Autumn resolutions

September is upon us and there’s a certain freshness in the early morning air that reminds us that autumn is on its way.

The kids have gone back to school and the leaves are beginning to change their colour to a rusty red, marking new beginnings for everyone and everything.


What do you associate with autumn? Soup season? Slippery leaves on the pavement? Bonfires? Getting ‘back on track’ after a naughty summer of indulgence? Starting a new exercise regime?

Some of you may be setting yourselves autumnal resolutions… (Is this even a real thing?! Regardless of its official name, I bet there are millions of people across the UK setting themselves goals for the autumn. I know I certainly used to).

I’m just going to put it out there and guess that some of you might be thinking that for the umpteenth time you’re finally going to lose those 10lbs or 2 stone you’ve been trying to lose for years. You really will do it this time. You’re going to push and punish yourself into doing it, no matter what happens. You’re going to try that new restrictive, miserable, no fun, no pleasure crash diet and you’re going to force yourself at the gym every day (and then beat yourself up when you can’t keep it up). You WILL fit into that skimpy black dress or that suave suit for the Christmas party, and everyone will then realise just how amazing you really are!

But, did you know that research shows that dieting can actually cause people to gain even more weight in the long term, unless there’s some kind of internal emotional shift? (Read more here).

If you’re thinking of dieting again, please can I urge you to consider not doing that? Please could I instead encourage you to look a little deeper than the superficial layer of fat on your body that no-one other than you notices? Please can I urge you to consider loving and accepting yourself for who you are now, not when you are ‘thin’? Please can I help you to realise that the world isn’t going to be a better place when you are ‘thin’ and you won’t be more loved when you’ve lost weight? Please can I tempt you to let go, focus on something else more sustainable and fulfilling, and not go down the same dieting road you’ve been going down for years only to be met with a dead end?

As an ex chronic dieter, I absolutely understand that you may be laughing out loud at the prospect of this – ‘How can I possibly let go of dieting?’ But please trust me, it’s possible. Yes, it’s hard and it’s not a quick fix. But it is absolutely worth doing if you want to be at peace with yourself, and focus on something nourishing and sustainable. Just think about all the energy you have already put into punishing your body with endless diets, and it hasn’t led you to the goal you wanted. Why not use that energy in a positive way to love, nurture and explore yourself which may ultimately lead you to a better place?

If you’re not yet ready to let go of dieting, please at the very least make one autumnal resolution; be kind to yourself.

About Helen Hendry

Helen Hendry is a qualified Psychology of Eating Coach and Personal Trainer. Helen is passionate about supporting people to have a more positive relationship with food and their bodies through personalised movement and eating psychology coaching. For more information, check her website

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