It’s January and everyone’s talking about making 2018 count. It’s a new year, a new beginning, and time for a fresh start. 2017 was, no doubt, a tempestuous year and 2018 aches to be better. The beginning of a New Year can present us with an opportunity to reflect on the year, and set goals for the next twelve months. There’s a lot riding on January 1st – you can give up something toxic, and you can start something new. It’s the only socially acceptable time to admit you’re not really proud of yourself. You can try to be something better. As much as there are myths of resolutions lasting for only a few weeks, there are success stories, too, and it can be nicely intoxicating to be swept up in all the aspiration and inspiration.
Though it can get a little too intoxicating. Getting swept up in lofty expectations can lead to a mid-year shame spiral. Yet on December 31st, everyone wants to know what your goals for the next year are, and so you set a goal, despite the fact that nothing’s really real about it all and everyone around you is insisting it is. You’re a bit too conscious of the passing time to really be comfortable.
When people are discussing new year’s resolutions, morals get threaded in A LOT. It makes sense – whenever in a year are people really consciously and collectively trying to be better? Be more charitable, be kinder, be more generous, so far so good. Yet often whispered at the end, is be… slimmer. That one is the one that gets pumped on all the adverts and pasted across tube station stops, like the infamous beach body ready poster by Protein World. All the diet chat is like a little gremlin sitting on the corner of your TV screen chanting “lose weight! Eat less! Lose weight!” Every time you think about fixing yourself a plate of leftovers. Suddenly eating a plate of food becomes incredibly complicated to the point that it can become unbearable.
Here’s your reminder that the beach body ready woman isn’t necessarily aspirational. The highlight reel you just saw on pretty much everyone’s Instagram story is not your life and it doesn’t have to be, either. There’s stuff that slips through the cracks and gets cut out of Instagram highlight reels and Twitter moments because it doesn’t photograph well, or isn’t succinct enough to strap into 280 characters. Often this is the best stuff. Or perhaps, it’s just the “life” stuff that we forget happens to everyone because it keeps getting filtered out.
Set yourself goals if you want to. Have them be to do with your body if that’s what you think will make you happy and content. Most importantly of all, be kind to yourself. At the end of the day, pounds don’t matter. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of yourself, or at least proud of your determination to do better, then you’re on the right track.
Written by Rochelle Asquith