• Fri, Dec 27 - 5:30 pm ET

Won’t You Join Me In Not Starting A Diet Next Week?

dv1055025The year is coming to a close, and like most people I have done my fair share of indulging over the holidays and looking forward to next week. Like minutes after stepping out of a confessional – January first will come, all of my poor diet/exercise decisions will be forgiven and I will start with a clean slate. That’s how it works, right?

This year has been particularly hard on the body and emotions as I had my second c-section and also moved out of a city I loved and away from all of my friends. To say I have been a little blue about it is kind of an understatement. I am infinitely grateful to have family around and an amazing job that allows me to work from home, but the move/ childbirth recovery/ figuring out how to exercise with two kids in tow has taken a toll on my figure. And for someone who has spent so many years of her life obsessing over her figure – it has not been easy.

I know I would feel physically better if I lost weight – and I plan on doing that. But I also know that weight loss doesn’t just melt away a rut. I need to make some actual changes that don’t involve shaming myself into starting a diet next week because I’m fatter than I’ve ever been. One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, wrote this on her Facebook page today:

Now when I decide to go on a diet, I say it to myself: “Great, honey. How much are you hoping to gain?”

I was able to successfully put on weight on book tour by eating room service meals in a gobbly trance in 13 different hotels. So that was exhilarating, to make myself feel like Jabba the Hut.

And then I accidentally forgot to starve myself in December, or to go back to the gym, which I’ve been meaning to do since I had a child, 24 years ago…

I can still get my jeans on, for one reason: I wear forgiving pants. The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing. I struggle with enough self-esteem issues without letting my jeans get in on the act…

It’s really okay, though, to have (or pray for) an awakening around your body. It’s okay to stop hitting the snooze button, and pay attention to what makes you feel great about yourself, one meal at a time. It’s an inside job. If you are not okay with yourself at 185, you will not be okay at 150, or even 135. The self-respect and serenity you long for is not out there. It’s within. I hate that. I resent that more than I can say. But it’s true.

Won’t you join me in not starting a diet next week? I think it would be a great way to ring in the new year.

(photo: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • anon

    No diet BUT the sugar is pitched on January 2. Husband’s latest glucose test says pre-diabetic, we have to clean up the cabinets

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      Oh no! Good luck :)

  • Kheldarson

    I’ll join you in improving our diets ;) Diets get a bad rap: they’re simply what you eat. So you can’t go on a diet, you can only change it. In my case, I need to start eating more regular and full meals so I stop relying on candy and sugar for energy through the day.

    Maybe that’s a better resolution: I resolve to make healthier life choices this year. Weight will follow as it wants.

  • brebay

    I’m going way out and wild in 2014- resolving to remove my contacts at least every other night.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Oh my God I need to get in on this action. Just once a week would a step up for me.

    • Ddaisy

      I finally got the contacts under control (I only leave them in about one night a week now), but I’ve gotta start wearing my retainers again. Like Wendy, even once a week would be a big step up for me!

    • OhHeyDelilah

      Ugggghhhh I hear you … I went down the no retainer route, and now I have been forced to cave in and get Invisalign, at 32 years of age. After 10 years of orthodontic work (braces, retainers, teeth pulled, wisdom teeth out etc) I convinced myself in my early 20s that OF COURSE my teeth would know which position to stay in. And OF COURSE they didn’t. And now I am pissed with myself because I’m breaking the bank on stupid adult braces to reign in one renegade tooth that got so far out of line my partner started calling it Chopper. Total dental fail. Good luck!

    • Ddaisy

      Ugh, that sucks, I’m sorry! I, too, hoped that getting my wisdom teeth pulled would relieve some pressure and negate the need for retainers. No such luck. Luckily, I think it’s not too late to save my smile if I can just impose some self-discipline and wear the damn things!

    • SusannahJoy

      Yeah… I really should do that, but dammit, it’s annoying as hell to hear the baby crying, and look at the clock and see a big fuzzy blue spot. So then I have to fumble around and find my phone, then turn it on, which is super bright, and wakes up my husband and annoys him, all to see that it’s only 10, we only just fell asleep, and I can totally ignore the kid, he’ll be asleep again in 2 mins. If I have my contacts in I can just lift my head, say “sweet” and go back to sleep.

  • brebay

    I’m not going to cut anything out of my diet, but I am going to try to add more colorful fruits and veggies and fish in. I don’t worry about weight, but the older I get, the more I worry about disease.

  • Andy

    No diet for me because I’m breastfeeding and will be until next September. However, it probably wouldn’t kill me to make a habit of eating healthier foods, instead of going until I’m ready to crash and reaching for refined carbs for a quick energy boost.

    • Véronique Houde

      Dude, to me, breastfeeding is like BEING on a diet :). I can’t wait to give birth to be able to breastfeed again, ONLY so that I get back to my original weight before baby number one… I was able to lose all of the weight after number one, and when I stopped breastfeeding, I started gaining again :(. Booo!

    • Andy

      The same thing happened to me with baby #1-I ate more while BF’ing her than I did while I was pregnant, and when I stopped I kept eating like a trucker and gained a lot of weight. That weight sucked to remove, but I finally did-just in time to get pregnant with my son :(

  • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

    My new years resolution is to huff more paint.

  • NotTakenNotAvailable

    I’d make some grandiose claim about how I’m not going to *diet*, I’m going to *eat healthier,* but January 1 is the day recreational pot goes on the market here in Colorado, and the closest bakery to my apartment is right next to the closest dispensary. I’ll leave with some excitedly waggling eyebrows in case the NSA is monitoring my Disqus posts looking for a federal-level bust.

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      God I hate you so hard right now.

      (But only because I love marijuana. You seem like a lovely person.)

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      Why, thank you! You can always come visit…I seem to recall a plan buzzing around last year to restrict marijuana sales only to people with Colorado IDs, but it quickly got crushed due to being dumber than frozen eggplant as far as state revenue went. Point being, you can always come visit! ;)

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      Oh man. I should.

      I think I’m more excited about people not going to prison for bullshit weed charges than I am about legally smoking myself. That shit has always pissed me off.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      Seriously. Of all the drugs to pick on…the residual effects of getting high are being perfectly content to do simple tasks that don’t require a lot of movement. Residual effects of alcohol can include thinking you’re still okay to do things to like operate a two-ton vehicle that’s capable of 100+ mph speeds. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some booze time, but the reasons for classifying marijuana as a dangerous drug are bullshit. Hell no, I do not want my tax money going to send some kid to an overcrowded prison for 5-10 years because s/he wanted to experience Family Guy in a whole new light.

    • CrazyLogic

      My cousin has a plan to get utterly baked.

    • Bunny Lucia

      I can’t remember when Washington Marijuana goes on the market, but when it does I will start charging my friends gas money for the 30 minute drive. I’ll be ROLLING in dough, maybe.

  • Kay_Sue

    I resolve not to make any more New Year’s resolutions because I never follow through on them.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      But do you follow through on that one? Because I’m seeing a mind-blowing infinite loop here that might simply indicate I’ve been pre-gaming on the pot a little too hard.

    • Kay_Sue

      It’s an infinite resolution wormhole. My mind is blown.

  • arrow2010

    Conventional wisdom is that dieting = starvation. Coffee, crackers, maybe an apple. Very destructive on womens’ metabolisms. Men don’t have this issue.

  • Ddaisy

    The only successful resolution I ever made was, “Take the stairs Mon-Thurs; take the elevator on Fridays.” Short, simple, and specific, no loopholes or exceptions. I stuck to it for the full year and a half I had left until I graduated and left that university with all those evil, evil stairs.

  • Alicia Kiner

    I’m not starting anything new. I never do. I don’t understand the New Year’s resolution thing anyway. What is about January 1st that is supposed to magically change our motivation to do something different with our lives? However, as soon as I get the all-clear from my doc (post surgery), I’m going back to my exercise plan,cause right now, I feel like a slug, and exercising was giving me way more energy. And kids don’t come with an off button.

  • CrazyLogic

    I read that title wrong at first and was kind of confused. Then I noticed the word “not” and laughed.

  • Diya Naidu

    I’m so with you on this! Diets never worked for me anyway. I’m all about eating what I want when I want.

    My new year’s resolution is not to waste food… Too often I buy groceries enthusiastically and then two weeks later they’re rotting in my fridge.

    • CMJ

      That’s a great one! I’m guilty of this to the max.

  • Véronique Houde

    Sometimes I hope that if I TELL myself that I will be losing weight, that my mind will just naturally make my body shed the extra pounds. I’ve convinced myself that this actually works.

  • DaisyJupes

    I actually will be going on a diet/eating better. Now, actually (the My Fitness Pal app is awesome and I have a BlackBerry and I’m saying that). My doctor told me I need a six pack and the accompanying core muscles (hidden under some fat is okay) to release the muscles in my back that are making it flat (no arch sucks), but if I’m going to put that work into it, I’m going to show it, dammit! I collect all fat in my stomach and I hate that. Anywhere else (but boobs, 28FF is big enough, thank you) and I would be okay…like my hips.

    I could try and try to accept myself the way I look, but I don’t like my stomach. And I never will, so I could make myself unhappy while trying to force myself to be happy, or I could make it happen. Eating healthy is fun, it’s not miserable and you feel so much better. Eat more fruits and vegetables for a month and sugary cake and cookies will be less appealing. I don’t understand the push to accept yourself as you are. You should always be working to be better, whether it’s a better person, mentally healthier, or physically healthier. If you want to be larger, you can still exercise and eat healthier and you’ll love yourself. Healthy requires exercise (even walking for 30 minutes) and eating healthy, not just lacking health issues.