There are myriad reasons why any one person, man or woman, might be struggling with weight loss. There are obvious reasons such as lack of activity, eating too many processed foods or just eating too much in general. There can be hormonal issues, food sensitivites or allergies, interactions with medications and digestive issues. However that’s not what I wanted to touch on in today’s post.
As a woman I deal primarily with women and I see something at work in women of all ages. I have a daughter in her 20’s and have worked with young women in their 20’s and early 30’s. I see them dealing with the stresses of beginning a career, navigating relationship issues, planning weddings, buying a home, starting a family and dealing with newborns. Just listing all those things stresses me out!
Many are working more than one job or working a full time job and either going to school to finish a degree part time or working a side job. That means often they are rushing from one job to another and usually healthy eating falls by the wayside. Often they are burning the candle at both ends to just get it all done and sleep suffers. And where do they fit in time to exercise?
Then you have women in their 40’s and beyond. While their children may be grown and out of the house, that doesn’t mean they are not impacted by whatever is going on in their children’s lives. I can personally attest to that. I heard someone say once that a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child and that is so true. If one of my children is going through a difficult time, it is as if it is happening to me.
Many women at this time are either re-entering the work force now that children are gone or are considering making a change, starting a side business or going part-time. They may be adjusting to a spouse’s retirement. They may be experiencing financial crises with these changes. They may also have become caretakers for elderly or ailing parents or relatives. Many have 20-something children who had to return home and that creates unique stresses all its own.
None of these things is easy and none of them are conducive to weight loss much less health and peace. We don’t often realize how powerfully stress, anxiety and lack of peace affects our ability to not only be truly healthy, but to be able to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.
Life is not necessarily easy or smooth all the time. We know this. As women we are usually the peacemakers, comforters, nurturers, encouragers and support systems for our spouses and families and this is a huge privilege. It is nothing new, however. Just read Proverbs 31 and you see this is how God created us as women.
If you see yourself in one of these descriptions and you are struggling to lose weight and find balance in your life, I want to encourage you. Thankfully we go through different seasons in life. For moms with small children know that this season will go by much more quickly than it seems to when you are in the midst of it. All my coaching addresses spirit, soul and body because health is more than the absence of illness or a certain number on the scale – it is wholeness. It begins, particularly for women, in putting yourself on the list.
That sounds so simple, and truly it is, but it is not always easy. Often things like guilt come into play. We are supposed to put others before ourselves and we’ve gotten so good at that we can feel guilty asking for help or taking time out for ourselves. But it isn’t an “either or” situation. It is definitely a process. As with all changes we make taking one baby step at a time usually works best. We don’t have to change everything all at once but we have to commit to making some gradual changes. You would be surprised at how supportive your family will be when you enlist their help in making changes.
Who knows, you may even encourage them to make their own healthy changes. We are all works in progress so whether we like it or not, change is our constant. Once you become aware of some things you can do to put yourself on the list, begin slowly incorporating them into your life and enlist your family’s help. If you need additional support and encouragement, contact me and let’s walk together toward wholeness.
In what ways can you begin putting yourself on the list as you work toward wholeness and weight loss?
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