I locked myself out of the house. I came home from the gym, kicked off my shoes, turned on my toaster oven to warm it up, and ran outside to put some jeans in the dryer. Roughly a minute later I was standing outside a locked house in smelly gym clothes and socks with no wallet, phone, keys, or shoes. Awesome.
I knocked on my neighbor’s door but the one who has the necessary tools was gone. His roommate took a look at the situation and we realized that it was futile. I remembered that I had given a key to my friend Amy who lives just a few blocks away and I asked my neighbor for a ride. He offered to let me borrow his car. I got to Amy’s and told her what happened. She immediately said “come hang out with me!”. It turns out that after I changed the locks I neglected to give her a key. So she let me use her phone to call a locksmith and then followed me back home so that I would have someone to talk to while I waited. The locksmith came, unlocked the door and fifty bucks later my problems were solved.
I used to be one of those people who thought that I had to do everything myself. I would NEVER ask for help, NEVER accept it if it was offered. I wore it like a badge of honor, I pretended that my inability to accept support was actually a sign of strength. I didn’t need anything from anybody. I was fine on my own. I was clearly superior to all of those people who needed help and support. I fooled myself into believing that they were weak and I was strong.
I’m not sure when I learned about the joy of accepting support (and I don’t mean the kind that comes from pantyhose) but I can tell you that it completely changed my life. The realization that there was no weakness in asking for or accepting support was a revelation. Had this little key incident happened a few years ago, I would have ended up breaking a window to get in and then having to pay way more than $50 to replace it and probably getting a nasty cut in the process. Plus, I wouldn’t have known how many people there were willing to support me and that is an awesome feeling.
To me, the ability to accept support is HUGE when it comes to living a Body Positive life. Yesterday Virginia from Beauty Schooled kicked a whole bunch of ass letting people know about the whole Steve Seiebold thing. Tons of people got on board to expose this guy as the hack he is (including the always awesome bloggers at Jezebel). All because she got a press release that she found disgusting and she asked for support from her fellow bloggers.
Of course, my experience may not be your experience but I submit that in living a Body Positive life, trying to go it alone can be a long, difficult road when we have misinformation coming at us from every direction: the news media, the doctor, and let’s not even talk about our families. If you believe that healthy behaviors lead to a healthy body, then maybe consider surrounding yourself with people who believe that too: enlist your friends to support you, set boundaries and decide how people are allowed to treat you, get the support of your friends in keeping those boundaries. If you’re not sure what “healthy behaviors” means for you – how much activity to do, what healthy eating is etc. then consider asking for professional support.
Of course if you want to be independent that’s your option. If you decide you want to give help a chance, then find professionals, books, blogs, whatever you need to be supported and live the life that you want. You can start on my Blogs I Love page if you’d like but whatever you do, there are tons of resources out there – go get them and experience the joy of being supported in your choices!