As we approach 2019, there are so many messages about making changes. New Year’s resolutions, challenges, and goals are set by so many people. Often these changes have to do with body image—everyone and their brother are talking about losing 10 pounds gained during the holidays, or that they are going to start a rigorous exercise plan come Monday. I’m not going to lie…..January will be my busiest month of the year. I see this year after year—people scheduling appointments to see me hoping that I can change the person they are. “Make me smaller, lighter, skinnier, healthier.” It doesn’t matter how it’s stated, everyone wants to be different. And, don’t get me wrong, I am all about a healthy lifestyle. I know for myself and for my family, making health a priority in our lives is how we maintain good energy levels, sleep well and keep illnesses at bay. But, what I see is that people think that by losing 10 pounds or dropping a dress size or two, they will become the person they have always wanted to be. And, as crushing as this sounds, that will never happen with weight loss. That is why over and over again, people gain the weight they lose back so fast. It’s a heartbreaking reality for me to see this time and again.
As we move to a new year—let’s change the way we think about ourselves. Let’s think about our body, how strong it is, how powerful it can be, and the places it can take us. Instead of feeling shame and guilt for eating too many Christmas cookies or toasting one too many times, be thankful that you got to savor the cookies and sip your favorite beverage with friends and loved ones. Stop feeing so darn shameful in 2019! Fill this year with words like wellness, healthy habits, and love for yourself and others. Do things that make you feel good about yourself, including engaging in habits like eating more fruits and vegetables, moving more often (because you want!), eating less sugar, getting proper sleep and drinking a ton more water! And, as a dietitian, these attainable goals I can certainly help you with. If you drop a pant size along the way, good for you—-if you don’t, who cares! A pant size, a number on a scale, or if you cut out all carbs will never define who you are. Neither will shame and guilt if you don’t. So, this new year change your mindset about dieting and losing weight. Think about all of your blessings, be proud of who you are now and the person you can be and certaintly don’t focus on creating a new you. You are wonderful this year and every year. Happy 2019 my friends!