STOP

Stop.  It’s 2016.  TWENTY-SIXTEEN!!

When I was a small girl it seemed quite impossible that we would ever get to a year that started with 20, let alone nearly a fifth of the way through an entire new century.  When you’re small even a week can seem like forever, but I’ve found it’s true what they say – the older you get the faster the years fly by.  Last year flew by, for me anyway, and I am rather grateful for that since 2015 involved a miserable amount of fatigue and headaches and migraines and nausea and frustrations and mental and emotional blahs and general pain-in-the-ass-ness.

2015 wasn’t a bad year.  There were fantastic things that happened – I published a new cookbook!  I *finally* finished remodeling the kitchen!  My godson, Jackson, was born!  I had an outstanding human being for a boss!  I road-tripped to Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, and Wyoming!  I learned how to Go-Pro (well, I started…thanks, Wildman!)!  I learned soooo much more about nutrition! – but it would have been a whole lot lovelier of a year without the aforementioned pain-in-the-ass-ness, caused in equal parts by a bunch of E.Coli and some errant genes.  2016 is destined to be an altogether less pain-in-the-ass year because the E.Coli got slayed and the genes, it turns out, can be persuaded to express themselves in a much less pain-in-the-ass way.

2016 is going to be a simply smashing year.  Just ask Jack.

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As the start of 2016 approached I started to think about what I wanted 2016 to be like, and then my thoughts turned to resolutions.  The resolutions part lasted about 8 minutes, because over the last few months as I have been working out WTF is wrong with me? I had already determined that what would make the biggest positive impact on my life right now was not what I was going to start doing, but what I was going to stop doing.  Over the course of the latter half of 2015 the things that have caused me the biggest angst were all driven psychologically, so I simply decided that instead of coming up with a bunch of physical actions for 2016, I was going to stop stuff getting to me, that ultimately leads to stress and procrastination and apathy – none of which are things conducive to moving forward.

As I was getting ready to write this on New Years Day I started noticing a new thing where people pick one focus word to guide them through the coming year instead of coming up with resolutions.  In that spirit, since I had already decided resolutions were not what I needed this year, my word is S T O P.  Here’s the things that will impact my life most positively if I stop doing them:

STOP clicking on attention-grabbing bait-and-click headlines to do with weight-loss and nutrition:

It doesn’t matter whether they come in email, social media messages, or ads – they invariably disappoint by the article not having much (or anything) to do with the headline, telling me nothing new, trying to sell me something, and / or only letting me see the content if I subscribe (usually for a fee) to their stuff.  Since July when I became very ill I have been consuming vast quantities of The Internet to educate myself in order to heal.  I have read an inordinate amount of *stuff* related to health and wellness.  I have met an entire army of people in the health and wellness arena that I never knew existed.  An amazing amount of that *stuff* was complete rubbish.  A lot of those people simply want to get rich and famous – rehashing what we already know into pretty new packaging.  If I had all the time back that I have spent the last 6 months clicking on links with attention-grabbing weight-loss (et al) headlines and reading *stuff* that turned out to be old news, no news, or simply rubbish, I’d have been able to a whole bunch of worthwhile things that were {WAY} more useful to me – like napping.  Yes, napping would have done a lot more for me.

It’s not only the waste of time, but also the frustration of feeling duped, learning nothing, finding myself at a “BUY NOW” dead-end, or hearing the same old stuff as I’ve heard before.  You know those web pages that scroll on until the end of time, with videos you can’t stop, flashing things proclaiming that this is The Thing that is stopping you from losing weight (or whatever), and telling you that the price is only available for a limited time, or is sold out and you need to give them your email so they can let you know when it’s back in stock?  Step away from the computer!!! If a product / system / book / whatever needs this much salesmanship there’s something not right.  (And if you do click on the headline and reach one of these pages…please, please, please DON’T HIT THE BUY BUTTON!!! You don’t need to spend that money to reach your goals – they won’t give you anything that you don’t already have access to.  Even for the programs that work – you don’t need to spend $$$ on them.  You will get *much* closer to your goals spending that money on better quality food and any supplements that you need.  Truly.)

Deep down we all know this to be true: THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET FOR WEIGHT-LOSS.  There isn’t.  Despite the marketing hype, the slick websites, the oh-so-convincing written arguments and clever memes, the scientific “proof”, and the lean hard bodies that push all this stuff out there – there is no silver bullet for weight-loss.  I know this for sure and yet those “4 Foods to Lose Weight Effortlessly Without Hunger” headlines get me every time.  So I am going to STOP.  I encourage you to do that same.  Stop clicking on them.  You won’t learn anything new.  There is no miracle fix on the other side of that link.  You might just get even more confused about nutrition and weight-loss.  The amount of mis-information (and downright lies) behind much of the nutrition out there is staggering.  It’s confusing at best, and harmful at worst.  I lost count the number of times I have thrown my hands up in the last 6 months and thought, “To hell with it! I’m just going to eat what I want and let the cards fall where they may.”  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Let’s all STOP!  None of those links will help us.  Seriously, they won’t.

STOP joining online health and nutrition “summits” or “webcasts” or “masterclasses”:

See above.  In my experience over the last 6 months, 100% of these have told me almost nothing and are simply sales vehicles for expensive (or sometimes wildly expensive) programs, systems, or subscriptions – none of which will provide a magical solution to weight-loss.  Because these isn’t a magical solution to weight-loss.  Seriously, there isn’t.  So I am going to STOP, and not waste the time, get emotionally discombobulated, or allow myself to be persuaded that throwing money at that “BUY NOW” button will get people to their goals.  Long term, it won’t.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Let’s all STOP!  None of those online “courses” will help us.  Seriously, they won’t.

STOP reading about every diet / lifestyle that shows up:

See above.  After a concentrated 6 months of reading everything I came across that might possibly be helpful in unraveling my health issues it has become obvious to me that with a few exceptions they are all pretty much the same – just wrapped in different packaging, given a new name, presented with it’s own (sometimes unique) nuance, and promoted by a different “expert”.  It has also become obvious to me that in reading any of this stuff I have learned almost nothing new.  I am now {really} clear about what constitutes a truly healthy diet and I don’t need to be continually reading about the latest thing (because it’s just regurgitated from the thing before).  So I am going to STOP.

Here’s what I going to do with that time instead:

Write blog posts to share what I have learned in untangling the truths about food, nutrition, and weight-loss so that you can stop doing all of the above too, and spend that time enjoying life and your loved ones.  Won’t that be lovely?  I am not just going to leave you hanging with no solution, having told you to stop searching for one.

I am also going to get back in the kitchen as the number of foods that I can eat again is growing by the week.  This week I added tomatoes, sweet peppers, and coconut milk back in – I feel like I won the lottery!  Yes, there will be recipes in 2016.  HURRAH!!

In the meantime, now would be a good time to read or re-read There Is No Silver Bullet and Science Schmience, just as a reminder that there is a world full of dodgy stuff out there – don’t spend your hard-earned time or money chasing things that won’t help you reach your weight-loss and wellness goals.  Spend that money on fantastic quality whole foods and any supplements that you need – or, if required a visit to a great ND.

What can YOU stop in 2016 that will have a positive impact on your life?

 

 

Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Wren - What can I STOP doing in 2016 that will have a positive impact on my life? I am vowing to STOP wasting so much time scrolling the pages of Facebook to see the latest, funny video or picture. It is usually very entertaining but so much a time sucker.
    I vow to STOP wasting the wonderful organic vegetables I get each week at the farmer’s market that I forget to cook, so they go rotten and I have to throw them away. I’m always so sad when I do. I am going to cook more veggies! Well, that’s a start. I’m sure I can come up with some more ideas. Thanks for getting me started with a list. I needed a list.ReplyCancel

  • Amy Jensen - Love Love Love!!!!! We love you so much! You are the BEST Godmum to Jack, and we truly truly lucked out! You’re family and always will be :) even though you talk funny ;)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - LOL “Even though you talk funny”. I’m the lucky one – I’ll be living in your basement when I’m 80 instead of some dodgy retirement home ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Red - You nailed it. You spoke my thoughts. You spoke my feelings.

    I just deleted close to 800 emails in one fell swoop out of my email account that all were related to a host of folks with the “ONLY SOLUTION” out there.

    It was freeing – just selecting them all and hitting the DEL button. I was frightened that I might miss out on the one thing, the ONE THING that could help me. But they were gone. ALL of them.

    Now I face each day with a deep breath, and a gratefulness thought, and finally a desire to be open minded, and willing to face that hard thing, because sometimes – the hard things we shy from – are those we should pursue.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - =O
    I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THIS, MYSELF!!

    At least I now know I’m not the only one. ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - What a great post and thank you for the reassurances that you will not disappear on us! :) if it weren’t for your blog, I would be much more hesitant about the SANE eating habits as Jonathan seems to have a lot of tr masterclass/sale-sy stuff on his site and your site gives me access to things to try that doesn’t require an expensive membership. I am very grateful for your recipes and the blog in general about what has happened to you and how you are working to overcome it. :)

    Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - Yes!!! You are so right. I am going to go through my emails now and unsubscribe a LOT of them. Hugs!ReplyCancel

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