Hello 2019! There is something so irresistibly delicious about a brand new year.
The start of something big.
Inception. Birth. Dawn. Creation.
These feelings are so large and powerful that it is no surprise that we often want to make large sweeping grand goals to welcome a new year.
Ahhh resolutions. So, you want to know why I have a hate on for resolutions? I certainly take time to reflect at the end of each year and think about what I want to carry forward into the next year and what I want to discard. Hhhmmmm. This is starting to sound a lot like making resolutions, you say.
BUT. Wait. Hear me out…
I’ve been thinking a whole lot about why I don’t love resolutions…and I’ve realized that what it comes down to is that as a nutrition professional, I find that individuals that I work with often set resolutions that are “expected” of them. They get swept up in the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” of the fitness/nutrition/health/wellness/beauty/diet industry and in turn often get the concept of resolutions wrong (in my opinion).
Somewhere along the way we have been told that New Year’s Resolutions need to be big and absolute visions that involve abstinence in some form or another. Resolutions are often promoted as a way of “fixing” something about ourselves that is seen as “broken” and encourage us to look outside of ourselves for answers. And unfortunately, resolutions are usually focused on changing how we LOOK instead of focused on how we FEEL. For these reasons, the mainstream notion of a resolution makes me uncomfortable. An unachievable goal that is designed to make us feel bad about ourselves? No thanks!
As I registered dietitian, I often have individuals seeking my support in January to: “start a new diet,” “to lose 10…20…50…100+ pounds,” “to kick my sugar habit,” “to lose the baby weight,” “to get skinny for real this time,” and the list of diet culture influenced goals goes on.
Intuitive Eating, Mindfulness, and Eating Competence.
Now, if you know me or have worked with me – you already know that I don’t subscribe to the idea of restriction when it comes to diet or life in general. I promote intuitive eating, mindfulness, and eating competence as core tools to achieving whole body wellness. I truly believe that each one of us already has the internal wisdom needed to be our best selves but sometimes that internal wisdom gets buried and its voice becomes difficult to hear. My role as a dietitian is to help individuals dig deep into their own consciousness, evaluate their food story, and support them in honouring their own hunger and satisfaction signals. I help people evaluate current nutrition research and evidence to empower them so they can make personalized decisions around eating. I provide people with skills to help them achieve their own personal nutrition and food relationship goals.
Now, this may sound a bit woo-woo but here is the thing, there is research that supports the positive impact of intuitive eating, mindful eating, and eating competence on overall long term health. And on the flip side, there is research that tells us that low-calorie restriction diets don’t work for the majority of people. I am not going to get into the details here.
Time to Ditch the Diet?
Why? Well, I am tired about talking about whether or not diets work. I have seen first hand with client after client the negative emotional and mental toll that restriction dieting has on individuals. I don’t believe that it is my job to convince people that diets don’t work – other dietitians and healthcare professionals embrace this role better than I will ever be able to. I believe that my role is to help those who have already come to this realization and are ready to do the hard work to repair their relationship with food and body. And perhaps even more so, I believe my role is to help parents raise a generation of kids who love their bodies for all the things that they can do, that never go on a diet, that learn to respect all bodies, that are kind to themselves, and who will understand the health is so much more than outward appearance or a number on a scale.
And on that note, I hope that you will join me in turning inwards this year. It just may be time to try something new…
As for myself, in recent years I have moved towards identifying Core Desired Feelings – thanks to Danielle LaPorte’s incredible book The Desire Map. Then, I try damn hard to make sure that all of my goals (in every aspect of life) and all of my decisions get me closer to those feelings. If any of what I have said has resonated with you, connected with your soul…I’d love to hear from you. And if you are ready to embrace a more intuitive way of eating or want to guide your family on that path…I can help. Send me a message or apply for a FREE Discovery Call and we can begin chatting in earnest.
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