New Year, New View: 2017 Editionby Lisa Diers, R.D., L.D., E-R.Y.T.
New Year, New You? How about New Year, New View!
So it’s that time of year. The time when the marketing campaigns begin, telling us “this is the year” to make a change, lose weight, get fit, get healthy, change ourselves and turn over a new leaf. Hey, I am a big believer in change—it truly is the only constant—and some change and internal focus is needed to grow and expand as a human being. It can be positive, healthy and important. It can be helpful to step back and reflect on how things went during the previous year, what you want for next year and sketch out a plan of action on how to reach those goals.
However, much of what we are exposed to during this time of year is change laced with negativity, critical views and a price tag. Much of what we hear, see, watch and read is “selling us” the “solutions” and making promises that their approach or product is what will solve our problems. Many New Year’s messages promote expensive techniques for unsustainable and sometimes unhealthy change that will likely not solve our problems or make us happy again.
When you find yourself considering engaging in these extreme forms of change, consider asking yourself: “What am I looking for?” “What do I really want?” “What am I really hoping I get out of following this plan/using the product_____?” Many times, these simple questions can unveil the truth of what we are truly seeking. That the root of these desires may run deeper than weight loss goals, a particular body shape, size, the perfect life and so on.
What if this New Year’s goal was less about a “New You” and more about a New View? What if you considered that you are searching for that which you deep down already are? What if you tapped into the wise part of your being that knows that you are perfect just as you are? That deep down you can achieve your dreams, live your life to the fullest and experience its array of emotions and senses without fear? The way to get there is not through extreme weight manipulation or spending your money on short term fixes for unsustainable results.
Life taught me a valuable lesson at an early age: living your life to its fullest potential doesn’t come in a pill, drink or extreme exercise plan. It comes with time, trusting yourself, and allowing yourself to make mistakes, learn from them, and practice doing things differently. Figure out your truth, own your truth, face your fears and try your best to live life to the fullest every day while recognizing that there is no perfect way.
If you are in the trenches right now battling intense emotions and life circumstances, this may sound unattainable. It may feel impossible. But remember, you can do anything you put your mind to do. With time, practice, support and hope, You CAN do this!
Considerations for a "New View":
· Say “NO” to that part of yourself or anyone else that says you can’t achieve your dreams or be happy. You can. You can practice happiness, set your healthy life goals and live every day doing the best that you can to reach those goals
· Be a critical thinker. If something seems too good to be true it just may be. When being marketed to with products and promises ask yourself: What are they trying to sell me? What potential emotional insecurities is this message trying to gain profit from exploiting?
· Say “Yes” to slowing down and reflecting on these questions: What am I looking for? What am I seeking? Is this the answer I need?
· Aim to practice: Balance. Variety and Moderation. In all that you do. In food. In exercise. In striving. In relaxation.
· Consider that food can be your fuel to your dreams. That a healthy relationship with food is possible. It takes, time, practice and support, but it IS possible!
· Feed your body regularly. Of course, follow the recommendations of your dietitian first. And for many, our bodies thrive on a variety of foods, eaten on a regular basis in a calm environment. Slow down. Consider giving yourself permission to feed yourself in a nurturing way.
· Practice Mindful Movement and Moving with healthy intentions. Practice moving with positive purpose and listening to your body’s needs. Sometimes that means more vigorous movement and sometimes that means slowing down and restoring your body’s needs. Be honest with yourself and/or consult with your treatment team.
· Believe in the Power of Positive Thinking: Consider incorporating a positive mantra or quote and repeating this regularly to help calm your mind, remind you of your goals, hopes and dreams.
· Practice Gratitude or bring awareness to resistance to doing so. There’s no judgment here. Is there an aspect of your life you can be thankful for and can you say, write it, notice it on daily basis? “I am grateful for ______________________”
· Team Body and Mind! Consider the possibility that your body can be on your side. That together you could be on the same team working toward the goal of reaching your dreams.
Stay Hopeful. Don’t give up. One of my favorite yogic quotes is: “You are that which you are seeking.”
Some other quotes I have found helpful over the years:
“Some of the most important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” -Dale Carnegie
“Insist on yourself. Never imitate.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
“The secret of success is the consistency to pursue.” – Harry F. Banks
About the Author
Lisa is The Emily Program's Director of Nutrition and Yoga Services. Lisa oversees the national operations of both nutrition and yoga departments, which includes the direction and oversite of the clinical practices for 65+ nutrition staff and 20+ yoga instructors. She has over 10 years of eating disorder specific experience in yoga instruction, clinical nutrition counseling and program development. Lisa draws from her deep knowledge base of nutrition, yoga, body image and eating disorder treatment to meet clients' physical and emotional needs. She develops and conducts national eating disorder and body image sensitive yoga trainings and is also a regular blogger on nutrition, yoga and body image; a published author (articles, book chapters and published research); and continues to conduct research to better understand the role of yoga and nutrition in eating disorder recovery.