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“New Year, New You” is old news.
I’m almost 40. I’ve been there and done that since I was a teen. Over and over, year after year. Failure after failure, until finally, I realized that my yearly resolve was actually a blind following of the status quo and that it was ruining my health.
Yup, I was a basic b*tch. An unhealthy, sheepish, and basic b*tch. I manipulated my body with every fad diet out there, counted calories until my brain exploded, and based my self-worth on my ability to reach a single number on my cold and loveless bathroom scale.
Then I woke the f*ck up.
This, my dear, is your wake-up call.
Don’t Be Manipulated by a Billion Dollar Industry
The diet and weight loss industry has grown to be a $71 billion industry, yet according to Scientific American, “Research suggests that roughly 80% of people who shed a significant portion of their body fat will not maintain that degree of weight loss for 12 months.”
In my personal experience, this is due to the fact that whatever is done to lose weight isn’t sustainable or habitual. Simply put, once you go back to your old pre-weight loss habits, you’ll eventually be right back at square one.
But milions of Americans will still subscribe to a “New Year, New You” resolution from the cover of a magazine to diet in order to lose weight this year.
It’s time to get out of the vicious cycle of sacrifice and failure. Knowing this bit of information should be enough to wake you up, but if it’s not, let’s talk about the ways this marketing strategy from the diet and weight loss industry is royally screwing you every year.
Fad Diets Will F*ck You Up
Fad diets and the traditional idea of diet and exercise actually set you up for failure…every time! Think about it this way: if you put less gas in your car, do you expect to drive further? Of course not!
Yet somehow, diet culture teaches us that we shouldn’t fill up our tank in order to live vibrantly. It just doesn’t make sense and it sets you up for failure. Every. Freakin’. Time.
Moreover, fad diets are at best a quick fix, not a long-term solution. They are ways to manipulate your body in order to lose weight quickly. They are not sustainable. Why? Because they all involve some kind of sacrifice for the sake of losing weight.
Remember, if you’re not fueling your body properly, don’t expect it to run any better for you. Expect a big heap of frustration with a side of failure to go with it. Nix the cherry on top—that’s too many calories.
Counting Calories is Crap
Calorie counting is the best way to lose your sanity and your love of food.
Counting calories is a giant pain in the ass! Just thinking about it makes me cringe. Additionally, just because you count calories does not mean that you are eating in a way that supports your body’s nutritional needs.
It just means you’re stuck with the same sweaty palms you likely had during your high school algebra exams by doing math every time you eat.
The number one reason to not count calories: not all calories are created equal.
One hundred calories of apples is not the same as 100 calories of cookies. Right?
I’m not saying that one is better than the other, just that they’re wildly different in nutritional composition. They also look completely different in size from each other.
My heart especially sinks every time I see someone meticulously measuring their fruit or vegetable intake. I just want to shake them and say, “Eat all the freakin’ fruit you want!”
Counting calories turns all food into numbers instead of nourishment. How sad is that?! It also puts your focus on quantity, not quality. But quality is what your body truly needs to run in tip-top shape.
Weight Ain’t Nothing But a Number
So here we are, at the apex of my rant. I’m going to shout this loud and clear for those in the back, “Weight loss is not wellness!”
I don’t care what anyone has told you in the past. That tiny little number on the scale is not the only indicator of health. It’s not even close to being the best one!
In fact, weight loss can sometimes be a signal that your body is not healthy.
Let me go ahead and play devil’s advocate for you. What about those who are clinically obese? Wouldn’t weight loss be a sign of being healthier?
Sure, it could be. But like I said, it’s not the only indicator of health. Consider other indicators like mental health, level of mobility, or blood pressure. Even the consistency of a person’s poop is a better indicator for me than weight is!
Finally, tying happiness to a so-called “perfect weight” is going to ensure utter disdain for oneself. Why is that? Because weight fluctuates naturally throughout the day, week, month, and over the years.
Weight changes are totally natural and expected. You drink a cup of water, you weigh more. You take a sh*t, you magically weigh less.
Throw out your bathroom scale already.
New Year, New Awareness
Listen, we’re all just doing the best we can with the information we’ve got, right?
I’ve just unloaded a ton of information for you to contemplate that should make you think twice about what sort of resolution you want to make this year and every year after that, if any.
If I was to make one last resolution to rule them all (I resolved to quit making resolutions years ago), it would be to give myself the most nutritious food available to me at any time that I feel the need for fuel and to enjoy the heck out of it!
Most of the time, that looks like an apple.
Other times, it looks like a cookie.
As you raise a glass of champagne, beer, or kombucha (you do you!) this New Year’s Eve, toast yourself to no longer being a manipulated basic b*tch.
Cheers to you!