It’s a new year, which means it’s that time again right?
What time is that? Time to make New Year’s Resolutions, that according to statistics, 92% of people won’t keep(1).
Last year, I wrote an article about setting SMART goals and how to stay on track with your NY resolutions. The truth is, when you set a goal and repeatedly fail to achieve it, you’re teaching yourself how to fail. (Great way to start a new year, and an article for that matter too.)
But if you’ve been on a perpetual diet for 10, 15, 18, or 20+ years, you know how frustrating it can be to always be watching your weight (go up and down, and up and down, and…). You also know how tiresome it can be to continuously count calories (all day, every day). How sad it is when you can’t allow yourself to enjoy a celebratory meal or just a celebratory finish to a meal.
I recently listened to a friend talk about the hurt and sadness of years of dieting, achieving incredible lows and spiraling out to her heaviest highs. She vowed this year would be different as she would no longer focus on her weight, but rather other important aspects of her work and life.
I think this is a fantastic strategy!
Your weight does not define you. It is a part of who you are, but not ALL of who you are.
When clients come to me I always ask why they are coming to me. I genuinely want to know how I can help them and if the help they are seeking is realistic. Is it something I can help them with? So many times their answer is “I want to be healthy.” And then I ask, “why?” “What would you do with your new-found health?”
Would you go on vacation with your partner or friends? Would you play more interactively with your children/grandchildren? Would you go do something on your bucket list?
What would you do with your new-found health?
It’s like when we say we want to make a million dollars, it’s not so it could sit in the middle of your living room and you could look at stacks of paper bills carefully parcelled into $25 packets, right? Right. It’s because you want to do something with it.
Health is the same way.
So it may seem like a ridiculous question on the surface, but deep down it is a profound question that may take some introspection (something we never want to do!).
The pursuit of health really is a noble cause!
So this year, instead of counting calories or numbers on the scale, how about asking yourself if what you are eating is going to leave you feeling healthy?
Well, you may say, “how would I know what that feels like?”
But you do.
If you stop and listen to your body after a meal, it really does speak to you and tell you how it feels. Is it so full it’s ready to burst? Is it sleepy and tired? Is it full of anxiety? Is your stomach hurting? Are you running to find the nearest bathroom? These are all signs, the body’s way of communicating, that something didn’t sit well. Your body is telling you it doesn’t feel well.
How do you know you are full? You didn’t put food into your brain. You put food in your mouth. Your body is a beautiful and intricate system that communicates with itself. Your stomach expands from the food you’ve eaten and sends signals to your brain telling it, you’re full.
Your body can tell you other things too.
Like what makes it feel healthy and what makes it feel crummy. If you have a gluten sensitivity or food allergy or intolerance, you most likely know it right away. But let’s say you’re a normal person with none of that stuff to complain of. What if you treated your body like you were an athlete? Athletes know how to feed themselves to get maximal performance out of their bodies. What if you did the same?
I know, you don’t have an athletic event to prepare for. But what if you stopped for a second and asked “will this make me feel healthy?”
“Will this make me feel healthy?”
You aren’t vilifying or canonizing any foods. You aren’t asking if it’s on or not on your latest diet. You’re not comparing cake and celery sticks. But simply will you feel good after you eat? Your body will answer. No calorie counting required.
Will you never choose the cake? No! Life isn’t about being perfect. It’s about living to your fullest potential. Focusing on work, family, hobbies, etc. Food is what gives us the energy to do all the other things. Do you really want to go to your next meeting feeling tired and sleepy? No! You don’t want to go to that meeting! I get it. But do you also not want to go for a walk with the dog? Not have enough energy to go to the playground with the grandkids? Not have enough stamina to “stay up all night to get lucky”?(2) Because just like you can’t spot reduce, you can’t eat unhealthy and expect to feel healthy.
If like over 55% of Americans on the National Weight Control Registry(3), you need help achieving your health goals, you’re in good company. I have helped hundreds of patients just like you and I can help you reach your health goals so you can live life to your fullest potential! My practice is open and taking new patients, click the green “work with Regina” button or call now.
- UAB Medicine. 10 Secrets of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions. Accessed01/06/21.https://www.uabmedicine.org/-/10-secrets-of-people-who-keep-their-new-year-s-resolutions#:~:text=Less%20than%208%25%20of%20people,about%20sticking%20to%20your%20goals.
- Get Lucky by Daft Punk (feat. Pharrell Williams)
- National Weight Control Registry. Accessed 01/06/21. http://www.nwcr.ws/