support that helped me and keeps on giving though gone
Sunday, August 03, 2014
We can be motivated to reach a goal and then dissuaded or recommitted or continuingly find reasons to stay on track. The very same situations can at different times trigger unlike responses or emotions. Sometimes a negative thought or experience is cited as reason for going off track. Sometimes the negative event encountered strengthens us. I truly believe that we should do our best to allow every experience or encounter, failure or loss... strengthen us.
A question in one of my teams today made me want to share more than the answer... and to blog my thoughts.
The question in the team asked who did we first tell about our commitment to creating a healthy lifestyle. I told two people immediately... and either on the same day or within a day or two of one another. This was in 2007. My answer and thoughts about it:
My R.D. (dietician) or my P.T. (physical therapist).
Can't rmember which I told first.
They both supported me wholeheartedly.
Both were younger and mch healthier than me.
And 2 years ago they both died suddenly and unexpectedly within 4 months of one another.
These collective facts stress to me the importance of doing what we can WHILE we can to be the best we can be... or at least enjoy our efforts to TRY to reach those goals.
I could have said "sheesh! They looked great, were athletic, 'had it all'... and what good did it do THEM, huh?!?" But my reaction was the opposite.
Linda and Sharon believed in me. Believed. In. Me.
They were MY support 'team', my support system.
And they are gone.
For five years they each nurtured this journey of mine and helped me reach a much better place. Their deaths don't mean I can or should even slow down. Ok, I DID feel a little lost for several months. That IS true. These two women wer the ONLY people in this whole world who together SAW how hard I have worked to create a healthy lifestyle. My doctor sees improved bloodwork, but not enough weight loss to reflect the exercise and the care to activity that I now do. But these two ladies saw what I was doing, and without fail cheered me onward.
My journey is slow in ways that show to others. A frustrating fact. But I owe a lot to these two ladies because I no longer really care what others assume when I KNOW I am doing my best. THAT is HUGE.
The reason I'm saying all this is because there are many 'lessons' to be gathered from it.
Interestingly, the two people I first told are the ones who became my most staunch supporters. Ok, they were professionals in fields that were necessary for my journey, but they went beyond requirements for me. They went out of their way. They loved that I was active in SP and put the use of tools and articles as my priority with use of personal interactions as supportive. Would I have stayed here without that support? I have no idea! I could GUESS the answer to be yes or no, but... who knows.
Sharing the decision to focus not just on losing weight or on 'getting healthy again' but sharing that we decide to truly focus on overall BALANCE and healthy LIFESTYLE is important.
I've said and written this many times but the truth is that living in a healthy way is the best measure of success when you consider the befores and afters of changes such as those we each seek. And sharing the goals with the RIGHT someone/s is invaluable. The right someone is not always a friend or relative; it might be a stranger or like me you'll find a health professional who is overjoyed that you focus on well-rounded changes instead of singular ones.
In my view there is a right one and there is a wrong way to share this goal:
Wrong way: "Hey, doc, I'm trying to lose weight so I joined Spark People. What do you think?"
Right way: "hey, doc, I want to lose weight but my real goal is all over improved healthy lifestyle. I joined SP and am really learning a lot about myself. Have you ever looked at the site?"
I tried the second approach with my GP. She'd heard of the site, but slim athlete that she is, she still hasn't found time to look at it. I get that. She is THERE in healthy lifestyle. And she still says there's no mystery to weight loss; just eat less, move more. Yup, the skinny lasses who try to be understanding really DON'T. But these days I'm alone in my support... with a little help here and there from SP friends, even though the vast majority of my friends have different issues and hurdles. And I'm so grateful to those two ladies who gave me the in-person support that strengthened my resolve to stick with all I do for myself here on this site.
Maybe someday they'll look down on me and say to one another, "holy cow, look at SAM! Doesn't she look GREAT now that she lost that weight?!" And at that point my outside will have finally caught up with the way my insides feel so much healthier already!
I am currently talking to some women where I live, sharing that healthy lifestyle is integral to their weight loss and other health goals. They want me to lead a small support group. People have supported me, believed in me. Am I ready to help others?