Congrats on another trip around the sun! Guys, we did it. What’s next? It’s New Year’s resolution time, but I think we can do a hell of a lot better than that. How about a New Year’s revolution?
A revolution is an overthrow of an old system in favor of a new one, and that’s exactly what we need in the face of all the “New Year, New You” bullshit January brings. Too many of us have been exposed to diet promotion and body shame since early childhood, and it takes considerable strength to stand up and say, “Actually: nope.”
Really, what could be more revolutionary than rising up against diet culture?
If you are struggling to stop binge eating, I hope 2017 brings you a new perspective on why this happens. Binge eating is caused by hunger, full stop. It’s not caused by weakness, gluttony, or a lack of self-control. It’s not caused by really loving food. It’s caused by an imbalance of hunger hormones that leads your body to adopt a sort of permanent hunger: it’s an all-consuming state of mind that consumes your thought processes and makes you feel drawn to food all. the. time.
The cure for binge eating is way simpler than I’d ever imagined. It’s just eating. Guilt-free, restriction-free eating teaches your body that you aren’t actually at risk of starvation, allowing your natural cues of hunger and fullness. If you’re looking for a resource, I highly recommend Intuitive Eating, which delves into the physiological and psychological causes of binge eating. It changed my life, and I hope it changes yours too.
If you consider yourself to be an emotional eater, I hope 2017 brings you healing. I struggle with the term “emotional eating,” because I feel it is often conflated with the hunger hormone imbalance I mentioned above and used to blame binge eaters for their “choices,” which are, in fact, biological impulses on par with breathing.
But many people, including me, have leaned on food as source of comfort, and that could be a sign that you’re having difficulty facing challenging situations in life and using food as a coping mechanism. Remember that food cannot make you happy. It’s just an inanimate object! But learning to honor your feelings, rather than bottling them up, and summoning the strength to face problems, rather than run from them, can help you live a happier life. Try talking out your fears with a trusted confidante, or consult a professional who specializes in helping you face your vulnerabilities and find your courage.
If you consider yourself to be “overweight,” I hope 2017 brings you peace. I highly recommend exploring the world of HAES® — Health at Every Size. The HAES community has opened my eyes to a completely new perspective on the relationship between weight and health, and works to dismantle the notion that weight loss is the singular path to better health. I hope this sort of messaging reaches the mainstream soon, and I hope it helps you on a path to self-love.
Happy 2017, everyone! Sending you a million positive vibes to start the year, and from the bottom of my heart: thanks so much for reading.