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New Year, New Me

New Years is traditionally a time to set goals and evaluate ourselves. It’s probably a good thing, because we all tend to get out of balance during the holidays. Even if we are a healthy eater, we tend to get off track with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. For as long as New Year’s resolutions have existed, the number one resolution is ... weight loss. Gym memberships increase, as well as sales for exercise equipment, and all varieties of potions, powders and pills. It’s going to be different this year, right?

We all hope that this year will be different, but year after year it's the same story. The reality is, very few people reach their weight loss goals. Why? I believe it's because our focus is wrong. We are missing the mark. Today, I’m not going to talk to you about achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, I don't believe a focus on weight loss is in your health's best interest. Weight loss goals are most often a recipe for beating yourself up and you know what? You don’t deserve that. Having an ultimate goal and focus of weight loss can lead us to behaviors, habits, and thoughts that can be very destructive physically, emotionally and spiritually. I love this thought from Lindsay Kite on instagram @beauty_redefined

Having a positive body image isn't believing your body looks good;

It is believing your body is good, regardless of how it looks.

It isn't thinking you are beautiful; it is know your are more than beautiful.

It is understanding that your body is an instrument for your use, not an ornament to be admired.

As a young mother I enjoyed watching my children grow and appreciate the wonderful gift of their body. I remember one time in particular. My young toddler had just gotten out of the bath. I had a full length mirror nearby and she admired her naked little body for some time in front of that mirror. It didn't matter what image was reflected back to her. She recognized her body as something amazing and beautiful. I have observed similar behaviors in countless young children. They love their body. They recognize it as a beautiful gift.

Sadly, somewhere along the line we lose that admiration for our body. We begin to believe that it is not good enough unless it looks a certain way. We let the media and strangers define us. I catch little things in seemingly innocent cartoons feeding a faulty core belief at a young age, that what matters most is how we look.

When it comes to weight loss, might I suggest that a better focus is to nurture yourself, so you can feel better inside and out? One of the best ways to properly nurture yourself is to eat simple, whole, real foods. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is often the by-product of doing this. When a healthy weight is the result of nurturing and caring for yourself, because you are enough and you do matter, instead of punishing yourself because you believe you are not enough, the result is more sustainable and more likely to be achieved in a healthy way. Each time you consider a goal, or make a choice, ask yourself this question: is this something that will help me love and care for myself? If you don’t feel you can truly love yourself until you weigh less, the more critical change would be your inner emotional health. You may be surprised at how focusing on your emotional health and learning to love yourself will benefit your physical health. As you begin to learn to love yourself independently of what you look like and what you do, or don’t do, you will begin to appreciate yourself and your body in a whole new way.

As you evaluate yourself this coming year, please be kind! You have value way beyond the number on the scale. You deserve to be happy now, not when you have lost “X” pounds. Being skinny will not bring you peace and happiness. I talk a lot about eating healthy, but it is not the most important thing in life. I do recognize; however, as we eat better, we feel better, and that can help us do the most important things in life.

My hope is to guide you in ways that will help you nurture and care for the wonderful body you have been blessed with and the amazing soul that it houses.

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