>A critical component to learning how to transform your body and life is accepting responsibility for your actions. Frequently it’s a lifetime of poor decisions that have lead you to the point you are at now. Bad food decisions, decisions not to exercise, and a host of other miscues have brought you to this point.

Accepting personal responsibility for conduct is HUGE. Learning to accept that YOU are the one who puts the food into your mouth, YOU are the one who decides when to workout, and YOU are ultimately responsible for your health and well being is big. It may be the first time in years that you’ve really acknowledged your part in the state you find yourself.

Being responsible is a powerful thing. Understanding your ability to control things around you and to elicit the response you seek is amazing and empowering. You find yourself moving forward rapidly. You see the goal and now know how to work toward it.

Yet knowing how to harness responsibility doesn’t protect you from moments of adversity. Things happen, things will go wrong. Your two year old will shove an Oreo into your mouth. You get hurt. You lose your job. You hit something that you can’t quite get over.

It happens. It happens to the best of us. You get knocked down, dust yourself off, and start moving forward again. Only, you’ve fallen back really far. The weight has come back. You find yourself buying bigger clothes. Suddenly those vows about lifestyle change seem hollow. What went wrong? Obviously you did something wrong because if you hadn’t, then you wouldn’t be here. It doesn’t matter that you had a broken leg and were on bedrest for a month. You could have controlled what you put in your mouth. It’s an excuse. You are responsible. Lose you job, and have a child hit serious academic issues at the same time? Doesn’t matter. You are responsible for your own behavior and conduct. Breakup with your significant other and bury yourself for a month and a half in Chunky Monkey ice cream? It doesn’t matter that you were planning on marrying the guy. It doesn’t matter that it really hurt. You are responsible for your behavior, your conduct. You can’t blame anyone else for your behavior but you. You are responsible.

You are responsible. How could you screw up like that? You are responsible, how could you fail yourself like that? You are responsible, if you were better this would not have happened.

STOP.

If you were better, this would not have happened? Explain that Sparky. When did you gain the power to predict the future? When did you become perfect? And more critically, why are you here and not off making millions of dollars showing others how to be perfect?

Congratulations. You’ve found a new excuse for yourself. Somewhere along the line, being responsible became a way to keep you from moving forward. You let it eat at you a little bit at a time. Every time you start to reach again, it comes back that you failed. You couldn’t keep things together when the going got a little tough. You weren’t on point, and you are responsible for that.

News flash- things happen. Big things, little things, and odd shaped things. We call this life. Sometimes life hits you with a group of events that you just can’t battle through. You have so many things to juggle, something has to go. It happens. You do your best to try and ensure that your health isn’t one of those balls. But let’s be honest, those are old, old habits. They can sneak back in a little bit at a time. When the rest of your life is upside down, an old habit, even a bad one can be comfortable.

There’s a balance between being responsible and using that as a way to move forward, or being responsible and using it to hold yourself in place.

Life happens. You get angry, sad, or disoriented. You fall in love and have the world at your fingertips. People are born and die. You will make mistakes. The wonderful thing about being human is that you always have the power to start moving forward. That means accepting that you will not be perfect. Failure is not the end of the world, and you did nothing wrong. It means you learned a new set of limits, and you get to move past them.

The past is the past. If you are still using it to beat yourself up, there’s an issue.

It’s not easy to let go of the responsibility excuse. You have to learn to listen for the little echo of, “you’re a screw up.” When you hear that voice, it’s not responsibility talking. That’s an excuse and it’s time to dig it out. You are allowed to be human, to screw up, and to not be perfect. It doesn’t matter if that lack of perfection results in gaining 20 pounds. It happens. Take a deep breath and let it go. Look forward.