It's that time of year again when everywhere I look, I hear about the promises that people are making themselves for the New Year. Every article I read shares tips on how to keep resolutions and if I listen really hard I think I can hear the sound of nutritionists and personal trainers up and down the country rubbing their hands together with anticipation.
I am not exempt from this fad, I've actually found myself getting quite excited about the idea of being healthy, and have been secretly celebrating in the fact that I don't need to get back into the gym until January 1st.
That said, I sort of feel like I need to do something now. Today. Right this minute and it's actually quite panic inducing.
Generally speaking I live a relatively healthy lifestyle, I enjoy (weirdly) going to the gym and I don't feel like a very good human being if I haven't eaten any vegetables in a day. (Tomato on pizza DOES count BTW). If I don't keep an eye on what I am doing, I am prone to getting spots and I do put weight on fairly immediately. I know that the problems are worse in my own head but after a month of stuffing my face, drinking like a fish and never really moving further than from the sofa, to the kitchen and then to bed, I can accept that whilst it's been awesome fun, it's all now finally catching up with me and I'm starting to feel a bit unhappy.
Actually more than a bit. For me at least, having bad skin is the worst, it's something that I am confronted by the minute I look in the mirror and I find myself incapable of seeing beyond it. I feel a similar thing when I put on weight, it hasn't been a massive amount and the scales probably won't terrify me (although I'm yet to get on them), but I just start to feel a bit bleurghhh. My jeans don't really sit comfortably and even in my uniform for this time of year, a baggy jumper, I feel self conscious.
And then I find myself falling into the all too common spiral of despair. I think I'm NEVER going to look good again, my skin will always be like this and I'm only going to get bigger and bigger.
So I start punishing myself.
Rather than doing the sensible thing, which would of course be to DO something about it, I curl myself into a metaphorical ball and start hating myself, which is probably the least constructive thing that you can do. Yet we all do it.
We women spend so much time doing this and it's a vicious circle, because we start to dislike our bodies and get depressed, we then feel tired and drained and like there isn't any point in doing anything because we're way beyond losing weight and by this point we're just a lost cause, right? It is of course at that point that we begin to crave sugar, in order to pick ourselves up again. And so after our head has gone through all of this, on repeat, we're too exhausted to actually do anything about it and so we don't.
Well, I don't anyway.
But I've decided to compare this feeling to a bad haircut, in time, no matter how bad it is, it won't stay that way forever.
You might not feel like you're able to start the diet today, or get into the gym this afternoon, but that's okay because in time, you'll find yourself wanting to do it and excited to start.
I've finally got to this point and am now feeling excited to get back into the gym. My mum and my boyfriend went on a bike ride yesterday and pleaded with me to come with them, but I genuinely wasn't feeling ready. Much like I didn't last week, on Christmas Day (obvi) or the days between then and now.
I don't know what changed, maybe I've finally had enough sleep or maybe I'm just feeling more positive today but I now feel ready and excited about kick starting the exercise again.
I totally accept that I am not going to ditch the muffin top immediately, in fact let's face it, it'll probably still be there at the end of January and then for the rest of my life after that, but I'm really excited to at least get my head back into the game.
If I try today and it doesn't work, then that's okay, but I need to keep reminding myself that if I really want to make a change, then I need to BE the change. (I wish I'd come up with that little nugget of inspiration on my own but I'm sure I've nicked it).
Ultimately I know that if I don't like my hair colour, I can change it, if my skin is really bad, I need to look at my diet, get some fresh air and have a think about my beauty regime and if I want to lose weight, I need to make the effort to actually do it, rather than just wish for it, which I usually end up doing.
We spend so much time putting so much pressure on ourselves. We are of course fed all this bullshit about how we need to look and how we need to do it but really that's bollocks. You and ONLY you know what you need to do and really how you're going to do it. And if you're not sure how you're going to go about it, there is no shame in reaching out and asking for help.
The worst thing that you can do is to sit and struggle with this in silence, don't let yourself fall into the cycle of despair and if you feel yourself slipping take a minute to regroup and realise there are so many other things in this life worth stressing over and your excess stomach flab is not one of them.
When you're ready, you'll know it, so grab it by the metaphorical balls and get on it!
Good luck and happy 2016! xxxx