Own Your Choices

When I have a topsy-turvy week like this one, where every single day is outside my normal routine and the choices I’m faced with are out of the ordinary, I turn to one simple statement to ease my way:

own your choices

Seriously, I say this out loud to myself. Cammy, own your choices. In the car, of course, and quietly if the windows are down, but I say it.

Call me silly if you’d like, but this simple mantra helps me stay honest with myself when I’m deciding on what to order for lunch or whether or not I should skip the workout that day. It reminds me that I am the one in charge of my life. I may not be able to control the environments or situations I’m in, but I am the only one making the choices once I’m there.

The downside, of course, is that I am the only one making the choices once I’m there. :) I have been known to make the less-than-optimal choice from time to time. On rare occasions (thank goodness), the choice I make is pitiful. And some of my choices fall into the land of in between. Owning my choices means I can’t blame them on anyone else or on the situation, which is only fair, when you think about it, because I’m not giving anyone else credit for my great choices. :)

For me, living this way (most of the time) eliminates the restrictive feelings I had in days past when I tried to live this way. It’s very freeing to view situations, opportunities, or events as big ol’ choice fests. It doesn’t matter what a hostess serves at a party; I choose how much (or how little) of it to eat. It doesn’t matter if my work schedule interferes with my workout schedule; I choose what to do (or not do) about that. I accept that sometimes my choices will be helpful, and sometimes they won’t. But they will be my choices. Even when they look like this:

frozen yogurt with chocolate fudge

Actually, this was an in between: sugar-free strawberry banana yogurt with two squishes of hot fudge sauce. It’s also an excellent opportunity to underscore my point about choice. Note the size of the cup offered by Sweet CeCe’s. Now note the empty space in my cup. The choice of how much yogurt to serve was mine, and mine alone, and I chose to ignore the size of the cup.

As far as the extra squish of hot fudge sauce? Would you believe me if I told you that the clerk dashed across the store and jammed her hand down on mine so that I got a full squish instead of the half squish I initially intended?

Didn’t think you would. And for good reason. That was my choice too–a delicious one, I might add! :) Fortunately, I also chose to go to the gym that afternoon, even though it was the beginning of the gym rush hour.

Making the “right” choice isn’t always easy, or even desirable, but to me, the important thing is to accept that there is almost always a choice to be made. It’s up to us to own those choices and live with them in peace. Otherwise, our choices own us, and that’s not the path to lasting change. Or, I should say, it wasn’t my path.

You can choose to disagree, of course. :)

Or you can choose to look at my new siblings:

baby birds

click to enlarge

baby birds

click to enlarge

You can tell we are related since these guys like to eat a lot, too. :)

My parents (and Memaw) are very proud. You’d think they’d hatched them themselves, as opposed to just spending my future inheritance on meal worms for a bunch of birds that aren’t going to take care of them in their old age. :)

20 thoughts on “Own Your Choices

  1. What a wonderful post with a message we simply can’t hear often enough! This is what it all boils down to – own your choices.

    I love the baby birds!

  2. I 10000% agree with you.
    choose what you want.
    do what you like.
    just acknowledge and recognize it is a CHOICE.

  3. I love this and I needed this!!! What a simple trick to help us stay honest with ourselves. I have often talked about how I can be good in front of my daughter, my husband and friends- but alone I just don’t care sometimes. When I think about this I feel awful. I should love myself just as much. I should want to treat myself the way I want to be perceived. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite. Acting one way while secretly wanting to act another way. Does that make sense? I don’t always feel this way- just some of the time.

  4. A timely post for me indeed…..I made the poorest choice of this entire trip just yesterday. Not a poor choice in terms of what, but in how much and in when. Resulted in that over full feeling, I no longer recognize (and DON’T like), but also in not being even remotely interested in the delicious that was planned for a couple of hours later. A good choice was made to not eat that dinner so what I’ve learned kicked in, as in the past I would’ve eaten it all. But I robbed myself of the opportunity to enjoy something later that was much better than the spontaneous choice I made earlier!

    P.S. Sure wish my FroYo shops would have such creative sugar-free options. About all I find is vanilla and chocolate.

  5. Yes, this is such good advice. One of those ‘Cammy-isms’ that have given you the success you have. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  6. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love this Cammy!!! When I write about stuff like this & my trick is to wait 10-15 minutes & think to myself why I want a certain things – if I chose to eat it, I always say own it & move on. IT IS all about choices! Great post!

    BTW – the birds – reminds me of when I was a kid & my mom used to nurse back a lot of young bird abandoned OR that flew into windows & survived…

  7. We just got a Sweet Frog in my part of the world… reading such posts on the blogosphere has reduced my serving size by about 20%… now I just need to lop 20% off of that!

  8. Yep – owning choices and words. That is what life boils down to, right? You’ll do just fine this week. I don’t imagine an extra squirt of syrup matter in the scheme of things.

    That reminds me of a time I was at Panera Bread and getting coffee for myself at the urn. An elderly gentleman decided I needed help dispensing coffee and put his hand over mine and pressed the dispenser down. Not sure what was up with that as he didn’t say a word!

  9. Yes it is about choice, and we can’t always make the right one. What’s difficult about our predicament is that we have to make good choices MOST of the time, or we won’t stay at our chosen weight, and that’s not easy. I find as I get older that there is very little room for making bad choices when it comes to my eating.

  10. “It’s very freeing to view situations, opportunities, or events as big ol’ choice fests. ”

    AMEN! I so agree…and I daresay that we can choose to view every choice as the “right” choice if we learn something from it :-) Choices can be so empowering!

  11. Cammy, this was such a great post because, well, um, it was all about me 😉 Really it hit home in a good way. The word “empower” is overused, but that is what your words do for those of us working on long term behavior changes: “It’s up to us to own those choices and live with them in peace. Otherwise, our choices own us, and that’s not the path to lasting change.” Peaceful, lasting change – I can live with that approach.

  12. I totally agree with you. Blaming our choices on others or situations doesn’t benefit ourselves at all. It’s better to accept and learn from our decisions no matter what they are.

  13. LOVE the “own your choices” mantra. Taking the time to stop and make things an actual choice instead of automatic pilot was definite progress for me. We live in a woods (sort of) and have a lot of nests, kids love to peek.

  14. Sweet baby birds!

    This is a great reminder that I needed to hear this week. Last week, I made myself sick with some of my food choices. In my defense, one of them happened before I had any coffee that morning. But still, it was a bad choice.

  15. This is why you have had so much success with keeping your weight off. What a wonderful mantra to keep you on track. I have to borrow this idea for myself. Accountability is so important. I have several “choice fest, coming up and this could really help me navigate through them. Do you ever plan on writing a book about how to maintain weir loss? Losing the weight is so much easier than keeping it off but you have been super successful at it and have so much wisdom to share.

  16. First time on your site. I like your approach – a little at a time, which ensures lasting results. Crash diets just make us crash and binge. Keep it up!

  17. checking back in on you.
    because we cant call it stalking unless you tell me to stop right? :)
    have a great week.

  18. I completely agree and when I am being mindful about my eating I come from the same place. I frequently have to remind my family that I am choosing not to eat this or that when they are saying “just a bite” or otherwise trying to sway my choices. For me just a taste is enough to throw me right off my resolve – I know that about myself.

    As for the size of the cups at the yogurt place – I always know I eyeballed the right serving size when I check out and the price is around $2.00. It might be less outside of our expensive CA location – like gas! ($3.79 a gallon)

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