The Blame Game

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I read a very interesting study that identifies blame as the main reason for failure to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  And what was particularly thought-provoking to me was that the blame was happening on both sides.  Blame leads to negativity all around, so it stands to reason if someone makes a bad choice, it is human nature to reconcile that choice.   So playing the victim and creating tension around the problem is a big reason diets fail.

Eliminate blame by finding the root cause

As a health coach, I tend to look at it in a little different way.  Rather than blame, I like to discover the root cause.  What caused the tension to begin with?  Why did failure occur?   And why make it a big deal?  When we dwell on a difficult event, it just creates more tension.

So when someone starts a new diet plan, there’s a couple of questions that must be answered.

  1.  How invested is the person in the plan?
  2. How can we set up a support system that makes success inevitable?


These are two really burning questions.  When you or someone you love comes home from the doctor and is given some news, the first thing to note is whether that person is invested in a change.   If not, there is no reason to move to the second question.  Each individual will make his or her own decision and our personal judgement only creates strife and negativity and takes that person farther away from change.

There must be a willingness to change.

If your loved one is a willing participant, then the second question comes into play.  Please note that when a person begins to implement a lifestyle change, mistakes will be made.  This is a learning process.  So again, our personal judgements must be kept at a distance.  Supporting and putting into place actions that will bring success is the most important part here.

So here’s some things we can do to make success inevitable:

  1.  Clear the house of junk foods and don’t allow them in the house at all.
  2. Do not eat addictive foods around the person who is seeking change.
  3. Commit to the program yourself.   I never recommend changes I haven’t experienced myself.  That way I can lend better support.   You are invested together.
  4. Schedule events that don’t revolve around food.  Find things to do that will be loving and supportive of new changes that are happening.

Working together eliminates blame.

So it’s critical that blame not be part of the equation.   That’s where things fall apart.  Curiosity, not judgement, is the answer.  Question everything.  If we fall down, find the root cause, not the blame game.   A support structure brings health and wealth, and when we can participate in the improvement of others’ lives, we too are enriched.

Here's the link to the study that inspired the post.

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