Keep In Mind Your Own Enthusiasm For Health
We have the human need to receive validation from our support system in order to feel secure about what we are doing and how we are doing it. Additionally, we keep our friends posted on our progress, challenges, relapses, and so on to give ourselves a better chance at success when we try to lose 10 pounds in a month. We make ourselves accountable by keeping others in the loop. The mind is a tricky and confusing place, and we do what we can to stay on track whenever our commitment wavers between the inevitable cycles of effort and retreat into that which makes us comfortable.
However it is a good idea to be selective about who you choose to include in your own personal journey. Unsolicited advice, destructive criticism, and indifferent or careless remarks can influence us in ways that cause us to doubt our commitments, abilities, and competencies and that can undermine our personal power. Therefore it is essential that we learn and establish an effective means of keeping the influence of our companions in their proper places in order to keep our thoughts our own.
In the workplace, for example, groups of dieters sometimes come together in order to inspire and motivate one another. This environment can be toxic, though, in that they exclude those who wish to keep their eating habits a personal matter. Worse yet, those in the group who cheat on their diet or who relapse altogether can experience extreme guilt and shame for failing to live up to the expectations of the others.
Restaurant staff has a job to try to sell as much food as possible. Inevitably they will rave about the various menu items, not only stimulating the customer’s appetite, but in some cases being quite pushy. We don’t owe our server an explanation about our menu selection, and it can be helpful to beat them to the punch by telling them exactly what we want before they have the opportunity to give us suggestions.
Family environment can be one of the most toxic atmospheres for someone struggling to change their diet to become healthy. Family members can actively work against our goals if they feel threatened by our sudden concern for health. Perhaps they feel embarrassed by their own lack of interest in physical health and sabotage our efforts so as not to feel alone in their dysfunctional eating habits. Or maybe they feel powerless to change their habits and so resent our apparent self-control and discipline.
In some families, a member may take great pride in his or her culinary abilities, and so takes offense when we reject a meal or even when we simply ask for a small portion. In some cases, a person’s romantic partner may become alarmed if we begin to put a heightened emphasis on our bodies, fearing that if we become more attractive they will no longer be attractive enough for us.
It is very uncomfortable for us to make such an examination of our relationships, but it is important if we wish to create appropriate boundaries in such toxic situations where jealousy, bitterness, and resentment exist. This type of analysis also allows us to be more effective in selecting who to make a part of our support systems in the first place.
It is important to acknowledge, also, that sabotaging our commitment is not the only way that others negatively influence our thoughts in regards to dieting. Family, and the friends that form our extended family, can pressure us to get on board with the latest diet plan that may work well for them but which may not necessarily serve us in the same way. They can bombard us with their expectations to the point where we completely lose our enthusiasm and crowd out our own opinions to the point where we feel powerless to make a lasting difference in our lifestyle.
Even when our friends and family mean well, often they may be unaware of the negativity they are sending out way. It is for this reason that we should nurture the enthusiasm within ourselves to look and feel better, and to find a way to implement a gradual lifestyle change that is comfortable to us as an individual.
It will only defeat our purpose if we berate ourselves with unrealistic expectations about weight loss and it will make us very miserable in the process. It is a wonderfully empowering thing to be able to consistently celebrate our successes no matter how small they make seem at the time. Realistically speaking, slow but steady weight loss has a much higher chance at lasting change than a sudden, drastic drop.
It is key that we keep in mind our own enthusiasm and motivation for a healthier body and not to sink into despair when we are not able to immediately determine the results of our efforts. We are the only ones who know what it feels like to walk through life in our precious body, so do not allow anyone to taint the positive longing we experience for self-improvement.
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