It’s undoubtedly the worst time of the year if you, like me, are desperately trying not to stray from your path adorned with self-love and body positivity. For what feels like the 74 weeks of January, we’ve been subjected to ‘New Year, New Me’ posts and pictures and declarations of sheer joy over directly funding and contributing to the patriarchal structures that thrive of our insecurities just so you could lose 6lbs in one week.
I haven’t lost any weight this year. People are actually saying that like it’s the most terrible thing to happen. Gross, I know, considering it’s been 2020 for one month and nobody actually gives a shit, so you might as well start liking yourself as you are. Instead of making and breaking flimsy resolutions and vowing to plunge yourself in a negative mental health state by possessively tracking calories and lbs, why not push against the mould and break free in 2020? It is the turn of a new decade, after all.
Loving yourself is the greatest revolution. Sounds like a lame Paperchase postcard, doesn’t it? But it’s somewhat true. Somewhat purely because it shouldn’t be a revolution, it should be commonplace. Shouldn’t be, but is. Seriously, think about how many heinous businesses (as mentioned above, all of which profit DIRECTLY from making people feel like they aren’t good enough, and should change to fit society’s impossible beauty standards) would go out of business if we all just tried to love ourselves a little bit more. And I really mean a little bit. Because, trust me, it’s a journey. And there probably is no end destination because, much like your body, it is ever changing. Loving yourself will never be about rolling out of bed and feeling overjoyed by what you see in the mirror day in, day out. It’s about appreciating and respected the body that houses you. It’s about learning the natural changes your body is destined to make, and learning to roll with them. It is step by step, minute by minute type shit. And rushing it doesn’t make sense.
Enjoy getting to know your body. Take a few minutes every day to look at it, think about all it does for you and start to select parts which appeal to you the most. For example, today my hair looked great and I accomplished almost all of my ‘to do’ list before lunch. Today, I am thankful for excellent genetics, honey & ginger shampoo and my brain. Yesterday, my legs looked great in the skirt I wore to work. I was thankful that they looked amazing, but also that they carried me throughout the day, and have done for the past 25 years. Start small, it can be something as trivial as your nail polish really working with your skin tone. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you’re speaking to yourself kindly and respectfully.
So, I’m still fat. And I’m OK with that. I’m not the heaviest I’ve ever been, but I’m far from the lightest, either. I refuse to diet. I know in myself I am making healthy decisions, trying to eat as much veg as I can, cut down on sugar (for PCOS reasons, mainly), I’m in the gym more than I deem enjoyable purely because I want to live past 50, and I’m trying to eliminate stress, get more sleep and drink more water. These things are generally positive for your health and wellbeing and future, right? And I have no issues with people committing to similar life changes or changing their behavioural traits to positively impact their future. I want you all to live long, happy and healthy lives. I just don’t want you to have wasted half of it panicking that you aren’t skinny enough or crying over not being able to get back into ‘those jeans’. This. Is. So. Cliched. I know that, OK? But rest easy knowing that if I want a Friday breakfast hot-dog or 4 bottles of Malbec with my besties followed by a (very) large cheesy chips? I’d be a fool to deny myself. And so would you.
Stop labelling food groups. Shall we start there? There are no ‘bad’ and ‘good’ food groups. You’re not ‘naughty’ for eating ice cream. Satisfying your craving for pizza isn’t a ‘cheat day’. Listen to your body, and respond accordingly. Don’t feel guilty for satisfying your cravings. Make a mental note of what makes you feel more/less energized and improves the experience of your day. Go by that, and not by what Instagram fitness gurus have told you that you should eat and avoid. Also, quinoa is fucking rank. Sorry.
This isn’t meant to be a long-ass rant, I promise (lol). I just want you to live your very best lives. And, honey, it ain’t gonna happen if you’re buried in My Fitness Pal 24/7 and denying yourself of your favourite foods.