Back to school doesn't have to mean back to body fixing, here's why

Amanda is sitting on a rock looking at a mountain view
Back to school doesn't have to mean back to dieting

I just got back from a solo Savor Food and Body Adventure (the pics are on Instagram @alpinenutrition) and as I climbed the trails and sat with the views, I was thinking about you.

September has always felt like a turning point in the year for me - new season, new school year, new weather. New you?

I've noticed that diet-wellness marketing is trying to capitalize on this shift as another time of the year when you can "get your body back and strive for your wellness goals!"

First, your body hasn't gone anywhere.

Second, if any of the sales-pitchy recommendations include new food rules (aka restriction) in the name of health, just say no!


Because if you use this time to explore yet another lifestyle wellness plan, you'll likely be so frantic around food come the holidays that of course, you'll end up face down in the fudge! And then feel guilty. And then feel shame. And then make promises to "get back on track" come January.

See the spiral? Enough to make you dizzy, hun?

Wanting to do something for yourself this time of year is completely understandable. Summer is crazy busy with activities, hosting friends, navigating visiting-family (and the drama), etc.

But doing something for yourself doesn't have to involve wellness influencers and food rules.

It can be as simple as scheduling some solo time to do whatever the heck you want to - move your body, rest, Netflix, read, a weekend retreat, brunch with friends, whatever!

As life settles into a new seasonal routine, you can use this time to create more time for yourself - even just 10 minutes a handful of times per week can help you get in touch with what really matters in your relationship with food and your body.

And if you can start a solo-time (aka mindfulness) practice now, the holidays will be a breeze, without all the usual hype, drama, and binge-restrict cycling with food.

Here's an example of how to use the SAVOR technique™ to kickstart your solo-time, mindfulness practice:

Mount Shuksan in the Pacific Northwest
Try this SAVOR technique practice

If back to school season has you wanting to "get back on track" with eating and exercise...Consider your motivations by taking a mindful minute to SAVOR

  • Stop = you've been running on autopilot all summer long

  • Awareness = maybe you're feeling chaotic with food (and in your nervous system) - having gone from one thing to another all season; summer events, traveling, hosting guests, and navigating family dynamics

  • Validate = your nervous system has been on overdrive with everything going on and you haven't had a minute to call your own in what feels like FOREVER

  • Options = you could jump on the "get back on track with your weight loss goals this fall" bandwagon


  • You could take some time for yourself (even 10 minutes!) to check in and see what you really need...downtime, writing reflections in your journal, spending time in nature, catching up with a friend, taking a nap, etc

  • Reflect and Release = this is a judgment-free zone. It doesn't matter what you chose above as long as you reflect on your motivations and experiences in the past.

What do you like about going on a structured lifestyle wellness program? What don't you like?

If you focus your energy on behaviors that feel rejuvenating regardless of their impact on your weight or body size, how does that feel in your body?

Getting back personal time doesn't have to mean getting back to body fixing. It can mean getting back to body respect and body peace.

Kickstart your solo time, mindfulness practice, by downloading this workbook, 6 Simple Strategies to Savor Food without Guilt.

You can find additional resources and support by listening to the Savor Food and Body Podcast with weekly-ish episodes on how to ditch dieting and start nourishing your body, mind, and spirit. Listen here.