Because You’re Worth It

Saw this article on Self via a link on Twitter. I’m finding that “being selfish” is the only way I can make this lifestyle change. But then again, it’s easier to me to be selfish since I don’t have a husband and/or children at home! (Winston can be pretty demanding, though!!)

In talking to clients and peers, one of the biggest barriers to weight loss success is putting ourselves last. It is so common to allow other obligations to come first, like our kids, our jobs, our pets, etc., while nutrition and exercise take a back seat.

Big mistake.

You know how in those airplane safety announcements, the flight attendant tells us to “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others”? It’s not because we’re more important than our kids or our elderly rowmate; it’s because in order to help others, we have to help ourselves first. We have to apply that same logic to our health.

For most of us, a main goal is to be productive citizens and effective parents, friends, professionals, caregivers, spouses, what have you. Could you imagine playing these important roles if you neglected yourself?

In order to be effective, we really do need to be healthy. Equally important, we need to have confidence in ourselves, to have high self-esteem, to have vitality and energy. Once those critical components fall into place, we can help others, excel at our jobs, be excellent parents, girlfriends, spouses, etc. All of these components are possible, but only if we put effort in our health and wellness. Plus, if we don’t take care of ourselves now, we run the risk of placing a much larger burden later on others who will need to care for us.

I recently heard a sad story where a dying woman expressed her regret in not taking good care of herself. She was overweight and suffered from diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, and joint pain. She said that she thought she was doing right by her family to put their needs first, even though for years she’d wanted to join a gym, visit with a nutritionist, and lose weight; she considered these desires selfish. Only when it was too late did she realize that becoming more healthy was an investment not only in herself but her loved ones that she had to leave behind at too young an age.

Losing/managing weight, eating well, and exercising are essential for feeling our very best. It isn’t selfish to take good care of ourselves. We owe it not only to ourselves but to those we love the most.

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