I'm not really one for making New Years Resolutions.
The only time I truly ever stuck to one was the time I resolved to stop going to Starbucks for an entire year. It was an easy resolution to stick to because there were lots of other places I could grab a chai latte from, and part of it stemmed from wanting to support small businesses more.
It can be tempting to face the start of a new year making all sorts of promises about habits you'll change, goals you'll meet, or ways you'll improve your body. Studies have shown that 30 days into the new year, less than 25% of people have kept their resolutions, and only about 8% actually accomplish them.
I can take a wild guess as to why... probably because we're not setting realistic goals, and are therefore setting ourselves up for failure. I had a list of five nutritionist-approved resolutions so share with you all (eat more veggies, drink more water, move your body in a way that feels good to you, prioritize sleep, and step up self care) but as I started writing it out, I realized that they all boil down to one simple thing:
Listen to your body
Listening to your body is a New Years Resolution I'm totally on board with!
Is your body craving vegetables? Feed it something green (related: 9 Ways to Get More Vegetables In Your Diet). Is your body straight up asking you for some cozy, carby comfort food? Respect your cravings!
Is your body craving movement? As it what kind. Maybe one day you'll find that a hard run or HIIT session is exactly what you're in the mood for, and on another day a gentle, restorative yoga class is just what you need.
Have you figured out how to tune into your cravings? Check out this mindful eating exercise to help you figure out what your body is really asking for.
Listening to your body will help you figure out when you're truly hungry, when you're perfectly satisfied, and when you overdid it. Remember that occasional overindulgence is part of the human experience, and that figuring out where your satisfaction lies can take some work.
Spending some time listening to your body is the key to developing a healthy relationship with food (related: three ways I developed a healthy relationship with food) which means you can relax and find joy in eating.
Resolve to change the ways you speak to become more body positive, because words matter and your body (and the bodies of other people) is listening.
And, you know, eat more veggies, drink more water, move your body in a way that feels good to you, prioritize sleep, and step up self care. Those last two in particular are going to be my personal challenges in 2020.
Hi there, I just wanted to let you know I really appreciate your posts and recipes. I am a licensed Physical Therapist and personal trainer and train pretty seriously as a cyclist. I am transitioning to vegetarianism, mostly for ethical/environmental reasons, and have done a lot of reading lately about nutrition and vegetarianism/veganism, especially for athletes. What I'm finding again and again is so much "fear appeal" -- writers and bloggers trying to win you over to their plan or way of thinking by telling you that doing (or eating) anything else will lead to inflammation! obesity! cancer! death! etc... I stop reading anything that talks about the "detoxing" effects of any food, for example. I have a liver, thanks. The bases of their arguments are usually some imaginative rendering of human evolution or evidence from one or two cherry-picked research articles that they may or may not have interpreted correctly. It's alarming and sad to me as someone trained in healthcare and science to see how many people follow this pseudo-science b.s. and develop super disordered relationships with food based on it. Sorry for the rant... really just wanted to say I appreciate your common-sense and evidence-based approach to nutrition and vegetarianism. You, Stacy Sims, and Nia Shanks are the few writers I take at face value, as skeptical as I am in general about this stuff. 🙂 Keep it up and happy new year!
Thank you so much for the kind words, Suzanne! I had to laugh at "I have a liver, thanks!" as that's the kind of thing I say all the time ????
Very sound advice!