As trainer and nutritionist, my views have been shifting over the years. As a trainer, I have been consistent:  I want people to build muscle, have strong bones, be cardiovascularly sound, enjoy moving, and feel energized and alive. As a nutritionist, my philosophy has evolved: My approach is not about weight loss. It’s about learning how to nurture your body with good nutrition. Since so many women are in a bad mental place when it comes to food, my goal is to lower the volume on all the mental chatter that we have about our bodies and food choices. I want to slowly change the internal dialogue from mean/judgmental to kind/compassionate. It’s moving to a place of acceptance and having more mental freedom. This doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to weight loss, it is just not my primary focus.  Most people come to me, for just that.

Unfortunately, we live in a DIET CULTURE, which entices us to try the latest plan that will FINALLY make us feel happy about ourselves and our bodies. This is total BS because diets don’t work. In fact, diets only make things worse. They make us feel that we somehow failed. We did not fail—the diet failed us! This sense of failure leads to self-deprecating thoughts, crushing our spirits. The stress of all of this has profound effects on our physical well-being. In my view, the diet industry preys on our vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It tells us that we have to eliminate food groups , detox our bodies, look a certain way, and be “fixed”. If you are old enough, you’ve been bombarded with these messages for decades. These messages seem to get louder and louder at the end of each year so we can “start over” in the following year.

In 2021, I want you to throw out the diet culture and move towards focusing on how you can nurture your mind, body and spirit. This will not be easy. I know you will be tempted to go back to Weight Watchers or to try, once again, the Keto diet or Whole 30. If you’re going back to a plan that didn’t work, please don’t think that it will work this time. It won’t.

A great way to start the process of changing your mentality is to listen to a podcast that focuses on doing just this—ditching diet culture. The podcast is called “RUN, SELFIE, REPEAT”. While this is a podcast about running, the founder, Kelly Roberts does an 8-part series about getting rid of diet culture with her friend and nutritionist, Kayla Reynolds. Unfortunately, you will be able to relate to EVERYTHING that they’re saying! We have almost been brain washed when it comes to food, eating and our bodies.  Like most things, this is podcast is not a panacea but you will find it thought-provoking, disturbing, and funny all rolled into one. Some of you will want to listen to all of the episodes. For others, one or two will suffice. Either way, you’ll get the message loud and clear. Just a warning—the episodes are long. The hosts are young and sassy, and while they are extremely knowledgeable, they also use the word “like” way too for my liking! (a pun!). Do not let that deter you—there’s great info in there!

Once you’re done, if you want to talk about this with me, reach out! Nothing would make me happier.

Let’s hope 2021 is better for us in every way: No more COVID and no more DIETS!

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