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New Year’s Resolutions That Have Nothing To Do With Losing Weight

Ditch the diet mentality that comes with the beginning of a new year and resolve to put your energy toward goals that will make you healthier & happier in 2019 in a positive way! If you’re following me on Instagram than you know my non-diet approach to eating. The way I eat changes day-to-day and definitely with the seasons of the year and seasons of my life. I don’t label my style of eating because the reality is that I enjoy a green smoothie as much as I enjoy a slice of deep dish Chicago pizza. They each have their time and place in my life and when I stopped glorifying one over the other, stopped “saving” certain foods for certain times and leveled the playing field for all of the foods that I eat. You can read more about my journey and nutritional philosophy here.

So when it comes to this time of the year rather than resolving to cut a bunch of things out of our diets that we know will never last, I say let’s try to add new little positive rituals and routines that have the potential to lead to a healthier diet, less stress, and more joyful movement. Last time I checked that stuff leads to weight loss too!

The idea for this post came from an article I recently contributed to by the same name. I wanted to take it a step further and think of some resolutions that could impact your health and happiness more than weight loss. These actions of health and happiness might lead to weight loss but they are not glorifying a number, and they are not about depriving yourself to get to a place where you think you might be happy. I love the quote ” if you’re not enough without a gold metal, you’ll never be enough with one.” We often put our lives and our happiness on hold until lose the weight, stop eating XYZ or go to the gym everyday. When I did practiced this approach myself I never really got to the place where I thought I would be my happiest. What if obsessing over weight loss is actually not the means of being happy but rather finding joy in an action that has nothing to do with your weight?

I do believe that diets are necessary in certain circumstances and than it’s not a bad thing to want to, for example eat less fast-food or lose weight. I’m simply saying I’m so over negative weight loss resolutions that are fruitless and damage our own personal spirit and confidence. To combat the resolutions we know we know will be saturating the air we breathe in just a few short days, I’ve put together this list of resolutions that bear just as much weight as the lose weight resolutions (no pun intended!) because you don’t have to say you’re changing your diet and planning to lose weight just because everyone else in. So happy positive and joyful resolutions because I truly think those are the only ones that are worth keeping!  

Cook At Home A Few Nights A Week

Coming off of the holidays filled with eating occasions at parties, restaurants and more it can feel like you want to jump on the diet or detox train with everyone else and call it done. The thing is that never lasts, and often leaves you hangry and hopeless. One small step you can take in the comfort of your own home that can lead to big changes in your diet is to start cooking at home. It doesn’t have to be fancy but you have to put in the effort if you want to change your eating habits. Start with a couple of easy recipes, and build off of that as the weeks go.

Cooking at home is less expensive (great for everyone in the new year!), saves you extra calories from distorted portion sizes often found at restaurants and is a fun activity to do with your family or significant other.

Eat More Plants

Chances are you’ve heard the word “plant-based” before and maybe you thought it was a type of vegetarianism that was not for you. One of the major reasons I love it is because you can practice being plant-based in whatever way is best for you. It does not mean you have to eliminate all meat, dairy or sugar, it simply means you are adding more plants and plant-based proteins into your diet. It can be as simple as opting for quinoa instead of chicken a couple days a week or trying a couple new vegetables a week and incorporating them into your meals.

I like setting a diet-related resolution that actually allows you to add more of something versus the negative elimination mindset that rolls around when it’s time to come up with a resolution. It’s an easy way to improve the nutrient quality of your diet which can lead to the changes you want to see from an elimination diet but never would because it’s not sustainable!

Be OK Saying No

This one is something I work on every day and in some situations still don’t know if it ever really gets easier. Maybe that’s human nature. We want to be included, we want to please others and sometimes we do that by saying yes to things we know at our core we either can’t do or don’t want to.

When I say yes to something I can tell right away that I actually didn’t want to say yes because I will start thinking of ways to get out of it. I know that’s so terrible to say but it’s the truth! There’s times when I spread myself so thin because I say yes to so many things. At the end of the day I’m only saying no to myself when I do that. Not focusing on the thing I missed out on but rather what I was able to do instead, no matter how small helps me to feel totally ok with my decision.

I know FOMO is the worst, especially when you have to see what you missed out on all over social media. This year let’s be unapologetic when it comes to what we really want to say yes and no to and find the JOMO.

I really love the idea of JOMO–the joy of missing out. JOMO is being ok where you are. Think about if your phone crashed for a day and you had to go without constantly checking Instagram, your email, and 20 other apps simultaneously. It’s crazy but life would go on and maybe we would feel a little bit better about our own in the process. I’m not saying this would be easy for me but rather than ruminating on things I missed, this year I’m making a serious effort to find joy in the present moments that are all around me while they are happening!

And after a social holiday season I say it’s crucial to prioritize doing things for yourself and never apologizing for it!

Be Active But Do It For Fun

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN

Dreading the tread day after day? I know the feeling. I feel like at some point it was just understood that if you hate doing the workout and can barely get yourself to do it then it’s the best work out out there and it’s working. I say we have to rewrite those rules for our mental and physical well-being in 2019 because I totally think it’s possible to find a workout that you like and works for you!

Last February I took a barre class on a whim because a studio opened down the block from me. I took another one and then after I knew it I was going every other day and really liked it! It was challenging and different than the HIIT styles I was used to and I enjoyed  it. Switching it up and getting out of your comfort zone is great in and of itself so why not book a class at a new studio? Worst case you hate it and never have to go back!

On the topic of actually liking your workout class or gym routine I also think it’s worth saying that sometimes what’s “trendy” or the class it seems like everyone is going to might not be for you and that’s ok. If you try it and don’t like it, don’t go just because you feel like it’s what everyone else is doing. The workout your body will respond most to is one that you like, challenges you, and makes you feel damn good after!

Make Time to Meditate

It’s easier said than done, but research says that mindfulness is significantly correlated with positive affect, life satisfaction, and overall well-being. Whether it’s making time to use an app on your phone or a more structured meditation space, vow to take this time to set yourself up for success in all other parts of your life. “With as little as 10 minutes a day of meditation shown to make an impact on resilience, stress, and memory it’s an easy resolution to make that can create more positive ripples in the future.

I know it’s easier said than done even if it’s just five minutes a day but if that five minutes makes the other 1335 minutes in the day calmer, more focused, and less stressful, it’s worth it!

What are some resolutions that have nothing to do with weight loss that you are making this year? What do you do that adds something positive both mentally and physically to your everyday life?

Happy New Year!

XOXO

MAGGIE

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