The Politics of Stupid – Excerpt 05/06/2008 | by Susan Powter | Responsibility

Responsibility, the very thing we need to talk about in order for you to completely understand how your life is going to change and, it’s not what you think. Your responsibility to you, your body and the world starts with you wiping out everything you ever thought was responsible. As with everything, you’ve only been given one dimension.

Before consulting Webster here’s my new and much improved definition of the word responsibility, the literal definition look at the word.

Responsibility: Your response to, your ability.

Ta da! Your response to your ability to? You increasing your response to your ability, think about what that totally different definition of the word that, up until now, hasn’t done you a bit of good means. Your ability to, talk about a blank that needs to be filled in. If anything is going to change in your life, definitely your body, you are going to have to increase your response to your ability to do a few things. A big statement not because it’s difficult to do, a big statement because it changes everything. You increasing your response to your ability is, the (real) weight loss guarantee. One hell of a lifestyle X-change that (again and again and again) is never mentioned in the endless weight loss discussions, unless, as always, they are talking about your complete lack of it. No weight loss infomercial producer will touch the word responsibility with a ten foot pole unless you promise that the ten foot pole is really a magic weight loss wand. If any variation of the word responsibility is going to be a part of a weight loss seminar or workshop you run the risk of being uninvited before the party ever begins.

Apparently you can’t stomach the suggestion. It’s not a word you are interested in, it’s:

Too harsh
Too much to ask
Too overwhelming
Too blatant
Too difficult
Not glamorous enough

I’ve been told (over and over again) that suggesting you take responsibility for how you live takes away from the perceived value of a weight loss program? It’s too truthful and you are not interested. Again, quotes and I’d be glad to give you the names and numbers of the boys who said it to me. “Give ‘em a chart, give ‘em a graph, make it look programmatic, the truth will take the glamour out of it.” Exactly what I’ve been told will happen if the R word is uttered. Perhaps now you can see why I’m not invited to many of my motivational peers motivational things. Being the team player that I’m not and with what’s liable to come out of my mouth, it’s far too much of a risk to invite me. They can’t afford (literally) to have me join them because I won’t go along with the program. The program of making people believe that there is some program because, there isn’t.

Guru status is not hard to get, I have it. It’s not a word I ever use but it is a word that is used often to describe what I do. Fitness guru. The fact is, I’m a housewife who figured something (a few things) out and started talking to other women. I’m not allowed on the mountain top or the pulpit because I have a vagina. As far as I’m concerned it’s the same thing with different head dresses and, neither works for me. What does work for me is intuitive wisdom and common sense and when it comes to you increasing your response to your ability to do everything you want to do, all you need is common bloody sense.

Picture of Susan Powter

Susan Powter

Susan Powter (born 22 December 1957) is an Australian-born American motivational speaker, nutritionist, personal trainer, and author, who rose to fame in the 1990s with her catchphrase "Stop the Insanity!", the centerpiece of her weight-loss infomercial. She hosted her own talk show The Susan Powter Show in the 1990s.

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