The end of the year means that many people are reflecting on the past year and planning goals for the new year. I have actually never been a resolution type of girl. Most of the time if I want to do something, I try to start getting it done rather than wait for a specific day. To me, we should reflect and try to make changes as we go. Not to say that I am perfect at it, but really I guess that is my intention most years is to always be striving to be the best that I can be. Sometimes that is making little changes, and sometimes, that means making big changes that aren’t easy. Sometimes being the best that I can be, is honestly just trying to get through the day, and I think that is ok. Many times, it is learning to accept who I am now and letting that be enough.
Weight Loss & Diets
So many times New Year’s resolutions mean weight loss and diet fads and the messages are everywhere right now. I am sitting here reminding myself that I don’t need to lose weight though. I have struggled with disordered methods to lose weight in the past and turning down those thoughts over and over can be difficult, but it is worth it. Did you know that 95% of diets fail and most people gain the weight back? Did you know that most diets are carried out through disordered ways? When we put weight in the spotlight, most people are bound to fail. Weight is running the show, rather than actual health. If we implement things that make us feel better, but don’t make us lose weight, we consider it a failure. What if instead we worked at health and let our weight fall where it may?
First of all, pursuing health is often a privilege. ou really don’t owe your health to anyone and you have the right to choose how you live your life. However, I also think it is responsible to try to take care of yourself for you and for your family as best you can. That doesn’t necessarily mean losing weight. Healthy does not equal skinny. It can be for some, but for others it isn’t. Healthy usually doesn’t mean extremes either. It usually means creating a balance. I try to strive for a natural balance with intuitive eating rather than a completely forced balance. Keep in mind what is healthy and balanced for one person may not be for another.
Choose a Couple Ideas at a Time
I came up with a list of some things that I think can contribute to our health without trying to lose any weight. You can be a better person without trying to lose weight despite what diet culture tries to tell us. Try to pick a couple things that work for you. If you start picking too many all at once it becomes too overwhelming. Maybe pick a couple for January and February. Once you get the habits down, add a couple more the next month and go back to the drawing board as needed.
Health Goals that Have Nothing to Do With Weight
- Pick movement that you enjoy and feels good to you.
- Don’t overdo it at the gym.
- Do 10 minutes of yoga or meditation most mornings.
- Go on walks a few days a week or any other type of movement you enjoy.
- Get enough rest… or try.
- Brush and floss your teeth every night before bed.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
- Limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee.
- Mostly eat foods that make you feel good and eat enough of them.
- Eat foods that are satisfying to you.
- Eat three good meals a day.
- Cook food at home more. Eat out less.
- Pack a lunch to take to work.
- Don’t completely cut out food groups unless you need to for medical/ethical reasons.
- Honor your hunger. Listen and trust your body. It takes time.
- Limit emotional eating and try to deal with your feelings.
- Travel and experience the world.
- Work at body acceptance.
- Stop comparing your life and your body to other people’s.
- Be present and refrain from checking your phone.
- Watch your media consumption.Spend more time with friends and family.
- Unfollow accounts that focus on weight and body transformations.
- Declutter- Get rid of things you don’t use or need.
- Do one load of laundry everyday and make sure the kitchen is clean every night.
- Evaluate money spending and see where you can save.
- Take care of your mental health. Possibly see a therapist.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- List three things you are grateful for everyday.
- Show vulnerability.
- Start a journal.
- Be flexible and let go of perfection.
The last one is important for any of them. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect! If you start doing yoga and you miss a week, it is going to be alright. You can rest some weeks, it doesn’t mean you have to give up. Healing is not linear. What would you add to the list? Are you making any resolutions for the year or do you try to make them all the time? What will add value to your life in 2019?