why I stopped making new years resolutions

DISCLAIMER: IN THIS POST I AM SHARING MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND BELIEFS- I AM NOT A LICENSED NUTRITION PROFESSIONAL. I AM NOT ATTEMPTING TO DIMINISH OR DISCREDIT ANYONE ELSE’S EXPERIENCES OR THOUGHTS. I UNDERSTAND NOT EVERYONE WILL AGREE WITH ME AND THAT’S OK! I’M ALWAYS OPEN TO CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION IN THE COMMENTS, I JUST ASK THAT YOU ARE RESPECTFUL! 🙂 THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS!

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the words “new years resolutions”, I start to panic. That’s mainly because for the majority of my life, new years resolutions included eating less and working out more. If that doesn’t induce panic in someone then I don’t know what will.

I can vividly remember the days leading up to countless new years when I binged on all the food I wouldn’t be “allowed” to eat in the days following- this is known as the “last supper mentality” in Intuitive Eating.

Of course, when I set out on what I like to call the “new years resolution train”, I was in high spirits, optimistic that “this time it would work”- this is the phase I like to call “the diet honeymoon”. But like every time before, only a few weeks into this new “diet voyage” I was left feeling guilt, shame, and disappointment. Why? because I craved “off limits” foods and I didn’t feel like working out as much as my plan required me to- I thought this meant that I was “weak” or didn’t have enough “willpower” to follow this new diet plan. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It wasn’t until I hit diet rock bottom in 2016 that I finally learned it was never my fault the the diet didn’t “work”…it was the diet’s fault.

My body was literally sending out an SOS signal telling me to eat more and cool it with the workouts. But nevertheless I ignored the SOS signal and kept going along with the diet, hating my life more and more along the way.

With each new diet/lifestyle change/quest for health (I don’t care what you call it, all of those things are diets), I got more and more fed up. I was at a dead end and lost, not knowing where to turn- I thought living on a diet was the only way to live.

Knowing what I know now, it saddens me so much to type that- the fact that I thought being on a diet was the only way to live makes me literally tear up. I used to hate my body so much, blaming myself for the way I looked. “It’s all your fault”, I would tell myself. “You did this to yourself”. “You’re not strong enough”- I was my own personal mean girl.

The hate and shame kept on in a constant yo-yo diet cycle- restrict, binge, guilt, restrict, binge, guilt. All the while having my weight go up and down all the time- this is known as Weight Cycling and our bodies don’t like it. I used to put myself down for binging after I had restricted my food intake, when in reality, it was my body doing it’s job- keeping me alive. I wasn’t feeding it enough to keep it going. My body literally thought I was in a famine (as any body does when you go on a diet and restrict food intake and/or restrict certain foods/food groups in general). My body didn’t know I was purposefully restricting my food intake.

Our bodies are amazing and super smart, but they don’t understand why we would purposefully starve them. They’re hardwired to keep us alive in times of famine (*cough cough* dieting)- that’s all they know- stay alive.


{If you were looking for a sign to not go on or start another diet this year- THIS IS IT!}

If you’re thinking about starting a new diet, making a “lifestyle change”, or plan to “get healthy” (read lose weight) this new year- I implore you to reconsider.

Dieting is not the answer to your problems. Your life will not suddenly become better when you are smaller or once you’ve reached a certain weight. I tell you that from personal experience. 

The only thing dieting did for me was make my life completely miserable and unbearable

One thing I tell people when they’re considering going on a new diet, especially around this time of year is, “if dieting ‘worked’, you wouldn’t have to keep going on one.” The dieting industry exists solely because it set us up for failure to begin with.

Did you know that diets fail 95% or more of the time? (remember though: you’re not the failure, the diet is) Think about it this way, would you start taking a medication that had less than a 5% success rate, also knowing that it has been shown to lead to negative health outcomes (like increased risk for cardiovascular disease and stress)? I don’t know about you guys, but that’s not a risk I’m willing to take.

Bottom line, diet culture teaches us that weight=health when it most definitely does not. Don’t believe me? Read this, this, and everything Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size, has on her website.

“But Becca, if dieting isn’t the answer, then what is?”

I’m so glad you asked!

I would first urge you to evaluate your situation, if you suspect that you may have or be at risk for an eating disorder PLEASE reach out to someone and get help. NEDA has a very comprehensive list of resources, an eating disorder screening tool, and live support to help you begin the recovery process.

For those that are at the stage in their recovery from an ED, disordered eating, or chronic dieting to introduce new concepts, I would recommend purchasing and reading Intuitive Eating and The Intuitive Eating Workbook (if you are currently in recovery from an ED please consult with your treatment team before beginning IE). I would next recommend reading Health at Every Size– As someone who has been body shamed and a victim of weight stigma my entire life, this book changed the way I look at and think about weight.

Next, I would suggest reading my blog post about my personal Intuitive Eating Journey and checking out the list of AMAZING anti-diet resources I linked there. I also welcome you to follow me on Instagram– I’m always posting lots of content about ED recovery, HAES, and IE! 🙂

In my book, January 1st is just another day…

Sure it’s the beginning of a new year (and 9 days away from my birthday! yay!!), but that doesn’t mean I have to change anything. I love the path I’m on. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Thanks to diet culture, I’ve made too many failed new years resolutions to continue making them. Simply put, I’m burnt out on new years resolutions. How does that saying go? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me? How about we change that to, “fool me once shame on you. fool me twice, shame on you diet culture!” I’ve decided to live a life far far away from the shame, stress, and hate of diet culture and I hope you will too.

That’s All She Wrote…

What if this year instead of  starting a new diet, you stopped dieting all together? What if you prioritized health promoting behaviors like self-care, mental health, eating a variety of foods (instead of cutting foods out), reducing stress, and eating for pleasure, instead of focusing on weight loss?

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