One of the many reasons why I think that support groups are off the chart amazing is the accountability one has. After joining more than my share of support groups (all from grief to overeating), the one that I joined last has me baffled and amazed at the results. A group of select women joined and we get to share our experiences revolving health issues, poor dietary habits (and the good) as well as evidencing one’s sweaty self after a workout. So, basically, a bunch of selfies showing we are actually doing the work.
It occurs to me that while we feel somewhat comfortable in our private little world, when faced with other people who feel the same way about food, anxiety and binge eating (sometimes, not always), we tend to be more empathic and therefore, are drawn to sharing our own personal experience.
A beautiful friend of mine happens to be an amazing successful business woman, soon to be a college graduate and a runner herself. But, when encountered with multiple tasks involving school projects, a new diet, a long business to-do list and her personal workout sessions; she, like myself, tends to go for the fridge making this whole routine a recipe for disaster and super stressful. Unnecessarily so.
And, to that, add the fact that stress can definitely contribute to weight gain in itself. Not so fun fact: Stress is the number 2 factor of weight gain.
So, when partnered with this good friend of mine, we get to air our problems in a healthier way, most of the time over a cup of tea, a long talk on the phone or just a girl’s night in. Owning up to our feelings (whether they be anxiety, fear, sadness or other) makes us accountable for our next actions. And, the effect can be so much powerful when teamed up with a group of people who can share their experiences and their new found way of life.
When we have realized that food is our “OTC Drug” or emotional sedative, there are plenty of ways we can take action to reverse this cycle:
1. Health Coach: Find a health coach in your local community (or go international even!). Many Health Coaches hold their practices over skype sessions, online and for those of us who are more traditional, 1 on 1 sessions are always amazing. A Health Coach will provide you with a six month program to help you get started on a journey of healing, goal setting and emotional re engineering.
2. Reach out! Get a support group and put yourself out there. Chances are you will meet amazing people along the way and life is sooo much better with the right people standing next you..
3. “Restriction in choice is never a good thing” (Sara Gottfried, MD “The hormone cure“) If you are struggling with better food choices, believe me, restricting food can sometimes be more stressful. Add in healthier options to your menu and the not so healthy options will fall out on it’s own.