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In Courage

I never know where my inspiration will come from when I'm getting "downloads" for the Monday Quote. At times there will be a flurry of thoughts and observations, especially if I'm driving. Some people are stimulated by ions in the shower. The wheels of my brain sometimes feel like they sync up with the wheels of my car.

Monday's Q this week got a nudge from a lot of what I heard all around me the whole month of January. As soon as that ball dropped in Times Square it felt like we were being bombarded by every weight loss program or plan from every direction. Every magazine, commercial tv or radio show has been offering multiple ways to "lose 5, 10, 20, or even, 100 pounds!"

In New England where we are bundling up and layering ourselves against the snow and cold, it feels like we can hide for a few more months, except ... these ads remind us that "summer is coming" and how are we going to get into our bathing suits?!?

My Quote was about us all needing encouragement, no matter our age or circumstances. As I listened to my colleagues at work and people at Weight Watcher's meetings, I realized that it's tough to make change. If we try to do it all alone, we are pretty much doomed to fail. In fact, I realized by listening to others and then, checking in with myself, that weight loss isn't as much about getting the "right" plan or combination of foods, supplements, and whatever other tricks offered. It's about having the courage to make changes and when we encourage someone, we offer them some of our own bravery.

The definition of courage is, "the ability to do something that frightens one". What can be more scary than embarking on a possibly dramatic change in our food or a way of being to achieve a new level of our personal evolution?! If you're known as the person who always brings in the best cake for people's birthdays or bakes the most awesome cookies, what happens to your identity if you start bringing in raw vegetables? Anyone else around us, especially if they've been feeling like they're in a struggle with food and weight, could easily feel threatened. It's not your fault (or, theirs) and it still might trigger something that doesn't feel good. And, what about being able to look different or wear a new style of clothes to show-off a slimmer body. It's a whole other kettle of fish.

I mentioned Weight Watchers (WW) because I joined a few weeks ago. There, I said it, even though it doesn't feel completely comfortable owning up to the fact that I would feel much better if I lost 40 pounds. I seem to have become extremely adept at gaining weight since menopause -- I heard we uncover new talents as Midway Women, but I had hoped it might be something like learning how to play the guitar! I know a lot about nutrition, but it doesn't mean I always apply the principles. WW offers me a container where I can choose the foods that help me feel good and support my health. I'm using a lot of ideas from the many courses I've taken over time related to optimal nutrition and plugging them into the WW system. It works for me. Even more than the food, however, I go to meetings for encouragement. When I hear friends bemoan the fact that they "need" or want to lose weight and just can't, I know they need encouragement. They need to know that it does take courage and that they can can borrow some of mine or someone else's if their supply is low.

We do all need encouragement especially if we aspire to achieve our dreams. Once we get it, we are then able to pass it along. We have to first acknowledge that we can't do something all by ourselves and then, we need to look for someone who had courage before us and ask for their support. Whatever your goal is, this is my wish for you.


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager whose mission is to co-create a happier, healthier life with and for others.

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