This may not be news to you, but women are not very good at asking for help, or asking for what they want.
In fact, there are well-documented studies (and books!) about how women don’t ask for help, or for what they really want.
There are alarming financial statistics about how much less women make, compared to men…because women are not asking for what they want and need!
Women not asking for support is a “thing” – a phenomenon – I would dare say, an epidemic!
There are many areas that we don’t ask for help: work, household, relationship, community – really, all aspects of life.
But the area I want to focus on – ’cause it’s my area of expertise – is women asking for help when it comes to eating right, and feeling good in their body.
When it comes to a woman’s relationship to their food and body, women don’t ask for help for 3 primary reasons:
1. I KNOW
“I already know what to do and what to eat, to feel good…I should just do it myself! I shouldn’t have to ask for help.”
This one is my personal favorite. For years “it’s ok, I can do it myself” was my internal mantra. “I’ll do it myself” taught me that yes, I could certainly do a lot of things myself, but it also made me more stressed out, isolated, and I dare say…sometimes resentful of the people around me (who couldn’t read my thoughts and know they should be helping). All in all, not a great life strategy.
When I let go of doing it myself – and that includes figuring out what foods really worked for my body, how to make healthy cooking a reality in everyday life, and how to accept my body as it is – I felt supported, connected and championed in my life. All in all, asking for help is a great life strategy!
But it’s tricky because our media is telling us that you can lose 30 lbs in 30 days if only you do X-Y-Z with a shake or a machine…but we really need one another – we need the help, we need the guidance – sometimes we need to be held by the hand, and walked into a system of support that allows us to stop trying so hard!
When we can open up to support and let go of the intense “efforting,” our whole nervous system shifts, and we are actually more able to make healthy shifts!
“I’ve tried so many things before, to feel good in my body and if I ask for help, I’m going to fail again. So really, I’m not going to ask for help….although, I may just keep trying secretely, on my own and then when I fail, I won’t have spent any money…I’ll just feel like a failure by myself. At least it won’t be a public failure.”
This one really hurts!
When we see ourselves as constantly failing, we are being really mean to ourselves. We are beating ourselves up! It’s hard to see possibility and outstretched, helping hands, when we see ourselves as a failure.
As women, we are sooooo hard on ourselves! However, the wonderful thing is that if we can really look at the places we feel we are failing – and not living up to our self-expectations – we actually have access to a powerful doorway into seeing where we actually, really DO need help and support!
“I don’t know if anyone can really help me. I’m really unique. My dietary needs are unique, my body is unique, my story is unique…and no one can really help me get out of this mess I’m in with my food and eating habits!”
Yup! It can feel very vulnerable and a bit scary to ask someone for help. And yup, it’s true that not everyone is a perfect fit for you. But letting the fear and distrust of support keep you from getting help in creating a positive and healthy relationship with your body, is a way of staying stuck in your own muck.
So, how do you bypass these big obstacles to getting the help you want?
YOU GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO ASK!
YOU GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO HAVE A NEED!
YOU GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE SUPPORTED!
Really, all of this “permission-giving” is about being truly self-compassionate and allowing yourself to be human. We’re not designed to do life alone, we’re designed to live and work in community. We as women especially, are wired in a way that we do best when we feel that we are in community and connection.
So be self-compassionate, give yourself permission to be supported and ask for help!
If you’re looking for support in the realm feeling good in your body and creating healthy eating habits, it would be my honor to work with you. I have a powerful Nourished Woman Intensive program that supports women who are ready to reach out and ask for a little help! If you’d like to talk to me about it and see if I’m someone you could trust to support you, please don’t hesitate to be in touch right here.
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Nina Manolson, MA, CHC, certified Health Coach and Psychology of Eating Coach believes that every women deserves to feel good in their own body. She helps women create a healthy and positive relationship with their food and body, so they can love their body and life! Nina is the founder of NinaManolson.com and NourishedWomanNation.com
Nina helps busy women look and feel their best, and helps them feed their kids well in a world that doesn’t.
Nina is the author of “Feed Your Kids Well In A World That Doesn’t: an everyday guide to make healthy food happen in your home and beyond”. She’s also the recipient of the prestigious Health Leadership Award from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
To get your F.R.E.E. Video Series “What to do now, when everything you’ve done hasn’t worked” by mail and receive her healthy recipes and wellness tips click here.