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New Year, New Mindset.

New Year, New Mindset.

As I said last yearwhen the last sugar plums get put away, the diet industry comes out to play.

“Before and after” pictures flood our TV screens and newsfeeds, while gyms overflow with new members. Once again, we promise ourselves that this is the year that we will finally “cut out sugar” or “lose weight”. Even people that we would least suspect are jumping on the Whole30 bandwagon, or trying the latest activated charcoal juice/bone broth cleanse. It’s hard to not get swept up in the new year’s frenzy of “health” and transformation – New Year, New You.

We all know what happens once the excitement dies down. By February, the gyms are only frequented by the die-hard gym rats, our newsfeeds are back to showing us eerily accurate ads, everyone’s back to eating normal food, and we’ve lost and gained the same amount of weight again.

Sick of “New Year, Same You”?

Diet culture has taught us that when we “give in” to sugar, regain the weight we’ve lost, or *gasp* eat without rules, it’s because we don’t have enough willpower. We’re not trying hard enough. We don’t want it enough.

I know it’s not true — why would you ride that same restrict-binge rollercoaster of emotions and weight over and over again if you didn’t want it? How could you have hung on for so long if you weren’t trying? If you didn’t have willpower?

The reality is, the diet and fitness industries rely on repeat business. And there wouldn’t be any if diets actually worked.

The diet and fitness industries rely on repeat business. And there wouldn't be any if diets actually worked. #newyearnewmindset Click To Tweet

New Year, Eyes Open.

Instead of trying to “change” by really just doing the same thing over and over again, I invite you to make this year the year you make a real change.

I can’t promise you a flat stomach, toned thighs or even a different number on the scale. I can’t promise you anything, really—this is simply an invitation to question instead of respond. To take the indirect path. To view the world from a different lens.

1. Ask “Why”

If you’ve been making the same promises to yourself year after year, I invite you to ask why. Why does this goal have such a chokehold on you? Will cutting out sugar really make you healthier? Will losing weight really make life easier?

You’ll probably find that the answer isn’t straightforward. That parts of you say “yes”, while others say “no”. That is normal. And it’s OK. Our society has taught us to avoid and push away discomfort instead of teaching us how to sit in it and feel it. I invite you to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, even for just a moment. This is real change.

2. Discover What You Really Want

No one really wants to only drink green juice for a week, or even to hit their “goal weight”. It’s what they believe these things will bring them. Consider your own goals for a moment—what is the real reward? What is the feeling that you’re actually after? Is it the satisfaction of having done something really difficult? Is it the praise for having “strong willpower”? Is it the desire to please someone else? Avoid snide comments and stigma?

Not taking your goals at face value and diving deep into what you really want might make your desires seem less reachable. That’s OK. This is real change.

3. Try an Alternate Path

As humans, we’re wired to take the most direct path to solve our problems. This works most of the time, and when it does work, it frees up our brain and our lives to think about and do other stuff. Hungry? Eat. Thirsty? Drink. Tired? Sleep.

It’s not as easy to satisfy more complex needs, like a sense of belonging, a sense of accomplishment. “Health” is another concept that sounds simple, yet is quite complicated. Still, we are often sold “simple” solutions, like cleanses or weight loss, because our brains are attracted to the idea of being “quick and direct”.

We need to stop trying to solve complex problems with 'simple' solutions. #newyearnewmindset Click To Tweet

Instead of getting on that binge-restrict rollercoaster of emotions and weight yet again, I invite you to go back to those “real rewards” that you discovered in step 2. What else can bring you satisfaction? Where else can you get praise? Why is it so important for you to please others? (Oops, still need to dig a little deeper there.)

The alternate path might be longer, unbeaten, scary and lonely. Sometimes you might find yourself longing for the more familiar path, or even finding yourself back on it. Whether you decide to follow the alternate path, or abandon it for another, all that matters is that you’ve seen it.

That is real change.

Curious about making real change and cultivating a new mindset for 2018?

Download my free eBook, Stop the Food Fight, Start Making Food Peace, where you will learn seven steps to start healing your relationship with food and your body.
Stop the Food Fight, Start Making Food Peace

How will you cultivate a new mindset this year? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

2 Comments

  • Jennifer Smith on Jan 04, 2018 Reply

    On vacation at the moment but deciding what my word of the year will be. I keep circling back to ‘Enjoy’.

    Enjoy whatever I’m doing or stop doing it. I think this will mean doing different things for exercise as I’m tired of the treadmill and more focus on crafting and being in the moment for trips. I’m even hopeful that it will mean I’m less fussed about the pile of work that just never gets done.

    • Vincci Tsui on Jan 04, 2018 Reply

      That’s an awesome word! Thanks for sharing, Jen!

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