Yes, you read that correctly. 2017 has arrived and brought with it, once again, the promise of a new start. A chance to wipe the slate clean and recreate a happy new you.
Shop windows are adorned with pictures of salad eating, sportswear clad people utilising all kinds of ungodly exercise equipment. Telling us that we can and more than that, should, starve and sweat our way to being something more desirable.
Adverts for gyms, low fat foods, diet supplements and meal plans all shout the message loud and clear. We need to change. Well I’m saying the only thing we need to change is our attitude towards ourselves.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to improve and grow. By all means if we want to tone up or lose weight or whatever, we should do that. We should however do it because we want to and not because January says we should. As far as health fads and weight loss goes, thin doesn’t necessarily mean happy. I’ve been thin and it was one of the most joyless times in my life. That’s not to say I was miserable because I was thin, that had nothing to do with it, but the two don’t go together and losing 2 stone isn’t going to be the magic wand we are programmed to believe it is.
If we have indulged at Christmas and gained a bit of insulation I’m pretty sure it’s going to drop off once we return to our normal routine. We don’t need to join a gym that we will got to for a month and pay for until the end of the year. We don’t need to starve ourselves with grapefruit diets and carrot sticks. Life is short and you’d better believe I’m going to eat cake!
The most unhealthy thing about a January health kick is the way it can make us feel – like we aren’t okay as we are, we aren’t enough. What is that about? We are fine as we are and we need to celebrate what makes us who we are, not try to change that person.
Happiness comes from within so if you want to throw yourself head first into a pursuit, let it be to find what motivates you, what stirs your soul and makes you excited to get up each day. Or to find a place of quiet contentment within you that you can enjoy in each moment of your being.
Let’s embrace our so called imperfections, they are souvenirs from a life well lived and of lessons learned. They are evidence of our happy moments and our battle scars from victories won. Let’s be proud of all we have achieved, however small or insignificant we might feel it is. It’s brought us here to this moment.
What if instead of trying to change who we are we use that energy to look back at how far we have come? Look at everything we have achieved in the last year and try to build on that. Resolve to accept ourselves and love the bits we struggle to love.
I for one will be happy and comfortable in my size 16 clothes and the body that lies beneath them. As for the person that lives inside all that, well I bloody love her too!
Don’t try to change who you are, celebrate it, because you’re amazing.
Happy New Year Everyone, be kind to yourselves.