I have a lot of respect for people who ‘own’ their problems and as a therapist, in order to help people overcome issues in their lives, they have to accept responsibility for them. That does not mean to say that they are to ‘blame’ for these issues, it merely means that they are willing to admit that these issues are affecting their lives.
I work with many people who are overweight and I am more than happy to help people who accept that something they are doing, or not doing, is leading to their weight issues. After all, if people refuse to believe that they are in any way responsible – how can I help them? I can try and tackle the manufacturers of the crap they eat, or the owners of the fast food joints they are addicted to – but seriously, even if I managed to close these guys down, would that really help my client?
I offer free consultations to all perspective clients and I met a woman recently who asked for help with her weight issues. During the consultation it become obvious that she refused to accept responsibility for her being overweight. She failed to see how anything she did or didn’t do resulted in her firstly being overweight and secondly, her inability to shift the excess weight. She had no health related issues that would affect her weight.
Asking about her past it became apparent that she had a lot of unresolved anger surrounding her apparent mistreatment by her parents. Once again, she refused to admit that carrying around anger from her childhood was her choice and hence her responsibility. In fact she was incredibly upset that I was not on her ‘side’ with regards to how she had a right to still feel angry fifty years later.
At the end of the consultation I asked her how I could help her. She stated plainly, ‘by helping me to lose weight.’ I nodded to show I understood. I then asked her how she believed I could help her. She was stumped.
I then went on to explain how I worked with weight loss clients to overcome any emotional attachments they may have to food, as well as poor eating habits and any unresolved issues or misunderstandings from the past that could impact on their eating habits at present. However, as she had clearly (and adamantly) stated during the consultation, that she had no such issues, I was unable to help her at this time.
Needless to say she was less than happy, very angry at the wasted time and off she went, never to be seen by me again!
However, if she had have been open to the fact that something she was doing was causing her issues, like every one of the clients I see, I could have helped her. But how can I help someone who does not want to be helped? How can you help someone if they cannot see their part in the problem, especially when they know there is a problem? You can’t.
Until you appreciate that every issue you have is your issue – regardless of where it came from – you cannot move on. You cannot resolve any problems until you see that you are responsible for resolving them or dealing with them – no one else. It doesn’t matter how they came about, all that matters is that you realise you have a problem and that it is down to you to do something about it.
I have helped hundreds of people shed their excess weight – and I love seeing how thrilled they are when they get the results they wanted. The best thing is, these clients were totally honest from the start, some embarrassed by their poor eating habits or mortified by their lifestyle choices, but they bit the proverbial bullet and took ownership of their part in their excessive weight and as a result, were rewarded by an amazing and wonderful weight loss experience!
So next time you moan about your weigh,t ask yourself what you can do to help you let go of your excess weight. No one else can lose your weight for you – only you can do that. And you can only lose weight if you are honest with yourself first.