Updated: May 18
I love the feeling of a new year and the possibilities it brings! And while I don’t set new year’s resolutions anymore, I have a natural inclination to go inwards and think of aspects of my life around which I want to reflect upon and make some changes throughout the year.
As human beings, we are naturally want to reach higher and sometimes a challenge is exactly what we need to discover just how much we’re actually capable of. While I’m all for supporting people in setting goals for themselves, I find many of us simply set goals that are unrealistic, which eventually takes us back to square one, yet with a greater sense of frustration, disappointment and failure. This is particularly common among those of us who decide to lose weight and get fit as part of our new year’s resolutions.
On January 1st, many people decided to jump start on the latest fad diet, sign up for an extreme dieting program in the hopes of losing weight and getting healthier. However these extreme diets seldom deliver the transformation that people truly want (I share more on this in my article Fad Diets: Why they only offer Short-lived Solutions). In my nutrition practice, I hear people say that what they really want is to feel good. Yes, they want to lose weight but that what they really want is to recover a sense of peace around food, to stop obsessing and thinking about food about 24/7.
I get it. I used to be a chronic dieter and to tell you the truth, I used to obsess about food. Much of my day was spent closely monitoring my calorie intake and carefully planning my meals. This was not only interfering with my social life (since being so restrictive around food truly limit’s one’s choices), but also draining since so much of my precious energy was spent thinking about food.
A few years ago, I got really fed up with having so much conflict and confusion around something so simple as attaining to one of our most basic needs: eating.
I committed myself to quit dieting. I made it my goal to get back to the basics, to learn to listen to my body and eat intuitively. It was a big step because as dreadful as dieting can be, it also gives us a great sense of control and structure. But this is what I’ve found to be true for myself and those I work with in my nutritional practice: dieting, which in itself centers around rules and restriction, can only take us so far on our journey to achieve a healthy body and weight. On the contrary, eating a balanced, wholesome diet nourishes the body, fosters a healthy weight, and allows us to regain a sense of peace around food and our bodies.
As a Nutritionist, I obviously think a lot about food, but my approach to it has shifted completely. I now see food as gift that keeps my body well, healthy and running so I can go about my business of enjoying life and serving others.