We all have a a complicated take on the idea of “being supported” with the things we have to do in our lives. Whatever it may be: moving an apartment, grieving a loss, figuring out how to parent a teenager, finding a new job, losing weight, etc, etc. All too often, we prefer to “get it done ourselves” and not ask for help as a matter of pride. Erroneously, we learned that we might get rewarded for self-sufficiency; the reward usually being some type of nebulous strength badge. At the heart of this resistance is a desire not to become reliant on other people and, in the process, diminish our much coveted sense of power.
In addition, though, and beyond the people we may call in for help, we have a myriad of forces and circumstances that offer us support and help us accomplish life’s goals.
Let’s take, for instance, the idea of losing weight. There are oodles of tools that help us in this effort. Here are just a few random ones to consider:
PAPER AND PENS! Yes, paper and pens offer great support in our weight loss effort. Paper is such a patient listener! We can write down the food we need to eat, the stresses that cause us to snack uncontrollably, or affirmations and prayers that keep us focused on staying devoted to our goals.
AVOIDANCE! Yes, avoidance can be a HUGELY important and supportive tool. Avoiding certain people who like to make judgmental comments about our bodies or our food choices. Avoiding convenience stores and the shelves of processed junk food. Avoiding the same patterns of behavior that result in the same stresses that result in the same snack binging!
HAPPY DISTRACTIONS! Reading books, paddling on the water, calling a sick loved one, meditating, cleaning a closet, or playing volleyball with your child are things we can do that aren’t unwanted eating.
ALARM CLOCKS! When we set our alarms, we can give ourselves a little extra time in our day to make a healthy breakfast and prepare a lunch for work. Or, if we don’t work and we plan to be out and about, we can make a lunch to put in a cooler for later. Perhaps, we claim some morning time for a joyful distraction like spiritual reading, meditation, yoga, or exercise.
What could you add to this list? By design, these tools offer us a calm sense of support and empowerment. When we get acquainted with what and who offers safe, reliable support, we can build an ecosystem…a habitat…that help us grow healthfully. Like ecosystems in nature, our own ecosystem can shift and change and grow with us.
And lastly, let’s not discount the importance of having good PEOPLE around us to help us stay focused. Guidance, friendship, accountability, redirection, and partnership.
If you are interested in exploring these and other tools to being healthy, please consider joining me for an 8-week Fall Weight Loss Group through Cape Elizabeth Community Services. Here you can find your own tools and the people that can help you achieve your weight loss goals.