One of my "New Year" posts from several years ago listed 10 reasons to not go on the diet for the new year. (That might be a good one to review.) This year I have a challenge for all of you. Whether you have an eating disorder, disordered eating or just have a wacky relationship with food, eating, activity and body image issues, truly become a rebel against all things "diet". One of my colleagues, Deb Burgard, made a brilliant recommendation for the new year. She suggested that a more accurate term for the diet industry would be "weight cycling" industry. This $60 billion dollar per year industry (latest estimate from Marketdata Enterprises) depends on people desperate to cure everything from holiday overeating, poor self-esteem, broken hearts to job loss and recession woes by cycling from one failed diet or diet product to another.
Make this year's resolve about compassion towards yourself and others in all areas. Especially vow to change the way we talk to ourselves in judgemental and negative terms about food, eating and weight issues. Monitor how you speak to and about others. Don't be a "weightist". Continue pursuing health, wellness, and moderation. Look towards "the middle ground" ... not perfectionism. I would encourage all of you to check out information regarding the "Health at Every Size" movement and the website http://www.dietsurvivors.com/.
May God grant all of you a healthy, joy filled (we can have joy even when we are not happy!) and balanced new year. May you make peace with food and find joy in eating and activity.
I will end with an appropriate quote from Mark Twain about changing habits. I do believe that much of what trips us up as we try to find the middle ground in all of these issues does boil down to our habits.
"Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man (or woman .. my edit), but coaxed downstairs a step at a time."
Let's start stepping! Please feel free to share how you plan on ditching dieting in 2012!