On New Years Eve 2009, I made a resolution that I had made countless times before: lose weight. It was a ritual that I went through nearly every year, beating myself up for having gained weight and determined to have a fresh, clean, and thinner start to the New Year. Little did I know what 2010 would have in store for me, for that was the year that I discovered a secret hidden world that diet culture had blinded me to. At a mindful eating training and retreat—which was ironically steeped in weight loss messages and calorie counting—I met a group of women who introduced me to the Health At Every Size® movement and for the first time I opened my eyes to the radical idea that dieting may actually be the problem, not the solution as I had previously believed. It’s been nearly 10 years since then and I’ve since developed my own mindfulness-based program—which is neither about weight loss nor calorie counting—called The Anti-Diet Plan. Now I have a different New Year’s ritual. Each New Year’s Eve, I resolve NOT to diet for the upcoming year and set an intention to do my best in helping others off the diet-overeating rollercoaster.
January can be a difficult month, with all of the New Year, New (thinner) You messaging. If this is typically a time that you start a new diet (or “lifestyle change” which is usually just a diet rebranded), consider taking a different path this year. We don’t need a diet plan to be our best selves; hell, maybe we already are our best selves but just need an extra sprinkling of self-compassion and love to nurture it. So, will you join me in making 2018 a diet-free year?
Start by taking The Anti-Diet Plan’s No Diet Pledge and sign up for my FREE 30-Day The Anti Diet Plan introductory course to start 2018 diet-free. If you live in the NYC area, email me firstname.lastname@example.org for information about my in-person 9-week The Anti-Diet Plan course starting in early January.
In 2018, I resolve NOT to diet. I will NOT spend my valuable time, money, and emotional resources to fund the over $60 billion weight loss industry that feeds off of my low self-worth. I will NO LONGER be convinced that I am a failure because my diet has failed me. I recognize that diets DO NOT work. The most predictable outcomes of dieting are weight gain, disordered eating, and emotional distress. I will NOT judge my self-worth by the number on a scale but by the quality of my person, the things that I do, and the way in which I live my life.
In 2018, I WILL strive to accept my body in its current shape and size. Because this is the body that I am living in and no amount of hating myself will change that fact. From acceptance comes nurturance and from nurturance comes health and healing. I recognize that healthy bodies come in a diverse range of shapes and sizes. Health is NOT determined by weight, but by how we nourish our body through self-care, nutrition, and physical movement. In 2018, I WILL strive to honor and care for this body that I was given to the best of my ability by listening, trusting, and respecting my body.
Dr. Alexis Conason is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of psychological issues related to bariatric surgery, overeating disorders, body image dissatisfaction, and sexual issues. She is the founder of The Anti-Diet Plan, a mindfulness based program to help you stop dieting and start eating in attunement with your body. Sign up for her free The Anti-Diet Plan 30-day starter course today. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.