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A New Way to Approach New Year’s Resolutions – Self Care

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Image courtesy of FreeImages.com/Christopher Bruno

by Laura Cipullo, Whole Nutrition Services Team

What are your New Year’s resolutions? To fit into a favorite pair of jeans? To eat less sweets? To exercise daily? Every single December, we feel the pressure — to analyze where we are and decide how we are going to improve. And then, when we binge on dessert or feel too big to get to the gym, we mentally torture ourselves about it.

I’m here to say, “STOP.”

This kind of attitude (aka what I refer to as Fooditude) can be self-defeating and will not lead to a positive state of mind, body or spirit. 

Instead, consider this: Focus on small changes that will improve your whole self, meaning overall health. For example, I will grocery shop every Sunday and I will practice breathing for one minute before I eat breakfast every morning.

Secondly, use these small goals as a measure of success rather than a scale number. Rid the weight loss/scale number approach. Realize this: Weight loss can occur secondary to self-care and a change in the way you nurture your mind and body. Not all bodies need or will even be able to lose weight. All bodies fit and can be physically fit, so don’t obsess over a number. Remember, the number may actually go up if you turn fat to muscle. 

Thirdly, accept the fact that eating and exercise are not something to perfect.  It is better not to become overly rigid about your eating habits or food choices. If a meal or a day of meals don’t meet your intentions or goals, that’s okay. Habits are about consistency over a period of time. Let it go, and move onto the next meal.   

We are all human and we can’t be perfectly perfect every day. The new perfect is to be imperfectly perfect — meaning there is no such thing as “perfect.” My version of “perfect” is the art of balance  – having both perfections and imperfections.  There are no perfect foods either. Really, I promise you this. Yes, there are foods that are more nutrient dense but anything in excess or even elimination can be harmful.

Change the concept of health to that of self care, not weight loss. When focusing on self care you can think, “Did I sleep my eight hours? Did I breathe before my meals, did I move my body to increase my energy?” Also, if you only eat one vegetable one day, you use this as an experience to learn from. The lesson is: “Tomorrow I need to be more mindful of eating veggies.”

Self-care is the new “weight loss.” Imperfect is the new “perfect.” Strong is the new “skinny.” L’ifestyle is the new “diet.” If you want more tools for this approach, download the comfort card and mindful meal log, read the blogs on my site. If you are ready for more and want to take the next step, read the Body Clock Diet. I will hold your hand as you take your journey to wellness by self care.