By now I hope we all up stand that this tummy is a metaphor for anything in our lives that we feel self concious about. That thing that we dislike so much about ourselves that it holds us back from enjoying and embracing our lives fully.
According to Step 1 we have accepted that we are worth loving without condition and in Step 2 we saw that a change in perception is going to radically change the way we see ourselves and the world around us.
What could step 3 be because it seems I have covered all of the bases?
Assemble your A Team!
But, I don’t NEED anyone to get me through this. These are my issues and everyone else has their own so why should I bother anyone else with it?
True and to be perfectly honest we will be surrounded by people we love and at the end of the day we must continuously stay self-motivated. My point is, why not make it easier? Support can mean so many things to so many different people and manifests itself in so many different ways.
Team Ana (the best team ever) consists of:
- Family. I have the biggest and most beauitful family a person could ask for. I don’t share all of my insecurities with them and I don’t have to because they support me no matter what. They have seen all I’ve gone through since birth so there are not explanations needed.
- Friends. I don’t know how I’ve been so lucky to accumulate the most amazing people that I can call friends. Some of these relationships span over 18 years. These tend to be my confessional crew. The funny part is that at 25 we were all going through completely different situations. I didn’t go to them for advice because quite frankly none of us had anything figured out but they would just listen. Without judgment. Without ridicule. Offering support in anyway they knew how, even if was going out for some drinks. Caution: That doesn’t mean all of my friends approved of my decisions but they were able to communicate with me in a respectable and meaningful way so that I could see a different perspective.
- My therapist. Now there seems to be a HUGE stigma about seeking professional help but I am here to tell you that it was one of the greatest things I did throughout this process. I had so much going on. While I was making strides in one part of my life another big part of it was falling apart. I’m still not ready to talk about it but it was in March of 2011 that I asked my husband to leave our home. I needed time and in that time I learned so much about myself. I learned more about him. I was able to see my situation from a completely different perspective. I was able to fully disclose myself to someone who had valuable information that I needed that my friends and family would have loved to share but just didn’t know. She was recommended by a friend who listened to me and realized she couldn’t help me but knew someone who could. Again, what an amazing support system I have.
- My journals and blog. I’ve had a journal since I was 12 or 13. My mom bought it for me and would ask questions and I would enter it in my journal. Nothing spectacular exists besides teenage angst and I enjoy rolling my eyes at myself in my first journal but it’s a habit that I carried into my adulthood. My journals allow me to look back in time and they helped me to recognize my patterns. I am better expressing myself in writing than speaking although it’s a close second. When I was in my roughest times I constantly wrote about my hope for the future. The hope that things would get better. I wrote like this for years and never even noticed how little anything changed. I was telling myself something all along. Now my blog helps me to take my message to the masses. It helps me to organize my thoughts and maybe, just maybe, I can help become a part of someone else’s support system. This way you don’t have to share your issues with me but hopefully you can feel less alone.
- Complete strangers. These people are the best in spontaneous moments. They are your random complementors. They send you unsolicited smiles that brighten your day. They do these small but impactful acts of kindness. They give you empathetics looks and head nods that can feel so validating. They also can become your friends if you give them a chance. If not, you can just appreciate their contribution for the day.
The lessons I learned when assembling my team:
- They will love you, even you feel unlovable. They will love you to the point of frustration because they refuse to give up on you. They’ll listen to you ramble on just so you can get things off your chest and not say a word. They will hug you when you’re inconsolable and never ask you to explain why. They’ll send you random text just to ask if you’re ok. They’ll push when you pull. The best part? They’ll never ask for anything in return. Anyone who does any less is more of a spectator instead of teammate.
- It hurts to make cuts. However, you will hurt yourself even more if you keep someone in your life who doesn’t have your best interest at heart. They will sabotage your team. They will magnify your doubts. They need to go take that negativity elsewhere.
- As your team expands you get to join other teams! I absolutely looooove seeing people reach they’re goals. Being a cheerleader has its perks. It helps to rejuvenate me by distracting me from my own situation and allows me to give my time and energy to another person. Everyone is going through something different and it helps to see that you’re not alone and perhaps it will even help your situation seem less severe.
This post marks my one month anniversary of this project. I dedicate it to my core team above. My beauitful and immediate family. Clockwise: The man of my dreams (not Goofy, the other stud) and my kids who push me to become a better human being. My mom ( the original beach babe) who instilled this incredibe belief that I could achieve anything I put my mind to. My dad (and triathlon partner) who taught me that love is a choice and has more self-disciple than any mortal I know. My sister who taught me to march to the beat of my own drum and is always up for an adventure (this pic was in Iceland for my 30th birthday)!
Now that you have a solid belief you are worth it, we’ve begun to see our world differently, and have our winning team cheering us on its time for Step 4. You ready??? Stay tuned.