Ah, the New Year.
In some ways, it can be a beautiful time.
A time to reflect on the highlights and challenges of the year before.
To process what you’re grateful for…and what you’re glad to be leaving behind.
A time to set intentions for the year ahead—in a way that honors and celebrates who you already are, not in a way that negates it.
(None of that “new year, new you” nonsense.)
A time to reconnect with your values and recommit yourself to the things you really want in life—like fulfilling relationships, a sense of purpose, laughter, joy…you know, the big stuff.
(More like “new year, renewed focus on what matters.”)
That’s how things could be at this time of year—if it weren’t for a major obstacle that gets thrown in our path every January.
And it’s how things can be once you figure out how to navigate that obstacle.
The obstacle, of course, is diet culture.
Specifically, diet culture’s insistence that every New Year should be devoted to new (or not-so-new) efforts at shrinking our bodies.
Diet culture keeps us from setting intentions that honor who we already are, because it tells us we have to change in order to be worthy.
It keeps us from reconnecting with our true values—or from even figuring out what those are—because it tells us the only things that matter are our size and our appearance.
(Sometimes it pretends to focus on our “health,” while really just equating that to our size and our appearance.)
Diet culture keeps us stuck spinning our wheels on surface-level BS instead of going after the deeper, more meaningful stuff.
Diet culture steals the time we could be spending on pursuing our dreams.
It steals our energy away from hobbies and passions (other than the food- and body-related ones that it pushes us into).
It steals our joy, our ability to be present with the people we love—because everywhere we go, diet culture keeps droning on in the background about what we “should” eat and how we “should” look.
Diet culture robs us of so much LIFE, which is why I call it The Life Thief.
But this year, instead of having your life stolen all over again, what if you could say no to diet culture?
What if you drew a line in the sand and said enough is enough?
What if you decided to kick The Life Thief to the curb and reclaim what it stole from you?
What would it take to make that happen?
For my guest on this week’s episode of Food Psych, it really was deciding she’d had enough and that she was ready to approach food and her body in a new way.
Today Sarah Harry is a respected yoga teacher, author, psychotherapist, and fat activist, but up until her 20s she struggled in secret with an eating disorder while working in the fashion industry.
As she shares in the episode, so much of her journey to recovery was about getting to the place where she was really ready to change.
Where she was just OVER IT.
And once she did, it allowed her to pursue a more meaningful life than she ever thought possible.
Check out the episode to hear her fascinating story—plus some advice from me about how to overcome the diet-binge cycle and feel more at ease around food.
You truly do have the power to say no to The Life Thief and reclaim your relationship with food, your body, and your LIFE.
Here’s to reconnecting with what matters,
P.S. If you’ve had ENOUGH of diet culture and you’re ready to try something different, join my Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course so that you can make peace with food and get back to building a life that truly lights you up.
This post was originally published in my weekly email newsletter.