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Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt

Every time the year ends and another begins I feel energised and hopeful. 'Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt' is a German saying that means ‘hope dies last’. I like that saying because it conveys the message that whatever the situation, whatever has happened, there is always hope that things will get better again. I know this is a bit cheesy, especially when tied to the new year, but without hope there wouldn’t be activism, research, or progress. On a personal level, I love the new year as an opportunity to try new things, have a whole new year as a blank canvas that I can design as I wish and that beckons with new adventures. (Didn’t quite work out last year with a pandemic thrown into the mix, but let’s hope that 2021 will be different!!)

To go back to the topic of hope: While we can hope for big things like world peace, stopping the pandemic in its tracks, saving the environment, or an end to oppression of all forms, some of these things are sadly not within our immediate control. And whilst we need to work together to get the big shit done, we can also look at things we can control and that we can change for ourselves. That way we can dismantle structures that don’t serve us and pave the way for others to follow suit.

I wish for peace, of course! But apart from a peaceful world, as an intuitive eating counsellor I wish that people wake up to the fact that life is precious (and short, as many of us have found out this year), and that wasting our time fighting with our bodies, with food and with people who tell us we need to shrink/modify our bodies is harmful and takes our attention away from what really matters: being ourselves unapologetically, living our best lives, loving and laughing, getting angry and fighting against injustice and being free from oppressive rules (including those of diet culture).

My hope is that more people will open their minds to different ideas in the nutrition arena and find a path that doesn’t judge, but that is curious, that doesn’t restrict, but that permits, that doesn’t moralise, but that wakes up the spirit. My hope is also that those that have it within their power will use the increasing body of scientific evidence to inform their policies, their practices and their recommendation so that everyone feels like they are important, valued and cared for.

I would love for the intuitive eating and Health at Every Size® Community to grow, to become more vocal, and to help people find a way out of the rabbit hole that dieting has dug for them.

These are massive shifts for individuals and societies, but if we start with ourselves we can spread the word and lead by example. Have a look at my blog on role modelling and food neutrality for more on how we can do that. Making changes for ourselves and working out how to be at peace with ourselves will inevitably have an impact on the people around us, and that can then spread to our communities and eventually have a ripple effect on society as well. I have hope for things to move in a direction that will be beneficial for individuals as well as the collective.

Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt!

Have a happy and peaceful new year, love to you all,

Ela x

Ela Law Nutrition, Sevenoaks, Kent, UK

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