New year, New you?
It is that glorious time of the year that we all been waiting for. Watching the clock tick over to a new year. This is the time of resolutions, goals and new visions. It is the time to start over again and try to correct all the failures of the previous year and turn them into successes.
It might be surprising that as a life coach/personal trainer you won’t catch me recommending weight loss as a new year’s goal. It is not that I think it is “wrong” as such, I just know from experience of over 30 years of diet failures that weight loss as a goal doesn’t serve a lot of (if any) people. I understand that the idea of committing to a diet and what you think will be a healthier way of living, gives you a bit of a rush. After all, this will be the year that you finally succeed in shedding all the weight, becoming deliriously happy, and get the best job and the best partner because you have cracked the code to becoming thin. Right? I think you know in your heart of heart that this is not the truth.
In fact, I want to go so far as to say that if you want to be sure to GAIN a few kilo’s this year, make dieting one of your new year’s resolutions. And by dieting I mean restricting certain food groups, counting calories and following an eating plan that generally departs from the way you would describe the eating of a “normal person”.
I don’t want to thumb suck numbers here, but I would imagine that 99% of people reading this, would have been on a diet at some stage in their lives. You either didn’t lose any weight or you did and then regained it. This is where I can hear the voices in protest of women telling each other that they should try this or that diet again because it worked for them before! It worked?? Really??
“Yes, it worked but my willpower wasn’t strong enough. If I can be more disciplined in applying the RULES, I know I can be successful again”. Maybe you will lose the weight AGAIN. But can you in all honesty tell me that you will be able to KEEP IT OFF this time around? I think you already know the odds of that happening.
I know that there are many that are still not convinced. I see it on Facebook everyday. Some health guru is offering the next revelation in weight loss research. Sometimes it isn’t even a guru, it is a totally unknown and random person professing the miracle cure to all your health woes. And people fall for it every time! It will include some elimination diet, strict rules of what to avoid, what times to eat and a formula for how many gallons of water you should force down each day. You will explain it to your family along the lines of “no pain, no gain”, “eat clean, train dirty” and tell them “this is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change”.
Well, I call Bull Shit!
I can’t advocate this “lifestyle change” anymore. I have seen the light and I am dedicated to sharing a new message. One of individual choice, not rules. Of empowerment, not shame or guilt. Of small steps that create lasting change, not quick fixes and too good to be true promises. My message is all about finding radical ways to take care of yourself, to substantially reduce stress and to work everyday towards reaching a place of gratitude for the body that enables you to do so much. I believe that making self-care your ultimate goal will ultimately lead to a healthy, happy life and a body (and weight) that you feel comfortable in.
If getting to a healthier place is a priority for you in 2018, your goal should not be weight loss, but rather to:
• Make peace with food once and for all and to really enjoy the everyday blessing of nourishment and sustenance
• Uncovering your strong and healthy body through activities that makes your heart sing, rather than to feel an obligation towards or feeling stressed about working out
• Finding ways to nurture the most important relationships in your life, thereby ensuring a happy, supportive environment in which you can thrive
• Start believing that you can really make radical changes in your life by believing in a new story about yourself. Once you own your story, the work can begin. (yes there are work involved, but it doesn’t include diet rules, food restriction or 12 week programs).
I realise my message is not as sexy or marketable as the NEW YEAR, NEW YOU approach. But do you really want to make 2018 about weight loss (again)? Wouldn’t you rather find goals outside of body image and the relentless desire to change the way you look? I encourage you to focus on finding lasting meaning in ways that depart from the narrow standards of beauty and success that will always leave you with a sense of not being good enough, thin enough, fit enough, pretty enough and smart enough. Right now at this very moment, you have so much to offer this world.
Make 2018 the year you stop waiting on the weight. I dare you to be phenomenal regardless of your dress size. Will you join me?