Why You Need to Ditch the “All or Nothing” Mindset this New Year

Plus a Re-introduction of Jen Belanger Nutrition

The Evolution of Jen the RD; Where Am I Now?

Welcome to my new blog! Whether you’ve been following along with me for years or just recently found me, I’m so happy you’re here! 

The past few years have brought a lot of exciting changes to my business. I rebranded my website, opened up my own office, formed an LLC, and hired 3 employees (plus built a house, had a baby, and am preparing for another one!). I’ve found my niche within my business, and that’s babies, toddlers, kids, teens, and all that go along with them (looking at you, parents!). With a clear vision of where I’m headed and a solid A-team behind me, it’s time to get this blog REALLY going. I adore writing and educating, so blogging is the perfect platform. As you follow along, you’ll probably find that my posts often reflect what’s going on in my own life a bit, because after all, I’m a parent who needs to feed her kids, too! This blog will contain content relevant to all things nourishing women, mothers, infants, kids, and adolescents, from the basics to eating disorder prevention and beyond. We’ll also toss in a Jen original recipe every other week! 

With the introduction out of the way, let’s get into the meat of it. With the New Year here, I thought it would be timely to address the fatal mistake of the “all or nothing” approach to food and exercise. I am sure lots of you have those New Years resolutions to get “healthier” and happier this new year. While it’s totally fine and even admirable to have a New Years Resolution, taking the “all in” approach when it comes to food and exercise is not the key to health OR happiness. Far too often I see clients, even kids, who want to be “healthier,” so they cut out all their favorite foods, like chips and chocolate! Then what happens? They give up one month in because this level of restriction is just so unrealistic. Who here has ever made the January 1st commitment to going to the gym every day before work, sticking to it until about January 23, and then rolling over and snoozing the alarm instead by week four? In real life, LIFE happens. You get sick, your kids get sick, you get really busy at work, or you’re sleep deprived and you decide to listen to your body and sleep in one day. The “all in” mindset would say “well, I blew it, I might as well just eat the Cheez-its that are sitting in the back of my cabinet for breakfast.” So, this spirals into the “nothing” attitude, where you give up on all your health related goals because of that one missed gym morning. 

I tell my clients all the time that it’s never too late to “hop back on the wagon.” It’s important to ask yourself WHY you have this “all or nothing” mindset. Does it serve you in any way? Are you really expecting yourself to be a perfect robot who never craves a cookie or 30 extra minutes of sleep in the morning? If you are one of those perfection craving people, please let that go, now! As a recovering perfectionist myself, I can promise you that life is a lot better when you are able to be flexible, ESPECIALLY around food and your body. Perhaps one of the most reliable traits of New Year’s Resolutions that have to do with food and exercise is that you are bound to get knocked out of that routine eventually. If you find yourself a little too off course, set small, achievable goals to get yourself back on that wagon. If your goals aren’t realistic, you won’t achieve them. Period. What’s an example of an unrealistic goal? “I’ll cut out all sugar!” A much more reasonable and achievable goal would be “I’ll have my favorite treat 3 nights this week instead of 5.” 

So, as you ponder your New Year’s Resolutions, ask yourself a few simple questions: Is this something that I can actually sustain and fit into my daily life? Is this something I actually want to put work into accomplishing this year? But most importantly, how am I going to get back into my routine if I fall out for a couple of days?    

We’d love to hear your resolutions in the comments section!

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