Put Yourself First

Along my journey to wellness I have learned so much about myself. I never realized how much I have been a caretaker all of my life. I am married and have 2 grown children and have taken care of all of them along with family and friends. I have no regrets, but I realize now that I never put myself first. Now is my time!

Along my journey to wellness I have learned so much about myself. I never realized how much I have been a caretaker all of my life. I am married and have 2 grown children and have taken care of all of them along with family and friends. I have no regrets, but I realize now that I never put myself first. Now is my time!


A lot of us are caretakers and there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of family or friends, but forgetting to take care of ourselves is a disservice to ourselves. Sometimes when you spend your day helping others, you are so exhausted you often turn to food thinking that it is the only “nice” thing that we can do for ourselves. You can certainly take care of others as long as you don’t lose yourself in the shuffle.  Ok, so how can we put ourselves first?


  • Make exercise part of your day. I exercise before I eat breakfast, so I am sure to get it in and start my day off on a good note!
  • Be sure to eat breakfast. Take the time to sit down and enjoy your first morning meal. It will give you fuel for the morning. After doing the above I am off to start my day. Look out world, here I come!
  • I pack my lunch and snacks for the next day the night before so that there are no decisions I need to make at 6 a.m. in the morning. 
  • Do whatever you have to do to make sure you have snacks with you in case you get the munchies. Keep some snacks in your purse or in a drawer at work.
  • If going out to lunch or dinner with friends, make sure that the restaurant has foods that will keep you on your program. If everyone wants to go out to a pizza place, just remember that you are important and make sure that there is something for you to eat on the menu. All restaurants usually have something healthy on the menu that you can choose – but to play it safe, check out the menu before going. I always check out the menus of the restaurant on the internet and plan what I am going to order ahead of time so I don’t have to make any impulsive decisions.
  • Most importantly: plan ahead!  I say this over and over again. Planning and organizing is key. I plan my menu for the week and post it on the refrigerator so there is no question as to what I am going to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
  • You can say no and be selfish sometimes. Always remember you are important and living a healthy and happy lifestyle is your choice.

I hope the above tips are helpful to you. Putting yourself first is part of this great journey to wellness.  Please keep me posted as I enjoy hearing from all of you. You can reach me at Riare43a@aol.com.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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