New Year, New-trition!
I am super excited and a little nervous to be typing my first-ever blogpost! I have been thinking about blogging for a long time and have decided to make it my personal New Year's Resolution to keep a weekly blog to connect with my clients, friends, and the online wellness community. New Year's Day holds a special significance for me because it reminds me how far I’ve come on my personal wellness journey. I want to kick things off by sharing with you a little of my own story. (I promise they won't all be this long, guys!)
If you’re a client of mine or have been in a workshop with me, you have probably heard me refer to myself as a “reformed professional dieter.” I spent 15 years of my life dieting like it was my job. New Year’s Day was always huge for me. I would spend the second half of December pouring through magazines and scouring the internet for the next best diet fad. All the while, I was binging on every bit of fat and sugar laden holiday garbage I could get my hands on. I was driven by an overwhelming desperation to load up on every “bad food” that I was “never going to eat again” after January 1st. I was so ashamed that I would hide away from my family in my childhood bedroom to eat. Holidays that I once loved to celebrate were now tainted with guilt and anxiety about food.
The day of reckoning would eventually come, and I would begin my new regimen, determined that this was the year that I was going to get “skinny” and stay that way. And once I had reached this zenith of perpetual “skinny-dom,” all of my other problems would miraculously be solved. But even in the midst of this renewed zeal, there was always this little voice in the back of my mind saying, “Liz, you are going to fail.” And I was right.
Weight loss programs are designed to fail long term. It's just good business. There may be a little money in selling you a book for $24.99 that will help you successfully lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life. However, there is substantially more money in selling you a program that will allow you to lose a significant amount of weight very quickly, maintain that weight loss for a short period of time, and then gain it all back. You feel that you are the failure for regaining the weight. Meanwhile the weight loss company is developing a “new and improved” program or product. This new product will then be marketed to you as the missing piece of the puzzle that will prevent your weak, will-powerless self from failing this time. Here’s the truth: you didn’t fail because you didn’t have the new South Beach cookies, or the better-tasting Atkins snack bars, or because you had to count points on Weight Watchers and you’ve never been that great at math. No, you failed because they wanted you to, they NEEDED you to come back for more. You didn’t fail the diet and neither did I. THE DIET FAILED US!
Are you tired of making the same resolution year after year only to return to your old ways by February? Are you sick of killing yourself to lose weight only to see it come back and then some in a few months? Are you fed up with the obsessive micromanaging, calculating, and portion-controlling, all to feel like a big fat failure in the end? If you see yourself in my story, then it’s time to do something different. This year, honor yourself and your body by resisting the lure of an extreme, quick-fix diet or supplement program that you know isn’t safe, healthy, or sustainable. Stop telling yourself, “I’ll just do this to get the weight off fast, and THEN I’ll try to do it the healthy way.” If it hasn’t worked before, it will not work this time
So, what WILL work? First, let go of the rapid result “dieter’s mentality.” Lasting lifestyle change is a marathon, not a sprint. Then get informed on the whole, natural, nutrient-dense foods your body is designed to consume. Finally, work to develop the skills (like cooking and meal-planning) that you need to incorporate these foods into your life every day. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, that’s ok. You don’t have to do it alone. That’s what health coaches are for! (Cue the shameless plug.) Click here to schedule a FREE phone consultation with me today to learn how we can work together to create a lasting lifestyle change that will help you reach optimal health, energy, and body mass. Or subscribe to my online newsletter for tips, info, and resources on eating clean and living well.
Seriously though, I’ve been there. I don’t live that way anymore, and I don’t want you to either. This year, I challenge you to resolve to stop making resolutions that are setting you up for failure, that have the singular, dead-end goal of “skinny.” In fact, let’s strike that word from our vocabularies. Let’s make 2014 about being strong, healthy, and happy for good. Who’s with me?
PS: Stay tuned for next week’s (much shorter) blogpost on how to ditch the dieter mentality!