What’s in your diet culture clutter pile?

I’ve never been one to set a resolution, but the New Year is filled with reminders to “start fresh” and “set your intention” for the year. And in some ways it makes sense. As the calendar clicks forward to the next year and we emerge from the darkest day of the year, it can feel natural to think about the things in our life that fill us with gratitude and the progress we hope to make in the 12 months ahead.

Often our goals and hopes involve THINGS. Think about the items that you’ve spent money on, attempting to improve your health. Certainly, some of these purchases may be things you truly enjoy but I bet some of them didn’t exactly pay off in the way that you were hoping. I’m no exception.

You may have a practically unused set of dumbbells in the garage, untouched protein shakes taking up real estate in the pantry, and a diet app subscription that you’ve faded away from using. These are dollars spent with the best of intentions but just haven’t paid off.

What's in your diet culture clutter pile? 
First section of the chart
Pandemic-purchased spin bike + 1-year app subscription: $2500. "X-treme" workout app subscription + monthly shakes: $1700/year. Supplement, shake, & patch challenge + the auto-ship you forgot to cancel: $650. Cold-press juicer: $550. "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change" app subscription: $350/year. "Nutrition shop" shakes 3x/week: $200/month. 
Second section of the chart
Twice-a-month 1:1 sessions with a dietitian customized for YOU for long-term changes: $240/mo
Lindsey Ahlert Nutrition Logo at the bottom of the graphic.

Also consider the cost of your time. These purchases often come with a time commitment: entering meals into your phone, scanning foods at the grocery store, reading the latest celebrity weight loss book, navigating the websites for products meant to trap you into auto-shipments, etc. All of these activities and thought traps are taking up your precious mental real estate. Also, time never moves slower than during a workout that you hate!

Diet culture and the saturation of wellness products in our society ensure that there’s always something new. It’s easy to feel tempted by the promises of easy health changes, no matter now unrealistic. I challenge you to reframe how you think about your diet culture clutter pile. It isn’t a source of embarrassment or regret, it says that you’re ready for change and you’re sick of things that don’t work for YOU. It’s important to you to invest in YOUR health and happiness.

Meeting with a dietitian can sound expensive. And it can feel like overkill if you don’t have a “serious” medical condition. The truth is, sessions twice a month will cost you less than so many “wellness” products and programs. And dietitians cover a wide range of specialties from sports nutrition to diabetes to family feeding to intuitive eating. There is a dietitian out there who can help YOU.

I love working with clients who strive to feel at ease with eating. This is a tall order in our current culture that is saturated with health messages, promises of easy solutions, a constant carousel of products, and an obsession with weight. We also have our own personal circumstances: a tight food budget, a work schedule that doesn’t allow for a lunch break, a chronic condition that upsets your appetite and routine, a child with a very selective list of accepted foods, or so many other things.

This new year ask yourself: are you investing in the problem or the solution?

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