Hello lovely people. and happy 2018!!
I hope you’ve all had a great start to the new year. As grey, cold and miserable as January can be…I have to say, I do really like this time of year. It always feels like an exciting, fresh start, and such a great time to think about all the things you want to achieve. For me, getting back in to my blog is one of the main things – I’ve missed it so much. I’m determined to get back to posting regularly, and hopefully helping you out in some way 🙂
As it is January, I’m sure you are all very familiar with the concept of “new year, new you”. It’s thrown in our faces enough! And while it’s great to think about all the positive things you want to do and achieve…I do think that this message can be a dangerous one, especially if you’re someone who experiences problems with eating. Because obviously, the idea behind these messages is that it’s time to make some huge changes to your diet and your lifestyle. As someone who has struggled massively with eating in the past (and still does), these messages can be extremely overwhelming and confusing. So I thought it was a really important thing to have a chat about!
Unfortunately, we do live in an age where these messages are constantly being thrown at us anyway. There’s always some new diet to try, some new food group to avoid, some filtered picture of a celebrity who will make you feel like your own body isn’t good enough. We’re constantly made to feel like we need to spend 20 hours a day in the gym, and that eating carbs is a crime you will have to pay for. All of this is so often the main cause of an eating disorder in the first place…it certainly was for me. I got totally sucked into the whole “clean eating, clean living” mind set. Which don’t get me wrong, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you get the balance right, it’s great. But I let it take over my life, and make me very unwell. So this time of year can be very difficult – especially if you’re surrounded by people going “right that’s it, I need to get fit, I’m going to lose loads of weight.”
The really important thing to remember is, if you’re recovering from an eating disorder, these messages are not aimed at you. I know it’s hard to remember when it’s being so rammed down your throat all the time…but whenever I feel like I’m letting it get to me, I just try and remember how far I’ve already come on this journey. This time last year, I was six stone, and utterly miserable. Now I’m healthier than I’ve been in years, and I know that I don’t ever want to go back to how I was before. So I just have to remember it’s so important not to let all these messages drag me back in to that.
Wherever you are in your own journey, just always hold on to what you’re working towards. And that is having a healthy body, so you can live life properly, and enjoy every second of it. All of these magazines, blogs and adverts that are trying to tell you to change…they have no idea what you’re going through, or what you’re trying to achieve. Yes, they’re telling you to get “healthy”….but you just need to remember what being healthy means for you right now, not the rest of the world. And that probably isn’t joining a gym, or doing a 5:2 diet.
But even if you’ve never been through an eating disorder, or maybe you are doing a little January health-kick (which fundamentally, there’s nothing wrong with)…I just think it’s so important to remember that you must not let yourself be made to feel that you’re not “acceptable” as you are now.
I’m not going to lie…I absolutely hate the expression, “New year, new you”. Because it instantly just makes you think “New me? That must mean there’s something wrong with me now, that I need to change”. Which just is not true. Like I said, I’m not saying health kicks are totally bad. And if you want to introduce some healthy habits into your life, like going to an exercise class or eating a bit healthier, then that’s great. Just as long as you’re always doing it for you, and you enjoy it, not to please the rest of the world. Because at the end of the day, if it doesn’t make you feel good, then really what’s the point?
Remember, the underlying message of everything you’re seeing and reading at the moment is “Be healthy”. And it’s just about remembering that “being healthy” is such a personal thing, and your own needs will be completely different to anyone else’s. And if you’re going through an eating disorder…your needs certainly aren’t “more gym and less food!” Your needs are taking care of yourself, repairing your body by nourishing it with good food, and giving yourself much more love. In fact…these are your needs, regardless of any kind of food issues! Honestly, give yourself more love, do the things you enjoy…and you won’t ever feel the need to change anything.
So yes, remember…a new year does not call for a new you. You are beautiful already.
All the love,