However, nutrition is so much more than counting macronutrients, eating superfoods, and burning calories. (And, it definitely isn’t about a perfect number on the scale.) Good nutrition stems from a healthy relationship with food, mind, and body. And, ultimately I believe that these healthy relationships begin with where we find our identity (...but please note this is based on my religious beliefs).
So that being said, if you’re like me and have done away with restrictive diets to focus on having healthy relationships with God, others, and yourself in 2018, here are some suggestions of what to do instead! After all, you’ll likely have a bunch more time and energy!
18 Things to Do Besides Dieting in 2018
- Find a form of movement you enjoy doing. If you love to lift weights or get your groove on in an exercise class, by all means get a gym membership... But if that’s not your thing and never has been, don’t! Maybe you’ve always wanted to take a yoga class or rise early and go for walks in the mall? You should go do that. Either way, find something you actually like to do and makes you feel good.
- Read more. Dust off that book you’ve been wanting to read or join a monthly book club if you’re one of those avid readers (I wish this was me!).
- Change your mindset from restricting perceived “bad” foods to increasing foods that make you physically feel good. For example, instead of being stressed out that you’re going to be tempted to eat sweets at the next birthday party or wedding reception, go into the party choosing food that sits well in your stomach and pleases your palate. For me that would be eating a good sampling of fruits, veggies, tortilla chips, guacamole, and Brie cheese... as well as a decadent brownie and some sparkling water. Find what food YOU like and what food makes you feel good... and eat it!
- Make good conversation at family meals a priority. Disconnect from technology. Have each family member share the high of their day and the low. (For our preschooler we ask him what’s one thing that made him happy and one thing that made him sad that day.) Sit back and listen to what’s on your family’s hearts and minds.
- Declutter the house from the holidays if you haven’t done so yet. As you go room to room put items in one of three piles: Keep, donate, or throw out. This could also be a good time to have the kids donate some of their toys to make room for ones they received at Christmas. We just pared-down our storage room, and it felt gooood to give an old Christmas tree to the neighbours! (Thanks, guys!)
- Make “quiet time” a priority. If you can, join a local bible study. If this isn’t an option right now, try an online community. Two favourites are She Reads Truth and Well-Watered Women Co. Need more ideas? Check out this post I wrote last Fall. Note: Quiet time does not always need to be quiet—there’s always something to be learned from God’s Word even if the kids are running laps around you.
- Get the kids involved in meal planning. Teach them how you choose meals, create a grocery list, and shop for groceries.
- Challenge a friend or a family member to daily do a random act of kindness with you for a month. Here’s some ideas.
- Download life-giving podcasts or the YouVersion audio Bible to listen to while doing the dishes.
- Make that soup, bread, or cookie recipe you’ve always wanted to try. Even better—make double and bring some to a lonely neighbor or a mom that’s been having a rough week.
- Quit your daily drive-thru coffee fix for a month and use the money you’ve saved to plan an extra special day for your Valentine.
- Go a month without social media with me! (I’m starting this Sunday.) You know what we all need more than a sugar-free January or February or March? Freedom from the online comparison game. Now that’s a cleanse I can get behind.
- Start each day in prayer. This is one of my big goals for the year, so I’m using one of Val Marie Paper’s prayer journals.
- Go to bed on time every night for a month! This one requires no explanation.
- Make a list of self-care practices or activities you enjoy doing and post them on your fridge (or type them on your phone if you’re a little more private). The next time you feel like restrictive eating from diet guilt or emotional overeating... complete an activity off your list instead and then reevaluate your emotions. You’re allowed to take care of yourself... and that’s not by crazy restricting or overexercising. Ideas could include walking in nature, listening to audiobooks/podcasts, stretching, taking warm baths, reading a Psalms, getting dressed up, relaxing at a coffee shop, meeting a friend for lunch, doing a craft, praying, journaling, or even napping.
- Order the photo album you’ve been meaning to complete (finally). Make extra prints for a parent or grandparent.
- Add white space intentionally to the calendar each week and see what happens. Use that time for rest and to love well on those around you.
- Change the conversation as weight-shaming and diet talk (predictably) come up and use that time to get to know the person’s other goals, dreams or desires.
Now without further ado... let’s have a giveaway! All of the products in this “Inspired 2018 Blogiversary Giveaway” were purchased by me, and I did not receive any compensation for sharing these products or links today.
Inspired 2018 Blogiversary Giveaway
Lara, the creator of the Powersheets intentional goal planner I use, writes, “ is forYour time has come to take a leap of faith. Join me as we surrender our fears, end the chase for perfection, and say yes to cultivating the meaningful lives God desires for us. You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.”
2. The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson
This book is a must-read for any woman wanting to make their house a home... and I’m only five chapters into it! “In our deepest hearts, we want to be a place where our spirits are filled. A lifegiving haven of warmth, rest, and joy that will encourage everyone who enters it; a welcoming respite in an isolated culture.
“Join beloved authors Sally and Sarah Clarkson to discover the path to a lifegiving home―from a mother who’s known for creating one and her daughter who was raised in it. This is their story: a story about a home where a real family learned to flourish, grow, and belong. Together they offer a treasury of wise advice and spiritual principles to help you create a place for all that is beautiful, good, holy, and foundational to life.
will lead you on a new path to creating special memories for your children; establishing God-centered traditions; and cultivating an environment your family will cherish their whole lives long.”
3. God’s Love Endures Forever Colouring Book + Double-Ended Coloured Pencils
If your self-care includes colouring and meditating on scripture, then you’ll enjoy this adult colouring book. Not your thing? I give you full permission to regift!
4. ESV Compact Bible
The perfect-sized Bible to fit in your purse or diaper bag, so you always have encouragement wherever you go (...especially if you’re trying to reduce screen time in the New Year).
- "Like" the Beyond the Dinner Table page on Facebook (or “Follow” my account on Instagram if you want an additional entry),
- Comment which # of the 18 things listed you’d like to do in 2018 AND tag three friends in the comment section of the giveaway post on Instagram and/or Facebook,
- BONUS entry: Comment below on this blog post WHICH of the 18 things you’d like to do and WHY,
- Patiently wait until the GIVEAWAY closes on Saturday January 13, 2018 at 5:59 pm EST. Must be at least 18 years of age and resident of United States or Canada. Maximum of three entries per person. Winner will be randomly chosen and announced on the Beyond the Dinner Table Facebook page on January 13, 2018 around 7 pm.
Update: Congratulations, Suzanne! Thank you for all the participation on the blog and on social media! See you in February!