Happy New Year!
I’m hopeful, if you’re reading this, that you were able to ring in the new year with no goals for starting new diets, achieving weight loss, beginning eating programs or manipulating your body shape/size.
Instead I hope you were able to enjoy sending off 2022 in a way that brought you joy and welcome 2023 with a resolve to keep that joy going all year long.
If you’re used to setting new year’s resolutions around dieting and weight loss, it might feel a little weird finally letting go of that. It’s common to go through a bit of mourning period when you make the decision to walk away from dieting.
We are sold the bogus idea from diet culture that anyone can lose weight and keep it off if they just ‘try hard enough.’ And not only that, but we’re told that losing weight or getting fit is a magical cure-all to all our life’s problems. If we can just have success on a diet or with a fitness regimen, suddenly we’ll be happy or find love, acceptance or get the job we always wanted.
Given this pristine picture painted by diet culture of what we can expect once we ‘succeed’ in our diet and weight loss goals, it’s difficult to come to terms with that fact that not only is that painted picture a fallacy, but that we’ve spent so much time, effort, energy and money chasing this goal that was built on lies.
As someone who used to wholeheartedly believe all the BS that diet culture doled out, I can without a shadow of a doubt say that obsession over weight, food and body size does not lead to any sort of perfect life with no problems. In fact for me, all it lead to was isolation, health problems, and a joyless existence.
However, even having that lived experience of how awful it all was, I still experienced a mourning period when I decided I was ready to step away from diet culture. It’s a loss of a fantasy, the loss of hope of this promised shiny new life.
On the other side is not a fantasy nor a perfect life, but reclamation of a peaceful relationship with food, body trust and joy – which is a pretty great ‘consolation’ prize, if you ask me 😘
Therapist and Certified Body Trust® Provider Meredith Noble, wrote a beautiful blog post on this entitled “Body Acceptance Begins with Grieving the Thin Ideal” that I highly recommend checking out if you find yourself experiencing feelings of grief along with giving up dieting.
This new year, I hope you’ll be kind to yourself, allowing the time and self-compassion needed to grieve the loss of the fantastical life you were told was possible through control of food & body so that you can move through to enjoy a more peaceful relationship with both thus bringing more joy.