Being involved with women’s weight loss, I regularly see a very common thread among women who are overweight. And that is that they tend to put themselves near the bottom of their list of priorities in life. This is particularly true of mothers.
Many women are so preoccupied looking after their children, husband, house, and so on, that they tend to forget about themselves. And as a result, their health, wellbeing, and ultimately, their self-esteem, suffers. Basically, they’re just too giving for their own good.
It’s important for women to shift their mindset to the understanding that their own wellbeing is just as important as everyone else’s; that they deserve the same time, care and attention as every other human being; and that if they have important people who rely on them, they MUST take care of themselves first and foremost, before they’re able to help others effectively.
If you’ve ever flown on an aircraft, you’ll be familiar with the procedure for how oxygen should be administered in the case of cabin depressurization. The primary rule is that if you’re looking after children, or any person for that matter, you must provide yourself with oxygen before doing so for them.
This isn’t a selfish act. In fact, it’s a very important rule that maximizes the odds of survival for everyone. That’s why it’s there. Unless you’re alert and lucid, you won’t be able to help anyone that’s relying on you. So your own wellbeing is of primary concern – not just to yourself but to everyone else as well.
But this concept isn’t just found in air travel, it’s inherent in nature as well. Take your heart, for example. Did you know that when your heart pumps out fresh, oxygenated blood through your aorta with each beat, the first thing it does is to take some of that blood for itself, through a coronary artery, before it goes anywhere else in your body? That’s right – your heart feeds itself first.
This is the way Mother Nature designed it, for a very good reason. The job of your blood is to carry oxygen all over your body. Everything in your body needs oxygen to live – without it, nothing would work, your organs would die, and you would die. So of course that blood supply is vitally important. And because your heart is responsible for that blood supply, that makes it vitally important.
Get the picture?
If the people that depend on you every day are important, then the care and attention you provide them with is also important.
But how dependable that care and attention is, and how long you’re able to provide it, is determined directly by your own health.
Look at it this way . . . your heart is important to you – you depend on it for your survival, so you look after it, right? Well, you’re the heart to the loved ones that depend on you. So you need to look after yourself for their sake.
Taking time to look after yourself doesn’t mean than anyone else has to suffer, by the way. In fact, quite the opposite.
Going back to the example of your heart – it understands this principle very well. Your heart could easily draw all of its oxygen requirements directly from the clean, freshly-oxygenated blood that’s already inside its pumping chambers. But this would taint the blood available for the rest of your body, reducing its quality. So it doesn’t do this at all.
Instead it simply takes a small amount of fresh blood from its own outlet (the aorta), therefore allowing pristine blood to flow everywhere else.
Similarly, you don’t need to reduce the quality of your attention and time with your loved ones to look after yourself. Just set aside some “me” time, where you can give yourself some much-deserved love and attention, and then set off and do what you need to do for others.
You’ll have so much more energy, enthusiasm and love to give, which will benefit your loved ones all the more and make your own life so much happier and more rewarding at the same time.