Health Is Beauty

Join Author Anne Lamott (and Me!): Turn Your Back on Dieting in 2014

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Writer Anne Lamott has penned some kickass books in her time, from her memoirs about writing, life, and her unconventional faith, to novels; 15 in all. I’ve taken inspiration from her before, and in yes-we-are-living-in-the-future style, her latest brilliance comes from a social media post.

She wrote on her Facebook page (this is just an excerpt, so click over to read it all):

“please join me in not starting a diet January 1st.

It’s really okay, though, to have (or pray for) an awakening around your body. It’s okay to stop hitting the snooze button, and pay attention to what makes you feel great about yourself, one meal at a time. It’s an inside job. If you are not okay with yourself at 185, you will not be okay at 150, or even 135. The self-respect and serenity you long for is not out there. It’s within. I hate that. I resent that more than I can say. But it’s true.

Maybe some of us will eat a bit less, and walk a bit more, and make sure to wear pants that do not hurt our thighs or our feelings Drinking more water is the solution to almost all problems.

I’ll leave you with this: I’ve helped some of the sturdier women at my church get healthy, by suggesting they prepare each meal as if they had asked our beloved pastor to lunch or dinner. They wouldn’t say, “Here Pastor–let’s eat standing up in the kitchen. This tube of Pringles is ALL for you.” And then stand there gobbling from their own tubular container.

No, they’d get out pretty dishes, and arrange wonderful foods on the plates, and set one plate before Veronica at the table, filled with happiness, love, pride and connection. That’s what we have longed for, our whole lives, and get to create, now, or or on the 1st. Wow!”

YES! Let’s be healthy, let’s make long-term changes that make us feel good, let’s move and eat vegetables because they are delicious treats from the earth that come in a rainbow of colors. Let’s quit eating from boxes, and eat from our own pots. Let’s love our bodies wherever they are in their journeys, because it’s a crazy-complicated world (and even more complex than we can even try to understand) and what our bodies look like is one of the less important things.

Instead of asking yourself: “How much do I want to weigh in 2014?” ask “How many new experiences, how much joy, what quantity of love do I want to experience?” Or maybe, “How great do I want to feel in 2014?”

As Regina Spektor sings on Folding Chairs (below): “I got a perfect body but sometimes I forget. I’ve got a perfect body because my eyelashes catch my sweat yes they do!!”

Photo Credit: .Kikaytete.QNK

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.