I really do. And it’s not just because the cold and dark. It’s because as a fitness person, it’s supposed to be a high peak month. I’m supposed to cash in on the desperate new-Resolutioners. I’m supposed to have lots of content telling people to join my group or my courses. And my social media feeds are of course full of people telling me to buy their products, join their courses, or their groups…
There’s nothing wrong with this of course. Sellers gotta sell. But there’s a lot of messaging that really winds my up. I spend my time scrolling past adverts / posts going “ugh” and “ffs”….
There’s the unrealistic expectations type of posts: buy this and lose 24 lbs in 0.2 nano seconds.
There’s the guilt inducing posts: did you over-indulge in the Christmas season? You better do my detox…
There’s the preying on your self-doubt posts: You failed last year to achieve your goals… Why is this year going to be any different?
There’s the body positive posts: you’re perfect as you are and you don’t need to diet or exercise. Or even that diets and exercise are somehow bad for your self worth.
Here’s the thing:
• I think it is possible to simultaneously love your body and to want to improve it.
• I think it is possible to simultaneously appreciate what it can do and to want to do more.
• You can be happy with who you are and still want to be better.
It’s perfectly natural to use early January as a time for reflection and goal setting. But if you’re looking to improve your health and fitness, I’d urge you to start from a place of acceptance and self-love. Losing weight doesn’t require self-loathing. Getting healthy doesn’t require guilt or shaming.
OK Chris, this is sounding a bit too woo-woo for you. So here’s what it actually means in practice.
- Check how you talk to yourself. Talk to yourself like you’re your best supporter, your best cheerleader. Or I saw a meme recently that said, talk to yourself like you’re a puppy. “Clever girl, you’re doing so well, you’re so cute, good job.”
- Carve out a time for yourself. We spend so much time running after our kids, spouse or boss. But how much actual time do you spend doing “you”?
- Let yourself off the hook. So you ate a biscuit while your toddler had a hissy fit. And? It happens. Next time you might do better. Everyone makes mistakes or struggles at some things, it’s natural.
- Practice gratitude for yourself and your body. Instead of focusing on what you perceive to be ‘wrong’ with you, focus on all of the amazing things you do have to offer. Love your body, have fun with it, take care of it and feel appreciation for all of the wonderful things it enables you to do…
And whilst there’s alot of pressure to get fit, lose weight, be your best self bla, bla… Ask yourself: do I really want to be on a diet? Do I have the right mindset right now? Have I got the time and resources to devote to this? Otherwise you’re really just setting yourself up for failure. You don’t HAVE to be on a diet in January, despite what everyone on Instagram is saying!