The Victim tries to find someone or something to blame when weight loss and fitness goals aren’t achieved. If you scored high on the victim scale, you rarely think anything is your fault. People often do things that make you feel slighted, hurt and angry. You’ve experienced many disappointments in life because you feel people let you down. It’s difficult for you to see that you play a part in your own unhappiness. But until you accept responsibility for your life and well-being, you will be trapped in a cycle of blame and anger.
The victim was wronged at one point. However, the difference between the victim and the survivor, is that the victim holds on to this initial wrong and uses it to justify her own wrongs. She feels as though the initial wrong was never corrected, and therefore the feelings that went with that wrong continue to perpetuate within her causing her to always feel slighted, hurt, invalidated, and taken advantage of. Almost every single victim as a child did suffer some form of abuse. Whether this abuse was physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect or abandonment, the it was never resolved for the victim. What this means is that as a child, she was not able to reconcile the feelings that went with the abuse to recognize it as such. Instead, she interpreted the abuse as her fault, and adopted the identity as the person was always gets abused. Where the survivor may have had the opportunity through careful parenting or therapy to understand that abuse or neglect is not their fault, and not an indication of who they are as a person, the victim did not.
Workshop 1 – Who You Are: You see yourself as someone that is on the receiving end of poor treatment from others. In your eyes, people often let you down, so you frequently lose your temper and lash out. For you, progress depends on seeing your part in everything that goes wrong in your life and understanding how you play a role in these unpleasant situations.
Why You’re That Way: Growing up, you most likely experienced neglect or abuse and were victimized in some way. To move beyond victimhood, you need to let go of the past and move beyond identifying yourself as a victim…and start seeing yourself as a survivor.
Characteristics of a Victim:
- What areas of your life have you excelled or been successful having this trait?
- What areas of you or your life has this trait not served you as well?
- Has it affected your health & lifestyle? Your happiness?
Workshop 2 – How You Feel: You are highly emotional and experience a range of difficult emotions. Your feelings are often hurt, and you often feel slighted and mistreated.
The victim interpreted the abuse as something that always happens to her, and is an indication of how people treat her. As an adult, then, the victim continues to believe that she always gets slighted, and that people are not to be trusted. This belief causes her to operate from a place of anger. Anger becomes the dominant emotion, and cause the victim to be prone to emotional outbursts, that often destroy relationships. Where as a child she may have been right that people cannot be trusted, as an adult, the consequence is contentious relationships, and difficulty adjusting to new situations. Every time something changes in a relationship or situation, the victim becomes mistrustful, and begins to look for the reasons for this mistrust. This is why we say the victim looks to be failed. In a sense, when the victim is failed she has justification for their anger. Obviously, this mode of operating can make relationships incredibly difficult for the victim. Most people do not want to be blamed, or even exposed to the victim’s anger. For this reason, victims often choose very passive partners, or cycle through relationships very quickly. In addition to the difficulty with relationships, most victims also struggle with occupational stability, and frequently change jobs and locations rapidly.
- With this personality trait, do you expect the same of others, loved ones?
- Has this skewed your judgment towards others if they do not measure up?
- How would you like to see yourself differently?
- Has is affected your health & lifestyle? Your happiness?
Kathleen’s Victim Story
Kathleen’s is a great story…the ending part anyway⎯the first part reads like a sad country song. When she came here, she had a horrible year that put her in a very dark place very close to rock bottom. Her husband left her for a (as she puts it) “younger, thinner woman.” Her two dogs died; she lost a job that she’d had for 10 years, and she woke up one morning realizing she was 150 pounds overweight. Her life was out of control, and she was legitimately worried that she wouldn’t be around for her daughter in the future. That’s when she came to Live in Fitness.
At first, she struggled mightily dealing with relationships and felt severely victimized by her husband’s choices. She was negative and focused on too many small things. But then she began working on visualizing her ideal self and little by little, pound by pound, she found herself in a place that was very different from where she was when she arrived. She was now 140 pounds lighter and very close to her ideal self.
Kathleen says that it wasn’t just 140 pounds of weight loss, but a metamorphosis occurred that turned her into a positive person with a clear visual of her ideal self. She first had to believe the program would work. Then she put in the work. Then the pounds came off, and today she’s a wonderful, positive, strong person.
Her life changed because she changed, and now I’m lucky to have her helping other women who are in similar situations to the one she was in when she got her. Thank you, Kathleen.
Workshop 3 – Relationships/Family: You are distrustful of others and frequently feel as if you’re waiting for people to let you down or wrong you in some way. When you feel wronged, you can become enraged and tell people off. You often end relationships abruptly, feeling all the problems were the other person’s fault. In terms of their health and weight loss aspirations, victims operate very similarly to the way they do in relationships. Victims are the most likely personality to look for a trainer who will subordinate their excuses, and not hold them accountable. What this allows the victim to do is avoid becoming responsible for her health, and instead, blame the trainer for her failure to attain her weight loss goals. This is also why victims are prone to cycling through trainers. Every time they do, they stockpile their anger about their failure to attain their weight loss goals, all the while, continuing to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and behavior. As their sense of desperation escalates, victims will look to extreme measures to achieve their weight loss goals. Because they do not feel good about themselves, they can be blind to the detrimental effects of these extreme measures, often subjecting themselves to rigid fasting regimens, zero carb diets, and stimulant pills. For this reason, victims are also more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to either lose weight, or numb the feelings about their failure to lose weight. As they are unable to take responsibility for themselves, they are likely to become addicted to these things, which can confound their weight loss goals.
Pam has trouble with things not feeling “fair”, as she constantly feels as though people are trying to take advantage of her. She has had trouble with her family relationships as she continues to blame them 20 years after the initial abuse she suffered. While she was molested by her uncle as a child, the feelings about this remain just as intense as when she was a child. As an adult, everything she interprets as a slight, failure on another person’s part, or wrongdoing, reminds her of the molest. When she feels that she has been wronged, she becomes very angry, and looks for someone, or thing, to blame about it. But angry is the way she feels most of the time. She has been married 3 times, and in her third marriage, she chose a retired business owner, who supports her fully, and doesn’t question her extreme, and often desperate attempts at weight loss. He also doesn’t question her behavior, and takes a backseat when she becomes angry. Pam has tried everything to lose weight, including residential spas, boot-camps, and a litany of consultations with doctors. Inevitably, every program fails her, but she also has never completed a program fully. Instead, she leaves early, claiming a list of failures, and oversights of the program.
- How has this affected you?
- What have you missed out on by having this trait?
- What is important to you at the end of the day?
- If you look back at your life would you feel fulfilled
Workshop 4 – Watch Out For: Many of your problems in life recur with different players. You get caught in a negative cycle because you believe that you play no part in the problems. When trying to lose weight and get fit, you will shun responsibility and try to blame your lack of success on outside forces, such as the trainer, the facilities, or the exercise equipment. Until you start to take responsibility for your results, you will make little, if any, progress.
Affirmations for Victims
- I take responsibility for my part in what happens.
- I accept responsibility for my results.
- I have no need to blame anyone.
Inspiration for Victims
“The one person who most blocks you from a full, happy, and successful life is you.”
⎯ NORMAN VINCENT PEALE
“Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? No one to blame.”
⎯ ERICA JONG
“People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”
⎯ J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
Recommendations: Realize that you have the power to make positive changes in your life and that it all begins by accepting responsibility for your success or failure. Remember: no excuses! Remind yourself: I will not be a victim again.
For the victim to begin to be successful at health and weight loss, she has to learn to look at herself. As she has developed a pattern of looking at others to find blame when she is not successful, her success now depends on her ability to look at her own behavior. That is the only thing that she can change, as it is the only thing that she has control over. What this means is that she can no longer make anyone else responsible for her weight loss goals. To do this, it can be very helpful for the victim to begin with a list of goals, and along with this list, the things she is responsible for in achieving these goals. In doing this, it is very important that the victim only list what she needs to do to accomplish her goals, and not what she believes any one else “should do”. For this, we will have the victim make a list of her past or current excuses, and her part in these excuses. The exercise will look something like this: 1. My goal is to burn 7000 calories this week, 2. My responsibility is to exercise enough every day to make sure I burn at least 1000 calories, 3. My excuse is that my allergies flare up because my office has mold in it, 4. My part of my excuse is to take responsibility for my allergies and either change offices, work somewhere else, take allergy medication, or purchase a dehumidifier for my office. As in the past, the victim is used to looking for excuses to justify her lack of success, now she will be looking for excuses to begin to take responsibility of them. When she can begin to take responsibility, she can begin to change. However, in doing this exercise, it is very important that the victim work with someone who will hold her accountable. As the victim begins to take responsibility, she will also begin to experience a greater sense of control over her own life and her choices, and when she does, she should experience less anger, which will also help reduce her tendency to act out and ruin relationships. What this means is that she will likely begin to have more support for herself when she begins to take more responsibility for her behavior. This increased support will also help the victim be more successful at achieving her weight loss goals. Simply the act of taking responsibility is a positive experience for most people, but in the case of the victim, it can be life changing.
List some realistic goals that are important to you with a realistic timeline or timeframe