How are you feeling about 2024 and your health and wellbeing goals? Have you got a diet plan to follow? Are you already worrying that you won’t be able to stick to it?
Dietary changes are always fraught with baggage and the number of times we’ve been round the dieting revolving door will ultimately influence the size of the baggage and the loudness of the diet voice. A diet plan can look great on paper, but the diet voice that accompanies it can be destructive; it second guesses our every food decision and tells us off ALL THE TIME.
Top line – let’s remember having a healthy, happy relationship with food is not the same as dietary perfection. No diet plan can account for our individual need for flexibility, and when it comes to managing our weight, we are our harshest critics.
Pressure From the Diet Industry
Unfortunately, the diet industry fuels this self-loathing by setting us up to fail; the negative talk takes over and the disconnection between mind and body expands.
It’s easy to get caught up in all of this, we create stories in our heads which we fully buy into and these form the corner stone of our beliefs. Sometimes we may even sabotage our efforts to be a little healthier if it means the story pans out how we originally wrote it. We pay a lot of attention to these stories and they can significantly influence our mood and behaviour.
Often, we come full circle as our moods trigger certain eating habits. The ‘what the heck effect’ is common. We begin a destructive eating cycle as thoughts start to percolate. ‘I knew I wouldn’t lose weight anyway’, I knew I wouldn’t have the will power’ ‘I’m so useless’. At times we are quick to undermine our self-trust and self-worth… again.
If this is you and this is how you feel, it could be worth exploring. In fact, it’s part of what I do with clients and sets the scene for my recipe for nourishment.
Sometimes the stories don’t allow us permission to reflect on the realities of day to day life. Is the juggle over-whelming? Is the to-do list so long you’ve not got time to write it? Are you giving yourself credit for the pressure you are under and how well you are coping?
Sometimes it feels like caring for others is bad for our health. We dish out so much and provide that pillar of strength that is needed by those more vulnerable than us. Sandwich parenting, for example is tough. In their eyes we’re there to provide support, the voice of reason when they’re struggling with their emotions and a steady hand when everything else feels more unpredictable.
It breaks my heart that these super amazing women are the ones who tend to cut out carbs to try and lose weight. They restrain themselves to the hilt Monday-Thursday only to collapse in a big heap on Friday night and throw caution to the wind.
These are strategies that we’re told work well; in reality is we’re trapped in unsustainable regimes that only make us feel more exhausted.
Finding a Way Forward Without a Diet Plan
If this is resonating with you, please know you are worthy of the same attention you give to those close to you. It is possible to nourish yourself with as much care and attention as you give to them. It doesn’t have to feel hard, and you don’t have to punish yourself in order to feel healthier.
We are deserving of that kind voice and reassuring hand. Let 2024 be your opportunity for more of this. Not the latest diet craze or excessive restriction. Pay attention to those stories and the beliefs they reinforce. Are they really true or could you think a little differently? Can you step back, judge less, be inquisitive or talk to yourself in a gentle voice?
Sometimes the key to a healthier, happier you is writing a different story and looking at things a little differently. Get in touch if you’d like to chat or check out what courses and workshops are planned for the New Year.