It’s that time of the year again when many follow the tradition of making a New Year’s resolution . I followed the same year after year, to lose weight. And as many, I couldn’t seem to stick to it. Two or maximum three weeks later ( if there were no triggers!) I wouId find myself right where I ended the year just gone – leaving me overburdened with guilt, shame and failure for not being strong enough and falling to temptation-yet again!
So how did I make my promise towards health a reality? Well, for a start, I dumped all Resolutions. Relief ! This very thought lifts a huge weight off your shoulders and you already feel lighter, happier and excited to see what the New Year (and the New Decade) unfolds.Try it! Why do we as intelligent human beings follow the tradition ( and sometimes even beat ourselves for not following) when we clearly see ourselves breaking this promise? We grow and live in a society with a sense of imperfection, instant gratification and want to improve ourselves, but do we really need a date to start our journey? Does one have to really wait for the first dawn of the New Year to realise that one needs to eat better, move more or stop drinking alcohol as it’s killing them? Carrying those extra pounds not only mean that those skinny jeans don’t fit but most importantly, you are opening the doors to serious imbalances and chronic illnesses. It is also the reason behind those stubborn cravings, out of whack hormones, poor sleep and energy.
Bring on Evolution! Yes, you heard me right. Only, I am not talking of Darwinism. Evolution as in a gradual development of myself – a better, wiser, healthier, happier person. Aren’t we all evolving as individuals in our lifetimes? Surely, it sounds more fun than the rigid , tough don’ts and do’s of Resolutions. It’s positive. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be in charge than be in control. It also means no more mind games and battles with food and scales.
Why would any sane person want to be dictated by a latest “hot” (aka restrictive) diet which makes you eat a food that you hate or drink juices for three days when just the mere thought of the green potion makes you feel sick? No wonder one falls off the wagon within weeks. Until the next one comes along.
Why do we keep following the herd and make the same mistakes again? Free yourself up from having to eat fat free. Stop counting numbers, points and calories for goodness sake! It hasn’t worked in the past and it will most definitely not work again. Oops! They do work on these….a thinning wallet and self worth! We all aim for perfection in our lives…perfect career, perfect family and perfect body. A perfect, successful career may also mean long working hours and stress that erodes your family life and health. In this crazy pursuit for perfection, we are slowly but surely gnawing our mind, body and spirit. It reminds me of tug of war. I am done with that. I am also done with the “R” word.
You do not gain weight overnight. And the scales will not tip to the left with some magic pill or the latest fad diets. If you do lose, the pounds only pile back again with a vengeance as soon as you stop dieting. Losing weight requires behaviour and lifestyle changes. Start slow. Cook more, Cook differently, learn a new activity. My client, Barbara took on mountain climbing on retirement. At 63, she felt dizzy at first but as her health and fitness improved, she felt more energetic. The dizzy spells were an aftermath of chronic dieting for years. To me, this lady is inspiring and is evolving. To enhance your success, work on one thing at a time and pursue an activity that you really enjoy. It doesn’t seem like a chore or a punishment and you will feel motivated.
As you evolve, take time to reflect and feel proud of the healthier person you have become. This will keep you engaged and focused when temptation strikes or that monkey chatter begins. Remember, evolution is gradual and a work in progress. It is also more sustainable and can be changed to suit your life, needs and seasons. Be mindful. Reflect on your eating habits and choose what works for you. You are choosing and evolving to be the healthier version of you. Start with the basics. Weight gain is not an end result of poor eating habits. It is only an indication and one of the many symptoms of inflammation, toxicity and poor health. The pounds will melt away in the process.Only this time, you will not feel deprived and deplete your body of the essential nutrients. You will feel satisfied, sleep better, have more energy and feel happier. This will boost your confidence and strengthen your resolve to evolve further.
Losing weight is not a one-time effort but you can make it that way by creating a new lifestyle. Just don’t become sloppy in your evolution process. Aim at better health and nutrition rather than numbers. Get rid of the inflammation, triggers and make peace with food. I choose eating clean, real foods to heal and repair my body. I did mention about being in charge. So here I am setting my Values, Visions & Goals as I evolve to be happier, healthier and learn something new in 2020.
What’s stopping you from ditching the resolution and starting a new tradition of evolution?
Get started with your Health Values, Visions & Goals workbook here!