If you want a part of you to 'die' in 2015 start a die-t. Speaking from nearly 30 years of experience I can state in no uncertain terms that diets really don't work!! Don't be fooled by the glistening, tanned bodies and those pearly white teeth in the diet advertising blitz - it's all an illusion.
The purpose of a New Year Resolution is surely to inspire you, uplift you and help you focus on what you'd love. It gives your resolve va-va-voom and ignites your determination with passion and energy. It generates a spark in your spirit and a fire in your belly. Your resolution should, by its very nature, warm your heart and call you 'home'.
This is why setting off on a diet on January 1st is the most fool-proof way to make yourself miserable and wretched for the New Year. Saying 'no' to foods that you love is setting you up to fail. The more you insist on removing, taking away and forbidding, the more your body and mind will crave whatever you have confiscated. You will want it more (and more and more and more.) This will not create a harmonious relationship between your heart and body. It will create dissonance and denial, the depth of which will be proportional to the number of times you have gone down this route before.
"That's all very well Kathryn", I hear you mutter, "but I've got to do something about my pot belly and my double chin!" Fair enough. So what if you could make a meaningful resolution this year?
- What if you chose to love your body instead of punish it?
- What if you chose to eat mindfully instead of mindlessly?
- What if you chose to 'add' instead of subtract?
The inspiring Jon Gabriel, bestselling author of The Gabriel Method - the revolutionary diet-free way to lose weight - lost a staggering 103 kilos without dieting or surgery and his body shows no sign of ever having been morbidly obese. He teaches how stress is a major factor in our ability to lose or gain weight; and that feeling safe and relaxed is equally, if not more, important than what you consume. He advocates 'adding' rather than 'subtracting' - adding nutrient-rich foods rather than simply cutting out x, y or z.
This approach make sense nutritionally and on an emotional level. So, what if you chose to focus on de-stressing in 2015? What if bringing peace and relaxation into your life was more beneficial to your waistline? What if you stopped wasting your energy fighting and supressing your cravings for that biscuit and brought all your attention to being kind and compassionate to yourself instead? What if you chose to focus on adding lots of greens, raw superfoods and juices to your culinary repertoire?
This healthy, stress-reducing, mindful, loving and creative approach has a very different energy to the traditionally prohibitive dieting methods which outlaw the things that bring you joy and comfort. Dieting (and breaking your diet) leaves you feeling bad; feeling like a loser; tired and pathetic. I don't know about you, but I've had enough of being the meanest person in my head.
"Stop the Food Fight" is a profound wellbeing programme created by Kevin Billet, CEO of The Journey™. This also focuses on a more loving, compassionate approach to self, rather than forcing, striving or pushing towards a dieting goal. I wonder just how many hours have been wasted on negative thoughts and unhelpful beliefs about ourselves and our body image over the past year. I wonder how many people would be so much happier and healthier if they'd spent that time nourishing their heart, mind and body instead?
And so I invite you to return to your heart as midnight chimes into 2015. Decide to add nutrients, love and compassion into your 'diet' this year. Start with kindness to yourself, gentle understanding and tender non-judgement. Commence the year with a genuine desire to accept and love yourself exactly as you are. From here you can feed yourself with benevolence just as you would your best friend.
I may not be the sylph-like gazelle I'd wish to be, but I am happier and healthier since I have embraced these kinder approaches to myself, my body and my (often unhelpful) beliefs. I no longer beat myself up about the occasional biscuit or about the far-from-ideal image I see in the mirror. Like so many others, I'm a work in progress. At least now I am enjoying the journey. Happy New Year!