Reflections on the New Year
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Happy New Year from all of us at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Here we are at another crossroads. One year ends, another begins. It seems like such a great idea to mark time in this way – it helps humanity track itself, gauge progress, and do a little celebration along the way. I appreciate being connected to you in this way, to be part of a tribe that’s really making a difference in the world. When I reminisce about 2013 and look to see what really mattered, here are a few thoughts I’d love to share with you:
- The field of nutrition exploded with so much great information and research
- At the same time, our nutrition related ailments and diseases have continued to rise
- More and more people are embracing the need for real, honest, healthy food
- And more and more people are hungry for good nutrition information – and don’t quite know it
- The world is stressed, people suffer globally, and it feels like the planet needs a big dose of spiritual wisdom, and fast
I must say, I’m approaching 2014 with a deep concern for where humanity is headed. So I’m going to step up my own personal efforts and do whatever I can to contribute to a global awakening. For me, this means being the strongest, clearest, healthiest human possible – and taking all that good mojo and finding better and better ways to give back to the world.
With that in mind, I’d like to suggest a few food-related new years resolutions for you to consider. Usually, at this time of year, it seems like our health resolutions are centered around eating better, eating less, exercising more, dieting for real this time, and declaring that we won’t eat this, that, or the other thing. I’d like to suggest that you consider some different kinds of resolutions around food and health. Some resolutions that might take you into a whole new realm of success. See what you think:
Be an “ordinary” eater
I’ve noticed that too many people set the food and nutrition bar way too high. We create a dietary game plan that’s often intense, large, unattainable – and the net result is that in our desire to be a nutritional superstar, we end up feeling like a failure. The remedy: Be more ordinary. Choose a set of eating goals that are doable for you. Create an approach to your diet that’s truly sustainable. Be more humble in what you think you should be eating to be the perfect eater, and instead, plan on being imperfect. This will take off the pressure that burdens you when you set impossible goals. Consider this your number one nutrition goal for the new year – no impossible goals.
Show up for yourself
Perhaps one of the worst feelings we can have is when someone who we care about abandons us. What many of us fail to notice is that too often, we abandon our own selves. We turn against our own souls. We might self-attack when we don’t like our body. We might neglect our self-care if we don’t approve of who we are or what we look like. Or we can easily practice all kinds of unhealthy habits because we’ve concluded that somehow we aren’t worth it. Let 2014 be a time when you stand by yourself. Don’t be a hater when you aren’t perfect, or you still haven’t reached some arbitrary weight loss goal that you’ve given so much importance to. Be a good ally to your own heart. Show up for yourself.
When it comes to eating concerns, it seems like a lot of people are focused on figuring out how to NOT be hungry. We think that to get where we want to go, we must control our appetite. This sounds like the royal road to weight loss and the perfect body. But as fate would have it, this strategy is destined to fail, and fast. I don’t believe that a single person in all of history has successfully eradicated their own hunger for their own betterment. But more to the point, when we try to artificially control our hunger, we lose our creative edge in life. We become less effective, less expansive, and way less interesting. Be hungry this year. Feel your hunger for good food. Feel your hunger for a life well lived, and for a better world. Hunger is good. It directs us to the things that can best nourish us.
If you’ve ever complained that it’s impossible to have a healthy body image these days because of the constant bombardment of media messages that brainwash us with images of impossible to reach standards – then consider yourself absolutely right. But you’d also be right if you believed you could be victorious. If you’re the kind of person who is plagued by voices inside your head that tell you your body is not okay and lovable, then this is going to be your special year. That’s because 2014 can be the year when you set yourself free. It’s impossible to defeat the media and the culture of perfection – but it’s absolutely possible – and imperative – to free your own mind from the kind of toxic and poisonous programming that keeps us suffering inside and attacking self. Make the choice this year. And then make the effort. Of course we don’t know exactly how to do this – otherwise, we’d have done so long ago. It’s simply about making the commitment to finding freedom and loving your body, and your life, as it is right now. From there, the invisible help arrives. It’s time to be free of judgments that you simply don’t need, and don’t deserve.
I look forward to hearing your about which of these above resolutions you’re looking forward to exploring in 2014.
I hope you have a beautiful and Happy New Year.
My warmest regards,
Founder of Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014
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