With another year coming to a close, I think back to last January and recall my intentions for the new year. (I actually write them down and look at them at least a few times every week.) As I looked at my 2016 list, I accomplished what I focused on most.
On the health side, I didn't focus on dieting. I focused on self-care, with healthy eating an integral part of that focus. I weigh myself about twice yearly and have learned that if I don't divert from my normal way of eating, the scale remains stable. Weighing myself twice a year frees up a lot of time and puts an end to obsessing over every bite I take and how it might show up on the scale.
So much attention is given to dieting at the beginning of every year, and we'll hear about it in the coming weeks from Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, and Paleo. The message is the same with all diets: discipline and deprivation. "Ladies, sip that last cocktail on New Years Eve, and get ready to starve off those holiday pounds."
But how many times do you see that the discipline and deprivation required by strict dieting falls by the wayside, and old habits return? Is it because women have no self-control? Not at all. It's because diets deprive and punish. Who wants that?? What strict dieting ultimately does is create a boomerang effect. It creates discomfort and inordinate attention to what we cannot have. As humans, it is natural to want what seems desirable but are told it's not for us. Diet's don't work.
Is there a better way?
Absolutely. And it may be something you never thought about before. It's balance. When we feel balanced, we feel good. Our feet are on the ground, our brains are focused, our mood is relaxed. That cannot happen when you are feeling deprived.
Balance happens when you eat simple, fresh, nutritionally rich foods, and you tune in to when you have enough. That means choosing quality foods, cooking them at home. and eating in a conscious relaxed state at the table. If that seems difficult, it may be that you are not making it a priority, either because your lifestyle hasn't made room for it, or the media's convincing marketing to eat out has swayed you away from the very balance you are seeking.
2017 End Results- What Are Yours?
If your end result for 2017 is a better weight and a feeling of balance, how will you achieve it? End results, or goals, happen when you have clear, specific, achievable end points in mind. You are most likely to accomplish them when you write them down and view them frequently. What is it you really want? What are you willing to do to get there? What is your time line?
4 Tips for Healthy Eating in 2017
1. Carve out time for menu planning, shopping and food prep (less time on media devices?)
2. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that you like when you shop (no point in eating foods you don't like)
3. Pay attention to how much you need to feel satisfied but not stuffed
4. Spend time with people who have similar health goals