Hello babes! Yer fave Auntie is back and we’re gonna dig into the lie that is New Year New Me horse shit.
Up front let’s establish where I am coming from okay?
- I do not believe that fat is bad.
- I do not believe that weightloss and dieting is inherently good.
- I do not believe that there is one size fits all everyone should have a six pack and thigh gap type of health.
- I believe that it is deeply harmful to conflate health with appearance, weight or influencer status.
- I believe that everyone has a right to do what is best for their body and not have to frame it in a way that is hateful towards themselves, shameful towards themselves or in any other way that holds to the idea that, you MUST hate your body and always be trying to change it.
- I believe that we all deserve to engage with or not engage with wellness as we please.
OKAY now we have that out of the way.
Here is the problem with wellness as it is presented especially this time of year. The idea that we should be ashamed of the bodies we live in because they don’t aesthetically appear to be healthy, is abuse. Health is not an insta look. It is not the dehydrated fitness influencer sucking it in on the beach and face tuning their ass.
Change by itself is great. Change that is fueled by culturally approved self harm and self hate is not.
I come at this from the perspective of someone who will never, ever ever be the “healthy” ideal. Even when I have been thinner, I have not been a healthy person in the context of the idea that there is one true way to be healthy. I want y’all to take a second and think about what health is to you.
Does it mean you’re drinkin your water, doing what body movement you love, feeling the fuck out of your feelings and eating stuff that makes you feel nourished? Or is health to you the Get Thin Or Die Tryin mentality?
This time of year, we’re pressured to conform. We’re all supposed to decide to be skinny butterflies and go hard at the gym and restrict what we eat and really abuse ourselves into looking healthy. Is your engagement with these things based on wanting to look like X youtuber or X fitness model on instagram? Is your engagement based on being ashamed that you don’t eat X superfood or you don’t do X diet?
Rather than abusing ourselves with ALL of these often unattainable lifestyles and health goals, what if we do something else?
Rather than going with the, OMG SO FAT MUST LOSE IT ALL and going buck wild with your diet and exercise, what if instead you try this.
Look at your body and say, yo we don’t get along and I kind of hate you but here is some fuckin water. Or WOW I love you thighs, how good does this stretch/run/squat feel? FUCK WE ARE AMAZING LET’S DO MORE OF THAT.
You see what I did there?
None of us have to engage in these extremes of motivation for change. You don’t have to project or enact self-hatred and self-harm in order to look a way that let’s be real, you probably won’t ever. It is okay. All of our bodies are different. We are each our own weird little biological stew of weirdness.
Some of us are disabled. Some of us have chronic illnesses. Some of us don’t want to be doing Iron mans or whatever. That is natural. That is good. That is fine.
Here’s the thing. Self-hatred can only take you so far. I’ve been there. Shame is not a great lifestyle and rather than trying to shame yourself out of having the body you have right now, what if you didn’t?
What if you decided that even if you’re not ready to love your body yet, you still want it to be as okay as it can be. So maybe you drink more water. Do some yoga. Dance. Do crossfit. Whatever. I’m not saying that making fitness goals or nutrition goals are bad in and of themselves, for some of us goals are magic.
What I am saying is that, here in 2020 try a new approach. Try a new thought.
For me I am doing something. I’m looking at the ways my nutrition can help me be in less pain, feel satiated when I eat, help me have good regular poops.
I am worried about my body so I want to try and help my chunky friendo feel better. I don’t hate my big jiggly thighs, and I am not going to hate them into being something else.
I have a challenge for you.
If you are looking at health and fitness stuff, if you’re on Instagram or youtube pining for that body/lifestyle try this exercise while you’re comparing your meat vehicle to another person. Ask yourself:
- Do I live in that body?
- Do I have access to the same level of food quality and quantity, trainers, chefs, gyms, equipment, and support in order to DO the things it takes to have that kind of body?
- Is this an advertisement?
- Is what this person does sustainable?
If you are a journaling type, I suggest writing them down. Otherwise just, slow it down when you feel that (and no lie I feel it too sometimes) pull and shame that you don’t have that body/do what that person does.
Next exercise try this.
Instead of letting yourself fall down a shame hole because your ass doesn’t look like so and so’s ass, remind yourself that barring full on ass theft, you cannot have their ass. Your ass is your ass. Their ass is their ass. Instead of hating that your ass is not their ass, if you want to change your ass, focus on the things you can achieve.
Maybe instead of changing your habits or diet or how you exercise based off of shame and self-loathing, try celebrating. I personally am pretty excited that even with my shitty ass back pain, I am a little closer to being able to touch my toes again when I stretch.
New Year doesn’t mean you are obligated to publicly flog yourself for not being some whole ass other person. You really don’t.