Author Archives: Robyn Kievit Kirkman

Intentions Over Resolutions for 2018 & Beyond!

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Last week I posted a question across my social media platforms

‘Imagine if we obsessed about the things we love about ourselves…?’. Right?

Resolutions come from a place of needing to change a negative (to me). Yesterday, I found a funny, but cool and poignant definition of ‘resolution': A useless list of things that may or may not get accomplished in the first few days of the new year. Read: How to ruin your fun related to eating and other fun pastimes. I couldn’t agree more.

Think instead about obsessing around something you love about you and combine this with your new year’s intention(s). This is a much better recipe for success.

Here are some of my own examples. I’m trying to stay obsessed with loving our kids and our blendedness around meal times. When I relate this specifically to dinner it has to consider nut allergies, non-gluten preferences, dislike for cheese and shellfish, and keeping cooking time concise including enough food for 2 active teenage boys.

Instead of becoming overwhelmed about it all and resolving to make it different, I’m embracing it, and going with what the kids’ dietary restrictions, likes and dislikes are. It feels more calm. (With help from my Instant Pot, rice cooker and steamer allowing me to get dinner going and give the littlest one her bath!). Thank goodness none of the children are requesting specificities with requests like organic, cage-free or grass-fed or I would resign as head chef in our home!

Another, sort of continuous, new obsession I’m trying to love about myself is I cannot run regularly anymore. I used to run. A lot. 30 miles a week was my norm with frequent races. I went for a run a few weeks ago and loved it, but this was followed by days of discomfort in my lower back and lower joints. When I initially had to change exercise habits a few years ago it felt excruciating to give up so much running. Now, I’m obsessed with other things my body can do.

More weights and lifting quite a heavy amount. Awesome yoga poses that take a lot of practice. Tennis continues to surprise me as well – and humble me ;).  The keys, for me, at 45 years old are a lot of variety with my exercise and realizing I did have to break up with running. This may be a year I go back to running if my body feels good enough, but for now, my intention is to be open in other ways around exercise.When I think about my clients over this year I had two write and say particularly poignant things over the past few weeks. One is a woman I have worked with for just this year. She had battled binge eating and bulimia but also was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in March after we started working together. Throughout our sessions, she has normalized her hemoglobin A1C which is the measure of her blood sugars over 3 months. Her primary care provider has also taken her off the medicine she was taking for her diabetes as she has been able to focus so strongly on eating mindfully, movement, and decreasing stress.

Another client I have worked with for many years for her eating disorder said in last week’s appointment ‘I’m not even thinking about safe foods anymore. It feels good to be in charge of my body in a different way. I can look back at the eating disorder and say wow that was such chaos.’

Two women, two different stories. Two forms of success and calm around food and their bodies. Why? Their intentions. Not resolutions. To resolve, lacks empathy, sounds negative, and is likely to fail. Intentions are strong and full of light.

They incorporate obsessing about loving you and can shine well past January of the new year as I hope yours will for 2018.

Here’s the challenge – can you intend to love yourself obsessively in 2018?

Here are a couple of other pieces on intentions from like-minded colleagues:

A podcast on setting intentions by Summer Innanen

Krystal Thomas wrote about intentions for 2016 

Melissa Groves, RDN, wrote about 18 Ways to Hack Your New Year’s Resolutions 

Mandy Enright, is a dietitian and yoga teacher (on the JERSEY SHORE!) and wrote about What You Can Do MORE Of in 2018 

Remember to follow me on FB & Twitter @NutritionMentor and on Instagram @Nutrition.Mentor


Robyn’s Monthly Morsel

2ae280de-905d-451e-a902-c19b2bd97b25 Twenty three years ago I counseled my first client with an eating disorder in an outpatient setting. I used the same definition of normal eating then that I do now by Ellyn Satter a dietitian and family therapist who wrote this in 1983.

I’d encourage you to keep this nearby as part of your intentions around food and your body for 2018.

  • Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.
  • It is being able to choose food you enjoy and eat it and truly get enough of it – not just stop eating because you think you should.
  • Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.
  • Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good.
  • Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way.
  • It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
  • Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be under eating at times and wishing you had more.
  • Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.

In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.