The new year is a time of hope and promise that the year ahead will be one of health and happiness. Neither of those need to include weight loss. This National Dieting Month, it’s time to become a diet rebel and ditch them once and for all.
Some questions to ponder as the New Year begins:
How many times have you made a resolution – most likely regarding weight loss or your body or your exercise regimen – only to “fail” and beat yourself up?
How many times have you tried to diet, hoping for sustained weight loss each time, but ended up gaining back what you lost (and maybe a little extra too)?
Have you noticed that with each weight loss attempt, you blame yourself for the failure of the diet?
Why am I asking these questions?
Here’s why: January is National Dieting Month (I don’t think it’s an official title on the health observances calendars, but it’s fitting!) and I want you to take pause and think about how you answered these questions before following another diet and potentially harming your body in the name of cultural ideals.
Diets don’t work. They not only mess with your metabolism, but they also mess with your mind and your self-acceptance. When we can’t accept our bodies, it’s nearly impossible to take care of it, and caring for your body will enable you to strive for wellness, regardless of what you weigh.
This year, consider changing your resolution from weight loss to one of self-compassion and care: Make one that will support your total health and one that accommodates the body you are in right now. Not sure what total health means? Think about a bicycle wheel and all of its spokes. Each spoke represents a piece of your health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental. If one spoke is missing or damaged, it makes the wheel less stable, leaving it unable to support the rider of the bicycle. The same can be said for your total health; if one part of you is not well – be it your physical health or your emotional health, then all of you will suffer. When we focus only on our physical health, we miss out on some pretty cool things we could be doing to live life to its fullest.
During National Dieting Month, ditch the diets and focus on your total health – something achievable and sustainable – that will ultimately bring you to balance and joy.
Here are a few ideas for some Non-Diet New Year Resolutions:
- I will unravel myself from the Seduction of the Thin Promise.
- I will take actionable steps to reduce weight stigma and create an inclusive society for all bodies.
- I will redefine what “healthy” means to me.
- I will embrace my uniqueness and practice self-love.
- I will get comfortable eating everything and ditch food rules and labels.
- I will spread the message of Health At Every Size® and shed light on fatphobia and stigmatization.