Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping to support and drive my ambition to become a writer in my spare time. It really is a passion I hold close to my heart, so it means the world to me that people take the time out of their day to read some of the content which I publish here on this very blog; a place I have found comfort and solitude in for the majority of 2018.
Secondly, I would like to congratulate you all for making it through 2018 – as after all, we all need reminding that recovery and pursuing happiness is worth it, and that you’re never alone in your struggles. I hope y’all had a fabulous year, but of course this isn’t the case for many, but that’s okay. I still hope you can be gentle and understanding with yourself if your year didn’t meet up to your expectations.
This hereby leads me onto the T.O.C. and theme for todays post…NY resolutions, and why I f*cking hate the living sh*te out of them.
So let’s get started shall we?!
Sounds perfect, what a tradition western culture has upheld(!)
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, or know the theme of the ‘From Bud to Bloom’ blog, you’ll know that I am a determined mental health advocate – and as someone who has experienced multiple mental illnesses and issues surrounding adjustment and change, resolutions are something which have been a troublesome bugbear for me.
In 2015 I developed anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and body dysmorphia – which I used as a coping mechanism to help unconsciously produce a sense of control when in other areas of my life, I felt helpless, dependent, isolated, and burdened with the implications of major surgery and chronic pain. I was a broken woman at the point, and over the past 3 years I have worked on healing from that trauma.
Therefore as a sufferer of S.A.D and eating disorders, it’s not hard to understand why the new years resolutions and unhealthy advertisement of weight loss and body image negatively affected me for many years; and all of the other individuals, especially women, who have eating disorders, other mental health problems, or experience body insecurities. The chances are you fall into the statistics. Yet a lot of society still make said resolutions…but ‘are they not good for you though(?)’, well let us begin…
The standardised way for the majority of people to create and maintain resolutions, is to think what you want to stop doing, or what they wish to lose. The big three which you hear about each year are ‘losing weight, eating healthy, and working out’. Now why are our mindsets and the subsequent parasitic products which benefit from them, toxic?
Number one – negative language
By using negative language such as ‘cutting out’ and ‘restricting’, we unconsciously reinforce the negative consequences of our actions if they were to fail. Thus, increasing the intensity of our will and the subsequent fear of failing to achieve them. However by using said negative language, we are (ironically so) less likely to achieve goals, as our rationale is already impaired.
Number two – doing it for what reason exactly?
Rather than using language like ‘become healthier’ or ‘feel more energised’ which could come from losing weight under medical supervision and instruction in a positive manner (if advised to do so), we oftentimes wish to lose weight for superficial purposes. Now I am in no means trying to disregard your personal body insecurities, because I know how f*cking torturous they can become if given free rein. However if we intend to lose weight for a materialised purpose, we run the risk of, a) relying upon it as a coping strategy and developing dependency upon weight loss; b) misinterpret the reasons behind our insecurities and never feel fully satisfied with the end product; and/or c) risk your mental and dietary health needs in the process.
Only lose weight for health purposes. Not mental health purposes because TRUST ME, weight and mental health don’t have a biological relationship, our issues surrounding our body image stem from other sources.
Therefore if you are to lose weight, do it like I’ve eloquently detailed numerous times throughout the post thus far, do so under a doctors or dietitian’s advice, and seek the support of a nutritional therapist in the meantime; to ensure you either develop, or maintain a positive relationship with food, and that any mental issues are addressed in a safe, professional environment. We all want to be healthy, so strive for health and not to ‘lose weight’ because trust me, on this, that doesn’t necessarily equate to health under any definition.
Number three – the solution for resolutions
I truly believe modern-day resolution culture requires a revolution. Let’s evolve and bring positive, self-actualising beliefs into 2019 to allow for personal development, and a change of mindset regarding your expectations of the self.
What would you like to improve or introduce in the new year?
When asking ourself what you want to stop or lose in the new year, let’s bring positive language into our vernacular, and instead ask yourself” what would I like to improve upon this year”, ie. a skill or aspect of your life, “or introduce into your life”, ie. a new hobby, and goals to try to achieve within the year.
Things to remember…
- Don’t be hard on yourself, it’s pointless because positive encouragement is even more successful and has no negative effects unlike self-criticism and self-punishment.
- Set goals without a time frame, but think of little milestones to work towards until you reach an end point. This way you don’t feel unneccessary pressure to achieve goals
- Reward your positive changes or milestones, it works as an act of self-motivation and improves one’s ability to identify self-achievements.
Number four – time to reflect
In 2019 I shall reflect more on the happenings of life, and try my best to track different positive aspects of my day to allow for the eradication of B&W thinking. However, by reflecting on 2018 I’m able to identify the improvements, achievements, lessons, and self-discoveries I have made, and adapt them into the new goals I have set for myself during 2019; to allow for a continuous self-growth.
- Gather a notepad and a pen and set aside some time for you to reflect upon your 2018. The good and the bad, but focus on the positives you have derived from the difficulties, and the achievements, lessons, and skills you have acquired. They don’t have to be large, the little things are sometimes the most important aspects of life, without them we don’t always have a solid foundation.
So if you understand more about yourself and have worked on improving your mental health and self-perception – that’s amazing! You don’t just have to note down ‘big events’ such as buying a car, or achieving good grades in school; your year isn’t made up solely of these occasions.
New year, same you – just with different ambitions…right?
I’m sending you all of my love and positivity for the new year ahead.