A NEW year a NEW you?
It's that time of year again - the month of fitness and dieting fads that promote new ways of living and eating in order to rid ourselves of the guilt of overindulging at Christmas and new year.
Even though we are only in the middle of January, many of us will have already been bombarded with a mass of messages to tell us to "get slimmer" "slash body weight" "drop a dress/jean size" "lose the flab" "buy a fitness dvd" "invest in the latest juicer or smoothie maker" ....
A bundle full of empty promises that likely lead to reductions in our self-compassion and self-worth (as well as any remaining pennies) rather than our actual body weight.
Our health may even suffer as a result, as we are constantly reminded that we are not quite good enough - at least not until we have forked out even more money to buy into the latest dieting or fitness trend.
We are also manipulated into being overly strict with ourselves, so when life does get tough and we use food or opting out of our usual fitness regime as a way to manage our emotions, we beat ourselves up about it and feel guilty - perhaps even to a point where we want to eat more food or restrict it to an amount that limits our ability to thrive and live life to the full ....
What these messages don't tell us is that we already deserve to be loved and have good relationships in life. This doesn't depend on the nutrients you eat, what you weigh, or the shape of your body. Who you are goes much much deeper than that, as does you overall wellbeing.
Don't be tricked into believing that becoming a certain size or getting that perfect body will lead to happiness - and plenty of research shows that it won't - not unless we appreciate ourselves from the inside out.
This is not to say that any lifestyle change is bad for our health, but truth of the matter is that as soon as we start accepting and loving ourselves, the less anxious we will feel around meeting the expectations of others, and the less we will rely on unhealthy behaviours as a coping mechanism for stress.
Thankfully though, you don't have to buy into these fads. We have a choice to say no to buying fitness DVDs, unnecessary dieting equipment, or expensive superfood powders and dieting pills.
I want you to know that we, as compassionate human beings, have the power to invest that money and time into changing our perceptions of who we actually are - i.e. people who can give and be loved, while living more compassionately with themselves and others.
So this year, why not let your resolution be to say:
- NO to fad diets
- NO to detoxing
- NO to feeling victimised by the diet and fitness industry
- NO to guilt and shame around food and your body