Happy New Year! This is often the season for New Year’s resolutions…and all too often people start looking for fad diets as a result. I’m here to tell you you don’t have to do that! There are so many amazing things you can do for your body, your life, and your health that do NOT require dieting. Today, we’ll talk about five of them!
Just a reminder, you can access my on-demand training, How to Ditch Food Guild and Body Shame to Gain Confidence and Feel Free, for FREE! This framework sets you up for New Year’s resolutions that will help you start enjoying food and feeling good in your body. It’s actionable and fun, and you can start now! (Also, if you’re looking for more support, I’ve re-opened my 1-1 coaching container and Quit Dieting for Good group program! You can check that out HERE, or apply now!)
5 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions Better Than Dieting
Tip #1: Get The Support You Need
This isn’t isolated to health coaching! I’m talking about kind of specialized support that might make your life easier, more enjoyable, more balanced, or less stressful. For myself, that includes a weekly session with my therapist. I specifically reached out to someone because I knew having a new baby + all that transitioning was going to be tough! Being proactive in seeking support was a really good decision for me.
In the past I’ve had business and life coaches. Right now, I’m getting a lot of help from my mother-in-law with childcare. I also have friends and other family members I know I can call to vent, chat, or get support.
Are there areas of your life you could use some support? That could mean a therapist, a trainer for support and accountability, asking family or friends for help with childcare and transportation, or anything else.
Something else to think about: If you’re really struggling with the temptation to diet right now, you probably have something else (beyond just food!) that you could use some support with. Past trauma, body confidence, self-image, anxiety/stress – all of these (and more!) can equate to reasons you might be struggling with eating. Rather than start another diet to try and control your food intake….what if you worked with someone who could help you address the real problems instead? That sounds like a healthy resolution!
Tip #2: Move How You WANT to Move
In addition to diet talk, New Year’s resolutions lead to lots of conversations about working out and moving your body. That can be exciting…or sound really terrible, depending on what movement has been like for you in the past.
Do I feel better when I move my body? YES! But I don’t do it to burn calories, lose weight, or “punish” myself for not looking a certain way. Instead, I find a form of movement I actually enjoy. Then, I choose to engage in that from a place of joy and celebration. I do movement that I like to do, and it makes such a difference in how it feels!
Also, don’t forget to consider how movement makes you feel afterwards. There are some forms of movement that I don’t always love “starting”…but I feel amazing when I’m done. I’ll still do those, because it’s worth it (even if I have to push myself a little to get started). On the other side of that: there used to be a class I dreaded going to…and afterwards I was always sore, tried, and frustrated. That is NOT worth it to me!
Now, more than ever, you can access all sorts of classes with people you might not have ever been able to learn from. Online fitness classes, including live opportunities with celebrities and pros, are super common as a result of Covid. You might find a new favorite exercise you would have never considered in the past, especially if you’re willing to reframe fitness. Let 2021 be the year you enjoy movement.
Tip #3: Let Go of Old Food Stories & Restrictions
I used to make food-based rules, like: “Monday I won’t eat any chocolate.” These little food stories (like not eating carbs, not eating after 7pm, avoiding sugar, or only being vegetarian) can really weigh us down.
We constantly hear that some foods are “bad”, or that others are “good”, and we can get really wrapped up in those stories! (Then we use them to make rules and start restricting.) What if you just let those go, and you tried eating things that taste good and make you feel good?
You might really really like a tasty treat that you have a “rule” about…and you’ll end up binging/overeating on something else instead of just enjoying what you actually desire. Trust yourself, and your body, to let go of restrictions and enjoy a variety of foods!
Food is food. Young kids eat a variety of foods, with no stress, because they don’t have any rules or food stories yet. You can get back to that place too, and you certainly won’t get there with another diet!
Tip #4: Do Different Enjoyable Things Daily
This is a form of self-care! I firmly believe that one of the best forms of self-care is to do things that you love daily.
For example, one of the best parts of my year in 2020 was working on my paint-by-number every day. It brought me SO much joy! I’d listen to music or podcasts (or just my own thoughts), and it was a personal “me time” hobby I loved. Doing something for yourself that you can enjoy is powerful — and it’s a really easy way to honor your self.
Daily joys can include food, like treating yourself to a latte or your favorite baked good. It could also mean watching a show you love, calling your mom, taking a starlit walk around the block, visiting the pet store, painting your nails, or anything else that lights you up.
Being happy helps you be healthy. Mental and emotional health are just as important as your physical body and its health — adding daily joys helps you tap into that! If all your current New Year’s resolutions are serious, I’d encourage you to mix it up with FUN!
Tip #5: Work On Your Relationships & Connections
A lack of relationships, or too much stress and conflict within your relationships, can really take a toll on your health. Even if it feels overwhelming, I’d encourage you to look for ways to build stronger relationships in 2021.
This last year I’ve made it a priority to have a weekly phone date with a friend. I found that Zoom calls with big groups just didn’t work for me (I miss the side conversations too much!) Instead of just missing out, I made it my mission to connect 1-1 or in smaller groups online or via the phone. You might set up a phone date with your sister/mom/cousin/bestie, or set up a virtual coffee chat with a new connection from a local FB group.
If you have a partner, you could also take inventory of how that relationship is going for you. Could you spend more time together? Are you encouraging and supporting one another? Are there conversations you need to have? Do what you can to make this important relationship a source of pleasure and health!
No Food Restrictions Required in 2021
There is so much more to health than the way you’re eating!
Rather than creating yet another new year’s resolutions based on the diet industry, what is one thing you can focus on that will improve your health and take the emphasis away from food? Choose one thing and start practicing! Once it’s going well, feel free to add in something else. (Don’t be tempted to do *all the things*….that’s a recipe for overwhelm!)
If you’re done feeling guilty about food, shaming your body, and struggling with food….I’m here for you! Head HERE to apply to work with me; we’ll hop on a call and talk about what’s going on in your life, and how I can help.