When Loving Too Much Makes You SickMar 09, 2022
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 - and especially so, if you are also running a business servicing others, or in a caring job.
4 Areas That Breakdown When You Love Too Much
There are some key areas of the body that we see time and time again start to break down when you diligently care for others but fail to care for yourself. And they are:
MICROBIOME IMBALANCES - your gut can start to falter. Mum's - are you prone to feeding the kids first, and then time 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, including gut pain, brain fog, anxiety, and fatigue.
DIGESTIVE ORGAN DAMAGE - maybe you're putting your clients first, or your boss. 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. All of these conditions can cause 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 exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed than ever.
These are just some of the imbalances that can be caused when you love others too much in neglect of yourself. 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 long-term 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 want to embark on a 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."
p.s. I’ve created an Ending Body Burnout Assessment (a nifty little quiz) which identifies the main contributors causing your body burnout. You’ll get a super insightful report at the end of the assessment, giving you practical steps to address your body burnout. You can do this test here.
*An "Obliger" is a personality trait developed by Gretchin Rubin in her book, The Four Tendencies. This is an AMAZING resource, especially if you are an Obliger. To find out more, go here.
Filipa Bellette is Co-Founder of Chris & Filly Functional Medicine. She is an accredited Clinical Nutritionist & Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is also a Ph.D. thought-leader, award-winning writer, and regularly published as a guest blogger & in the media. Together with her husband Chris Bellette, Filipa has worked with over 2,000+ busy, burnout clients in the last 10+ years, and specialises in producing healthy, balanced, and happy Mums & Dads...or as she calls it, a Power Parent! Filipa’s own passion for producing high-performance Power Parents came from her own personal experience of Mummy Burnout, after having babies and juggling the demands of business, family, and her failing health.
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