It is almost the New Year! In three days, we will not only be entering a new year but a new decade. I don’t know about you, but that sounds so exciting to me.
The start of a new year is the incredible opportunity for fresh starts, making changes and exciting adventures. New Years and resolutions are synonymous with each other. It’s the perfect chance to start a new hobby, change a habit or set a goal. Resolutions can be the kick up the arse we need to make a positive change.
Unfortunately, when it comes to resolutions there is always so much emphasis on diets and weight. Before our Christmas dinner is even digested, out comes diet culture to say hello and make us feel insane amounts of guilt about all the food, drink and festivities we’ve been enjoying.
Diet culture makes out that New Years’ is a chance to redeem yourself. To lose all the weight that you have gained during the festive season. All of the excitement and opportunity that the new year symbolises can be overshadowed by diet culture.
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Spending Too Many Years
When it comes to my New Years’ resolutions, losing weight has always been at the top of my list. Every year, I would promise myself that this was the one where I would start the gym or a new diet to reach that goal weight. It was the perfect chance to finally become a size ten.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wasted the opportunities that the new year bring with this. For so many years, my focus has always been losing weight. From the time that I became conscious of diets and losing weight, I think it has always been my focus – especially when it comes to the start of a new year.
Rather than embracing how exciting the new year can be, I would start it already feeling crap about myself. By choosing to set losing weight as one of my resolutions, I was telling myself that I’m not good enough.
Then I would spend the next few months punishing myself in the attempts to lose weight. I would deprive myself of ~naughty~ foods, cut down my portions or stop snacking, all to make sure I stuck to my resolution. I can’t begin to explain how miserable and exhausting it is.
Diets Don’t Even Work
Let’s be honest, we all know that diets rarely, if ever, work. There is research that shows most people who lose weight from a diet will eventually regain all that weight, if not more!
All you are doing on a diet is restricting yourself which puts even more emphasis on food than before. And all this emphasis will do one of two things when it comes to your ~cheat day~ or eating something ~naughty~:
- You’ll eat even more than you want or need because you’ve been restricting yourself from foods that you want.
- You’ll end up feeling really crappy and guilty for just eating something.
We’ve all been there. Where you’ve been sticking to the food plan, rules or diet but you ‘slip up’. We not only end up overeating (which isn’t always a bad thing either) but feeling stupidly guilty.
I don’t know about you, but there are so many other parts of my life where I can feel failure and shame so I think we should give ourselves a break when it comes to food. So why should we beat ourselves for eating cake every so often?
You Don’t Have To Do That
But here is the thing, we don’t have to. We don’t have to make losing weight one of our resolutions, at the start of the year or any other time. For the first year ever, losing weight won’t be found on my list of resolutions for the new year.
Diets and losing weight don’t have to be your focus.
When we set a resolution of losing weight, we think that reaching our goal weight will make us happy. But from my experience, there is nothing more miserable than trying to lose weight or being on a diet.
If you want to exercise to feel stronger then go for it. Maybe you want to drink more water or learn to have a healthier relationship with food? Those are amazing resolutions. However, you don’t have overhaul your entire life and put more pressure on yourself.
I’m sick of listening to diet culture and how much it makes me hate myself. So as difficult as it is, I’m listening to it this year and you don’t have to either. You can ignore all of the spiel from diet culture this New Year because you don’t need to lose weight.
So Shall We Just Say No?
This January, I’m proposing that we all just say no to diets. We already have too much pressure and stress in our lives. Losing weight and dieting don’t have to be another thing to add to that pressure.
We are all perfectly valid, healthy and wonderful. No matter the number on the scales or in our clothes. Just keep reminding yourself of that. And why not join me in saying no to setting resolutions that make us feel otherwise?
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Let’s make this new year an exciting and happy time of the year, rather than another chance to beat ourselves up. Diets don’t contribute to the happiness for most people – so let’s just cross them off our lists.
Instead, we should set resolutions for 2020 which add to our happiness. Whatever that means for you. But trust me, I doubt you’ll be any happier when you reach that elusive goal weight. Your happiness and confidence always comes from within.
This new year, I’m setting resolutions that are all about my happiness. And that might change throughout the year but for now, my resolutions are:
- to do more yoga
- spend time with my loved ones
- see more of the world
- go to as many gigs as possible
- and, as always, continue my self-love journey
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about why diets don’t work, weight not equalling health and building a healthy relationship with food, then you should totally read ‘Just Eat It’ by Lauren Thomas PHD!
What resolutions are you setting for 2020? Are you going to join me in saying no to diets?