Weighty Matters

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The Airplane Analogy

on May 13, 2012

Anybody who has ever flown on a commercial airline has heard the pre-flight safety announcements.  At some point the flight attendant talks about what to do if the cabin loses air pressure and oxygen masks drop down.  What do they always say?  “If traveling with someone who needs your assistance, put secure your mask first.”

I always try to remember those words and act that way in a variety of situations.   I can’t help someone else with their problems if I am not solid, secure, and in balance.  If I’m gasping for air, how can I assist others with their oxygen masks, right?

I’ve been floundering a little the last couple of weeks.  So many emotions, with a heavy load of sadness, impacting my heart and mind.  As an emotional eater, it has been really difficult for me to stay in balance with my food choices.  For the last week, I also had some internal system problems and physically felt awful, too — to the point where people could see it on my face.

I just flew up to Connecticut for my cousin’s memorial service and back.   Two flights meant hearing that announcement twice in 48 hours. It really struck a chord.  There are times when I can help someone else and times, like with the massage on Thursday, where someone else can help me.  However, there are essential times and aspects of life where each of us is solely responsible for progress and successful outcomes.  When all is said and done, I’m the only one who can put on my mask and keep myself functioning on my food plan.  I’m the only one who can remember to keep my intake on target and in balance so that I satisfy my nutritional goals and don’t let my system get out of whack.

It’s still a learning process for me to stay on the right course regardless of what happens around me and how what happens affects my emotionally.   I need to make sure that I have tools and resources within reach.  If the pressure gets to me, I need to know that I’ve installed the oxygen masks within easy reach so that I can continue to function with a clear head.

Breathing in and out is fairly simple.  Staying on my food plan is too.  I know what works best for me.  Tonight, even though I’m tired, I feel like I’ve cleared out my head.  I know exactly what I’m going to have for breakfast, what I’m taking to work for lunch, and what I’ll have for dinner tomorrow.  Before tomorrow’s over, I’ll have myself organized for Tuesday and so on.

Even though I’m helping myself and not someone else tomorrow, I’ve put the mask over my own face first.

4 responses to “The Airplane Analogy

  1. rainbowfaye says:

    This comment doesn’t have much to do with your post although I love reading your blog. I just wanted to thank you. You changed my life the day you wrote about myfitnesspal.com. Since joining I have lost 20 pounds so thank you thank you thank you.

    (sorry this is so long after the original post I have talked myself out of posting more times then I can count.)

    • Mary Stella says:

      Don’t apologize. I’m glad hearing about MFP has helped. Congratulations on your terrific weight loss.

      Please don’t ever feel uncomfortable posting here — even if what you need to say at the time doesn’t track with that day’s topic. I’d rather you post and say what you need to for your own benefit than that you not comment because you didn’t feel it had anything to do with whatever I happened to post.

      Keep up the good work!

  2. Mary says:

    Mary, I hope you are feeling better soon, both emotionally and physically. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself.


  3. nandragonflybetty says:

    What a great analogy, Mary! You’re doing great Keep on and don’t be too hard on yourself.

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