I should have labeled the last few posts by Darla Breckenridge, our psychologist at Green Mountain, as a series because they provide a wealth of tips/strategies for effective change. Although that's really what all her posts are about. You'll find her posts in this "series" linked below as Posts that May be Relevant.
The 3 C’s of Support: Comforter, Clarifier, Challenger
A Comforter is someone who will listen to us without judgment. We can cry, or complain and just let it all hang out. Most women are comforters for many other people and sometimes don’t have a comforter of their own. Loneliness is often a trigger for emotional eating and support goes a long way towards managing feelings. A comforter supports our feeling self.
A Clarifier is someone who supports our thinking self. This kind of support is problem solving, saying “You could do this… or that…,” thinking of options and discussing issues in a matter of fact way. Clarifiers listen to us and talk through ideas that we may be stuck on or unsure how to proceed with.
A Challenger is someone who actively encourages us to take action. Support for behaviors that we might be wanting to implement. Using words such as “OK, it is time to get off your duff and just do it” or “I know you really want to make this happen, do you want to call me back to check in when you have accomplished your exercise?" Challengers help us to move into doing.
Evaluate Your Support Team
Think of the folks you are spending time with – are you doing all the giving? Or all the taking? When you are looking to change behaviors, achieving a balance of reciprocity in relationships makes for more secure feelings about your place in their heart.
- Put effort into establishing supportive friendships. This means calibrating just the right amount of disclosure to just the right people. It also means being a good listener. You want friends who want to hear successes, not people who are into the drama of who did what to whom.
- Take small steps towards reaching out. Know in your heart of hearts that getting support might be as simple as asking someone to come over for dinner or to play board games. You don't have to say, “I need your support.” Sharing thoughts and feelings with someone will give you support. Read our short FitBriefing looks at getting support for long-term weight loss success.
- Think about professionals as a resource. If you don’t have any people with whom you feel comfortable sharing with, consider a coach or a therapist to fill that need. Consider on line support groups or even coming to Green Mountain. Our professionals are skilled at helping you find strategies that work for you, whether they be for long-term healthy weight loss or for just beginning to live your life the way you want. We can support you after you return home, too.
- Explore options for making new connections. Join a book club, a support group, or take a yoga or exercise class as the first step in creating a support system if you are not sure where to start.
Your support team is there when the going gets tough, when you are ready for fun, or when you need to bolster your own energy for taking care of yourself. Creating your support system is one more way to put yourself back in the drivers seat.
What can you do today to start putting together your support team?