My quintessential “cheat” food before I went on a diet has always been the Boston Cream Donut. Whether, in preparation for a “New Year, New You” on New Year’s Eve, or even on random days when I was unhappy with my weight, it always meant a quick drive to Dunkin Donuts to purchase three Boston Cream donuts and gorging myself on them until I literally couldn’t fit anything else in. And then my resolution would begin.
Strange, I know.
But, how many of you engage in similar destructive behavior each time you decide to get healthy just before you go on a diet?
Self Destruction instead of Preparation
In retrospect it doesn’t seem like preparation at all. Instead, it was self destructive behavior that always brought me further from my goal instead of preparing me by bringing me closer to it.
By the way, it never worked.
That behavior set me up for failure, not success.
Are New Year’s Resolutions Pointless?
Any diet attempt I made that began with a negative, self destructive behavior ended up not working. Does that mean New Year’s Resolutions are bad or not worth it? Absolutely not. But, they can become much more meaningful and more successful with a few positive tweaks. It has been years since I have engaged in this behavior. But, this year on New Year’s Eve I had a Boston Cream Donut. And, I want to tell you all about it.
This year was different – different for a lot of reasons and here is a list of the Top 4
- This year wasn’t about change. It was instead about improvement.
The mindset of changing myself is a negative one. It automatically means there is something wrong or unworthy about the current me. And, a complete overhaul is impossible to make instantaneously no matter how well intentioned or serious you are. On the other hand, improving myself is not only positive, but accessible and doable. It is accomplished incrementally in steps and built on a foundation of positivity. It is built around the feeling of self worth and wanting to be a better person, not a different one. This year my goals were all about improvement.
- We replaced the word cheat with feast.
This is another simple mindset shift that makes all the difference. This is something I learned from my friend Dr. Mindy Pelz. And, it was a game changer! The idea of a cheat meal is incredibly negative. It means you have given yourself temporary permission to induce harm on yourself. That is never okay.
On the flip side, there is nothing wrong with relaxing strict dietary approaches and enjoying something sweet or satisfying that may not fit exactly in an orthorexic framework. This is feasting. It may be more nourishing emotionally than physically, but it is still nourishing some part of you. The idea of feasting doesn’t mean you ruined some self-induced dietary mantra and therefore you are a failure. Instead, it means you weighed the pros and cons and decided that at that moment it made complete sense to indulge.
Feelings of satisfaction are associated with feasting. Feelings of guilt are associated with cheating.
- We replaced something completely destructive with its most nourishing version.
After much trial and error, we recently launched a Boston Cream Donut at the Modern Stone Age Kitchen. And, we are super proud of it! Although far from a health food, our version of the Boston Cream Donut is not only delicious, but the healthiest version of it ever made. It’s base is a 100% wild, long fermented sourdough brioche with honest, real ingredients. It is fried in high quality animal fat instead of industrial nut and seed oils. The filling is a sourdough vanilla pastry cream and the topping is a ganache made with TCHO chocolate and cream. It contains zero refined sugars, zero industrial nut and seed oils, and 100% of the grains it contains have been fully fermented using a traditional sourdough process. This is the donut I ate this year. And, I only ate one (not three)!
- We made a plan and said it out loud.
There were two problems with the way I approached New Year’s Resolutions in the past. The first, I didn’t make a plan and the second, I didn’t tell anyone. Making a plan ensures that the goal(s) is doable and outlines a roadmap for success. Telling someone creates accountability. This year Christina and I sat down, shared our goals with one another, and literally wrote down to the hour what our days and weeks will look like to accomplish the changes we are looking to make.
I am a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions.
They are opportunities to make improvements to our health. But, the manner in which we frame those changes and the steps we take to reach our goals can mean all the difference between success and failure.
Let this be the year that you actually reach your goals!
This year, the changes Christina and I are implementing are meaningful and accessible. Our approach was completely positive and we have a plan that we outlined and shared with one another. And, I only ate one Boston Cream Donut!
I am confident in our ability to succeed and I am hopeful that some of the approaches we took this year are helpful to your journey.
Happy New Year!