I spent all weekend at my cousin’s wedding dancing, singing, laughing, and eating (lots of eating). Indian weddings are week-long functions that consist of lots of family, lots of food and lots of fun. I had a great time but as an analyst and wellness coach I couldn’t help but observe, reflect, and analyze the how’s and why’s and what’s of the weekend. I watched everyone eat mindlessly, including myself, and sat around talking about the mindless munching. Food in the form of sugar, salt and dough put together in some combination and balled together or fried was served for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Lots to say on this but I’ll save it for another post. Yes, a major detox is already in the works.
Today I want to touch on another observation and experience, the power of family. Whether it be blood related, distant relatives, or close friends; family is a fundamental part of our primal being. Our ancestors lived in close proximities and were codependent for survival whether for child rearing or hunting. If you didn’t know your neighbors then you were probably going to starve to death. I came across this quote and it resonated with what I was reflecting on “The family is both the fundamental unit of society as well as the root of culture. It is a perpetual source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance, and emotional refueling that empowers a child (or adult) to venture with confidence into the greater world and to become all that he (or she) can be.”
This weekend, family from everywhere came together to support the bride and groom as well as the parents during a time of extreme stress and emotion both uplifting and saddening (a daughter being given away). The family support is what brought on confidence to embrace this life change with strength and positivity. I think about this in the bigger context of health and wellness. We often get so preoccupied and busy in our own lives that we sometimes forget and even take for granted family and the worth of their support. When we undertake big changes on our own in isolation it usually results in failure but when we engage our support system and include them in our “plan” we gain strength to overcome small obstacles and achieve our goals.
Recent studies exploring the correlation between wellness and social connections have revealed that birds of a feather do indeed flock together. This can be seen as two – fold. If you’re support system is healthy you are more likely to be healthy or achieve your health goals and vice versa. Are you doomed? Do you need to abandon your family? No, not at all. You have the ability to infect them with the health bug as well through enrolling them in whatever diet and exercise program you are taken on. If they are resistant, well then you might want to consider joining a support group geared towards your program to gain encouragement.
All in all the value of family/support is immeasurable in achieving success in our goals. I am not an exception. I’ve been extremely busy and tired with work and health coaching and training and eating that I haven’t been spending enough time with my support system, now months later I feel depleted and need some emotional re-fueling a bit of which I got this weekend and more to come in the next few weeks.
Who is your support system? When was the last time you had some re-fueling?
Happy Monday and Be Well!
About the author
Ritu Riyat MPH|Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor| Yoga Therapist is a San Francisco based Health Counselor promoting universal wellness via Skype consultations, and seminars. Delivering simple techniques to add balance through food, movement, and meditation. She is an avid cyclist, crossfitter and yogini. Her motto “food is a drug, eat responsibly”… Nutritionize now!
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