Take Care of You to Take Care of Others

15837s3rsga1hfaYesterday’s events in Connecticut may have left you reeling emotionally.

While it may feel selfish, now more than ever you need to focus on your own self-care.

This includes gently moving your body, getting enough rest, reaching for some highly nutritious foods, and taking some quiet time for meditation, prayer, or reflection.

And the number one thing you can do for your own wellness?

Ask for the support you need.

  • You may want to go it alone.
  • You may not feel comfortable asking for help.
  • You may be embarrassed by your emotions.

Much of holiday stress is feeling like you are in this alone.

And that’s a really tough, and painful road.

This is not the time to tough it out by yourself.

Study after study shows that having at least one person support you in meeting your wellness goals will dramatically increase your chances of success.

Having support helps you:

  • Normalize what you’re going through—You realize that everyone gets emotionally stressed, overwhelmed, overeats, and has moments of weakness. You are not a failure or a freak.
  • Notice and honor what you are doing for your self-care—Having someone to share the positive steps you are taking helps keep you motivated to take more steps.
  • Problem solve— You’ve got someone on your side who can see your situation more objectively and can help you brainstorm ways around any obstacles.
  • Re-find your inner peace—going it alone makes it easier to get caught in the negative thought spiral going on in your head. Having support helps break the inner patterns enabling you to refocus on the present and the blessings you have in your life.

Where can you find help?

  • Ask a friend or family member—Choose someone who is consistently positive, good at problem solving, and will be uplifting and inspiring.
  • Join a group—There are a number of on-line and in-person support groups. One such site is transformation.com. This incredible free community recognizes that emotions play a big role in wellness.
  • Hire a coach—Consider working one-on-one with a certified professional health or wellness coach who can help you stay focused on your self-care.
  • Go to a counselor–If your fear and grief are so intense that you are having trouble functioning, seek out the help of a professional counselor or therapist.

Taking care of yourself no matter what enables you to take care of others.

And if you have the inner resources to give, reach out to someone and offer unconditional support and encouragement—even love. The result is you both feel better—body, mind and spirit.

What can you do this weekend to reach out for—or give—support?

Having at least one person helping to cheer you on, boost morale, and problem solve will make it easier to take care of you, even in the face of really difficult circumstances.

Together we can do it!

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My blog is moving to my new website LoveYourWaySlim.com. For the next month, I will post both here and there. To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Thank You For Your Support!

Yesterday, I sat back to think about what has been the most important factor in my maintaining my weight loss. I would have to say the number one thing that has helped the most is support.

Not only almost daily support for meeting my weight loss goals, but support and acceptance of who I am—the good, the bad, and the ugly—as well as encouragement to be the best possible version of me.

There’s been a number of ways that I have gotten this support. My husband has been incredible, and I know how fortunate I am to have a spouse who not only cheers me on, but helps facilitate the process. My Mom has been awesome, as have some of my friends, particularly one who has been an unwavering pillar of support and accountability. (Thanks, Julia!) In fact, it was Julia’s encouragement ringing in my ears back in August 2009 that got me out of bed that first morning to go workout. I don’t think I would be where I am right now without her.

The community on Bill Phillip’s Transformation.com has also been invaluable. This is a free website for people who are focused on losing weight, getting fit, and creating the life they want to live. Checking in daily with an accountability group, working with an accountability partner, and offering support and encouragement to others has truly been a huge factor in my success so far—and was where I discovered my love of coaching.

Social media and writing this blog has also put me in contact with amazingly supportive and giving people. One of the great things about the Internet is how you can become friends with people not only that you’ve never met, but that you’ve never even spoken to!

The fact that support has been the key factor for me is not surprising because research backs that up.

When doctors and researchers from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health set out to discover the best diet, they found that all the plans worked about the same. As long as people lowered their calorie intake, they lost weight and improved their health.

What did make a difference was attending support group sessions. Study participants in the support group lost an average of 20 pounds over two years and the people who didn’t have the support lost only 9 pounds over the course of the project. That’s a 225 percent difference!

Sometimes, all you need to do to get support is ask! (It’s surprising how many people don’t think to do this.) Tell your partner, family, and friends what you are doing and why, and what you need help with. People are often willing to help you meet your goals.

But sometimes, even when you ask, your family or friends for whatever reason are not encouraging, or are actually opposed to the changes you want to make. In these circumstances, it’s even more important that you seek out the support you need.

Transformation is a great place to start. Others you can look at include P90X, which has a partially free support group, and Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat that has a fee-based support group. You can also get support at Weight Watchers, or you can hire a coach.

It is not weak to ask for support. It is one of the best things you can do to help you meet your goals and ensure your long-term success.

What can you do today to seek out support? How might this help you become the best possible version of you?

Together we can do it!

 

Photo by twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net