WHEN NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS DON'T FOCUS ON CHANGING YOUR BODY WHAT DO THEY FOCUS ON?
I don't plan to lose weight this year.
It seems strange because for about 20 years that was my plan every January. Sometimes I managed it and sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I even pretended it was about getting fit. It wasn't.
The Chachi Power Project is almost 2 years old now and so this has been my 2nd January where I'm reconciling with myself afresh that my body may never be smaller. I am pretty honest so I want to share that sometimes the fear of that reality is more overwhelming than the relief I have of not being in a constant struggle with my body. It's very frustrating that this little 'thin' monster still has control over my brain at times.
Luckily I am sensible and I give myself a moment to have a reality check and remind myself where those thoughts stem from.
And thankfully I then, and hopefully will always, realise that Body Positivity, body acceptance and self respect is CORRECT and capitalist messaging, diet culture and fabricated patriarchal beauty standards... are INCORRECT.
And that means I will never delve back into any form of self loathing that might put me on a diet train.
It also helps that I have two full years of lived existence where my mental health (and even my physical health) is better because I actually love my body and show it love and respect every day.
I can honestly say I am grateful for the body that I have currently, today, right now, this moment. Wow it makes me so happy to be able to write that statement.
This post of mine from a few months back has been re-shared quite a wee bit in the past few days (thanks to @thevagaggle and @thefuckitdiet to name a few...) as clearly when January hits, all the Instagram sponsored posts seem to be diet related and the Slimming World leaflets are dive bombed over our houses and through our letter boxes.
Just a reminder that if you want to better yourself then start with small changes to your behaviours. Pick healthy behaviours, not weight loss goals. Slim doesn't mean healthy if slim comes with disordered eating, obsessive actions, time away from your friends and loved ones and a dash of misery.
Look after your mental health and your physical health and choose what works for you because you should know something: the diet industry does not care about you.
It is now the beginning of January and I want to get excited about the year ahead and make plans and perhaps hold myself accountable too. 35 years old is weird. Time is moving ridiculously fast and if I don't have a little push then sometimes it feels that the months wizz by. Anyone else not quite believe that it is 2019 already? Yeah, me neither.
The one thing I do loathe about New Year Resolutions is when a cute, fun, helpful idea turns into a great big beast that you resent or hate yourself a little, for not achieving.
Luckily I don't tend to have this problem because I have things I wanted to achieve on lists in the notes section of my phone from 2013 which weren't completed and I've forgotten about them.... Ha! Remember: if you know you struggle with this sort of thing then remember to go easy on yourself if coming up with goal for 2019 or write down things which are much more open like 'meditate when I can' rather than 'meditate every day'.
Really, I just LOVE making lists and thinking big and seeing what I might be able to bring into my year. That's my plan for today... make a big list and see what weird stuff I can come up with to bring some joy into my 2019.
I'm also not a big fan of looking back even though loads of people say you should take stock and pat yourself on the back for what you have achieved.
Not to be big headed but I am quite proud of all I did in 2018. I used to have mini melt downs when I thought I wasn't doing enough or creating enough or pushing enough but pretty much all my days of the past year were jam packed with people and places and work and events and laughs and tears. I'm making an income, I am happy, so the only thing I need to do is remind myself I'm doing just fine and to look forward.
Writing that down also helped and you can remind me about this when I have my first mini melt down of 2019 in about 3.5 weeks.
I have asked my Insta followers what they plan for 2019 and I AM INSPIRED! From conceiving babies to reading books to giving up smoking to learning to sail to creative writing to no more single use plastics to more activism to more physical activity to making bread to learning to drive and more!
I've also noticed how some personalities in the Body Positivity, Mental Health or Wellbeing communities approach resolutions and wanted to point you in some different directions so you can get inspired too!
Here are four interesting ways to dream, act or think your way to a more positive 2019:
What does 2019 have in store for me?!
1. Be like me and write a list of the things you want your year to contain. I suppose this is kinda like Resolutions but they are less: 'Write a journal every day' sort of things and more 'wouldn't it be nice if you got to visit your pal in Oxford this year' sort of things...
I think up the things, they go down on the list and it might happen or it might not. With a rule that: I'll be happy if it happens but won't be devastated if I doesn't.
For a taster... Some of my things are: Visit that pal in Oxford. Learn more about, and be in nature regularly. Read the books you have invested in and don't buy more till you have read the ones you already have (I feel my Amazon Wish list is gonna be big in 2019). Cook more vegetarian meals. Get more of my thoughts out of my head and on to paper. Cycle more. Get to grips with Intuitive Eating. Fully commit to great sex (every time). Try to go to Tomatina 2019, Athens and Mexico and perhaps a few more... Oh and a big one for me: make more stuff with my hands.
2. Imogen Fox (aka @the_feeding_of_the_fox) posted a few great ideas on Instagram recently to give suggestions of how your Resolutions could make this world a bit of a better place by facing them outwards. Educating yourself or showing compassion to improve everyone's life including yours. Have a read of them here. I love all of these and they are going on my list too.
3. Callie Thorpe started a #WellnessMyWay hashtag just before the New Year. Due to 'wellness' on TV and in magazine's, especially around January, centering around thin bodies trying to get thinner whilst expanding their butt size with squats... Callie wanted to change what 'wellness' could look like. She encourages us to make it individual and expand it beyond those spin classes you just lurve so much.
4. The Happy New Year Calendar by Action for Happiness is kind of along the same lines of Imogen's idea's mentioned above. The calendar proposes that you take a new action daily for yourself, which, as you will see, will benefit other's around you and beyond.
I love this idea! It suggests a seemingly simple action to complete for every day of January such as: "Thank three people you are grateful to and tell them why" or "Count how many people you smile at today".
I'm defo up for this because the positive, healthy mental and physical behaviours it recommends will definitely make an impact on my wellbeing whilst hopefully enriching my relationships. I'm pretty sure the buzz from doing them will mean I form new habits over time.
Just need to print it out and get it on my bedroom door!
Sending love and light and many good things for your 2019. Life is a rollercoaster but hopefully some healthy behaviours, goals and focussing on the positives makes it an interesting and fun ride.