Back in my fat boy days, I had a dozen excuses for being overweight. Most of them were directed outward: I was fat, I'd tell myself, because of things that were outside of my control. These were self-directed lies, of course, just flimsy rationalizations to make myself feel better.
In short, I wasn't taking personal responsibility. I wasn't being self-reliant. I snapped out of it, thank God. I even wrote a little mantra that I repeated to myself every day.
"The condition I'm in now is completely my fault. I caused this. I chose to slack off. I chose crappy foods. I'm the only one to blame and I'm the only one who can fix it."
It worked. I dropped around 65 pounds of fat and eventually added over 30 pounds of muscle. There were missteps, mistakes, and long periods of stagnation along the way. But there were also life lessons – tough, heartless lessons that transcended the gym.
Stop Trying to Be a Victim
Today, the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps ideal has faded. Today, people are seeking out and adopting victim labels. And any victim label will do. Anything to shift blame outward.
And once someone finds his flavor of victimhood, he not only adopts the label, he begins to define himself by it. He begins to wallow in that perceived victimhood. Why? Because it releases him from personal responsibility and self-reliance.
Listen to Barbells
The barbell teaches you a different lesson. The barbell holds the opportunities for getting stronger, changing your body, and building resolve. But (and this is the important bit) the barbell also doesn't give a shit about you.
You pick it up and you get positive, life-changing results.... or you don't and you get nothing. The bar doesn't care one way or another. It looks you right in the face and says, "This is going to be hard and it's going to take a lot of work but the payoff is awesome. Take it or leave it."
In today's society, it's a lesson many need to learn. Life is a barbell. The opportunities are right there. You just have to pick them up and start grinding. It's all on you. Always has been. Always will be.