New Year, New You – Choose Your Religion

HappyNewYear dEVOLVEAnother post by guest-blogger, Linda Doty.

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely time over these cookie-laden holidays. If you were smart, you ate well and kept your bodies moving. If you were me, you’ll spend January atoning for the sins of December.

The other day, on our way to the personal trainer’s, I was talking to my teenage daughter about diet and nutrition. We were in the car because I have found that teenagers most love to engage in deep discussions about things like safe sex, the dangers of drugs, and of course fitness and nutrition, while they are trapped with their mothers in vehicles hurling down the highway at 70 miles per hour. (You didn’t know I’d be giving parenting advice too, did you?)

Basically, I told her, your diet is a case of Choose Your Religion, but you must make an informed decision.

Over on one side, you have those who believe that Satan comes to us in the form of dietary fats. On the other side, dietary fats are held sacred and sugar is decried for its evil nature.  Brother has killed brother over nothing more than a fresh, delicious donut. And don’t even get me started about sisters.

Here’s the one thing everyone agrees upon: if you combine sugar and fat and add a dash of salt, you basically have cookie dough. And while cookie dough is delicious and magnetic, it’s the David Koresh of the dietary world. Once you are in its evil clutches, you are brainwashed and next thing you know, you’re offering your teenage daughter up in trade for a Big Mac.

Now, I know even in the best of circumstances, a Big Mac seems like a pretty good trade for a teenage daughter. Trust me. I have five daughters and one time I almost traded one of them to an old lady who had a handful of magic beans, but I just didn’t have the energy to climb a stupid beanstalk. Hang in there, it gets better.

So, diet wise, we know the Eat-What-You-Like religion never ends well for us. We know that. We’ve all been down that path. It’s a downward spiral. A delicious downward spiral. Don’t give in to temptation. You have to choose your dietary religion with thoughtfulness.

The experts will never all agree on what the ‘right’ way is. They are all doing their best to share what they know and most of them are earnest and genuine. But there are those with agendas mixed in. There are politics around food that often drive those agendas.  The world of dietary advice is full of contradictions.

Just as if you were studying various world faiths to find the one that resonates with you, do the same with your diet. Read, absorb, contemplate, try them out, and make an informed decision.

If you reject sugars, be aware that might well mean you are eating more fats. This is evident especially in packaged foods, but then again David Koresh is the one who wants you to eat packaged foods. If you cut significantly back on fats, chances are you’ve upped your sugars. If you ‘shop the perimeter’ of the grocery store and stick with produce, lean meats, and dairy, you’re probably doing well. Be careful though, just as you are pushing your cart out of the dairy aisle, BAM, the bakery.

You know who invented bakeries, don’t you?


When you are choosing your religion, you’ll find some pretty common themes.  These, then, are probably the most important tenets of your diet and fitness routines.

  1. Do good works.  That means get off your ass and MOVE. Do something. You decide what, but move your body.
  2. Keep your conscience clear. That means eat well so you don’t have any sins to atone for, any Krispy Kreme guilt to haunt you while you’re trying to sleep.
  3. Fall to your knees. Now drop and give me 25 girl push-ups.  (I added that one for my own amusement.)
  4. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Well, unless it’s sugar-free, but even then keep in mind that artificial sweeteners have been proven to provoke an insulin response in the human body and insulin drives hunger and also takes the sugar from your bloodstream and stores it in your fat cells. You know what? Just drink water.

It is a new year. The cool thing about life is how it gives us as many new beginnings as we need. Use the new year as a new beginning if you need to. Or, heck, use Tuesday as a new beginning. If you’ve been doing well all along in regard to your diet and fitness, congratulations! Use the new year to up your game. Set new goals. Maybe up your fitness regimen by throwing elbows – hard – in your over-crowded January gym. Whatever works.

Happy New Year!



Linda Doty claims to be a writer, mostly because she’s already quit her other job and ‘writer’ sounds way more impressive than bum. You can see her work in several places besides her mother’s refrigerator. She’s contributed to a couple hilarious books available on Amazon. She occasionally blogs at You can follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @LindaInDisguise.

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