Reason number 3 that people appreciate their support group is that the group makes them feel secure.
For thousands of years, groups have given people a sense of security. As we've reviewed so many times in this show, our ancestors survived because they lived in groups. Groups were the source of food and famine was the leading cause of death. Groups also found shelter from storms that would otherwise have killed. Groups also protected against predators by being alerted to their presence, by figuring out which way to run, by hiding wisely, and of course by banding together to fight off threats.
In modern days, groups perform similar life-saving functions. We live in a culture of predators. OK, they're not saber-toothed tigers, but they're still predators. Today, our worst predators are not muggers and burglars. They're neuro-marketers who know how to use advertising, availability, and addictive products to retrain our brains to crave intensely while also forgetting how toxic, addictive foods are to us. Neuro-marketers deliberately make us feel bad about ourselves so that we'll buy numbing processed food-like substances to dull the pain. Neuro-marketers earn doctorates in the psychology of marketing so they can persuade users to become addicted. We have no chance to beat neuro-marketers on our own. Our only chance is to be in a group.
Our group needs to be wise in the ways of neuro-marketing. We can only win against neuro-marketers and keep ourselves secure if we know their tactics. We need training on how to avoid food stimulation. We need quick, easy, budget-friendly ways to prepare and store foods.
Most importantly, we need to feel comfortable doing this for the rest of our lives. Food neuro-marketers are not going away. They're getting worse. Our brains are only really happy if we're doing what people around us are doing. So we need to be around people who avoid triggers, train to stay calm, and eat clean.
Reason number 2 is that group members have a place to work through issues. This is crucial to gaining and retaining and maintaining control over food. Research shows that relationships are a leading cause of relapse. This makes sense. We're already super sensitive to what people think of us because we're so hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up over anything. We're afraid that other people might find out that we've lost control of our food. We're embarrassed about our body shape. And no one knows that none of this is our fault! We're told all the time that we should have more will power. It's ridiculous!
All these factors make us afraid of other people. We're so scared of disappointing others. We're afraid of their judgment. We're afraid they think we don't measure up. We're just afraid.
However, other people may be abusing us even if they don't mean to. They may be impatient of us. They may have unreasonable expectations of us. They may be ashamed of our body shape. They may not realize that none of our problems are of our making. I'm sure they don't understand that they're making things worse.
So we have issues with people. Galore. We need to get them to stop the behavior that is hurting us. We need to train them in how to behave helpfully. We need ideas about how to do this. We need a place where we can rehearse the things we need to say. We need reassurance that we're doing the right thing.
Many of us have never had the chance to learn how to manage other people skillfully. We grew up in chaotic households where yelling and fighting were the methods used to settle disagreements. Sitting down and constructively working out a creative solution is not something we've ever seen. Groups are invaluable for trying out ideas and filling out plans for resolving issues joyfully and productively.
The greatest reason that people enjoy being in a group is that they're inspired to grow and learn new things about themselves.
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