Given my very addictive and impulsive personality, I can already feel the pressure of trying to become a ‘New Me’. If I can feel this pressure, then I have no doubts that many others will be feeling this too.
In addition to my vulnerable personality, my past experience of compulsive exercise and restrictive eating followed by purging is also trying to show it’s ugly head again – and whilst I can safely say I have this under control, again I think of those that may not yet have the tools to deal with the pressures 2019 will undoubtedly present.
I am writing this as a message to anyone who may feel that they have to introduce a newer, stricter exercise regime into their life when they bring in the New Year. Or perhaps they want to start on a ‘healthy eating’ pathway towards weight loss with the idea of becoming more accepted.
Society certainly seems to be moving in the right direction with regards to positive body image, however New Year seems to be a time where it becomes acceptable and encouraged to over-exercise and take diets to the extreme. Often you might get a ‘well done’ or ‘I don’t know how you do it’ which can make you feel accomplished and proud.
However, when did it become OK to congratulate people for their attempts to become some sort of ‘super human’ – trying to manage their jobs, families, friends and REST alongside working out everyday and restricting their intake to however many calories have been advised to lose however much weight in a short space of time?
Not only this, the majority of us are constantly exposed to advertisements and posts on social media that promote this ‘New Year, New Me’ which most of us associate with weight loss and diets.
Following all the hype – it then seems to continue into the ‘Summer Body’ posts that are relentless and overwhelming.
These pressures will remain throughout the year, and my way of dealing with this is the classic ‘you do you’. I’ll do what works for me, and remember myself and my values along the way.
All this being said, I do think it can be useful for some people to set themselves small goals throughout the year that work to their advantages and personal qualities. New Year can be a good time to start a new hobby that you know makes you feel happy – if you are doing it for you and only you. Don’t be fooled by that voice in the back of your head – that’s not you.
So to end with a question.
What have YOU enjoyed doing in 2018 and can YOU build on that?
Do more of what you love in 2019.