Here were are. Another year gone, another year beginning, and another start to the idea that you have to change.
*Insert every question from now until the middle of January: What is your New Year’s Resolution?
Apparently, we are no longer good enough. The media make us feel like we need to get to the gym, overhaul our diet, get organized, and the list goes on. Just doing a quick google search of "New Year’s Resolutions", 227 BILLION results come up. Our society has normalized the idea that each year we should create a long list of resolutions and if we do not succeed, we have failed. But in truth it is the diet, the gym, the lack of resources and support that has let you down, NOT YOU!
Maybe you’ve experienced it yourself, or if you fall into the minority that have never experienced this cycle, chances are you know someone who has. It begins with the goal of starting a new diet on Monday, or in this case January 1st – the whole “new year, new me”. Once a date has been chosen, a list of food rules are created: no carbs, no eating before noon, no eating after supper, no sugar, etc.. At the beginning you say to yourself, “I am doing really well! I have more energy! I am on the right track!”. This euphoria typically lasts for a few weeks, to a month before life starts to get busier, or maybe you just start feeling deprived and end up “giving in to your cravings” or “falling off the wagon”, sparking feelings of failure, resentment towards healthy foods, and an increased likelihood of all-or-none thinking.
The media perpetuates the idea that you need to be a “perfect eater” (all-or-none thinking) in order to be healthy. Well, we would like to tell you that that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact creating food rules actually does more harm than good long-term. This is where it’s important to realize that in-between “all” and “nothing”, there is a whole lot of grey area. That is where we come in, supporting individuals looking for something different, we call it intuitive eating. Intuitive eating involves working through the food rules that you have built up over years of “all or nothing dieting” and learn how to listen to your body again. We use these principles to teach that healthy food relationships include: eating cake and salad and chips and pasta and chicken and fruit and quinoa but with self-compassion - and excludes food guilt, shame, and binging on “forbidden foods” (because they don’t exist).
So, this year, as new year’s resolutions roll around, maybe instead of committing to a new diet, more food rules, and more food guilt, make a commitment to practice some self-compassion, and perhaps consider a different approach to your health goals this year.