart told me once:

"As long as you feel like a victim, the person who hurt you is still victimizing you. How long are you going to be their victim?"

I care for you all so much & I really hope that sharing the less than pleasant details of my life will give someone the courage to face the things that are "secretly" or not-so-secretly holding them back from living the lives they deserve.

So I guess that is my question to you today... how long are you going to let yourself remain a victim?


{Absolutely, Positively} Josie said...

i can be the ultimate victim. but like you said- it's just an excuse and a crutch! sometimes you just have to do it and not think so much, i think.

Paula Rodriguez said...

What a powerful and honest post. Thank you for sharing such intimate details of your life. Your comment about your husband being an alcoholic... my husband drinks a great deal and it just jumped out at me. Have I ever said it... "my husband is an alcoholic." Very powerful words.

I refuse to be a victim. Life happens and we make mistakes but what is important is what you do afterwards. Make your life mean something.

Glad I found your blog. Couldn't sleep tonight so I began reading blogs... helps.


mandy said...

I know exactly what you are saying. The past two weeks or so I've been feeling overcome with emotion and rather than eat them I started smoking cigarettes. I know I know. S-T-U-P-I-D! Well my 11 year old saw me and said that if I'm smoking because I'm stressed I should find another way to let out my emotions. A lot of wisdom to come out of an 11 year old. So...last night I sat and talked to God (for what seemed like forever) and shed a lot of tears. I cried over things that I didn't even know I was upset about. And although I don't feel completely better, I've relieved enough stress that I don't feel the urge to smoke today. Here's to letting it go. BTW I find you inspiring.

Syl said...

so very true. Once you make yourself a priority and stop making excuses amazing things happen, if you let them!
Thank you for sharing your story

Anonymous said...

Absoultely well done to! You are a very strong person.
You are right, many people make excuses, but it's just not their time to do it yet, when they're ready, they will of course, find the strength in them and do it :)

Well done to you again :)

Girl Bandit said...

Yes no excuses after reading that!! Congrats on surviving what life dealt you...I admire oyur strength and personality. I don;t know that I could have done the same....congrats

Life as a Caterpillar said...

Thank you for posting this. I can't even begin to comment, i just want to say thank you thank you thsnk you, and send you wonderful wishes for a beautiful day


CinciMom11 said...

Great post! "Nothing in my past is worth sacrificing my future." That is powerful.

There is a huge difference between being a victim and being a survivor. Victims stop, and they cling to what happened to them. Survivors allow what happened to be a part of them, but they also pick up the pieces and keep moving forward.

You're a survivor!

Drazil said...

I swear Julie - did you read Dr. Laura's book - she says this EXACT thing. You're the best.....and I'm so proud of you. At some point our life becomes our own and how we deal with it and react to it and face it - are our own. Great post. That being said - I want you to know I am sorry for any hurt and pain you were was never your fault and I hope you know that.

Mohammad said...

Very good post. I have fallen into the victim trap many times, but I am also quick to notice its my choice rather than something that is just happening to me. I wrote a post on this topic few days ago. I believe our mind helps us fall into a victim trap because it needs a drama, so it creates one.

Please read some books written by Eckhart Tolle. You might see connection between you and all of those bad things that have happend to you.