Lorna’s Story: Give Credit Where Credit is Due

The activity at today’s Suppers meeting was called “Give Yourself Credit.” I thought to myself: Why on earth would I come to a Suppers meeting to do that? I am more accustomed to thinking about how hard it is to lead a healthy lifestyle.  Through my Suppers experience I have trained myself to spot problem areas and then get the tools and support I need to fix them.

The meeting facilitator asked, “What are you good at?”

“What am I good at?”  What kind of question is that for a weight loss strategies meeting!  I thought we were supposed to focus on food restriction and the daily sins of eating!  I’m glad I didn’t have to go first; I wasn’t ready for the curve ball of kindness.  Someone less skeptical than I am understood the question and got the ball rolling.

  • “I’m excellent at making a list before I grocery shop and not buying anything that’s not on the list,” she said. 
  • “Start with small changes and work your way up.”  That woman decided with her husband to give up desserts and within a year, they had forgotten about dessert.  I guess she should get credit for being good at getting her husband to cooperate too; there’s obviously strength in numbers.
  • “I’ve gotten good at eating higher quality food but smaller portions.”
  • “I’ve mastered the art of eating differently from the people around me without feeling sorry for myself.”
  • “I have to live with dietary restrictions for other reasons and I need alternate sources of pleasure.  So I’ve gotten good at redirecting my anticipation of eating a good meal to anticipation of reading a good book.”
  • “I’ve gotten good at preparing ahead so I don’t get myself into a jam.  Either I eat before an event that feels dangerous or I pack food I know I can enjoy.”

There is nothing like the energy I get from feeling successful.  When I set an intention and fulfill it, I’m primed for more success.  I think I made the connection the facilitator was aiming at: Give myself credit for the things I’m good at.

Facilitators: You can do this at your meeting, too. Simply go once around the table with no cross talk and ask the group to share what they are good at when it comes to eating in a healthier way. Be a model for the type of conversation you are trying to have by refraining from prefacing your credits with a description of some kind of weakness or failing. The idea is to put the focus completely on your areas of strength.

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