January Fresh Start: An Anti-Diet Manifesto

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There’s something about the fresh start of a new calendar that gets me every time – and I’m not the only one. January is the month of New Year’s resolutions, packed gyms, and refrigerators full of vegetables, but it doesn’t have to be. I invite you to join the Revolution.

As Co-op members, we can agree that the good food movement we enjoy is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. We need life in balance to thrive, and I don’t mean finding the perfect balance of your macros (proteins, fats, and carbs). Even the Co-op has delicious chocolates, cheeses,and pastries in addition to fresh local vegetables.

Dieting may be the new opiate of the masses. Social and cultural expectations for fitness or one of many types of healthy diets seem to be skewing ever more toward extremist perfectionism. White potatoes are out if you’re Paleo or doing Whole 30®. If you’re avoiding sugar, you had better read every label and think twice before throwing that fruit into your smoothie. Gluten-free folks avoid the bread, and high-protein dieters stock up on cottage cheese and chicken breast.

The diet itself isn’t necessarily the problem; it’s your attitude about it. If you indulge a bit too much, do you “pay for it” at the gym or indulge in negative self-talk? If you’re a moral vegetarian, what do you tell yourself if chicken broth somehow ended up in your meal?

For too long, women have fallen into the trap of seeking to conform to an ideal body standard imposed by society. Family beliefs that a woman’s value is in being small, beautiful, and quiet can be detrimental. Many women bond by speaking about how they hate their bodies. Many men struggle as well. Photo shopped images of models and actors aren’t helping anyone. If you’re actually starting to believe that Instagram mantra, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” shake it off. The emphasis on body image isn’t helping us get better at eating or moving perfectly, and it doesn’t help us succeed in our careers or be the perfect child, parent, or friend.

What could you do with the time you’ve been spending obsessing over calories, devoting hours at the gym, or beating yourself up for your mistakes? What would happen if you focused on growing as a person, a parent, or citizen instead of focusing your energy on becoming smaller?

Back Away from the Scale. We Need You. The World Needs You.

Courtesy https://everythingedrecovery.com/tag/diet-industry/

2017 was a crazy year. From political outrages to waves of high-profile resignations to man- made and natural disasters, every day seemed to bring new and unbelievable headlines. We need more women in politics at the local, state, and national levels. We need men engaging their daughters and granddaughters in science and engineering, and teaching them to be equally confident on a mountain, in a wood-shop, or in a public meeting. If we’re too exhausted to engage with our family, neighbors and community we miss out on learning to better communicate and understand new perspectives.

Are you focused on a healthy start for the New Year? Great! I could stand to eat more spinach and whole grains, become a more intuitive eater, and get myself outdoors to run on more of these cold days, too. But if you’ve let goals monopolize your mental energy this January, let this be your wake-up call. If you were burned out on goals before the first week of January was through, you might just have been out of balance.

Don’t let diet culture get you down. You don’t need to lose inches, you need to stand taller. You don’t need to focus on your past holiday indulgences, you need to focus on who you want to be in this world right now. Join the healthy mindset, anti-diet Revolution. It’s time for a new fresh start.

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Jennifer Betsworth found the Co-op in her quest for a good bulk department soon after moving to Troy in 2013, and became a member not long after that. She enjoys working in and being continually inspired by the bulk department’s offerings. A lover of words, old buildings and beautiful natural places, she relies on the Co-op, her garden, and a little culinary creativity to fuel her adventures.