I am that girl who loves a fresh start. When I was in school and the summer was coming to an end, I would be giddy about getting school supplies and starting a new grade. Now as an adult, I love the holidays but I also look forward to January 1st when everything starts over again and I can look into a new year full of promise and hope.
I spend most of the first few weeks of each new year asking the Lord for direction and vision for my life, my business, and ultimately what He wants me to focus on.
There’s only one downer to each start of the new year – the diet industry.
As a non-diet dietitian, starting a new year seems particularly triggering to my clients, but personally, if I am being really honest, it is hard for me too. Mingled in with all that promise, hope, vision, and focus on Jesus, are a slew of messages that I am not enough.
According to diet culture there is something wrong with my body, weight, shape, eating habits, and most definitely my nutrition practice. It’s like there is an all-out war going on for my attention, my heart, and my values. And really isn’t that what’s actually going on?
If you are reading this and you can relate, here is a list of encouraging words to help drown out the buzz of diet culture as you begin this year:
1. You are enough. Just as you are. Because God our Father says so and because Jesus died so that this would be true. In Him and His redemption, we have all we need and we are enough.
2. You don’t need to start a diet. Ever. The 10 principles of intuitive eating are all that you need to make peace with food and to have confidence that you are taking really good care of your body in the areas of nutrition and movement.
3. You don’t NEED to join a gym. Ever. I am not totally knocking gyms. If you enjoy them and you can stay healthy in your mindset about food, body, and weight, go to your nearest gym and enjoy. But…if you don’t like gyms and the only reason you would be going is to change your body, then I invite you to brainstorm a list of alternative ways to move your body that you TRULY enjoy.
4. Most importantly, invite the Holy Spirit into your year. Ask Him what will be most life-giving for you to focus on in 2019. And then listen. Even if you have a very busy life with young children, a thriving business, a to-do list a mile long, or all of the above, it is so important to take time to sit in God’s presence and allow Him to speak to you. If you have been a Christ-follower for any length of time you have heard “putting God first in your life will put everything else in order.” But seriously, it’s true. Even if all you have is 10 minutes a day to give to this practice, God sees you and He will do more with 10 minutes than you can do with 24 hours.
As we approach the end of January, my prayer for you (and for me) is that if we have not been focused on truth that we would refocus and give the rest of the year over to God. Food, body, mind, spirit, to-do list, resolutions, goals, hopes – they all belong with God. I once heard someone say “if you have the best year of your life spiritually, you will have the best year of your life” and I truly believe that. My hope is that we rest in God and have the best year of our lives.
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Kristen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in eating disorders, oncology, and pediatrics. In private practice and in life, Kristen desires to incorporate the truth of God's Word into her life and the lives of her clients, knowing that it is the Truth that sets all of us free! She and her husband Keith love being part of their local church community and seeking God's will in all areas.