Wednesday, 28 March 2012

who's in charge here?

One of the most valuable things I learnt about my own health and wellbeing was that I am responsible for it. Now although many will agree with this, I’m not convinced we are all really on the same page.

Whenever you embark on a health-kick such as signing up for a gym, starting a diet, commencing an exercise routine, etc there is a plethora of eager ‘advisers’ who want to tell you what they did, or how you should do it.

Problem is, much of the advice you get is contradictory. Eat carbs / don’t eat carbs. Go vegetarian / eat high protein. Don’t eat between meals / eat every 2-3 hours. Cardio v strength training. Exercise in one block of time / exercise in short spurts thru the day. And on it goes.

So how come so many ‘experts’ have such different views? Who’s right? Are they all wrong?

This sort of conflicting information doesn’t just occur in the wellbeing sector, I’ve discovered. But through the maze of confusion, I came to the following conclusion:

I’m in charge of me

No longer will I outsource decisions about my health and wellbeing into the hands of other people who don’t have to live with the consequences of their decisions. My health is not theirs to determine. It’s not that I don’t consider the advice and opinions of experts. I do. I mean, I really do. However the final decision is always mine.

Sounds simplistic doesn’t it? But it’s more than that. It’s about responsibility. Ownership. Self-management. Being in-charge of your own life.

This is empowering stuff. It’s a concept that extends well beyond the medical / wellbeing decisions I make as well. In fact, I’m responsible for a whole lot of stuff - like my choice on who my friends are; how much time I will invest in certain things; how safely I choose to drive my car; how I spend my free time; what sort of behaviours I will encourage, tolerate, refuse to tolerate. It’s very powerful being in charge of me.

What really annoys me, in fact bugs the hell out of me, is any attempt other people make in being in charge of an aspect of my life that is not theirs to assume. Like that medical type person who forgot I was a human being attached to the body he was treating. Not wise, boy-o.

I sometimes hear others whinge about so-and-so (‘so-and-so’ being someone they are in a whole lot of contact with whose bad behaviour goes on and on) and their only response to So-and-so’s bad behaviour is to whinge to others and not take steps to manage their own wellbeing.

Being in charge is the most freeing discovery. And did I mention the word ‘empowering’? It’s so wonderful being in charge.  Of me.

So. Who’s in charge of you? Any comments, thoughts or stories you want to share about being in charge? Wax lyrical, people!


  1. Brilliant! Thank you for another great post.

    I agree with you. It is empowering to take charge and make conscious decisions about our lives- all aspects of our life. it also makes us accountable to ourselves, responsible for the consequences of our choices and,at times , rather lonely.

    How do you deal with those moments of self doubt, fear and confusion with regards to those pesky tough decisions we have make?

    Looking forward to reading your ideas.

    Irene from Canberra

  2. Hi. Apologies for taking so long to reply to this. I think blogland has been playing tricks on me as I only just found this! so... dealing with self doubt, fear and confusion re tough decisions? i don't have a full answer to that, except to say that i find it very helpful to bounce my thoughts off someone who can be a sounding board for me and help me crystallise options and their potential results. many people don't have the skills to be a sounding board, being quick to try and problem-solve instead. so if you can find someone who knows how to be sounding board, it is most helpful i find. i also find i need to come to decisions in my own time - not have someone else impose their solution as this only serves to piss me off! Self doubt and fear are also pretty normal, however can be crippling if we pay too much attention to them. i know that sounds like a glib and easy response, however this is one of the messages i got from the happiness trap book (see blog under 'book review' section) which took a whole book to explain! i would be eager to hear from anyone else who has other strategies that help when dealing with self doubt, fear and confusion.