The Moment Of The New Year

The New Year is often a time of reflection, evaluation and setting intentions. And while these are worthwhile endeavors, they can be achieved in any moment of any day. To put all this “weight” (pun intended) around New Year’s – which is really just an arbitrary moment in time – oftentimes only compounds the pain for those struggling with weight issues because it keeps us stuck in the “diet and exercise” consciousness.

The “diet and exercise” consciousness is this cultural underlying assumption that the size and shape of our body is directly related to what we eat and what we do for exercise. Therefore, we believe – according to this model – that we can control the size and shape of our body simply by controlling our calories in/exercise out.

This underlying consciousness creates dysfunctional relationships with food, exercise, ourselves and our bodies because our thoughts and decisions are based on a core assumptions that we have to “pay a price” to eat. So we believe that losing weight and getting in shape is painful – that it is “hard work.” And we need the support of a “program” to win the “battle of the bulge.”

So everything becomes black or white. We’re either following a program – we’re fighting  the good fight – or we’re “off the wagon” so to speak. We’re “good” or we’re “bad.” We’re winning the battle or we’re losing the battle.

And when New Year’s comes around, we look back and feel discouraged. We feel like we’ve failed somehow. And the more New Years that have come and gone, the more pain we feel. So we shore up our resolve and declare that this will be the year that we actually “do it.” We are going to stick with that exercise program. We will stay on that diet. We will win the battle of the bulge.

But the truth is that we can never with the battle of the bulge. By definition, the battle puts us in a state of constant state of conflict and war with our bodies. The way to lasting peace, freedom – and amazingly, sustainable results – is to recognize that the battle is an illusion.

When we shift from thinking that we can – and should – control our bodies and our weight by manipulating our calories in/exercise out to understanding that our bodies are our partners in relationship, everything changes. Every moment changes – including the moment of the New Year and the idea of New Year’s resolutions.

When we recognize that we are in relationship with our bodies, we employ the same skills and tools we use that serve us in our other great relationships. We don’t begin the New Year thinking, “Ok, 2013 is going to be the year I really whip my husband into shape” or “2013 is going to be the year I really love my children.” We don’t abandon our relationships the moment there is a bit of upset. If we get into an argument with a loved one, we don’t hold onto our resentments and then wait to “start again on Monday.” We deal with the issue in the moment to restore peace and harmony.

Many years ago, I read somewhere that the word resolution breaks down into re-solution. The premise of the article was that resolutions are a crazy idea because we are simply creating the same problem to solve over and over again. And then just the other day, I saw something even better. I saw a headline that said, “Don’t Resolve, Evolve!”

So a great intention for 2013 would be to evolve in how we relate to our bodies. We can learn to respect and trust them to follow their guidance. They love us and they want us to be happy. They are innately intelligent and incredibly miraculous. I always tell my clients who have children, “your body created Life! You don’t think it knows how to lose that last stupid 20 pounds you want to lose?”

Our bodies know how to lose the weight we want to lose. And they know how to do it in a way that would be happy, life-affirming and sustainable for us. We just need to stop all the fear and craziness – thinking that we must control them – and instead create partnership with them. Let us be in partnership with our bodies – in each and every moment – and then the next New Year is simply the next New Moment.