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It’s Not Your Fault - How I Stopped Blaming Myself for Weight Loss Failures

Good Will Hunting - It's Not Your Fault

You may begin to notice a slight trend in my writing; I mention movies… a lot. Why is that? I guess I love how they can boil down the human experience into just a couple of hours, and do a really good job sometimes. We can see pieces of ourselves and our own lives in different characters and their story lines, and most of all they can elicit the most powerful of emotions. But sometimes, they can reflect the darker sides of who we are…the struggles we are all going through in one way or another, but above all, in the end, they can offer redemption and if we are lucky may give us just a little glimmer of hope that we can be better. It’s something to hold on to. Is there anything better than hope?

One of my favorite movies is Good Will Hunting. When we are first introduced to Robin William’s character, Sean, he is teaching a class of slightly bored, slightly Ferris Bueller looking collegiate students. “What is Trust?” he asks. After surveying the glassy eyed attendees, Sean calls on one, rather unimpressive young man, who after deliberating for a brief moment comes to the profound conclusion that “Trust…is life”. He seems proud of himself. Deep.

After a smattering of quiet ridicule it is clear that this is not exactly the answer Sean was looking for, but with his limited expectations for his students, he gives a smile of acceptance and the bell rings. Time’s up.

Trust. It becomes a focal point of the movie. In one of the final scenes, Will, played by Matt Damon, is meeting with Sean for one of his last therapy sessions. Sean holds Will’s file in his hand and it contains all of the horrors of his upbringing: the foster homes, evil parents, life in juvi, the abuse, pictures, everything. Will asks “do you have any experience with that?” “Yeah” says Sean.

As you may remember, after a few more words and a pause, Sean moves closer to Will and quietly recites the most powerful and famous line from the movie. “It’s not your fault”. He steps closer and again “It’s not your fault.” After multiple times, we witness Will emotionally fighting back against it, not wanting to give in to the truth, not wanting to let go of the beliefs he’s held for so long, but he finally relents. He opens up the part of him that had been closed off for years and takes a chance… to trust. Something he has been unable to do after being abandoned so many times in his past.

The boundaries come down, Will leans into Sean, hugs him tightly and cries like the child within him has been wanting to do for so long but never had a parent figure to trust enough to do it. It is beautiful, cathartic for both him, Sean, and the audience…it is also totally Hollywood… and I love it.

It is tragic though. For all those years, to think Will held inside himself a false belief that he was responsible for the horrific things that had happened to him. As if any child deserves to be beaten with a wrench or abandoned? When looking at this from the outside it is so easy to see but sometimes, from the inside, things just get messy, misconstrued and completely backwards.

I always assumed that I struggled with eating and it was 100% entirely my fault. After all, there was not some other person shoving pizza down my throat, stashing oreos in his closet or eating 3 NY bagels back to back as if trying to prove something. God, why do I love to eat so much? Why can’t I stop? What is wrong with me? I must be broken. I am simply…weak. That’s it. I am weak.

That is what doctors, nutritionists, and even the government will tell you just not in so many words. It may be slightly more nuanced than that. “Here is the food pyramid - eat this and you will be healthy”. Ok. Great. But I can’t. It doesn’t work. I am drawn in to eat more and more and more. How many times can I bang my head against the wall before I give up?

Self blame for processed food addiction is the worst part for me. For years I eviscerated myself. I tore myself down to the core of who I was and always found the same thing at the center: defect. I am defective in one way or another. I am not strong enough. Blame, blame, blame.

It is simple really. For one to be blamed…they must actually be at fault right? After all it is my hand that picks up the food, that puts it in my mouth, that reaches out again before the first bite is even half done for more. So, ok it’s me. We can all agree on that, right? I am to blame?


You have been duped. I have been duped. We all have been duped.

In order to accept fault and subsequently blame, one first must have the freedom of choice and a full knowledge of the situation. We have been living in a world where there has been an illusion of choice with processed food but in actuality, for many of us, there never was a choice.

As recent as 75 years ago people considered smoking to be a relatively healthy activity. That has all changed significantly over the years and as more and more people understand the dangers as well as the addictive qualities of tobacco, they were given something magical: a choice. Smoking has decreased dramatically in that time as so many people never started in the first place now knowing the harm it causes beforehand.

Doctors Advertisment For Cigarettes

So you may be asking yourself, “I understand this but what does this have to do with food? With blaming ourselves for being overweight?” That is the million dollar question and when I learned the answer to that, and after internalizing it for a few months, it changed everything.

So here it is.: The processed foods we began eating in the 80s are part of the greatest nutritional experiment ever created and the guinea pigs, more than any others, are the American people. But why? Well, I kind of already hinted to this but let’s connect the easiest two dots in history.

The writing was on the wall. In 1964 the Surgeon General’s report on smoking dangers and health risks was released and cigarette consumption in the US, which had been steadily on the rise since the year 1900, began to dip. Over the following 15-20 years that dip became a significant trend line…down. Smoking bans began to take place. In the early 80’s the federal cigarette tax doubled and alarm bells began ringing loudly for the Tobacco industry. This was no longer a trend, this was in no uncertain terms, the inevitable extinction of an entire business. Usage was down over 30% at this time and the trajectory showed only signs of future devastating losses. The reign was over. A reason to rejoice right? Not so fast.

What did Big Tobacco do, as any industry would, that finds itself squarely in the crosshairs? They looked to survive, adapt, and thrive. With billions in the bank but collapse on the horizon, RJ Reynolds purchased Nabisco and Philip Morris purchased General Foods, & Kraft. Talk about a couple of monster organizations. By the end of the decade Philip Morris controlled 10% of all USA food purchases.

In the years prior to this the tobacco industry had written the book on addiction based marketing: Find a highly addictive product, profusely advertise to teenagers ie: Joe Camel, hook em young, get costs down to make smoking more affordable and sell them everywhere. Gas stations. Convenience stores. Unattended cigarette machines. It was a science. They took all of this knowledge, and used it on all of us.

From this time forward, nothing in America has been the same on the food landscape. The #1 agenda of the processed food industry? Create food-like products that are highly addictive, insanely addictiive actually, and where would you want do this? On a farm? Perhaps a ranch? Of course not - they put on their white coats, grabbed their beakers and headed to the lab.

These “foods” were created to hit the “bliss point”, a term coined by American market researcher & psychophysicist Howard Moskowitz. It was discovered that there is a point where sugar, fat and salt would come together to create the most palatable, delicious, sensory overloading substances, UNLIKE ANYTHING FOUND IN NATURE, that will literally hijack the user. Yes, not the eater, the user.

These foods are not food at all. They are drugs, at least that is how they act on the human brain and how they are interpreted. When ingested, these highly refined grains, sugars, inflammatory seed oil fats, & chemicals light up the brain exactly like cocaine, and in lab studies, rats have shown that sugar in and of itself is actually more addictive.

Our pleasure centers get overwhelmed with the rush of dopamine, exactly as if we had ingested opiates like Vicodin or Oxycontin. If you have ever wondered why, when you are on a diet and you eat just that one cookie, and then find you are finishing the box and ordering a pizza later that night, this is the reason. These processed foods are drugs. End of story. It is an addiction not a lack of willpower.

Just prior to 1970, cigarettes were mandated to add warning labels to their products further sending them into a rapid decline. Americans now knew the risks and could make a choice based on information and knowledge.

This brings to mind another line from Good Will Hunting that stands out. Professor Gerald Lambeau is speaking to Sean about Will, “It's not like I’m sitting at home every night twisting my mustache and hatching a plan to ruin this boy’s life!”... but that is exactly what the Tobacco industry was doing. They bought these massive processed food companies for one purpose, to use the exact same addiction model and youth marketing cycle that made them billions. Sadly, it was a brilliant plan and the plan’s genius was only superseded by its unprecedented effectiveness.

If you are a child of the 80’s like me, you may remember Saturday morning cartoons. During this time, advertising for sugar laden processed food exploded and I know what I wanted - Captain Crunch. Give it to me now! Get the claws in them early, right? Fun characters, just like Joe Camel. From then on, we get hooked. Some, more than others. It was a devious and yet perfect plan and it just kept growing, year over year until now…and it has literally taken us over.

Processed Food Infographic

Processed food now makes up nearly 70% of the average American’s diet. These foods are highly addictive and in my opinion are the primary drivers of nearly every chronic disease that plagues our nation and our entire planet and make weight loss nearly impossible. Where are the warning labels now?



Type 2 Diabetes

Heart Disease

Autoimmune Disease


Alzheimer’s and on and on it goes.

Through all my years of trying to get healthy & lose weight, I just could never understand that no matter how hard I tried, or what I tried, or what I read or who I spoke to, I could never, ever, lose the weight and keep it off. There was always one person to blame: Me. It was my fault for not being strong enough. I was broken. I was defective.

But, it’s not my fault. Just as Will stood in Sean’s office, with an absurd belief that he was to blame for being abused and abandoned, so I stood last year, with a similar flawed reasoning. I was to blame for my weight… I was to blame for failing.

No. It is not my fault. I never had a choice. I never had all the information. We were bombarded with child directed advertising at such a young age and fed unnatural, highly addictive, highly refined, highly inflammatory foods while never once being told of the dangers of their true nature. Want someone or something to blame? I think you can guess who that would be.

I was just one pawn among many in the greatest seemingly never ending game of nutritional chess that has ever been played. I have now picked my side. Will you?

It is not my fault!

Once I learned this from my time in the Addiction Reset Community* (ARC), the realization took me almost a year to fully internalize and believe. As soon as I did though, it immediately changed my life forever. It's as if a window opens that was never there before and a new, cleaner light shines in.

However, it's never quite that easy is it? When your mind is so trained from years of self abuse on something, it does not simply adapt overnight. It takes some time and diligence to watch your thoughts so closely that you can catch them when they deviate off course. I want to take a moment to thank Joan Ifland who started the ARC and has worked tirelessly for years to bring this information to the masses. You may find the contact info below.

So, here I am, a full year later able to look back on the road I’ve traveled. Just like Will needed Sean in that moment, I have needed that from myself all along. I have needed to trust in myself, and see myself as I truly am, not tainted by some arbitrary belief that I am not strong enough or that I am a defect. It is not my fault. I have all the strength I will ever need.

As if overnight, I am now my biggest supporter, my biggest cheerleader. It isn’t always easy but shouldn’t we all treat ourselves more like the children we love and care for, with even just an ounce of grace?

It feels so good to finally believe the truth. It is not my fault.

T. Kyle Tucker

The ARC:

*I joined the Addiction Reset Community created by Joan Ifland who literally wrote the book on Processed Food Addiction. If you, like me, are going through these challenges please look it up and check it out. It is where I learned so much of this critical information and it was one of the biggest first steps I have taken towards my own freedom and recovery. If you have any questions about it, I would be happy to answer them and please reach out to me anytime

If you would like a more in-depth dive into the basics of processed food addiction please watch this video of Ms. Ifland. It is wonderful. See HERE

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for joining me here. I truly appreciate it. If you have enjoyed this post or found some value in it, I would humbly ask that you consider sharing it in any way that you are comfortable with. My best to you and yours for optimal health.

Many thanks.

T. Kyle Tucker


Oct 03, 2023

Love your passion and loved reading your article! Thank you for sharing and helping others see the bigger picture!

Oct 07, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much visiting and leaving a comment. I am so glad you enjoyed it! Somehow  I did not receive a notification on this or I would have responded earlier. 


Christopher Ruggles
Christopher Ruggles
Sep 08, 2023

Kyle, you are a very good writer. You hold my attention the whole time. I have never been subscribed to a blog before you. You are so so right in what you say. I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's where processed food was not a thing. You always tell me I look great and still have the same weight for the past 45 years but my brain was trained as a child. So I can fully understand what you are saying and I love the movie references! Also I learned about ARC so thanks! Chris

Kyle Tucker
Kyle Tucker
Sep 09, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much Chris! I am so happy to hear this and sincerely appreciate the kind words. Love the ARC. It is such a wonderful community. It is amazing how processed food has just taken over our world. Very sad but hopefully we are all starting to wake up.

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