The holiday season has come and gone; it does so every year with great predictability. Thanksgiving leads to Christmas, which leads to New Years. It all goes according to plan, and by and large, it is good.
Equally predictable, and far less positive, is what happens the very minute America steps into a new year. With the turn of a single calendar page, we are catapulted back into the world of diet obsession and weight-loss fanaticism. This happens every single year without fail.
Today, stand in line at a grocery store. Magazine headlines announce the latest celebrity fitness or diet craze for 2015. Flip on the television or radio. Every other ad is touting a new weight-loss supplement or ab–toning device; chain fitness centers offer every imaginable deal to get you to purchase an annual membership. The implication is that you clearly lost all control during the holidays, ate everything in sight, and are now shockingly fat. In our culture that immediately translates into failure, weakness and the understanding that you are no longer worthy of love, happiness or success.
The truth is that holiday weight gain is minimal at best.
Research indicates that people gain an average of one or two pounds during this season. And yet, year after year, absurd numbers of people buy into this post-holiday hysteria and willingly throw more money at the diet and weight-loss industry. They buy the supplement or ab gizmo; they purchase the gym membership. In time, the supplement fails, the gizmo gathers dust and the membership only depletes the bank account month after month. It is time for this cycle of predictability to stop.
Instead of allowing the multi-billion dollar diet industry to continually lead us around by the collective nose, how about we react to their tactics in a whole new way? Instead of embarking on this New Year ensconced in guilt, shame and a negative body image, why not look forward to what 2015 might contain?
This new set of 12 months could offer a variety of new experiences and adventures, personal growth, and even new people to know and love. Be unpredictable. Be joyful. Be you!
By not responding to the diet industry in the expected fashion, maybe the advent of a new year will prove a little less predictable and a lot more positive.