Please don’t do a “reset.” There is nothing wrong with you in the first place.
Fresh starts feel good, so I understand you want to participate in that challenge, do the reset, make the resolutions, commit to a diet, and shell out the dough for that promising program. However, as someone who works with people suffering from disordered eating, I urge you to challenge the challenge, not your well-being.
Ask yourself why you want to join in. What is drawing you toward this?
?: Why do I want to join that xyz challenge?
A: I did SO BAD over the holidays, and I need a reset to eliminate toxins. (Side note, your body does this for you, not a diet.) (Double side note, you’re not bad.)
?: What feels good about a New Year’s resolution?
A: A fresh start, a brand new year, a shiny new calendar, a blank slate.
?: What is so wrong that I feel needs correction?
A: I have no will-power. I started 2017 with the right intentions, but life got busy. 2018 WILL BE my year!
?: What was so wrong with 2017?
A: Well, nothing really, but I didn’t focus on me.
?: Why did you lose focus?
A: Well, my goals really weren’t clear enough, the diet was too restrictive, and I got busy.
?: So what if you work on these things, to really make lasting change, instead of adding one more challenge to your already-busy life?
A: You’re right… My diet really isn’t to blame. It’s my schedule and the fact that I say yes to everyone but myself. If I wasn’t so scattered, I would have the emotional energy to eat better instead of emotionally eating.
Does this conversation sound familiar? In all likelihood, it does, because I – along with many of the people I counsel – have had it. Probably more than once. Maybe even every year.
What if we flip the script? What if we change our goals and language toward something we actually want to do, something that makes us shoot out of bed, excited to tackle? Chances are, that diet that eliminates carbs, causes funky-smelling breath, or makes you feel like a cavewoman won’t be so exciting. Anything that includes restriction will likely end up in a binge of that very thing. And anything you feel like you “should” do, really isn’t something you want to do if you’re being honest with yourself.
2018 will actually be a dreadful year if I anticipate all the things I can’t do or should do. Let’s not do that to ourselves. Life is too darn short. Instead, ask yourself what you want to do.
Instead of: I should go to the gym because I need to lose weight.
Think: I want to go for a walk outside with my friend/spouse so we can catch up on life and get the kids outside.
Instead of: I need to eat less sugar.
Think: I would feel a lot better if I ate fruit when I craved a soda.
Doing this keeps you in a more positive mindset, which is much more likely to keep you on your goals and happier while doing them.
What do I want out of 2018? I want more play and fun, so I’m researching trips we want to take, local activities to do with our boy, and just more open free time. When I think about doing these things, I can see 2018 possibly being my most favorite year yet. That being said, although 2017 was a tough year for me with my struggle with anxiety, an awakening helped me see that it actually was for my benefit. Read about that here.
I love this article that just came out with ideas for things to focus on instead of weight loss or dieting for the New Year. And there are SO many good reads out there for rewiring negative thoughts towards the positive. I’ve been into this lately, for my own well-being and to (prayerfully) instill positive emotional health for my son. A few good reads are here, here, and here.
What do you think? I would love to hear what your non-diet goals are for 2018. And if you’re interested in learning how to break free of dieting forever, contact me. 2018 deserves a lot more than a diet.