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With the transition into a new year, it’s time for a fresh start, a recommitment to all things health, and the right mindset to support success.

Below I’m going suggest a few small, subtle shifts in your approach to getting healthy and fit, all of which I hope will make you more likely to be successful and less likely to be resentful or fall off the wagon.

Out with the Old…

For many people, early January means a new diet, intentions of daily workouts, and a level of strictness and control that’s pretty much impossible to stick to. And after a season of (usually too much) eating and drinking, we somehow think that’ll be the solution to weight gain, puffiness, and poor eating.

This is personal for me, too, as the end of last year was not what I had hoped in regards to my eating habits, weight management, and fitness level. How do I know? Not by the scale, which I’ve nearly completely eliminated from my life (and you should, too), but rather by the snug fit of my clothes, looking in the mirror, and my level of soreness after moderate workouts.

In years past, I would have freaked out at this and reacted by putting myself on the new popular diet. This would last for anywhere from a few minutes to a few days before I’d become so resentful at the restriction, that I’d want to eat any disallowed thing just to rebel. That would lead to guilt, shame, feelings of failure and worthlessness. Following that would be a new diet because ‘this time I can really do it.’ And thus the dieting cycle would begin again.

Likely you, or someone close to you, as followed the same ineffective pattern, as well.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Because we learn from ads, media, and society that we must look perfect, and in first looking and being perfect, then we’re allowed to love ourselves.

Now, being older and wiser and fed up with that futility, I’m going for a new approach. And I’m hoping it’s one you’ll embrace as well.

In with the New…

What we all need first is not a trendy new diet, but rather the right mindset: one that says ‘I love my body at any size and shape, and I know it has the wisdom to help me find the right weight for me.’

When we begin from a place of self-love, the biochemical, neurological, and electromagnetic energies all work to support our success. And that’s a helluva lot better than struggling through a diet or battling our own self.

Most of us know what healthy, clean eating looks like and we have a good sense of the healthy lifestyle habits that make us feel and look good. (If not, this, this, or this article may help.)

Starting with self-love means ’embracing self-care, making it a daily practice, and allowing health to follow.’ With self-love–and being aligned in your body and mind about what you want–you can ‘trust your inner wisdom knowing the body has the innate ability to heal.’ This can mean guiding you to healthier, clean eating choices, better portion control, less stress, etc.

With self-love, the attitude shifts from one of worry, fear, shame, guilt, and embarrassment around size or shape to a focus on health and feeling good. And with that shift, when you “emphasize health before vanity, you’ll come to look–and feel–the way you desire.” (Quoted from our Manifesto.)

What I know from my own life and the increasing collective experience, is that when we accept and love ourselves and our body first, we’re a lot more successful with our own efforts to eat well and be healthy.

Therefore, as you embark on your New Year’s Resolutions to get healthy and lose weight, start with the most important thing first: love and acceptance. When you begin there, it’s much easier to eat intuitively, to stop when you’re full, to consume things that truly make you feel good, to exercise in a way that boosts energy and mood, and do all the other healthy lifestyle habits that will help you achieve whatever goals you’re setting for yourself this year.

For me, this means: cooking healthy meals at home, eating when hungry, practicing stopping eating when full, sipping BeLight Tea to curb needless snacking, eating in a way that supports good digestion, sleeping enough, and reminding myself daily how wonderful and strong my body is.

This year, practice love. Practice body acceptance. Manage stress. And let the healthy eating and healthy habits flow.

Leave a comment: Were you planning to start a diet as part of your New Year’s Resolution? Did this post impact your thinking at all?

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