At this time of year many of us are thinking about our new year’s resolution, your social media feeds will be boasting various headlines promising fat blasting secrets or weight loss tips. “Drop 7 pounds in 7 days!” “New Year New Slim body” “Top diets for 2017” “Sexiest. Body. Ever. 4 Steps. 6 Minutes a day.” It feels inescapable. Along with these headlines comes pictures of men and women in perfect shapes, which convince us that to be happy in 2017 we need bodies to match.
Before social media became so pervasive, we were exposed to photos of perfect airbrushed models and celebrities with unattainable bodies only through traditional advertising such as magazines. These days we are constantly exposed to them 24/7, wherever we are. The line between the real world and the virtual world has blurred, meaning we are exposed to a variety of sociocultural influences at all times, even when we are physically alone.
The more time we spend on the same social media sites, the more standardised and homogenised our understanding of social reality is. Through these virtual means we then begin to believe that this is what normal people look like, and it is those unrealistic images that we see in the media that contribute to our desire to be slim and perfectly toned – to eventually develop a self-destructive sense of self. There is always something wrong with how we look, but never anything wrong with our online friends or the celebrities whom we admire.
It needs to be pointed out that whilst this does effect men this seems to be more of an issue for women, who have typically been known to critique themselves and others with regard to weight and physical appearance. The more media a woman consumes, the more likely she is to understand those images as her reality – no matter what the medium. This is not healthy, not healthy at all.
So back to the topic of New Years Resolution’s, perhaps you are thinking that that this year you are going to diet and exercise and lose weight? To get that perfect body that you desire?
Let’s take a step back and think about things for a minute.
Is going on ANOTHER starvation diet and depleting your body of energy and good food going to make you REALLYhappy and be sustainable?
Is beating yourself up in the gym every day because you are trying to get the body you see on your Instagram feed REALLY going to make you happy and have the best 2017?
Is burning yourself out after two weeks of chronic cardio and dieting beneficial? When you actually needed a hot bath and a good night’s sleep.
What if I told you that you would be happier in 2017 if you made your New Year’s Resolution about self care, not about weight loss.
Could it be possible that in the first place, your body insecurities, weight issues and eating problems could be coming from a lack of self worth, self confidence and self care?
Rather than focusing on what “diet” you are going to go on to lose weight Why not choose this year to nourish your body with good food, that in the right amount gives you the fuel needed to thrive but not hold onto excess pounds?
Why not choose to move your body right, go outside, get some fresh air, boost your immunity, lower stress and get your blood pumping.
Why not choose to move your body in a way that develops strength, power, speed, mobility, endurance, cardio, agility and balance and doesn’t leave you ruined and fearing your next workout, but instead gets you fired up and excited about tomorrows new challenge.
Why not choose to stop comparing yourself to the unattainable images you see on your social media feeds, to ignore false claims made by the diet industry. To cut out negative influences and people from your life and embrace those that make smile and feel incredible.
Why not chose to put down that phone, shut that laptop and focus on your life rather than everyone else’s?
I get caught up in this too, running an online business marketed almost entirely via social media means you have to portray an image of what your target audience wants to be.
But I want to pride myself on being real, that’s why the pictures that you see of me wont be touched up, staged or overly exposing. I still have my wobbly bits and cellulite that quite honestly is never going to disappear. If I bend over or sit down, there will still be some (small) fat rolls that appear. These are the things that I can’t change or I am not prepared to change due to the vast social sacrifice for insignificant contribution to my happiness. So my New Years resolution is certainly not going to be to work on my thigh gap or fitting in to a size 0.
Instead I will be working on things that add value to my life, not subtract from it. I already eat well and exercise right but I tend to let my self care slip by working too much, not taking breaks, not going on holiday and not getting enough sleep. I could go on but I think that you get the picture.
So, although I look after myself in terms of food and exercise, which are brilliant foundations, there are some HUGE gaps in terms of my self care regime.
So instead of choosing “I want to lose weight” as your New Year Resolution, why not choose to LOVE YOURSELF, to stop comparing yourself to others, to look after yourself and to listen to your body and put it’s needs first?
If you want some help with this, I have got your back with all of it and much more in my nutrition coaching programs.
Yes, I deal with nutrition and lifestyle coaching but it is so much more than just that…
Remember, no one is happy and smiling 24/7. Who is going to post pictures of themselves alone, crying into a pillow? Who is going to post pictures of their fat roles and stretch marks? Who is going to actually tell Facebook “what’s on their mind?” And who is going to “check-in” and say “in the kitchen binging on food”? No one.
So, focus on loving yourself and then everything else will begin to fall into place.
Here’s to a fantastic 2017!
Country Fit Life