Friday, January 1, 2016

Dear Resolutioner...

Inspired by several well-meaning, but misguided posts on social media.

So, you've made a commitment: New Year, New You. I'm proud of you. I completely support your earnest and honest desire to transform yourself into the slimmer/stronger/healthier/wealthier you. Go for it! I will cheer you on.

Can we just have a little talk first?

1. Just step away from the cleanse. Usually the cycle goes like this: eat crap; feel like crap; drink stuff that makes you... uh, cleanse. Then you eat normally; then it's the weekend, and the cycle begins again. Your body is a wonderful and mysterious machine. It's designed to survive and thrive in a variety of conditions. However, I'm quite sure it's not designed for high performance fueled by Pop-Tarts, Doritos, Coke, and chicken patties. Your kidneys, liver, lungs and even your skin are designed to get rid of waste in the body and to maintain balance. Please just eat healthy, whole foods in moderation-- veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, meat and fat (from sources such as coconut oil, avocados, olive oil and butter from grassfed cows). Drink mostly water. And let your body take care of the cleansing.

2. Don't waste your money on magical products. I know the before and after photos are tempting. And there's that friend of yours who is so very sweet and so very persistent. Those products promise high performance, better sleep, more energy, clearer skin, and unicorns. (Ok, so I made that last one up.) Did you know-- eating whole foods, getting 6-8 hours of sleep every night and staying away from crap (processed, packaged, injected, chemically augmented food), and making sure you're not deficient in vitamins or minerals will also give you high performance, better sleep, more energy, and clearer skin? (Sorry, no unicorns.)

3. Stop eating weird food. I just saw this wonderfully tempting picture of a delicious dessert that claimed to be uber healthy, and (as clickbait does) it enticed me to follow the link to the recipe. Among the ingredients: erythritol and xylitol. Xantham gum is another of my favorite odd ingredients. What the heck are those things? I could do the research and find out why those ingredients aren't really going to kill me and are so much better than things like butter and sugar. But seriously. Can we just eat real food in moderation? If you need a dessert that badly, just use healthy, organic ingredients and eat a cookie.

4. Stop eating and not eating at extremely structured times of day. The fancy term    is intermittent fasting. Back in the olden days, we called this an eating disorder. Maybe I'm exaggerating. I know there are lots of smart people who swear by this, but to me it just perpetuates insanity revolving around food. Eat when you are hungry. Don't eat when you aren't.

5. Love your body. I had to end this on a positive note. Your body is amazing. Every body is strong and miraculous and capable of so much more than we can imagine. I don't care how old or young, in shape or out of shape you are. You are in charge of that body, and it will do what you tell it to do. If you look for excuses, you'll find them. Love your body enough to treat it well. And yes, I'll go ahead and ask the cliche question: Would you treat another person the way you treat yourself?

Please just eat healthy, whole foods in moderation-- veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, meat and fat (from sources such as coconut oil, avocados, olive oil and butter from grassfed cows). Drink mostly water. Sleep well. And move your body by doing something you like. Please?

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