"____________ needs me. I have to ___________."
Completely valid and true.
Most of us are wonderful, responsible adults who put everyone else first: our families, our coworkers, our jobs, our friends.
We take care of everyone else and on the off-chance we have any time or energy left over, then we attend to ourselves.
Hell, just this morning I realized I was completely out of clean drawers because I've been doing everyone else's laundry for two days and ignoring mine. Sure, my kids have hampers full of clean clothes, but I'm currently wearing compression shorts under my jeans. Where did my good intentions get me? Tight undergarments.
Our instincts are good and beautiful, they are not fair to us.
I give you permission to be selfish. You are no good to others if you're not good to yourself.
If you feel like you can't put yourself first without someone saying it's OK, there you go.
We can't help others, we can't be beneficial to others, if we are broken ourselves. And by "broken" I mean, unhappily overweight, hungry, tired or in need of clean underpants. It's whatever you currently don't have that you need. You get the idea.
Here's a real-world example: Almost always, when at home I feed myself before my children. They don't eat what I eat, so before I make their meal, I make and eat mine.
Why? Well, when I am hungry, I need to eat. And I need to eat healthy well-balanced meals that keep me on program. I can't just grab a handful of Goldfish to tide me over. If I do not take the time to prep and eat, I will make a bad decision that will bug me for the rest of the day, most likely.
My children can wait another 30 minutes for dinner. They will not starve, they are ridiculously hardy beings.
In this department, I need to put myself first. The kids don't suffer, they get a satisfied, calm parent and a nice, happy meal, instead of a starving, bitchy adult who's about to gnaw off her own arm.
This is just one little way I take of myself that supports my weight maintenance. You obviously see I'm still coming around on the laundry bit, but you get the picture. It takes a while to get used to this. You may feel weird or selfish until you realize the benefits to you and others.
If you're putting yourself last, move yourself up the ladder, in at least one way. Give yourself a break and help yourself out. Taking care of yourself will make you a better you - for yourself and others.