The Problem With Starting 2020 On A Diet

What about this for 2020?

Can ‘new year, new you’ be about your outlook and not your body? Can it prioritise your self-compassion? Your willingness to address what’s underneath the desires?

The top of New Year’s resolution lists are inevitably:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Go on a diet
  3. Join a gym

Where 2 + 3 are in support of 1. If this is you too, you are completely normal.

Can you see #3 however like this? I’m going to try a bunch of activities and find movement that I enjoy and can do consistently.

Or #2 as…. I’m going to work on consistently honouring my hunger and not falsely believing that I need to earn the food I eat.

Can the elusive #1 instead be…. 2020 will be the year that I recognise how harmful dieting for intentional weight loss is.

How pervasive diet culture is and how I’ve been gaining and losing the same 5kg (+ some ) forever. Enough is enough.

The food, the plan, the diet, the workout – none of that is inherently the problem or the solution to feeling empowered and confident in your own body.

But gosh we hear the hard sell on that don’t we? So much so that you are very likely doubting these exact words of mine right now. Consider how quick you may have been to discard some of the suggestions I’ve included here in favour of trying the keto diet, going plant-based, joining that new gym challenge?

Perhaps you’re thinking you just need to get back on track? Undo the so-called indulgent eating and drinking?

Again, you’re completely normal if this is you. Consider however, how has that kind of action helped you to date?

Has a plan, diet or challenge helped you to feel more confident around food and your body?

And if your answer is that it did help until it didn’t – then it didn’t. Because that’s precisely what these pursuits set up for us.

A 95% failure rate. A predictor of future weight gain. An increased likelihood of disordered eating.

Consider how many New Year’s you’ve spent working on your “best bod” and how many times that you’ve been back in the same place once the plan failed? Looking again for the so-called solution. It can take time to process and accept this reality. I get that and I hear your struggle.

And if you feel that way, once more you are perfectly normal. Consider how long you’ve been carrying around these ideas and these pursuits. They won’t vanish overnight, though they lose their power each time that you reject the diet mentality. The mentality that says thin is always better (not), healthier (not) and your life’s goal (not). Rejecting this is in fact the first principle of Intuitive Eating and becoming the expert of your own body.

And beginning January 2020, I’m accepting new coaching clients who are ready to:

  • Develop a more positive relationship to food
  • Enjoy food once again without guilt and restriction
  • Leave the yo-yo dieting lifestyle for something actually satisfying
  • Redevelop their body wisdom and connection
  • Feel ‘normal” around food

You can join the waitlist here.

For now, know that your body deserves care and respect always, no exceptions. That you don’t need to lose this time of year to body worry and food restriction. And that all of this can feel impossible. If you’re looking for some audio reminders to help you through the holiday period especially, I’d encourage you listen to the below episode of my podcast – WHAT THE HELL DO I EAT? – ‘If Not Dieting, Then What?’

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