What does being a volunteer have to do with losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle? Lots!
Emotional eating is at the root cause of obesity and torpedoes efforts to conquer unhealthy eating habits. One way to feel better about yourself so you don’t turn to food for solace is to help others. Sounds simple, but it is effective.
Instead of watching mindless TV in the evenings accompanied by the inevitable munching, read a book to a child, walk dogs at your local humane society, or help a nonprofit with a task that is in your sphere of expertise. For example, say you are an accountant or bookkeeper. There are numerous small nonprofits that could use your skills for only a few hours a month to keep their financial information up to date.
Do you know how to set up or maintain web sites? Offer to be the “webmaster” for a nonprofit that you believe in. It doesn’t even have to be local since the web doesn’t care where you are, and you can do it completely on your own time when you have a few minutes here or there.
Do you enjoy party planning? Perhaps you can head up the decorating committee for an annual fundraiser. Worthy organizations are always looking for creative, energetic, and reliable people.
Got kids? Involve them in a project to instill in them a commitment to community. Get them off the video games and include them in serving meals to the homeless. What better way to broaden their horizons about those less fortunate? Or join a trash pick-up event in a local park.
Political causes are another option. Introduce your kids to their civic responsibilities and democracy in action by attending political rallies, working at poling places, or walking precincts on behalf of candidates you support.
Chances are your children’s sports teams need assistant coaches or “team moms” to help with practices, handle snacks, organize transportation, or set up after game social functions. How about helping out in your kids’ schools?
If you don’t have kids but enjoy being around them, most elementary schools have reading programs. Do you relate better to older kids? Be a mentor at your public high school. Who knows you might even play a positive role in shaping the next generation of your employees!
The point is to find a cause that you are passionate about and dive in. Not sure where to start? There are countless web sites that match energetic people with needy charities.
Check out these volunteer websites:
Another option is to ask your friends which organizations they are involved with and why. If their interests align with yours, ask them how you might be able to help.
Give back. Help others. Volunteer. It’s rewarding and you will lose weight, too.