Every year, women of all shapes & sizes resolve to diet their way thin in the first few months of the year. We're unhappy with our bodies, and we're eager to force them back to the shape they used to occupy, or to the shape they might occupy if only we worked hard enough. How much time do we spend worrying about how we compare to the next woman? However much time we spend, it's time we can't get back.
What if the space inside our heads was a friendly one? What if we focused on giving ourselves healthy, satisfying food instead of thinking about how little we can manage to eat while we wait for our bodies to change? What if we ate for nourishment as well as for pleasure, recognizing that the two are not mutually exclusive?
January 12 is known as "Quitter's Day". It's the day when, more than any other, people are likely to give up on New Year's resolutions. If you're already tired of your resolutions on this Quitter's Day, I invite you to make a different kind of pact with yourself: resolve to have a healthier relationship with your body, and with food. Some ideas that might help you get there:
1. Resolve to stop dieting and eat normally.
A person who is "on a diet" will eventually go "off the diet" and back to her old habits. The key to sustainable weight management is to make permanent changes part of your normal routine. Leave the diets behind, and learn a new way of eating this year.
2. Resolve to eat when hungry, and stop when full.
This sounds really simple, but it's difficult for many people who eat for emotional reasons. If you learn to do this, you'll never worry about your weight again. It's key to your physical and emotional health.
3. Resolve to speak positively about your body and the bodies of others.
When we feel less than beautiful, less than perfect, or less than someone else, we tend to think & speak critically about our bodies. Not only do we damage ourselves with this practice, but we inadvertently do damage to our daughters, who are listening and learning how to treat themselves.
4. Resolve to choose a phrase that honors your body and repeat it as needed.
We only get one body, and it comes genetically programmed to be a certain size and shape. We can be at our personal best, but we cannot expect to be someone else entirely. Choose a mantra that is true for your body, and repeat it when you feel tempted to fall into shame about living in a less than perfect body. If you're a mother who feels tempted to focus on stretch marks, you might say, "My body has produced the miracle of another life."
5. Resolve to give your body the movement that it needs.
We all feel better when we are physically active. We know how much is enough, and how much is too much on any given day. Choose to honor your body by allowing yourself the freedom of movement that you crave.
None of these resolutions is a cure for living in a body that you'd like to change; that takes effort, time, and dedication to your new way of living. But, taken together, they can form the foundation of a much healthier relationship with your body and with the food you eat. If you need a little help, I'm just a phone call away.
to eat when I’m hungry &
stop when I’m full