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Jun 29, 2020

Do you put everyone else first...and yourself last?

We call these beautiful souls *Obligers. They have a wonderful, caring heart - always thinking about others. Always doing their best for others. Obligers help the world keep turning. Without them, we'd all be doomed.

However, if you're an Obliger, this wonderful trait can end up being your nemesis. 

Putting everyone else first, means you will always put yourself last. And your health is absolutely going to suffer. Mumma's in particular can fall prey to this.

MICROBIOME IMBALANCES - your gut can start to falter. Mum's - are you prone to feeding the kids first, and then times flies by and you've forgotten to even sit down for breakfast or lunch? Then you get so ravenously hungry and low-blood-sugary that you snack on biscuits and chocolates and quick energy foods in the arvo? Do this too often and you're going to be feeding all the wrong bugs in your gut, leading to pathogenic overgrowth which can cause all sorts of inflammatory health concerns.

DIGESTIVE ORGAN DAMAGE - maybe you're putting your boss first, or your clients. Meeting their needs before your own. This often leads to eating on the run, chowing down food when you can. In this stressed-state your digestive organs are going to switch off. Do it too often and those digestive juices aren't going to work very well, which can lead to things like Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), hypochlorhydria, hiatal hernias = bloating, abdominal pain, heartburn, constipation, loose stools, and all sorts of crappiness (mind the pun!). 

MITOCHONDRIA RETRACTION - because you're putting everyone else first, and yourself last, you will likely not have time to exercise (that's last on the list!). Too little movement can lead to a retraction of your mitochondria, which can lead to fatigue, weight gain, and a general feeling of blah-ness.

ADRENAL STRESS HORMONES - Obligers say 'yes' to others waaaaay too often. You try to keep everyone happy, but in saying 'yes' you overcommit and burn yourself out. Your poor little stress hormones cortisol and DHEA will get to a point where they start to deplete, leaving you feeling more overwhelmed and stressed then ever. 

These are just some of the imbalances that can be caused when you put everyone else first, and yourself last. 

The solution? For Obligers we absolutely have found that accountability is the key to really kick-start and support healing. Obligers are really good at meeting external expectations (which is why they do everything for everyone else), but they struggle with internal expectations (which is why they put themselves last, time and time again). Even if something is really important to you (like getting on top of your health!), you will struggle to do it unless you have someone keeping you accountable. This is where having a practitioner or coach (or both!) to keep you accountable and on track can make magic happen! 

Another important thing to do is work on your mindset. You really need to find out WHY you are embarking on your health journey in the first place. And because you struggle to put yourself first, you will need to reframe the way you talk to yourself, so that what you do is really because you care about others. For example, "I am going to have some quiet 'me time' once a day, so that I can be a better Mum for my children." Or, "I am going to prioritise taking these nutraceutical supplements so that I can have mental clarity and energy to perform my best at work for my clients or customers." 


Author: Filipa Bellette, Functional Medicine Practitioner & Clinical Nutritionist

Chris & Filly Functional Medicine

If you would like more information about our functional medicine practice and to see if this is something that could help you, click this link to Apply For Free Discovery Call.


*An "Obliger" is a personality trait developed by Gretchin Rubin in her book, The Four Tendancies. This is an AMAZING resource, especially if you are an Obliger. To find out more, head here: 

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