Laura’s Getting a Boost From Her Support System
This article is part of our Healthier 2021 series, in which we follow three members of the WebMD team as they strive to improve their health this year. You can follow their travels here.
By Laura J. Downey
I feel the love this week. I am grateful to all of my friends, colleagues, and all WebMD social media subscribers who have sent me encouraging words via email, comments, and direct messages. I couldn’t move in such a positive direction without you! Honestly, sometimes I just want to give up and eat a big bowl of ice cream – mind you, I’m lactose intolerant. But when you send uplifting words my way, I keep pushing myself.
The other day my coworker Beth emailed me about one of my blog posts. He would say, “Thanks for sharing! So filled with inspiration, compassion and the power of our truth. You are divine! “There was nothing I could do but smile after reading this. My goal is to be transparent with you at all times. Through good and evil, I want to be honest. This is not easy when I crave sweets, and if I know that if I start to indulge myself, I’ll fall like my belted Capricorn fellow Mary J. Blige in her 1994 cover of the Rolling Stones song.
I think it’s important that on this trip I surround myself with people who encourage me and believe in me. There are plenty of opportunities to say something mean, but until you know someone’s personal story, you won’t know where they’re from. Recently, a commentator on social media called me anorexic. I understand that I look slim and healthy in my photos. But I haven’t always been like this. For many years I was overweight and unhappy with myself. Then, 3 years ago, before I turned 40, I lost 23 pounds. Since then, I have been in maintenance mode. Because weight management has been a problem for me in the past, I now pay more attention to what I put in my body. For me, this trip isn’t so much about losing weight as it is about changing my eating habits. The biggest habit that concerns me right now is my love of sweets.
My love of sweets started at an early age. I used to eat ice cream after dinner with my family, and I remember that when my dad came to pick up my sister and I after school, the ice cream truck was there. I was stunned and my sister and I were asking her if we could have one. I would go for the strawberry shortcake bar. I have always associated ice cream with fond childhood memories of my father, sister and mother.
My colleague Michelle says, “Ice cream. Is this the work of angels or of the devil? Definitely angels when I eat it!
This week I shared photos of food with my colleague Jill. We’re talking about everything from the foods that fill us up to how we love crunchy snacks! It was great to share with her and to be able to be a support system for each other.
My friend André was also supportive. He sent me this text message: “You are on the way. No matter what you decide to eat, the key is a lot more water and vegetables. If possible, use a few days when the vegetables are raw and not overcooked. Bring as many nutrients as possible. ”
Surrounding myself with positive people is the key to this journey. I talk more about this in an upcoming episode of WebMD’s podcast, Health Now. Make sure to log in later this week.
Our sincere thanks to