I’m not quite sure if I inherited this trait or not, but I simply have never liked being told what to do.
Maybe this is more common than I realize because for the most part, I don’t think I have ever met a person who does like it. When we are told what to do, many of us become upset, often wanting to retaliate by doing just the opposite of what we were told to do. The command can make logical sense, but as soon as we’re told what to do an attitude starts to form … and it’s not a good one.
At that point we don’t care. “You have no right to tell me what to do, how dare you!”
Commands concerning your own body are the worst of all. People do not appreciate being told how to conduct their behavior, especially when it comes to being commanded to do it.
I can speak from experience. Being told how to take care of my body was a common occurrence when I was a morbidly obese, 300-pound person. I didn’t like being told what to do. It upset me and caused me to be contrary.
Tell me to eat less? Guess what — I’ll eat more of whatever I want. Ha, showed you!
Tell me to exercise? I’ll only make sure not to exercise; there is no way that you can boss me around!
Tell me to drink more water? Right. Now that’s the only beverage I won’t drink!
Tell me to eat fewer snacks? I’m going to make a trip to the convenience store, now — and buy all of my favorites!
Tell me to find a hobby that doesn’t include food? The next hobby will only include food!
Tell me to stop going to fast food restaurants? I’m going to make certain to stop at each one I see!
Tell me to quit focusing on food so much? I will make certain to focus on it all day long!
Tell me to become more health conscious? I will avoid anyone or anything concerning good health … blah blah blah.
Today I can look over that list and remember the feelings that each command gave me. Each time it happened I would become very upset and go to my best friend for comfort: food.
Twelve years ago it all ended. It ended because I wanted it to, nobody told me to do it. But it wasn’t like I just woke up one day and thought to myself: “Hmmm, everyone was right when they told me how to live. I’ll just eat less, exercise, quit focusing on food so much, etc.”
No. It happened because I faced the reality that if I didn’t change my ways, my ways could change me and it wasn’t going to be good.
I didn’t diet. I did what I wanted by ending unhealthy habits and starting healthy ones. The only person who told me to do it was me. Well, Shirley, my husband’s cousin who was overweight like me, did as well. She didn’t actually look me in the eye and tell me to do anything.
But when she passed away in her early 40s due to her obesity and related heart issues, it forced me to accept something: that her unexpected death was a result of her excess weight. I immediately got the message. It was delivered to me the “right way.”
Nobody can tell us what to do, but it surely doesn’t hurt to listen to some of the messages … one may end up saving your life.
Photo by Panda.*