Have you seen the ditty below that’s roaming the Internet these days? Before you read it and fall for its ‘humor,’ consider this. Each year, thousands, even millions, of people engage in an after-the-holidays ritual of self-denigration and punishment – to make up for the pleasurable indulgence of a very special time of year. It’s ‘funny’ to most of us to read about it, as in the poem below, but if we take a closer look, we can see how the ‘humor’ perpetuates an approach to living that’s not really about taking care of yourself.
So a word from body positive expert Deb Burgard, PhD, “Be kind to your body this year, and give it nourishment, pleasure, movement, sex, medical help, comfortable clothes, respect, safety, rest. Try not to let it go too long being hungry or make it uncomfortably full. Protest the body-denigrating inner (and outer) talk. Don’t wait to love your body to do loving things, because it is in the doing that you come to love it.”
And think about ending this verse with a different twist, shown below and written by Dr. Jill S.Welbourne, a patron of the United Kingdom’s Eating Disorder Association.
Important: Read through to the ‘after’ part or you’ll get the wrong message!
‘Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house,
nothing would fit me, not even a blouse!
The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste
at the holiday parties have gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales, there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber)
I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared,
the gravies and sauces, and beef nicely rared,
the wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese,
and the way I’d never said, “No thank you, please.”
As I dressed myself, in my husband’s old shirt,
and prepared once again to do battle with dirt,
I said to myself, as only I can,
“You can spend the winter disguised as a man!”
So away with the last of the sour cream dip.
Get rid of the fruitcake, every cracker and chip!
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
‘til all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won’t have a cookie, not even a lick.
I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won’t have hot biscuits, or cornbread, or pie;
I’ll munch on a carrot, and quietly cry!
I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore –
but isn’t that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot,
Happy New Year to all, and to all a good DIET!!!!!!!!!
Hey, what am I thinking? That’s really old hat!
A ‘dieting’ mind-set will just make me fat.
So away with restriction! I’ll eat what I want.
I’ll start when I’m hungry and stop when I’m not.
May all my friends join me in this state of mind.
For then we’ll be happy,creative,and kind.
Wishing a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
A note about a healthy lifestyle: This new ending emphasizes the approach to living a healthy, fulfilled life that’s at the core of the Green Mountain approach. If you’ve become fat because of an unhealthy lifestyle, it will help you lose unhealthy fat. Our approach is about treating your body well so it can help you do the things you want to do. It includes:
- eating foods you enjoy as part of balanced intake and eating it mindfully, taking time to enjoy and checking with internal cues to see when you’ve had enough.
- moving your body in a way that feels good. Physical activity improves energy levels, reduces stress, boosts self-esteem, helps mental and physical health and helps achieve and maintain healthy weights. Just remember that whatever you choose to do, make it enjoyable – feeling good and doing things you like.
- thinking positively, and feeling good about yourself, not basing your self worth on your body size.
Happy New Year from your friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run!