Success Spelled with a Capital S of Support

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support for success changeFive weeks out and things are going about as I thought they would – some really great days when I eat healthy food in a mindful way, stay attentive to my hunger cues and get in some meaningful exercise.

Then there are those other days – the ones where I find myself grabbing a bite over the sink, wolfing down something mindlessly at break-neck speed because my life is crazy-busy, A-personality driven.

We A-types have a hard time with failure and so we tend to keep at a thing until we have succeeded.  That’s not a bad thing, really, if you are able to ask for help when it’s needed.

Asking for Help

Ah, the “ask for help” conundrum.  Tough thing for a success-obsessed freak like me.  Somehow it equates with failure or weakness, not a thing A-types feel comfortable admitting.  But that, my friends, may be one of the most valuable lessons I learned at Green Mountain!

Sure, you can practice yourself out of a diet mentality and remind yourself that negative self-talk is  unproductive and, let’s face it, makes you just plain feel bad. But all these new learned behaviors are developed in a support-less void if you can’t ask for help when you need it.

You see, negative self-talk, as harmful as it is, is still a form of advice- giving, an internal self-driven support(less) system that, because of shame and guilt, supplants the ability to ask for help from someone other than self.

If I refuse to deprive myself and refuse to berate myself, then, when I am floundering, from where does my feedback come?   From the supportive members of my family, from the friends I made while I stayed at Green Mountain and from the wonderful staff there that are genuinely eager to help an alumna when they need it, that’s where.

Two weeks ago, I was struggling with the afternoon feelings of hunger.  I can tell you when it’s three in the afternoon without a clock in sight; my body just starts to think about food at that hour of the day.

Calling Friends For Support

I felt that snack time was problematic for me and decided to do something I wouldn’t normally have done until it was a last resort – I emailed Stacy, my Green Mountain Angel!  Stacy is an Ambassador there until next month and became a friend during my stay.  I wrote to her about my routine and we discussed some modifications that included moving lunch to a little later and having plenty of healthy snacks at the ready for my afternoon hunger issue.

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I have also on occasion called my new friend Liz, a fellow participant during my stay, to talk about our mutual danger zones, discuss our shared successes and plan our future strategies (which include, I hope,  getting together soon!).

Asking for help doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.  The inner self -driven “support” was drenched in self-loathing; how wonderful to receive feedback from people who care about my journey and treat my setbacks with concern rather than ridicule. And the resulting advice and strategies are all wonderful sources of support and encouragement to a healthier me.  We A-types like success!  Thank you, Stacy and Liz for helping me achieve just that.


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Beth Turchi

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