2019 is right around the corner and if you haven’t already been bombarded with messages about creating a ‘New You in the New Year’  Or any other promise of quick and easy weight/fat loss strategies—hold on, they’re coming. But before they hit your news feed, I wanted to tell you a little story.

I had these two friends. One, was always working out, ‘eating clean’, and tracked all of the food she put in her mouth.

The other ate when she was hungry, stopped before she was full, and focused on nourishing her body with healthy and whole foods first. She allowed herself to enjoy treats and the occasional happy hour.

My first friend was always starting a new diet or constantly had to start over because she’d usually binge on the weekends and around the holidays.

The second friend never seemed to be stressed around food or exercise. She enjoyed the healthy foods and the treats and her weight didn’t seem to fluxuate all that much. In fact, she seemed to relaxed and chill around food.

Spoiler alert:

The friends in those stories above are both me. One was before-when I was heavily stuck in diet culture. Trapped by diet mindsets. And continually restricting what and how much I ate all in the name of a 6 pack. Which I regret to say I never had anyway.

How many diets or lifestlye changes have you tried?

You don’t have to really answer that. But think about it. Most of the weight loss products/ diets ont he market are designed to get you the quickest, most extreme results possible. The lucky few who actually do get results usually cannot hang on to them for long, and the others? They quit before they even finish. Why?

For most people they aren’t making lifestyle changes they can or even want to  maintain. Who really never wants to eat their favorite food again?!  I can’t even tell you how many times I swore off sugar, carbs, or alcohol. Ok, so I guess those are all essentially the same thing..but you get the idea. Restriction aka dieting doesn’t work long term. And it makes you miserable in the process.

Breaking up with your diet (2)

Girl, what you need is a friend…someone who has been there before

Having people in your corner who have been in your shoes can help you see what you don’t. The right friends and coaches see your blindsides and they are committed to helping you overcome them.
Not to mention when you and your friends go in on a fitness adventure together or you and your besties vow to make some lifestyle changes together you get the effect of positive peer pressure. Sheesh, where were those friends back in high school?
Inviting a few trusted friends on your journey gives you the sense of being known.
Which, let’s face it, being known is a big deal. For most of my teen and young adult life I just wanted to be seen. To be known. To be wanted. I am convinced that is why I spent so much of my time chasing the perfect body, trying to catch the attention of the cute guy I was crushing on, and why I negotiated bits and pieces of who I was.
When you blab to you friends about what you’re doing, it puts you on the hook.
It’s easy to let your goals and the big dreams you have for yourself slink off to die a slow, quiet death when you keep them quiet.
A word to the wise: Be choosy with the friends you invite to join you on your health and fitness journey. Find someone (or a group of women) that are excited for you and not threatened by your desire to change.

 Focus on small changes daily rather than big extreme ones that don’t last

My rule of thumb: the more extreme the measure, the less sustainable the result. If you can’t see yourself living life ( as in a healthy, vibrant, and full life) on salads and shakes then it won’t work. If you can’t see yourself committing to the gym 6 days/ week for 2 hours a day until you die, then that’s not the right answer for you. Pick a few small changes to make and start slow. Practice those changes for a few weeks consistently before adding anything else to your plate.

Can you do whatever it is you’re currently doing to get in shape forever??
Right now ask yourself on a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to stick to your current lifestyle?
Anything less than a 9 means you’re not going to stick with it long enough to see change forever.
I want to let you in on my secret…it should almost feel too easy. Like so easy, you don’t see results in a couple of weeks. The changes will be subtle and that will be frustrating no doubt, because we have been conditioned to demand quick results.
Hold on to hope
If you stay consistent, you WILL get the results you’re after. And you’ll be able to keep them forever. Seriously. But you’ve got to be relentless–kind of like my dog when she gets her sights set on a squirrel.
Fight the good fight. Choose foods that nourish your mind, body + soul. Move your body with indulgent joy. And take a moment to evaluate your current game plan going into 2019. Does it look the same as it did last December? If you were less than thrilled with the results, it might be time to do something a little (or a lot) different.
Did this resonate with you? Share this with one person who needs this message and leave me your thoughts below.
Cheers to women creating food freedom, finding joy in movement, and making peace with their bodies long before they reach their goals!
Alisha Carlson (8)