Happy New Years Eve everyone!! I hope the holidays were joyful and you were able to relax before the start of a new year.
New Year’s resolutions are often weight loss goals. You see an influx of people looking for nutrition advice, hitting the gym for the month of January, and setting other unrealistic expectations of what health is. But what if I told you never need to start the year on a diet ever again?
Let’s chat about the facts. The majority of dieting attempts fail. And when I mean the majority of dieting attempts fail, I mean the majority of weight loss attempts fail. The research is pretty clear that between 80-95% of weight loss attempts don’t actually result in weight loss, beyond 2-5 years. Sure, most people can lose weight quickly, but the majority will gain it back. It’s also important to remember that weight loss doesn’t necessarily translate into improved health either, despite what society tells us. This research is all there.
Once you see this information, it can be pretty shocking.
So, if you can grapple with the fact that the majority of weight loss attempts actually don’t result in sustained weight loss, AND that weight loss doesn’t always contribute to improved health, what to do now? Give up? Nope. Maybe you can take some time to grieve the fact that your body may never be the size you want it to be, but there IS more to strive for. Contrary to what you might think, stopping the pursuit of dieting is not giving up, it’s letting yourself be. You can give up your food rules, the notion that exercise only “counts” if it’s for a certain amount of time. It’s letting go of body hate and the idea that you must be a certain size to be happy. Getting rid of those thoughts frees up brain space for the things that really matter, the things that give you a full, passionate, meaningful life.
Just think about it – what would you do more of if you weren’t thinking about how to change your body? How would it feel to not stress out about going out to eat? What would it be like to not think about your body for an entire day? What type of movement would you choose if you thought less about changing your body, and more about moving for enjoyment? Take a moment to truly think about those things, maybe journal them to see them for yourself.
For me, this means sleeping in on Saturday mornings with my partner and making pancakes as opposed to going to a workout class. It means eating something sweet every day because I want to, and not feeling bad about it. It means choosing foods that are delicious, and not based on how many calories are “left” in my day. And I am happier now than I have ever been.
In this new year, I hope you have some time to reflect on what really matters to you in life. I invite you to write down a list of your values, and really think about the choices that you make in life and how those choices reflect those values. I don’t value being a certain size, but I do value traveling, the outdoors, time spent with loved ones, and learning. What do you value?
I’m not actually going to tell you what to do this year instead of going on a diet, but my hope is that you can choose something that you are passionate about, something that lights your soul up, and something that adds to your life, and doesn’t take away.
My goal for the new year? Take trips when I can, try and see everyone I love, relax more and work less, keep learning, and to get a freaking hobby.
PS. Want to learn how to not diet ever again, and embrace your inner Intuitive Eater? I’m still accepting new clients! Click here to learn more about my virtual services, and reach out if you ever have any questions!