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Respecting Our Bodies: A Different New Year's Resolution

January 1st....the holidays are done, the trees are coming down, the lights unplugged, and the gifts put away. It is also the time for our well thought out “New years resolutions” to be put into action…or not.

99% of the time, our new year's resolutions include joining a gym or beginning a fitness routine to “shed the weight we gained over the holidays and get ready for summer.” This mindset might seem pretty accurate or normalized to many, because it is. The diet industry is a 70 billion dollar industry making money off of us hating ourselves and our bodies. They are actually designed to fail just to bring you back to another subscription. Yet we continue to blame ourselves for our body’s inability to maintain an unrealistic weight loss.

With all of this said, this does not sound like the way I would like to start off MY new year. Lets flip the script:

Instead of going into the new year, bashing our bodies and putting ourselves through a workout class we cannot stand, how about we add things into our lives that will not only improve our mental well being, but also approach our bodies with respect instead of hatred.

A few tips to work toward body respect:

1. Wear clothes that fit YOUR body

When we try to fit into clothes that no longer serve us, we become fixated and hyper focused on being uncomfortable and just wanting to rip off those damn skinny jeans. It enables the idea that WE have to fit to the clothing, rather than the clothing having to fit US. If we don't feel good in the clothing, why wear it? We don't have to get rid of it completely, just yet, but try going to a favorite store and try on clothes that fit your body, and notice the impact it has on your mood and ability to remain present.

2. Stop weighing yourself everyday!

We are prisoners to the number on the scale, which leads to obsession to reduce the number we see on the screen. Do you know that number is impacted by water intake, salt intake, hormones, stress, muscle composition, and SO much more?! No wonder we never like what we see! Placing more emphasis on the scale, takes away our inner connection to our bodies. Try putting the scale away for 1 week and attempt to reconnect to your body as well as notice the impact on your mood.

3. Try Moving in a way that feels good

Hate cycling? Don't do it! Hate running? Put those sneakers away! We are unfortunately conditioned to view exercise as a punishment for what we ate, and to achieve the ultimate goal of being smaller, rather than what it can do for our mental health and overall physical well being. Might as well find movement you enjoy! I personally love walking and lifting weights. Lifting pushes me to challenge myself and reminds me I am damn powerful. While walking is extremely meditative. What will you try in the new year?

4. Change your thinking

As humans, it is unfortunately normal to talk negatively about ourselves and our bodies. Have you ever thought, “Would I say this to my best friend?” I hope not! So then why say it to ourselves? Next time, catch yourself as you realize you’re thinking negatively about yourself, and switch it to something you appreciate instead. In this process, we are actually changing the neural pathways in our brain to be re-programmed to reduce negative thoughts. Cool huh?!

Whatever your holiday season looks like, and as we look forward into the new year, remember to give yourself grace and compassion in the process. If you’re struggling with negative self talk, poor body image, or want to start off this year differently, there is help and there are resources available. Gooding Wellness and Long Island Teletherapy are here to help you. Feel free to reach out and we can connect you to a therapist to help you reach your goals and become an enhanced you.

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