If this is your first time going into the new year without any resolutions to diet or attempt to shrink yourself in any way, you might be experiencing something that feels like a sense a loss. It means letting go of the thin fantasy, the fantasy of what life will be like after losing the weight. It may mean the loss of certain ways of socializing, as you distance yourself from specific people who make harmful/hurtful comments, or social environments centered around diet culture (i.e. work out groups, Weight Watchers meetings, etc). It means tossing old clothes that don’t fit, including some that you may like or feel attached to. There’s a lot of letting go that comes with ditching dieting.
I think it’s normal really normal to have mixed feelings about giving up dieting. Much of our culture revolves around dieting and otherwise “improving” appearance - hence the term diet culture. It’s one thing to know logically that the pursuit of thinness isn’t helpful, but that doesn’t make the short term feels good that comes along with it go-away.
Last week I saw this quote, shared by my friend Haley on instagram.
While there’s a lot of letting go, and even loss that comes when you decide to quit dieting, letting go also means you’re creating space. Space for hobbies, new or strengthened relationships, personal development, learning new skills, the pursuit of REAL health, relaxation and fun.
If this is your first year not setting a weight loss resolution and you’re experiencing some mixed emotions, as you’re reflecting on this coming year, perhaps it would be helpful to consider what quitting dieting creates more space for in your life? What have you been missing by putting mental and physical energy towards shrinking your body? Where could you put that energy instead? I hope you find it reassuring looking at the list you’ve come up with! Feel free to share in the comments below. If you’re the resolution or intention or yearly word or whatever setting type, how could you incorporate these values you identify?
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