Total Health in Midlife Episode #159: Fault vs Responsibility

Fault vs Responsibility

I remember the moment I realized that my health was not just a product of my genetics but a canvas I could paint with my choices and actions. It was a profound transformation from feeling like a helpless bystander in my own body to becoming the artist of my well-being. 

On this episode of Total Health in Midlife, I, Elizabeth Sherman, invite you on a journey to unlock the potential of a mindset geared towards health empowerment. 

We’ll unearth why we often feel trapped by our genetics and upbringing, and how acknowledging our role in creating our health narratives can lead to profound change. Get ready to challenge old beliefs and embrace the effort it takes to achieve your health goals.

As we peel back the layers of self-pity and victimhood, we discover the resilience of taking personal responsibility for our well-being. Whether you’re navigating injuries, health diagnoses, or the everyday challenges that life throws your way, there’s a path to a brighter, healthier future. 

In this heart-to-heart, we discuss adapting with grace and strength and forging a compassionate alliance with your body. By the end of our time together, you’ll be equipped with insights and practical advice that will inspire you to craft a life marked by vitality and fulfillment. 

So, press play and join us as we step into a space of confidence, self-acceptance, and thriving health.

Chapter Summaries

Unlocking Your Health’s Full Potential (0:00:05) 

Mindset shifts from self-pity to empowerment in health, acknowledging effort and calorie balance, and overcoming the victim mindset.

From Victim to Health Responsibility (0:05:47) 

Taking responsibility for our health journey, adapting to injuries and diagnoses, and empowering ourselves to prioritize well-being.

Building a Thriving Future (0:19:31) 

Prioritize well-being, embrace health and self-acceptance, take responsibility for the future, and find fulfillment on a transformative journey.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • Discover the key to unlocking your health’s full potential by breaking free from a hidden mindset trap.
  • Learn how to move past the victim mindset, take responsibility for your health, and embrace empowerment and growth.
  • Discover how to take control of your health by shifting to a proactive mindset, embracing responsibility, and preparing your body for well-being and resilience.
  • Explore the transformative shift from victimhood to proactive health, embracing responsibility and preparing our bodies for a resilient future.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Have you ever felt trapped, like, no matter what you try, your health just doesn’t improve? Ever felt like the world is against you and it’s just not fair? What if I told you that the key to unlocking your health’s full potential isn’t in the latest diet fad or magic pill, but right there inside of you.

Today, we’re exploring a sneaky mindset trap that keeps so many of us stuck in a cycle of frustration and failure. Join me as we explore the path from self-pity to victory, from blame to responsibility, and from resentment to loving yourself and your body.

This episode could be the turning point you’ve been waiting for. So, grab a comfy seat and let’s dive in because this is one conversation you cannot miss.

Welcome to Total Health and Midlife, the podcast for women embracing the pivotal transformation from the daily grind to the dawn of a new chapter. I’m Elizabeth, your host and fellow traveler on this journey.

As a Life and Health Coach, I am intimately familiar with the changes and challenges we face during this stage. Shifting careers, changing relationships, our new bodies, and redefining goals and needs as we start to look to the future and ask, what do I want?

In this podcast, we’ll explore physical, mental, and emotional wellness, offering insights and strategies to achieve optimal health through these transformative years.

Yes, it’s totally possible.

Join me in this amazing journey of body, mind, and spirit, where we’re not just improving our health, but transforming our entire lives.

Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of the Total Health in Midlife podcast. I’m your host, Elizabeth Sherman, and as always, I am so glad that you’re here. So, today we are tackling a subject that I think we can all connect with in some way. The concept of fault and responsibility. And I’m going to talk about this in the context of our bodies and our health.

I used to believe that my body was somehow this special snowflake. I thought that diet and exercise just didn’t work for me, as if my body somehow defied science. I know, it sounds crazy saying it out loud, but it was seriously something that I considered, I thought, I believed it.

I was caught in this thinking that it wasn’t my fault that I had certain genetics or that my parents didn’t teach me about good nutrition. And I bet you might also think the same way about something in your health journey.

But one day, I had this realization that, yeah, those things might not be my fault, but they absolutely are my responsibility. It’s my responsibility to take care of my body because to be honest, no one else is going to do it for me.

I came across this article by writer, Mark Manson on the “Responsibility Fault Fallacy.” And it’s also in his book, “The Art of Not Giving a Fuck.” Although, he wasn’t talking directly about health, something in it, in the message, clicked for me.

I saw how I could take that idea and apply it to my relationship with my body and my health. And so, that’s what I want to share with you today. Now, I feel like I need to warn you.

This episode is going to have some tough love. But trust me, it is also filled with love and compassion too. Because as you’re going to hear, I’ve been there. I’ve had all of these same thoughts and I know how this whole process feels.

So, we are going to dig into this topic together and challenge some of our beliefs and find a way to move forward so that you can be successful.

First, let’s talk about something that many of us fall into, including myself, today. And that is the trap of what’s called, ‘victim mindset.’ Especially, when it comes to our health, our bodies, our weight, and our self-image.

Now, during my dieting days, I used to genuinely believe that diet and exercise just didn’t work for me. And it sounds absurd now, but I felt like my body was again, this special snowflake that could defy, that did defy, the laws of science. I felt like I should be able to eat whatever I wanted, never exercise, and somehow, magically, have the body that I dreamed of, something similar to a Victoria’s Secret model.

In other words, I wanted the results without putting in the work. And I think that that’s something that we’re taught. That as women, we should look like our efforts are effortless, but still have the success. So, I think that there was a lot of socialization going there.

Maybe you’ve been there too. Maybe you’ve thought I’ve tried everything, and nothing works. Or maybe you’re convinced that your body just won’t respond the way that other bodies do. And you know what? I get it because I’ve been there. It’s a comfortable place to be because it absolves us of Responsibility.

But here’s the truth, a truth that I had to learn the hard way, which is our bodies don’t defy science. Calorie balance does work. Now, I’m not saying it’s a straightforward equation of calories in versus calories out. We can estimate that a pound of fat is about 3, 500 calories.

But what if that’s not universally true. Of course, the type of food that you eat will impact your hormones. How your body responds to eating, moving, sleep, and stress. But it does not mean that diet and exercise don’t work for you.

The problem with being in the victim mindset, this self-pitying belief is that it’s a road to nowhere. It keeps us stuck and it doesn’t require anything from us. It’s like a safety blanket that allows us to remain in the same place without guilt or effort. And I understand the allure. Trust me, I’ve been there in many different facets of my life, but it is a dead end.

So, let’s take a moment and first, get honest with ourselves. Are you holding on to beliefs that are keeping you from taking responsibility for your health? Are you hiding behind excuses that make you feel better, but don’t get you any closer to your goals?

If you believe that your body defies science, I want to hear from you. Seriously, reach out to me. Let’s talk about it and let’s figure out how to move past this mindset because I’ve been in your shoes. And I know this mindset is a barrier to becoming the healthiest versions of ourselves. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.

So, today, let’s acknowledge where we are at, where we want to be, and what we need to do in order to get there. It’s time to take some responsibility and start taking steps towards what we truly want for our health. It’s time to leave the victim mindset behind and step into a place of empowerment, action, and growth.

So, we’ve all been there. Something happens, an injury, a diagnosis, a genetic predisposition. And it’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming ourselves. We dwell on what we could have done differently, or even worse, we blame our bodies as if they’ve somehow betrayed us.

Let’s take a moment to think about it. It might not be your fault that you got hurt. It might not be your fault that you were diagnosed with a disease. It most certainly isn’t your fault that you have the genetics that you have. And perhaps you’ve battled thick thighs, a belly pooch, acne, fat above your knees, or anything else that you’ve looked at in the mirror and disliked.

But guess what? It’s not your fault. But here’s where the responsibility comes in. Just because it’s not your fault doesn’t mean that you get to take it out on your body. Your body is not your enemy. Your body loves you. Your body is doing the best it can, given the circumstances. And when you can truly have compassion for your body, that’s when the relationship turns around.

Think about it this way. What if that injury or diagnosis was always going to happen? What if it was just part of your life’s journey? Instead of beating yourself up about it, think about how you can now take responsibility for moving forward.

Now, taking responsibility doesn’t mean blaming yourself. It means recognizing what you can control and making the choice to take positive action. It’s about empowering yourself to live the healthiest and fullest life possible, regardless of any obstacles. Maybe you have an old sports injury that keeps you from the exercise that you love.

Instead of wallowing in frustration and self-pity, take responsibility by finding a new way to stay active. Seek professional guidance if you need to. Explore different types of exercises and find what it is that brings you joy. Or perhaps you’ve received a diagnosis that has shaken your world.

It’s okay to feel scared, angry, or overwhelmed. But don’t let those feelings keep you stuck. Embrace the reality of the situation and then go ask yourself. Okay, what can I do now to take care of myself? How can I prepare my body to be in the best possible shape to heal?

The truth is, we don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know what diagnoses or challenges we might face. But we can control how we respond to them. We can choose how to treat our bodies with kindness and respect. We can choose to take proactive steps towards health and well-being. And most importantly, we can choose to stop playing the blame game and start playing an active role in our lives.

Let’s shift our mindset from blame to responsibility. Let’s recognize where we might be holding ourselves back and take control of what we can. Let’s treat ourselves with compassion and love and let’s be the strong, resilient women that we know that we can be. And your body is on your side, it’s time for you to be on your body’s side, too.

One of the biggest challenges in our lives, especially as we age is facing the unknown. What if something happens to our health? What if we receive a diagnosis that we didn’t see coming? These are terrifying thoughts. But instead of living in fear, we can shift our perspective and talk about preparing our bodies for the future.

I want to share something very personal with you. My mom’s cancer diagnosis and eventual passing was a profound turning point in my life. I saw her death, not just as a tragic loss, but as a warning of what could come if I didn’t make those changes in my life.

But you know what? It wasn’t an overnight transition. It took me a lot of time, 15 years to be exact. And I did it in so many different phases. My journey wasn’t about reacting to what had happened but preparing my body for the unknown future. I wanted to be in the best possible shape that I could be, to heal myself. If I needed to.

Now, this new mindset differs hugely from the fatalistic why even try attitude. We’ve all been there. It’s easy to feel resentful for quote unquote having to do healthy habits. Perhaps you found yourself envious of others who seem to have it easier.

Phrases like my friend can eat anything and not gain an ounce. Or my husband can do keto for a week and drop like 10 pounds, while I’ll gain weight. It’s so unfair. Those sentences might sound familiar.

So, let’s take a moment to recognize that this kind of thinking is a huge red flag. It’s not about envy or resentment. It’s about taking responsibility for you and your health. When we shift from a mindset of resentment to one of preparation, we can become proactive in our health.

We are no longer victims of our circumstances, but captains of our destinies. We can stop comparing ourselves to others and start focusing on what we need to do to build a future of health.

The real beauty in this approach is that it’s empowering. It’s not about looking for quick fixes or magic solutions. It’s about recognizing that our bodies are unique and what works for someone else may not work for us. And it’s my responsibility for finding out the path and sticking to it.

We don’t have to do this alone. You can reach out to friends, family, or professionals who can support you. Lean into the wisdom of others who’ve walked this path before you. I know that change is hard, especially when it comes to our health. But remember, my mom’s story and the lessons I learned from her journey.

Let’s not wait for a warning sign to take action. Let’s embrace the responsibility for our health and well-being now. Our bodies are so incredible, they’re resilient, and they’re capable of healing themselves. And so, be aware that when we can give them love, attention, and the preparation they deserve, they will thank us back by protecting us.

We can build a future of health together. One where we’re ready to face whatever comes our way, with strength and grace.

Life can throw us curveballs, and we often find ourselves grappling with emotions like self-pity or feeling trapped. But what if we could take those emotions and turn them into something powerful?

So, next, I want to share some actionable tips that you can take to move from a place of feeling stuck to embracing the power that you have over your future. So, step one is awareness of self-pity or feeling trapped. Now, this is something that I have been just recently, aware of. Like, what self-pity feels like in my body.

So, I just talked about resentment, self-pity, and that lingering feeling of it’s not fair. Well, it’s time to face those emotions head on. No one said life was fair but wallowing in these feelings won’t get us anywhere. Instead, let’s explore these emotions and ask yourself, why do I feel this way? Get to the root of what’s holding you back. Is it fear? Is it lack of confidence?

Understanding why you feel the way you do is the first step in moving past it. And if you need more help with this, check out my podcast, episode number 96 titled, ‘Becoming Your Own Best Friend.’ Also, you may want to check out the ‘Processing Emotion,’ episode too. It’s packed with insights and strategies to help you dive deeper into your emotions.

Once we understand what’s holding us back, we can then start to identify the areas where we have power. What can you control in your life? Maybe it’s the food you eat. The way you exercise, or how you manage stress.

Take responsibility for those areas and make a plan. Put on your big girl pants and do what needs to be done instead of blaming others for how hard it is. It’s not about finding fault. It’s about owning your future.

If you’re struggling with taking this step, I highly recommend episode number 78, ‘Building the Skill of Self-Trust.’ It’s a total game changer for learning how to believe in yourself and take action with confidence.

Now, these two steps are not just about overcoming self-pity or resentment. They’re about embracing the incredible power that you have to shape your health and your future. They’re about accepting responsibility, not as a burden, but as an empowering choice.

Life might not be fair, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take control of our destiny. By following these actionable steps, you can break free from the trap of self-pity and resentment and move forward with strength, courage, and determination.

You don’t have to waste another moment feeling stuck or trapped. You can take charge of your health, your body, and your future. You can be your own best friend and build the skill of self-trust. Because when we can accept responsibility and take action, we open the door to a life filled with energy, confidence, self-acceptance, and fulfillment. And that is something worth striving for.

Okay, so let’s wrap this episode up. Here we are at the end of our powerful journey, and we’ve talked about self-pity, empowerment, feeling like a victim, to standing tall in victory.

And so, today, we’ve explored not just the traps that can hold us back, but the actionable steps that can propel us forward. We’ve laid out a path from blame to resentment to acceptance and action. A path that leads to a healthier, happier version of you.

The power to take control of your health and your future is within you. You have the strength, the courage, and the determination to embrace your body and make those positive changes that lead to real, lasting transformation.

It’s not about dwelling on what’s fair or unfair, it’s about taking responsibility and stepping into your power. But you don’t have to go it alone. I’d love to invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on social media or by sending me an email.

Your stories and insights add so much richness to this community of women and to our future episodes. Whether it’s a question, a success story, or just saying hello, I am here, and I’d love to hear from you.

So, what’s your next step? Are you ready to take what you’ve learned today and apply it to your life? Are you ready to leave behind the blame, the resentment, and the self-pity, and embrace a future filled with hope, health, and happiness?

I challenge you to do just that. Take these lessons, apply them to your life, and start building a future where you’re not just surviving, but you are thriving. Embrace your health, love your body, and take charge of your future.

Because the path to victory starts with you. It starts with you taking responsibility, with stepping out of the victim role, and into making conscious choices to build a life filled with energy, confidence self-acceptance, and fulfillment

Thank you for joining me on this incredible journey today. That’s all I have for you. Have an amazing week, everyone. And I will talk to you next time. Bye-bye.

Thanks for staying with us till the end of this episode. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of the ‘8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do’ and want to connect with a community of like-minded women, I warmly invite you to join our free Facebook group, ‘8 Basic Habits that Women in Midlife Do’.

In this group, we expand on the habits discussed today, sharing experiences, offering support, and celebrating our health journeys together. It’s a space where you can feel understood and encouraged.

To join, simply click the link in our show notes. Let’s support and inspire each other in our quest for better health. See you in the group!

Enjoy the Show?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is apple_podcast_button.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is spotify.png