Are We Victims, or Perps?

I was called upon this morning when hearing a report on the controversy over the soda Mountain Dew (discussed on Good Morning America), to revisit the question of personal responsibility. You might remember that that controversy arose out of the dismal condition of Appalachan childrens’ teeth, arguably dismal as a result of over-consumption of the ‘dread’  Dew.

But I wonder, whose fault is that? Certainly, children cannot be held responsible for their food and drink choices or for knowing proper hygiene or nutrition practices. But can adults and parents? It’s a complex question to be sure, involving at the very least influences of nature and nuture, marketing and choice, greed and habit. It made me reflect on how this nation and individuals have become so unhealthily obese.

Shall we sue MacDonald’s for mac-sizing us? Does Taco Bell torture us into submission and super-sized sodas? And come to think of it, how is it that tobacco companies are held liable in some jurisdictions for ‘forcing’ us to shell out $5 per pack and upwards, making us suck, inhale, cough, sputter, cloud up our environment, poison others, and personally taste (try kissing an ashtray) and smell atrocious?

Perhaps over the years I’ve grown more unforgiving about traumas and outrageous trends as they periodically come to public attention, especially when we seem to always be looking for someone to blame. What does my mom say? When you point one finger forward, three others are pointing back at you.

The news today just seemed more of the same finger-pointing that in major part caused me to become fed up with my former profession, law. It was never a case of accident, or lack of ability to do some job, but was always “your fault” or “racism” or “sexism.” But that’s the subject of another blog.

What excites me about working with students who come to me for corset waist-trainng coaching is that they have taken a step in exercising personal responsibility. They’ve decided to do something about a poor body image, how they feel in their clothes, or their weight or shape. They invest time, energy, and money to pursue a time-limited, fashionable, fun, and unique way to become more healthy and stay that way:  exactly what should be one of out top ultimate quests throughout our lives.

I’m inspired by my student’s commitment when they follow through to the very end and even beyond, maintaining healthy new habits for many years thereafter. They survive the stress of job loss, litigation, divorce and other grave challenges,  facing ultimate boredom and discomfort to the max on some days — yet they keep that corset on and keep drinking their water and eating their healthy soup — steadfastly pursuing their goals, blaming neither themselves, me, or MacDonalds if they don’t quite succeed. But they still win!

These are the clients whom I respect and want to count among my friends because they’re not victims and they don’t think of themselves as such. They are the masters and mistresses of their fate, yet able to roll with the punches which they cannot possibly or completely control. They are to be admired.


Filed under General Waist Training Information, Hot Topics on Health

3 responses to “Are We Victims, or Perps?

  1. Sarah

    The soda companies are not at fault here. I believe it is the responsibility of the parent to nurture the child in good healthy choices. My parents even warned me not to drink alot of soda. It’s not good for your teeth. However, is the child being taught to brush their teeth regularly?
    Perhaps we should blame the candy factories too. Where does the blame end? A person must be responsible for the health of their ownself. Parents must be responsible to nurture the child with the right choices. Any splurging should be done on a limited basis. I personally know of some parents that cater to these bad choices but sweet to the child, just to get them to behave. “I’ll get you an icecream cone, if you quit crying!” or “You can have a soda if you behave! Ok?” The parents ought to be slapped. What kind of parenting is that?

  2. Parents only have so much impact on sodas– I made some impact when I put a rusty nail in a glass of Cola and the next day, the rust was off and I said, “Think about what dousing your teeth in this does.” So they switched to energy drinks.

    I think people’s minds get doused with images of products and they affect us biologically. The commercials suggest that cool people who drink energy drinks/ run to Micky D’s/ go out for ForthMeal get the better/funner/hipper mates and the nicer homes. Hurried and harried mommies in child-filled SUVs on their way to ball games at drive-throughs look relaxed after they order. (I found myself thinking this one day and went to the grocery store and bought fruit for a quick snack.)

    We ARE victims to a degree– companies spend lots of money figuring out how to give us irrational emotional bonds to their products. Commercials are made to keep people in the room. People are busy and few have time to analyze why they do some things. Thinking is hard! It takes learning and then replacing behaviors– that is a hard thing to do!

  3. All things in moderation (including moderation.) Every so often we read the labels aloud and talk about the ingredients– on both junk food and healthy food. Doing this has not only improved my children’s decisions– but mine as well!

    I love what you say about your students BTW, that is exactly the attitude that I have been working to develop in myself– that of just doing what I need to do without seeking to assign blame to anyone else.

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